New Mac-based Photoshop rival ‘Affinity Photo’ is now a free beta

“Like Affinity Designer, Affinity Photo is an all-new Mac app designed from the ground up to exploit the latest technologies and provide a fast, efficient – and inexpensive – alternative to Adobe’s 25-year-old monolith,” Rod Lawton reports for TechRadar.

“Affinity Photo goes beyond regular amateur image editors, with support for CMYK colour (as used by the commercial print industry), 16-bit editing, LAB color, raw processing, ICC color management and 64-bit Photoshop plug-in compatibility,” Lawton reports. “Affinity Photo looks a little different to Photoshop, but the principles are the same, with non-destructive ‘adjustment layers’, layer masks, filters and blur effects. The emphasis throughout is on real-time editing, with no previews, no ‘apply’ buttons and no waiting to see what an effect looks like once it’s rendered.”

Lawton reports, “We’ll give Affinity Photo a full review when it’s finished, but in the meantime you can try out the free public beta from”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Judge Bork” and “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


        1. If Serif is putting their focus behind the Mac, then I say they have common sense and logical thinking at the management level. That’s worth some credit. The Mac is where it’s at for the next 30 years, not so much for the PC.

    1. You have no idea how many people have been waiting for Serif to produce a photo editing package for the Mac. There will be a lot of excited people over this announcement.

  1. It is quite amazing to see how Serif has launched two very complex apps over a couple of months and is now announcing a third one for this year. On the PC side they seem to aim for a less sophisticated user, but on the Mac they are aiming squarely at Adobe.

  2. The trick is dragging people out of their old comfort zones. People have spent years mastering things like Photoshop and (bleh) Microsoft Word and just suggesting a new app is often met with bowed heads and slumped shoulders.

    It’s the new people you have to aim at.

    1. When these apps deliver elegant, well-designed interfaces that use the same “design language” that the platform provides, then the transition is graceful. It’s apps, like Photoshop, that have so much legacy complexity built into them, users find it hard to imagine getting the job done with simpler software. I see that every day with clients that can’t quite fathom the simplicity of the Mac and choose to stick with Windows (and remain “stuck” with problems).

    2. Been using Photoshop since the first release and now on CS6.

      No dragging required for old farts to a cheaper, more responsive photo editing application.

      Bring it on!

  3. i have been using designer since the first beta and bought a copy when it was released. can’t wait for the indesign replacement. won’t have to use adobe again.

  4. I’m a Creative Cloud subscriber. I’ve used Photoshop since 1994; I probably understand and use 75% of its features. It’s hard to imagine me using anything else – especially while I’m making a living from it, however, this software looks great and full credit should be paid to Serif for developing it.

  5. I’ve been using Adobe software since Photoshop 2 and have been pushing most Master Collection apps to the limit for years, but when Adobe switched to subscription only, I, like many others stuck with CS6. I have wish to hand my intellectual property – my master files over to Adobe and only have access to my property as long as I keep paying the rent.
    While subscriptions work for some, there is a very large number of professionals who do not like this imperious move by Adobe.
    If someone can come up with apps that are good enough and as full-featured as what I have with CS6, I will jump ship, but even if there were to be a powerful competing app for each of my Adobe apps, I cannot imagine it hitting its stride for a good five years.
    Until then I am stuck with CS6 and as such have no interest in non-existent upgrades. Perhaps I’ll take Affinity Photo in five years.

    1. Agreed. Your description of the Adobe business is not only spot on, but original thinking that nails the problem.

      I have using PS since version 1 and will stick to CS6 for as long as it takes. Seriously, what could they possibly add that is to die for and force an upgrade? CS6 does everything I need and no reason to go further.

      Will keep an eye on Affinity in the meantime.

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