Affinity Photo, Designer and Publisher 1.7 beta: the silent evolution

Affinity introduced this December new beta versions of their software Affinity Photo, Designer and Publisher, without a fanfare. I almost missed the Photo update, which brings a lot of new things.


The next update to Affinity Photo 1.7 for Mac and Windows isn’t too far away, says the team behind the photo editor, and users of the software can download a beta version to try the new features.

Affinity Photo users running version 1.6 of the software can download the beta of the 1.7 version, which may well be a good way to spend the first days of the New Year: testing the new features and the improvements made to the editor with which Serif took a step forward towards the creation of their own creative suite, anchored on the Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer and Affinity Publisher programs.

Both Affinity Photo and Designer have been available for a while, for both Windows and Mac desktop computers, and also for iPad, while Publisher is being developed for a first official launch, having reached version 1.7 of the beta, which is freely available to download by everyone. If you’re a photographer or videographer who regularly creates promotional material, from leaflets to eBooks or books, Affinity Publisher may be the tool to try, as it offers you a similar experience to InDesign, as I wrote in a previous hands-on of the software, published here at ProVideo Coalition.


Affinity Publisher and Designer

Affinity Publisher is FREE for everyone to try as this stage, as Serif wants feedback from users to get the program ready for the official launch. If you have tried a previous version, this latest version is available on auto-update—you will be asked if you want to download and install the update when you open Affinity Publisher. If you have not yet installed any version of the Affinity Publisher Public Beta, you can sign up on Affinity’s website and download a copy to try.

Affinity Designer also has a new beta version out, 1.7, which can be explored by users of the actual version who want to try the new features and improvements made to the program.  Serif says that the next update to Affinity Designer 1.7 for Mac and Windows isn’t too far away, so this may well be the last beta before the commercial release.

As I do not use Designer, I downloaded Publisher, which I intend to use as a substitute to inDesign, and was only while browsing Serif’s website that I found the notes on the new beta version, 1,7, of Affinity Photo,  made available right before Christmas. Although I did try the betas for 1.6 version, I have not had much time to try the 1.7.  According to a note published by Kate Musgrove, head of Serif’s Artist Relations Team and co-editor of Affinity Spotlight,  “Affinity Photo 1.7 introduces a new sub-brush mechanism, developed in conjunction with Paolo Limoncelli from DAUB Brushes. This exciting feature allows any brush to have a list of other brushes attached which will draw at the same time. Each sub-brush has a fully separate and customisable set of dynamics. You can control when the sub-brushes are drawn and how they blend with the main brush.”


Affinity Photo: new features and improvements

The RAW processing engine in Photo has been rewritten, to produce better results and improved performance, and a series of new features as well as improvements to those already available made it to the new version, which continues to expand its collection of filters. I immediately noticed that the HSL Adjustment Layer has changed, and the brief moments I played with it appeals to me. Serif says it has been rewritten and that it now supports custom hue ranges, a new algorithm, new UI and picker controls. The White Balance Adjustment Layer, Selective Colour Adjustment Layer and the Vibrance Adjustment Layer have also been rewritten.

Changes do not stop there: the Recolour Adjustment Layer has gained a lightness slider, the Levels Adjustment Layer now supports output levels and PSD import / export of adjustments has been improved. These are just some of the many things changed or introduced in a program that continues to evolve to be a complete photo editor for any workflow starting with RAW.


With reimplemented support for XTrans sensors, so as to cater for Fujifilm users, a rewritten denoise algorithm, hot pixel removal now being automatically performed by the Serif Labs engine, as some highlights of the 1.7 version, this updated caught me completely by surprise, and made me realize that, yes, one year has just gone by. 2019 will soon be here, and the Affinity Photo 1.7 update, which will be free to actual users, will arrive soon. Without fanfare.

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Journalist, writer and photographer since 1979, both print and online, with a vast experience in the fields of photography, software, hardware, web, aviation, History, video games, technology, having published content in almost all Portuguese newspapers…