Serif Affinity Photo

Being instantly familiar to any Adobe users, this amazingly well-priced software offers a brilliant amount of functionality...

Serif Affinity Photo

Serif Affinity Photo

From its multiple Persona tabs (featuring such tools as real-time Liquify and RAW developing), to its truly stunning perspective shift controls, there is much to like. The interface is easy to pick up, the colour tools work well and the Tone Mapping Persona achieves striking one-click results. When working with architectural shots, I loved the Perspective tool. It’s incredibly simple to use and works on either a single or dual plane. 

The Liquify Persona offers extremely powerful manipulation in real-time, even altering any Layer styles such as Drop Shadow, which completely eliminates the guesswork found in other software. This means you are able to see the effects of your edits as you make them, so you’ll always know what your results will look like. The Reconstruct Mesh slider allows you to lessen the effect or increase it – with the computer guesstimating the effect in-between – simply by dragging the point. 

Anybody who wants to retouch skin will love the wide range of blemish removal tools, such as Healing Brush, Patch and Clone Stamp, all of which work as well as Photoshop’s equivalents. And when mistakes are made, the History slider allows you to simply drag back to an earlier state extremely quickly. 

If you’re more interested in colour editing, you can use the vast array of one-click tools, or adjust finer details with Selective Colour, Channel Mixer or Colour Balance, allowing for near-infinite adjustment. 

In short, Serif’s Affinity is an excellent Adobe alternative, and fully justifies the coveted Apple Design Award it bagged when launched in 2015.

affinity.serif.com

Pros
Non-destructive editing
Price
RAW conversion

Cons
Can struggle with highlights and shadows
Cluttered Adjustment panel

Spec
OS: Mac/Windows
RAW conversion: Yes
Layers: Yes
System requirements: Mac OS X 10.7.5/Windows 7 or higher