Affinity photo vs Photoshop? (In 2019)

over 4 years ago from , UX Designer, Game Designer, Application Engineer

I'd like to hear your expericene in working with the two tools. Do the feature compare enough? Also how was it to switch from one to the other?


  • Darrell Estabrook, over 4 years ago

    I was a Photoshop user for 20+ years. I switched mostly because my UI work is done in Sketch or another vector program. Yet, for photo editing and manipulation I still wanted that ability without the monthly fee from Adobe. I also wanted masking and other advanced features that aren't always in iOS apps or other online services.

    So, I made the switch to Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer cold turkey.

    It took some mind-wrapping to figure out (tutorials and YouTube videos) how to do the things that come second-nature in Photoshop. But isn't that true with any tool? It wouldn't be different if it were identical!

    You have to commit in your mind that you will switch and that it's okay to relearn a new set of controls. One thing that baffled me was what was called "offset" in Photoshop (where you can shift the image over and it wraps around to the other side of the canvas). In Affinity Photo, it's called "Affine."That took a bit of Googling, but now I've got it locked in.

    Of course, when you do you'll find you can do the same things you used to in Photoshop. In fact, I like the brushes and some of the liquify effects better than Photoshop. As a side note: Affinity Designer is actually an amazing artistic vector tool because of the brushes and the ability to intermingle vector and pixel graphics together.

    If you can swallow the $50 commitment, it's certainly approachable and worth trying.

    7 points
    • Dan WilkinsonDan Wilkinson, over 4 years ago

      Thanks for the insight.

      How does Affinity Designer hold up against Illustrator? I guess it all depends on what you're using it for.. but in general?

      0 points
      • Darrell Estabrook, over 4 years ago

        Yeah, again I think it's more about relearning the conventions you're used to.

        Like I mentioned, the ability to paint with vector brushes in Designer makes it more of an artistic vector tool, yet you can use it for straight up pen tool activities. One downside I discovered was when I converted one of these painted brushes into outlines—the translation near the corners produced a sawtooth series of dozens of extra points. From that perspective, there's some work to be done. But if you're using it for illustration purposes I think you'd be just fine.

        What I find most handy is masking (in both tools). Simply dragging the layers so they nest makes a clipping mask. That makes it radically easy to experiment with layout and composition instead of making and releasing masks.

        I'm always looking for new tools that have the capability and the usability of Illustrator. Most tools out there seem to fall short on one or the other. I think Designer is so very close to Illustrator when compared to the other competitors, but I'm willing to try something else if anyone has suggestions.

        0 points
      • John PJohn P, over 4 years ago

        I started using it because for 2 years (until very recently) on the USB-C Macbook Pros the GPU acceleration was broken, glitched and Adobe had no interest in fixing it. also modern Illustrator's CPU rendering is way slower than it used to be, taking almost an entire second to zoom in on an almost blank canvas even on high end macs.

        So I was forced into Affinity, found it actually great and it did the job just fine and is way faster than Illustrator in many ways.

        Yeah things are a bit different but so is every tool, its only 2D designers who had the luxury and the curse that one single tool was all people ever used. Learning a new tool isn't a big deal for any professional and you shouldn't expect knowledge of 1 program to carry you from cradle to graves

        1 point
  • BAKA .kidBAKA .kid, over 4 years ago

    I just setup my new Mac, didn't even install any adobe. Affinity photo + Polarr does everything I need for photos (could probably do it all in Affinity photo, but I was already using Polarr for a while and have workflows setup).

    Affinity Designer is not quite an illustrator substitute, but it is very close to being there, for more illustration stuff I use Clip Studio, which has a full version on the iPad that is subscription based, or Mac version that is a one time fee.

    Affinity Publisher beta to replace indesign, and will buy it in a second. Already completed 2 photo magazine layouts that have gone to print, and a couple of smaller zines. They say not to use it for production, but I think its working perfectly fine with only a couple of crashes, but the recovery files weren't missing anything.

    adobe alternates

    (I can never get pics to work so link to pic - https://i.imgur.com/mfzcx9L.jpg)

    2 points
  • Joe Roberto, over 4 years ago

    I'm a huge fan of Affinity Designer myself. Used photoshop for 13+ years or so, and was thrilled when a combination of Sketch app was released, and then Affinity Designer. This meant never having to sneak back into the devil's layer that is Adobe. Oh.. they also charged me a cancellation fee to get out of my Adobe Stock trial after they purchased DollarPhotoClub ... I will never forgive them for this.

    2 points
  • Fernando Lins, over 4 years ago

    I'm still using Photoshop and Adobe XD, I wasn't able to move to Affinity Designer completely even though I have bought the license.

    The lack of distort/warp vector features make some designs impossible to make in the same amount of time (I do icon design, UI design and digital illustration). Also there are some bugs with the artboard's grids and no integration with tools like Zeplin, which is essential if you work on a medium or large team.

    1 point
  • Alvaro Ruiz, over 4 years ago

    You can do exactly the same things. I haven't missed any feature and as others have pointed out, it took a little bit to re-wire the brain but it is completely worthy. I am looking forward to them finish the Affinity Publisher so we can have the full trio. Download the trial, test some projects, and save yourself some money.

    1 point
  • , over 4 years ago

    Thanks for all your insights!

    0 points
  • Carlos Andres Orozco PalacioCarlos Andres Orozco Palacio, over 4 years ago

    Well I am user for Adobe Suite for more than 16th years, some months ago I check Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo, and decide to buy it on macOS App store (I think is a tiny price for one application), check them, try to do some design for print, working around one week or two and is the best alternative and choice if you want leave Adobe Tools, for by these apps don't have for now any problem in performance or other errors, exporting fine, used for UI Design fine, exporting individual assets fine, export for pint fine.

    I love this tools and I hope soon son be the final release of Affinity Publisher.

    PD: Sorry for my English (don't be my mother language).

    0 points