Updated: Dec 17, 2021
Yes, Affinity Photo is in my opinion very good.
I just wanted to give you right away the conclusion to the question is affinity photo any good, that is if you are in a hurry to buy it 🙂 of course you are more than welcome to read on to learn why.
If you are on a budget and dont have 50 USD that Affinity Photo costs, go with GIMP which is completely free, or Krita if you want to paint, rather than do editing. Read my guide Best free creative software for more info on GIMP.
I have written all the prices in USD, but if you are in EU vat might apply.
I think Affinity Photo fits in between photoshop and GIMP, hitting the sweet spot, as it is way cheaper than Photoshop CC (which is only available as a subscription). Photoshop will set you back 10 USD per month, and it is easier to use than gimp. This is, of course, subjective.
The history behind affinity photo
Serif, the UK based maker of affinity photo, has been around since 1987. In 2009, they started rewriting the code in their software completely, and in 2014 they released their first rewritten app Affinity Designer. Affinity Designer is an Illustrator pendant.
For a quality in depth comparison between affinity photo and photoshop CC se link.
Affinity Photo vs Photoshop 2021: which should you choose?
AI deep learning (artificial intelligence)
This is in my opinion a major dark horse when choosing the right photo editor. Photoshop is starting to implement it more and more for instance when cropping to intelligently fill missing space, but also when making selection based on subjects in the photo. I think this is a game changer because it can save a ton of time and make things previously imposible possible.
Here is an article about photoshop’s ability to upscale images with AI link
If you want AI functions and cannot afford photoshop then Luminar is a great choice as it is filled with AI based editing. Luminar cost 80 USD. Here is a good comparision between affinity photo and Luminar link
There is also pixelmater pro, which is a good editor with vector capabilities, and it has many AI functions and cost 40 USD. Here is a good in-depth Affinity Photo vs pixelmator pro comparation from a trusted resource SLRLounge link
Although Affinity photo doesn’t use AI, it is still a very capable photo editor when you want to do more advanced photo editing.
What I really like about affinity photo is that it very fast and responsive. It is easy to see that affinity photo and Serif’s other apps have been written with speed in mind.
I would like to point out that affinity photo works at 32 bit internally which means you can save and work with openexr files when creating HDR merges. It is also possible to do focus stacking and 360 degree panorama stitching with Affinity Photo.
In case you just want to cut out the background from images webstore ect. PhotoRoom for iOS, google play and webpage is a great background remover, it is based on AI to. It is not cheap 10 USD the same as Photoshop but it very good for that specific task. Link
Affinity photo on the Ipad
Affinity Photo also exists as an iPad app, which I find much better than adobe photoshop on ipad. Serif has done a great job providing most features from affinity desktop to the iPad. This price for the app is 22 USD, but be aware that you have to buy it separately, even if you buy the desktop version. I think to get the most out of the ios affinity photo you need the apple pencil. If you primarily want to draw bit map images on you Ipad take a look at Procreate, its an amazing drawing iOS app. Drawing with Affinity Photo is definitely possible it has many cool brushes 🙂 Not that I don’t care about you android user, I just don’t happen to know so much about android. If you have good or bad experiences with photo editing on android, please feel free to leave a comment in the comments below.
Affinity has made a lot of great tutorial videos as training for affinity photo
Serif made books about affinity photo, designer and publisher this is the affinity photo book
The youtuber Olivio Sarikas makes some great no-nonsense video guides to Affinity Photo, like this focus stacking video.
What about plugins?
Of course, there are many more plugins to adobe photoshop than affinity photo plugins, but the good news is that many photoshop plugins will work in affinity photo. Affinity Photo Nik Collection the DXO plugin used by so many has its own installation procedure. See link
Is affinity photo good for beginners?
If you are a complete beginner to photo editing, Affinity Photo like Adobe Photoshop takes some time to learn to master. That is also why I mentioned Luminar and Pixelmator; they are both easier to use but you don’t get the same functionality as of affinity photo.
There is no better adobe photoshop alternative that match photoshops features and has a good interface
I think there is really something to like about Affinity Photo, especially the price. It is very fair compared to the features.
Thumbs up for making the software running 32 bit internally, making HDRI editing possible without loss of data.
Relatively good documentation
Lack of next generation AI functions (hopefully they will come one day).
There is much more photoshop online classes and training available
The icons and UI are not as polished as photoshops
Affinity Photo does not have 3D functionality like Photoshop and as such, it misses the ability to open 3D files.
Affinity Photos macros seem to be inferior, compared to Photoshops macros.