I do a lot of photo editing for work. Like, a lot. For a while, that meant fitting a subscription for Adobe Photoshop into my monthly budget. As subscription fatigue started to set in, though, I went looking for an alternative, and I eventually landed on Affinity Photo.

Built by the folks at Serif, Affinity Photo was a perfect substitute for Adobe's crown jewel of the photo world. Its interface was immediately familiar, albeit with some variations that I had to get used to. Still, all of the features I needed there, and best of all I dropped the monthly subscription in favor of a one-time purchase across all of my Windows devices.

Affinity Photo

Affinity Photo is the best Photoshop alternative out there, and it gives you plenty of tools without a subscription.

Affinity PhotoSource: Windows Central

Usually, Affinity Photo goes for $50, which is right in that cost territory that ventures out of my impulse buy range. For Black Friday, Serif has cut the cost of its entire suite of editing tools by 30 percent. For the macOS and Windows apps, that drops it to $35, which is quite a steal for those of us who don't live in Adobe's full suite of apps anyway.

If there's one Black Friday deal I can point to so far that's well worth the money, this would be it. There might be some use cases where Photoshop is the better buy, but Affinity Photo gives you professional-grade tools to do pretty much anything Photoshop can — and it's a lot cheaper. Even better, it works with Photoshop files, so you can pick up right where you left off on any projects you've been working on.

If you're already immersed in Adobe's Creative Cloud world, it might make sense to stick with Photoshop for all of its integrations. Likewise, there are some simpler apps out there that will do for any small edits that you might need to make. But for anyone looking to break away from Photoshop, Affinity Photo is, for my money, the best alternative there is.

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