ON1 Photo RAW 2021 Review

ON1 Photo RAW 2021 Review

ON1 Photo RAW 2021 is the latest version of ON1’s flagship editing software. At a quick glance, the 2021 version of this powerful editor appears to have a host of new features. It also looks to be a well-polished piece of software that both hobbyists and professionals could benefit from using. Regardless, we will delve deeper into what this program has to offer in our ON1 Photo RAW 2021 review so you can see if it is a worthwhile purchase.

ON1 Photo RAW 2021: Overview

For those who haven’t heard of, or used ON1 Photo RAW before, it is a powerful post-processing software available for both Windows and Mac devices. ON1 Photo RAW 2021 offers a comprehensive set of RAW editing tools. This means that you can transform your flat RAW images into vibrant, detailed, and professional-grade photos with minimal effort.

You can expect a range of editing tools including adjustment layers, tone mapping, contrast adjustment, and more. ON1 Photo RAW 2021 has a range of presets, and some specific tools for portrait editing, and landscape enhancements.

Aside from photo editing, it also has comprehensive photo management tools. If you have a large catalog of photos, you want an editor that can help you organize them. This is what ON1 Photo RAW 2021 does. You can manage your photo folder structure, but also add tags, keywords, and other ratings to your images so you can easily find them.

You can also expect a range of tools for exporting, sharing, and resizing your photos for use in other mediums. Essentially, it’s an all-encompassing program that gives the user full creative control over editing and photo management. I still found the performance to be only okay, however. There was still a delay when switching between different modes and loading some features.

ON1 Photo RAW Review

Name: ON1 PHOTO RAW 2021.1

Description: ON1 Photo RAW 2021 is a fantastic piece of software that allows for advanced photo editing. Also, it enables users to manage, catalog, and organize their imager portfolio. Although it may have slight performance issues, it is perfect for professional photographers and digital artists who need control and advanced editing features.

Offer price: 99.99

Currency: USD

Operating System: macOS, Windows

Application Category: Photo Editing

Author: ON1

Performance

Usability

Photo Management

Photo Editing

Price

4.3

ON1 Photo RAW 2021 Review

ON1 Photo RAW 2021 is a fantastic piece of software that allows for advanced photo editing. Also, it enables users to manage, catalog, and organize their imager portfolio. Although it may have slight performance issues, it is perfect for professional photographers and digital artists who need control and advanced editing features.

Get ON1 Photo RAW 2021

Free Trial

Excellent photo management
Has a comprehensive range of basic editing tools
Fantastic for quickly editing portraits
The layout and software design are modern and clean

Questionable performance
The layout is initially overwhelming

What’s New in ON1 Photo RAW 2021?

For the first part of this ON1 Photo RAW 2021 review, we should see what new features have been added. Traditionally, new versions of ON1 Photo RAW have brought new technology developments, increased usage of AI technology, and performance improvements.

In ON1 Photo RAW 2021, the following are some of the new features:

A new portrait editing workflow for quicker photo retouchingImproved color selection technologyNew full-screen preview mode for an unobstructed view of your workImproved selective editing with editing masksA new spot-healing brush to erase unwanted objectsA smart organize mode to quickly remove duplicate photosRevamped plugin for Adobe PhotoshopA quick slideshow feature for presenting work to others

These are some exciting additions that definitely look to boost the utility of this already advanced editing software.

However, there is no mention of improving the performance of ON1 Photo RAW – this has been an issue with previous versions and something that the community has noted. Whether this remains an issue is something I will test and comment on during this ON1 Photo RAW 2021 review.

Regardless, the above new features are a step in the right direction. The emphasis appears to be towards streamlined editing and giving users greater control – this is always a welcomed addition in photo editing software, especially for professionals.

ON1 Photo RAW 2021 Review – Features & Utility

To give a comprehensive ON1 Photo RAW 2021 review, I extensively tested the software. I have broken the review into separate sections so you can easily see its capabilities in different areas:

Performance

Performance! Why does this remain an issue for ON1 Photo RAW? In previous versions, performance has been a problem. Unfortunately, I still experienced some performance issues.

The program isn’t slow, but it isn’t as smooth as Adobe Lightroom. For example, when loading a photo into the editing tab, there is a noticeable delay. When performing some functions, there are delays. You just don’t get these types of issues in Lightroom. I found this disappointing, but ON1 Photo RAW 2021 is still highly usable – but you will need a decent spec device to run it smoothly.

The following are the minimum system requirements:

OS – macOS 10.13 or later, or Windows 7 or laterProcessor – Intel Core i5, Xeon, or betterRAM – 8GBHDD – 1.5GB of storage spaceGraphics – OpenGL 3.3 Compatible with 512MB of VRAM

These are the minimum requirements. From experience, a computer with these specs would still struggle. For example, my computer has 24GB of RAM, and the recommended is 16GB, and I still experience lag issues. Full minimum and recommended specs can be found here if you want to know the full recommended system requirements

Usability

Ease of use is incredibly important for photo editing software. ON1 Photo RAW 2021 is usable, however, first-time users may find the interface and layout confusing.

Once you open the program, you are presented with a large array of toolbars and options. For example, there is a toolbar on the left-hand side with features like crop and transform. Also, there is another toolbar on the right-hand side to switch between the different tabs.

Those who have used professional photo editing software before will find this layout logical and easy to follow. However, for beginners, it could be overwhelming and difficult to know where to start.

Once you overcome the initial confusion, ON1 Photo RAW 2021 is OK to use. The different tools have simple sliders and you can easily reset changes if you make errors.

If you hover over the different tools, a pop-up is shown that briefly explains what it does, and how it works. For first-time users, this is incredibly beneficial.

The interface and layout are also highly customizable. For example, you can change the size of the thumbnails shown on the photo management screen. It has a full-screen preview mode which allows you to view an unobstructed version of your edited photos.

Photo Management

When looking at photo editing software, you may need advanced photo management features. For example, you could have thousands of photos from various trips and it can be difficult to organize and find them. In this ON1 Photo RAW 2021 review, I tested the photo management features and was pleasantly surprised.

Photo management is done in the browse tab. Here you are presented with a detailed folder view and you can create, load, and manage your image catalogs. Importantly – ON1 Photo RAW 2021 will import your photo settings, structures, and Metadata from other editing software, if possible.

Using the browse tab, you can quickly and effectively organize your photos and create folder hierarchies. You can edit the metadata of individual photos and add notes like the author, a description of the photo, and keywords. ON1 Photo RAW 2021 will also show a list of your currently used keywords so you can quickly use them again.

I also like the rating system. This makes finding and organizing photos simple. For example, I usually highlight photos that I want to use on a web page in a specific color. Or I give my photos a 2-star rating once they have been edited fully. ON1 Photo RAW 2021 allows you to do this. You can easily upload everything to the ON1 360 cloud storage service so you can access your photos from anywhere.

Camera Support

Native camera and lens support are important for photo editing software. If the software has native camera support, you can often use automatic corrections tools, etc. ON1 Photo RAW 2021 has comprehensive camera support. You can find a full list of supported camera models here. It supports major camera manufacturers including Canon, Nikon, Sony, and Pentax.

This translates into the editing as the software will automatically detect the camera and lens used to take a photo. You can then automatically correct lens distortion and other imperfections with ease.

Basic RAW Editing

The basic editing tools of ON1 Photo RAW 2021 are what you would expect from a professional photo editor. You can quickly edit basic image parameters like contrast, exposure, shadows, saturation, and vibrance. Each option has a slider, or you can enter a value.

There is also a transformation tool so you can edit the scale and alignment of the photo. You may find this useful if you often take photos with a slanted horizon – using the transform tool you can correct this instantly.

You can also find separate transform and crop tools so you can basically chop and change your RAW photos in any way you wish.

Preset Editing

If you want to recreate a particular artistic style, ON1 Photo RAW 2021 has a host of presets. Once you open the editing tab, a preset toolbar is shown on the left-hand side. This toolbar contains a fantastic range of presets including architecture, color grading, film, and color film.

The range of presets is impressive and it offers much more than you will find in many other editing software options. The preset quality is excellent. You can turn your photos into artistic pieces easily. I also like that you can choose a preset and use this as a basis to edit your photo further.

The photo below has been edited using a “Golden Autumn” preset:

Faces (Portrait retouching)

If you work regularly with portraits, ON1 Photo RAW 2021 has an excellent “faces” tool. This allows you to quickly edit portraits and improve the basic quality. Once you have selected the faces tool, it automatically detects any faces in your photo.

You can then apply various effects and filters. For example, you can improve skin quality, apply slimming to the facial structure, and automatically brighten eyes. There is also an automatic red-eye removal tool. For quickly editing portraits, this is a fantastic tool and the AI technology works incredibly well.

Local Adjustments

ON1 Photo RAW 2021 allows you to make local adjustments as opposed to sweeping adjustments to the entire image. This gives you greater control – especially if you want to add extra detail to certain focal points or objects.

The local adjustment tool is easy to use while still offering a high amount of accuracy and control. You can change the opacity of the adjustment. It also presents a simple selection of adjustment presets, and you can create your own presets for future usage. The brush itself is also easy to use, and you can quickly change the size of the adjustment brush using the { or } keys.

Retouching

Oftentimes you may need to remove unwanted objects from photos. To do this, ON1 Photo RAW 2021 has the retouch tool. This has both heal and clone stamp options, and you can use it to quickly remove items from your photos.

This is simple to use and you can change the retouching options using the options in the top toolbar. There are four different modes, each of which performs a specific function – healing brush, perfect eraser, retouch brush, and clone stamp. Each mode has a tooltip, and overall, the retouching tool is incredibly effective.

Resizing

Once you have finished with the editing process, ON1 Photo RAW 2021 has a separate resizing feature. If you press the resize button, a new layout opens with an array of resizing features. The separation of this feature is ideal as it allows you to fully edit images first, before considering resizing.

You can use a range of preset medium types and sizes such as “Canon Canvas”, “HP Resin Coated”, and “Epson Matte”. These presets alter the sharpness and dimensions of your photo to suit a particular print type. Alternatively, there is a set of tools to manually resize your photos. This includes a basic pixel dimension tool, but also advanced options like tiling, gallery wraps, and sharpening.

Using these tools you can effectively resize and adjust your photos to prepare them for print, or for sharing via other online mediums

ON1 Photo RAW 2021 Pricing and Subscription

ON1 has moved to a subscription model for their pricing like other popular editing software. However, you can still purchase ON1 Photo RAW 2021 as a one-off software purchase. This approach offers greater flexibility and still caters to those who do not want to pay a monthly subscription for software.

The following are the current price options available for ON1 Photo RAW 2021:

Subscriptions

$7.25 per month for ON1 Photo RAW + 200GB of cloud storage
$14.50 per month for ON1 Photo RAW + 1TB of cloud storage
$81.59 per year for ON1 Photo RAW + 200GB of cloud storage
$163.19 per year for ON1 Photo RAW + 1TB of cloud storag

One-off Purchase

$72.53 for a perpetual ON1 Photo RAW 2021 license

You can also get a free 14-day trial of ON1 Photo RAW 2021 if you wish to test its capabilities first.

Compared to other subscriptions, the pricing of ON1 Photo RAW 2021 is reasonable. The basic subscription is cheaper than Adobe’s cheapest option at $9.98 per month. However, the basic Adobe subscription gives you Photoshop and Lightroom.

The cloud storage is for use with the ON1 360 service which is ON1’s cloud service. This is a good service and allows you to access and transfer files and images from any device and any location.

If you do not want to pay a monthly subscription, the perpetual license fee is reasonable too. For what you get, and the power of the software, $72.53 is a reasonable price.

How to Use the ON1 Subscription (Previously Branded as ON1 360)

ON1 360 is a great addition to the offering of the ON1 Photo RAW suite. If you use ON1 Photo RAW 2020 as your main photo editor, there is no reason not to use ON1 360. It offers great cloud functionality and means you can access your photos from anywhere. Also, the compatible ON1 Photo Mobile app is well-made and has some excellent features.

PAUL SKIDMORE

When looking at the ON1 360 subscription option, we initially found the cloud service difficult to use. It is not immediately apparent how to use the cloud service.

We strongly advise watching the various videos and reading the tutorials beforehand. This will help curb the learning process and ensure that you know how best to use the service. There is a full section of ON1 360 videos in the training section of the ON1 Photo website.

There are two main ways you can use the service.

You can publish photos to ON1 360 directly from ON1 Photo RAW 2021. Or you can access these photos, and publish them to the service from the ON1 Photo Mobile app.

Setup and Preferences

Before doing anything, it is important to check the preferences and setup of ON1 360. To access ON1 360, you must first log in to your account on ON1 Photo RAW. Once you have done this, click on the person icon in the bottom left-hand corner of ON1 Photo RAW – this opens the preferences dialogue box for ON1 360.

In this preferences box you have different tabs including:

GeneralFilesPluginsSystemServicesON1 360

We advise going through each of these tabs and checking the settings. The Services and ON1 360 tabs are particularly important. The ON1 360 tab is where you change the name of your main storage location, whilst the Services tab allows you to show which cloud storage services you want displaying.

Once you have configured your preferences, you can then start using the ON1 360 cloud service.

Status Dialogue Box

The next important tool of this ON1 360 review is the ON1 360 status dialogue box. This is available in both ON1 Photo RAW and ON1 Photo Mobile. It is via this dialogue box that you can check on the progress of your photo synchronization.

The box has a basic layout and shows the current upload status and your storage usage. There is also a handy turbo button that boosts upload speeds and you can access your account from here. This is a useful dialogue box to be aware of as you can track progress when syncing a large number of files.

Publishing Photos to ON1 360

The main thing you can do with ON1 360 is to publish your photos to the cloud service from ON1 Photo RAW. This is an incredibly simple process – once you know how to do it. Again, we advise watching tutorials first, so you know how the process works.

To publish a photo to ON1 360, follow these steps:

Select the folder you wish to publish.Right-click on the folder.Click “Publish to ON1 360“.

That’s it! Once the folder is published, the 360 icon will display next to it in the folder view. We love the ease of use of this process. You can also choose sync options and choose if you want to publish a preview or the original file to ON1 360.

You can also unpublish albums if you no longer wish them to be displayed on ON1 360. The service is simple, but we feel it is effective and easily allows you to transfer images between devices.

Using the ON1 Photo Mobile App

When creating this ON1 360 review, we also looked at the ON1 Photo Mobile app. This is an essential tool and something you should utilize if you want to get the best out of your ON1 360 subscription. It can be compared to Lightroom CC and offers cloud utility, but also editing functionality on your smartphone or tablet.

ON1 Photo Mobile is free to download on Android, iOS and Windows devices, but it does require an ON1 account to use.

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Once you have signed in, you can then access your images stored on the ON1 360 cloud. The app runs smoothly, and it has a clean modern interface too. You can instantly view different folders and images from your cloud storage. You can even take photos using your smartphone camera, and store them directly onto the cloud service.

You have the option to create albums on your phone, and upload the contents directly to ON1 360, too. The best feature, however, is the editing. Using this app, you can fully edit your RAW photos using simple sliders. It has the following toolbars:

CropToneColorAI EnhancementsDetailsFX

Essentially you can make full adjustments as you would in ON1 Photo RAW. These changes are then synchronized and you can access the photos again when you log back on to ON1 Photo RAW on your computer!

What Did We think of the ON1 360 Service?

After creating this ON1 360 review, we were pleasantly surprised at the quality and flexibility of the product. It is a solid cloud storage service that does exactly what you require. Using ON1 360, you can easily transfer photos between devices, make edits on the go, and greatly improve your photo accessibility.

Understanding how to use the service initially may be confusing, but once you get over this, it is incredibly easy to use. We also really like the ON1 Photo Mobile app – it offers similar functionality to Lightroom CC and looks fantastic.

Whether you use this cloud service or not depends on if you use ON1 Photo RAW. If ON1 Photo RAW is your main editing software, we highly recommend purchasing ON1 360. It appears to be a solid service that provides great cloud accessibility.

Simple to use once you have learned the basics
A relatively cheap monthly subscription price
Excellent mobile app with editing functionality

Requires watching tutorials to initially learn
Basic subscription has only 200GB of storage

Who Should Purchase ON1 Photo RAW 2021?

Hopefully, this ON1 Photo RAW 2021 review has given you a much better look at what this software has to offer. As you can see, this is a fantastic program with a heap of potential. For advanced photo editing and photo management, it remains one of the top programs available. It is a strong competitor to software like Adobe Lightroom and Capture One.

But who exactly would benefit from using it? This program is geared towards professional usage. For hobbyists, the depth and full-on interface of this software could prove too much. It does present tooltips and tutorials for using the features; however, it could still feel overwhelming.

For professional photographers and digital artists, however, this program has excellent capabilities. It offers an excellent level of control; particularly for portrait editing. It streamlines the editing process and has a range of useful tools that make editing quicker. For those who have large catalogs of photos, ON1 Photo RAW 2021 also provides excellent management options. You can easily organize your images and quickly search for photos using the various ratings and keywords, etc.

ON1 Photo RAW 2021 FREE Trial

ON1 Photo RAW 2021 FAQs

Is ON1 Photo RAW 2021 available as a plugin? Yes, it works as a plugin for Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Photo and more.

Is ON1 Photo RAW 2021 available for Mac devices? Yes, you can use ON1 Photo RAW 2021 on both Windows and Mac devices, and some tablets.

Is there a mobile version available of ON1 Photo RAW 2021? Yes, ON1 Photo RAW for Mobile is available in both the Apple App Store, and the Google Play Store for most modern tablets and smartphones.

How much HDD space does ON1 Photo RAW 2021 require for installation? The download is 1.5GB and you will need this as a minimum for installation.

Is ON1 Photo RAW 2021 better than Lightroom? This is subjective – most people have a software preference. However, ON1 Photo RAW 2021 is a fantastic program that could serve as a viable alternative to Adobe Lightroom.