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08-16-2016, 09:22 PM   #1
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ON1 to be a new RAW editor

I currently use the ON1 10 suite, mostly as plug-ins in Lightroom. However, the next version, ON1 Photo RAW, due out shortly, is a full stand-alone (or plug-in too I think) RAW editor. But instead of storing non-destructive edits in a central catalog, it will produce and save sidecar files alongside the original RAW files. The idea is to make the system more portable.

I am not convinced I either need or want another RAW editor, or that sidecar files are the way to go. It is not yet clear whether we will have lens profiles, or how LR will play with ON1-edited RAW files (and their sidecars, if at all). Currently, if I go to ON1 as a plugin from LR, I create and edit a psd file, which can later be further edited in LR. This works reasonably well. I guess the same could be done after editing the RAW in ON1 if you needed to go back to LR.

It all sounds messy. There is not really enough information on ON1 Photo RAW available yet to know whether it is worthwhile, so I haven't pre-ordered the upgrade. Are there any ON1 users out there who have thoughts on this?

08-16-2016, 09:54 PM   #2
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I'm not a user, but the claim on their website that it is "The world's only non-destructive portrait retouching app" is false. Darktable, the Raw editor I use, also has powerful local editing via parametric and drawn masks and it's pretty effortless to do the editing features that are supposed to be contained in the new ON1 editor, including local skin adjustments, skin smoothing, colour tone smoothing. I'm not as familiar with Lightroom, but I'm sure it has many local adjustments as well.

The website also tries to give the impression, in my opinion, that it somehow invented catalogue-less editing, which is already present in Aftershot Pro 3. The only thing that might be truly new here is layers.
08-16-2016, 10:11 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by automorphism Quote
I'm not a user, but the claim on their website that it is "The world's only non-destructive portrait retouching app"...
From their webpage

" See the new non-destructive workflow inside of ON1 Photo RAW. One of the cool things about non-destructive editing is that the original photo (any file type Photo RAW can read – raw, jpeg, tiff, psd, etc.) is never modified. All the edits you do are stored as instructions. Again, no matter the file type. This makes opening and saving your photos fast "

I think is more "non-destructive" to the Jpeg file, rather than RAW files, marketing slang but they could be "technically" correct about this.


I dont know, i like the non import catalog thing, i purchase the ON1 Photo 10 when it was on offer and they specifically say they will give the update and the PhotoRAW, if this program do what Bridge+CameraRAW can make i can ditch my CC subscription

Last edited by virusn3t; 08-16-2016 at 10:17 PM.
08-16-2016, 10:27 PM   #4
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side car files are good, keeps the file structure in one place and easy to back up and move, no problems, that catalogue malarky leaves a lot to be desired.

08-16-2016, 11:04 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by automorphism Quote
the claim on their website that it is "The world's only non-destructive portrait retouching app" is false.
That is an interesting statement to make as I believe that Lightroom is non-destructive too. I use their products so I've asked the question and will post an answer if I hear back.

Tas
08-16-2016, 11:32 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tas Quote
That is an interesting statement to make as I believe that Lightroom is non-destructive too. I use their products so I've asked the question and will post an answer if I hear back.
I believe that the adjustments made by Lr and ACR are non-destructive and are stored in either the catalog or XMP files. However when editing function NOT provided by ACR backend are being used (i.e. those provided by Photoshop itself, Google Nik Collection, Perfect Effects etc.) are destructive and the approach of both Lr and Ps is to simply save these edits into a new file, leaving the RAW file intact.
08-16-2016, 11:36 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by virusn3t Quote
I think is more "non-destructive" to the Jpeg file, rather than RAW files, marketing slang but they could be "technically" correct about this.
Most, if not all, other Raw editors can open JPEG/PNG/TIFF files and do non-destructive editing to them as well. I know Aftershot Pro 3, Darktable, and Rawtherapee all do this, and I think (though I'm not certain) Lightroom also. I believe their actual emphasis was on "portrait retouching", because traditionally (and often still) people still use a Raw editor and then something like Photoshop for more advanced edits, and in this regard Photoshop is indeed much more advanced when it comes to doing really crazy local editing. So, I believe their claim is that they can replace the Photoshop part. And perhaps for some workflows this is true, but it is definitely not true that the vast majority of retouching cases will need Photoshop with the best current Raw editors. Of course, there will be exceptions for certain types of edits. Then again, there will also be cases where extreme individuals will still need Photoshop.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tas:
That is an interesting statement to make as I believe that Lightroom is non-destructive too. I use their products so I've asked the question and will post an answer if I hear back.
To clarify, Lightroom is fully non-destructive. In fact, I've never even heard of a Raw editor that is "destructive".
08-16-2016, 11:50 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Paul the Sunman Quote
But instead of storing non-destructive edits in a central catalog, it will produce and save sidecar files alongside the original RAW files. The idea is to make the system more portable.
This makes a lot of sense to me. Currently I have two laptops (one portable and one performance), three 2.5 inch USB HDDs, and two USB SSDs, but the way that Lr catalogs work basically limits my workflow to one laptop and its internal HDD which is quickly draining out (I use Windows, and the drive letters can drift around, making organization messy). Catalogless can effectively give me more freedom in organization of photos.

However I have decided to stick to Lr for several reasons: RawTherapee (once my principal catalogless RAW development software) development seems to have stalled and I have new gear that it has problem dealing with, I have incorporated Perfect Effects and Nik Collection into my PP workflow, and I have got used to have a software to manage my photos and going back to the manual trick is hard, just like now I will NEVER try to manage my 1000+ music collection manually as iTunes is doing the job for me.

BUT if ON1 can persuade me to buy their RAW editor of photo suite at a reasonable price, I might give it a shot (of course I will do a 30 day trial first).


Last edited by butangmucat; 08-17-2016 at 12:18 AM.
08-17-2016, 12:30 AM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by butangmucat Quote
However when editing function NOT provided by ACR backend are being used (i.e. those provided by Photoshop itself, Google Nik Collection, Perfect Effects etc.) are destructive
Destructive unless you use the 'smart photo' option. In On1 FX your processing steps are retained as layers and can be re-edited. If you don't choose this option then you're correct. Photoshop provides the same options and of course there is a large file size cost incurred for retainling layers.

The video at this link provides a bit more info on the 'non-destructive' workflow in On1 RAW:

I'm intrigued by the potential of this program and as a long time user of the On1 Suite I'm looking forward to seeing what they create. Over the years I've used their programs the improvements have been noticeable to the point where I use Photoshop for only about 10% of my post processing workflow. A shame considering how much it's cost me over the years.

Anyhoo, I hope On1 RAW will handle pixel shift images though I'm not sure if that's on their radar. I and other Pentaxians have provided feedback online for it so hopefully our requests got heard.
08-17-2016, 08:49 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by automorphism Quote
I'm not a user, but the claim on their website that it is "The world's only non-destructive portrait retouching app" is false. Darktable, the Raw editor I use, also has powerful local editing via parametric and drawn masks and it's pretty effortless to do the editing features that are supposed to be contained in the new ON1 editor, including local skin adjustments, skin smoothing, colour tone smoothing. I'm not as familiar with Lightroom, but I'm sure it has many local adjustments as well.

The website also tries to give the impression, in my opinion, that it somehow invented catalogue-less editing, which is already present in Aftershot Pro 3. The only thing that might be truly new here is layers.
If you think about it, all RAW software besides LR was catalogless at one point: Capture One, DxO (still is), Aftershot, SilkyPix, RawTherapee, etc...

Never-the-less, I'll be interested in checking it out. I want to dump LR and Adobe, but I've not found a RAW editor that is quite up to what I want. I don't need a catalog, and Capture One is a bit complicated to figure out how it deals with catalogs. DxO is pretty close to what I want although I miss the local edits and simplicity of some sliders. SilkyPix Pro may work ok, and Affinity may once they get their Windows version out. On1 may work for me as I think they focus on making things intuitive. We'll see.
08-17-2016, 05:21 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by beachgardener Quote
side car files are good, keeps the file structure in one place and easy to back up and move, no problems, that catalogue malarky leaves a lot to be desired.
Ditto. I was indirectly whining about this earlier in the day. Seems like an interesting enough idea that I may try the product.
09-04-2016, 04:52 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by beachgardener Quote
side car files are good, keeps the file structure in one place and easy to back up and move, no problems, that catalogue malarky leaves a lot to be desired.
And Lightroom does both, which is even better. You've got an easy to backup catalog file, and the files get updated too. If you use a format other than DNG, JPEG, TIFF or PSD it will use sidecar files for that (personally I prefer to have the edits inside the original file, my backup software will only backup the changes to the file, and not the whole file.
09-06-2016, 09:46 AM   #13
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In reviewing some of the blogs for On1, it looks like they will have a "catalog" but it is a bit silent and under the covers. Interestingly, On1 also hints at having an ability to convert LR catalogs or settings into On1 Raw. I'm leary of such things as that only works to the extent the software has the same exact feature set. But I suppose that even if it's close, they'll win over converts. I've seen a lot of complaints through their blog about how useless the software will be because they don't want to have to reprocess their photos, which is an indication of how companies get their hooks into you.

All RAW software is proprietary, but there are a lot of people that don't realize that. I generally don't care as I use many RAW processors and understand that using a different one means potentially having to reprocess a file. Most raw processors can handle Tiff files, so if it is really an issue or concern, I export a Tiff and process that file in another software. Having multiple files isn't a big deal to me. My catalog software (IMatch) handles versions and stacking keeping things clean and consistent. I really just want the best RAW processor that runs with as little problems as possible. LR 6 has been nothing but problems for me (performance-wise) but other software hasn't quite met its ease of use or has lacked one or two features I like. DxO has been closest although it has a steep learning curve. On1 Shows promise as might Affinity's Photo software (more of a Photoshop replacement), once they get a Windows version.

---------- Post added 09-06-2016 at 09:48 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by kadajawi Quote
my backup software will only backup the changes to the file, and not the whole file.
Do you mind sharing what your backup software is? I've not had great luck with software for incremental back-ups. I think my criteria of keeping the backup software affordable vs. features might be in conflict.
10-09-2016, 05:08 PM - 1 Like   #14
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In case anyone is still interested in the 'non-destructive RAW' claim by On1

Some of the discussions above referred to the 'non-destructive RAW processing' ad hyperbole and why they'd make that claim as LR/ACR etc do the same. This statement from Dan Harlacher clarifies what is being referred to with that claim:

A big component of that is nondestructive editing. Everything done within Lightroom is nondestructive, but as soon as an image is sent to another application, including a plugin, its adjustments are baked in and saved as a new file. This can be hassle for photographers who want the flexibility to jump back and forth between making RAW adjustments and adding effects.

By contrast, “Everything within Photo RAW will be nondestructive,” Harlacher said. Every separate component of ON1’s software suite will exist as a module within Photo RAW. However, ON1 isn’t turning its back on Adobe. In fact, the entire Photo RAW program can run as a plugin within Lightroom, albeit with the usual loss of nondestructive edits when moving between the two applications.


Now I understand where the 'non-destructive RAW processing' headline comes from. If you'd like to read the full article it can be found here: An Inside Look at the Incredible Speed of ON1 Photo RAW | Digital Trends


Tas
10-09-2016, 06:08 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tas Quote
Some of the discussions above referred to the 'non-destructive RAW processing' ad hyperbole and why they'd make that claim as LR/ACR etc do the same. This statement from Dan Harlacher clarifies what is being referred to with that claim:

A big component of that is nondestructive editing. Everything done within Lightroom is nondestructive, but as soon as an image is sent to another application, including a plugin, its adjustments are baked in and saved as a new file. This can be hassle for photographers who want the flexibility to jump back and forth between making RAW adjustments and adding effects.

By contrast, “Everything within Photo RAW will be nondestructive,” Harlacher said. Every separate component of ON1’s software suite will exist as a module within Photo RAW. However, ON1 isn’t turning its back on Adobe. In fact, the entire Photo RAW program can run as a plugin within Lightroom, albeit with the usual loss of nondestructive edits when moving between the two applications.


Now I understand where the 'non-destructive RAW processing' headline comes from. If you'd like to read the full article it can be found here: An Inside Look at the Incredible Speed of ON1 Photo RAW | Digital Trends


Tas
So now Photo RAW now does not offer anything new compared to SilkyPix 7 (which I have already switched to) except better integration with other on1 apps (which I only use rarely). Probably not switching again.

Thanks for this quick update.

P.S. SilkyPix is slow, however I doubt that Photo RAW will be faster as now my "working" copy of photos are now stored on a WD My Passport Ultra 5400rpm.
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