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Serif Affinity Photo, AP Testbench article in issue dated 24.08.19

Discussion in 'Digital Image Editing & Printing' started by Chester AP, Aug 25, 2019.

  1. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I've been using Photohop Elements 7 for nearly 10 years, and the only thing I need that it won't do easily is remove colour fringes on high contrast edge details. I have found a way to do this 'manually' with the 'replace colour' process, but sometimes it needs more than one attempt to do the job. But I only need this on a few images when I prepare them for printing.

    So, after reading AP's review I downloaded the 10 day trail version and have found it very frustrating. Anything I want to do with the RAW file appears to force me to work with layers, and when I eventually got the 'defringe' to work (after a very tedious online 'tutorial'), the result looked exactly like the result I can get using PE7.

    Also, if I open a DNG format RAW file, I cannot save it in the same format but only in Affinity's format. So I will be then unable to open it in PE7.

    The fact that Affinity don't offer any PDF user manual (with an index) is another problem for me: the online 'tutorials' I've watched never appear to answer the specific query I have.

    Has anybody else tried this software and been disappointed?

    I should add that I very much appreciate Affinity's free trial because I won't be buying it, and have avoided spending £48.99.
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Generally speaking raw converters are "non-destructive" and save their editing instructions separately. They usually use the term "export" to apply the edits to create an image file, but not another raw file. The editing structions are proprietary and not interchangeable between programs.
    Learning likes this.
  3. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    That shouldn't be the case but the programs that are presenting as LR/PS alternatives do seem to be combining the functions of both in one interface. I haven't tried Affinity but On One 2018 version is like that and it is easy to find yourself choose an option that spawns a layers workflow.
  4. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Affinity raw conversion is nondestructive to the extent that it does not damage your raw file, but it does not save the equivalent of am xmp file.

    Why would you want to save in anything but afphoto if you were to use Affinity for editing. Most people save their ACR raw develops as PSD don't they? Once you leave the Develop persona you find yourself in the photo persona. Here you can do much editing without layers if you really insist. That is not the best way. Affinity photo is meant to be used non destructively; that implies using layers. Layers are very powerful in both Photoshop and Affinity photo.
    If you really must open your developed files in Adobe then export from the photo persona as 16 bit tiff or PSD.
    I agree that a pdf manual with index and sidebar chapter headings would be good. An html manual is created on your pc when you download Affinity photo. It is accessed from the help menu or F1.
    I use Affinity photo and publisher. I am not disapointed.
    Why do you expect Affinity to be a clone of PE7, or even CS6. Affinity encourages a different workflow.
    I suggest that you commit to one programme. Elements 2019, Affinity, or Skylum Luminar. My choice is Affinity but you may well disagree.
  5. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Another possibility is to use your camera manufacture's software to do the raw conversion with lens corrections and defringing . Then export from that as 16 bit tiff. Do further editing in PE7. Nikon software used to be considered rubbish but is now actually very good indeed for developing raw and making lens corrections for Nikon lenses. I cannot comment on other manufacturers because of lack of experience.
  6. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    I can't understand why you would want to go back to PS7. Affinity will do just about everything the latest Photoshop does, for £49 and is regularly updated for free.

    Learning likes this.
  7. Aspadora

    Aspadora Well-Known Member

    I use Affinity Photo, mainly because as a beginner I couldn't justify spending the extra money on Adobe software. For what my inexpert opinion's worth, I really like it. I completely agree that it's frustrating to understand how to use it without any concrete instructions; it's taken me a long time to figure it out and I still don't know half of what it's supposed to do.

    Aside from that, I really like it :)
    steveandthedogs and Learning like this.
  8. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Serif does a handbook [actually more like a whole body book!] on how to use Affinity.

  9. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    The Affinity Photo Workbook is useful but costs as much as the software. The first chapter deals with the interface. The rest of the book consists of various exercises and projects. The book is not a manual. I have come across one change in the factory default settings made by affinity since the book was published. There may be other cases where the behaviour has changed.
    Possibly part of Chester_AP's difficulty is that he is coming to Affinity from PE and not PS. There is a very steep learning curve.
  10. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    And having managed to get the 'defringe' working, and seen that the result isn't any better than what I can do 'manually' in PE7, the learning curve looks like more bother than it's worth. But if Affinity offered a free PDF download of how to use the features, with an index, I would change my mind and they would get a sale. There are probably many features I will never need (as in PE7), but an easy reference about how to use the ones I would want, would be ideal.

    I also tried the distortion correction facility (see easy to use in PE7) and eventually gave up. It's as if somebody set out to make the interface as complex as possible.

    Note that I don't ask for a 'hard copy' printed manual because of cost and built-in obsolescence, but a pdf file that could be maintained by Affinity as they release updates. The policy of updates is one of the software's attractions, and since any serious user would be expected to use this facility, a responsible software supplier should realise that they only need to maintain one version of their software's reference material.

    I found what appears to be an Affinity users' forum website: the absence of exactly what I would want has been a subject of some discussion. There are users who, having purchased the software, would very much life a decent reference manual.

    I'm not a luddite afraid to learn or try new things, but for me a reference manual with an index is a vital tool in the learning process.
    I'm not asking for lots of 'tutorials' or 'projects', just a brief description of how to use each function.
  11. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Charging £50 for the software and £50 for the manual would seem to equalise the price with the competitors.
  12. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    A well designed reference manual with an index, that is never out of date, would be of interest to me even at £50. So Affinity could have two prices: software only with existing online 'tutorials', or software plus a 'never out of date' reference manual with an index. I bet they would be asked for a 'reference manual only 'price too, for users who find out only after buying the software that they want one.

    Of course, Affinity would have to guarantee to update the manual on the day a new release of the software was available (the manual would also have to be part of the 10 day free trial, so presumably Affinity would have to be able to prevent its use if the software is not purchased). Since the only reference manual available would apply only to the latest release, users would have an incentive to update their software to the latest release too. I don't know if Affinity have any kind of customer support, but if they do I expect that many of the calls come from users with old versions of the software.
  13. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    They only charged me £20. You wuz done.

  14. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    Affinity asks if you want to update - they are free.

    Also, by distortion correction, I presume you mean perspective?

    Is so, go to the Photo Persona, look down the list of tools at the side, it is near the bottom, though you will have to click on it to change it from mesh warp. Then it is at least as easy as PS.

    edit: have you looked at the help? It gives a simple manual.

  15. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    I was going on post #9. I'm sticking with LR, totally fail to understand PS. OnOne I bought 2018, didn't buy 2019, now getting adverts for 2020 (free if I buy 2019) - pricewise not so different to adobe subscription if you stay current.
  16. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    Would yours be a manual that will be out of date next time a new release of the software is available?
    If so, read he second paragraph of my comments again.
  17. Chester AP

    Chester AP Well-Known Member

    I'll try to find the help for this - I've got a few days left...
  18. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    I doubt if any programme would change so much that a manual would become useless after an update.

  19. steveandthedogs

    steveandthedogs Well-Known Member

    If you look at the line at the top when you open Affinity, you will see File, Edit, text... At the end is something called Help.

  20. El_Sid

    El_Sid Well-Known Member

    I must admit that Affinity does feel a bit clunky compared to PS but I suspect that because they have make it do what PS does without infringing Adobe's intellectual property rights. That said there are some aspects that do feel like that have been designed by nerd for use by nerds and appear more complex than maybe they need to be.

    Not sure by 'defringing' whether the OP means chromatic aberration removal or losing purple fringing but so far I must say I find the chromatic aberration removal function rather poor - it has no manual option that I can find and the automatic function is very hit and miss - mostly miss at that...:(

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