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Thread: Affinity Photo - new kid on the (Windows)block

  1. #1
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Affinity Photo - new kid on the (Windows)block

    It's been available for Mac for a while now, and many say it's a good alternative to Ps.

    I don't have ready access to a Mac to know this, and don't use Ps to know that either, but I downloaded the Affinity beta and it seems ok, except for a few missing vitals(but remembering that I'm pretty a-retettive when it comes to what software should and shouldn't do.

    First up I can't see any easy way to just browse.
    That is, like the film strip in CaptureOne, and or ViewNX2 .. where you just browse to a folder location and pick and choose images at will.

    My retentiveness literally means that I can't bring myself to commit to Lr due to it's idiotic "import" routine.

    Sometimes I'm just bored and want to open an image and just tinker .. I don't want to spend 5 months importing stuff(and for similar reasons, why my business interests never ever extended into the importing genre! )

    .. anyhow rant over, back onto Affinity.

    It's currently free to download and use the public beta.
    On the whole, it's v.easy to use .. just some cryptic and arcane placement of tools and processes.

    Then again I'm the type of image editing type that just wants one tool to do every thing .. ala CaptureNXs colour control points, and then press Cntrl-S to save and Cntrl-Shift-S to save as.

    I couldn't every in 4 billion years get used to LRs cntrl-E siliness .. unless all other software switched to Cntrl-E to save stuff too.(just silly habits I guess)

    .. anyhow, rant over once again.

    So it took me 3 attempts at one image going over it again and again until I found a way to save in Affinity.
    I then pressed ahead in my usual manner and pressed as many button combinations and slid as many sliders as I could until smoke billowed out!
    Luckily no smoke .. as it's hard enough trying to convince myself it's time to quit one day .. soon .. maybe! I didn't need any more smoke(and besides, this PC is new and I don't[yet] want to smoke it!)

    Speed is overall quite 'acceptable'.
    Edits are overall quick, but the only concern is initial image rendering.
    On any image I haven't yet opened, I'm waiting about 20-ish(+) secs for it to render on screen, once you hit the open button.
    That in itself isn't the only issue. the real issue is that there is no indication that you actually just did so .. so you may think ... oh, my mouse click didn't take or something.
    It did, just don't do it again while it's processing or you risk crashing or a not responding msg.
    They could add a animated icon to allay confusion(and crashing).
    FWIW: same images coming off the same SSD(which is very fast!) load in about 1/2 sec on VNX2(which is supposed to be slow) and overall just quick in all other image browsing software.

    side note: one of my reasons for having FSViewer always installed on my PCs is that it's always been super lightning quick to load images. But so far on this PC, it's been slow-ish.
    PC specs have octupled over my last PC mainly in terms of RAM and drive speeds(SSDs) .. but FSViewer has responded in kind .. whereas both VNX2 and CNX2 both have.
    Have yet to try Lr again(and no hurry too either). And Photo Gallery which was suicide inducing is much improved, although still slow-ish.
    I'm hoping that the slowness is just a beta thing and in combination with large 90Meg D800 files too.

    So for a bit of fun, whilst pushing as many buttons and sliding as many slidey looking things as I could I have two images to show you as results(from a Ps dunce such as myself):

    D800E_DSD_1687_sml.jpg
    I used FSViewer to resize, but edits were basic and simple(exposure/tone/clarity/detail/type stuff) and also a vignette to see how that worked as well.

    2 mins later, after pushing some buttons and then sliding stuff around:
    D800E_DSD_1687_liquified_sml.jpg

    As said above, I'm a Ps dunce, and it once took me nearly an entire day to realise that I had no way of editing a PNG file for my sisters cafe logo.
    I then opened the PNG file in PaintDotNet and had it all done(layers and transformations) in about an hour after two to and fros between us over emails.
    *** The point here is that I just can't get PhotoShops workflow through to my vast empty head, yet I can use other software quite easily!

    Same goes here in Affinity .. push a button, find some tool to play with and play away ..

    Important note tho: As I'm still stuck in the dark ages of expired Nikon specific software: I really only compare to what I'm used too.
    So far(in about 6 attempts at different settings) .. I can't get anywhere near the same detail quality from Affinity as I can easily get in VNX2.
    Then again I always had the same issue in LR3 and 4 too. Briefly tried Lr5 as a trial, and gave it away just before it expired.

    I reckon it's worth a try! remember it's free, I reckon a few Mac users out there probably using it already

    .. and Andrew! if you're reading this and haven't yet tried it, I reckon it may be worth a try.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC

    {Yongnuo}; -> YN35/2N : YN50/1.8N


  2. #2
    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    So is this different from Affinity Designer? There are several Aff products...

    What's a link to Aff Photo?
    Last edited by ameerat42; 12-11-2016 at 5:00pm.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    oops! idiot me .. forgot.

    Affinity Photo

    note: just under the Buy it for Mac button is text linking to the Windows beta version.

    You have to supply an email addy and they send you a link in the reply email.

    Note: you may well get some more spam from their partner sites .. so be sure to use a junk email addy, not one of your precious ones!(this is why I have email addys like hotmails and stuff .. not going to use my precious paid for email addresses!

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Ta. I had Aff Designer. Now uninstalled from computer. Signed up and downloading the Aff Photo now...
    It sends a link page to your email address.

    Will advise on Σ files soon...

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    Can confirm it works with X3F files

    BUT!!!

    works ok with your X3F files(that I quickly tried).
    Not so well with DP2 Quattro files(that I noticed)

    here's a quick not very edited crop of what details look like at 100%:

    DP2QhSLI0100H_crop_Affinity_600px.jpg

    The image initially looked ok on first rendering at it's default full view size, but zooming in revealed this kind of detail ability.

    Haven't yet tried Canon raws, but Nikon raws are acceptable-ish.

    Using SPP on the Quattro image looks perfect in terms of details and stuff(with the ability to upscale with good results too!)

    So they(Affinity) need to work on their Sigma raw rendering engine.

    With one of your sample images, it looked very bland on first opening, but tweak a few sliders and move a few numbers and it looked quite OK in the end.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hmm! Still the same age/heat affected Polaroid look. Will persist...

    - - - Updated - - -

    Prob starts with how I have to set the color profile for this Asus computer.
    Will haffter work on that...

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    A royal pain in the bum!
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    You emailed me a file named IMG13716(strawberries in a pot, or something like that).
    I played with that and it came up looking ok.

    But of Wb(selected some part of the back box for that) moved it here and there and it came up nicely Wbalanced.
    They tweaked soem saturation and clarity and stuff in the develop section .. have to say, for someone that knows nothing about tweaking Sigma files, nor Affinity .. it came up looking acceptable.
    Of course not perfect, but with a bit more practice and knowledge, I could even become a leet Sigma X3F processing guru!(just not on Quattro files )

    Also note:
    Affinity creates .afphoto save files. It seems all edit steps are contained in these sidecar files.

    So, if you try to open a photo that you've already edited:

    1/. if you want a new version of that file, open the actual image file again.
    2/. if you want to revisit that edited image again(so you want to see that edited image!!) you need to open the .afphoto file, not the image file it points too.

    It's not quite intuitive in that sense, but it makes sense in a strange kind'a way.
    Last edited by arthurking83; 12-11-2016 at 5:44pm.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Yep. If I use any other computer, "sRGBxxx..." color profile is OK, but not wiff thiss'n...

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    Had to do a double take:

    I had to edit my above reply as my info is wronger than wrong.
    The sidecar file isn't!
    I initially saw them in the folders, and mistook the file sizes as 64kb.
    They're 64Mb!
    So working on one of your files of about 7Mb and then saving it to their .afphoto file type inflated the file 9x to 64Mb!

    Obviously it's a proprietary tiff file type to do something like that.

    Also just went back and checked some of the D800 files I played with and there's an interesting observation worthy of mention.

    Normally a 75-90Mb D800 file will inflate to about 200-ish Mb when converted to tiff file type of some type.
    But the .afphoto files I have as a result of working on a couple of 80+ Mb NEF files also equate to about 69Mb too.

    So your teeny tiny 7Mb X3F file results in a 69Mb afphoto save file, and yet so does my 80+Mb NEF file!

    Strangest thing I reckon I've ever seen in PC-dom!
    (I'm thinking these Affinity folks are a tad kinky and just love that number! )

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    Ausphotography Regular Hawthy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link, Arthur. It is not dissimilar to using PS. For a free program it is very good.
    Andrew




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    A royal pain in the bum!
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    Note that it's only free for this (Windows) beta incarnation.

    It costs about AU$75(US$50-ish) for the Mac version, which has been around for a long time now.
    I've read many glowing reports from other Mac users on various other fora .. so have no reason to think it won't be as good on Win.

    And at $75 it's pretty well priced too.

    FWIW: those images above of mine(the flower) was just to describe how easy it was to use, ie. in a user friendly manner of speaking .. something I've always struggled with for those times I did try to use Ps.
    And I hated having to open a raw file in ACR before I could use Ps, irrespective that I couldn't actually use Ps! ...

    I don't normally liquify images and stuff like that .... I'm more of a WB, Exposure tweak, and some localised editing(dodge/burn) stuff kind of image manipulator.
    In fact I hate it! .. the easier and quicker it is to do and get out of it .. the better!

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    Ausphotography Veteran Claire M's Avatar
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    I recently purchased Affinity Photo 1.5.2 (Windows version) for a one time price (no subscription) of $80 AUD, as I needed a decent RAW editing program for ORF as well as RW2 files, and as I had 2 different programs for photo stacking and for stitching panoramas, this seemed the perfect choice for an all-in-one solution!
    This has turned out to be a wise decision, and I couldn't be happier with my choice of this impressive and amazing software.
    This is a really good alternative to Photoshop, - easier to learn, has time saving processing, is a 16 bit processing program; and is useful for not only what I needed it for and for the usual post processing requirements, but also for quick masks and more complex masking (removing objects, trees, and people or animals with fiddly things like hair/fur/feathers to another background or photo); non destructive layers and layer options; creating double exposures; removing unwanted objects/people in a photo simply with a brush tool or with photo stacking options; creating seamless pattern tiles or backgrounds; creating realistic image/graphic text (like fire, water, metals,....) for headings; various text and photos effects (including shadowing, ebossing ...); creating watermarks/logos; editing/creating 360 degrees panos; cropping using various guides (ie Golden Spiral, Rule of Thirds); has a Perspective tool, and other handy photo tools in a side panel; Pixel selection layers; Macros (Actions) that you can personalise and record for later use; HDR merging; Exposure merging (with 2 or more photos); has an excellent de-fringe and Chromatic Aberration correction filter; has a Haze Removal Tool; a decent variety of filters and options for each one; a colour LAB; 'Liquify' Retouching options (ideal for portrait photography) in it's own section or 'Persona' as Affinity calls it (along with the Photo Persona, Develop Persona for RAW, Tone Mapping Persona, and the Export Persona); various lens correction options which is regularly updated as new camera models are born; Batch Processing; accepts Photoshop plugins (incl. Google's NIK Collection, Topaz Plugins, AKVIS plugins) and does SO MUCH MORE!
    There are many comprehensive tutorials and videos re Affinity Photo on the net, and a PDF on keyboard shortcuts for the windows version can be downloaded as well!
    This software is ideal for the photographer and artist alike, no matter what level you're at!
    It will take awhile to fully learn all the tricks and features of Affinity, but I really recommend this software, particularly for the price and give it 5 ! Try it out for FREE: https://affinity.serif.com/en-gb/

    Here's 2 pics of the same landscape: first is a JPG version of the RAW (ORF) pic, resized to post on AP, before I developed it , then processed it (all using Affinity) into what the second pic has become. Big improvement!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Claire M; 04-06-2017 at 10:39pm.

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    Member stephendean's Avatar
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    This software looks interesting I will give it a try. At the moment cannot afford to replace my desktop, currently running Windows 10 in 32bit. Therefore a bit of a struggle to run some of the Adobe programs smoothly. I had thought about re-installing at setting up my system in 64-bit. But the desktop is over 5 years old, and even though it runs pretty well. It probably is time to save some cash and head to MSY and build a new system or get them to build one.
    Canon Fan from way back
    http://stephendeanphotography.wordpress.com/ My Photo Blog
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/skdean60/ Some of My Photos

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    A royal pain in the bum!
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    what 'system' are you running?
    ie. what motherboard, what CPU, how much RAM, what graphics card/chip, and what hard drives?

    a 5yo system(even AMD type) should be fine to run almost any photo editing software.

    if you upgrade key components on your current system, it may do wonders for your PC performance.

    eg. simply installing a cheap($100-ish) SSD as a scratch drive(cache) could improve PC speed by a massive amount.
    Add a few more Gig's of RAM(and reinstall Win10 as 64bit) may also do same.
    If you're using an onboard graphics chip, upgrading the video card(~$100-200) could do wonders too.

    If you don't know what your system parts are, there are ways to determine this from the PC itself.

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    Ausphotography Regular agb's Avatar
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    My system is about 5 years old now, i5 3570K cpu on an asus motherboard which is no longer available. I've 16 GB of slow ram, and recently installed an SSD and a graphics card and so long as the bits stay together I think it runs my photoshop, captureOne pro 10 and affinity photo pretty well, with no reason to upgrade to newer components. I did get an improvement when I made sure that the bios was changed to AHCI and as I had cloned the os I had to realign the partitions. Could not be happier with the old beast.
    As for Affinity photo I think it can only improve, and at the price is a very good program. I hope over time it will mature and we get some people developing panels etc for it to help us along the way, but even now NIk works on Affinity. A great thing about Affinity Photo is the already long list of tutorial videos that are available.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Nicely edited Claire.
    Last edited by agb; 11-09-2017 at 8:30am.
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