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Author Topic: Is it Affinity Photo's time?  (Read 4637 times)

Bob Rockefeller

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Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« on: March 23, 2017, 10:03:09 AM »

It's hard to imagine that Photoshop, a tool in use by photographers for YEARS, is seeing the challenge from Affinity Photo on features that it appears to be seeing.

The key area that I see "lacking" in Affinity Photo is it's RAW conversion - ACR is hard to beat and Adobe knows image processing.

But if you don't rely on your deep photo retouching software to do the RAW conversion (Capture One Pro's RAW conversion is at least as good as ACR's), it may be time for the ascendance of Affinity Photo; a powerful program than many are using in place of Photoshop already.

So, to those who find that Lightroom or Capture One Pro don't handle all of their photo manipulation needs (they cover 90%, or better, of mine), is Affinity Photo ready to replace Photoshop in the RAW workflow?

For my needs, it seems to be true.

I would only wish for the breath and depth of online tutorials the Photoshop has.
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Bob Rockefeller
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CeeVee

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2017, 10:29:47 AM »

Mac, PC or both?
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Bob Rockefeller

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2017, 10:47:40 AM »

Mac, PC or both?

I know some need a cross-platform solution. But I'm a Mac guy, so that's my focus.
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2017, 10:55:19 AM »

It's hard to imagine that Photoshop, a tool in use by photographers for YEARS, is seeing the challenge from Affinity Photo on features that it appears to be seeing.

The key area that I see "lacking" in Affinity Photo is it's RAW conversion - ACR is hard to beat and Adobe knows image processing.

But if you don't rely on your deep photo retouching software to do the RAW conversion (Capture One Pro's RAW conversion is at least as good as ACR's), it may be time for the ascendance of Affinity Photo; a powerful program than many are using in place of Photoshop already.

So, to those who find that Lightroom or Capture One Pro don't handle all of their photo manipulation needs (they cover 90%, or better, of mine), is Affinity Photo ready to replace Photoshop in the RAW workflow?

For my needs, it seems to be true.

I would only wish for the breath and depth of online tutorials the Photoshop has.

Hi Bob,

Given Photoshop's head start by a couple of decades, it's not surprising that many have grown up with it, and share their experiences with others.

But as you've also found out, Affinity Photo is in many instances as (if not more) powerful compared to Photoshop. And AP is still in its infancy. The Raw demosaicing/conversion quality can indeed use some improvement but also makes quite a decent start. Many of the tools offer (sometimes subtly) improved control and some tools offer functionality not available in PS.

As for tutorials, there is an extensive (and growing) list of them available on Vimeo and YouTube, and new/updated video announcements can be found on the AP forums.

Cheers,
Bart
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Bob Rockefeller

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2017, 11:32:18 AM »

As for tutorials, there is an extensive (and growing) list of them available on Vimeo and YouTube, and new/updated video announcements can be found on the AP forums.

Thanks, Bart,

Indeed, Affinity itself has created many tutorials. They seem to often be focused on how to use a given tool, and that's just what I would expect from them. A good solid start.

Photoshop's years has lead to fewer recent tutorials on the basics of the tools, and more "worked examples" stringing many tools together to complete an image. For my own interest, a couple of good soup-to-nuts tutorials on portrait retouching would be welcome. Affinity does have one, but I'd love to see more.
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2017, 12:03:15 PM »

Thanks, Bart,

Indeed, Affinity itself has created many tutorials. They seem to often be focused on how to use a given tool, and that's just what I would expect from them. A good solid start.

Photoshop's years has lead to fewer recent tutorials on the basics of the tools, and more "worked examples" stringing many tools together to complete an image. For my own interest, a couple of good soup-to-nuts tutorials on portrait retouching would be welcome. Affinity does have one, but I'd love to see more.

Yes, the more the merrier. But there are some tools in Affinity Photo that are relatively easy to use, which would require a significant effort (and tutorial) with Photoshop. One such a tool that can be very useful for Portraits (and other subjects) is Frequency Separation.

Cheers,
Bart
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francois

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2017, 06:29:55 AM »

Mac, PC or both?

Both although the PC version is very new…
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Francois

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2017, 08:07:48 PM »

Hi Bob,

Given Photoshop's head start by a couple of decades, it's not surprising that many have grown up with it, and share their experiences with others.

But as you've also found out, Affinity Photo is in many instances as (if not more) powerful compared to Photoshop. And AP is still in its infancy. The Raw demosaicing/conversion quality can indeed use some improvement but also makes quite a decent start. Many of the tools offer (sometimes subtly) improved control and some tools offer functionality not available in PS.

As for tutorials, there is an extensive (and growing) list of them available on Vimeo and YouTube, and new/updated video announcements can be found on the AP forums.

Cheers,
Bart

+1 AP has replaced PS and PS is wiped from my system - completely - not that I need much outside of LR to begin with.
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2017, 08:42:15 AM »

+1 AP has replaced PS and PS is wiped from my system - completely - not that I need much outside of LR to begin with.

And around Easter, if comments on their forum are an indication, an update to Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo may be issued that addresses a number of reported issues.

Cheers,
Bart
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peterwgallagher

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2017, 06:14:36 PM »

Yes, the more the merrier. But there are some tools in Affinity Photo that are relatively easy to use, which would require a significant effort (and tutorial) with Photoshop.

I've been looking for an alternative to LR panorama processing which is, in fact, very neat (RAW > DNG is great!) but a bit underpowered. Unfortunately all the more powerful tools I tried (5 of them) had an awkward workflow, were difficult/impossible to correct when they went wrong and/or too damned expensive for occasional use.

Then I noticed an out-of-date search engine reference to a Serif pano tool. Hmm... Fired up AFP and dumped my test bunch of two-dozen D810 .nef files in it. This makes a 3gb file so it's a demanding test (of my MacBook Pro, too).

Pretty soon AFP produced one of the nicest results, automatically, with competent masking of doubled elements, good geometric correction and great homologation of exposure differences (caused by variable sunlight in a 180-deg traverse across a lawn). The only problem seems to be that the AFP tool has (apart from a very useful crop-to-opaque) even fewer controls than the LR tool. Would love to see a masking tool added or the ability to save in layers for masking by hand.

By the way: I thought PTGui was by far the most comprehensible, speedieset, most-robust of the tools I tested. It had a simple default interface but great depth; excellent masking and control-point management; GPU rendering and more. But I baulked at $A300 for a 1-year full license. I found the public-domain Hugin could produce marginally better images (much more slowly) in the best case, but it's too rube-goldberg for me (like the intriguing RawTherapee).

Best, Peter
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kers

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2017, 06:20:38 PM »


By the way: I thought PTGui was by far the most comprehensible, speedieset, most-robust of the tools I tested. It had a simple default interface but great depth; excellent masking and control-point management; GPU rendering and more. But I baulked at $A300 for a 1-year full license. ...

Best, Peter
[/quote


Maybe i misunderstand, but i pay €79 for a PTGui license for unlimited time... ( or €149 if you need the pro version)
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peterwgallagher

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2017, 08:27:15 PM »

Maybe i misunderstand, but i pay €79 for a PTGui license for unlimited time... ( or €149 if you need the pro version)

The Pro version is the one I tested (masking and control point correction seems to be available only in the Pro version). Euro149 is more than I want to pay for occasional use software. It is a 'perpetual' license but with full updates for only 12 months according to the PTGui site.

I should also add that I have now checked the AFP "Video tutorials" on Affinity's panorama tool (https://affinity.serif.com/forum/index.php?/topic/10119-in-house-affinity-photo-video-tutorials/). There is more control over masking and geometry available in AFP than I realized.

Peter
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Pete JF

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2017, 12:21:22 PM »

THIS thread, is all very interesting..

What are the issues with RAW conversions?

Do they continue to offer support for newer cameras in the form of patches issued?

How's working with layers in this program?

Nice to here there is serious competition with Adobe..
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Bob Rockefeller

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2017, 12:27:38 PM »

What are the issues with RAW conversions?

Do they continue to offer support for newer cameras in the form of patches issued?

How's working with layers in this program?

I find that Lightroom/ACR and Capture One provide better RAW conversions and I use those tools in preference to Affinity Photo for that. But once the parametric edits are complete in C1, I send the files needing extra bit-fiddling to AF. So their RAW conversion, and camera support for it, is immaterial, to me.

Layers there are very comparable to layers in Photoshop.
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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2017, 12:40:25 PM »

THIS thread, is all very interesting..

What are the issues with RAW conversions?

Hi Pete,

AP is, IMHO, slightly too aggressive with Raw conversion in extracting fine detail, which can lead to some issues (false color and some repetitive edge artifacts) when using very sharp lenses that are used at their optimal (for resolution) apertures, usually around f/4 to f/5.6 . It also takes a bit more work to get the most out of the Raw file, by creating you own tonecurve (if you don't like their default curve). On the other hand, that also gives a lot of flexibility, including the possibility to create 32-bit/channel Raw conversions (which are very robust for further postprocessing and tonemapping, including HDRI).

Quote
Do they continue to offer support for newer cameras in the form of patches issued?

Yes, but currently that is not done very frequently. It is automatic with the release of updates, presumably with something like a 3 month interval. That situation/method/frequency may change, because it was raised at their forums as not fast enough.

Quote
How's working with layers in this program?

Very well implemented, broadly similar to Photoshop although with some (useful) differences to how Adobe Photoshop does it.

Quote
Nice to here there is serious competition with Adobe..

Yes, it was inevitably going to happen.

Cheers,
Bart
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MattBurt

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2017, 01:17:51 PM »

I've been using AP for a few weeks as a possible photoshop replacement and it's been pretty good so far. There are times I just use PS because I know how to quickly get the results I want but as I learn it more, AP definitely looks like it has great potential to replace PS for me. This is good because I prefer to own my software license and I'm still on CS5.

One feature that works really well in AP is focus stacking which I have been using a bit recently. It's easy and just generally seems to work.

What I'd like to see updated is Lightroom integration to do some of my favorite LR to PS actions like Open as layers in Photoshop. Also for the focus stack, I have to browse the file system and choose the files to be stacked even if I already have those files open which is awkward and unnecessary.

I'm hopeful it will continue to evolve. I found the $50 price tag totally worth it even just for the focus stacking and there is a whole lot more.

I'm on Windows and I'm hopeful about this coming update too!
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 01:22:37 PM by MattBurt »
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luxborealis

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2017, 02:14:14 PM »

AP is a great PS replacement, but not an ACR replacement - that's still LR's domain. I wiuld also only ever use LR for printing and, of course, for its DAM.
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MattBurt

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2017, 02:29:58 PM »

AP is a great PS replacement, but not an ACR replacement - that's still LR's domain. I wiuld also only ever use LR for printing and, of course, for its DAM.

Right.

I agree and I hope we can continue to own a LR license as that application ages. If not Affinity needs to make a LR-killer too!

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Bob Rockefeller

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #18 on: April 13, 2017, 03:16:07 PM »

I agree and I hope we can continue to own a LR license as that application ages. If not Affinity needs to make a LR-killer too!

Capture One Pro is an LR-killer tool. :)
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MattBurt

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Re: Is it Affinity Photo's time?
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2017, 03:21:55 PM »

Capture One Pro is an LR-killer tool. :)

I've heard good things about it but I shoot Pentax medium format and it won't read my files. I also think that is a bad policy and is not going to sell more Phase One cameras, it will just make sure that people like me never buy the software or the cameras.
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