A few years ago I would have jumped at the chance to move from Photoshop to an alternative that looks at least equally powerful but at a fraction of the cost. Now, I’m not so sure, as Photoshop has become much more reasonably priced, and there would be quite a long process of learning to move away to Affinity Photo.
That link is for the Mac version, but as I learnt from Peta Pixel, you can now download a free beta of a Windows version which is said to have an identical interface. I don’t think I will, as I haven’t the time to spend evaluating software and changing my old habits, but it does look good and rather than paying a subscription there is a one-off price. The Windows version when launched will cost the same $50 or £40 as the Mac.
It does seem to offer an alternative to everything I need from Photoshop – I took a quick look through the long listing of features – and elsewhere is a list of cameras it supports for RAW, which included all that I own and of course many more. As a British company the price in the UK is perhaps less likely to be affected by any further drop in the pound as we slide into Breixt economic gloom.
But for me, Photoshop comes more or less as a free gift with Lightroom on my subscription, and I’ve come to love and rely on the way that Lightworks with and catalogues my images. And I still have nagging doubts about Serif, the company that produces Affinity, and whose PagePlus DTP software I used in the long past; Version 1.0 was cheap and worked farily well, but didn’t quite match up to that available at several times the cost from the big names. But it does look as if they have made that jump now, and PagePlus X9 looks rather good and if I wanted new web design software I’d certainly look at WebPlus X8. And Affinity seems to offer all that I use from Photoshop – including the ability to use 64-bit Photoshop plugins.
As I said, I don’t have the time to play with betas. But perhaps in a year or so when others have ironed out the worst bugs I’ll consider Affinity again, and decide if I can live without Lightroom. After all its one-off cost is less than 5 months subs to the Adobe Photography Plan – and after that I’d be saving just over £100 a year. Of course sometime they would bring out a version 2, and perhaps I might feel a need to upgrade, but it would still work out much cheaper.
As well as Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer is also available as a free beta for Windows.
Incidentally another page at Peta Pixel details how you can save 25 % on your Adobe subscription – but it doesn’t seem to work for me, with the Amazon page this links to listing it at the full dollar price of $119.88 – perhaps the offer is/was only available in the US.