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.
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.
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: