Hierarchical keywords, better integration with Apple Photos and a series of other important features are some of the new options available in the next update of ON1 Photo RAW.
In a market that is now crowded with what may be considered multiple alternatives to Lightroom and Photoshop, ON1 continues to expand its own solution, ON1 Photo RAW, at what the company considers is “breakneck speed”. With valuable features to be added in mid-May, ON1 Photo RAW 2019.5, a free update to ON1 Photo RAW 2019, is, says the company, “the leading alternative to the Adobe Photography Plan subscription.”
In fact, ON1 Photo RAW is currently, according to the company, “the only solution to utilize AI-powered algorithms to transfer and display Lightroom edited photos in Photo RAW. The transferred photos and settings remain non-destructive and re-editable inside ON1 Photo RAW, so photographers do not lose years of work from Lightroom”. This feature has been a key element used by ON1 to promote the app amongst photographers who have built their collections inside Lightroom but who may have grown tired of the problems created by huge catalogs inside Adobe’s software, or may want to free themselves from the limitations of the subscription plan.
ON1 Photo RAW works with CS6 and Lightroom Classic
With a special price of $79.99 for the full version of the program if you buy the actual version (usually costs $99.99), with the free May update included in the package, ON1 is a single purchase, meaning that even if you do not update the app to new versions, you’ll continue to be able to use it. ON1 Photo RAW 2019 includes both macOS and Windows installers, the standalone version, the plug-ins for Lightroom and Photoshop, and can be used on up to five computers.
Yes, despite all its features, ON1 Photo RAW is also a viable option for photographers not interested in making a switch, as it also works as a plug-in for Lightroom and Photoshop, making it a compelling tool for any photography workflow, as it extends the features available to those programs. It should be noted, too, that although the program is designed to work with the latest versions of Adobe CC, it is also compatible with Photoshop CS6, Photoshop Elements 14, Photoshop Lightroom Classic 6 and above, as well as Apple Photos. So, if you want to keep your CS6 or Lightroom (the pre-CC versions) running, ON1 Photo RAW is something to consider.
New features and camera support
The latest version, ON1 Photo RAW 2019.5, will include powerful new features to increase productivity, additional organizing benefits, a ton of feature and performance enhancements, and new camera support. In a market where the term AI is used almost daily, and in many cases appears associated with gimmicks that turn photography into a “paint by numbers” art, it’s reassuring to see that, while Artificial Intelligence (under whatever name you prefer) is being used, many functions are just logic workflow implementations that follow requests from users, and add real value to a program.
Here is a list of some of the features ON1 includes in the May update, version 2019.5:
- Dual Mode — Easily undock the Browse Module from the Edit Module, use a second display, or make sales or client presentations on a projector or TV. The dual mode will allow photographers to customize how they want to work when browsing and editing photos.
- Edit History — A full edit history will be added when working on photos. Each editing step will be viewable, along with the ability to roll-back and compare adjustments. Photographers can also revert to the beginning of the editing session.
- Settings Applied Info — Photographers will be able to quickly view which modules, tools, and filters are applied to a photo. This non-linear approach will also allow photographers to double-click on a setting and jump straight to it for further adjustments.
- Selective Sync — Enhanced granularity in which settings to apply when syncing your settings (or pasting and saving a preset) will be added. For example, photographers will be able to drill down and only apply a white balance adjustment. The ability to sync cropping, retouching and brush strokes between photos will also be included.
- Hierarchical Keywords — The master keyword list will now support nesting keywords inside of other keywords. Nested keywords will allow photographers to organize keywords as they see fit. Importing a list of nested keywords from other apps like Adobe Lightroom will also be supported.
- Apple Photos Extension Enhancements — Integration with Apple Photos now supports the full raw data, improving adjustments to tone and color. It also supports re-editable non-destructive editing and more native ON1 Photo RAW features like layers, crop, and text.
- First Launch Experience — If it is your first time using ON1 Photo RAW, there will be new walkthroughs to help you learn the basics. This will give photographers a running start and directs them where to learn more.
- Tool Tips — Tool tip animations will be added to improve the usability and shorten the learning curve for each tool.
A boost in quality and performance
It does not stop there, though. The company says it “has been working diligently on improving performance in many specific areas that include zooming, panning, brushing, and exporting to make the entire editing process more fluid and fun”. VP Product, Dan Harlacher states “The latest update gives us a significant boost in quality, performance, and an abundance of new features and enhancements. The ON1 community drove a lot of this via their contributions to the Photo RAW Project.”
So, here is a list of additional enhancements in version 2019.5:
- Layers Enhancements — Create a new canvas of any size or change the size of the existing canvas.
- Text Tool Enhancements — Add a background color to a text box and control its opacity. Easily control the character and line spacing. New options also will allow photographers to duplicate and change the order of text boxes and automatically insert text from a photo’s metadata.
- Performance Improvements — Zooming, panning, and brushing are now much faster. A new preview quality option can help increase performance on lower-end and integrated video cards as well. Export is now up to 10x faster when resizing or exporting a photo or photos already edited.
- Local Adjustments — The Local Adjustments tools will be faster to brush and adjust.
- Windows High-DPI — Support for high-dpi displays on Windows will be dramatically improved. The scaling of the fonts and controls will work much better, especially on 4k displays and laptops.
- Keywording — Keywords will be easier to search, add, delete, and modify. Also, keywords are now case sensitive.
- Soft Proofing in Resize — The soft-proofing feature will also be available in ON1 Resize (Genuine Fractals).
- Drag and Drop from Film Strip — Drag and drop photos from the film strip to add them as new layers.
- Increased Thumbnail Size Range — The range of thumbnail size will be increased, so photographers can go all the way up to two giant thumbnails or down to tiny thumbnails to survey an entire folder.
- Default Photo Location — Now control the default photo location in Browse. This is where ON1 Photo RAW will look to find photos instead of the Pictures folder.
- Preview the Resize Algorithm — When using the Genuine Fractals algorithm, photographers will be able to preview the resulting quality at 100% zoom to more accurately adjust the options and sharpening.
- Persistent Crop Preset State — The crop tool settings will be persistent and remembered across photos.
- Search by Adjustments Added — Search for photos based on specific adjustments applied such as cropped, retouched, etc.
- Update to Lightroom Migration — The Lightroom Migration tool will now migrate the pick and reject flags.
- Added for Support New Cameras and Lenses
- Many other under-the-hood bug fixes and performance improvements.
Additional features for video
As mentioned above, ON1 Photo RAW 2019.5 will be available in mid-May and is a free update for owners of ON1 Photo RAW 2019. Previous owners will also receive discounted upgrade pricing from ON1 versions prior to 2019. A 30-day free trial of ON1 Photo RAW 2019 is also available for download from the ON1 website.
The use of Artificial Intelligence is also becoming more and more evident in ON1 Photo RAW, and ON1 says it is incorporating more AI-powered features to streamline browsing and editing as well as improved printing and publishing. That’s part of the future plans, as the team behind the software continues to work on expanding their existing application into a complete photography workflow ecosystem.
Several internal projects will be introduced to the market in 2019 and 2020. These include solutions for photographers using mobile devices in their workflow and localization of the application and website into multiple languages. Additional features and functionality for customers who are shooting video as part of their photography process are also coming.
“The next year will be the biggest in our company history. A lot of these internal projects we’ve been working on will finally get introduced to the market. There is a lot to be excited about for our customers and our industry, and it all starts with Photo RAW 2019.5,” says Craig Keudell, ON1 President & CEO.