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Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
#3007811 09/12/19 06:43 PM
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Some of you know I've had a lengthy background as a graphic designer, having left my 28-year career in 2007 for opportunities to work primarily as a musician. Since then, I've supplemented my income as a freelancer and my software of choice/necessity has always been Adobe Creative Suite (later CC) - inDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop & Acrobat Pro.

Normally by this time of year, my principal design client has had me gearing up. But this year with a management change and the writing on the wall over the past few years, I'm not expecting much more. Which is okay, as I'm in my late 60's and have regular gigs I'm essentially semi-retired anyway.

Everyone knows the Adobe subscription model. The subscription cost (about $80 CDN per month) was all well and good when I could write it off, but now at this crossroads I'm looking for an alternative to Creative Suite without the Cloud... that I can pay for one time and update as necessary. I still need design tools but there must be a more cost-effective way.

Enter Affinity. Somehow this software has developed into a comprehensive Adobe competitor, with all aspects (from first-hand and what I've read) as powerful as inDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Affinity Publisher, Affinity Designer & Affinity Photo can do everything Adobe CC can do, and the PDF workflow is pro level. Affinity has yet to develop a version to rival Acrobat Pro, but surprisingly, a PDF made in Adobe can be opened natively in Affinity Publisher, edited and exported as a print-ready PDF.

The individual apps cost $69 (CDN) each, one shot. Free 10-day trial is available for each application, then you just buy the product key.

https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/


I'm still in the testing stages but so far, so good. I'm gonna buy the software, wait a bit before cancelling my Adobe subscription. Belts & suspenders, you know.



Rod
With the lights out, it’s less dangerous; go ahead now, entertain us,
I feel stupid and contagious; go ahead now, entertain us.
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Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
drawback #3007838 09/12/19 11:04 PM
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Hi Drawback. I have been using affinity for years. I now have all three: affinity photo, designer & publisher. Each is a first rate standalone program, but together they are a killer combination. They are well laid out, lovely to use and have excellent free video tutorials also. I highly recommend all of them.

I have completely broken free of Adobe now (and it feels so good, breathing in the nice fresh air outside that stifling enclosure...) As well as Affinity, I use Capture one for my photos - which I got to grips with in a surprisingly short space of time and which I infinitely prefer to Lightroom. What I hadn't anticipated was how much better my photos would look in Capture one. It works some magic which LR was incapable of (admittedly I only had LR 6) and seems able to recover far more of the highlights & shadows.


"Turn your fingers into a dust rag and keep them keys clean!" wink Bluzeyone
Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
drawback #3007844 09/12/19 11:40 PM
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Adobe pushed me away as a customer long ago, and I was delighted to find the Affinity alternatives. Nothing but good things to say, here.


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Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
drawback #3007869 09/13/19 02:01 AM
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Thanks for the replies, xKnuckles & LG. I had no idea this suite existed until a few days ago. Good news too about Capture – I’ll take a look.

It’s struck me that the catalyst for my search may have been the discussion re Native Instruments.

Cheers


Rod
With the lights out, it’s less dangerous; go ahead now, entertain us,
I feel stupid and contagious; go ahead now, entertain us.
Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
xKnuckles #3007881 09/13/19 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by xKnuckles
Hi Drawback. I have been using affinity for years. I now have all three: affinity photo, designer & publisher. Each is a first rate standalone program, but together they are a killer combination. They are well laid out, lovely to use and have excellent free video tutorials also. I highly recommend all of them.

I have completely broken free of Adobe now (and it feels so good, breathing in the nice fresh air outside that stifling enclosure...) As well as Affinity, I use Capture one for my photos - which I got to grips with in a surprisingly short space of time and which I infinitely prefer to Lightroom. What I hadn't anticipated was how much better my photos would look in Capture one. It works some magic which LR was incapable of (admittedly I only had LR 6) and seems able to recover far more of the highlights & shadows.



Hi xKnuckles,

I’ve been using LR6 for photo editing and was looking into Affinity and Capture One. At this point my editing and knowledge of software is pretty basic but I want to do more with it in the near future. Since you have both, could you tell me more about your experiences with these? There is a significant difference in price, but most importantly I’d like to get the one most appropriate for me.

Would you mind sharing your thoughts on the pros and cons with each?

Thanks!


Yamaha C2, Kurzweil PC3, Hammond SK1, Korg Kronos 2 61, Yamaha CP4
Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
drawback #3007894 09/13/19 10:03 AM
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Hi Hookie. Yes I would be happy to share my thoughts on those programs.

I had been using lightroom since 2016. I never took out a subscription so I had to stop at lightroom 6 as Adobe will not allow you to get any further updates unless you subscribe. Bear this in mind as my comments may not be relevant to the latest LR editions.

PROS: Excellent catalogue organisation / keywords etc.
Nice interface. Enjoyable to use.
Very popular so easy to talk about with fellow users.

CONS: Adobe's attitude in insisting that everyone subscribe. I refuse to subscribe to computer programs. I would have willingly paid for updates but Adobe does not allow it.
Because of this, newer camera raw files are unsupported by my version of LR.
EXPENSIVE! If you go along with the subscription.
ANNOYING to be being told to do things you don't want to do on your own computer.
There are serious limitations to Lr: no layers. Other tools are basic. Adobe expects you to use it in conjunction with photoshop. I have never owned photoshop, nor wanted to as by all accounts it is extremely complex to get ti grips with.

Capture One I have been using for only a month.
PROS: The price is very reasonable and is a non subscription. I have the Fuji version. I will have to pay for updates if I want them but that is fine with me.
The interface is a delight. Everything is at your fingertips. If moving from LR, you can set the interface to be similar to LR to start with. I did that for the first few days, but hen swapped to the Capture one default which is soooooo nice to use.
The program is very very powerful. It has layers and the ability to do things which LR could not begin to do. I have affinity also but really Capture one will do 99% of the things I need to do.
Using capture one is fast. It has speeded up my workflow by about a factor of 10. This is because the interface puts everything at your fingertips, but also because things are applied much more quickly by the program. Copying and pasting is almost instantaneous, whereas LR was always sluggish.
It has a good catalogue system and will import a complete LR catalogue complete with most edits.
It is straightforward to use. I am finding it easy. There is lots I still have to learn, but the basics are easy to get to grips with and there are excellent video to explain everything.
My photos are looking better. It seems to be able to find detail in the raw files which LR cannot.

CONS: The LR catalogue is superior. The Capture one catalogue is fine for me but could be improved. Keyywording is not as easy to organise as in LR.
There are no other cons. I adore the program.

Hope that helps. smile


"Turn your fingers into a dust rag and keep them keys clean!" wink Bluzeyone
Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
drawback #3007896 09/13/19 10:21 AM
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Oops... I see you wanted Affinity & Capture one...not LR and Capture one.
Easily remedied:

Affinity: I have had affinity photo since it was first released about 3 years ago. I have never used photoshop so cannot compare those two.

PROS: Beautifully laid out. Enjoyable to use. There are very good videos to help with it.
It does a great job of all of the more creative things. I have used it for cloning, layer work, focus stacking, etc.

Versatile and powerful. UnLimited layers, amazing tools for pretty well anything you would ever want to do.,

It is designed as a raw.editor but I have never developed raw images in it. I preferred to use LR or C1 because then they would be properly catalogued. Also, I think that after affinity has developed a raw file it cannot then revert back to the original raw state. My understanding is that those initial alterations are permanent. I prefer to always be able to undo everything.

All other things affinity does are entirely reversible.So if you put a TIFF or jpeg etc in it, you can do what you like and always return it to it's original state.

Very inexpensive.Incredible value for money.

If you get affinity designer at a later stage, you can use affinity photo to edit your photos whilst inside affinity designer. A sort of program within a program. Very powerful and useful.

CONS: No cataloguing.

Alters raw files permanently.


"Turn your fingers into a dust rag and keep them keys clean!" wink Bluzeyone
Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
drawback #3007897 09/13/19 10:23 AM
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If you want just one of those two programs, I would recommend getting capture one. That way you will have a good, well organised catalogue and be able to do pretty well everything you ever need to. Then, if in the future you decide that you want to do more fancy things, get Affinity to supplement it.

Last edited by xKnuckles; 09/13/19 10:24 AM.

"Turn your fingers into a dust rag and keep them keys clean!" wink Bluzeyone
Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
xKnuckles #3007946 09/13/19 04:27 PM
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Wow, xKnuckles, thanks for taking so much time and effort. I think you confirmed the direction I was leaning. Capture One is a no brainer. I’m especially looking forward to the layers and extensive control over color management. And I agree with you about Adobe, like many others, I’m not going back to them. Their attitude just turns me off - there are many other (better) choices out there.

Thanks again, you have been very helpful. Much obliged.


Yamaha C2, Kurzweil PC3, Hammond SK1, Korg Kronos 2 61, Yamaha CP4
Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
drawback #3007990 09/13/19 10:05 PM
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You are very welcome Hookie. Good luck! smile


"Turn your fingers into a dust rag and keep them keys clean!" wink Bluzeyone
Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
drawback #3008010 09/14/19 01:32 AM
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I'm just an amateur, but when Adobe went to subscription, I couldn't justify the expense so I bought an old iMac for $200 , and kept it running OS 10.6.8, just to be able to continue to use my Photoshop, InDesign, etc. It worked well for a while, but after a couple of years, I began to be unable to access too many web sites with the old (10.6.8 compatible) version of my favorite browser. I DLed Affinity Photo and Design today, but haven't done anything but open each to see that the trial works. My first thought was that Photo looked a lot like Gimp, which I have but haven't done much of anything with yet. I need more spare time!


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Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
drawback #3012173 10/13/19 04:44 PM
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Photo and Designer slow my iMac to a crawl! I spend endless time staring at the spinning pinwheel of death. My system meets their tech reqs. What gives??


"What's the point of living longer if you have to give up everything that makes life worth living to do so?"
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Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
drawback #3012175 10/13/19 04:48 PM
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Meeting software specs and running smoothly are, unfortunately, two different things.


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Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
Steve Nathan #3012176 10/13/19 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Steve Nathan
Photo and Designer slow my iMac to a crawl! I spend endless time staring at the spinning pinwheel of death. My system meets their tech reqs. What gives??

You say an old iMac? What are its specs? My old (2010) MBP wouldn’t even run Adobe CC, with 8GB RAM + SSD upgrades, so it was time to update hardware to an iMac 2016 (21.5-inch Retina 4K, 3.3GHz Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM).

Last edited by drawback; 10/13/19 05:11 PM.

Rod
With the lights out, it’s less dangerous; go ahead now, entertain us,
I feel stupid and contagious; go ahead now, entertain us.
Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
drawback #3012197 10/13/19 08:06 PM
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It's a 2011 iMac that easily handled Adobe CS when the OS was 10.6.8
Now it's Sierra, but Affinity isn't just slow, it locks up, pinwheel spins and after 20 minutes or so, I give, struggle to force quit because the program is "not responding" and the whole computer has turned to molasses.


"What's the point of living longer if you have to give up everything that makes life worth living to do so?"
Einstein (supposedly)

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https://www.musiciansforpensionsecurity.com/
Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
drawback #3012208 10/13/19 10:03 PM
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Steve, Adobe CS and CC are different; Creative Cloud is much more boated and system-hungry. My old 2010 MBP handled Creative Suite (CS3) just fine but hung up, like yours, when I began to subscribe to CC. I had to, I order to open more advanced files from clients, otherwise I would have stayed with CS. I’m pretty sure Affinity’s suite, with features on par with CC, is just as heavy on the system. This is kind of moot, because CS is 32-bit and now it won’t run on MacOS Catalina (but if your Mac is 2011 it may not be OS upgradable anyway). Might be better to stick with CS on your iMac at least until if and when you upgrade your hardware.

Last edited by drawback; 10/13/19 10:04 PM.

Rod
With the lights out, it’s less dangerous; go ahead now, entertain us,
I feel stupid and contagious; go ahead now, entertain us.
Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
drawback #3012229 10/14/19 01:14 AM
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I’ll bet Affinity’s tech support would help you sort it. Small developers are usually really good like that, and it’s probably something simple like some file it’s trying to access or such.


The great thing about music is that there's always something to learn. The frustrating thing about music is that there's always something to learn!
Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
drawback #3012240 10/14/19 03:08 AM
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Quote
Might be better to stick with CS on your iMac at least until if and when you upgrade your hardware.


I guess I'll try Affinity on one of me newer Macs before bailing on it. I literally bought this used iMac just to keep running CS, but it ended up being where I most often found myself browsing. After a few years, too many sites bitched that "my browser wasn't up to date" so I upped the OS and moved CS to a back-up startable with 10.6.8. I can easily replace this iMac with a newer one (especially since good quality used models are so cheap), and then maybe Affinity will be happy enough.


"What's the point of living longer if you have to give up everything that makes life worth living to do so?"
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https://www.musiciansforpensionsecurity.com/
Re: Way OT: Affinity - Alternative to Adobe CC
drawback #3012241 10/14/19 04:01 AM
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I find Adobe Photoshop Elements to be very usable and it is a one time purchase with a DVD for installation.

If I install Mac OS X Catalina I will lose the ability to run my Elements 2018.
Depending on what Apple puts in their latest version of photo software, I may not care.
I got all the experimenting with "heavy lifting" in photography out of my system back using CS2. At that point I had a friend who worked at Adobe and could get a fully licensed and registered copy from her (she was in marketing) for $45. Those days are long since gone.

Depending on what you need to work on, take a look at Corel Painter. It is an amazing program for imaging. I have version 2016, since I never seem to use it or my Intuos tablet I am just going to ignore both of them.


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