There’s a battle brewing in the world of image editing: the Americans versus the British. And it looks like those chaps from across the pond are in the lead.
Serif Labs just launched their much anticipated editing app Affinity Photo on the Mac App Store. We’ve written about how much we love this app before, which has been in beta testing since February. So, now that Serif Labs wants you to dole out some dough for their magnificent creation, the big question is: should you?
Of course you should. In comparison to the popular industry standard of Photoshop, Affinity Photo meets and exceeds expectations in several ways. We're not going to expand here all the why's and wherefores, besides - Serif Labs isn't paying us to write a promo here. We just really like this app. Go get it and brag about how cool it is on your own blog!
Anyway, back to the article.
Like we stated before, that moment when you’re tooling around in Photoshop, trying desperately to manipulate an image whilst thinking “there must be an easier way,” the folks at Serif Labs have found that shortcut for you.
What amazes me is how relatively quiet Serif Labs’ movements have been throughout the community. Is it because nobody dares to entertain the thought of another company coming close to Adobe’s amazing programs? Everybody uses Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign… they’re all up floating on the Creative Cloud and happily paying their monthly subscription. Are we too afraid to embrace change? Heck, Adobe’s products have found their way into our lexicon as a verb, for crying out loud. How many photographers are asked if they can simply “Photoshop that out”?
Sure, Serif Labs is the new kid on the block, but that kid has some smart ideas. Getting back to the subscription thing, Affinity Photo is available for one-time purchase with free updates and no subscription. It’s a powerful tool aimed more toward the professional.
Sadly, for all you IBM users out there, Affinity Photo is only available on Mac; something that may or may not be a hindrance to Serif Labs. By narrowing their focus on a target market (us Mac users aren’t the 2500 or so loner geeks hiding in the dark anymore), it does allow the freedom to mature in that specific environment.
So, back to the big question of should you buy it. Yes you should. If you only buy one app this year, buy Affinity Photo. However, if you are in more of a beginner level in terms of image editing, you may get frustrated with some of the more technical components. Just like Photoshop, this isn’t a basic editing tool. If you want basic and a little bit powerful, go download Pixelmator.
If you are accustomed to how the Photoshop environment operates in general, you will have absolutely no problem catching on to Affinity Photo. Right now, there simply is not the vast support available in how-to videos on YouTube for Affinity Photo as compared to Photoshop, which is why I caution the newbies. There are some videos for Affinity Photo out there, just not the 97 gazillion how-to vids that Adobe fanboys and fangirls have posted to compare with.
We’ve been using Affinity Photo since the first beta testing began, and have very much loved it. Yes, we’re still holding onto our PS security blanket, and Pixelmator is still in the Applications folder, but AP is being launched more and more these days. So, to recap: go to the App Store and buy this sucker (you can thank me later), it’s a rival for Photoshop and blows Pixelmator out of the water. For the price of the app, Affinity Photo is a no-brainer.
It will be exciting to watch the Affinity line over the next months. Affinity Photo is the gateway drug of Serif Labs’ family of apps. They’ve already reached quite a bit of success with their graphic design software, aptly named Affinity Designer. In fact, Apple gave them a design award during the Worldwide Developers Conference last month. One boasting feature was the million-percent zoom. Yep. That’s million….with an ‘m.’ The next battle may even be Serif Labs versus Adobe......you as the consumer have the voting power aka cashola to decide.
Coming soon, Serif Labs will release a desktop publishing app named – wait for it – Affinity Publisher. Okay, they’re not very creative with naming their products, but when you’re this good, why give your stuff a goofy name anyway? No firm details on a launch yet, just sometime this year.