Affinity Photo debuted oh over a year ago at this point, but only on Mac. This may not have been such a sticking point if Affinity Photo didn’t turn out to be, so…how shall I put this?: Good.
Affinity Photo for Mac has been little short of a resounding success in functionality, and the pricing structure–a one time payment of $50–has enabled users to buy it without a significant one time investment, or a perpetuating subscription plan cost.
The photography world hasn’t really known a proper, usable, high-functioning, adaptable and yet familiar pixel-bending photo editor other than Photoshop, and while Photoshop does still reign supreme, Affinity’s success is testament to the fact that the ruling clan is not immune to worthy challengers, or even possible successors. It is hard, however, to usurp Photoshop in any significant way when you are not available on Windows, and until recently that had been the case. Now, however, Affinity Photo for Windows is here (in beta), and from the looks of it, it’s just as good. The beta is also free to download.
Managing Director of Affinity developer Serif, Ashley Hewson, says:
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.
It’s worth noting that the beta version not only goes toe-to-toe with the full Mac Version in terms of feature-set, but goes a step further to include a few things that will make their way to the masses in the next primary update, v1.5, including:
- Advanced HDR merge producing full 32-bit linear color 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
Strong or frequent users of Photoshop will notice that those additions are a boost to a professional workflow, and that was an area it was lacking compared to Photoshop. My experience with Affinity Photo for Mac has been nothing but good, even with the learning curve required after years of your brain and muscle memory clinging to Photoshop. But then again it’s clear it was designed to bring a sense of familiarity so it’s no entirely alien. Less alien in fact, than Photoshop users picking up Capture One Pro for the first time. It’s been a stable platform, and looks like those of you with Windows computers, especially Surfaces are in for a treat. Us Apple users anxiously await the iPad variant that’s en route.
You can check out a demo of the Windows version below, and sign up for the free beta version here.