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Affinity Photo gets first major update

We're big fans of Affinity Photo, one of the best Mac alternatives to Photoshop around. And makers Serif have just announced the first major update to the Creative Cloud-busting app since its release in July.

Although there's no subscription fee for Affinity Photo – just a one-off fee – Serif had previously promised to release regular free updates to the app for at least the first couple of years.

And although minor tweaks have previously been made, this is the first big update of the software since its launch. To mark the release, Serif are offering a one-week 20 per cent discount for new customers.

Image alignment

Since the launch of Affinity Photo, Serif has made big play of its highly accurate image alignment, and this opens up two new major new features in the new release – panorama stitching and image stacks.

Affinity Photo

Panorama stitching comes to Affinity Photo

"Then we've got image stacks – from simply removing an unwanted moving object from multiple shots to advanced techniques like layering multi-exposure composites, they add a whole new dimension to what is possible in the app."

Affinity Photo

Layer multi-exposure composites with image stacks

Another big addition has been the inclusion of six extensions for Apple Photos, opening up some of Affinity's technology directly from within the Apple app. The extensions included are:

  • Develop – with full RAW editing capability
  • Liquify – for warping and re-sculpting areas of images
  • Haze Removal – intelligently removing fog, mist and smog
  • Miniature – for depth of field and tilt shift adjustments
  • Monochrome – offering fine control over black and white conversion
  • Retouch – including a full suite of retouching tools and smart pixel selection

Affinity Photo

Not one but six new extensions for Apple Photos

"Opening up the ability for developers to produce extensions for Photos was a big part of the El Capitan update, and it's been fun writing for it," said Ashley.

"While Affinity Photo is a very robust professional product and will always stay that way, extensions allow us to expose some of that power in a more use-case focused way for quick and easy editing."

iMac support

The new release also offers full supporting for the extended-gamut DCI-P3 displays found in the latest iMacs, giving a new depth of colour to images. Other new features and improvements include:

  • canvas rotation
  • PDF/X and spot colour support
  • customisable keyboard shortcuts
  • additions to filters, adjustment layers and blend modes
  • significant improvements to PSD compatibility

Serif has also launched a major update of sister app Affinity Designer today; you can read about that here. To owners of both apps, the updates are available to download now free via the Mac App Store.

For new customers, Serif is making Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo available at the special offer price of just £29.99/€39.99/$39.99 each until December 15th, after which it reverts to the normal price of £39.99/€49.99/$49.99.

Learn more at the Affinity website.

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Tom May
Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specialising in art, design and travel. He has been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. He has also worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, Heat, Company and Bella.