Affinity Photo: a Mac-based Photoshop competitor that focuses on speed and precision

by Gannon Burgett

posted Monday, February 9, 2015 at 11:55 AM EDT


For Apple users, the choices for editing photos has long been Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom and Apple’s own Aperture. Aperture is no longer with us though, leaving only Adobe products as the most viable means to edit images. Software company Serif is looking to change that though, with their impending photo editing program, Affinity Photo.

Creators of an Adobe-like suite of design and imaging programs, Affinity Photo is Serif’s first high-end endeavor into the photography world. And judging from the teaser, they’re already on pace to become a very prominent force in the market.

A demonstration of Affinity Photo's masking tool for removing stray hairs

The UI of Affinity Photo bears a aimilar aesthetic to Photoshop, although slightly more minimal in its approach. While Affinity is sure to be missing a few components Photoshop offers, the teaser video below shows off a handful of features we’ve become accustomed to in Photoshop.

Specifically, the demo shows off a handful of masking tools, a content-aware-like tool, healing brush, layers, perspective and warping features, 16-bit/RAW support and even a PSD import/export option. Two photo-specific features that appear in the app as well are: a dedicated selection of filters to choose from and an impressive lighting feature, which looks to add a unique way to intelligently add lighting elements to an image.

A screenshot of Affinity Photo's content-aware-like feature in progress

Despite what is in Affinity Photo, it’s equally important to recognize what isn’t. By keeping the application as light as possible, the speed of the app looks to be far ahead of Adobe, which can often chew through RAM and CPU like it’s nothing.

Affinity Photo is set for a one-time purchase price of $49.99 when it's out of beta and in the Mac App Store. 

Serif is currently letting users test out Affinity Photo via a beta, which you can get in line for over on their website. I’m already in line for my copy, so I’ll be sure to give you a thorough hands-on once I get my hands on it.