While the latest machinations from Adobe have been met with cries of despair from many corners, the week before competitor ON1 announced Photo RAW 2018 and the news hardly created a ripple.
It seems that professional photographers are suffering from a kind of Stockholm Syndrome when it comes to their relationship with the world’s largest software rental business.
There is currently a free public beta of the new version of ON1 Photo RAW, with the software on sale (pre-order US$120 or upgrade for $80) with full launch at the end of this month.
Photo RAW 2018 features accelerated photo management, precise photo development, hundreds of customisable photo effects, fast HDR, pano stitching, masking and blending adjustments, layers, a set of steak knives ‘and much more’. ON1 claims almost every feature and improvement is a direct result of community input through the ON1 Photo RAW Project.
Key new features:
ON1 HDR – Create 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 colour 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. Custom name filters and layers to keep track of work. Select your own UI accent color.
Paint with Color Brush — Painting with colour can be a solid colour, perfect for skin smoothing and making annotation layers, or paint with just the colour and leave the underlying luminosity in place to change the colour 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 many new lenses.
ON1 Photo RAW 2018 allows 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 organise 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.
Other features include re-editable adjustments such as exposure, contrast, colour, 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 hundreds of photo effects are applied using masking brushes, gradients masks, and local adjustments. Each effect is completely customisable 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.
ON1 Photo RAW 2018 isn’t just for raw files. Supported file formats include JPEG, TIF, PSD, PSB, PNG, and DNG . 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.
A single purchase of ON1 Photo RAW 2018 works with both Mac and Windows and includes activation on up to five computers. The full release of ON1 Photo RAW 2018 is currently scheduled for the end of October, and a free 30-day trial will also be available at that time. 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, lenses, and bug fixes.
Why not download the beta while you’re working out whether stepping up to a bit of a learning curve is worth never again having to worry about what Adobe is going to do to you next. As respected independent US pro website Imaging Resource wrote this week: ‘When a new version of a competing program is released, buy it.
‘Adobe isn’t listening to your voices, that much is now inarguable. It’s time to talk with your wallets.’