ON1 Photo Raw Software REVIEW *Update*


First of all i want to say a big THANK YOU again to the developers of ON1 Raw for giving me the full version of this great software for reviewing it and sending them feedback!


Here is how the developers describe it:

ON1 Photo RAW is the lightning fast raw processor, photo editor and plug-in collection all in one app photographers have been asking for. Unlike the current class of raw-based photo editors requiring catalogs, bouncing between apps for editing, and a subscription ecosystem, ON1 Photo RAW features a new, modern raw processing engine, tuned for today’s sensors and graphics chips. Combined with our current set of tools, the next generation of ON1 Photo 10, will continue to work where you want, as a standalone app, a plug-in for Adobe® Photoshop® & Lightroom®, or a host app for other editing apps.

No Subscription Required.
For Mac and Windows.


And yes, basicly it´s a raw processor and a photo editor, like Adobe Lightroom, Capture One and others, but ON1 RAW has it´s unique features and workflow which makes it stand out from other photo editing software and also it claims to be the fastest.

The version i tested is the latest:

Version 2017.0.2

  • Added support for Compressed Lossless Fujifilm RAW photos
  • Improved processing quality for Fujifilm XTrans sensors
  • Improved highlight recovery
  • New raw file support for cameras including Olympus SH-2, E-M5 MKII, E-M1 MKII, Pentax K5 II, Nikon D5600, Panasonic DMC FZ2000, Panasonic DMC G2, Panasonic DMC G5, Panasonic DMC TZ80, Leica M10, Leica TL, Canon EOS 500D, Panasonic DMC LX15
  • Over 20 improvements to performance in Browse which is an area ON1 will continue improving
  • Several more performance updates and bug fixes are also included in this release


I have fast Samsung SSD Harddrives which help a lot when you are working with any photo editing software. On1 RAW start up time is very fast once you clicked the icon.

My PC Specs:

I compared the speed having the same raw images in On1 Raw and in Adobe Lightroom loaded and clicking through them in the develope window. And yes, it´s faster than in Lightroom, but really not lightning fast. While Adobe Lightroom can need like 4-5 seconds to load a complete Raw photo in its full resolution when you clicked on it, On1 needs only about 3 seconds in the develope window.

In the Browse window things look different, there On1 RAW is really fast, clicking through the images takes maybe 1-2 seconds and thats definetly great.

So as far as the speed goes, there is still room for improvement when you are in the develope mode, but what you can do is when you edited your photos you can switch to the browse mode anytime.


The UI is well structured and if you worked with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, than you will have no problem with On1 RAW too.

The only thing which i don´t like about the UI is that when you are using a 4k Monitor like me, than the most important buttons like, browse, develope..get very tiny and also the font is a bit difficult to read.

All in all i like how simple and clean they designed the UI, so you don´t get confused when you want to work with it and you know exactly where everything is.

Here is how it looks on a 4k Monitor:

Upscaled buttons:



Now here comes the part, where any photo editing software has to prove it´s quality and personally for me the image quality i can archieve with a software is at least as important as the usability and speed, because i want to be shure that my raw files will be displayed and processed in it´s full quality, detail and sharpness.

First of all i´m a Fuji X-T2 Shooter, a lot of people say that Fuji´s Raw´s are quite difficult to edit and you need the right photo editing software like Capture One for example.

Now i tested Capture One and i have to say that i really don´t like the workflow and the UI of it, so i´m editing my Fuji RAW´s with Lightroom and i never really had a problem with the image quality i got with it.

Saying that, after i compared the same Fuji X-T2 RAW files in Lightroom and ON1 RAW i was quite shocked how much more detail and micro contrast you get with  ON1 RAW and the latest update Version 2017.0.2, in which they improved processing quality for Fujifilm XTrans sensors a LOT.

Here is an image Comparison with the exact same Fuji X-T2 Raw file, on the ON1 RAW file is no filter or anything, everything i did is to raise the shadows:

You can download this comparison in full resolution here on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/stojaphotography/32790513811/sizes/o/

So in this example i was really shocked how good the file looked in ON1 just by raising the shadows and also how good the colors looked. Unfortunately you don´t have Fuji´s beautiful camera profiles like velvia, provia, acros…but the developers allready sayed that this will come in 2017 with the next big update.

One more comparison of that shot with the rendered JPEG´s. On the Lightroom version i have used the velvia profile.

More comparison shots, as you can see just to change the camera profiles like here to velvia in Lightroom can make a huge difference. The shadow recovery in ON1 is excellent though, i found it to work more effictive than in Lightroom actually.

In these shots the Lightroom edits look better with the use of the velvia profile in post.


Well…not yet, ON1 RAW is not yet there, a huge problem are the highlights in ON1, they improved it a little with  the latest update, but there is still a lot of improvement needed like you can see here, a soon as you bring the highlights slider down to get the detail in the sky you get this very ugly colored “ghost lines” :

Here is the same with Lightroom, as you can see there is a lot more detail and it looks much  more  natural without any strange lines:


One  more very big problem is that you don´t have any lens correction in On1 Photo RAW yet, this will also come with the next big update:

Corrected in Lightroom:


What i really like about ON1 are the Filter Presets that come with it. They look very good and you can adjust them how you like. Unfortunately ON1 does not support plugins like color efex pro yet, so thats definetly one thing i whish that should be added by the developers.

You can also use ON1 as a filter Plugin in Lightroom, right click on the image in Lightroom and edit with ON1, which works really nice and fast.

Here are some examples with the ON1 Filter Presets, especially the one´s for colorgrading look very nice and warm:

Update 16.02.17: here are some more shots edited completely in On1 RAW compared to editing the files in lightroom, the sharpness and detail level you can archieve with ON1 is really remarkable!

Update 17.02.17


Now to complete this review i decided to dig out my old Sony A7rII raw files and test them with ON1.

As far as chromatic aberrations and the highlight problem goes, you get the same result with the Sony files, but when it comes to detail i think that Lightroom handles the Sony files better than the Fuji Raw files. The detail you get with using the Sony raw files in Lightroom and On1 is pretty much the same though, which you would expect.

When it comes to shadow recovery though On1 is a LOT better, as you can see in my comparison screens here, just by lifting the shadow slider you are allmost there with your images and thats very impressive!

In this shot i didn´t do anything to the raw file, once it was loaded into On1 it looked allready pretty much perfect:

Also very impressive how fast you can edit your images just by using the presets that come with it like colorgrading, lift the shadows a bit and thats it really. When i first edited these images in Lightroom i had to do a lot more editing and used color effex pro on them to get similar results, in On1 you have everything you  need in one software incl. colorgrading effects.


ON1 RAW is on a very good way with the latest update and FUJI shooters should definetly give it a try! As you can see in my comparison shots the Fuji RAW files show more detail and microcontrast in ON1 RAW, so for now i will use ON1 RAW more often. For Sony  shooters it does not make a big difference in using ON1, but the excellent shadow recovery and the built in filter effect presets and sharpening are definetly worth trying it! Since there is still a problem with the highlights i would not recommend using it for landscapes where you usually have to use exactly that to bring out the sky and so on.  For everything else where the highlights are not important i will definetly use it. There is some good software that removes chromatic aberrations of all your photos too. Of course you can do a LOT more with ON1 RAW, not just what i have mentioned here, and i will test all that too in a different blog post.

I can´t wait to test the next big update and that On1 will eventually really become a Lightroom replacement!


  • More detail, microcontrast and sharpness with Fuji RAW Files than in Lightroom
  • Very good shadow recovery
  • Nice and simple UI similar to Lightroom
  • Very nice filter presets
  • On1 can be used as a filter plugin in Lightroom
  • Layers
  • A bit faster than Lightroom
  • NO monthly subscription


  • Currently still problems with highlight recovery
  • No camera profile selection like velvia, acros…for Fuji
  • No lens profiles and correction
  • No plugins like Color Efex Pro yet supported


For now i will give On1 RAW a very good rating of :

If you like to test On1 RAW you can do this with the FREE TRIAL here: https://www.on1.com/products/photo-raw/

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