Serif Affinity Photo: free beta of the Photoshop rival is now available

Serif Affinity Photo is to Photoshop what Affinity Designer is to Adobe Illustrator.

Serif's professional image editing app for Mac OS, Affinity Photo, is now available as a free download for public beta testing.

Aimed at professional photographers, Serif promises blistering performance, highly accurate tools and a fresh workflow for Affinity Photo.

It boasts true end-to-end CMYK, 16-bits per channel editing, LAB colour, RAW processing, ICC colour management, and Photoshop PSD and 64-bit plug-in compatibility.

The free beta version of Affinity Photo is available to download now.

It’s compatible with OS X Lion 10.7.5 and newer on Intel 64 Macs, and is in English, German, Spanish and French

The beta version offers pro photography adjustments like Frequency Separation editing, live blend modes, painting, and advanced retouching , as well as task-focused, uncluttered workspaces.

The lossless editing workflow offers scaling, cropping, blurs and other popular edits, while maintaining original image quality.

Affinity Photo offers different approaches to image editing through the use of Personas.

If you want to work purely with core photo editing tools you can edit in the default Photo Persona.

Additional Personas each offer either a specific design environment or analogous toolsets, features or functions. For example Macro Persona (pictured) offers labour saving presets for common editing tasks

You can switch between Personas with a single click, with the workspace tools and panels changing to that Persona's way of working.

The available set of Personas can be added to with additional complementing Personas when they become available. Serif suggested these Personas could thus be seen as functionality add-ons that enhance Affinity Photo over its lifetime.

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“We’re delighted to be shaking things up with this exciting new app that doesn’t compromise on power and could make creative pros fall in love with photo editing and raster art all over again,” said Ashley Hewson, Serif’s managing director. “Affinity Photo is silky-smooth, accurate at a professional level, and fully-featured.”

“It joins the award-winning Affinity Designer as part of a brilliant creative suite with seamless switching between apps, one file format, and a common Undo history. Even as a beta and with the suite still growing, there’s nothing else quite like it.”

Tony Brightman, head of Affinity development added, “We directly targeted professionals when we dreamt up the Affinity range, making performance, reliability, pro-level tools and a slick workflow our top priorities."

“It’s early days for the Affinity Photo beta, but with the welcome help of our professional users during the test phase we’ll be able to fully deliver on these aims for launch and with free updates afterwards. I’m also very happy to say to all photographers and creatives, when Affinity Photo launches it’ll be a one-time purchase - we don’t do subscriptions.”