Downloads advent calendar: get Serif Affinity Photo free today

Professional-quality photo editing, free

Serif Affinity Photo

The holidays are an expensive time, so we’re bringing you a special treat: a full, free, fun Windows program to download every day until Christmas.

The surprise hidden under our advent calendar's second door is Serif Affinity Photo. The award-winning Affinity suite was once exclusive to Mac users, but now developer Serif is making it available for Windows as well. Affinity Photo, is yours to download free now as a public beta before its final release next year.

Digital darkroom

Serif Affinity Photo is an impressive package, and stands toe-to-toe with Adobe Photoshop thanks to advanced features like RAW image processing, panorama stitching and Pantone support.

There's also a background eraser, healing brush, clone stamp and warping tools. Photographers can improve their shots by fine-tuning white balance, highlights, shadows, clarity and exposure. There's also a superb set of fully customizable, layerable filters to give your pictures a dramatic makeover with just a couple of clicks.

Note that the download will expire once the final software is released.

Download here: Serif Affinity Photo

The best free photo editor 2016

Whatever your level of expertise, there's a free photo editor that will give you all the tools you need to make your pictures look amazing. These are our three favorite free tools for optimizing your images.

For more details, see our complete guide to the best free photo editors

1. GIMP

The most fully-featured free photo editor around, GIMP is powerful enough for just about any task.

2. Paint.NET

Not quite as feature-packed as GIMP, but Paint.NET's streamlined interface makes everyday photo editing a breeze.

3. PhotoScape

PhotoScape appears simple, but delve a little deeper and you'll find RAW conversion, photo splitting and merging, and animated GIF creation.