Like Luminar 4, since there is a good deal on ON1 currently so I got a license for this one as well and have been working with it for some time now.
The first thing I liked about ON1 is their excellent video tutorials.
So…Is this a Lightroom replacement?
There is no straight answer here. Depending on your requirements, it can not only replace Lightroom but, has the potential to totally trounce it.
For example, in some of the earlier videos, I have discussed replacing the background on BIFs and simple cleaning up of wildlife images and although Luminar 4 does a great job on the sky replacements, ON1 goes a lot further with far more control. While the sky replacement and relight of Luminar is really good and simple to work with, ON1 can do the same and more with some more effort.
All software has its own nuances and issues, but, depending on what your major requirements are, ON1 offers a lot more than Lightroom for the most part.
If you are already used to some application like Luminar or Lightroom, ON1 would have a small learning curve since the paradigm is generally different for all.
ON1 sits somewhere between Lightroom and Photoshop and could well be a choice for some. With some minor changes and additions, I would probably switch to ON1. Why would I switch? Simple, it does all I generally do and then some. The simple cleanups and composites that I use Photoshop for can mostly be done in ON1. If that was not enough, focus stacking is also built into ON1. I would also save a huge amount of storage space for the simple editing that I would do in Photoshop and land up adding another 500MB or more to the storage requirements.
So, let’s take a look at ON1. Like with Lightroom and Luminar, let’s go through the Menus and tools to see what all it has to offer on the surface and the preferences that we can set. We will then compare some of the features and implementation of the same with Lightroom.
Now, the first step would be to import our existing images and then also the regular camera import.
The Print, Export and Import need some work to match up with Lightroom.
Any kind of masking or healing brings Lightroom down in terms of speed. ON1 is way better not just in this part, but also the power it offers in masking and selections. Like Luminar 4, you can add your own textures as well.
ON1 also supports layers allowing for compositing, but, does create an additional, proprietary file to save a layered file. Not really a major issue since the file size is reasonably small compared to a similar one saved in Photoshop. At the same time, it is an issue since no other application can open this file in case run into any issues with it.
A brief list of the good vs not so good…
- Overall, ON1 seems to be far more responsive compared to Lightroom
- Support for layers Built-in focus stacking, HDR and Panoramas
- Texture Manager is good to have
- Crop size can be set unlike Lightroom, but, does not currently work
- AI Mask seems very similar to Topaz
- H.265 thumbnails are supported for video unlike LR
- Watermarking is only image based and therefore you cannot use text
- No Quick Collection which I find very useful
- The cursors are awkward
- Preferences icon could be replaced by import
- The arrow keys do not work in the sliders
- The trackpad does not work as well as expected for the brush sizing etc.
Keyboard shortcuts are a cross between Lightroom and Photoshop.
Hopefully, some bug fixes and updates and this would be my choice…