Affinity Photo

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Affinity Photo
Initial release9 July 2015; 7 years ago (2015-07-09)
Stable release
2.0 / 9 November 2022; 4 months ago (2022-11-09)[1]
Operating systemiOS, macOS, Windows
Size994 MB (iOS)
2.81 GB (macOS)
866 MB (Windows)
Available inEnglish, German, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Italian, Chinese, Russian[2]
TypeRaster graphics editor

Affinity Photo is a raster graphics editor developed by Serif Ltd. for iOS,[3][4] macOS,[5] and Windows,[6][7] alongside Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher. Development of Affinity Photo started in 2009 as a raster graphics editor for macOS. Its first version reached general availability in 2015 with the Windows version launched a year later. It is a successor to PhotoPlus which Serif discontinued in 2017.[8]


Affinity Photo has been described as an Adobe Photoshop alternative, and is compatible with common file formats such as Adobe's PSD (including Photoshop Smart Objects).[9][10][11] Functionality includes RAW processing, color space options, live preview of effects, image stitching, alpha compositing, black point compensation, and optical aberration corrections.[2] Working in Affinity Photo is always live, with pan and zoom at 60fps and non-destructive editing. It supports unlimited layers and a dedicated workspace for developing RAW photos; as well as RGB, CMYK, LAB, Greyscale color spaces with ICC color management and 16-bit per channel editing.[12][2]

Affinity Photo is not an image organizer like Apple Aperture or Adobe Lightroom.[13]


Affinity Photo began as a raster graphics editor solely for macOS. It was Serif's second macOS app after Affinity Designer and, like that app, was built from the ground up to leverage core native technologies, including Grand Central Dispatch, Core Graphics, OpenGL[14] and Metal 2[15] hardware acceleration.[16]

Serif established an R&D team for Affinity Photo in 2009, headed by lead designer Andy Somerfield. A free beta test version was released to the public on 9 February 2015.[17] The initial stable release of Affinity Photo, version 1.3.1, launched on the Mac App Store on 9 July 2015 for macOS 10.7 and later.[5] In August Version 1.3.5 was released providing numerous bug fixes and improvements.[18] Version 1.4, in December 2015, added panorama photo stitching, support for macOS 10.11 El Capitan including six Affinity extensions for Apple Photos,[19] and augmented the languages supported in previous versions (English (US and UK), German, French and Spanish) with Italian, Portuguese (Brazilian), and Japanese. Versions 1.4.1 and 1.4.2 in January and June 2016 provided stability and bug fixes, and the app was optimized for macOS 10.12 Sierra with version 1.4.3 in September 2016.[18]

In December, 2016, Serif launched Affinity Photo for Windows and released version 1.5.1 for macOS at the same time,[20] adding a 32-bit RGB editing mode with support for 32-bit file formats and more than 70 new camera RAW file formats, as well as the ability to develop RAW files directly into a 32-bit document. It also added support for the new MacBook Pro with Touchbar.[21]

Affinity Photo for iPad was launched during the keynote at Apple's WWDC in San Jose on 5 June 2017.[3] In September 2017, the iPad version was updated for compatibility with Apple's new iOS 11.[4] Major updates to Affinity Photo, as well as to Affinity Designer, were released in November 2017. Affinity Photo 1.6.6 was optimized for macOS 10.13 High Sierra (and Metal 2 acceleration), better integration with Apple Photos, improved Photoshop Plugins support, and added an option to switch between a dark or light user interface.[22] Serif discontinued PhotoPlus in 2017.[23]

In February 2020, version 1.8 added support for Photoshop smart objects in PSD files, and expanded plug-in compatibility, with focus on DxO's Nik Collection of plug-ins.[11]


The macOS version of Affinity Photo was received favorably by professional photographers, and Apple named it as the best Mac app of 2015.[24][25] In 2016, Affinity Photo was awarded the prize for Best Imaging Software by the Technical Image Press Association (TIPA) at Photokina.[26][27][25] In November 2017, the iOS app was named by Apple as its best iPad app of the year,[28][29] and Tom's Guide selected Affinity Photo for their first list of Best Tech Values.[30][31] In February 2019, Affinity Photo received Amateur Photographer's Software of the Year award,[32] followed by Photography News' Best Software award in March 2019.[33]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Affinity Version 2 sets new standards in creative software". Affinity Newsroom. Retrieved 2022-11-10.
  2. ^ a b c "Affinity Photo Full Feature List". Retrieved 2015-08-28.
  3. ^ a b Benjamin, Jeff (23 June 2017). "Friday 5: Affinity Photo – a must-have photo editing app for iPad Pro owners". 9to5Mac. Retrieved 5 December 2017. This truly is a desktop-class photo editing app that also happens to run on iOS with full Apple Pencil support.
  4. ^ a b Carlson, Jeff (13 November 2017). "Affinity Photo for iPad Review". Digital Photography Review. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b Lane, Terry (19 August 2015). "Affinity emerges as Photoshop alternative but only for Macs". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 December 2017. What makes Affinity Photo unique among low-priced Photoshop alternatives is that it is not a dumbed down application with automated functions and restricted editing abilities.
  6. ^ Hillen, Brittany (9 December 2016). "Affinity Photo for Windows now available, Mac version updated to 1.5". Digital Photography Review. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  7. ^ Ellis, Cat (14 December 2016). "Serif Affinity Photo comes to Windows". TechRadar. Future Publishing. Retrieved 5 December 2017. Serif is gradually expanding its reach beyond macOS, making its whole Affinity creative suite available to Windows users.
  8. ^ Ogunjobi, Anino (2017-08-10). "Digital Craft: Serif discontinues its Pageplus, Drawplus and Photoplus designing software to focus on its(Serif) new Affinity range of Professional graphic design software". ANINO. Retrieved 2019-08-17.
  9. ^ Zhang, Michael (9 February 2015). "Affinity Photo is a New Pro Photoshop Alternative for Mac Users: Get It for Free". PetaPixel. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  10. ^ Hillen, Brittany (10 February 2015). "Serif launches Affinity Photo, a Photoshop alternative for Mac". Digital Photography Review. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  11. ^ a b Benjamin, Jeff (2020-02-26). "Affinity Photo, Publisher, and Designer updated to version 1.8". 9to5Mac. Retrieved 2020-03-07.
  12. ^ Banks, Adam (5 September 2015). "Photoshop for 40 quid: Affinity Photo pushes pixels further than most". The Register. Retrieved 5 December 2017. …I've been tweaking pics and reviewing image editing apps for two decades, and this is the first one I can remember that I might actually want to use.
  13. ^ Dyer, Alan (15 December 2017). "I Tested 10+ Photoshop Alternatives to See How They Stack Up". PetaPixel. Retrieved 20 December 2017. Affinity Photo… …lacks any library or cataloguing function, so this is not a Lightroom replacement, but it could replace Photoshop.
  14. ^ Clover, Juli (9 July 2015). "Serif's Image Editing App 'Affinity Photo' Launches for Mac". MacRumors. Retrieved 5 December 2017.
  15. ^ Demolder, Damien (3 November 2017). "Affinity Photo 1.6 released: faster processing, new features, and free stuff". Digital Photography Review. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  16. ^ Burgett, Gannon (2 November 2017). "Serif boosts its Photoshop competitor, Affinity Photo, with new update". Digital Trends. Designtechnica. Retrieved 8 December 2017. …Serif has integrated new support for Apple's Metal 2 technology, meaning Affinity Photo can use hardware acceleration to process images and edits faster and smoother.
  17. ^ Schneider, Jaron (2 July 2015). "The Finished Version of Affinity Photo is Coming & Yes, You Should Be Excited for this Photoshop Competitor". Resource. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  18. ^ a b "Affinity Photo". AppKed. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  19. ^ Lawton, Rod (9 December 2015). "Serif's Adobe Photoshop rival Affinity Photo gets a major update". TechRadar. Future Publishing. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  20. ^ Rogers, Graham K. (10 August 2016). "A visit to Affinity apps developers". Bangkok Post. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  21. ^ Schneider, Jaron (8 December 2016). "Affinity Photo 1.5 Launches with Overhauled RAW Processor, Touch Bar Support, 32-Bit Editing & More". Resource. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  22. ^ Benjamin, Jeff (2 November 2017). "Affinity Designer and Photo for Mac receive big 1.6 update including free limited-time content bundles". 9to5Mac. Retrieved 14 December 2017.
  23. ^ "Digital Craft: Serif discontinues its Pageplus, Drawplus and Photoplus designing software to focus on its(Serif) new Affinity range of Professional graphic design software - ANINO". ANINO. 2017-08-10. Retrieved 2018-09-04.
  24. ^ "Affinity Photo is App of the Year!". Affinity Blog. Serif (Europe) Ltd. 9 December 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  25. ^ a b Warren, Tom (10 November 2016). "Apple's 'best Mac App' of 2015 is now available on Windows". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  26. ^ "XXVI TIPA AWARDS (2016)". Technical Image Press Association. 20 September 2016. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  27. ^ Zipper, Bernd [in German] (9 November 2016). "Serif: are Affinity products set to challenge the dominance of top dog Adobe in the print industry?". Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  28. ^ Cade, D.L. (8 December 2017). "Affinity Photo named Best iPad App of 2017, celebrates with 50% off sale". Digital Photography Review. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  29. ^ Watson, Fay (8 December 2017). "Affinity Photo: 'Apple's best iPad app of 2017' is half price". Amateur Photographer. Time Inc. (UK) Ltd. Retrieved 8 December 2017.
  30. ^ "Best Tech Value Awards: Top Bargains of 2017". Tom's Guide. Purch. 1 November 2017. Retrieved 10 December 2017.
  31. ^ Grotta, Sally Wiener (16 March 2017). "Affinity Photo 1.5 Review: Best Budget Editor for Pros". Tom's Guide. Purch. Retrieved 10 December 2017. …Serif has purposely avoided including any Photoshop-like tools that aren't directly related to photography.
  32. ^ "AP Awards 2019: Accessories of the Year". Amateur Photographer. 2019-02-24. Retrieved 2019-02-26.
  33. ^ Cheung, Will (2019-03-12). "Photography News Awards 2018 winners announced". Photography News. Retrieved 2019-03-13.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]