Affinity image editor launched

Serif, which has quietly built up an impressive reputation for good quality, low-priced imaging software, has launched Affinity Photo. This has been highly anticipated since the company ran a pubic beta program earlier this year, mainly because it appears to be a fairly serious alternative to Adobe’s Photoshop, but at a fraction of the price.

The program boasts a number of features including camera lens and exposure corrections, accurate adjustments, live filter layers, high-end controls for channels and masks, advanced layer handling, and built-in frequency separation editing.

It will open, edit and save Photoshop PSD files, as well as RAW files and most common formats including TIFF, JPG, EPS and PDF. It supports RGB, CMYK, greyscale and LAB colour spaces, as well as 16-bit per channel editing. It has unlimited layers as well as masks and can apply non-destructive edits, which can always be undone. It includes vector drawing and text editing tools, as well as painting brushes and tool such as mesh warps and liquify.

It’s only available for the Mac Os and this has allowed Serif to capitalise on a number of Apple technologies like OpenGL, Grand Central Dispatch and Core Graphics so that it’s said to be extremely fast with real time previews, even with larger file sizes. It’s optimised for 64-bit and multi-core processors and supports retina screens and iCloud Drive.

I suspect that a lot of people that have kept on using their old CS versions of Photoshop while wondering what to do about the Creative Cloud will welcome this as a viable option.

This program is the second in Serif’s Affinity range of creative software aimed at professional users, which suggests to me that Serif is deliberately exploiting the gap in the market left by Adobe’s decision to stop selling its software with perpetual licenses. The first program, launched last October, was Affinity Designer which competes directly against Adobe’s Illustrator.

It costs £39.99 – or £29.99 if you order it before 23rd July 2015. Further details from: affinity.serif.com/photo.

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