The best 360 photo editing software — Affinity Photo — got an update that made some operations “up to 10 times faster than before,” claims its developer.
I love Adobe Lightroom Classic for managing my photos, and I like Photoshop’s Adobe Camera Raw for developing Raw images. But for editing 360 photos such as correcting stitching errors and patching nadirs, my favorite app is Affinity Photo. With Affinity Photo, switching between equirectangular and 360 view makes much more sense than Photoshop’s awkward interface designed for 3D images. Affinity also lets you use almost any filter or effect in 360 view. Affinity can also edit 16-bit 360 photos, unlike Photoshop which is virtually unusable for 16-bit 360 photos (the colors and contrast become wildly different).
Although Affinity Photo has more powerful features for 360 photo editing, it is surprisingly much more affordable than Photoshop. Instead of an expensive monthly subscription, it is a one-time $49 purchase, which makes it an absolute no-brainer if you edit 360 photos, even if you never use it for anything else.
Now, with this free update to 1.10, Affinity Photo is also faster than before. Or is it?
I tried editing a 200+ megapixel 360 photo in TIFF from a recent virtual tour I shot, and not only was Affinity noticeably more responsive, but it also seemed less prone to crashing. To be fair, I haven’t had the chance to test the update extensively, but so far, I am very happy with it. You can download the update here.
If you are new to Affinity Photo but you already know Photoshop, then in my opinion, it’s pretty easy to learn. I frequently switch between Affinity Photo and Photoshop easily because most of the processes are similar or analogous. If you want to learn either one for 360 photo editing, check out Virtual Tour Edge 2.0 or HQ Method. Here is a sample shot with Theta Z1, edited in Affinity Photo using techniques from VTE.