Photos App to something better (Affinity Photo)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by gui0312, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. gui0312 macrumors 6502

    gui0312

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    #1
    Hi guys, I am ready to move on from Apple's Photos. Don't get me wrong I think its a nice app but I think I am ready for something better. I have been taking a look at the Affinity Photo app for Mac. I have used Adobe Photoshop in the past but felt a little overwhelmed with it. I have read many negative reviews about elements on Mac. Has anyone used Affinity Photos? It's currently on sale on the App store and they also have a free trial that I will be downloading. I have a new MBP w/ Touchbar, Canon 6D and the IP7+ and like to shoot in RAW. Thanks for the input!
     
  2. dennysanders macrumors 6502

    dennysanders

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    off topic, but what is the benefit of shooting in RAW? sorry if that's a silly question; i'm still learning
     
  3. gui0312 thread starter macrumors 6502

    gui0312

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    #3
    No problem! I'm pretty new myself however, RAW basically is the uncompressed, highest quality image your sensor will collect from a shot. When you shoot in JPEG for example, your camera will process the image for you often losing a lot of the details in the picture you may or may not want. Also exposure being one of the most important aspects of shooting is much easily corrected with RAW images. It's not always possible to get the exposure perfect in a pinch, at least not for us amateurs. I'm sure there are a lot of youtubers out there that can give a more thorough explanation.
     
  4. dennysanders macrumors 6502

    dennysanders

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2015
    Location:
    Oregon
    #4
    thanks! i appreciate you taking the time to explain that to me! i may look into that a little deeper.
     
  5. 400 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2015
    Location:
    Wales
    #5
    Personally I like Affinity, the recent upgrade has a nice extension where you can edit a picture, the raw version right into Affinity and beam it back to Apple Photos. That is keeping Photo's as the manager. The upgrade also has a lot of new features worth looking at.

    From my own personal stand point, I do not want to buy into an annual subscription with Adobe, always felt that the stand alone version of Elements was a bit too much for my needs to justify upgrading at those costs.

    Wanting to get into the iCloud way of things across a few iDevices and using Photos as the management, then edit in Affinity quite seamlessly fits the bill for me. That meant I had to drop my Adobe Elements organiser and let Photos do its thing and re organise stuff.

    To be clear, I shoot RAW as well then edit from that. I will import to Photos form the camera then edit in Affinity using the extension to send the RAW direct from Photo's to Affinity.

    Have a read of their help pages, very useful videos there as well. The forums are very good for support as well.
     
  6. Somepix macrumors member

    Somepix

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2008
    Location:
    Beauce, Québec
    #6
    I'm a former Apertur user.

    Now I use Photos to manage and light edit, and Affinity Photo for serious (?) editing, panos, stacks...

    There's a learning curve for both apps, but lots of tutorials and support are available, so ... keep it simple and shoot ;)
     
  7. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #7
    Some alternatives to Photos:

    Adobe Lightroom as part of Adobe CC Photography subscription. I doubt standalone Lr will be available in the years to come.

    Phase One's Capture One Pro.

    On1 Software's Photo RAW (just released) is their latest version.

    Macphun Luminar was just released but it does not have a browser yet. They said that was on their roadmap.
     
  8. Reality4711 macrumors 6502

    Reality4711

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    scotland
    #8
    Ex-Adobe Pro here.

    Affinity is a very good editor. Cannot speak for the Photos connection but 'they' say it works well.

    Affinity Photo (AP) has its foibles but like any other software once the thinking behind it is learned the flow is fast and satisfying. I do not use the deepest functions as I have no need but reading the forum posts I am sure professionals and hobbyists will find it highly productive.

    In good light with the goal of fast posting on the web shooting jpg's has its place; publishing your work or printing really does require the use of RAW file production. Your camera, I think, can produce both simultaneously so you have the option to see the differences and make your own mind up.

    Regards Sharkey
     
  9. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #9
    Affinity Photo is a great application, but it's more of a Photoshop alternative than a Photos alternative. Yes, it can do some great editing. You might find it easier to use than Ps, but then again Ps has so many educational resources available. It's pretty powerful.

    What it lacks is any organizational function to speak of. But you can use Photos for that, it just requires a little work with your workflow.

    You might look at Macphun's stuff too. I think it's even easier to use than AP, and certainly easier than Ps, but it can do quite a lot. And I think it integrates a bit better with Photos, although to be fair I don't use Photos that extensively. AP's Photos extensions give you access to subsets of AP's features. Macphun's extensions more or less kick you into their full applications. Neither offers as complete a RAW workflow as say Capture One, On1 or Lightroom/Ps, but that's down to the limitations of Photos. And most people don't need that anyway.
     
  10. JungleNYC macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2014
    #10
    As a very, very sad Aperture fan…I understand where you are :)

    I used to keep EVERYTHING in Aperture: DSLR pics, iPhone snaps, and videos.

    After Aperture was kicked to the curb I looked into Lightroom, but ultimately decided against being tethered to Adobe for the rest of my life (my PS is CS5, and it's still way more than I'll ever need, and I already paid for it once).

    So I decided to bifurcate my workflow: embrace Photos for everything iPhone: photos and videos. And I decided on Capture One Pro for all my DSLR stuff.

    Capture One is the best RAW converter out there, and (if you get over the learning curve and UI curve, which aren't drastic…but are a little different) you'll be using what most pros use, and getting some great images. Sure, Lightroom has some different features (some for the better, some not), but for me the subscription model was the real deal-breaker.

    The only downside (imo) of Capture One is that its Catalog/database is absolutely terrible. If you're coming from Aperture you might want to break things after dealing with it. But Aperture was the gold-standard of DAM, and Lightroom isn't much better with large libraries than Capture One, so…unfortunately I would say you're probably not going to love any DAM as much as Aperture. Hopefully Capture One addresses this in their next major update, because if they did they would gain a lot more marketshare.

    Affinity and Photoshop are for pretty heavy duty photo manipulation and retouching, and even image creation. I use Photoshop quite often, but rarely for my photos. If you are doing "photography" Affinity might be overkill for you, even though it's not quite as deep as PS.

    As others have mentioned you should really check out Luminar, by Macphun. It runs stand-alone AND as a Photos extension. It's by far the best "mid level" photo editor I've ever seen. It has some really great "one click" filters and things (think Instagram filters, but way way better quality). But it also has layers and masks and some decent retouching tools (I'd say almost as good as Aperture's), so you can deal with 99% of the stuff you need with Luminar + Photos (as the library).

    This is not a scientific chart, but in my mind this is the "ease of use" list:

    Photos
    Luminar
    Lightroom
    Capture One
    Affinity
    Photoshop
     
  11. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #11
    Depends on the raw file. For many formats, especially Fuji, I agree. Personally I like DxO as it is a standalone raw converter I can invoke from Lightroom, Photo RAW, Photos (if I were desperate enough to use that). With DxO Optics you may want a DAM up front and then styling apps later such as Luminar or the Creative Kit apps.
     
  12. Reality4711, Jan 22, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017

    Reality4711 macrumors 6502

    Reality4711

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2009
    Location:
    scotland
    #12
    Reference DAM.
    My system uses FRV for all new images (I only use RAW). I do not use any of the FRV for editing.

    I open my choice of RAW file in Affinity, edit it accordingly and export the final image to a File set aside for that year/month in Photographs on my internal hard drive. This year's Raws are also kept on this drive so that they and this year's completed images are fast to access.

    My Adobe Bridge is always on and provides all the browsing needs for the completed images whether on the internal HD or archive on an external SSD. The previous yearly archives are also on the external SSD.

    Reading this it looks a lot more complex than it is. Using two browsers really does facilitate speed and is simple to use.

    Regards Sharkey

    NB. note the signature change - my set up is that good I didn't think it necessary to keep the MacPro and I was right; the display was not colour reliable so both have moved to my wife's desk where they get a lot more work to do.:D
     
  13. aerok macrumors 65816

    aerok

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2011
    #13
    I know many RAW converters are better than Lightroom but I really rely on the Library and Catalog on the Lightroom so I am stuck with it.
     
  14. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #14
    Having used a lot of those, I don't think you're missing much. See this for example: http://www.nomadlens.com/raw-converters-comparison

    It's very thorough, and I don't think much as changed. The take away is that out of the box one or the other might look better for you, or even what the software that came with your camera produces. Much of what is "best" is down to what you are trying to achieve with the photo. And sometimes where one application seems to have a better algorithm for say pulling detail out of shadows, another might be better at doing that with highlights. And both might produce too much noise or other problems in doing so. And with each you can adjust a whole range of other parameters to get the result you want. It's probably the rare photographer who absolutely has to go out and buy DxO, eg, because only it can do the haze removal on photos the photographer needs; usually with some work you can achieve pretty much the same result with the others. So your portraits might get better results with less tweaking with one product, landscapes with another. But someone else could come to the exact opposite conclusion.

    That being said, in some areas, like lens corrections, or speed of producing conversion for a particular camera model, or supporting a particular feature (like say pixel shift for Oly), then yeah, some may be very different.

    And BTW, many play nice with Lr. Macphun and DxO, for example. Or Mylio. Use their RAW conversion instead of Lr's, but use them as plugins so you're still organizing in Lr. Or one of the open source alternatives, or even the command line with dcraw. Or the software that came with your camera.
     
  15. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #15

    Or use Photo Mechanic or other DAM, a standalone raw converter such as DxO Optics, and then the styling apps of your choice such as the MacPhun apps.
     
  16. mattspace macrumors 6502

    mattspace

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #16
    something not often appreciated about RAW, is that it's actually a super-compact file format, when compared to TIFF, which is the alternative for full-fat non-lossy quality. For example, my d800's 36mp sensor produces RAWs that come to 40-50mb in size. TIFF versions of the same images are 80-120mb in size.
     
  17. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #17
    That is why if I need a raw conversion better that Adobe, Apple, or On1 can deliver....I send the original raw file to DxO Optics and get back a DNG, not a TIFF file.
     

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