If you’re a creative director, designer, or just enjoy using your Mac for graphics editing, you may want to check out the new Photoshop rival, Affinity Photo.
Currently available as a public beta, this pro-level photo software and graphics editor boasts some pretty impressive features — with an emphasis on real-time editing, meaning no previews, “apply” buttons, or hanging around to wait for an effect to render.
You can read up on more details after the jump. Best of all? Unlike the subscription-only Photoshop, you can currently download Affinity Photo for free.
Like Photoshop, the app is based around “adjustment layers,” layer masks, filters, and a variety of blur effects. While many of the tools will be second-nature to those used to using Adobe’s powerful photo editor, Affinity Photo has a few neat features up its sleeve: such as the ability to shrink different layers without permanently losing pixels.
Separating it from amateur photo editors is also support for professional-grade CMYK colour, 16-bit editing, LAB color, raw processing, ICC color management, and 64-bit Photoshop plug-in compatibility. If you’re involved with professional photo editing, you’ll know that all of these are pretty much essential features — and they can be found here.
Finally, there are some neat extra tools, such as perspective correction on multiple different planes, and a Frequency Separation feature for taking out regular or irregular artefacts and blemishes that are spoiling your picture.
As noted, Affinity Photo is currently available for no charge since it is in public beta mode. Even when it is complete, however, don’t expect its creators to adopt the Adobe model of month-to-month billing. Instead, it will be available for download for just $49.99.
For now, you can check out the public beta sign-up page here to get an idea of what is on offer.
Happy photo editing!