Affinity Photo 2

Following the proposed changes to the perpetual licenses for Capture One I've been starting to look at other options. Affinity Photo recently released a major update, Affinity Photo 2, with a special promotion price so I had a closer look. Although I was aware Affinity have a good following I'd previously ruled it out as being an Apple only option, however it seems I was mistaken, this was only true in their very early days and their packages now come with Windows as an option.

For those that are familiar with Photoshop they will find that Affinity Photo works in a similar way. It is split into a few different modules, which they call personas, the main two being Photo (like Adobe's ACR) and Develop (along with personas for Liquify, Tone Mapping and Export). The RAW module has a good list of cameras supported and includes support for Fujifilm xtrans sensors. With Photo 2 they describe the RAW as non-destructive, in reality it was anyway, what they really mean is that now after going to Develop you can go back and readjust the RAW settings, and repeat as many times as you want, giving you full flexibility. The Develop persona is mostly based on layer effects that can be applied with masking, giving users full control over processing their images. There is a nice option to add a proofing layer, after a quick look I think I prefer this to the soft proofing in COP.

Affinity Photo 2 is competitively priced anyway but in addition they offered a large discount at launch for the new version (as a simpler alternative to upgrade pricing). For me, as a new user purchasing in the UK, this meant I was paying just £36 for a perpetual license. Purchase and install proved straightforward on Windows 11. However note that the install does not let you choose which drive to use. If you want the software on a secondary drive you will need to install first, then go to manage Apps and from there you can then move drive. Once installed there is a nice little benchmarking utility built in to help with options such as GPU acceleration.


My reasons for considering an upgrade to my older version of Capture One at this time would have been to benefit from the panorama stitching and multi-image HDR. As Photo 2 gives me both of these I don't need a COP upgrade so it is saving me money. It has a few other areas of functionality that I was missing including good focus stacking and an astrophotography option so it's a big win. I have in the past used Photoshop Elements (PSE) but could not find a perpetual license version last time I switched machines so Photo 2 also makes a good replacement for that. Overall I would say Affinity Photo 2 is a very capable tool for not a lot of money and well worth a look.


  • Processes RAW files
  • Support for Fujifilm xtrans
  • Huge amount of post-processing options
  • Panoramas, HDR, focus stacking and astrophotography
  • Perpetual license, no subscription required
  • Very good value for money


  • Complex, may take time to become familiar with all the functionality
  • Does not include DAM (Digital Asset Management)
  • Install does not give control over destination



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