If you’ve read any of my articles you’ll know that I have a love / hate relationship with On1 PhotoRAW. Currently I have two problems with this editor, firstly is that it’s developers think that JUST ENOUGH is good enough – more on this later and the second is that they have recently “tinkered” with the structure of the product seperating out some features as stand-alone tools and as plug-ins to other editors such as Lr/Ps, Capture One, Affinity Photo etc. Now while some see this is good news, if you are an existing power user of On1 PhotoRAW 2021 you now have no choice but to suck up the significant price increase in order to continue using On1 PhotoRAW in your workflow, or to jump ship and move to another editor.
So, what do I mean with regards “JUST ENOUGH”? This really relates to my perception that On1 seem to think that by providing new functionality, for example Portraite Ai that this is good enough. Using this as an example, since it’s introduction several years ago there has been no significant development of this functionality – it’s as good or as bad as it was on release. I often hear On1 users say that they look forward to future developments of some feature or other but in truth, these rarely seem to happen, certainly in any meaningful way, with tools such as Portrait Ai. Now don’t get me wrong, Portait Ai is very usable for quick and dirty edits but for those looking to move away from, let’s say, better portrait editors such as Anthropics PortraitPro Studio or even Photoshop and Affinity Photo, there is nothing in the latest releases to justify this. Will this be the same fate for Sky Ai, NoNoise Ai, Resize Ai etc? I hope not but I suspect that On1 will move on to the latest hot gimmic in order to compete with other mainstream editors.
With regards the new pricing structure, I personally think that On1 has now gone beyond the economic boundary that marks the natural position of each tool in the global scheme of things. It’s now close to bumping heads with some serious competition including Capture One, the Lr/Ps subscription bundle from Adobe as well as now looking extraordinarily expensive against products such as Affinity Photo from Serif and Luminar NEO from Skylum. Whether long term users such as myself see the benefit in staying with On1 in the longer term, this is going to come down to what On1 do with regards pricing and product structure in their next major release in late 2022. I for one am watchin with interest.