Most of the new features will be formally announced and available for download and test drive very soon (hint: very, very soon!). But according to the company, “we aren’t even close to being done. From your input, our engineers are already working on longer term technologies and features you will see in the not-too-distant future.”
I’ve followed the development ON1 Photo RAW, although I am not using it as my main photo editor, and despite the fact that many people continue to complain about missing features and bugs, the truth is that following the conversations online I see more and more people moving over to the editor. I’ve also had a chance to confirm its accrued stability, along with the speed at which it churns through my photo archive, which I had a chance to check again, yesterday, browsing through some of my folders, after the most recent update to the program.
Different excuses are given by people not wanting to try ON1 Photo RAW. Some do not try it for “religious” reasons, others lack the will or energy to try something new. For those, ON1 Photo RAW will never be a viable editor. We’ve choice, these days, so please go elsewhere. But those curious enough to download the demo of the program might understand why it has taken ON1 some time to get things working as they are now: this editor offers a whole lot of features, from the pure photo editing to the after effects many times associated to plugins under the same hood.
New UI, new features
One can only imagine, looking at the development along recent months, the task coders, designers and photographers giving input have had to go through to get ON1 Photo RAW where the program is today. While there are dozens of photo editors available, not many offer the complex features ON1 Photo RAW offers, while hiding them under an apparently easy to use and user friendly interface. Yes, it does take time to learn it, even if ON1 has tried to make the UI simple, but that is due to one thing: the growing number of features the program offers.
That explains why the interface gets updated this month. ON1 feels the need to adjust things, because its ON1 Photo RAW is an editor that, apparently, is not static, but an evolutionary program for which, according to the team, there is much more coming in the future.
The features coming now include HDR, promised to combine tonal ranges of multiple exposures, automatically align photos and remove ghosting from motion between exposures. ON1 claims this is going to be super-fast “instead of over a minute like other HDR apps”. Editing of HDR is non-destructive, for natural HDR results. Better masking is also promised, with tools allowing for the creation of better masks in Effects, again re-editable and non-destructive. Versions, which, as the name suggests, allows to keep variations of the same photo, is also new to ON1 Photo RAW.
Build Panoramas, browse videos
One feature I am eager to explore is the Panorama, which is a technique I use regularly. ON1 promises their Panorama will automatically align photos and blend them together seamlessly, “even if photos are not captured on a tripod”. As I rarely used a tripod for my panoramas, and I’ve managed to get good results with other editors, I am curious to compare if ON1’s Panorama is better.
Many other technologies are in development to be introduced in the future, including non-destructive layers in Develop and Effects, Camera Profiles & Looks, Improved Portrtait Retouching, a Camera Download Dialog, also a Text Tool, and something that will interest photographers who also create videos: it will be possible to browse and view video files in ON1 Photo RAW. There are many other features being investigated, because, as the developers say, “we’re only getting started!”.
Although continued development of ON1’s photo editor was always planned, the launch of the ON1 Photo RAW Project one year ago plays an important part on the evolution path the program has taken in recent months. The company says that the input of users has been crucial and the whole program represents “a huge success and changed the way your photography software is designed and built.” The new features now announced show, continues ON1, “how your invaluable input has helped define the future of ON1 Photo RAW”.
In fact, since the launch of ON1 Photo RAW, the photography community has contributed to drive the development process based on what’s most important to them. Nearly all of the features and improvements delivered by ON1 over the last year are the direct result of the community’s input. This type of transparency is unheard of in the software industry, says ON1, “but it’s what customers can continue to expect from us. With your help, we will continue to make ON1 apps the only apps designed by photographers for photographers.”
If you’re intrigued by now, give ON1 Photo RAW a try, downloading the available demo. Don’t expect to get to grips with it right away, but devote some time to understand the mechanics. Enjoy!