We independently review everything we recommend. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.

Even Though It Includes Many New Features, Affinity Photo 2 Is Still Available Without a Monthly Fee.

The second version of Serif’s Affinity Creative Suite has been released, and it comes with a long number of improvements for the Designer, Photo, and Publisher applications—all of which continue to be available without the need for a subscription.

Affinity Photo 2 brings ten brand-new capabilities to the platform, all of which are detailed in the following paragraphs. On the Serif website, you can get a comprehensive analysis of both the Affinity Designer 2 and the Affinity Publisher 2 programs.

RAW Develop Mode That Is Not Destructive

Affinity Photo 2 now supports something that Serif refers to as non-destructive RAW development. This enables editors to go back at any moment and modify the development settings, even after adding extra layers or tweaks to the picture. The program gives editors the option to either embed a document file or link to an external location, which can help minimize the overall size of the files.

Composite Facemasks

Through the use of operations such as add, intersect, remove, and XOR, editors are given the ability to non-destructively combine numerous mask layers by utilizing the compound masks feature. According to Serif, this indicates that individual masks that have been developed may be retained in a non-destructive manner while simultaneously constructing new masks depending on the component components of the existing masks.

Live Warp of the Mesh

Live Mesh Warp enables editors to apply a non-destructive warp to an image or file so that it may be warped to match the surface of an underlying template. This allows the image or file to be distorted to fit the contours of the template. According to Serif, it is extremely useful for mock-up work, in which users may insert document files and composite them into surfaces such as book or magazine pages. Serif believes it is particularly effective for this type of work.

Normals Adjustment

Normals Adjustment is a function that was added to Affinity Photo 2 by Serif. This tool allows editors to adjust the lighting information that is already present on current normal maps. Photographers may not find this option to be all that helpful, but it was included anyway. The business claims that it is an excellent standalone tool for texture artists, but it also makes it possible to adjust lighting layers that have been created by 3D rendering software.

Live Masks

A large portion of what Serif has introduced to Affinity Photo 2 is predicated on the concept of doing non-destructive adjustments, and Live Masks is just another example of this. It gives editors the ability to construct several non-destructive processes that can be updated automatically based on the characteristics of the picture that is being worked on.

Hue Range

The Hue Range tool gives editors the ability to construct a mask for an image that is based on a certain color in the picture. This mask may then be used to make modifications, effects, or simply to paint on top of the automatically generated mask for the hue that the user has selected.

Band-Pass

The Band-Pass filter generates a mask that is concentrated at the image’s borders. It permits the development of what Serif refers to as creative effects and, according to the company, offers a wide range of applications for retouchers who work on multiple frequency layers.

Luminosity

Within Affinity Photo 2, editors now have the ability to hide certain brightness ranges. By way of illustration, they are able to mask particular ranges of highlights or shadows (or everything in between) in order to apply controlled modifications to those particular regions.

Layer States That Were Saved

Affinity Photo 2 now has support for saved layer states, which enables editors to preserve various visible stages of their layer stack. This enables them to rapidly assess various design possibilities or different versions of their work.

“Either create a manual layer state to save your layer visibility as it currently is or smart layer states which allow you to specify whether you want to turn layers on or off based on one or more of the following filter criteria: layer color tag, layer type, layer name, and lock status,” Serif explains. “Manual layer states allow you to save your layer visibility as it currently is.” “Smart layer states allow you to specify whether you want to turn layers on or off based on one or more of these filter criteria

JPEG XL Import/Export

Last but not least, JPEG XL is now supported by Affinity Photo 2, enabling editors to export their work to a format that is gaining increasing adoption, particularly on web browsers, for broad color gamut and high dynamic range photos. Additionally, some HDR screens are able to accept this format.

Help for the iPad

Affinity Photo 2 is also available for use on iPad, and it has been enhanced to make the most of the higher memory constraints that have been a part of the platform ever since the release of iOS 15. Users of iPadOS 16 will also have the additional advantage of the new virtual memory swap, which significantly improves efficiency while working with extremely big documents.

In addition, all of the Serif Affinity apps include a new command controller radial menu that provides fast access to common modifiers on all tools, as well as a quick menu that provides fast access to clipboard options and nine customizable shortcut operations with a three-finger swipe. Both of these features can be found in the same place. Finally, a new compact mode has been added to the layers panel and the brush panel, which enables editors to keep these panels open while still making the most of the available space in the document.

Cost and Obtainability of the Item

The full version of Serif Affinity Photo 2 can be purchased separately for $70 (now discounted to $41), while the iPad app can be purchased for $20 (currently discounted to $12). Additionally, you can get it as part of a three-software package for the price of $170 with a Universal License that includes Publisher 2 and Designer 2. This Universal License also enables the use of Affinity Photo 2, Affinity Designer 2, and Affinity Publisher 2 on Macs, PCs, and iPads simultaneously for a single cost that covers everything.

At launch, this bundle is available at a discount of 40%, bringing the total price of the Universal License package down to $100 with no additional fees. The length of time that Serif will continue to provide this discount was not disclosed. On Serif’s website, you can find links to all available payment methods.