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Affinity Photo 2’s Best New Features: the best 360 photo editor gets even better (and what’s missing)

Affinity Photo 2 - best 360 photo editor

Affinity Photo is arguably the best photo editor for 360 photos, and with the release of Affinity Photo 2 (alongside Designer 2 and Publisher 2), it has become even better.  Here are some of its key features.

Affinity Photo is my favorite photo editor for 360 photos because it lets me easily switch back and forth to a non-360 view of a 360 photo, and lets me use almost any filter or effect in combination with the non-360 view.  Affinity Photo can also handle 16-bit files, whereas Photoshop has limited editing capabilities for 16-bit and 32-bit files.  Best of all, Affinity Photo is an affordable one-time purchase, unlike Photoshop, which requires a subscription.

Affinity has now released Photo 2, the new version of Affinity Photo, with many improvements.  Here’s a brief overview of some of its features, by Robin Whalley.

Nondestructive Raw Editing

Affinity Photo 2 will now let you develop raw files nondestructively, undoing any changes and readjusting them at any time in your editing process.

Luminosity Range Masks

Photo 2 has a new feature called Luminosity Range Masks.  It enables you to create masks based on the luminosity of the image, using a curve similar to Blend Range.  For example, you can create a mask that affects only the highlights, or only the shadows.

Frequency Separation Masks

Frequency separation is a technique for applying adjustments based on level of detail.  For example, an adjustment can be made to affect only fine high frequency details such as hair.  Photo 2’s new Band-Pass Mask lets you create frequency separation masks just by dragging sliders.

Compound Masks

Masks can now be combined, and you can change how they interact with each other.  For example, you can combine a Luminosity Range Mask that targets highlights, and a Hue Range masks that targets reds, so that the compound mask affects only red highlights.  Or you can combine them so that the mask will affect either highlights or red-toned parts of the image.

What’s Missing

Although Affinity Photo 2 is greatly improved, it still doesn’t have equivalents for some features on Photoshop or Lightroom.  For example, I wish Affinity Photo 2 had the equivalent of Photoshop’s automatic subject selection and sky selection.  I also wish Photo 2’s Develop module had Radial Gradient and Linear Gradient like Lightroom (although it is possible to simulate those with Compound Masks).

Affinity Photo 2 is available for a 30-day free trial or you can purchase it for a one-time payment of $40 — no subscriptions.  Alternatively, you can purchase the entire Affinity suite (including Publisher 2 and Designer 2, for Windows, Mac and iPad) for $99,  Meanwhile, here’s a more detailed presentation by Affinity:

About the author

Mic Ty


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    • Thanks Marco. It would be amazing if Affinity could make a competitor to Lightroom that could edit multiple photos as you said. But right now Photo 2 is not designed to do that, so I thought it would not be fair. But if Affinity makes a Lightroom alternative, I will be celebrating for sure!

  • Thanks Mic. I was expecting ur YT vid on this but linked vid I guess got it covered already. Would be nice too if Affinity got mobile version too (Android & iOS). Myb v3…

    • Thanks for counting on me, Richard. I’m actually working on a few videos, including the PilotPano launch, so I didn’t have the time to make a video about Affinity Photo. But Robin Whalley did a good job pointing out some of the most interesting features.

    • I tried a demo today. No EXIF panorama export options.
      The program’s great for editing panos, but your have to inject them with metadata using another tool.
      Not worth the upgrade for me.