Mac: The makers of one of our favourite Adobe Illustrator alternatives, Affinity Designer, are back with a high-end Photoshop replacement, Affinity Photo. And you can currently grab the beta for free.
The video above showcases some of the pro-quality capabilities of the program: end-to-end CMYK, RAW support, ICC colour management and 16-bits per channel editing. You can even import and export Photoshop PSD files and use Photoshop 64-bit plug-ins.
There's a bit of a learning curve with all these features, but Photoshop users will find many (if not all) of their favourite tools in the program, including healing brush tools and mesh warp.
The beta is free to try, but once the full version launches it will be $US49.99 -- no subscription charges like Photoshop and with free updates for the next two years. Although Affinity Photo will be a bit more than the $US30 Pixelmator, currently our favourite Photoshop alternative, Affinity Photo comes closest so far to being a complete Photoshop replacement. It will also work well with Affinity Designer, and the developers are planning on creating a Windows version -- but that's after they create Affinity Publisher (an InDesign alternative) and iOS versions of all of these apps.
For now, you can try out the Mac version yourself. (Once you fill in the beta sign up form, you should quickly get an email with the download link.)