There are many choices of RAW photo editing software today so why would I even consider looking at On1 Photo RAW, image editing software? After all, it means an additional expense and perhaps even worse, more learning! Perhaps I didn’t want to leave my comfort zone!
However, technology is always changing, leading to the evolution of newer, faster and better photo editing software! It’s important to practice self-improvement, and to become more adaptable to change. Perhaps this is why I have Adobe Photoshop, Capture One Pro, Aurora HDR, Luminar and more sitting on my desktop. I enjoy learning and experimenting with new photo editing software, so I didn’t need to switch to On1 Photo RAW but use it with programs I already have! Which brings me to my review. Who is it for and could it replace what you’re already using?
On1 Photo RAW Speed and Performance
Let’s start with speed and one of the reasons I left Adobe LightRoom! Considering On1 Photo RAW has loads of editing tools and plugins it processes RAW images quickly. My Nikon Z7 RAW images are extremely large files and this program handles them extremely well.
I do find exporting my RAW files to JPEG a little slow. My workaround is to do this in the background while I edit another image. To do this click on the ‘Export’ button arrow in the bottom right and change to ‘Export in background’ although this should be set by default.
Using the New Interface
If you’re familiar with LightRoom or Capture One Pro you’ll feel right at home. It has a clean and modern look and you don’t have to leave the editing module when making adjustments. This saves load times as you work in the tabs. The icons, sliders and tabs take up little space, allowing you to focus with more screen area for your images, while editing.
There is no need to import your images. You can easily navigate to any folder or drive in the browser-based system, and edit them instantly. As with other photo editing software you can sort your images by star ratings, colours or like and dislike.
Did I forget to mention you can also use keyboard shortcuts e.g. if you want to go to develop mode you simply press the ‘D’ on your keyboard! This saves a lot of time as it is easier than dragging a mouse.
Using Presets for Creativity
There are so many presets to choose from, it can get a little bewildering at first! This is one of the reasons I decided on using this software. If you’re looking for a certain look or style to your image, use one of the ‘one click’ presets and tweak it to your liking. You can also rename and save it as your own preset. Using one of the many presets will save time, and give you loads of creative variety, right at your fingertips. They are also ideal for syncing multiple images, if you have similar shots in the same light and settings. Use them in moderation and as a starting point only.
When you mouse over any of the presets of effects, you’ll get a preview that will represent what that filter does. By navigating to the ‘Effects’ tab you can then see all the changes that were made by that filter.
What kind of photographer is ON1 Photo RAW for?
This program is for photographers at all levels. Whether you’re a beginner or professional, it will help you achieve quality images while enhancing your creativity along the way. Consider ON1 if you’re looking for an alternative to other editing programs, especially without a monthly subscription.
On1 RAW Tutorials
The ON1 Video Library has hundreds of tutorials and growing fast. These are particularly effective in demonstrating how to use and set up the software, especially before purchasing. I highly recommend learning a little about On1 before downloading. This reduces many of the frustrations when using new photo editing software and gets you off to a good start.
Exporting your Images
The exporting feature is extensive, providing you with familiar controls we have become used to, such as add your watermark, re-size images, rename, and set the desired location etc.
On1 RAW system requirements
- Operating System: Minimum of Windows 7 or MacOS X 10.11
- Processor: Minimum of Intel Core 2 Duo or Xeon
- Memory: More GB will give better performance and I use 16GB
- Screen Display: 1280×768 res / 16-bit color / OpenGL 3.3 compatible graphics card with 256mb RAM
- Graphics Drivers: DirectX 9 or later
- Storage Space: Due to RAW file sizes today, I recommended you have plenty of space. I use minimum 250GB
It is always best to check with the On1 tech support, by providing their with the full specifications of your machine. This way you can be sure of its compatibility and if upgrades may be needed. You do get the option of a free trial which is another good way to see how it works on your machine.
The Future for On1
Their team is always working on free updates and the most exciting news is an iPad version coming soon. ON1 Photo Mobile for iOS and Android will give you pro-level controls and as I no longer take my MacBook into the field, this is a welcome addition I’m looking forward to.
“As we’ve said before, we have big plans at ON1. Our team is already busy working on the next free updates to version 2019. These will include dual display support, an editing history, and additional capabilities and enhancements to Focus Stacking,” says Craig Keudell, President of ON1.
Reasons for using photo-editing software
Using photo-editing software is dependent on your type of photography. Photo editing can make corrections to your image and add more creativity. If you shoot RAW then you’ll need to edit the images!
Images in RAW will appear dark with very little contrast, colours, and brightness etc. They need to be processed and prepared for printing, or publication on the web.
As I shoot RAW for almost all my images, especially landscapes, they need to be edited after. But why would I shoot RAW when the camera can edit and produce the JPEG’s for me? RAW records all of the data from my camera sensor giving me the highest quality files. I can then make the decisions on how I want my image to look like. It is especially useful to correct over or under exposed images. Unlike trying to edit a JPEG, it is also non-destructive as I’m not touching the original data. On1 is fantastic software for this and as I mentioned above you’ll love the pre-sets and filters taking your photography to a whole new level.