Adobe has been enjoying their place in the software industry for a very long time now. It’s a monopoly, isn’t it? Despite the effort made by Corel, DxO, PhaseOne and others, the benchmark is still Photoshop and Lightroom (even if the latter does not actually lead in every area). In fact, Photoshop has actually become a synonym to the word “post-process” or “edit”. “To photoshop something”, how many times have you heard someone say it? Exactly. And all of this is well deserved, because there simply isn’t any better alternatives. But for us, the users, monopoly is not such a good thing. Lack of proper competition puts the developer in a rather lazy state. Fortunately, an alternative might be in the works, called Affinity Photo (currently in Beta stage). Unfortunately, it is only available for Mac at this time.
Developed by Serif, Photo is part of the Affinity software family that consists of two other members (so far) – Designer and Publisher, the latter of the two not yet fully released. If we are to believe the presentation (which itself is a little over-the-top for me in certain respects, but no doubt shows plenty of impressive features of the new photo editing software), Photo packs quite a lot of very smart features. Photoshop inspiration is very obvious, but then given this is a direct rival to Adobe’s masterpiece, that is not surprising. Serif says Affinity Photo is developed specifically with professional photographers in mind. CMYK, LAB, Photoshop PSD formats and 64-bit Photoshop plug-ins are supported, among other things. More importantly, speed is particularly emphasized in the announcement. If nothing else, Serif knows what to mention – optimization and performance is perhaps the biggest gripe we have with Adobe’s software in general.
Overall, we are excited, but the fact the Beta is available only for Mac users is a big issue and limits the user base greatly, something the team behind Affinity Photo is fully aware of. We really hope to see Windows version released soon, but from what we’ve heard so far, Mac version is to be finished and released first. Let us know what you think in the comments section below – do you think a comparatively small software developer has a chance to seriously compete with a giant like Adobe? Are you excited by the beta release of Affinity Photo and would you consider it over the almighty Photoshop?