Software A move to On1 for m43s processing


This is cross posted from "m43s Talk" which I recently joined after the DPR announcement. I'd like a wider demographic than just m43s users, I think.

I have long been a strong advocate of ACDSee. And I still am, sort of. I think it still has the fastest, most complete DAM on the market. But, I admit, I was looking for new challenges. I was getting bored, I think.

After trying several products DXo, Capture1, and a few others, I settled on On1 Raw 2023. Primarily, the price was right compared to the others, though I would have happily spent whatever money it took to get what I was looking for.

My Thoughts:

  • I miss ACDSee’s Light EQ tool. It is an easy and fast way to squeeze out all the DR your camera is capable of.
  • On1’s user interface is awkward and clumsy in the sense that it tries to nest normal everyday tools into an automated, but not quite,“filters” paradigm. It requires a new way of thinking about what makes a good UI experience. I don’t think this is a ‘wrong’ approach, but it does require an open mind.
  • On1 seems fast, even on my relatively modest PC. Though the ‘boot-up’ time is somewhat slow.
  • The noise control and sharpening tools are significantly faster than the Topaz tools. And the quality of results when compared to Topaz and DXo Pure Raw are similar. All three have strengths and weaknesses, each in different areas and in types of photos. I think. At any rate, it’s good enough most of the time, and I'm not going to get rid of my Topaz tools.
  • On1 Doesn’t really have a true DAM, it’s more of an ‘enhanced’ photo-manager. It appears to be a relational database model, as opposed to a hierarchical model, which makes “not” logic a bit easier to implement.
  • Like ACDSee, it uses the LensFun optical correction tools. Which is a fairly reliable open source system. However the User interface hides the lens correction source data in order to make lens correction as automatic as possible. ACDSee, uses LensFun more directly and even allows users to access the LensFun lens/camera datafiles; So one could even add custom camera/lens combinations to the file. (NOT for the unskilled!)
  • On1 has both iOS and Android versions of On1 Raw, though, like Lightroom, it’s only marginally useful without a subscription. But many other software publishers can’t say that!
  • On the whole, I like On1 Raw 2023, in spite of my discomfort with the UI. That is one of the reasons I left ACDSee, and Lightroom, before that. I want a learning experience that will shift my vision a bit. It works well with ORF files, and I think in time, it will greatly speed up my post processing efforts. I’m thinking of trying to figure out a way to integrate it with an ACDSee DAM front end though.


I have decided to return to ACDSee. The primary reason is the ACDSee DAM. It supports still photos, video, audio, and even MS Office documents among other things, the DAM also has a mature and extensive batch processing mode. On1 Photo Raw, doesn't appear to have any sort of batch processing, at least I can't figure it out. Plus I can use ACDSee with Topaz Photo AI in both raw and in a bit mapped edit mode. The built in On1 noise and sharpness controls are much too aggressive in my eyes resulting in over-sharpening and the introduction of artifacts. I know I can modify the effects with On1, but Topaz is much more consistent with my tastes in sharpening and Noise control and with fewer artifacts. With ACDSee Photo Studio Ultimate and Photo AI, I can control the flow of my work in a variety of ways that work well for me while On1 feels much more restricted in how I must work.

I'm keeping On1 Photo Raw, it IS a lot of fun to play with, and it has some unique tricks up its sleeve. But in the end, I think the ACDSee/Topaz combination makes me much more productive.
I never took to Photo Raw, it just seemed half-baked when I tried it. However I did use Effects (Perfect Effects as it was called when I started using it) a lot in the past and still do now and then, as a LR6 plugin. Some of the tools there are quite good, and I found the "stacking filters" approach pretty intuitive. I should fire it up again and see if it could still be useful with my current workflow.