There are many ways to open photos in Affinity Photo – import from Photos, from iCloud (including Google Drive, OneDrive etc), or direct from the iPad camera. The one thing missing is the ability to directly import from the SD card using a Lightning SD card reader. Hopefully this will be a feature they can add on in future updates. This is also the screen to access the Focus Merge feature – I had to add in one photo at a time, as it did not seem to have a multi-file select feature present, which makes the process time-consuming and laborious.
On a positive note, Serif do provide quite a few tutorials embedded in the App itself, to help first-time users get used to how the App actually works. These are most helpful in getting one started and using the App for photo editing. The ? at the top will access the Help that is available for the App.
One of the really useful in the Adjustments studio is the ability to use the Channel Mixer to swap colours around. For Infrared images, this will allow for the red channel to be swapped to blue, and vice versa. This will give the effect where the sky is blue and the grass and foliage relatively white.
And Serif have given a useful ‘?’ at the bottom of the screen which will bring up the name of the various functions available – just in case you can’t remember what each is for – definitely something I would use when starting out with this App.
What I like about the Affinity Photo App?
- It is a versatile powerful App for the iPad Pro which allows for advanced photo editing, using the Apple Pencil or a finger to control the various actions or functions.
- It is supposed to allow for RAW file editing, which I am unable to access currently – sadly. But hopefully this will be addressed by the next update to the App.
- It has focus stacking ability with automatic alignment to enable all the in-focus areas of the various photos to be combined together into one final image. First attempt at this has been rather promising. I shall post about this when I have had more time to play with this feature, and compare the results to that which I can with Helicon Focus.
- The App comes with many Adjustments, one of which is the Channel Mixer. This allows for colour channel swapping, which can be useful for infrared images i.e. swap red channel to blue, and blue to red. I have had a play with this as well, and certainly it is a useful feature that I am likely to use when processing infrared images.
- There is plenty of help and video Tutorials to help get the most out of the App – saves time needed to get up and running with this App.
- Aligning of images to create panorama can be very helpful, to create much large images than is normally possible. The automatic alignment provided by the App will be extremely useful to make the process more straightforward.
- I like that it enables me to annotate directly onto the photos, as I have done in the first few photos. This is not a feature that I have available with Capture One Pro which is my RAW converter of choice, so I’ve had to use Microsoft Paint in the past to do this. Now I have another App that can do this.
What could be improved?
Fix the RAW file editing function, as this is a big deterrent for many potential users of this App. (Update 10/9/17: I have managed to find a way to import RAW files directly into Affinity Photo from the SD card. See here: http://myphotojourney.co.uk/affinity-photo-for-ipad-raw-editing/ There needs to be a way to simply opening RAW files in Affinity Photo, preferably allowing direct importing of photos from SD cards connected to the iPad.
- The need to open photo files one at a time, particularly for creating focus stacking is tedious and time-consuming. There needs to be improvement in the interface for this and other functions where more than one file needs to be downloaded.
- There does not appear to be a dropper method for selecting whitebalance on the photos being worked on; I do not have access to my RAW files to see if this is available in the Develop Persona. It would be useful to have this feature, so the whitebalance can be set according to a reference in the photo.
So far I have found the Affinity Photo for iPad rather useful with many different appealing features. Sadly it is not all smooth sailing, as there appear to still be some bugs which need ironing out
– most important of which is the ability to edit RAW files. Hopefully it will be sorted soon. If there are some improvements made to the App as highlighted in the list above, it would make this App a truly useful one for Photo editing. Hence I would say that I can only recommend this App with caution.
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