ON1 Photo RAW 2018 Beta

In the last week review i slagged about that some software companies already reached the year 2018. One of those companies is ON1 annoucing Version 2018, which now is in a public beta.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 BetaA little bit more than ten months after the release of Version 2017, which i did a two part review on, now by the end of october the new version is to be released.

The most recent version 2017.6 is sold for $ 99 (79 $ for an update), while Version 2018 can be preordered for $ 120,–.

With the appearance of version 2017 the company massivly advertised that Photo RAW is a software to buy where you don’t need a subscription. This little punch towards Adobe wasn’t adequate because ON1 offered a subscription for their RAW converter and they still do. In my review i criticised the price because it was not clear how long it would take before ON1 would present a upgrade where customers have to pay for. Not its clear that customers have to consider ON1 update cycles, because if you got your version 2017 and add the costs for the upgrade to 2018 you’ll end up with $ 200,–.

But lets take a look and decide if you’ll need/want the upgrade, if this can be judged with the beta version.


First of all i noticed the availability of the layer function  in the regular development modul without having to switch between layer and development modul.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 Beta

This is a huge improvement in the software, in particular with other improvements in mask functions (like color mask and so on)

New functions

More and more software companies believe in implmenting more and more functions to a regular raw converter, while there a lot of specialized tools doing a better, at least in most cases. But with this philosophy ON1 is in a good company.


The HDR tool is not optimal or in other words there is a lot to fix until the final release end october if you take a look on the resulting images.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 Beta

The purple area could not be avoided even taking back brightness or saturation, while other tools like SNS-HDR or Photomatix don’t have a problem here.

Saving an HDR images will result in a file with the ending  .onphoto, why not use  .tif format? I can’t give a reason for it.


Here ON1 sort of copied the panorama function from Lightroom. Images are stitched together without any chance to influence the result with the exceptions of Auto-Crop and Warp-Fill.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 Beta

This looks pretty good to me, but another handheld panorama did cause errors.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 Beta

With a very small notice ON1 informs the user that only 6 out of 8 images were used to stitch the panorama. The hills on the right side of the image are incomplete. Here is the same image where all 8 images were used to stitch the panorama in  Photoshop CC:

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 Beta

Maybe this effect is due to the beta status of the program, but if a function uses only 6 out of 8 images i do expect a warning and a reason why its not possible to use all images.

Saving a panorama takes a lot of  time, because ON1 Photo RAW uses  .psd without any need for it.

Display problems

I mentioned a problem in my video about the 2017 version, which still is there. In browse mod sometimes panoramas (standard tiff format) are not displayed in the right orientation.

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 Beta

A correction of the orientation doesn’t help in all cases.

Tiff files

Sometimes the preview display of tiff files in browse reminds me of color negative:

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 BetaSince i knew that it is a regular tiff file i opened the file from within ON1 Photo Raw with Photoshop CC. This ended in ON1 Photo RAW first converting this file to .psd because Photo RAW recognized layers and the file opened in Photoshop CC looked like this:


ON1 Photo RAW 2018 Beta

This is how the original file looks like:

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 Beta

Maybe you could tolerate the display problem (even though tiff format is arround for quite some time) but why is there a need to convert a file before opening it in a external editor.


At the moment i can’t advice anybody to make use of the preorder. and talking about the price, presenting an update after a little bit more than 10 month you be better off to stick with the original Lightroom and Photoshop CC. If you don’t like subscription models you could buy Lightroom 6 and maybe Affinity Photo would be a good completion if you need layers only once in a while.

ciao tuxoche

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