This multifaceted photography software undergoes an overhaul twice annually. Once again, there are some big changes afoot. We take a first look at what is new in On1 Photo Raw 2022.
Last year’s improvements were significant. In my opinion, the release of updates halfway through the year made On1 Photo Raw 2021.5 a viable alternative to Lightroom and placed it slightly ahead of other raw development, editing, and asset management apps. As well as the other new features – I’ll come to those later – the 2022 version fills two big gaps in its armory.
Integration With NoNoise AI
Firstly, there will be full integration with On1 NoNoise AI, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. Those that use On1 products will already know that switching between modules is much faster than, say, moving between Lightroom and Photoshop, and so we can look forward to quickly swapping between Photo Raw and this noise reduction software.
Editing Workflow Improvements
Secondly, it will have the ability to host Photoshop plugins. This should mean that we’ll be able to open programs like the Nik Collection and Luminar directly from On1, thus speeding up the workflow for those who use these external editors.
The software will have new inbuilt editing features too. For landscape photographers that like to replace boring skies, a Sky Swap AI feature will fulfill their needs. That function automatically detects the sky in photos and creates a mask. You can then replace the sky with either one of the 100 supplied skies included with the software or choose one from your own photos.
We’ve been busy this past year integrating our new AI-based technologies into this version. The Sky Swap AI goes beyond what you can do with some of these other applications. The mask is editable, with any of our powerful masking tools, and can easily be used to apply effects filters or local adjustments to existing skies.
– Dan Harlacher, VP of Product at On1
The masking function has improved as well, with the addition of the Line Mask Tool. Working similarly to the Pen Tool in Photoshop, with this non-destructive selection feature, you will be able to curve the lines, and or remove points, or change the feather and opacity of the shapes you create too.
Time-Lapse Creation With Unique Features
They are also adding a new Time-Lapse Creation tool that includes a preview of the time-lapse and the ability to produce a quick proof copy before rendering the full-sized video. Besides flicker reduction and time-scaling, this feature auto-detects and removes frames that become misaligned when the camera is bumped. Furthermore, it will even out changes in exposure, making day-to-night sequences possible.
Improvements to Exporting Images
The export function has been rebuilt, allowing you to run multiple presets plus create DNG copies of the original files. Additionally, you can add multiple text and graphics watermarks at the same time. On1 also improved the file naming and destination abilities, as well as upgraded the resizing options. There’s now also a backup and restore function that allows you to recover lost data plus migrate your work, settings, presets, and extras to a new computer.
Find Favorites in the Browse Module
The Browse module is a hybrid between a file browser and a catalog; imagine a cross between Adobe’s Lightroom and Bridge. It has similar tagging, labeling, and albums (called Collections in Lightroom) available. Additionally, with this release, the Browse module gets a new Favorites pane, so you can quickly access your most frequently used file locations. The thumbnails are more flexible too. There will be the option to change the size of labels and whether they appear. There will also be regular or square thumbnails and light and dark themes.
On macOS trackpads and Windows touchscreen devices, you will be able to use gestures. Also, the software now runs natively on Apple Silicon-based macOS machines.
The full integration of ON1 NoNoise AI into the Photo RAW workflow, a new Time-Lapse creation tool, the Photoshop Plugin host capability, and the remastering of the export workflow are huge features our customers will absolutely love.
– Craig Keudell, ON1 President.
Forthcoming Updates to This Version
On1 usually releases a free update to the current version halfway through the year. They say that in the near future, this version will include a new integrated AI-powered ON1 Resize, a Liquify Tool, much-improved searching and filtering capabilities, content-aware cropping and filling, and enhancements to ON1 Photo RAW for mobile.
License Options and Costs
As with previous versions, it will be available with both a perpetual license (one payment and you’ll own it forever) or with a subscription that comes with extra benefits.
It costs $99.99 for a perpetual license. Owners of any previous version of ON1 pay the discounted upgrade price of $79.99. A single purchase license for ON1 products includes Windows and macOS versions for use on two computers and support in 11 languages.
Meanwhile, ON1 Photo RAW subscribers will, of course, automatically receive the new version as part of their plans, and that includes the latest version of ON1 Photo RAW for computers and mobile, ON1 Photo RAW cloud syncing, and each of the ON1 plugins. Subscription plans are available from $7.99 per month or $89.99 per year. That is far less than the cost of the Adobe Photography Plan.
Additionally, for a limited time, any purchase of the new ON1 Photo RAW 2022 will include 100 additional ON1 Autumn Brushes, Textures, LUTs, Presets, and Skies.
Watch This Space for a Review
As I said earlier, the 2021 version of the software was a major step forward for On1. Now, along with NoNoise AI, it’s looking like On Photo Raw 2022 is a formidable yet affordable piece of software that is no longer snapping at the heels of its competitors but will be leaving many of them behind.
I’m looking forward to trialing it on its release later this month on release and bringing you a review.
You will be able to buy or download a free 14-day trial from the On1 website later this month. The current version is still available to trial there. The On1 website also hosts a range of training videos showing how to use the software, which also gives prospective buyers a good insight into its capabilities.