Affinity - Crap or awesome?

I have used Adobe Photoshop, Indesign and Illustrator as long as they have existed, but I’m little curious at Affinity.

Does anyone here use them? It’s quite a big price difference, and according to what I have seen they seem to be able to compete with Adobe… :thinking:

Not a big user of any of them, but they seem quality apps to me. I’ve been using Affinity Publisher a little bit and can see it has a lot of power I’ve only just scratched the surface of.

In any case, they have a 14-day money-back guarantee and a free trial, so I don’t see any harm in testing them out and seeing if they suit your needs. :slight_smile:


I have all thee apps and they’re good. What’s nice is that you can use the features of Designer and Photo directly in Publisher. That works flawlessly, but requires that you have all 3 apps installed. And the apps (Desiger and Photo) work great on iPad too including keyboard shortcuts. When you compare Affinity on price with Adobe, Affinity is a no-brainer for me.


I have both (as I get a free Adobe subscription from work), and I much prefer using Affitiy apps to Adobe. Adobe apps are clearly not well optimized and use a lot of resources.

A while ago I did a comparison when loading a large file with a lot of layers. If I load the same file into Photoshop and Affinity Photo, Affinity uses much less RAM, and it runs much smoother. Therefore, I’ve been moving my projects away from Adobe products.


Long-time user of Affinity. I use all three of their apps including their iPad app counterpart. I’ve also used Adobe apps since Photoshop 4 and Illustrator 9 and most of their apps. I switched to Affinity because I’m grown tired of Illustrator’s buggy performance. There was an issue with Photoshop at the time too that I have to restart the app each time. I’ve worked on all my personal and freelance projects on Designer/Photo/Publisher. Sometimes, I even use it for work as it is faster.

It is competitive and it has all the professional tools that you need. There is learning curve involve of course but I find their method much better. Some annoyances though if you’re used to Adobe apps is their masking is vastly different. You can’t just drag and drop layer’s from each opened document. Filling and deleting colors aren’t the same.

What I love about Affinity is that I can work on the same file and open/work on them on 3 of their available apps. The iPad app counterpart is also full-pledge apps and not a watered-down version. I often switch between the Mac and the iPad version depending on my mood. Performance is also fast even against the latest version of CC. I still use Adobe CC since I’m required at work but I’d rather use Affinity apps. I also love using the Touchbar with Affinity apps as their implementation is well thought out.

I’ve recently worked on a wallpaper tile about 4m x 4m on Affinity Designer with about 3000 vector objects and hundreds of raster layers. Performance wasn’t an issue on my Intel MBP. I doubt Illustrator can handle the same workload that I did.

You need to allow some time to learn though. If you are willing to change workflow and learn then yes it will work for your professional work requirements. That’s what I noticed with other switchers, they often dismissed the apps as inferior because it doesn’t work the way Adobe does it.

Additional note: AD doesnt have an auto-trace and I rarely use that feature in AI. But if you need an auto-trace, Vectornator has you covered and its free.


This is word for word what I was about to write.

I started with the Mac apps from day one of their release or nearly so and within a few days of the trial knew I’d be dropping Adobe. When the iPad apps became available they became my most-used iPad apps and work fantastically. I’d add that Affinity did a fantastic, very thoughtful job of porting the apps to iPad. Full versions but with touch oriented interface.

I still go to the Mac to run Publisher which runs fantastically on a 2012 Mac Mini. Affinity is working on Publisher for iPad. I love that the file format is interchangeable. If there’s something special I need to do I can open an Affinity Photo document in Affinity Designer - no conversion, it just opens and saves regardless of device or app. Fantastic.

And one last thing to underscore, the ability of Publisher to, switch modes, without leaving the app, to one of the other apps. Basically, all three Affinity app icons reside in the top left of the Publisher window and if I need to do something (say edit a photo that’s in my document) I just tap the Photo icon and the tools just switch to the tools in Affinity Photo. It’s as though I’ve left the Publisher app without leaving it. Weird! Magical! Very cool. I make my photo edits then tap the Publisher icon and I’m back to the normal Publisher tools and mode of operation. Officially I think they refer to the feature as Studio Link.

Fast, feature rich and one time purchases at a price that I think is far too low. Try them!!


The apps are top notch as others have said. I esp. like to work in Designer, I find it so much more intuitive than Illustrator. Also, it’s wonderful on iPad.

Photo is great too, but it’s hard to shake years of Photoshop experience for me, so I still revert there sometimes. Just lack of training on my part tho - the app is “pro” enough.

As long as you’re not in a production pipeline where you are expected to deliver Adobe formats, go for it!


My experience is only with Affinity Photo, but I can echo a lot of what other people have already said. It’s great at some stuff – frequency separation immediately comes to mind. There is some stuff that I prefer to do in Photoshop, but that’s because I’m used to doing them in Photoshop. An acquaintance of mine that completely made the switch to Affinity Photo recommends buying and going through the workbook.

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Agree with almost everything above.

Certain things just don’t work quite the same as in the Adobe equivalent apps, but once you get past the initial learning curve it’s a high-quality app that does pro-level work. And there are lots of tutorials available online to help you if you get stuck. :slight_smile:

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The Learn section with videos is also easy to digest. I find it helpful when I was starting and reference to it when I forget how to do something in the Affinity method. You don’t need to watch everything and just cherry-pick what you needed to learn as you progress.

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I have Affinity and, let me put it this way, I tried to get my money back- unsuccessfully (and they usually rule in my favor). If you are use to Photoshop it may be no big deal but I found that the learning curve was nothing short of ridiculous.

I consider myself an amateur professional photographer. I LOVE photography and have for some time. I have no use for it because I don’t want to put that sort of time in to learn it. I want a photography app that enhances my photos. And I have a plethora of photo apps for the iPad!!!

Photos has improved so much that is usually what I stick to and it is a marvel on a Mac.

On the other hand, Affinity seems to be quite popular.

I will definitely check out the videos.

I bought Affinity Designer (Illustrator-equivalent) when it was 50% off. (Goes on sale quite frequently - would suggest you wait until then)

For my personal uses, doing UI mockups, making icons and the occasional fiddling with “art” it does everything I need it to. I have noticed a couple advanced features it is missing from Illustrator but nothing critical for my use. If you’re coming from Illustrator you will need to get used to the differences in workflow, but once you get over that Designer is a very solid application.

Only if you need to share .ai files with other people or use a specific Illustrator feature will you run into major issues. Otherwise I’d say it’s eons more worth the money compared to Illustrator.

(For Photoshop needs I have been very happy with Pixelmator. Have not tried Affinity Photo.)

Affinity products are outstanding. I tested them out of curiosity and found them to be great.

But: I am too heavily invested in Adobe’s software products (experience, workflows, plug-ins,…) so I won’t switch. And Affinity isn’t bringing any “killer features” to the table which would make me switch and rethink my processes. I added DxO products to Adobe because of some features (DeepPRIME).

If I was starting with photos/design/etc., I would definitely take a look at Affinity.

How long ago was that? They offer a free trial these days, and even have a 14 day refund period after purchase.

Just bought Affinity Photo app and am getting used to the UI. Love the video tutorials. As an amateur photog I tried Adobe Lr/Ps but never liked the way Adobe apps installed nor the water torture of the drip-drip-drip subscription. Pixelmator Pro is a beautiful app but, in my hands at least, my photos don’t look as good as what I could achieve in Lr. Affinity looks full-featured, to say the least, and I was able to get good results with RAW photos without having to learn the entire program. So far, so good!

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The “Killer feature” for me was performance and still is. Plugins are one of the most requested features from most users as well. Adobe Photoshop is the hardest for me to leave, took me a few years after I bought Affinity Photo. But with Affinity Designer, I moved in immediately.

Affinity Photo for the iPad goes on sale often too. That’s how I ended up with it.

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Been looking for a companion photo viewing app to go along with Affinity Photo, and now I’ve found it. :slightly_smiling_face:

FastRawViewer fills the same role for my use of Affinity Photo as the Adobe Bridge app does for Photoshop. Fileloupe for Mac was in the running for a while. It’s a beautiful app, but couldn’t do everything I needed.

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I use both Adobe and Affinity. Most has already been said. One important thing for me is that Affinity is native os whereas Adobe clearly isn’t. This means you don’t get the ui glitches and lack of system integration and behaviour that you get with adobe. Workflow is much more pleasant.


Now I’m pulling away from FastRawViewer since noticing that it displays photos at lesser quality than other Mac apps I use. Tried ApolloOne, XnViewer, and Lyn. Nothing clicked.

Then I discovered that I was wrong about FileLoupe. There IS a way to show a folder tree and browse! (It helps to turn on the preference to show subfolders!) Also, I can “merge all windows” to easily access more than one location at a time in different tabs of the same window. The photo display is beautiful and fast, too, despite still being an Intel app running on my M1 MBA. Metadata AND a directory tree can be displayed in the Inspector and Folder tabs in the sidebar. Photos can be displayed as a grid, singleton, or with a “filmstrip” along the bottom, as well as filtered and selected by type.

So I’m back to FileLoupe for viewing photos. Now, if they would just show location at the top of each tab instead of generic “FileLoupe” and “FileLoupe 2” tab labels… :slightly_smiling_face: