Should I Abandon Lightroom and Photoshop for On1 Photo Raw 2022?

Should I Abandon Lightroom and Photoshop for On1 Photo Raw 2022?

It’s something I’ve been contemplating for some time. Will the Latest Version of On1 Photo Raw 2022 persuade me to finally abandon Adobe? Please help me decide whether I should.

I’ve been on the verge of permanently swapping from Lightroom and Photoshop to On1 Photo Raw for a long time. I’ve used On1 alongside other software for many years, going right back to the early versions of Perfect Effects and Genuine Fractals. It’s come a long way since then and, for a lot of photographers, it has become a viable alternative to Lightroom and Photoshop. I need to decide if I am ready to completely change my way of working.

What is On1 Photo Raw 2022?

I think of each module is the lovechild of other software, inheriting the best aspects of each parent; Lightroom, Photoshop, Affinity, Topaz DeNoise, and the Nik Collection all rolled into one. It’s an asset management, raw development, and photo editing tool with extra bells, whistles, and drums. You can quickly and seamlessly jump between different modules in this single app, carrying out actions that would otherwise be spread over several programs.

Browse Module

The Browse module seems like the result of a fling between Adobe Lightroom and Bridge. You can use it like a file browser, or a catalog to access your folders and images. Pleasingly, when moving from Lightroom to On1, you can import the collections across into On1’s Albums. If you have a large catalog, then it’s a long process, but you can continue working as the changeover progresses.

With the Browse Module, you can either navigate through the file system, as you would with Adobe Bridge, or use the catalog to rate, tag, sort, and then find images as you would with Lightroom.


The Edit module comprises five features. Following on with the lovechild analogy, it inherited from the best bits of Lightroom and Serif Affinity, after they had a ménage à quatre with Nik and Photoshop:


The develop feature has raw adjustment sliders that are similar in looks to Lightroom or ACR, but have a far more accurate and gentle touch to them than Adobe’s offering. Most of the sliders are similar to Adobe’s, but with the addition of a midtones slider. If you are a Lightroom user, you can export all your adjustments from there into the develop module.


When anyone mentions filters in digital editing, I think of the horrible effects available on Instagram. In On1 Effects they are editing tools where you can add fully adjustable, blendable, and maskable layers, similar to Photoshop's adjustment layers with sensible starting points to work from. Some of these filters do a great job when you have learned how to use them. For example, Dynamic Contrast gives results like the Structure slider is Silver Efex Pro. Not all the filters are my cup of tea nor suited to my style of work – I don’t use textures nor add film grain, nor do I add borders to my photos – but some are tremendous and can add oomph to how your images look.

The Effects module, showing the filter layers on the right. Each can be opened, the adjustments changed, and blending modes applied. The layers can be masked too. Multiple images can also be layered.


Sky replacement is a new feature in the 2022 version. Again, I don’t replace skies. But some people do, so I put it through its paces using the free skies that are provided with the software. It came as no surprise that it worked, as On1 has had impressive masking tools for years. The only time it struggled was when I used a picture of a gray hoist against a gray sky, but this was easily fixed with On1’s Perfect Brush, which I find second to none at finding edges when masking.

A handy hint: Whether using On1 or any editing tool, do take care when changing skies. The replacement sky really needs to be shot at the same angle to the sun as the original photo. Also, the color of the sky needs to match the white balance of the land. Done badly, it looks awful.

While on the topic of masking, this new version brings with it a line mask tool, similar in functionality to Photoshops pen tool. On1 make some fantastic tutorial and support videos, and clicking here will take you to a good one showing how this feature works.


The portrait section of On1 Photo Raw 2021 has always been a strong point of the On1 arsenal. It smoothens skin, removes blemishes, whitens and brightens eyes, changes lip color intensity, removes dark shadows beneath the eyes, and cleans teeth better than any toothpaste. You can also independently change the sizes of the eyes and slim down the face. Its automatic face detection makes the processing easy, and that works better than in previous versions. After running a selfie through it, I ended up almost good-looking, which is some achievement. However, I decided on using someone far better looking in the following screenshot.

A screenshot of On1's Portrait module. The adjustments are subtle and pleasing and, like in other modules, range from single click changes to advanced controls.


You can apply layered adjustments to local areas of the image, applying masks to select the areas you want to adjust.

Other Features

New Time-lapse

Added to their panorama stitching, HDR making, focus stacking, and fractals-based image resizing features, On1 has added time-lapse to the software.

This was one of the features I was looking forward to. It had been my intention to go out and shoot one for this review, but I ended up in hospital, and then someone on my ward had Covid, so I now have been told to self-isolate for a fortnight. Sadly, I cannot leave the house.

However, I did stitch together a series of unrelated photos, and it produced an HD MP4 very quickly indeed. The new tool detects if the camera is jogged and can filter out misaligned frames. It also detects changes in exposure and can even them out automatically, making day to night videos possible.

If you download the free trial of On1 Photo Raw 2022, and create a time-lapse with it, it would be great to see the results. Post them in the comments.

NoNoise AI Integration

There is now full integration of On1’s NoNoise AI into On1 Photo Raw. I reviewed that software recently here.

Photoshop Plugins

A big change is that Photoshop plugins now work with On1, or will do very soon when DxO fixes a glitch that stops Nik Silver Efex Pro and Viveza from opening from it. This is a major contributing factor to me being very tempted to abandon Lightroom. I use Silver Efex Pro for my black and white conversions, so I will wait until DxO has fixed that.


There is a great deal more flexibility in the export dialog box, including changes to the ability to rename the files in different ways. This is a big improvement over the previous versions.

Backup Up Data

On1 Photo Raw 2022 now includes a data backup facility, keeping your data safe should you have a system failure.

How to get On1 Photo Raw 2022

Those who subscribe with monthly payments will receive this update automatically. If you bought the perpetual (one-off payment) license of a previous version, you will need to buy an upgrade. The mid-year update will come free.

The price of the product is competitive, and nearly half the cost it was a decade ago. Furthermore, you can buy a perpetual license (a one-off fee that lasts forever); a lot of photographers still object to paying a subscription fee for software and so this is an attractive option.

The subscription is cheaper than the nearest equivalent Adobe Photography plan, but with the On1 subscription, you are also getting their NoNoise AI, which I reviewed a few weeks ago. The plan comes with 1 TB of storage that also syncs with the On1 Mobile app, and a host of extra presets.

On1 Photo Raw 2022 can be opened directly from Lightroom. However, in line with other Photoshop plugins, you now must buy the modules you want if you want to access them from Photoshop and other apps. A rundown of all that is new with On1 can be seen in this video.

Pricing options can be seen here.

What I Don’t and Do Like

At first sight, On1 can look like a one-click fix program. Indeed, it can work like that; it comes with lots of presets. That’s great for those taking their first steps into digital development and editing. However, it is in fact also a sophisticated and very capable program that more than holds its own against the competition. Furthermore, it makes the workflow fast.

I really like the speed of this software. Switching between modules is instantaneous. Consequently, the On1 process is much, much faster than with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. Furthermore, the software is aimed solely at photographers, a lot of tools in Photoshop aren’t and can get in the way.

A few people faced glitches with previous versions of On1 Photo Raw. On occasions, the software ran slowly for me too, which was frustrating. But On1 staff told me they had done a lot of work to fix this, and so far, as I put it through its paces, it is running smoothly on my computer.

Raw development in On1

There have been a couple of folk moaning online about having to pay extra for the On1 modules to work as plugins for Photoshop. However, that is a policy in line with other plugin providers, and On1's cost less than both the Topaz bundle and the Nik Collection.

The subtle controls of the raw sliders seem more accurate than Lightroom. Additionally, that I can import my Lightroom adjustments into Photo Raw along with the collections, makes the process of permanently swapping over very tempting.

The other thing I like is the development results. I don’t like declaring the way photos look to be better or worse, but just different. The results from On1 are different from Lightroom, Affinity, and Capture One, which also have their own unique looks. As I mentioned in a previous article, being different is a good thing.

So should I take the plunge and swap? What do you think? I would be glad to hear your advice.

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Ivor Rackham's picture

Earning a living as a photographer, website developer, and writer and Based in the North East of England, much of Ivor's work is training others; helping people become better photographers. He has a special interest in supporting people with their mental well-being through photography. In 2023 he became a brand ambassador for the OM System

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Is it really that fast? I remember the older version being slow compare to Lightroom and Capture One (which I use now). I loved the feature that the product offers, lots of options and possibilities. If it's fast, it's worth testing again for sure.

I find it faster that Lightroom, and I have a relatively powerful, if slightly old, computer. If you trial it, please let me know how you get on.

I can't give any advice, I just use 'darktable' and am very happy with it. (fully 32bit fp, RGB work flow, LUT not necessary).

Darktable is great, Jan. It's free. You cannot argue with that.

I purchased the 2019 version, and while I thought the RAW developing functionality was fairly innovative and intuitive, I couldn't stop the damn thing from locking my PC up while it indexed my images folder - 1500+ sub-folders, around 2Tb. I felt like it needed a 'index when idle' checkbox somewhere. Sometimes this indexing would take 20 mins or more so I gave up and uninstalled it. Has anyone else experienced this or have any useful input? Thanks.

When I first loaded it, I needed to let it stand for a while for the indexing to happen. I similarly have a lot of images spread over several drives. The same would apply with any catalog system, it's not instantaneous. Loading Lightroom for the first time on a client's system, it took a long time to catalog. This version of On1 is much faster than previous and the guys at On1 said they had done a lot of work speeding it up.

Indexing should be a background activity and not block me from using the program, or my computer, either at first run or subsequently. Each time I opened it, maybe once a week after some shoots, it would go off on its own busily indexing, without a manual override, blocking use of the program and computer for many minutes. Tech support got me sending in log files and moving a file called ExploreService but they didn't seem to have a solution other than general recommendations on HDD types. Life's too short for unpaid product development so it got uninstalled. I'd be interested to know if this issue is widely experienced and whether On1 have specifically addressed it?

I suspect this is one of the things that has been sorted with the new version. It would be interesting to hear, if you run the free trial, whether the issue has been fixed.

On1 never felt smooth on my Mac crashed was slow and difficult to tune adjust the brushes to my needs. Talking about iMac 2017 40G ram and i5 quad core. Also very easy to over do the processing. I switched to C1 and had much better results. Lately been playing with dxo and also impressed. On1 is very complete but always felt very unfinished. If they can make it stable, speedy and make it feel more polished then it would be a LR killer but till that day sticking with C1. Certainly going to test it again but also waiting for the new C1 and the new DXO Photolab

On1 have done a lot of work on this new version to speed it up and improve stability. You could give it a free trial and see how it works for you now. If you do, please let me know how you get on.

Contrary to the nay-sayers, I was a loyal Lightroom user from the beta days and through LR6. When Adobe decided to take my $$ annually via subscription I refused. I continued with LR6 until I discovered ON1, probably around 2015 or so. It took me a few years to overcome my fondness for LR, but as ON1 continued to enhance their product, I slowly used LR les and less. Last year I upgraded my camera to a new Mirrorless. The RAW files could not be processed in LR6. At that point I completely abandoned LR. Earlier this year is signed up for a LR/PS subscription to see where it had gone in the intervening years. However, ON1 does everything I need as a photographer, and now does it better that LR & PS IMO for what a photographer does.
I am running on a 2015 MacBook Pro, and it struggles now with my larger file sizes, but it still works well for my needs

I will NOT be renewing my LR/PS subscription!!

Good to hear that it works for you, Ken. It's a great bit of software and gets even better with every release.

I have used On1 since 2019 with a PC and have had few problems. I would move completely to On1 from Adobe, but PhotoShop added a new feature for removing background from portraits that is, well, amazing. I use the tools as well trying to remove myself from Illustrator and the page layout program. If On1 had the feature PhotoShop has for removing background stuff I would never renew my CC again.

If by removing the background stuff you mean masking, On1 does that, and the masking brush is outstandingly good.

As a long time user of On1 PR and earlier products, I have to say that 2022 is the fasted, most fully featured DAM they’ve released to date and while it does great things, it doesn’t replace PS. The lack of context aware fill, attributes it is unable to assign to layers, and the absence of many tools and processes which are easily accomplished in PS are glaring. Against LR, it fares better though for the price one can purchase a yearly access to Adobe. Interestingly, many of PR’s deficiencies can be managed in Affinity so perhaps PR+Affinity could approach PS?

Hi Adam, Content aware!

Please would you explain what attributes it is unable to assign to layers, and which of the "many tools and processes easily accomplished in PS" you think are missing? It would be useful to hear that.

Although I am relatively skilled in using it, I never do a huge amount in Photoshop, preferring to get as much right as possible in camera and developing the raw file. It would be interesting to hear what others do in their workflow.

Let me clarify my comments, "context aware fill", not context aware tools as I think you have indicated. So, for example adding frame space to a scene is not offered in PR. On1 PR is not a "pixel editor" so trying to accomplish the types of things that one would like to do in PS can't be done. Take something simple as simulating technicolor for a given image. It's easy to do this in PS by creating three layers and assigning respective colors to those layers (just do a search) whereas one can try to mimic this in PR through filters though it doesn't really work. There are plenty of other examples from the lack of "marching ants" to lack of advanced blending modes, etc. Again, I like PR as it is quick, efficient, and in some ways very powerful. It's capabilities position it between LR and PS and if one doesn't need the features of PS, it's a reasonable alternative to those who want to do more than what can be accomplished in LR.

I see. I fully accept there are unique features in every program, and one must decide what are important to you. I do mostly developing, and little editing. So the features you mention are unnecessary for me. I also prefer the raw developing results from On1 to ACR, plus the speed is essential too. Photoshop lacks features that On1 has, such as fractal image enlargement and anything like as effective masking tools. I find the noise reduction in ACR/LR is dreadful. So, I guess it's what's important to the individual photographer. If Photoshop is best for you for those reasons, that's fair dos.

Why not go directly to Capture One and Affinity Photo?

There's always more than one way to achieve a result. It can be a subjective decision which workflow process you go for, so I am going to start with a subjective answer. As I said in the article, I actually like the raw development results of On1. Furthermore, I personally find On1 more intuitive than either of those.

More objectively, I have huge issues with the stability of Affinity on my system. It often just loses all adjustments and leaves the images flat with no contrast and little color. Also, it's two separate apps, so the workflow is slower. Additionally, I don't think either has a catalog for asset management.

Understood. One point, Capture One is absolutely a DAM, but more importantly it handles most everything within the app. I rarely export to Affinity, but I do find it a worthy PS alternative.

Just do it bro, should you? Could you? Yeah do it or don’t …

If it's got sky replacement, what else do I need?

It seems to me that you have already decided. The what you like and what you like and what you dont like sectiom contains only what you like. Does it have Luminosity masking capabilities as this is something i use on every image i process.

Yes, it gained luminosity masks back in the 2018 version.

I have been using On1 for several years now. I did not want to keep on paying a monthly fee to Adobe. Haven't looked back, I can skip a release and still use the tool.

Good to hear, Arno. Thanks for replying.

App hopping can really waste a lot of time and money. I've tried too many to count and spent too much time and money exploring when in reality If I would have just stayed in my lane I could of used that time to increase my editing skills and knowledge of new or unexplored features with my original editing app.

Couple of lessons learned regardless of your editing app of choice:
#1 Key to true performance enhancement is to upgrade your computer and storage technology to the latest for what can be dramatic results. * Don't mix old technology with the latest or you might not realize performance potential fully
#2 All the main stream editing apps cost a lot of money continuously, they just get it out of you with different approaches, they are for profit companies after all. No hardware or software company is sitting still, if they are then they are dead man/woman walking. Just a matter of time
#3 Social media's job is not to be social, rather get your money too for their respective sponsors no matter how social or friendly in appearance. Don't be distracted by the constant discounts, faster performance, new and improved etc. etc.etc.
#4 Stick to what you know, Do spend time and money if needed to become very proficient. Replace/swap only when your current app can no longer complete the tasks needed but usually there is a plugin available to fill most needs without swapping out your entire editing app environment
Read #1, again.

Yes, that's fair enough. Don't you think there can also be other motivations for swapping? For example, annual cost, different features, the desire to learn a different way of working, wanting to have different end results, a dislike of your current provider's operating practise, simplifying a workflow, ease of operation, and so on.

One major consideration is how widespread and "mainstream" each program is.

The more people who use a program, the more resources there will be to support the use and learning of that program.

If I want to learn how to do something in Lightroom or Photoshop to there is a vast amount of information available to me, particularly in the form of step-by-step tutorials.

Adobe is a household name. Almost every photographer in the world knows about Photoshop and Lightroom. Conversely, I had never even heard of On 1 Photo Raw until I saw the title of this article a few minutes ago.

Life can be lived more efficiently when we use the same products that most other people use. Parts, service, and how-to advice are easy to source when you own a Toyota Corolla and shoot with Canon cameras. Likewise with DeWalt power tools or Vector binoculars.

Use the same thing that most other people use, and you're making your life easier and more efficient. Use something that isn't quite as mainstream, and you will probably have a bit more difficulty finding helpful info and fixing stuff when something goes wrong.

I do understand that sentiment, but not sure that I agree with it, Tom.

"Smaller than" is not synonymous with "small", and small is not a description I would apply to On1.

On1 is now pretty huge and well established. They've been around for many years and their fractals based resizing software was the industry standard. I'm surprised you've not come across it before now; there are ten pages of results when you search Fstoppers for the name, and 204,000,000 Google results. "On1 Photo Raw" (in quotes) brings 257,000 results. Yes, that's fewer than "Adobe Lightroom", but hardly an insignificant result.

They have an enormous number of first class official tutorials as well as a good number of independent ones online.

If we all use the same cameras and software, it would end up with no competition and monopolies, resulting in a lack of innovation. Also, it would result in images looking samey.

I now shoot with Olympus, a far smaller company than Canon, Nikon or Sony, but when I broke an older lens there was no issue at all with getting it repaired. I really like that the images don't have the same look or feel as other brands, and my customers don't complain either. Despite all the doom sayers, they are still producing lenses and cameras.

To me, everyone buying the same brands from the same retailers amounts to a dystopian nightmare. But, then again, I think it is great for people to have different points of view too.

I never regretted switching from LR to ON1 raw.The support is quick en the integrated NoNoise works quick with very good results

Yes, NoNoise is amazing.

Just want to say I have HUGE respect for all companies competing in the photo editing arena. Seems like a steep and never ending hill to climb. That said, I'm among those who jumped the Adobe ship when the "subscription" was introduced and I chose On1 as my new solo platform. I liked it, mostly, but a few factors eventually chased me back to Photoshop. I don't see some of them mentioned often in threads like this, so for what it's worth...

1. Butter smooth operation w/NO crashing. IMHO, Adobe's tools and layers are just slicker and more sophisticated than most. They should be, they had a big head start on everybody else.
2. Versatility. Although On1 is a very capable photo editor, I missed PS's ability to do numerous other graphically oriented tasks.
3. I missed the Patch Tool. Fans of this tool know nothing works quite like it and there are certain retouching tasks that are just harder without it.
4. On1 does their very best to convince users to upgrade every year. It's understandable of course, and it isn't required, but they try hard to keep improving enough that you feel like you're missing out if you don't grab the new version. The cost varies depending on your timing, but the annual update typically runs in the $50-80 range, or about $20 less than it costs someone to buy On1 for the first time. Not the end of the world obviously, but I must say $20 always struck me as a pretty meager loyalty discount. That aside, if you say for the sake of argument that you'll stay current w/On1 and typically catch the upgrade around $60, you're basically talking what amounts to a $5/month subscription. And the cost can go up from there if you want On1's cloud storage and/or access to their best tutorials. Also worth mention, On1 is now pushing a subscription option too. Bottom line, even without any extras, it boils down to about $5/month to always have a fresh copy of of On1 vs $10/month to always have the fresh copies of Photoshop, AND Lightroom, AND Adobe Camera Raw. When viewed from this perspective Adobe's basic photographer subscription actually looks like a pretty decent deal.

Lastly... to be fair, as I'm typing this I DON'T have "current" Adobe anything because a recent update and all updates since aren't compatible w/my older processor. Nice. Let's just say a VERY annoying development for a returning customer. But the versions I'm stuck with for now work perfectly, and if I'm honest about it, I can't see myself going anywhere else again to save a few bucks. I learned how to edit on Photoshop (7!), and for me it's still the best tool out there.

I guess everyone has their own editing priorities. I started editing with Gimp with UFRaw, then and early version of Photoshop Elements, which was smoother but with fewer features, and in 2005 graduated onto Photoshop, whatever version that was. I soon discovered that I was almost exclusively using ACR, and not using the editing tools at all. I then switched to Lightroom 3 in 2010, but used (what are now called) On1 plugins, to change the overall look.

So, for me, developing a photo is far more important than editing, but appreciate that some people want to do more with their images in post-processing. I guess if people are digressing from straight photography and doing heavy changes to the images, then the tools in Photoshop would become necessary. My son is a digital artist, and I would not suggest that he used On1 instead of Photoshop and the tools he uses.

As I said in the article, I actually like the raw processing results of On1 better than Adobes, and some of ACR's adjustments, such as sharpening and noise reduction, I find clumsy and even ugly. Plus, the edge finding capabilities of the brush are poor compared with On1. So, it's horses for courses.

Ivor, I'd say your "horses for courses" comment is the perfect headline or summary for this topic. People do what they do and like what they like, and if their method serves their purpose I think we'd all agree it's a good method. Just for clarification though, I tend to favor PS is because I'm NOT into heavy editing. Programs like ON1 and LR seem enamored with things like presets, sky swaps and filters of various kinds... and I consider all of those things to be pretty large and wholesale edits. I have nothing against them really, I just never use them. I shoot B&W almost exclusively, usually people or pets, and my eyes like it when the models still look real. Old school? Maybe just old. Anyway, I also love ACR as a starting place, but I almost always end up doing something in PS. It's funny though, I've never even been tempted to use noise reduction. I honestly don't deal with noise much because I use simple strobes a lot, but I don't mind seeing a little of it here and there because it reminds me of B&W film. Like I said, maybe just old.

Lastly... just want to say thanks to you and all the members here for helping to keep the hard work kind of photography alive. I only signed up yesterday to toss my bit into this thread (happened across it on the Google news page), but I've had a chance to look around a little and appreciate some of the talent and dedication at this site. Hopefully I'll get around to posting a few also? In the meantime, here's to the photos we love and the people that make them.

Gimp and UFraw, yes. As said, today I use 'darktable' along with 'The Gimp'. I recently began to digitize old 35mm b/w films of my parents. I do it with the ES-2 and a Micro Nikkor 55mm f/2.8. Of course, some negatives are damaged and because they are old, some post processing is needed. So I use 'darktable' to fix basic things and maybe I also retouch some spots if there are not too many. But if there are I use 'The Gimp' along with a Wacom Intuos graphic tablet. Retouching is done so much better and much much faster with a pressure sensitive graphic tablet. (Use photoshop, if you like, I just use Linux).

I switched from Lightroom to On1 this year, and I'm excited to get the latest release when it comes out. They've added several features that I wanted. They have a ton of video tutorials, and tech support responds quickly.

I’ve been using On1 since the 2019 release, and now 2022, on a 2019 Mac with 40GB RAM and 8GB GPU. I do like the program, but they still haven’t fixed an issue with the program holding the changes made to “IMAGE LAYERS” (not adjustment layers) while staking them and editing at opacities ranging from 20 to 100%. I tends to lose these changes, on the modified layer, when either stamping, exporting or clicking “Done.” All that work lost and it gets frustrating. It may work 25% of the time. Tech support hasn’t had any fixes for this and I’ve gone as far as manually removing and re-installing the program 3 times along with making numerous changes to the system settings. Same thing happens on the Windows PC.

I do like the new NoNoise and multiple effects on a single layer and overall functionality. However, it’s independent color control for local adjustments could be improved.

It's odd, David. I haven't faced those issues at all. I suppose with the huge combination of processors, motherboards, Windows and driver updates, along with interactions with other programs, glitches will sometimes occur with any program. But having the same problems on two separate machines and operating systems has me scratching my head. I had a spell when Lightroom kept falling over, which was fixed with an update, and Affinity just crashes the image all the time for me.

On1 tell me that they have done a lot of work on the current version to iron out glitches, so ti will be worth contacting them and sending your log file.

Have you tried running driver updates using Driver Easy and not Windows? (Windows updates are always miles behind) Then, back up the catalog in On1. uninstall all versions of On1, run a registry cleaner, such as CCleaner, When it prompts you, back up the registry - I've been using CCleaner for many, many years and never had to recover the registry, but it's best to be safe. I repeatedly run it until no issues are found, usually about 2-3 times.

Then, resinstall On1 PR 2022. Check the functionality and then reinstall the catalog.

When I've had odd behaviors from some apps, that has done the trick.

I have been in touch with Stevie at On1 and followed all of the recommendations, including sending the log file. Never heard back from them after sending everything in.
My Windows machine is just a backup now... ever since buying the Mac, so it’s on its way out. I’ve manually uninstalled everything on the Mac and started fresh 3 times to no avail... and followed On1 instructions. I have better luck working with Layers in Luminar 4, which I don’t particularly care for. In Luminar, I’m able to fade out portions of an image layer at different opacities and create a composite without losing any changes when exporting.

This has been my only BUG with On1. Otherwise, it has worked well. However, and consequently, I’ve had to rely on other programs to achieve my goals. I have about 6 image editing programs and I haven’t had operational issues with any other, except for Luminar crashing every once in a while.

If On1 ever gets around to addressing this issue, it will (more than likely) be my main editing software.

The video below is an example of what I’m having difficulty with... using a texture as an Image “Layer” and paining in/out and trying to retain the changes. Ironically, On1 2018 is used in the video... which worked for her.

Thank you for your insight.

That's so strange. I've just followed that tutorial step by step, and it works for me. That you are experiencing the same issue on two different machines, and the fault is peculiar to your system, I wonder whether you use any common hardware when you swap between the two, such as a graphics tablet or mouse.

I hope you get it sorted.

I tried On1 Photo Raw 2017 and 2019, but they just didn't work for me. The program was slow and crashed a lot. The thing I disliked most, though, was way it handled exports. It was just too clunky. As much as I hated to do it, I switched over to LR/PS. LR is good, but I missed having layers and I hated switching back and forth to PS. I wanted one program that would do everything.

When On1 2022 came out, I gave it another try and all of my problems seem to have been addressed. I find that it does a wonderful job of processing and exporting images in a way that meets my needs perfectly. I'm still learning more and more about how to use it (specifically, the masking features), but I'm really impressed; so much so, that I will cancel my LR subscription when it expires in January. One thing of note, though, is that, although On1 will import your LR catalog and try to import the processing settings for each image, it doesn't do nearly as good a job as the tutorial would have you believe. For me, as an amatuer with very few images to process, it's not a big deal. For a pro, I can imagine that it would be a much bigger deal.

Interesting comments. Thanks Scott.

Yes, if you’re planning to replace Photoshop with GIMP and abandon pro-grade software.

I know several pros who use On1. It, like most pro apps, is miles ahead of GIMP, so not really a fair comparison. Saying that, although I am no beginner when it comes to Photoshop, it's not software I use very often. It has its uses for those who don't want to limit themselves to "pure" (for want of a better word) photography, and for digital artists, and those tools I do use infrequently are equally achievable in On1. Many digital artists are also migrating away from Photoshop because there are other excellent and more cost-effective tools available.

All I have to say about this is, I do not pay for programs when there are programs like PhotoScape X out there for free. You can pay and extra $39 USD for the "Pro" version, but you only get stuff you don't need or use except for layers and advanced B&W which is great. Why is it that you think you have to pay to get what you need. So why pay for upgrades or in the case of LR is it $20 a month now or $50 or $80 what's the limit? I shoot Sigma on a "Pro" level or that's what I get paid for and I use only Sigma Photo Pro and guess what.......that's right it's FREE. so I really don't care. As for speed that depends on the computer.

Be safe but have fun

That's a good point, Roger. I do agree. If there are free programs that do what you need, then why buy something else? There are others out there too, such as, which is worth a look. Darktable is also good. Of course, most of the camera manufacturers offer their own raw converters too. Every program has features that are unique to itself, and that's when one must decide whether one buys that program or lives without that functionality.

Thanks for the comment.

I have approx. 750,000 images in 100ish Lightroom catalogs stored on 6 USB drives. When I need to work on any particular set of images, I plug in the relevant USB drive and open the catalog. Can ON1 work in a similar way?

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