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ON1 Released 2017.6. Here's What's New.

ON1 released Photo RAW 2017.6 today, the 6th free update to their photo processor. The update is available now and is recommended for all users. The new features clearly target the Browse module. There are a bunch of other smaller changes I am happy to see, too. ON1 continues to fine tune the fit and finish of Photo RAW. I like that balance. Add a few features and fine tune the user experience with each iteration.

So what's new in this release. Let's get into it.

Fast Preview Mode

Fast Preview mode

Fast Preview mode

Photo RAW 2017.6 adds a Fast Preview Mode to Browse. You can select between Fast Preview and Accurate browsing modes at the bottom of the Browse window.

This mode uses the embedded JPG image in your RAW file to quickly render thumbnails of your photos. If you used ON1 Photo 10, fast preview browsing in Photo RAW is on par with it. As fast as Photo RAW is, it will always be faster using a smaller, lightweight JPG preview than a multi-megapixel RAW file.

This mode is great for culling photos right after a shoot. Of course, the quality and size of the fast preview will depend on your camera. Fast previews are a tradeoff between lower quality images and speed. Again, for culling, it's great. 

Cataloged Folders

Cataloged Folders

Cataloged Folders are Indexed Folders all grown up. The concept is the same - you can instruct Photo RAW to keep tabs on a set of folders or a hierarchy of folders. In the background, Photo RAW scans the folders, creates and caches previews, and indexes metadata, too. You can leverage cataloged folders with Filters and Smart Albums, for cross-folder searches or collections of your images.

An improvement Cataloged Folders brings over prior releases is the previews. 2017.6 caches an increased thumbnail size and a "Fit" size preview. This means faster browsing in Accurate mode for Cataloged Folders. Currently, the internal cache grows unbounded. I've already put forth a feature request to ON1 to cleanse "Fit" previews that haven't been accessed in more than 30 days. Maybe that'll come in a future release.

Note: The cache size in the Preferences manages the cache size for non-cataloged folders. For example, when you navigate to a fresh folder of new images, never before seen by Photo RAW. The Cataloged Folders uses distinct and separate cache and it not subject to eviction or thrashing. That's good.

Kelvin Temperature Scale

Kelvin Temp Scale

The Tone & Color panel in Develop now features a Kelvin-based temperature scale. That's nice, since most other programs and many cameras use the Kelvin scale. Consistency is good. The scale ranges from 2000 to 50000. That low end may open opportunities for you Infrared shooters (I'll get there someday :). And yes, you can toggle the scale between Kelvin and the prior sliding scale. 

Other Improvements

There are several other smaller tweaks in the 2017.6 release, too:

  • Compressed PSDs: Anytime you create a PSD file, Photo RAW 2017.6 compresses it. Good. PSDs can get large, so space savings are a helpful.
  • Zoom Improvements: The Zoom tool won't auto-center when zooming into the corners of images. That's been annoying,  yet tolerable. This is a fit and finish improvement that I really appreciate.
  • Sticky Crop Mode: Another fit and finish improvement is the Crop tool now remembers the last mode you used. Prior to 2017.6, the Crop tool always started in Freeform mode. Most of the time, I prefer to use the Original aspect ratio and change it only when necessary. I always forgot to change the crop mode and would end up cropping twice. Now, Crop will remember that. Another slice of goodness that'll save me time.
  • Rotate Anywhere: You can rotate a photo in Browse, Develop and Effects now (it used to only work in Browse).
  • More Blur: The Blur filter can get even blurrier. Sweet news for your super smooth, zooming cloud photos.
  • More cameras, lenses, etc.: More cameras are supported, more lenses are recognized, and more bugs are squashed. We expect this in update releases, so no surprise there. 

So there you go. Photo RAW 2017.6 brings some great improvements. Visit my ON1 Learning Center if you're new to ON1 Photo or need a refresher on all the things it can do.