View Full Version : Serif Affinity for iPad software

10-12-2018, 9:38pm

Just thought I'd post my experience of using Serif Affinity for iPad post processing software, an alternative to Photoshop.

As a preface, I was looking for an alternative to Photoshop as (a) I'm not a fan of their subscription fee model, (b) I was interested to try using an iPad Pro with a Apple Pencil stylus, as a more intuitive way of making changes than using a mouse. I also wanted a way of editing photos "on the go" on my iPad when travelling, rather than have them build up into a mountain of thousands to process on a PC when I get back from a trip (yes, I know I could use a laptop:)).

I have a Canon 5D4 and used the Canon Camera Connect iOS app to send photos wirelessly direct from the camera to the iPad. Takes a little figuring out first time, but is then easy and pretty fast. I think you could also use an "SD card to Apple lightning" connector and transfer photos that way; I've got one on the way to see if that's easier/faster, but the wireless method is pretty good.

Once on the iPad, the photos can easily be backed up to the cloud, whether you use Apple iCloud, Dropbox or whatever. The software happily handles all kinds of files, including RAW images straight out of the camera and PSD files that I've been working on already in Photoshop.

The Affinity for iPad software seems to offer the most useful functionality of Photoshop, plus many features that in the past I've paid extra for. To pick out a few in particular:

- HDR tonemapping: perhaps not as advanced functionality as Photomatix, but I think the Affinity result is perhaps more subtle. I have felt no need to use Photomatix since

- Panorama merging: I have used various stitching software in the past, but the Affinity software does a great job, one of the best I've seen

- Focus stacking: I've used Zerene stacker in the past for macro focus stacking. I haven't used the Affinity stacking facility enough to form a definitive view, but initial results are encouraging

- Noiseware: I've used 3rd party plug ins like Noiseware Pro in the past; I think they might be a tad better than Affinity, but its good enough

- Distortion: I've used 3rd party plug ins like PTL lens in the past to correct things like chromatic aberration, perspective control (eg standing at bottom of buildings), barrel distortion (not really an issue since I moved to quality lenses;)) and so forth. Affinity's software allows all of the above, couldn't ask for better

- Layers: I found the Affinity layer management to be very similar to Photoshop and quite intuitive

Using the Pencil stylus is a joy. Makes doing things like cloning, healing, dodge, burn, sponge, blur, sharpen, history etc a breeze. The software allows for most changes to be viewed "before/after" in a split window, which slides with the pencil. Great for checking out and deciding on the amount of unsharp mask etc.

Affinity have provided a range of video tutorials to cover the main aspects and also some advanced features. The more I've delved into them, the more impressed I've been with the power of the software. Link below to the library of tutorials, worth a look if you are considering trying the software.


The Affinity for iPad app cost $29.99 as a one-off payment.

As you can probably tell, I've been very impressed with the software - I think it offers great value for money. I can imagine my wife, who is just getting into photography, getting her head around Affinity for iPad, whilst I couldn't imagine her tackling Photoshop... ever.

11-12-2018, 8:43am
Ta for the review, Richard, however, this...

...I can imagine my wife, who is just getting into photography, getting her head around Affinity for iPad, whilst I couldn't imagine her tackling Photoshop... ever...
...is doghouse-worthy. :p

11-12-2018, 9:12pm
Ta for the review, Richard, however, this...

...is doghouse-worthy. :p

It wasn't meant in a derogatory or condescending sense. My wife dislikes computers at the best of times and her eyes glaze over when she sees me on Photoshop. But she's had a go at Affinity using the Pencil and found it quite intuitive. I guess I was saying that for beginners, getting to grips with Photoshop can seem daunting. Affinity's software makes photo editing accessible, which means we can get back to the fun of taking photos rather than the chore of post processing (at least that's how I see it).

I showed my wife my sentence above - she agreed with it and certainly was not offended.