ON1 Photo RAW 2018, which will work with both Mac and Windows with a single purchase and includes activation on up to five computers, is getting better for each new release, not just more stable, but also expanding its set of features.
The free beta version that ON1 promises to release Friday October 6th, will give those interested the chance to try the program. The plugin that is moving into the realm of full program for RAW and photo editing, is even more ambitious in this release, suggesting itself as your editor of choice not only for photo editing but also when it comes to special effects and presets. In fact, there seems to be a “war of presets” going on, and everyone – or almost everyone – is expanding the collections of presets present in the multiple programs available and fighting for a place on our desktops.
It’s not hard to be amazed looking at the videos used by ON1 to show features of the software, and the live presentation today was not different from previous ones, but one can feel the presenters are more secure, as everything seems to point that the program is on the right path. ON1 Photo RAW may not be free of bugs, but the size of the endeavor is huge, and whoever has followed the path up to here understands that ON1 has taken the program a long way. The variety of options present, the “magic” that seems to be associated with some functions, make each video, either of presentation or explaining a feature a “wow” moment that makes you want to open your computer and play with the tools.
This new version brings the essential tools and features needed in a photography workflow and the special features already present, but goes beyond that, introducing some of the suggestions made by users in the ON1 Photo RAW Project forum. Photographers will now have an integrated tool with accelerated photo management, precise photo development, hundreds of customizable photo effects, fast and beautiful HDR, pano stitching, masking and blending adjustments, layers, and much more – in one app.
From the beginning the ON1 community has driven the development of ON1 Photo RAW based on what’s most important to them. Almost every feature and improvement made to the app in version 2018 is a direct result of community input through the ON1 Photo RAW Project. “We are very excited to make the Photo RAW 2018 Beta freely available to the worldwide photography community this Friday. Over the next few weeks we will solicit user feedback and put the finishing touches on the app for an end of October release,” said Dan Harlacher, Director of Product Management. This type of transparency is what customers can continue to expect from the ON1 team. This process has solidified ON1 Photo RAW as the app designed by photographers for photographers.
ON1 Photo RAW 2018 will be updated and enhanced in many areas. Key new features will include the following:
- ON1 HDR – Create stunning HDR photos that merge all tonality from a bracket of photos in a fraction of the time (test results have shown up to seven times faster than other HDR apps). Automatically aligns photos and removes ghosting from motion between exposures. Includes full non-destructive editing with natural results and can be turned up to 11 for a surreal look.
- Pano Stitching – Combine multiple photos into a single panoramic or matrix photo. Automatically aligns photos, even if they are not shot on a tripod, and blends them together seamlessly. An option to embed panoramic metadata for Facebook panning is also available.
- Global Mask Editing Tools – These include new mask Density and Feather sliders to allow for changing the density or opacity of masks as well as blur masks for softening.
- Luminosity Mask Updates – Adjust the levels of a mask to increase the contrast or brightness as well as set a tonal window to only affect a certain zone. These updates allow users to target just the area they want, based on the photo.
- Color Range Masks – Create a mask from a color range selection.
- Blur and Chisel Mask Tools – In ON1 Effects, the Blur and Chisel mask tools are now included. The blur tool is perfect for softening or feathering a mask selectively. The Chisel tool lets the user push or pull the edge selectively, to remove halos. All of these new masking options are re-editable and non-destructive.
- Versions — Versions are virtual copies of the same photo. Each version created can include non-destructive settings, including crop, retouching and adjustments. Versions work just like any other photo without taking up more space on your computer.
- Updated UI — Clean and modern UI where your photo is the center of attention. Custom name filters and layers to easier keep track of work. Also select your own UI accent color.
- Paint with Color Brush — Painting with color can be a solid color, perfect for skin smoothing and making annotation layers, or paint with just the color and leave the underlying luminosity in place to change the color of objects like eyes.
- Selectively Add or Remove Noise — Brush away noise in areas like skies or add noise for an artistic effect.
- ON1 Photo for Mobile — Take the best shots with you on the go with the free ON1 Photo for Mobile app. It’s a great way to share portfolios. It can also sync new photos taken on phones back to the desktop so those photos are ready for editing.
- Additional Camera & Lens Support — Added support for the Nikon D850, Olympus EM-10 III and Panasonic DMC-G85, plus a ton of new lenses.
ON1 continues to make it clear that their software differentiates itself from other apps by allowing photographers to both browse and catalog their photos from the very beginning of their workflow. This hybrid system provides one of the fastest ways to manage and organize photos. The ultra fast photo browser is perfect for quickly viewing and culling through photos without having to wait on an import process. Once the culling process is complete, the ability to create and catalog those photos is the next step in most common workflows.
There is plenty more available within the apps non-destructive workflow in terms of photo development. These features include re-editable adjustments such as exposure, contrast, color, shadows, highlights, lens correction, and transform tools. The hundreds of unique photo effects are also perfect for finishing off your photos to add that extra punch. Photographers have complete control of how each effect is applied using masking brushes, gradients masks, and local adjustments. Each effect is also completely customizable to save any look as a custom preset.
Photo editing technologies such as live blending options, apply to, smart layers, smart photos, and mask refinement tools also make ON1 Photo RAW 2018 a more advanced pixel editor without having to launch a separate app. The ability to combine photos together with layers, masks, and selectively apply filters and effects to raw photos gives users a big advantage.
Although the name might make you think this is just a RAW editor, ON1 Photo RAW 2018 isn’t just for raw files. Supported file formats include JPEG, TIF, PSD, PSB, PNG, and DNG are supported and benefit from the speed, performance, and abundance of editing tools in the app. Photo RAW 2018 also continues to work seamlessly within current photography workflows. The app integrates as a plug-in for Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop and further builds its case as a complete standalone photo editor. Version 2018 also integrates with the major cloud services to allow for uploading, managing and editing photos across multiple computers. This also allows users to sync photos and their edits across multiple computers or in a studio setting.
ON1 Photo RAW 2018 will be available for download as a free public beta on October 6th from the ON1 website. Previous owners of any ON1 app (or ON1 plug-in) can upgrade for just $79.99, regularly $99.99. Those who don’t own an ON1 app can pre-order for $119.99. For a limited time, ON1 Photo RAW 2018 will be bundled with some bonus materials which include: Three ON1 Photo RAW 2018 Courses by Product Director Dan Harlacher, and all of their 2017 and 2018 Loyalty Rewards. A single purchase of ON1 Photo RAW 2018 will work with both Mac and Windows and include activation on up to five computers. The full release of ON1 Photo RAW 2018 is currently scheduled for the end of October. ON1 will also be releasing another update to the previous version, ON1 Photo RAW 2017, later this year. This update will include support for new cameras and lenses along with bug fixes.
The new version brings, no doubt, a series of interesting features requested by users, but it will be also interesting to see how users who bought ON1 Photo RAW 2017, and have lived through the multiple problems of bugs in this version – and the previous ones – accept that there is no free upgrade for them – apparently – unless they are part of the Plus Pro subscription model that ON1 implemented. Besides, the announced update for ON1 Photo RAW 2017, later this year, will seemingly include only support for new cameras and lenses along with bug fixes.
Preparing all this, Craig Keudell, President and Founder of ON1 wrote an open letter to users, which was published on his Facebook page September 21. I urge you to go there and read it, as it may help to explain a bit more about ON1 and the projects the company has for the future. Then, take a decision. If you have not, try the ON1 Photo RAW software, either the available trial of the 2017 version or the soon available beta of 2018, first…