The three Affinity desktop apps – Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher – have been upgraded to version 2, as part of a new combined ‘Universal’ license for all three.
Affinity Photo was always seen as part of a trio of Adobe-matching creative tools for photographers, designers, illustrators and publishers. Affinity Photo is the Photoshop rival, Affinity Designer is the Illustrator alternative and Affinity Publisher is the Adobe InDesign competitor.
What’s key about these three programs is not just that they go head-on against their Adobe rivals for professional features, but they they do it with a single license fee rather than a subscription, and at such a low price that the cost of ownership is dramatically reduced.
The new Affinity V2 Universal license includes all three applications and will eventually sell for £144.99 (UK currency) but is currently on offer with a 40% discount for £89.99 (the Affinity shop will display your local currency). Find out more on the Affinity website.
As a photographer, you’re probably only interested in Affinity Photo V2 and this will still be available on its own. The price will eventually be £59.99 but is currently £35.99.
The 40% discount launch price makes software that’s already cheap to buy even cheaper, but as Affinity explains it’s for existing users not just new ones, as most Affinity sales are via app stores where it’s not practical to offer separate upgrade prices.
Affinity Photo V2
I have Affinity Photo V2 installed and running and will post a full review shortly. In the meantime, here is a list of key new features:
- Layer thumbnails now have icons to indicate their types
- Non-destructive RAW processing – new embedded (RAW layer) and linked options
- You can combine masks non-destructively, for complex and re-editable masking
- Live mask layers, e.g. luminosity masks, hue range masks, band pass masks
- Layer States/Smart Layer States – for choosing which layer combinations are visible. Though I would say that filtering layers by tag, for example, is getting pretty deep
- Drag/drop texture fills – very designer-orientated
Affinity Photo V2 first thoughts
The changes made in Affinity Photo V2 highlight what this program is designed for. Powerful as it is as a photo editor, this is not its only role. In fact, it’s clear that Affinity sees it principally as a design tool. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it to edit photos, simply that it’s what Affinity is focused on. This does, I have to admit, worry me a bit.
The changes made in Affinity Photo V2 are to features which are quite technical, and quite designer-focused. This is not software for beginners, nor specifically for photographers. If you watch the Affinity Photo V2 video on YouTube, which describes the new Affinity Photo V2 features, you’ll quickly see that it’s from a designer perspective rather than a photographer perspective.
My initial feeling is that Affinity is concentrating so hard on the designer community that it’s in danger of neglecting the photographer community. I would still recommend Affinity Photo as a great low-cost pro-spec photo editor, but right now its direction and its language is certainly not aimed at photographers.