Affinity Photo — Redeemed!

Affinity Photos "Assistant Manager" dialog
Affinity Photos “Assistant Manager” dialog

An observant reader has pointed out that Affinity Photo (now?) offers the option of using Apple’s RAW converter instead of its own, which mitigates the single biggest problem with this otherwise excellent and inexpensive tool.

I think this should be (and should always have been) the default or only option until and unless Affinity’s RAW converter is improved to the point of being useful, but in the mean time this allows photographers to use this program for their entire work flow.

To switch to Apple’s RAW converter:

  1. Open a RAW (or DNG) file in the Develop persona.
  2. Use menu item View > Assistant Manager
  3. Set the RAW engine to Apple (Core Image RAW)
  4. Cancel the develop (the change does not take effect immediately)
  5. From now on Affinity Photo will use the far superior Apple RAW converter.

The workaround is documented here.

As a final aside — this process exposes several user interface warts.

First, why the heck is this buried in an obscure, vaguely named dialog you can only reach in one mode?

If you try to quit when you're developing an image you get cock-blocked
If you try to quit when you’re developing an image you get cock-blocked

Second, if you try to quit Affinity Photo when you’re in the middle of a RAW conversion it will simply stop you. (This is why I put in step 4.) You can’t opt to “discard changes to all open files” and get on with your life. This is very un-mac-like. If I were in a hurry I’d probably have been forced to Force Quit.

When you find the Cancel button (at the top left, kind of) you then get this terrible dialog.
When you find the Cancel button (at the top left, kind of) you then get this terrible dialog.

Third, when you Cancel a RAW conversion (which is what you have to do if you get into the situation above) the dialog box offers “Yes” and “No” options instead of useful verbs, such as “Abandon” and “Continue”.

And, finally, could software companies please pull their heads out of their asses and give their applications usefully distinct names? Half the time when I try to launch Affinity Photo via Spotlight I accidentally launch Affinity Designer. Don’t bury the lede.