ON1 Photo Raw 2020 – Setting up and getting started!

This one is for some friends of mine who are considering moving to ON1 Photo Raw 2020 from Lightroom.

Before I start on ON1, I have created a new user account on my MacBook and will also cover some of the basic settings that I change to suit my needs on the user account for my Mac.

We will then start up ON1, go through the process of registration and create a catalog of all my images. In my case, I have all my images on an external drive in a single top-level folder.

If you have enabled the xmp option in Lightroom (like I have), then, you can simply catalog your image folders and be done with that.

If you do not have the xmp option enabled in Lightroom, then, you would need to export your Lightroom catalog to ON1 using the ON1 plugin for Lightroom to get all your tags/keywords into ON1.

I did not bother to export my Lightroom catalog for 2 reasons…

1. I have the xmp sidecar files from Lightroom and ON1 reads those
2. Even though ON1 tries to copy the Lightroom develop settings, I would rather re-process, where needed, in ON1 since the processing for applications can differ substantially.

Of course, simply creating a catalog of existing images is way faster than exporting the Lightroom catalog.

Since this is a fresh user account, I will just login to my Adobe account and run Lightroom to create a small catalog to demonstrate the advantage of the sidecar files and how it provides a backup for Lightroom as well as enabling other applications to use the same data.

In case your Lightroom catalog gets corrupted, you can just re-import all your images with the xmp data to recreate the catalog. Virtual copies, image stacks/groups as also any user-created collections would be lost, but, all the images and their metadata would come back.

Okay, so, let’s just import one small folder into Lightroom to create a small catalog to speed up the process. This would also allow us to see how we can use the ON1 export plugin.

Now, back to my normal login and we will see how the xmp option in Lightroom allows us to use ON1 alongside with Lightroom till you are confident enough to discard Lightroom.

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