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It was good while it lasted. Where do you plan to go now?


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Were Affinity Photo to adopt subscription pricing, that would be a compelling reason for me to switch to other software. As an amateur hobbyist, my use of Affinity Photo is episodic, not continuous. During the current tax season and garden planting season, I will most likely go a couple of months without editing a single photo. Even old retired guys have only so much free time for photo editing.

Fortunately, we amateur photographers have many choices when it comes to photo editors, as emphasized by a recent review at

https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-adobe-photoshop-alternatives

Sadly, Affinity Photo is not an editor's choice in any of the nine "Best For" categories. APhoto is mentioned only in passing as if the writer just wanted to assure us he is not ignorant of alternatives. He writes:

"Another popular budget pick for Photoshop alternatives is Serif Affinity Photo though we find it's less polished than Corel PaintShop Pro."

His link is to a July 2023 review where APhoto is described as "Affordable but basic photo editing."

Were that all APhoto was I would not have started using it seven years ago, nor would I still be using it today.

I myself have grown restless after seven years using APhoto, so I bought one of the alternatives about a month ago to see what I might be missing with AI non-destructive editing. The alternative is powerful and eye-opening, but it doesn't provide me with a compelling reason to abandon APhoto. Still, neither have I any compelling reason to continue using APhoto other than familiarity and some features I use only occasionally that are missing in alternative software.

In any case, I am enjoying exploring other software where I am learning how far behind APhoto has fallen in some areas. Perhaps the purchase by Canva will lead to renewed energy in Nottingham.

Affinity Photo 2.4.2 (MSI) and 1.10.6; Affinity Publisher 2.4.2 (MSI) and 1.10.6. Windows 10 Home x64 version 22H2.
Dell XPS 8940, 16 GB Ram, Intel Core i7-11700K @ 3.60 GHz, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060

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It was good while it lasted. Where do you plan to go now?

I treat Affinity software just like any other software product. If they offer the features I like at a price I like then I'll use that product. I don't plan to go anywhere unless they drastically change the value proposition.

(in general that does mean no subscriptions for things I run on my own computer and my own electric bill)

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I tried free Scribus yesterday. What a dog's breakfast of weird function choices. However, I did manage to get a couple of Master Pages done in it, so there's that. If push comes to shove, I'll be able to swallow hard and use it. I think.

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Probably watching on as a software enthusiast because let's be honest, history is being made here. We've played our part in whatever this ends up becoming.

I'm Adobe-trained, so that's what I've gone back to and for me it "just works". It's a big disappointment on so many levels, but it's been less drama than what Affinity has been lately for me as far as working. There's still tears, but they are over QoL matters more than problems that I can't find some way around. I'm still getting the output I need. So I've gone back to it and if need be, that's where I'll stay... at least until something better comes out.

It would be absolutely amazing if Affinity suddenly gets a much needed boost ASAP and starts crushing bugs and other long-promised feature updates because I prefer it when it was working well. I can't tolerate the drama of uncertainty anymore and reliability is very important to me right now with where I am in life. I can tolerate a price increase, even a reasonable subscription fee, but it has to be for robust and polished software, not for a business venture. I think many professionals feel that way.
 

One thing's for sure though, @Bit Disappointed will not be changing their name anytime soon. Even when the time comes for their name change limit to expire.

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2 minutes ago, debraspicher said:

I can't tolerate the drama of uncertainty anymore and reliability is very important to me right now with where I am in life. I can tolerate a price increase, even a reasonable subscription fee, but it has to be for robust and polished software, not for a business venture. I think many professionals feel that way.

One thing's for sure though, @Bit Disappointed will not be changing their name anytime soon. Even when the time comes for their name change limit to expire.

Haha, no, "Deeply Disappointed" would be more appropriate now, but the enthusiasm for Affinity and the forum is dead. Gone. It actually seemed like a company that could live off the enthusiasm of its customers, even though AI loomed. Affinity was a fine investment for many, so they could stay afloat above ridiculously clumsy programs like Inkscape, GIMP, and Scribus, and there was a sense of stability.

The stability is gone, and the way Serif openly and unsettlingly quickly threw itself into the arms of this without understanding the long-term consequences for the products, themselves, and the customers says so much about the company's character, which I might have always sensed, as it really broke the magic. But most of all, like you, I can't handle the uncertainty either, it's like witnessing young people's blind faith and naive dispositions as parents watch in horror. Now, naive Serif and naive customers are left with four pledges that warm people for a day, like when you buy a lottery ticket.

And now, people might have an idea of one of the reasons why serious and mature creatives subscribe to Adobe Creative Suite regardless of reservations about price and conditions. It's a safe investment in the short and long term, even more when creatives are job searching. It's not like rent or transportation are fun and fair expenses, let alone the costs of other tools. It's just easier for people to chastise Adobe than the world's inflation and the effects of capitalism.

Serif Software has publicly demonstrated why they have not had significant professional customers before, and why they are unlikely to get them in the future, owned by a company that delivers shake and bake solutions to the complete opposite audience. The incredibly predictable and unprofessional way of communicating the acquisition, and the crisis management with completely useless pledges are the last nail in the coffin of credibility. Free programs for schools, haha, OpenOffice was also installed in schools for a brief period. Then the market responds, and Affinity is out again. It's all been tried before, it works in PowerPoint slides, it fails in practice. And then Canva focuses on the market for 100-200 million customers, not Serif's 3 million. Affinity is just a strategy meeting away from being wiped out. It takes 60 minutes.

Let's see what Canva gets out of the investment, they may surprise positively, but with the incredibly many experiences I have with acquisitions throughout my professional life, where I've had to switch product due to shutdowns and mergers and everything possible, I can no longer muster any interest in Affinity. Canva is simply not the company that has experience in professional programs, and they are unlikely to be interested in seeing Adobe's response, if they against all logic try to eat into Adobe's market. Canva is a very young company, which by the way can be dispensed with and replaced with other alternatives if they fail completely.

Time and again, I witness people muster ridiculous hope when new politicians or businessmen enter the arena with utterly hopeless promises and dreams, and talk under hypnosis to me about what their idols say and think. It is part of human psychology that is played intensely in politics and business. There's a different, sober atmosphere there, where one takes stock of "realizing gains," where only reality counts.

I simply no longer believe that there are any professional graphic designers here. Everything follows suit. Just everything.

 

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49 minutes ago, debraspicher said:

I can't tolerate the drama of uncertainty anymore and reliability is very important to me right now with where I am in life. I can tolerate a price increase, even a reasonable subscription fee, but it has to be for robust and polished software, not for a business venture. I think many professionals feel that way.
 

 


This ^

I don’t know how other UK web/print design business are faring, but mine has taken a massive hit over the last few years courtesy of wealthy corporate competition with big advertising budgets, and clients giving up thanks to Brexit red tape and vanishing grants. Throw in the perfect storm of soaring costs in equipment, rents, energy bills etc., and I’ve been close to calling it a day.

So a few months back I invested in the V2 suite upgrade - at least I won’t have to worry about software costs for a few years, greedy corporates can’t get their hands on that, I thought.

 I don’t need this uncertainty, really I don’t. 

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1 hour ago, debraspicher said:

I can't tolerate the drama of uncertainty anymore and reliability is very important to me right now with where I am in life.

Then why are you using Affinity for anything, considering all the bugs & reliability issues that Affinity V2 is rife with? More to the point, how does the Canva takeover change that? 

All 3 1.10.8, & all 3 V2.5.2 Mac apps; 2020 iMac 27"; 3.8GHz i7, Radeon Pro 5700, 32GB RAM; macOS 10.15.7
Affinity Photo 
1.10.8; Affinity Designer 1.108; & all 3 V2 apps for iPad; 6th Generation iPad 32 GB; Apple Pencil; iPadOS 15.7

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5 minutes ago, R C-R said:

Then why are you using Affinity for anything, considering all the bugs & reliability issues that Affinity V2 is rife with? More to the point, how does the Canva takeover change that? 

I started transitioning away not very long before the Canva takeover.

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On 3/26/2024 at 7:22 PM, Medical Officer Bones said:

…But I worry about the impoverishment in (semi-)professional image editors. While GIMP is nice for what it is, a true Blender grade open source image editor equivalent is still missing.


Although Krita is technically aimed at drawing, it looks like it already has a wide range of tools that make it suitable for photo editing as well (I.E. tools that I generally use) and a more usable UI.  Therefore, from an outside perspective, it looks like it would be much more appealing to use Krita rather than GIMP for general image editing – despite not technically being aimed at those users – and is probably the one most likely to achieve this.

Are there any major features you've found Krita lacks as a general image editor?

 

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For the doubters, as with any VC funded company (who also dabbles in AI), this is what will inevitably happen:

https://americandialect.org/2023-word-of-the-year-is-enshittification/

So now it's only a question about WHEN, but the shitty thing is that Affinity quite recently denied there even was a question of IF:

image.png.c33b8ebf97fa575f077a5669b692f2f2.png

Now that their true colors have been revealed, you can't trust anything anyone from that company says ever again and we can safely assume that the timeline to things going down the drain has been accelerated.

https://mastodon.cloud/@designthinkingcomic/112172752241749103

So... guess I'm forced to look at Inkscape once again for an Illustrator alternative.

At least there's some more options for Photoshop alternatives.

Not really any alternatives for Indesign, though? At least not for Linux (which I'm probably moving to in the next few years due to the similar crap happening to Windows).

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On 3/26/2024 at 2:59 PM, marciomendonsa said:

My business is photography too. Mainly starting in RAW and making finer adjustments in AP ... Starting, little by little, to pack my bags...

I invested time in AP because  it was becoming a full featured application for photography.  When they added raw processing I was really excited, even though it turned out to be a weak implementation - I thought it was going to be developed further.  Now that's probably not going to happen, because Canva has nothing to do with photography.

So  I start once again looking around for a new path.   I'm out-of-date, I don't follow the market, just see names now and then.  ACDSee?  Lumina? DxO?  Capture One is very good but increasing aimed at high-volume pros shooting events.  They'll never add any sort of pixel editing.  

So I'm like a lot of users, sitting here in a stalled vehicle, wondering if it's time to get out and start walking somewhere...

 

 

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On 3/26/2024 at 4:24 PM, marciomendonsa said:

It was good while it lasted. Where do you plan to go now? This morning we had the sad news that Serif was acquired by Canvas. Sad… the software that I spent time developing, loving, etc.

The big question now is: Where do we go from here?

I used Gimp for years, but when I discovered Affinity Photo, I realized I was moving from a small economy car to an Alfa Romeo.

I wouldn’t want to go back to Gimp, as I see that even in version 3 it is still far behind the current version of Affinity Photo.

And you, where do you plan to go?

As long as I have my versions 1 and 2 of the Affinity apps and they work, I will continue to work with it. When the next versions of the apps will be released, I will think about if I'm still lucky with Affinity and it's way of development, and I will decide if I will buy the new versions or not. I have a bad feeling at the moment, because of this Canva thing, but it is no reason to change at the moment. So just wait and see. No need to panic.

GIMP was my side kick for a lot of creative things anyway for the last twenty years, and it will also be it in the future, I think. It does many things very good, even it is still not a real substitute for a professional image editing software like Photoshop or AfPhoto. The main reason for me, why I came to Affinity, was that I needed a reliable and usable Layout Software. I tried Scribus, but it really drove me mad. Some years ago, I had a Corel Suite and it wasn't bad, but a bit unstable. And if I'm not wrong, Corel changed to a subscription model too, didn't they? The same with Quark XPress. That's not an option for me.

Finally, I'm not sure if I will still do image editing and graphics in some years, because I'm not sure about the impact of AI on the whole profession. For me, it is important to be creative, not to let a software be creative for me (by stealing from the creative works of others).

For painting, I already use ArtRage (vs 6, at the moment). I'm not sure about the future of ArtRage - I'm not lucky with it's development at the  moment - but if it goes in a wrong direction, I will probably change to Krita, which is very good too. For painting, even a little bit better than AfPhoto. But not for image editing.

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14 hours ago, - S - said:


Although Krita is technically aimed at drawing, it looks like it already has a wide range of tools that make it suitable for photo editing as well (I.E. tools that I generally use) and a more usable UI.  Therefore, from an outside perspective, it looks like it would be much more appealing to use Krita rather than GIMP for general image editing – despite not technically being aimed at those users – and is probably the one most likely to achieve this.

Are there any major features you've found Krita lacks as a general image editor?

 

Yes, there are some options for image editing in Krita, but very limited. It is really good for painting, and, contrary to GIMP and Inkscape, it also supports CMYK, but it is not really a substitute to AfPhoto or Photoshop concerning image editing. Only very few filters, no Adjustment Layers. But check it out.

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As i said in a other thread, i try to use V2 as long as i can, then heading back to adobe, sadly. i tried open source but i can't use the software very well. i need user friendly experiences, gimp as example is not. krita is a nice painting software but not very good for photo editing. the variant with photoshop and lightroom seems reasonable for a sub based model. So... when it's time to switch i'll switch back.

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No matter what happens I will never go back to Adobe. I left when they bought and destroyed my beloved Flash then went subscription. I hope I can complete my series of three books within the next 18 months with version 2 (which I love working with). Then I am going to sell my vegetables and eggs at farmer's markets. People will still need to eat.

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