ON 1 PHOTO 10 Review

ON1 Photo 10 Icon/banner 300x300In Late October, ON 1 Software will release PHOTO 10, thier replacement and upgrade for their Perfect Suite (9,5 latest version)

The new PHOTO 10 offers a number of improvements not only to performance but even the ergonomics of use. Simplifying things into a structure that makes a lot more sense considering how people edit their images.

I’m not going to go in depth into each of the new specs because ON 1 has a treasure trove of videos on their blogs delving in in detail to each of the new features. So I will give you an overview of the features that I find to be the most important and improved. **Please note that I have been working with the Beta versions of the software so the absolute final release may differ slightly and actually should work even more bug free

So lets take a look at some of the changes.

Improved Performance by up to 40%

This alone may be the biggest reason to upgrade. As all software manufacturers have learned, the more powerful you make software the more resource hungry they become. This was certainly the case with some of the earlier versions of the suite. It improved over time but this is the biggest jump in performance ever. They accomplished this by moving some of the resources from RAM to the Video Card (VRAM) Doing this improves Re-draw rates so that effects and adjustments happen faster. But the one caveat is that you need to have a Robust Video card. BUT, that is something that anyone that edits photos should have. ON 1 Recommends a Minimum Of a ” OpenGL 2.0 compatible video card with 256 MB video RAM, 1280×720 resolution (OpenGL 4.0 compatible video card with 1GB video RAM, 1920×1080 resolution is recommended) I personally would go with their recommended amount and in fact Mine  has 2GB of VRAM and runs all editing software great

In practice the speed upgrade was very noticeable. From initial startup times to rendering thumbnails and then onto applying filters, presets and Adjustments was much crisper than before with a lot less lag.

Improved Browser

The browser which nicely shows you a preview of images within folders. Newly added is a Smart Albums feature which allows you to assemble an album of images based on search criteria of Ratings, Flags and Keywords, Camera etc, and it will then search through all your favorites and automatically assemble an album with just those image. Very quick and easy

ON1 PHOTO 10 Browser Module

ON1 PHOTO 10 Browser Module

Improved Interface and Panels

If the improvement in speed is the heart of the update then surely the changes to the interface and new workflow are the brains. OnOne or ON1 as they are now branding themselves, has always had interesting modules that do different things. a few years back they brought them all together into a “Perfect Suite” which was a nice way to bring them all together but it still left them feeling like they were separate pieces of kit just under one roof. That all changes in Photo 10.

Part of this new workflow, besides the standalone is how Photo 10 interfaces with Lightroom and Photoshop. In Lightroom they still are found under “Edit in” But in Photoshop they move from the obscure File>Automate placing to the place that makes most sense; under “Filters”. That’s all well and good but it’s how things work after you enter Photo 10. Before, if not using as a standalone, and say you went into Perfect B & W, you could work in that and then you had to exit and go back to Lightroom or Photoshop and then again go out to one of the other modules you wanted to use or even a touch up in Enhance.

ON1 PHOTO 10 Enhance Module

ON1 PHOTO 10 Enhance Module

Now, once you enter Photo 10 you have full access to everything you can do in the Standalone. So even if you enter under Effects you can switch over to Enhance and then over to Portrait and back again in any order you wish. THAT is a big deal in time savings and ease of use.

Beyond that, there are changes in workflow within Photo 10. The first is that Perfect B & W has been included and merged with Effects so now you can easily combine the standard effects with Black & White. Say you like HDR or Dynamic Contrast effects but want to layer in Black & White or make it say, a slightly de-sat look. That can be done quite easily especially since Photo 10 NOW allows for stacking filters. Just press the “Add Filters” button and you will be presented with all the choice you were used to before. (you can always download more filters and presets at the On 1 website or others that make them available)

ON1 PHOTO 10 Effects Module

ON1 PHOTO 10 Effects Module

You can simply stack the filters you like or you can Modify extensibly any filter in the stack and also vary the opacity of that filter for a stunning number of options.

You can also now stack Presets simply by right clicking the preset and say “Insert Preset”

So everything you had before is included in Photo 10, but, in a better put together package. It may look like Perfect Resize is missing but it’s still there it’s just nested under the the “Export” button lower right panel or in the menus File>Export. Just make sure you check one VERY important thing before you resize. Under Resolution you can choose PPI (Pixels per Inch) or PPC (Pixels per Centimeter) you really don’t want PPC or you could set yourself up for a HUGE file and most likely a Crash. You want PPI unless you are used to working in Centimeters.

ON1 PHOTO 10 Export Module

ON1 PHOTO 10 Export Module

So in the end this all makes much more sense for a workflow. If you are used to a commonly used flow of Lightroom for heavy Lifting RAWs and then onto Photoshop. This will seem very normal and flows much better instead of in and out of the suite multiple times. Or if you are looking for a Standalone Editing tool for  reasonable price you get that in Photo 10


Is it perfect? No not everything is how I would like it. But bear in mind that I STILL was using a Beta at press time so thing will improve.  They moved the Module buttons from the top bar to the side to allow for a bigger preview screen which is good. But the buttons on the side are very small especially on large High Resolution screens and  that is further hindered by very slow Mouseovers to tell you what some controls are. And although things have sped up there still is a bit of brushing lag on some of the masking tools . But that may be different in the full release.

So who is this for? Well if you are already an ON 1 user it’s definitely for you. It’s everything that you loved about ON 1 Suites but just in an interface and workflow that makes huge amounts of sense. But who else? Well I don’t know how you stand on the still ongoing backlash against Adobe for them moving to a subscription model (personally I am totally fine with it) But there are two groups that this is definitely for: For the Lightroom user that wants to be able to go farther and needs more Cloning and Content Fill Options and more detailed masking and effects options than Lightroom has. Yet, doesn’t want to go through the huge learning curve that Photoshop has. This is for you.

Or, for the photographer that is just looking for something all in one. Something they can organize and browse through their images (even in the cloud) and then edit/enhance them, add effects, touch up portraits and then save or Export as necessary. Again this is what you would want

Like I said earlier I haven’t gone into any of the actual “How to use” for this since On 1 has such an extensive lineup of Videos to learn from on their site and blog it would just be a waste or time to redo what they already do so well

They are just finishing up on the final Beta and the Full Release is scheduled for Late October (this month)

Currently, they have a Pre-order prices of $119.99 and $10 off the “Upgrade” from pervious versions of $89.99

Plus ordering now (Pre-Release) get’s you:

* Promotional bonus items:
– 5 seat family license
– 3 months of ON1 Photo Magazine
– 10 hours of Photo 10 training videos by Matt Kloskowski (exclusive for pre-orders and launch purchases)

To order ON 1 PHOTO 10 click the links above or below
Photo 10


  1. dave October 22, 2015 at 7:58 am #

    Thanks for the review! If I’m working in Lightroom, as I currently do, will this essentially get me more presets, or is it more than that?

    • Peter October 22, 2015 at 10:32 am #

      Well Dave, As you know Lightroom works non-destructively, applying instructions rather than pushing pixels, So all the presets in LR do just that and are based on things that can be done in the Panels.
      ON 1 is Pixel editing so while it is “Destructive” I hate using that term because it connotes a negative,But anyway It may do something similarly to what can be done with presets in Lightroom but then it can also do things that as of now can only be done in Pixel editing (why photoshop exists)
      It may be things like better Removal than LR’s spot healing does. FAR better masking of Presets, Filters and adjustments, Say you wanted to apply a preset to the sky only and you have mountains with a ragged edge.
      Layers, with varying masks and opacities and blend modes
      Portrait Enhancements are possible.
      So in essence, LR would continue to be your RAW editor. But when you need Pixels Editing this would be your go to, although it could be a one stop too. But it does NOT do RAW editing per se as the image is made into a PSD or TIFF

  2. Russ October 28, 2015 at 6:52 am #

    Hi, Now I am an OnOne fan to a point as I found on ocassion the software would stop working during PP on an image but give them there due they reply and try to help with any problems. When they said that Luminosity masking would be available in ver 9 I was enthusiastic but and only my opinion I felt it was not as good as it could have been made especially as I already used it in Photoshop, so the question is any upgrade on the Luminosity masking front with version 10?

  3. Peter October 28, 2015 at 8:49 am #

    Hi Russ,
    As far as I can tell there are no changes in the Luminosity Mask in Photo 10 from Suite 9.5. It’s the basic Grayscale Luminosity mask. What is it you would like it to do beyond what it does now?

    I guess basically the fact is that Photo 10 has an easy one Click Luminosity mask. Making it easy for those that have never made one to have the ability.
    Now of course you can do Luminosity masks in Photoshop but they’re not really “Built-in” you have to know how to make them, albeit, you can make them beyond a basic Grayscale 50%up down mask

  4. Russ October 28, 2015 at 10:19 am #

    Peter maybe should have expanded the Photoshop statement as I use masks from http://gregbenzphotography.com/luminosity-masking-tutorial/
    there are others out there that offer free Actions/Masks so no need to make your own.
    There seems from what I have read over the net a lot of people useing luminosity-masking in place of HDR software and getting some really great results. Russ

  5. Dave November 9, 2015 at 1:06 pm #

    I used it for a few days and loved it, however, it’s cache and browse functionality is filling up my laptop hard drives (brand new MCI Ghost with a 1TB D: drive) and crashing my system when the disks fill up. Sent and email to Tech Support. Doesn’t appear that there is a number to call.

    • Peter November 9, 2015 at 2:51 pm #

      Hi David, Thanks for the comment.
      Like most software companies today, OnOne’s Technical Support os all “Online” I’m sure you found those links

      All Editing Browsers; Lightroom, Bridge, Photo Mechanic etc, Use a Cache for Thumbnails and previews. ON 1 Photo 10 is no different. However it should not be “Filling up your harddrive” From the factory the Browse Cache is limited to 5000 MB or 5GB. You can change the location, Size and Clear The Cache by going to Preferences and then to “System” Tab and make changes you would like there.
      You will find the folder for the cache defaults as “perfectBroswercache and you can locate that folder with a search of your system

      Hope that helps

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *