Pixelmator/Pixelmator Pro/Affinity Photo

I am trying to decide on one standard photo editing program for both Mac OS and iOS. I need it mainly to fix up photos taken with a Canon g9X and my iPhone. I have narrowed it down to the Pixelmator or Affinity family of apps. Opinions?

I’m a Pixelmator Pro switcher from Photoshop and it’s just as powerful, easier IMHO, and faster to edit photos in.

I use Pixelmator on iPhone and plan on using Pixelmator Pro when it’s released on iPad.

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I’d suggest reconsidering that because there’s no reason to use one standard app. I periodically use several iOS apps alone - including Darkroom, SKRWT, Camera+ and VOUN - for their different (often specialized) editing/sharing abilities (some quick and dirty, some not). Only two of the iOS apps I use, Photoshop/Lightroom and Pixelmator Pro, have macOS analogues. And I similarly use multiple Mac apps as well.

I’d never let myself be restricted to Pixelmator for photo adjustments. It doesn’t do photo adjustments, perspective editing, b&w options or image framing as well as the iOS apps I mentioned above. (And those aren’t the only apps I’ll use.) Likewise, on the Mac I’ll use the stock Photos app with a number of image editor extensions - and even apps that aren’t plug-ins via Alex Kent’s excellent free Open In extension - for editing my iPhone pics, and I’ll use Lightroom/Photoshop for managing and editing my DSLR photos.

What workflow do you recommend when using the Mac OS Photos app with extensions?

I’ve used Luminar, Affinity and Pixelmator.

I’m never quite sure whether to use the extension because the edits are then baked into the image. Correct? Once you go back to Photos.app you can’t undo or adjust the edits you make in third party extension.

I’ve wondered if the best workflow is to Edit In the third party app rather than use the extension. Then, save a copy of the image in Photos.app.

Any advice on best practices?

Thanks much.

I use Photos app exclusively for my non-serious iPhone images, so I’m not precious with them. I use outside apps and extensions to work on copies of the original image, which then gets saved back into Photos alongside the untouched original. Note that for me, since these are not images I usually care tremendously about, I use all sorts of free and cheap apps and extensions, of varying quality, and I just play. Some of the apps offer photo adjustments, others (like Moku Hanga and all the Jixipix apps) transform photos entirely.

I’ve edited with apps from the Nik Collection (Analog Efex, Color Efex, Silver Efex Pro - I paid $150 for the package, then Google bought the company and released the apps for free, then abandoned it, then sold the apps to ON1 which is now offering it for $60ish), Pixelmator Pro, Image Tricks Pro, Split Lab, Pop Dot Comics, Shapeover, Viveza, Focus, Fold Defy, Fotor, Moku Hanga, Kyoobik Photo and maybe one or two more I’ve missed.

For my DSLR photos, which I shoot in RAW, I use Lightroom to manage, keyword, edit and share/print. I mainly do editing in Lightroom but I also regularly use Nik Collection apps, especially Silver Efex Pro for black-and-white conversions. If I need to perform more detailed work on an image I’ll export a TIFF to Photoshop and work on it then put it back into Lightroom.

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