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Affinity Photo verses Photoshop?

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#1 Edski



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Posted 26 August 2019 - 06:26 AM

Newbie question

Anyone with experience successfully using Affinity Photo verses Photoshop in astrophotography?   

Most posts I read folks process using Photoshop and for good reason as its a powerful tool, but as I am just starting out, the price tag is a bit much.

Sometimes you get what you pay for, sometimes you waist money when good alternative cost effective products are available.   Looking to sort this one out?

All thoughts are welcome


#2 Ed Wiley

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Posted 26 August 2019 - 09:08 AM

I picked Luminar. Relatively inexpensive and does a lot. Never tried Affinity Photo. I also use Lightroom (stand alone version) for some tasks. But that is for regular photography and putting some final touches on DSLR astrophotos. I sprung for PixInsight for most astrophoto processing. But don't take my word for it, I mostly process science images and not astrophotos.



Edited by Ed Wiley, 26 August 2019 - 09:11 AM.

#3 rgsalinger


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Posted 26 August 2019 - 09:46 AM

I really don't see why you can't use any image processing program as long as it meets a couple of criteria. First, it has to be able to handle 16 bit TIFF files (or better) that are really large. Second, it has to allow for masking and layers so that you can control your results. Finally, at a minimum, it has to allow you to stretch and image. If it can do those three things, then it's worth looking at.


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#4 russ.carpenter



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Posted 26 August 2019 - 11:12 AM

Many astro processors use both PixInsight and a general purpose photo processing program. They go back and forth between the two programs with 16 bit TIFFs.


In my case I use PixInsight and Affinity Photo. They work very well together. 

#5 FlankerOneTwo


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Posted 26 August 2019 - 12:41 PM

I have both Photoshop (older CS6 version) and Affinity Photo. Affinity Photo appears to do at least 90% of what you can do with Photoshop, at a much lower cost and with similar interface, including layers and (IIRC) channels. At the moment I don't remember what specific things you can't do in Affinity Photo, but I don't recall there being anything that would limit your ability to use it for astrophotography. Affinity will run some Photoshop plugins, but did not seem to work with AstraImage last time I tried it. I can't remember if I tried Gradient XTerminator or not.

#6 D_talley



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Posted 27 August 2019 - 11:18 PM

Affinity Photo will do one thing that Photoshop can't--work with 32 bit file. If you are using DeepSky Stacker and want to work with the autosave file it creates, photoshop will choke on it. Affinity Photo has no problem working with the 32 bit autosave file.  Also if you have a desire to stack macro photo files, Affinity photo makes it very easy to process a lot of large files in short time. I use it all the time to stack over 250 macro shots at a time. 

#7 mikefulb


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Posted 28 August 2019 - 02:56 PM

I downloaded the trial and did some quick processing of some SHO data.


My usual workflow is to stack in APP, stretch/blend in PI and then use the color tools in PS to "season to taste".


This time I just pulled the stacked linear images into Affinity Photo (AP) and stretched them there.  It did this fine.  My version of PS (CS3) would choke on 32 bit floating point TIFF files but AP worked with it fine.


Once I had the S/H/O all stretched in AP I combined them into an RGB image.  I used a gradient map for each filter to blend them as Red/Green/Blue.


Then I used Selective Color adjustment layers to tweak the final palette.


Overall I'd say for my processing AP does everything I need as far as the post-processing I would usually do in PS.


One negative I noticed is there is currently (afaik) no full screen preview in Windows.  It exists for Mac but it uses MacOS functionality to remove the menu and window borders.  The best you can do is remove most of the UI but the menubar and window decorations remain.  I really like to work in a full screen mode for PS so that is something I would hope they address.


I found most operations were similar enough to PS that I think anyone proficient in PS could figure things out reasonably quickly.


Anyhow for $49 I would say if someone is starting out and already had something like APP or PI to stack and do some early processing then AP would be a good substitute to PS and avoiding the perpetual "Adobe tax" PS has now.

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