New High-End Real Alternative To Photoshop – Can It Shake The Paradigm? (+ Free Beta)

Feb 9, 2015

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

New High-End Real Alternative To Photoshop – Can It Shake The Paradigm? (+ Free Beta)

Feb 9, 2015

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Join the Discussion

Share on:


Photoshop is practically the standard of editing today. Sure everyone will say “Open your editing software”, but what they mean is start Photoshop. There is a good reason for that too. Adobe (and Photoshop) have been in the market for a really long time, they have experience and PS integrate nicely with the Creative Cloud. There are some options out there, but none are considered as fully featured and rounded as Photoshop, which (like microsoft word in their days) make it the de-facto standard.

But all this is about to change if Affinity Photo will have their say.

 Affinity Photo is a “Professional image editing software”, currently for MAC only. And it features all the tools you’ve come to expect from a pro editing suite. Actually, Serif – the company behind Affinity, is going for more than being as good as Photoshop, they claim they are better. In their kickoff page they send a small poke at Adobe’s general direction (bolding is mine):

Affinity Photo is built for creative professionals. It’s a brand new tool for photographers and raster artists with a refreshingly awesome level of performance. Unlike other affordable apps it’s unashamedly pro even as a beta version, supporting end-to-end CMYK, LAB colour, 16-bits per channel editing, ICC colour profiling, and fantastic Adobe® Photoshop® PSD and 64-bit plug-in support right from the start

So What Are The Differences?

Should be Really, Really fast


Serif’s managing director Ashley Hewson said that:

Photoshop is an amazing piece of software, But the problem is, it’s built on 25-year-old architecture. When that architecture was being created, Adobe couldn’t have anticipated the incredible developments we’ve seen in computers since. Which means that they’re now struggling to adapt Photoshop to take advantage of modern computing power #

Of course this is yet to be proven, but as a former software engineer, I can say that it sounds very logical. Being new means building for today’s hardware and OS features right from the core architecture, which means that more power can be taken advantage of. Of course when Affinity photo will be 15, they will face the very same old code problem, but for now they are fresh.

Pro features out of the box


Even the free beta already includes some features that are considered pretty high end, some of which are not trivial at Photoshop at all:

  • Frequency Separation editing
  • live blend modes
  • Inpainting
  • advanced retouching (frankly I have no idea what that means).

This is not the first app from Serif, and their previous software – designer – was very highly regarded so there is definitely something to wait for. IT was also, very competitively priced at $50. no monthly fees and such….

Getting The Free Beta


The beta is now free to MAC users (and there is no indication of a Windows version coming soon). In order to join, visit this link, and put your name and email. You will get a free download mail after a while. While I would have guessed their servers would be kinda stressing right now, the mail came in less than 5 minutes.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

[via creativebloq]

Filed Under:

Tagged With:

Find this interesting? Share it with your friends!

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh

Udi Tirosh is an entrepreneur, photography inventor, journalist, educator, and writer based in Israel. With over 25 years of experience in the photo-video industry, Udi has built and sold several photography-related brands. Udi has a double degree in mass media communications and computer science.

Join the Discussion

DIYP Comment Policy
Be nice, be on-topic, no personal information or flames.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

49 responses to “New High-End Real Alternative To Photoshop – Can It Shake The Paradigm? (+ Free Beta)”

  1. Nick Dunlap Avatar
    Nick Dunlap

    Mac only=failure

  2. Kamil Tamiola Avatar
    Kamil Tamiola

    It does look impressive!

  3. Stefan Moldoveanu Avatar
    Stefan Moldoveanu

    with photoshop you have ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES….. ONLY CREATIVITY is the limit…with this? hmmm with affinity im sure there is a limit

    1. Frank Nazario Avatar
      Frank Nazario

      remember stefan its not the camera … it has nothing to do with the camera… its the photographer and how he goes around the limitations of the camera. Software is the same… have you seen the work of some artist in Windows Paint???!!! It would blow you away or Gimp? This is just another tool… to learn and explore. When the software disappears from your thought process and you are just creating that is when you have reached true control of the too. Now starst the pushing the limits of the tool. when you know your camera so well that it vanished from your hand and you just see… that is when you have reached the maximum of your camera and exploration of what is the limit you can do starts…

  4. Børge Indergaard Avatar
    Børge Indergaard

    Mac only … That significant detail killed it immediately.

  5. Mister Nasty Clamps Avatar
    Mister Nasty Clamps

    Just signed up for the Beta. Thank you.

  6. Tomer Razabi Avatar
    Tomer Razabi

    Looks promising!

  7. willdmo Avatar

    I wont change for macs to use this software thou

  8. Neil Schulman Avatar
    Neil Schulman

    Anything that can break up the Adobe monopoly is a good thing for the industry.

  9. Arn Avatar

    Mac only ? No thank you.

    1. Lory1979 Avatar

      Updated info: they lauched a Windows version. And so did their rival, So funny to see how product companies imitate each other)))

  10. Louis Van Zyl Avatar
    Louis Van Zyl

    Mac only. FAil

  11. Michele M. Ferrario Avatar
    Michele M. Ferrario

    Mac “Only” in 2015 is a suicide.

  12. Jim Avatar

    God damnit Mac has never been capitalised ever in the history of the world ever.

  13. Frans Fourie Avatar
    Frans Fourie

    Here we are waiting for a windows version

  14. Neil Barnwell Avatar
    Neil Barnwell

    I understand being reticent to use a mac-only app if one doesn’t have a mac, but the vibe here is that it’s no good just because it’s mac-only, which is possibly short-sighted. Not having two codebases to maintain means it can be cheaper and they can get more features done. Will the company/product fail because it’s mac-only? Probably not. Macs are mac-only and Apple is doing quite well. This looks interesting and should benefit from the economies of scale.

    The first iPhone deliberately went out without bluetooth and was limited to 2G/Edge because of battery life concerns. People thought that would kill it before it got started, but how wrong they were.

    I shall be giving this a go because it looks interesting and I don’t need to take my trousers down to take the hit on the license cost. More positivity, people!

    1. oo.p Avatar

      I think the things (for me at least) is they should have started out pc only, then port to mac. Now you’re probably saying most photographers use macs, but that simply isnt true.

      1. YoureKindaDumb Avatar

        Well I think the things (for me at least) is they should have started out darkroom only, then port it to computers. Now you’re probably saying most photographers use computers, but that simply isn’t true.

    2. Juan Romero Avatar
      Juan Romero

      Your point is not really valid since your analogy is not correct. In the article they claim Affinity to be a real alternative for Photoshop, but Photoshop is Mac and Pc software. The title is misleading and should include “for mac only” A great percentage of users like me have read an article that wasn’t interesting or relevant for them. The title is definitely decieving.

    3. Wout Mertens Avatar
      Wout Mertens

      Side note : the original iPhone totally had Bluetooth.

  15. Lars Dahlin Avatar
    Lars Dahlin

    Nah, just for Mac. Meh.

  16. Don Smith Avatar
    Don Smith

    Signed up. It is Mac only right now. I am sure they will slum it and produce a Windows version.

  17. Lyndsay French Piazza Avatar
    Lyndsay French Piazza

    Yay! I’ll try it! Thx Kira !

    1. Kira Crook Avatar
      Kira Crook

      Yep! Hopefully it’s awesome! :)

  18. NotReallyHere Avatar

    The biggest issue I have with Adobe is the monthly payments for something which I might only need 2 – 5 times a months (I used Lightroom for 99% of all my editing). I’d like to have photoshop for very few things (which I currently have to live without), and if this fills that gap then it’s a good investment.

    The Coca Cola company recently admitted that the worst idea they ever came up with was new-coke, I hope Adobe shortly will admit that forcing people to pay for Creative Cloud to get photoshop is a similar bad idea….

    1. Donna Torres Avatar
      Donna Torres

      I’m with you on the monthly fees… we all need to revolt the cloud. I can’t afford to pay for my software per month that I use… ridiculous… I like to use my software until I HAVE to upgrade or can afford to do so.. internet connectivity in remote areas is a NOT also… I need stand alone software…. I wish more people would speak up about this… real photographers are not made of money…. well some of us aren’t anyway… can’t afford Adobe’s solution long-term… need something affordable out there for us to use!

  19. urbanrunoff Avatar

    me too, I’d love to give it a spin but I’m on a windows box :(

  20. Daryl Isaacs Avatar
    Daryl Isaacs

    Funny to see all these “Mac only” comments

    – I remember when Photoshop was first out – guess what??? On a Mac…. PC came later, so lighten up, give ’em a chance to get off the ground first

    But with limited thinking like that, they never will….

  21. Andrew Elias Avatar
    Andrew Elias

    What’s wrong with GIMP?

    1. photosniper Avatar

      What’s right with it.

    2. Felonius Avatar

      Last time I checked: lack of adjustment layers (ie: non-destructive editing). Copying an entire layer to make adjustments kills it for me, especially since it’s hard to remove a single adjustment.

      I haven’t played with every photo editor out there, but this is generally the feature that makes me go back to PS. Looking at Affinity, they actually offer adjustment layers, which could make it a viable alternative. (the controls are a bit different, and the 10 minutes I used it, I didn’t find all of the things I’m used to, but it seemed solid enough…)

  22. Cornelis Hendrik Nel Avatar
    Cornelis Hendrik Nel

    I second that

  23. Mark Turner Avatar
    Mark Turner

    Mac only! oh dear oh dear oh dear. Wake up!!!!!! Mac users are pretentious ‘experts’.

    1. Paul Avatar

      “Mac users are pretentious ‘experts’.”
      hmmm, generalise much? lol.

      1. Simon Dowsett Avatar
        Simon Dowsett

        Mark Turner’s list was not extensive. Mac users are also relatively computer illiterate. Why else would anyone pay twice as much for the same performance that can never be upgraded?

  24. fookoffdisqus Avatar

    Want to shake the photography world to it’s core. Make this work on Linux. I know a lot of photographers that only keep Windows because of Lightroom and Photoshop.

    1. Frank Nazario Avatar
      Frank Nazario

      I was one of them … got tired of the freaking blue screens and the trizillion viruses that there are for windows and turned to Apple. Rock solid platform, at least a million times more stable than Winblows… I am a Linux Geek but Gimp and Blender do not attach to my workflow… if they do this one for Linux. LOL!… Im builing a beast of a desktop and run Fedora with this I have the C6 Stand Alone suite of software ( they are not updating it anymore) but it is still WAY of an over kill for my photo and compositing needs…

  25. vvgz Avatar

    No Linux support? Fail ;-)

  26. peters0n Avatar

    Looks VERY promising. Photoshop turned to become a only a tool. I miss
    some funny and creative features. The possibilities ARE endless, no
    question, but it feels like working with a pipe wrench and not a brush.
    I like to see an alternative. But Mac only, serious?!? PC offers
    endless modifications and a very open operating system and a lot of
    different devices and tools… I would never switch, especially not for
    just ONE tool.

  27. Donna Torres Avatar
    Donna Torres

    IF this doesn’t require internet to use or monthly fees; ie, stand-alone software, AND works on PCs count me in!!!! This photographer has been waiting for a new solution… can’t afford Adobe monthly fees to use a piece of software and internet connectivity when I’m in remote areas….. If you need a beta tester, contact me. would love to volunteer. PC oriented ONLY, please?

  28. Louise Docker Avatar
    Louise Docker

    Needs to be able to operate on PC & Apple OS to be a real alternative

  29. Maaxxwell Avatar

    Would love to try it when it comes to PC

  30. windeguy Avatar

    No Coleco Adam support?…..FAIL

  31. Dane Lang Wilton Avatar
    Dane Lang Wilton

    Mario Lalic

  32. Ryan O'Connor Avatar
    Ryan O’Connor

    thank you for a proper title, I’ve seen this posted about on a few pages and they’re all boasting how it’s a ‘free alternative’

  33. Yomismo Avatar

    Mac ? no thanks !

  34. Paul Avatar

    Mac only = PC whiners dig their heads further in the sand

  35. Skitch Avatar

    oh yeah this is the greatest thing…oh wait…what?… Mac only? yeah…paradigm changer my eye

  36. Gary Randall Avatar
    Gary Randall

    Mac only. the software comes out of the gate outdated. :P What are you thinking?

    Call me when you arrive in the 21st century.