ON1 Photo Raw Review – UPDATED 2019 – Best Raw Editor For Your Photos

camera, dslr, photographerThe self-proclaimed photo editing alternative to Lightroom and Photoshop, On1 software has just come out with their latest editing platform, Photo RAW 2019 back in November. Though many of the features in their previous platforms still exist in this newest update, Photo RAW debuts significant changes in its user interface for the better.

The photo editor aims for beginner, amateur and professional level photographers to use the program with ease to create high quality edited images. As far as their being the alternative option for Adobe? It certainly seems a possibility, as the Photo RAW has been praised by users to be the strongest version On1 has created so far. We’ll be reviewing all the features that set the Photo RAW apart from its previous iterations in this article.

What we liked
There are a lot of features to look forward to in this updated version of the Photo RAW, but there are a few that stand out amongst the rest-

1. Panorama Stitching- If you’ve used Lightroom before then you’re probably familiar with this feature. To use the Panorama Stitching in Photo RAW, you need to select multiple pictures, right click and then select ‘Merge to Panorama’, when you do this however, you’ll be faced with a warning screen that says the Panorama version isn’t in its complete form yet and may not present the best results. And this is true.

The Photo RAW Panorama Stitching, although quicker than other editing softwares, lacks depth and colour, when other softwares seem to be doing this just fine. It is also worth noting that the Photo RAW merges images into a 16-bit file, while other softwares create a larger RAW file when using Panoramic Stitching.

2. User Interface- One of the biggest changes we see in the updated Photo RAW is the change in User Interface that has made it easier to navigate through the software and has also made it faster. In the previous versions of the software, you had to switch to different modules to make minute changes in your images and this would take a lot of time and effort, but now, the Develop, Layers, and Effects tabs are all in the same place, making for much easier use.

Another great addition is the fact that there is no need anymore to wait until your changes are saved to move modules since this takes a lot of time. Now you can access it easily, without having to spend much time staring at your screen, waiting for the application to save your changes.

3. Filters and Effects- In the previous versions of the application, there were two modules that were in use for Filters and Effects, which were called Develop and Effects. To edit your images effectively, you needed to make use of both these modules which meant you had to keep switching between the two modules.

But now, in the updated version of the application, all the filters are under the Effects tab, making your editing process a lot less of a hassle. In addition to this, there are some new filters that ON1 has included with this update; the Curves, Film Grains and Colour Adjustments filters.

The Curves filter had been in use in other programs as well and is seemingly addictive, so it was a great choice to include it. The Film Grains filter allows you to replicate the feel of film cameras in your digital images, and lastly, the Colour Adjustments makes it easier to make changes in individual colours of your images.

4. Tools- One of the things that is apparent with the release of this updated version of the Photo RAW is that ON1 has put a lot of effort into a simplistic, yet powerful design. In the previous versions of the application, the tools were spread all throughout the program, and with the clicking of some tools, more appeared. In this version, however, the tools in the application are all in one place, with the settings for each tool displayed on the centre-top of the screen.

This makes for a less chunky design that runs smoothly and is still just as, if not more, powerful. Another great addition in the tools section is the allocation of a Text Tool. This allows you to add text to your images, to create watermarks, or perhaps add quotes that you would usually have to go to another software to add. A small and simple addition that makes the application that much more efficient.

5. Lightroom Migrant Assistant- One of the biggest and best additions to the application is the Lightroom Migrant Assistant. In previous versions of the software, there was no way to access Lightroom Catalogues through the Photo RAW. This made a lot of users who wanted to switch from Lightroom to Photo RAW turn away from the software since there would be no way for them to access their edited images.

But now, with the help of AI Algorithm, Photo RAW’s Migrant Assistant allows you to access Lightroom Catalogues through Photo RAW. And the great thing is that all of the changes you made in Lightroom are catalogued into Photo RAW too. All of your keywords, descriptions, Metadata changes, etc are all migrated from Lightroom to Photo RAW. You also have a bunch of editing facilities from Lightroom included into Photo RAW.

What we didn’t like

Although there are not a lot of things in the software that makes for bad user experience, there are certainly a few things that could use some improvement. One of these is the Panoramic Stitching mode. It has bugs in places and doesn’t work very efficiently.

This part of the software could also use more depth and colour but since ON1 has stated this isn’t the final version of this tool, we are hopeful the next version will improve on this. The next thing we didn’t like is the fact that the module switches are slow. It makes for a more time-consuming editing process.

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