ON1 Photo RAW 2020 is coming… and set to strike at Adobe’s cloud-based heartland

(Image credit: ON1)

ON1 Photo RAW 2019 is already one of our favorite photo editing applications, and the new ON1 Photo RAW 2020 looks set to improve on it in a whole host of ways. That’s only one of the stories, though – ON1 is launching its own mobile app, a new cloud sync system AND a new video editor aimed at photographers.

These new products will not be available until ‘early’ 2020, but ON1 Photo RAW 2020 should arrive as a public beta this September with a full launch ‘this fall’.

What’s new in ON1 Photo RAW 2020

ON1 Photo RAW 2019 has earned a place in our list of best photo editing software for its organizing tools, layers-based image editing and vast range of preset image effects.

The new version will have AI-powered AI Match and AI Auto tools, together with four new Weather, Sun Flare, Color Balance and Channel Mixer filters.

Photo RAW’s filters can be used individually or collectively, and form the backbone of this program’s library of preset image effects. In ON1 Photo RAW 2020, this will be updated in its entirety, with new looks and styles ‘curated’ from the latest trends in photography.

ON1 Photo RAW will also integrate with the SmugMug online photo sharing service and will include a new Map view and Print module, together with Custom Camera Profiles in conjunction with X-Rite. ON1 says the software will also benefit from improved noise reduction and general speed and performance enhancements.

There’s no news yet on the final feature set or the pricing, as that will be revealed with the public beta in mid-September.  ON1 is committed to subscription-free software and prices its products very keenly, so we’re expecting it to be as affordable as ever.

ON1 Photo RAW 2020

ON1 is promising improved noise reduction as one of a host of improvements in ON1 Photo RAW 2020. (Image credit: Future)

ON1 Video… video editing for photographers!

ON1 Video is a brand new product which ON1 says is aimed at photographers who need to shoot video, with the kind of tools, sliders and techniques you’d get in a regular photographic workflow, rather than the complex jargon and terminology of even the best video editors.

This sounds an intriguing proposition, and it’s quite surprising no-one’s targeted this market before. We look forward to seeing what ON1 Video is like, but ON1 is already promising a range of editing features including trimming, enhancements, audio tracks, grading, time lapse videos, slideshows… and ‘seamless’ integration with the company’s own ON1 Photo RAW software.

We’ll have to wait until early 2020 for the finished version, but ON1 is promising a public beta version in the middle of November 2019.

ON1 Photo RAW 2020

ON1 Photo RAW is a non-destructive photo editor, and ON1 says edits made on one device will sync with others. (Image credit: ON1)

ON1 Sync Service… Adobe watch out!

The even bigger news is that ON1 is developing both a mobile app and a cloud sync service to take on Adobe’s Creative Cloud ecosystem – but without the subscription (we hope) and without tying you in to a specific cloud service. In fact, ON1 says its new ON1 Sync Service will work with ‘any of the popular cloud services’.

You will be able to store your photos anywhere you like – on your desktop computer, laptop, or in a cloud storage system – and access them anywhere, on any device. You will also be able to synchronise albums and presets between devices together with your non-destructive edits.

The difference between this and Adobe’s Creative Cloud system and Lightroom CC, is that Adobe insists your photos live in the cloud, and on its own (expensive) servers.

ON1 is also keen to point out that your photos will remain private and it will not be allowed to analyse them for any marketing purposes.

ON1 Photo RAW 2020

Currently, Lightroom is the only mainstream app to offer seamless cloud-based synchronization across devices... but all that is about to change. (Image credit: Future/Rod Lawton)

ON1 Photo Mobile

The ON1 Sync Service will work alongside the new ON1 Photo Mobile 2020 app, also due in 2020.

This will incorporate both camera (capture) and editing tools, just like Lightroom mobile. ON1 says it will come with ‘pro-level’ camera controls and the ability to wirelessly send raw photos from the app directly to ON1 Photo RAW running on a desktop machine or a laptop, with non-destructive adjustments applied in the app transferred intact.

You’ll also be able to ‘push’ edits from the desktop software back to the ON1 Photo Mobile app.

We don’t yet know all of the features in the new app, but ON1 is promising color and tone adjustments, shadow enhancements, vignette effects and object/distraction removal.

ON1 Photo RAW 2020 sounds like a major update in its own right, and we’ll bring more news and a review just as soon as it’s available.

We’ll have to wait a little longer to see the new ON1 Video app, and the really exciting news is ON1’s plans for its cloud and mobile services in 2020. This is where Adobe has had the lead on all its rivals for a while now, with Lightroom CC and its Creative Cloud based image storage. If ON1 has its way, 2020 will be the year when that changes… 

Read more:

• The best photo editing software right now
• We pick the best video editing software
• These are the best laptops for photo editing

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com