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Tester not planning to buy. I explain why.

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I am coming to the end of my trial period of Affinity Photo. I could simply disappear. Before I go I thought it might help to say why AP will not work for me as a professional photographer with digital experience dating back to 2002. Posting here will give other forum members a platform to say if I am talking rubbish.

Out of politeness to Affinity I sent the post to them yesterday. They said their developers were very busy working on future apps and updates and unable to respond to emails like mine. If that is company policy then so be it.

However, it might help other professional photographers in that it shows what I found critically lacking after a full week of testing and stopped me being a purchaser. Had I known the below I would not have wasted the week!

White Balance.

This was the problem I encountered first. I am a photojournalist. When I cover events I take several hundred shots and they are often a mix of daylight and ambient light. I shoot RAW. The first step in the converting and correcting process must be to get the right WB. Altering brightness, black points, etc before correcting the WB is counterproductive as you’ll almost certainly need to do them again.

Adjusting WB by eye requires the memory of a genius. Keying in a Kelvin requires you to have taken a reading as well as the photo. Far the quickest way to get the right WB is to use a picker – most shots contain a suitable reference point and when I do product shots or interiors I include a grey card.

It took me quite a few posts here to find out how to find the Affinity ‘picker’. Yesterday it emerged that it is faulty! There is no way I can use software without a quick and accurate way to set the WB.

Lack of sidecar.

I am told that the system does not have an easy way of recording the changes made to my original RAW files. All I can do is create a best quality TIFF and retain it. I know computer memory is cheap but, when one is storing thousands of images a year it is a most inefficient way of recording the changes and it still does not record the way those changes have been made.

All the RAW converters I have used since I moved from film to digital around 2002 have built small files (sidecars) of a few kb that one could be filed alongside their appropriate RAWs. AP needs to adopt that if it aspires to fit the needs of photographers like me.

No batch export.

I suspect this is partly challenged by the problem I hit yesterday where I could not export a file with the same name as the RAW it originated from. I was told this was because AP needed to find the name in a layer. This was no help to me as I don’t need or use layers.

When I work on a sequence of RAW files I want to be able to either print from them and/or export them. My web catalogue is built from 1960 by 1080 jpgs. Sometimes I’ll build a set of 85% full pixel jpgs so I am ready to send some of the frames to a magazine publisher.

There is no way I can do this in AP other than doing it frame by frame.


Everyone I have chatted with on the forum or by email to the Help Desk has been tolerant of my newness and keen to help. I have read a bit about Serif and I can see how AP has emerged. I can guess why they emulated the Photoshop concept of layers. I am lucky that when I started working digital images I was pointed to an image editor that did not use layers. I say lucky as, despite what Adobe will claim, working without them is easier and more flexible.

I would hate anyone to feel this is an attack on Serif/AP. I have deliberately not named the software I use as that would not be ethical on this web site. All I want to do is to try to help by explaining what I think is missing.


London UK




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Thanks for taking the time to write this Tony. You could've just gone and said nothing, which leaves nothing for the dev team to work wtih. At least they will know why now.

There are gaps and a few bugs in the Affinity suite, but it's still fairly early days for Affinity, and hopefully they are making the right decisions and prioritising the stuff that really matters, building it in a way that is intuitive and sensible. I applaud them for taking on the challenge - it can't be easy to walk into a market that has such a strong industry leader, and bring products that are on par with that. I am completely happy with Photo as it suits all my personal needs and gives pro-level editing capability for hobby-like prices.


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