When comparing Affinity Photo vs Affinity Designer, the Slant community recommends Affinity Photo for most people. In the question“What are the best graphic design programs?” Affinity Photo is ranked 1st while Affinity Designer is ranked 9th. The most important reason people chose Affinity Photo is:
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Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Lifetime updates
Pay once, get updates forever.
Pro Interface will be familiar to those coming from Photoshop
The interface, especially the Photo persona, is laid out in way that's very similar to Photoshop - a panel for icons for tools on the left, a panel for information and settings on the right.
Pro Compatible with Photoshop PSD files
Affinity Photo can import and export .psd files.
Pro Great performance
Uses the GPU extensively for fast speed on any platform.
Pro Supports layer styles
Layer styles allow non-destructively applying effects to a layer.
Pro Personas allow separation of concerns
At a high level the interface is organized into broad groups of tools called Personas. Personas like Photo for in-depth image manipulation, Liquify for warping the image, Develop for basic RAW photo development and Export for exporting. Each persona displays only those tools that are needed for that task.
Pro Powerful effects
Dozens of visual effects available. All run extremely fast with live previews
Pro Non-destructive adjustment layers
Extensive adjustment layers are non-destructive.
Pro Everything is well organized
Easy to find and use tools.
Pro Runs faster than Photoshop's old code
Pro Lots and lots of undo
Pro The easiest, even easier than photoshop
Pro The perfect combination of Photoshop and Lightroom - all in one
Pro Supports Photoshop brushes, shapes, etc.
Pro Many tutorials
But still it does not actually matter which tutorial you're actually watching, Photoshop or Affinity's, they are pretty much the same.
Pro Very, very cheap for such an app
Pro Has an iPad app
Pro Decent functionality, 100% comparable with Photoshop
Pro Much more lightweight than photoshop
Pro RAW file editing
Pro HDR image editing
Pro Powerful, cheap and lightweight
Pro Very modern and intuitive interface
Pro Color correction
Pro Very fast to learn
Takes about 20 mins, it's that easy.
Pro Growing decently fast
Pro Panorama creation
Pro Imports free images from Unsplash
Pro One-time purchase
Rather than a monthly subscription based model, Affinity Designer instead has a one-time fee ($49.99).
Pro Intuitive user interface
The user interface of many graphic editing software programs can often be discouraging for beginners. Affinity Designer, however, has a very well laid out and intuitive user interface with a small learning curve.
Pro Powerful artistic tools
Extensively tweakable brush types, color options...
Pro Extended slicing and export possibilities
An object can easily be transformed into a slice that can then be exported in various sizes end formats in 1 go. E.g. Export slice A as PNG 1x, 2x and 3x AND GIF 1x AND SVG.
Pro Powerful symbol managemment
Symbols can get individual property changes (color, shape, layer effects, fonts text...) while the other properties stay linked with the base symbol.
Pro Sketch Alternative (Great for Mixed OS Teams)
For those working in mixed environments that aren't 100% MacOS, you'll find devoting yourself to Sketch.app brings with it...pain. If this fits the bill for what you need feature-wise and you're in a mixed OS environment, it's a very capable replacement for Sketch.app. Note that it doesn't have all the same features, but then again it doesn't need all the same features. Short of organization differences inside the document you're working on, there shouldn't be anything you can't do with Affinity Designer that you could have with Sketch.
Pro Cross platform
Available on both Windows and MacOS
Pro SVG Support
In the era of "retina" displays, 4k UHD, 5k, and even 8k, Scalar Vector Graphics - independent vector images that can scale to any resolution without any display quality loss - are more important now than ever.
And this tool is quite capable of rendering true SVG output suitable for consumption at any display resolution (not a big bunch of rasterized bits in the document, actual paths, points, etc.).
Pro Focused vector graphics tool
Unlike some design tools, Affinity Designer isn't trying to be all things to all people. It's focused on its main area of expertise: vector graphics. That's not to say you can't use a raster image (think a photo in *.jpeg format for example), but it's not built to do much with that other than using it somewhere amidst the layers and that's about it.
Pro Integrates well with Affinity Photo
These are companion apps & switching between them is built in - Photo is a very powerful raster tool with a feature set close/better to Photoshop, it will also use some Photoshop plugins. This allows you to add-on powerful raster capabilities if you want them - put doesn't force you to.
Pro Excellent Photoshop/Illustrator import & export
Best I have seen in a non Adobe app, you can use most of the Photoshop mock-ups and templates easily. Opens most Adobe files to a level to be able to effectively use the content. Allows cross team collaboration across tool-chains.
The new version 1.5 has a very powerful feature set such as support for symbols and asset windows, as well as constraints controls and improved export options. This all adds up to an interesting alternative to Adobe Illustrator.
Con Limited selection of plugins
Plugin support was only recently added to AP and not many plugins have been created for the program so far.
Con Can not import gimp or krita files
Free alternatives like GIMP (and Krita) are sort of "go to" apps you can always install and use for simple image editing or graphics on any computer. Affinity's support for Photoshop is great, but having support also for opening and editing GIMP and Krita files would make the versatility and use of this program absolutely superb.
Con No plug-in architecture, so can't be tailored to specific purposes
Some applications (e.g. Sketch) have an open plug-in framework, by which the software can be extended by independent/third-party developers according to popular trends.
Con Treats all objects as filled
You can't select objects on the canvas by clicking on them, if they're surrounded by another object (like a rectangle or a frame). Designer treats all objects as filled, so if you've drawn a frame or outline or an object with a hole in it, you can't select objects within that hole directly. You have to laboriously iterate through all objects in a list until you get to the one you want. This is an extremely common situation, which cripples the entire product. Very surprising and unfortunate defect.