What’s New in ON1 Photo 2018?

In Lightroom, ON1, Photography, Photoshop by Matt K13 Comments

If you’re an ON1 user, then today is a big day. They just released the full version of ON1 Photo Raw 2018. This is the latest paid upgrade to the ON1 Photo Raw software.

First, you can download a free trial right here if you’re interested. It’s a fully functional 30 day trial so you’ll get some time to dig in to it.

Next, here’s a quick run down of the new features/updates, but there’s a quick 5 minute video below that gives you an overview of them too. It’s not a really deep dive in to anything, but more of a “Okay, you downloaded and now you want to see where the new stuff is” kind of video. I’ve got some more in depth tutorials coming over the next few weeks and a big ON1 training system coming in December so stay tuned for that.

Anyway, here’s a quick list of the new stuff:

  • HDR (and it’s free – you don’t have to buy a separate app for it)
  • Pano Stitching
  • Versions (AKA Virtual Copies if you’re a Lightroom user)
  • Global Mask tools have been added (Density and Feather)
  • Luminosity Mask updates
  • Noise Reduction with a Brush
  • User Interface updates

What’s New in ON1 Photo Raw 2018 Video

I also did a quick 5 minute video. It’s really meant to be an overview of what’s new, but I do have some more in depth videos I’ll share over the coming weeks. Oh, and here’s the link to download the free 30-day trial version.


Hat’s off to the team at ON1. I know they’ve been working around the clock on this new version and in all of my testing so far it’s an extremely stable, fast, and great upgrade to the ON1 Photo Raw name. (Download Link here)

Have a good one!


  1. Author
    Matt K

    I’m leaving the first comment because I know I’m going to get asked this question:
    Can ON1 Replace Lightroom?
    So here’s the deal. I wrote a really long blog post last year called “The State of Photo Editing in 2017”. In it, I made a statement that I feel post processing and the sliders we use has become commoditized. I believe they all do about the same thing, and now it’s a matter of finding a program that feels good for you, fits your budget/payment methods, and has a good community around it. So… if you’ve made up your mind you’re switching – of all the software out there, I believe that ON1 is probably the closest to replacing Lightroom when it comes to organization of photos and raw editing. Capture One is probably the other closest one, but it’s just as difficult to learn (if not more) than Lightroom.

    1. Dale Garman

      Just one comment on Capture One. I liked many things about it but their catalog design has huge limitations as a DAM. I tried to bring in images into a single catalog (after all you can’t search if they are in the same catalog). By Capture One’s one technical support email to me, they don’t recommend more than 30k images in a single catalog and it’s really designed for many sessions instead. My experience is performance drops off the table after that. So as a fully featured DAM it is not there.

      One related feature I really wished On1 had is publish abilities, coupled with real smart collections (it seems the current smart collections are very limited in logic and so aren’t very useful to me). So I hope they work on the DAM aspects as well.

  2. Philip Zwick

    I looked at Capture One and see that it does not do so much of what On1 Raw 2018 does and it uses a catalog system like Lightroom. So how is it a better alternative to On1 Raw or even Lightroom for some? It still requires Photoshop to do more than can be done in On1 Raw. Or am I missing something?

    1. Author
      Matt K

      Hey Philip – I wasn’t comparing it to Photoshop. For some people (usually high end fashion and commercial shooters), they find Capture 1 to be superior to LR. I personally find it much harder to use than LR. But as far as organizing and develop raw photos (which is what I was comparing), Capture1 and ON1 are really the only two out there that come close. Man… so many companies with the name “one” in them 😉

  3. Philip Zwick

    Thanks for the response. I was reacting to the phrase ” immature and too simplistic”which implies that On 1 Raw is also “immature and too simplistic” compared to Capture One Pro. My casual look at Capture One told me that On1 Raw 2018 does much more than Capture One, including Pano and HDR and layers.

    However neither does selections and content aware move for compositing and liquefy so PS is still needed. What I wonder is whether I can use PS Elements 14, which I own, for these operations if I drop my CC subscription and use primarily On1 Raw. I think I can, albeit not as easily, but i am not prepared to make the leap yet.

    1. Author
      Matt K

      Ah. That was part tongue in cheek. A lot of the C1 users I see, usually feel LR is very simplistic and not of pro quality. It was more of a joke – sorry 🙂
      As for Photoshop and Elements and all that. Honestly, if you’re a LR and PS user – and you need both – the 9.99/month subscription is the way to go in my opinion.

  4. Michael Ventarola

    I Agee with Phillip. Can I get by with PS Elements? Is there any competition for Photoshop?

    I see a lot of RAW conversation software like Capture One and ON1, but no editors like Photoshop? If there are, what would be your recommendations?

  5. Rick Denomme

    Just using the 30 day trial but ON1 seem to play nice with Affinity Photo sending images back and forth with no problem. Would be nice to have a preferred external editor button, but this works. Looks like a good combo.

  6. Tom Runge

    Matt -great to hear you talk about Photo Raw 2018. I’ve been looking at it to replace Lightroom and my sense is it can. Hearing you say it’s similar to Lightroom reinforced my findings. A lot of us out here are glad you’re still involved in providing training for On1.

    All the best!

  7. Russell Davis

    Hello Matt,
    I have a lot of your videos and preset downloads. I am thinking to complement the standalone LR6 and CS6 with ON1 since I will not submit to Adobe perpetual ransom they have imposed for the use their program which I already paid for that privilege. Like in LR & PS I am in a learning phased and I can use as much instructional videos as I can to understand and use the ON1 program and hopefully you will be able to provide the same format as you have done for LS & PS videos that I have from you. Are you going to advertise the date when your instructional videos for ON1 going to be available? Thanks for all your great experiences you have give me with your videos and looking forward for lots more. To sad that Adobe corporation does not have your customer value minded that you posses.

  8. David Wishart

    This is a plea for help! I bought On1 Photo Raw 18 last Friday. Since then I have spent hours trying to activate it. I have asked for assistance from On1 and get a chance to select a new password which it rejects repeatedly. Now it even rejects my email address.
    I have read your work on LR for some time and knew you were associated now with ON1.
    Can you please rattle the tree and see if I can get some help to set my email and password so I can access the new software.
    They say they don’tuse Telephone anymore because the mail response is more efficient. Not for me! I am desperate.

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