Is Affinity Photo Good for Beginners? [The Facts Explained]

Adobe Photoshop has been the most popular photo editing app for years. Despite its status, it can be difficult for beginners to use because of all the menus and options. Competing apps like Affinity Photo have surfaced in recent years to try to bridge the gap, but is Affinity Photo good for beginners like its counterpart?

Affinity Photo is good for beginners because it is easy to understand and master, and it is more affordable than a Photoshop license.

Affinity Photo is considered one of the first choice software for professionals in the photography industry. So, read on to find out more about Affinity Photo and its user-friendly features.

Is Affinity Photo Beginner Friendly?

Many people want good photo editing software that can create high-quality products without the complexity that some products need to achieve them. Affinity Photo provides all of the basic features and more in a user-friendly way.

The Affinity Photo interface is reportedly easy to understand and use. Here are some reasons why:

  1. All of the basic photo editing tools are easily accessible, even though the advanced features require more learning to use.
  2. The processing speed on the app is fast, meaning that slowdowns will not get in the way of creativity.
  3. Affinity Photo is also more affordable for a wide variety of users because you only have to pay one price to access the full software, instead of using a subscription package that requires you to pay a monthly or weekly fee.

Affinity Photo has all of the tools beginners and amateurs need to edit photos and feel confident in the final product.

Beginner’s Tips to Get the Most Out of Affinity Photo

Want some advice on how to optimize and get your money’s worth out of Affinity Photo? Follow these tips to find advanced editing features and create the best photo edits possible.

Use Layers to Keep Your Editing Project Organized

Just like other photo editing apps, Affinity Photo has the option to separate your work into layers. Layers allow you to move, change, and delete things without affecting your entire edit. Text, vectors and other things you add to the image will get their own layer, making them easy to change at any time.

Separate major edits you make into their own layers, so you can see the before and after and compare the final products. This will allow you to make better decisions on the direction of your edit. They can also help you track progress, because you can see what has been done and what has not.

Make Your Images Better Using Adjustment Layers

Adjustment layers give you the freedom to make changes to the color and tone of your pictures.

To add or remove shadows from your picture, use the shadows and highlights adjustment layers and use the sliders to adjust to your liking. To change the brightness or contrast of an image, use the brightness/contrast adjustment layer, and so on.

Use Selections to Reduce the Amount of Adjustment Layers

If you only want to enhance or change the main subject of the image you are editing, you can select the main subject using the selection brush before choosing adjustment layers to add to it. You can do the same for all of the other parts of the image.

An Easier Way to Export Images in Different Formats

To save time when choosing to export your image in a different format, go to the file menu and select Export. From there, select the file type you want to use. This is much quicker than using the Export persona.

Set Affinity Photo to Autosave to Always Have the Latest Version of Your Photos

To avoid losing your work in case of a software or computer crash, or user error, you should enable Autosave on Affinity Photo.

To do this:

  1. Go to the Preferences menu
  2. Go to Performance
  3. Change the File Recovery Interval to less than 600 seconds

Now, let’s look at the next tip below.

Use Live Filters to Avoid Destroying Your Work

The usual way to prevent photo destruction when adding filters is to duplicate the layer you are adding the filter to, then add the filter. However, filters for features like sharpening and clarity are added directly to the main photo and ruin the image.

To avoid this effect in most apps, you would have to duplicate the main layer twice and then add sharpening or the effect of your choice. Luckily, Affinity Photo has a feature called live filters that saves you from doing this. Live filters function the same way as normal filters, but they are already added to a separate layer which prevents the image from being destroyed.

Pros of Affinity Photo vs. Photoshop

There are more pros to using Affinity Photo.

They include:

  1. Newer code: Affinity Photo is new and fresh compared to Photoshop. It was built using new code meaning that it is optimized and fast compared to Photoshop which has been around for at least 25 years.
  2. Easy to use: Affinity Photo has some of the same features as Photoshop, but the layout is easier to understand and all of the photo editing features are labeled and easily adjustable.
  3. Cheaper option: Affinity Photo is also more cost-effective than Photoshop, with all features unlocked for a low one time payment, whereas Photoshop has a monthly or yearly subscription.
  4. Separates workflow: Photoshop is focused on workflow automation, and Affinity Photo separates the workflow into the editing tasks that need the most attention and the least attention.

Now, let’s see the cons.

Cons of Affinity Photo vs Photoshop

Like all things, there are some bad sides to Affinity Photo.

Here are some cons for Affinity Photo:

  1. Less compatibility: Because Photoshop has existed for longer than Affinity Photo, more apps offer compatibility with it than Affinity Photo, but this does not mean that Affinity Photo will never improve compatibility.
  2. Slow to update: In a similar vein, Adobe Photoshop has regular updates, whereas Affinity Photo has them at least once a year, if that.

Ultimately, the choice of which software to use is up to you and your photo editing needs. Both apps are great and similarly built, but they place emphasis on a different set of features.


Affinity Photo is good for beginners because it is accessible, affordable, and easy to understand. Although there are advanced features within it, they are also not difficult to learn and there are many tips you can learn to enhance your experience in the software. Affinity Photo and Photoshop are direct competitors, but both offer similar features. The software you choose depends on your preferences.