ON1 Photo RAW

ON1 dropped a bomb today. They announced ON1 Photo RAW. There's a lot of stuff happening here:

  • RAW editing: I'm eager to pit this against Lightroom for both speed and quality.
  • Completely non-destructive workflow: I love my Smart Layers. And I really, really want my retouches to be non-destructive, too. Bring it.
  • GPU & Video cards: Yes! Give me speed! The speed increases in some of the Effects filters was nice. Across the entire product? Yeah... now we're talking.
  • Layers, Effects, Portrait & Resize: Keeping what's great. Smart.

The full press release is on their website.

Get a taste of whats coming and have a look at several videos ON1 has put up about it.

Like you, I've got a load of questions about ON1 Photo RAW. Biggest on my mind isn't the post processing... that looks like it's gonna rock. From the press release, I am interpreting "instructed-based, non-destructive workflow" to mean that all basic adjustments (exposure, contrast, etc.) as well as retouches and effects filters are completely non-destructive.

I'm not quite sure if the non-destructive workflow also translates to layers. Do I still need to create PSD files? Or are layers somehow mapped to instructions? Layers are a method of non-destructive edits already, so I'm thinking that compositing, exposure blending or texture work still implies a PSD file. And, hey, that's OK in my book.

What I'm really, really curious about is asset management. ON1 Photo RAW feels like what I wish I had two years ago when Apple ceased development of Aperture. I already know Browse is fast. I use it as my front end to Lightroom today. Is Browse getting a boost in functionality, too? GPS tagging? Nested keywords? Photo stacks? Metadata presets? More advanced filters? Will it read my Lightroom XMP sidecar files? Will I need Lightroom anymore? 

I don't know... but my ears and eyes are open!

I've already sent my friends at ON1 a loooong list of questions about ON1 Photo RAW. Stay tuned. The fall of 2016 is already getting interesting.