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Affinity Photo Review: The Complete Guide in (2023)

This is a complete guide on Affinity Photo Review for those who are looking for Photoshop alternatives.

In this guide, I am going to elaborate:

  • The interface of Affinity Photo
  • Key Features of Affinity Photo
  • How much does Affinity Photo cost?
  • 6 Simple Ways of Affinity Photo Download (Trial Version)
  • Pros & Cons
  • Conclusion

The best part of Affinity Photo is it comes with a lifetime license and can handle almost every task as Photoshop does.

So, let’s dive in.

The Interface of Affinity Photo

The interface of Affinity Photo is similar to Photoshop.

Like Photoshop, you can find the toolbar of Affinity Photo on its left-hand side.

You can find the top bar and the context bar at the top and all other related panels at right.

Also, it allows you to move and customize the panel according to your need just as you do in Photoshop.

Yes, there is also some a bit different thing in Affinity Photo.

And the different thing in Affinity Photo is the Persona.

Affinity Photo divided its interface into five different modes (known as personas).

They are:

  • Photo Persona
  • Liquify Persona
  • Develop Persona
  • Tone Mapping Persona
  • Export Persona

Let’s go a little bit deeper and see how each of the persona works.

Photo Persona

In Affinity Photo, Photo Persona is a default persona. It shows you all the tools and setting associate with photo editing.

Besides, what you do in other personas also see in the mode.

In short, Photo Persona is the primary mode in Affinity Photo.

Liquify Persona

Liquify Persona is the mode that you can use for reshaping the body of the portrait.

Can you see any difference in the left toolbar menu in the above picture?

When I switch the Photo Persona to Liquify Persona, it shows me all relevant tools that only associate with liquifying.

Now, let’s head over to the next persona called Develop Persona.

Develop Persona

Develop Persona is excellent for photographers.

This persona works almost like the Lightroom and lets you do color correction.

Using this module, you can correct exposure, white balance, contrast, saturation, clarity, vibrance, and much more.

Also, you can perform advanced editing workflows including lens correction, details retouching, and use the curves.

If you are satisfied with the changes, click on the Develop from the top left side of the window.

I have described the Develop Persona more details in the Raw Development section.

So, continue to read.

Tone Mapping Persona

It has come with a lot of tools that let you match the in-depth tone of your photo.

Export Persona

Export Persona is solely designed to export photos.

So, if you find Photoshop challenging to export, then this persona in Affinity Photo lets you do the job precisely and swiftly.

Review on Key Features of Affinity Photo

In this chapter, I let you inform about the key features of Affinity Photo.

I will introduce you with every tool of Affinity Photo and how they work.

In short, you will know what Affinity Photo can do from this chapter.

So, let’s take a look.

View Tool

The view tool looks like a hand. Using it, you can view the photo you are working with.

Move Tool

The move tool lets you move the photo around your canvas.

If you want to move any specific area of an image, you can also do that using this tool.

To get this tool, you need to click on it below to the hand icon from the left toolbar menu.

Using the shortcut ‘V’ from your keyboard, you can get this tool.

Color Picker Tool

Color Picker Tool helps you to pick a specific color from the photo.

However, you can also pick a color from the right side panels.

From this panel, you can also adjust the RGB by moving the slider from left to right.

Crop Tool

The crop tool of Affinity Photo lets you crop a photo.

To get this tool, you can use the keyboard shortcut C.

Therefore, you can crop a photo in a specific pixel you need.

For example, you want to share your photos on Instagram.

So, you need to crop the photo according to Instagram post size recommendation.

Instagram recommends its users to use a photo that dimension is 1000 x 1000 pixels.

To crop the image in this dimension, select the crop tool by pressing C.

Then, change the mode to Custom Ratio.

Next, put the value.

Thus it.

Selection Brush Tool

The selection brush tool of Affinity Photo also works as the Photoshop magic wand tool.

You can make a quick selection around the subject with this tool.

To make a selection with this tool, press W from the keyboard to choose it.

Then, adjust the brush size pressing the bracket just like you do in Photoshop.

Next, brush over the subject you want to make a selection around it.

Using the Add or the Subtract mode from the top left bar, you can correct the selection if you make any mistake.

Now, you may think that the selection brush tool can’t make an accurate selection like the pen tool does.

But, Affinity Photo has a nice feature called Refine Selection. It helps you to check whether you make a selection right way or not.

Here what happens when I click on the Refine Selection:

You can see that there has background parts on the right bottom side of the portrait photo.

It’s cool, right. Now, you can easily fix those image areas as it shows where you make a mistake.

Flood Selection Tool

Flood Selection Tool helps you to choose pixels of a related color.

Every time you click and drag it selects the color pixels as well as determined the tolerance.

For example, you can see the tolerance of the below screenshot is increased to 18% when I drag and move the cursor to the right.

Similarly, the tolerance is also decreased to 7% at the time I drag and move the cursor to the left.

Settings of Flood Selection Tool

As you can see, there are four modes of the Flood Selection Tool. They are:

New- creates a new selection and cancel selections if there have any when you click on it.

  • Add- It adds new areas to the current selection
  • Subtract- erase or eliminate areas from your current selection
  • Intersect- create an intersection between the newly added area and the current selection
  • Source- define the layer from which it selects the pixel.

Contiguous– if you tick mark, it only selects pixel from a specific range of the same area. Otherwise, it selects pixels from different parts of your image.

Refine– displays you the Refine Selection dialogue box for advanced selection setting

Marquee Selection Tools

In Affinity Photo, there are five different selection tools to create selections in your photo following various ways.

The marquee selection tools include:

  • Rectangular Marquee Tool
  • Elliptical Marquee Tool
  • Column Marquee Tool
  • Row Marquee Tool

Also, there is a Freehand Selection Tool to define a selection area as a hand-drawn line edges, pencil line, straight line, and nodes.

Settings of Marquee Selection tools

Though the setting for each selection tool varies, some common settings are:

Mode- there are four modes including new, add, subtract, and intersect.

How each of the mode works I included above. So, there is no need to describe those here again.

Refine– tap on it to show Refine dialogue box

Feather– helps to decrease the selection edges sharpness

Antialias– if you enable it, it makes the selection edges smooth.

Width– help you to set the width of the Row and the Column selection tools

Height– let you set the height of the Row Marquee tool

Flood Fill Tool

The Flood Fill Tool of Affinity Photo helps you to fill the color of the pixels in your image area with a single click.

This tool works by replacing the color of the pixels of your image area.

For example, the flood fill tool fills the face area of the portrait when I click on its face.

Settings of Flood Fill Tool

Tolerance– determines the range of pixels when you click on any area.

Contiguous– if you enable it, it only affects the pixels of the image area you click. Otherwise, it affects the pixels of the entire image.

Blend Mode– defines how the color and the pixels of the fill are combined.

Gradient Tool

In Affinity Photo, the Gradient Tool lets you adjust and apply gradient colors.

Using this tool, you can apply gradient colors on layers, vector, text, and content.

Settings of Gradient Tool

Context– lets you adjust either the fill or the Stroke color of the object you selected

Type– lets you convert the color of the object to None and Linear

Rotate Gradient– using it, you can rotate the gradient by 90-degree.

Reverse Gradient– let you reverse the gradient

Paint Brush Tool

Paint Brush Tool of Affinity Photo is perfect for digital painters.

Here in Affinity, three different paintbrush tool available. They are:

  • Paint Brush Tool
  • Color Replacement Brush tool
  • Pixel Tool

Settings of Pain Brush tool

The settings of each brush tool may vary. However, some common settings of Paint Brush Tool are:

  • Width
  • Opacity
  • Flow
  • Hardness
  • More
  • Stabilizer
  • Length
  • Symmetry
  • Mirror
  • Lock
  • Wet edges
  • Blend Mode

To know more about these settings, you can check out this article.

Erase Brush Tool

Using the combination of Erase Brush Tool, you can easily remove the background from a photo.

In this photo editor, there are three different types of Erase Brush tools available including Erase Brush tool, Background Erase Brush, Flood Erase Brush.

You can directly erase unwanted pixels from a layer using the Erase Brush tool.

To know more details about Affinity Brush tools, you can read this article.

Dodge Brush Tool

Dodging is an image editing technique that lets you control the exposure of your photo and makes an image area lighter.

The Dodge Brush Tool in Affinity Photo also lets you make a specific area of your photo light.

Not only that, but it also helps you to keep the shadow, midtones, and highlight of your photo limit.

3 different types of Dodge brush are available in Affinity Photo. They are:

  • Dodge Brush Tool
  • Burn Brush Tool
  • Sponge Brush Tool

The settings of each brush tool may vary. I recommend you check out this article to learn about them.

Clone Brush Tool

Clone Brush tool lets you remove defects from an image by copying pixels from an image area to another.

Pressing S from your keyboard, you can get this tool.

However, if you want to retouch your portrait, then I recommend you to use the Healing brush tools (which I described below).

Healing Brush Tool

If you want to give a stunning look to your portrait, then Affinity Photo helps you to do that.

It has come with advanced healing brush tools that let you remove blemishes, acne, and other skin defects from the portrait.

The healing brush tools Affinity include:

  • Healing Brush Tool
  • Patch Tool
  • Blemish Remover Tool
  • Inpainting Brush Tool
  • Red Eye Removal Tool

Using these tools, you can remove every type of defect and make your portrait photo stand out.

Besides, you can use the Inpainting Brush tool to make your painting flawless.

Pen Tool

The pen tool lets you create an exact selection, shape, and curves.

Like Photoshop, the pen tool of Affinity Photo is also accurate and performs the same.

You can choose different modes to create different types of paths and shapes.

The Affinity Photo pen tool has come with different modes including:

  • Pen Mode
  • Smart Mode
  • Polygon Mode
  • Line Mode

To know how each of the mode works, check out this article.

Rectangle Tool

Rectangle Tool is mostly used for creating shape in graphic design and artwork.

So, if you are a painter, then this tool lets you create a rectangle shape quickly.

Besides, Affinity Photo has also included a bunch of graphic shape tools.

Using these tools, you can create various types of graphic shapes and designs.

Artistic Text Tool

If you want to create artistic typographic design, then the Artistic Text Tool of Affinity Photo helps you to do so.

Using this tool, you can create text design, design them, and resize them.

Besides, it has come with a lot of text frames and layout that let you make your typography stand out.

Advanced Raw Editing Software

As I told at the beginning of this article is Affinity Photo is the best photo editing software for photographers.

Now, it’s time to judge the phrase “best photo editing software”.

We all know that photographers should edit their raw files to get the best result.

In this case, the Affinity Photo is superior to Photoshop. It has a persona (you already know) named Develop.

The Develop Persona lets you bring out the best look of your photo. When you click on the Develop Module, you can find some fascinating tools at the right-side panel.

The panel looks like the below screenshot.

If you see the panel attentively, you can find a lot of effects and presets folder including Basic, Lens Correction, Details, Tones, and Overlays.

Each of them is essential to develop your raw files.

The basic option of that panel helps you to adjust white balance, exposure, clarity, saturation, black point, and much more.

The most important feature is all of them are slider-based tools. It means you can use them just moving the slider from right to left or reverse.

Lens Correction module under Develop Persona is specially designed to fix distortions, chromatic aberration, lens vignette, and defringe.

You can also edit and fix the lens errors using the slider-based tools.

Details tool of Affinity Photo helps you to fix details, remove noise reduction, and luminance intensity.

Besides, Affinity Photo includes advanced color tone tools to bring back life to your photo.

Tones tool in Affinity Photo lets you adjust hue, saturation, black, and black & whiteness of the image.

I love the Develop Persona of Affinity Photo so much. It allows me to get better control over my raw files and lets me develop them.

How much does Affinity Photo cost?

Affinity Photo costs you $49.99 for a lifetime using. It compatible both on Mac and Windows.

However, the price of its iPad version is $19.99.

Comparing with Photoshop, the price of Affinity Photo is so reasonable.

But when it comes to comparing with the feature of Photoshop, Affinity Photo is the best competitor of PS.

Remarkably, you pay Affinity Photo for one time to get it for a lifetime using.

6 Ways of Affinity Photo Download (Free Trial)

If you want to use Affinity Photo for free before purchasing it, then you must download its trial version.

Don’t know how to download the free trial version of Affinity Photo?

Then, follow the below step by step guide to download the trial version.

So, let’s get started.

Step 1. Visit on Affinity Photo

First, visit on the official page of Affinity Photo by clicking here.

Step 2. Click on the Buy Now button

After going to the homepage, click on the buy now button from the top right side of your window.

Once you click on the button, it brings you to the bottom of the page.

From there, click on the free trial button. Make sure you tap on the button under the section of Windows (as I use).

However, if you visit on from Mac, then click on the free trial button under the Mac section.

Step 3. Fill up the form

When you click on the free trial button, it brings you to the free download page.

From the page, fill-up the form putting your email address. Then, click on the Add My Email button.

Step 4. Fill up the Account Details form

After clicking on the Add My Email button, you can see an account details form.

Fill up the form putting necessary information and then click on the create account button

Make sure you tick mark to the small rectangular button to let them know you agree with their terms and conditions.

Step 5. Tap on the get my download link

Now, it’s time to click on the get my download link. Once you tap on the button, it brings you to the page.

This page informs you that they send a verification code to your email for verification.

So, go to your email and verify it.

Step 6. Download the trial version

When you click on the verify button from your email, it brings you to a page.

From there, click on the download button to get the trial version.

Thus it.

Pros & Cons of Affinity Photo

Let’s check out some upsides and downsides of Affinity Photo.


  • Comes with a lot of retouching tools
  • User-friendly interface
  • Easy to understand
  • Comes with a bunch of effects and presets
  • Lightweight software
  • Most of the plugins compatible with Photoshop
  • Learning curve is ok
  • Offer lifetime license


  • Slow in opening large files
  • Raw development option doesn’t perform so cool
  • Take time to learn the shortcut
  • The selection refine tool not as accurate as Photoshop refine tool
  • Complicate to customize the brushes


Affinity Photo is the best Photoshop alternative out there.

It has come with almost every photo editing tool as Photoshop has.

Besides, you can handle every editing workflow as you do using Photoshop.

From basic editing to advance retouching, Affinity Photo lets you do everything efficiently.

Something I like most about Affinity Photo is the raw development tools.

Using the raw converter, you can fix exposure, white balance, saturation, and correct phoo color.

Therefore, you can remove blemishes, fix perspective errors, and correct distortions.

Indeed, it is a killer raw development tool.

So, if you are a photographer, then you should use Affinity Photo to develop raw photos.

The unique feature of Affinity Photo I like most is its Persona.

The persona of Affinity Photo only shows you only the relevant editing tools you need to complete the workflow.

It makes editing workflow quick & sound and saves your valuable time.

And the best part is you get Affinity Photo with a perpetual license after making a purchase.

So, if you are on a budget and looking for an alternative to Photoshop, then Affinity Photo is your go-to software.

I hope you find this review on Affinity Photo helpful.

Now, question for you- Are you going to use Affinity Photo as your next Photoshop?

What features of Affinity Photo you like most? Have you ever used Affinity Photo? What was your experience with it?

Let me know your experience by leaving a comment below.