Formerly thirty-year Windows-only graphics software house Serif (Europe) Ltd made a major commitment to the Macintosh several years ago when they launched their development roadmap for three offerings for Mac-using designers, illustrators and photographers and that commitment has borne serious fruit.
Affinity Designer was the first of the three to be released and it immediately began winning plaudits amongst the design and illustration communities. Apple itself was impressed and awarded Affinity Designer an Apple Design Award earlier in 2015. And now Apple has chosen Affinity Photo as the Best Mac App of 2015. It is not hard to understand why.
The biggest advantage of Affinity’s two products so far, Designer and Photo, for those less than enthusiastic about software subscription models is that each is purchasable via Apple’s App Store for very affordable prices. Affinity Designer costs US$62.99 and Affinity Photo also costs US$62.99. Updates so far are free and free trials are available via the Affinity website.
Both products present top quality alternatives to Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop respectively. and, being constructed upon built-from-scratch non-legacy codebases, make the most of everything of which contemporary computer hardware and the Macintosh operating system are capable.
While this article centers on Affinity Photo as a tool for moviemakers and photographers, I am well aware that many of both also need to produce vector graphics, are mainly employed as designers or production people, or often have the need to produce vector images and type designs for import into motion picture projects and documentation.
Touch Reviews published an informative review of Affinity Designer and I recommend that article and another by Segtsy earlier this year, covering both Affinity products. Post-production expert Oliver Peters also wrote about Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo last month for Digital Video magazine at Creative Planet Network, and that article is also available on Mr Peters’ blog, here.
Affinity Photo’s recent update adds even more features and power
For an application still in version one, Affinity Photo packs a very powerful punch. In fact, it is the first version one product I have been seriously impressed with and that I rate as already professional quality. Amazing to think that it was only launched back in July 2015.
Affinity Photo’s 1.4 update, released just this month, adds a long list of improvements and new features including these headliners:
- Six extensions for Apple Photos on El Capitan – Develop, Haze Removal, Liquify, Miniature, Monochrome, Retouch.
- Image stitching in new Panorama persona.
- Live image stacks.
- Choice of RAW processing engines in the Develop persona.
- Full support for DCI-P3 extended gamut iMac displays.
- Pro printing including PDF/X and Pantone support.
- Haze Removal filter.
- Custom keyboard shortcuts.
- Perspective live filter.
Add all those to an already extensive feature list and you have an application that rivals if not surpasses Photoshop for many of us and one that is already more than capable of most tasks demanded of it.
For moviemakers getting into 3D LUTs, Affinity Photo can apply LUTs to your stills images and export LUTs for use in non-linear editors and color grading software.
For those relying on editing raw files, and that surely is most industry professionals nowadays – Reuters photographers excepted – Affinity Photo supports an impressively extensive list of cameras supported by its Develop module with more to come.
That list, published back in February, includes many contemporary movie production (and stills) camera raw formats such as:
- BlackMagic Cinema Camera
- BlackMagic Pocket Cinema Camera
- BlackMagic Production Camera 4k
- Canon EOS 5D Mark II
- Canon EOS 5D Mark III
- Canon EOS 6D
- Canon EOS 7D
- Canon EOS 7D Mark II
- Digital Bolex D16
- Digital Bolex D16M
- DJI 4384×3288
- Ikonoskop A-Cam dII Panchromatic
- Ikonoskop A-Cam dII
- Kinefinity KineMINI
- Kinefinity KineRAW Mini
- Kinefinity KineRAW S35
- Panasonic DMC-GH4
- Samsung NX1
Not all cameras in that list shoot raw video but they feature in many moviemakers’ kits and others there do shoot raw stills files.
With such a low one-off purchase price, for many of us buying Affinity Photo is almost a no-brainer given the vast range of things it already does. But the best thing you can do if you wish to find out more is watch the many video tutorials published by the Affinity team and download the trial version to give it a serious spin.
Discounts! Affinity Photo & Affinity Designer discounted to December 24 and possibly beyond.
Affinity Designer is being discounted with 20% off up to and including December 24, Christmas Eve.
Affinity Photo is currently being discounted under Apple’s Best of 2015 App Store banner marketing campaign. No end date has been shared by Apple for the discount period but it is likely it will extend into the New Year. Best to take advantage now though, so you don't miss out.
Chosen by Apple as the best Mac App of 2015
Via Affinity Website:
We can’t quite believe it, but it’s true! Apple have chosen Affinity Photo as Best Mac App of 2015. This places Affinity Photo ahead of every other app in the world this year in the Mac App Store… sure, that makes it best photo app too, but it’s also BEST ANY KIND OF MAC APP OF THE YEAR! Best App! :o) Amazing, thank you Apple! This is what developers dream of!
The team are likely going to be celebrating with a beer or two tonight—and we’re also sharing the love by extending our 20% discount on both our apps until Christmas Eve, and will keep Affinity Photo on offer for the duration of Apple’s Best of 2015 Mac App Store banner feature!
Affinity Photo: Professional photo editing software for Mac
Via Affinity Website:
5 years in the making, Affinity Photo redefines the boundaries for professional photo editing software for the Mac. With a meticulous focus on workflow it offers sophisticated tools for enhancing, editing and retouching your images in an incredibly intuitive interface, with all the power and performance you need.
Engineered for professionals
Built on rock solid foundations with principles of performance, stability and lack of bloat, Affinity Photo is a professional photography tool to the very core.
Comprehensive RAW editing
Develop camera RAW files in a dedicated built-in workspace with all the processing adjustments and corrections you need.
Work in any colour space
RGB, CMYK, LAB, Greyscale. End-to-end CMYK workflow with ICC colour management, and 16-bit per channel editing.
Unsurpassed file compatibility
We’ve got the best PSD support out there, plus all the standards you’d expect including PNG, JPG, TIFF, EPS, PDF, and SVG.
It’s always live
Pan and zoom at 60fps with live previews, live tools and real-time editing. Even when working on massive images with 1000s of layers.
Learn more about Affinity Photo.
(cover photo credit: snap from Affinity Photo)