Pros / The Assistant feature allows you to tailor presets to your editing preferences.
Cons / The photo-organization tools are lacking compared to other programs on our list.
Verdict / With Affinity Photo's advanced user interface and tools, you can add professional-looking enhancements to your photos, but it's not an easy program for novice photo editors to learn.
Serif, a Europe-based software developer, has been around for 11 years now. In 2015, it created Affinity Photo editing software solely for Mac computers, but the program was recently also made compatible for Windows. It comes with a range of editing tools and functions, and can work with over 15 file types. It has functions you find with advanced photo editors, but it also provides all of the simple editing functions you'd expect as well.
This photo editing software comes with all of the basic editing tools you'd expect: red eye removal, cropping, selection, painting and drawing tools, and vector shape tools. It also includes more advanced tools like a cloning stamp, batch processing, font effects and lens distortion correction. We found these features simple and easy to use, and they produced top-notch effects.
One of the nicest features of Affinity Photo comes in the form of layers. You can create mask layers, rearrange layers and choose between vector or raster layers.
One helpful feature Affinity offers is its Assistant button. This button appears at the top of the interface as a tuxedo icon. When you click on it, you're able to create presets for specific tools. For example, you can set it up so that when you click on the Brush tool, the Assistant automatically optimizes the layer type and applies the specified tool settings.
The biggest downside, though, to this photo editor is the lack of an organizing system. You can browse through image files on your computer, but there isn't an advanced image search function or a ranking system, which means you'll spend more time trying to track down a specific image with this software than other photo editing applications. You can, however, view EXIF information for photos, which helps you remember when a photo was taken and what resolution and shutter speed it was taken with.
Affinity Photo is compatible with RAW, JPG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, PSD and PDF files as well as more obscure file types. This flexibility allows you to open a range of files and save your work in a way that optimizes your images. Typically, when uploading an image to the internet, it's best to compress it so it loads faster when viewed online. Affinity Photo helps you optimize photos for the web by giving you options to manually adjust the size and compression of your photos when you save them. Affinity Photo does not support any animation files, though, so creating animated GIFs is not an option with this image editor.
Unfortunately, Affinity Photo does not come with the ability to save photos to online galleries, nor can you upload images directly to social media or email.
Serif, Affinity Photo's manufacturer, does not offer phone support or email, but you can access a user forum and several video tutorials from their website. The user forums feature direct feedback from Serif employees. You can also purchase their Designer Workbook, which explains all of the tools and features of the image editing software in detail.
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Despite the lack of image organizing features, Affinity Photo offers several advanced photo editing tools to help you create professional-looking photos in little time. For novices, the interface can be intimidating and the range of tools seem complex. However, the learning curve diminishes as you explore the software. Still, beginning photo editors who simply want basic photo editing software without complex tools may want to consider an application more suited to novices.