On1 will release PhotoRAW 2023 soon and it's looking really good!

On1 will release PhotoRAW 2023 soon and it’s looking really good!

On1 will release PhotoRAW 2023 soon and it’s looking really good!

Already a major force in the photo editing world, ON1 will release ON1 PhotoRAW 2023 on the 10th October. I have to say that from here, it’s looking really good particularly from the pre-release info I have seen.

Coming in this release are Mask Ai and the ability to apply adaptive localised presets. Although the actual terms and names may differ on release, both of these tools will be game changers.

What is Mask Ai?

Mask Ai basically analyses your image to figure out what it comprises of and then creates local masks accordingly. In this way, an image containing people, man-made objects as well as background objects such as mountains, trees and the sky, can be worked on individually. For example, hovering over an image you will be able to see how the mask has been applied to people, animals and man-made objects such as buildings, roads, cars etc.  You can do the same thing for the sky and to any natural features such as mountains, rivers, lakes etc. This technique is very similar to the new mask ai tools within Skylum’s Luminar Neo which is currently sitting at version 1.4.0. Which application will win the mask ai war is yet to be seen. If I had to put money on it, I’d probably say ON1. Luminar Neo is considerably younger and it’s features generally seem to lack depth and solidity as well as features. Time will however tell.

What are Adaptive Presets?

Imagine wanting to apply a preset just to a mountain or to a house that is just a part of an image.  At the moment, you can only use local editing to do relatively simple things such as add contrast, lift shadows, apply hue shifts, add saturation etc. With adaptive presets, again this is my term, you will be able to add a LUT to the mountain or the house only. In fact you will be able to add any preset to any part of an image. In this way you can make changes to just the areas you want. That is a game changer for photo editing as it provides a unique way to tone and colour an image.

It all sounds good, any downsides?

The biggest downside to these new enhancements is that you’ll have to pay a significant price to own them. Every year ON1 increase the price of their software and this year is no different. I can basically upgrade to the latest version for £86 here in the UK which does include all of the functionality found in the professional plugin pack but not the plug-ins themselves. If I want to add the professional plug-in pack then it gets much more expensive with the upgrade costs in total being closer to  £159. Bare in mind that last year I only paid £95 for the full package and I moaned at that.

The annual. subscription price for ON1 PhotoRAW 2023 is currently $89 or about £79 GBP for the year. This includes the Professional Plug-in Pack and 200GB cloud storage. This compares favourably with Skylum’s offering for a Luminar Neo subscription which is being offered for slightly more at £89 GBP for this year. This also includes the extension pack offered by Skylum. This price is however much higher than the £49 it was being offered at just a month ago. Skylum are really squeezing their customers until the pips squeak.

All this being said, ON1 does have a proven track record of seventeen years of continuous product development whereas Skylum seem to change their direction as often as most people change their underwear. For me, it’s team ON1 all the way in this battle but time will tell.

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