Affinity Photo's upcoming version 1.5 could give Photoshop a run for its money

Adobe might rule the roost in the world of creative applications, but Serif has made its name known and continues to put out impressive features with each new update to its Affinity suite of creative apps. And according to its latest announcement, Serif is only getting started.

In an email sent out yesterday to Affinity customers, Serif said its photo editing program Affinity Photo will receive an extensive update later this year that will add a handful of new features, including the ability to merge HDR images, edit 360 degree images, focus stack photos, batch edit, record macros, and more.

According to the demonstration video, the beta should be available within the next month, with the final version of Affinity Photo 1.5 due out by early October.

Below, we’ll break down a few of the new features shown off in the video.

First up is HDR import/merge. Now, when you capture a series of photographs for an HDR images, you can bring them directly into Affinity Photo, where they will be merged into a single 32-bit linear color space image. The resulting image will be very flat, but this is done so that you can get the most information out of every pixel in the image using Affinity Photo’s new tone mapping workspace.

A look at the new 360 degree photo editing features in Affinity Photo 1.5
A look at the new 360 degree photo editing features in Affinity Photo 1.5

Next up is the new 360 degree support. As virtual reality cameras become more ubiquitous than ever, more 360-degree photos will be captured. In Affinity Photo 1.5, you will be able to go in and edit a 360-degree photo as you would any other image, all while panning around the image as it would be seen in a dedicated viewing app.

Third on the list is focus stacking. When capturing macro photographs, there are many times when you need to get more in focus than a single exposure would allow. Now, much like the HDR merging, Affinity Photo will be able to automatically sort through a collection of images and stack the focus so your depth of field is exactly as you want it.

A look at the new HDR merge and tone mapping workflow features in Affinity Photo 1.5
A look at the new HDR merge and tone mapping workflow features in Affinity Photo 1.5

To wrap it all up, Serif has also added the ability to batch edit photographs and record macros — the latter of which is synonymous to creating actions in Photoshop.

Overall, Affinity Photo 1.5 appears to be a massive update to an already impressive application. Between the HDR merging, focus stacking capabilities and 360-degree editing features, it seems as though Serif is making it a point to bring any and all features into a single application.

It hasn’t been easy going up against the Adobe giant, but if Serif continues to impress and improve, there’s little doubt it’ll make its dent in the market. Especially with photographers who weren’t happy about Adobe’s switch to a subscription platform.

If you’re interested in trying out Affinity Photo, it’s 20 percent off through tomorrow, bringing the price down to 30 pounds ($40). The update will be free when it rolls out later this year.


Not just for Lightroom anymore, Loupedeck+ now works with Photoshop

Loupedeck+ can now help photographers edit in Photoshop too, thanks to physical controls for swapping tools, running actions, and more. The photo-editing console expanded to include Photoshop in the list of compatible editing programs.

Need a monitor for professional photo-editing? These are the very best

Looking for the best monitor for photo editing? You'll need to factor in brightness, color accuracy, color gamut support and more. Fortunately, we've rounded up the best ones for you, to help you make an educated purchase.

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.

Photographers can now customize the layout of Lightroom Classic controls

Tired of scrolling past Lightroom tools that you don't use? Adobe Lightroom Classic now allows users to reorganize the Develop panel. The update comes along with new sharing options in Lightroom CC, and updates to the mobile Lightroom app.
Social Media

Instagram could be making a special type of account for influencers

Instagram influencers fall somewhere between a business profile and a typical Instagram, so the company is working on developing a type of account just for creators. The new account type would give creators more access to analytical data.

Leave the laptop at home, the iPad Pro is the travel buddy to take on vacay

The iPad Pro is a powerful tablet that's perfect for creatives and professionals. How does it fare when traveling with it as a laptop replacement? We took it on a two week trek in Japan to find out.

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…

These are the best action cameras money can buy

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.

Canon holiday sale features the Rebel T6 2-lens kit for just $449

If you have a budding photographer in your life in need of a real camera, the Canon EOS Rebel T6 could make the perfect gift. Canon is currently offering the camera in a two-lens bundle for just $449 through December 29.
Emerging Tech

Light, speed: Lighting kit for DJI Mavic 2 lets you fly and film in the dark

Lume Cube, maker of small battery-powered LED lights for mobile photography, has announced a new lighting kit built specifically for the DJI Mavic 2 -- the first of its kind. Already our favorite drone, this makes the Mavic 2 even better.
Social Media

Instagram’s 2018 year in review shines a light on where our hearts are

What did Instagram users share the most in 2018? A lot of heart emojis, heart face filters, and heart GIFs. The platform recently shared the year's top trends, including hashtags like #fortnite and #metoo along with a few surprises.

Want a fun, affordable instant camera? The Fujifilm Instax Mini 7S is just $49

Instant cameras have had a surprising resurgence of late, and no brand is better recognized in the instant photo space today than Fujifilm Instax. Walmart is currently offering the Instax Mini 7S for just $49.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.