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ON1 Photo 10 Review

ON1's Photo 10 is designed to transform photos with minimal effort and maximum impact.


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Features
Performance
Verdict
System Requirements

On1 Photo10 Software Logo


Photo 10 is ON1’s flagship photo editing and file management software package, replacing Perfect Photo Suite 9.5. It can be used as standalone software, but also as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom and Apple Aperture. ON1 Photo 10 is available now with an RRP of $119.99/£80 for the full version, or users of previous editions of Perfect Photo Suite can upgrade to version 10 for $99.99/£66.50.

 

ON1 Photo 10 Features

ON1 Browse

Browse is a quick and easy file browser that lets you view, categorise and rate your photos. Raw file thumbnails and full previews can be viewed without conversion and Browse also includes an Export module for easy batch resizing or renaming.

ON1 Effects

The heart of ON1 Photo 10 and previously badged Perfect Effects, ON1 Effects provides hundreds of customisable filter effects to instantly enhance your photos. Choose from retro to HDR looks and apply glows, vignettes and noise reduction, plus many more styles.

ON1 Enhance

Want to fine tune your shots rather than add filters? Perfect Enhance enables easy adjustment of colour, contrast and sharpness. Auto Tone will instantly make an underexposed image pop.

ON1 Portrait

Flatter photos of friends and family by smoothing skin, removing blemishes, whitening eyes and adjusting lip colour intensity. Semi-automatic facial feature detection makes the process easy and the results realistic.

ON1 Layers

Layers is the module in ON1 Photo 10 for making localised edits to your images before moving on to add filters in Effects. Fast masking tools like Quick Mask and an edge-detecting Perfect Brush provide fast masking with greater accuracy around hair and soft edges and also enable easy background replacement.

What’s new in version 10?

If you’re already familiar with previous editions of Perfect Photo Suite, you may be wondering what’s happened to Perfect Black & White. ON1 Photo 10 now integrates the dozens of customisable monochrome filters found in Perfect B&W into ON1 Effects, so you can now apply them in conjunction with the rest of Effects’ pre-sets and filters for even more editing flexibility.

This streamlining also extends to Photo 10’s interface as a whole, which has been modernised and given a sleek new look. Where in previous versions of Perfect Effects, each module could be selected from the top right of the main window, a slimmed-down selection of modules is now found on the right side of the screen and includes Browse, Enhance, Effects, Portrait and Layers.

Like Perfect Black & White, Resize is another element that’s been integrated into the other modules in ON1 Photo 10. It can now be accessed via the Export module button located in the bottom right of the main application window and Resize also includes improved batch processing.

The new Watched folders feature in Browse now accompanies the familiar Favourites folders and monitors selected file locations in the background to speed up folder searches. Multiple Favourites folders can now also be searched together.

Sharing options are another area of improvement and there’s now the ability to post photos straight from Photo 10 to social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Flickr, although only Facebook sharing is currently supported on Windows PCs.

ON1 Portrait used to rely on fully automatic facial feature recognition, but now it asks you to define the pupil of each eye and the corners of the mouth. This provides more accurate detection and feature enhancement, especially when faces are at an angle.

ON1 Enhance gets a new exposure adjustment slider as well as improved highlight and shadow recovery options.

 

ON1 Photo 10 Performance

ON1 Browse

ON1 Photo 10 Browse
ON1 Photo 10 Browse

Browse is the module of ON1 Photo that first greets you when you start the software. It’s a photo management app that lets you view your images, sort and rate them, much like Adobe Bridge. The Browse interface is split into three panes, with a folder tree on the left giving quick access to the folders on your computer. You’ll also find a details pane to the right of the main image preview containing detailed photo information and EXIF data.

As well as its ability to display proprietary raw files from even the latest cameras without issue, Browse is also refreshingly fast when compared to Adobe Bridge. Image thumbnails display almost instantly, and there’s only a slight lag when navigating between folders.

ON1 Effects

ON1 Photo 10 Effects
ON1 Photo 10 Effects

The central item on Photo 10’s module selector bar accesses ON1 Effects. Here you can choose from hundreds of different filters that’ll instantly transform an image. Perfect Black & White has now been incorporated into Effects, so its range of simulated film stocks and original monochrome looks can now be combined with other filters.

As with previous versions of Effects, you’ll find all the filter pre-sets on the left of the image preview. To the right of the preview pane is the filter stack which shows you all the filters you’ve applied to an image and contains their customisation options.

This is another area that’s been streamlined. Where in previous versions of Effects there would be a long and daunting list of filters containing numerous pallets of customisation options, Effects 10 uses dynamically expanding pallets for each filter’s settings to create a neater interface.

You can still use filter masks to target effects to specific image areas, but you’ll now need to click the filter to expand its customisation options, and then choosing the small masking icon alongside the filter name.

Processing performance of Effects 10 is almost identical to version 9.5. Depending on the size of your chosen image, there can be a slight lag for pre-set and filter thumbnails to preview, however once you start applying effects, this lag can become frustrating, with some pre-sets taking up to 30 seconds to apply, in which time the software will not respond.

For reference, our tests were conducted on a powerful Intel Core i7 PC equipped with 16GB of RAM and a fast SSD.

ON1 Enhance

ON1 Photo 10 Enhance
ON1 Photo 10 Enhance

If you only want to make a few colour or contrast tweaks to an image, the Enhance module provides faster and more subtle editing options than Effects. Simple sliders give instant control over colour, tone, detail, plus shadow and highlight recovery. There are also options to add a customisable vignette, as well as applying noise reduction.

To the left of the image preview in Enhance are several more quick-fix tools, like the Perfect Eraser and Retouch Brush, which can erase unwanted objects in an image and automatically clone the surrounding area to fill the gap. You can also crop an image in Enhance, and there’s a tool to remove red-eye.

Although Enhance is a fairly basic app that lacks the versatility of Effects, it’s still a useful and easy way to make quick adjustments to an image.

ON1 Portrait

ON1 Photo 10 Portrait
ON1 Photo 10 Portrait

Portrait is almost unchanged from Perfect Portrait 9.5 and includes numerous options to flatter portrait shots of friends or family. You first start by defining the eyes and mouth, then the software does a good job of targeting enhancement effects to relevant facial areas.

Various pre-set filters are available and are split into male, female, children and groups categories. These enable instant effects like reducing skin shine, minimising wrinkles and concealing freckles. Pre-sets can be fine-tuned using customisation sliders, and though dedicated portrait enhancement software such as Portrait Professional is much more comprehensive, ON1 Portrait is easy to use and does a good job of accurately targeting effects to appropriate facial features.

ON1 Layers

ON1 Photo 10 Layers1
ON1 Photo 10 Layers1

Despite being the bottom module on the module selector bar in Photo 10, Layers is probably the first place you’ll visit if your image contains an object or imperfection you want to remove before undertaking more general image enhancements.

Numerous object and background removal options are available on the tool selector bar located on the left of the Layers window. There’s the Quick Mask tool that features automatic edge detection, letting you remove a background with just a single mouse stroke and no tracing required.

ON1 Photo 10 Layers2
ON1 Photo 10 Layers2

For tricky areas where a background meets grass or hair, the Perfect Brush can be used to create a more seamless join. It detects the background colour and lets you paint over hair strands or blades of grass whilst only the background is removed.

Smaller objects can be deleted just as easily with tools like the Perfect Eraser or Retouch Brush, which enable you to brush out an imperfection and have Layers automatically fill the affected area with cloned surrounding pixels.

Both the masking and localised touch-up tools work impressively well and make it very easy to removing backgrounds or small image imperfections.

 

Value For Money

ON1 Photo 10 has RRP of $119.99/£80 for the full version, and users of previous editions of Perfect Photo Suite can upgrade to version 10 for $99.99/£66.50.

Similar image editing packages include Corel PaintShop Pro X8 Ultimate which has an RRP of £79.99/$120 and currently includes Perfect Effects 9.5.

Google's Nik Collection is more expensive at $150/£95, but its well-designed U Point selective editing system is a joy to use and makes the software extremely versatile. However, you don’t get tools to directly rival ON1 Browse, Effects, Portrait or Layers.

Then there’s the daddy of image editing software: Adobe Photoshop. Before Photoshop CC, this would have cost the earth, but now you can pay by monthly subscription costing around $9.99/£8.57. This brings the yearly outlay close to the up-front cost of Photo 10 and you also get Lightroom included in the price. However, a monthly subscription won’t be to everyone’s taste and even though Photoshop is still the industry standard for image editing, ON1 Photo 10 is still much easier to learn.

 

ON1 Photo 10 Verdict

We’ve long been fans of ON1’s Perfect Photo suite for its ability to transform photos with minimal effort and maximum impact. This still holds true for Photo 10, and whilst Effects is undoubtedly the biggest reason to purchase it, apps like Browse, Portrait and Layers do provide excellent functionality and versatility.

If you’re after your first serious image editing software or are coming from a much older editing package, ON1 Photo 10 makes a solid case for itself. Our only reservation is the sometimes slow performance of Effects when working with multiple filters, but otherwise Photo 10 offers a compelling blend of ease of use, quality results and great value. It's definitely 'Highly Recommended'. 

ON1 Photo 10 Pros

Good balance of instant filter effects with extensive customisation
Easy to learn and use
Versatility of apps
Competitive price

ON1 Photo 10 Cons

Occasional slow performance when working with multiple filters
Masking tools, though slick, aren’t quite as user-friendly as Google Nik’s U-Point system

 

FEATURES  
EASE OF USE  
PERFORMANCE  
VALUE FOR MONEY  
VERDICT  

ON1 Photo 10 transforms photos with minimal effort and maximum impact with a streamlined interface and great value.  

 

 

System requirements

OS X 10.8, 10.9, 10.10, 10.11
Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10

Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo, Xeon or better processors(s)
RAM: 4GB (8GB when used as a Photoshop plug-in)
Hard Drive: 1.5 GB
Display: OpenGL 2.0 compatible video card with 256 MB dedicated video RAM, 1280x720 resolution

Optional Application Integration:
Adobe Photoshop CS6, CC, CC 2014, or CC 2015
Adobe Photoshop Elements 11, 12, 13, or 14
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4, 5, CC, or CC 2015
Apple Aperture 3.6

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Comments


11 Nov 2015 11:01AM
If you use Photoshop CC or Lightroom you don't really need this, It's expensive as a plug in Smile

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russellsnr 14 227 England
11 Nov 2015 6:43PM
Have been useing OnOne suite for some time and you nearly managed to hit the nail on the head with your price view but the biggest downside with OnOne and it's price policy IMO is they offer only upgrade to version 10 for $99.99/66.50. when new users can get the full suite for $119.99/80 not really a great incentive $20/ 13 to those who have stuck with OnOne for many years!!
Russ

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