Affinity Photo debuts Photoshop alternative for Windows in free public beta

Nov 10, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

Affinity Photo debuts Photoshop alternative for Windows in free public beta

Nov 10, 2016

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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Initially announced a few months ago, Affinity Photo for Windows has been anxiously awaited. Today, it’s finally here in the form of a completely free public beta. Hailed as the only real potential competitor to Photoshop, Affinity Photo’s Windows debut opens it up to a much wider audience. With the current cost of “free” lasting throughout the public beta period, it will be interesting to see how many are won over.

Affinity Photo for the Mac has received many favourable reviews, and it was chosen as Apple’s “App of the Year” in 2015. So, it already has a pretty strong following. Having had a brief play with the beta myself, it does take some getting used to if you’ve been using Photoshop for a couple of decades. But, it’s fairly easy to get used to the differences in layout and workflow.

curves

When we started developing our Affinity apps nearly seven years ago one of the key aims was to be cross-platform, so this is a huge milestone for us. Because we did plan this from the beginning we made nearly all of our back-end code – the core engine of Affinity, if you like – completely operating system independent.

This not only means that file compatibility between the two platforms is 100% perfect, but all the power, performance, tools and accuracy which have really set us apart on Mac are there for Windows users to enjoy now too.

– Ashley Hewson, Serif Managing Director

We spoke with Ashley ourselves and were introduced to a very early build of the Windows version at The Photography Show back in March. So, it’s great to see it finally arriving for Windows. During the public beta period, the software is completely free. It will also contain completely new features destined for the next version of Affinity Photo on the Mac.

tonemapping

Some of those features include the following.

  • Advanced HDR merge producing full 32-bit linear colour space images
  • Focus stacking to bring depth to multiple combined images
  • Batch processing for smoother, faster workflow
  • An all-new way to edit 360 degree images

You can see Ashley going through some of those features in this Affinity 1.5 sneak peek for the Mac video.

As mentioned, right now Affinity Photo for Windows is completely free while it’s in its public beta phase. Once that’s over and the final version is released, it will cost $49.99, £39.99 or €49.99, depending on your preferred currency. And that’s a one-off payment with free future updates. No subscription plans to get locked into.

You can find out more and sign up to join the public beta now on the Affinity website. No word yet on how long the public beta phase will last or when the final version is being released. Even if you’re a die hard Photoshop user, it’s worth checking out now while it’s free, though. There’s no rule that says you can’t use both Photoshop and Affinity Photo. What do you have to lose?

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Personally, I’m happy to see a serious Photoshop competitor hit the Windows market. Hopefully it’ll put more pressure on Adobe to start listening to their users more. Perhaps it’ll even inspire one or two other companies to come out and challenge Adobe’s dominance. Competition drives innovation.

How about you? Are you excited that Affinity Photo has finally come to Windows? Busting to get rid of Photoshop from your workflow? Will you stick with Photoshop and completely ignore Affinity? Or will you use both side-by side? Mac users, how has Affinity Photo affected your workflow either positively or negatively? Let us know in the comments.

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John Aldred

John Aldred

John Aldred is a photographer with over 20 years of experience in the portrait and commercial worlds. He is based in Scotland and has been an early adopter – and occasional beta tester – of almost every digital imaging technology in that time. As well as his creative visual work, John uses 3D printing, electronics and programming to create his own photography and filmmaking tools and consults for a number of brands across the industry.

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12 responses to “Affinity Photo debuts Photoshop alternative for Windows in free public beta”

  1. Hannes Nitzsche Avatar
    Hannes Nitzsche

    Wow interesting! I read about affinity last year and was so disappointed to find out that it was for Mac only at the time. I’m defo going to check out the beta version! What’s not to like about this software for that price?!

  2. Ibo Avatar
    Ibo

    I just tried it as Lightroom, raw converter, and there it lacks behind in what it is able to recover from shadow and highlights…. and it smudges the colors a lot quicker

    Will test the PS capabilities later, this is where the most interesting features are for affinity…

    A combination of LR/ Affinity with an exported tiff maybe is good enough and is still an viable alternative…

  3. Rob Hall Avatar
    Rob Hall

    Awesome

  4. SMSjohnson Avatar
    SMSjohnson

    If a capable alternative for Photoshop released for Linux then i’d be gone in a heartbeat. It is the only software keeping me on Windows at this point.

    Perhaps in time…

    1. vvgz Avatar
      vvgz

      Same here.

    2. Kaouthia Avatar
      Kaouthia

      Yup, also playing that waiting game. :)

    3. Christoph Matz Avatar
      Christoph Matz

      Me too.

  5. DanaSue Van Kampen Avatar
    DanaSue Van Kampen

    Is it more user friendly than ps?

  6. catlett Avatar
    catlett

    I’ve been looking forward to this for months. Got my beta invite and installing now. Hope this supplants CS6 on my computer. I’m never buying into the permanent utility charge model for software even though I have been using Photoshop since 1.0.

  7. Chris 'Sharky' Wright Avatar
    Chris ‘Sharky’ Wright

    I actually love it after 5 minutes!

  8. Renato Murakami Avatar
    Renato Murakami

    Will be testing out, thanks John.

  9. TW Avatar
    TW

    Just last week I got screwed by Adobe, which broke my long-working earlier version of PS, so am eager to try Affinity.