On1 Photo 10.5 : A First Spin/Review Sometime ago (I think that was around 2012) there was this great photo effects program that hit the freebie forum. The program was Perfect Effects 8 Premium. I being a freebie junky also grabbed it but for a time have allowed it untouched until I needed something that will augment Photoshop on the edits that I did. So I installed it (Perfect Effects 8 Premium) and "WOW" was the word that came out of my mouth. The effects offered by the program made my images more lifelike and truly wonderful especially that most of my old images came from a rusty mobile phone with 3 megapixels only. So to make a long story short Perfect Effects 8 Premium became a staple with me (who is not an expert / professional) especially when doing photo editing and the like. I always use it in tandem with Photoshop CS3. See images of Perfect Effects 8 Premium interface below. Fast forward to today. Gone now are the Perfect Effects software (obsolete) but a new and improved version of it came out. A new kid on the block which has been re-branded ON1 Effects 10. ON1 Effects is part of the suite that is ON1 Photo. The revamp came when ON1 Software introduced ON1 Photo 10 (after Perfect Effects 9). This was a major overhaul and the engineers at ON1 has included a lot more which made it a suite. Now there is a newer version ON1 Photo 10.5 and soon ON1 Software will introduce ON1 Photo RAW which will crown all the effects improvement they did for 2016. Being a user of Perfect Effects 8 Premium I decided to take ON1 Photo 10.5 on a spin to see what is being offered and how it is now from Perfect Effects (it was just a support app that has plug-in functions to Photoshop). This first spin will be made on a "first time-non-pro-user/beginner standpoint" so if I may err on some functions that you may have already known as a regular/expert Photoshop user well just pardon me on this will you. Neophyte here :) So let's get it on! ON1 Photo 10.5 ON1 Photo 10.5 is the entire collection of photo/image applications of ON1 Software! It is a full-featured photo editor that works as a plug-in to Adobe® Photoshop® and Lightroom®, or as a standalone application. ON1 Photo 10.5 includes the all necessary tools to manage and edit your photos with non-destructive Smart Photos technology. It includes: ON1 Photo Browse ON1 Photo Effects ON1 Photo Resize ON1 Photo Portrait ON1 Enhance ON1 Layers. USER INTERFACE ON1 Photo 10.5 has evolved from being just a plug-in support app to a complete photo editor using a modular approach to allow each module to focus on one task. This (as they say) makes accomplishing the one task easier by removing unnecessary tools and giving access to just what you need to get that task done. The layout of ON1 Photo is of a clear workflow showing a series of buttons that you can use to start your work nicely. The look is very professional with good background including that of the contrast of text and borders so you can see more clearly. As you will see, there are "sliders" that are always used for adjustments and they are clearly visible to the user. The interface main key functions are adjustment modules dubbed as "Module Selector" located at the right side. I'd have to say that it's nifty and reminds me of my usage of "floating commands" I use back in MS Office 2007 and earlier. This is to my opinion great as it maximizes the usage of your computer monitor. You use this to either use the Module Selector 6 modules namely, (1) ON1 Browse (2) ON1 Enhance (3) ON1 Effects (4) ON1 Portrait (5) ON1 Layers (6) ON1 Resize. These adjustment functions are also what makes ON1 Photo a suite from the previous Perfect Effects application. ON1 Photo Browse At first launch, "Browse" is the default module you will see. It is used to navigate your drives and cloud services to find images to begin working with. This is one of the improvements as it migrated from the previous as you can now browse the images easier, faster and more intuitive. It will automatically recognize any disk (volume) inside or attached to your system. Any attached drive to your computer whether it be via USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt, etc., optical drives, USB thumb drives, digital camera memory cards, digital cameras, music players and smartphones that support USB Mass Storage, network attached services (mapped volumes on Windows). Once it goes over your drives it will display all your images in thumbnail view with a lot of options for creation and management of your images. "Browse" lets you create a "smart album" where you can categorize and search for you photos based on a wide range of search options such as aperture, ISO, ratings, keywords,and device type..etc. If your image has GPS metadata embedded in it, the GPS button will appear. Clicking on the GPS button will open your default web browser and automatically connect to Google Maps where you can navigate to the location where the image was taken. You just have to designate a folder as "favorites/watched" or if you do not fancy that just designate "My Pictures". It will go through your folders so when you open it, it'll be as the say, "lightning fast display". The trick that makes the browse function display your images fast is that it does not have to catalog all images in order to view them. You can start immediately after taking and uploading/transferring the image to your system with no extra wait. If you are always connected to the internet and you use cloud storage often then ON1 Browse also supports cloud services including Dropbox, Google Drive, Microsoft and OneDrive. Also if you edit an image stored in one of these locations they are automatically updated to the cloud. To add ON1 has also a shortcut location module located at the left side of the interface to allow you to quickly access your photo storage locations. ON1 Photo has an app called "Photo Via" which allows users to sync photos from their Photo 10 albums and folders to their iOS (iPhone, iPad) for viewing on the go. Once photos are synced they can be viewed and reorganized remotely from your device. Android development is as of this writing on-the-works and will be out early next year. ON1 Photo Enhance "Enhance" is as the word implies, add something or make improvements. Almost all photo/image editing applications are now turning it's editing to the popular "non-destructive" image editing. It is done by the programs unique set of instructions or creation of an attached database, other than the original image that are for edit. Thus when all things go berserk and you need to start fresh, your original file is still there. Safe and unaltered. ON1 has a different approach to this and each time you use an image for editing, a dialogue box appears and it gives the options for your work. You can set the dialogue box to have the option always use "ticked" in the Preferences button. The options in the dialogue box that will appear are: What to Edit: (a) Edit a Copy (b) Edit Original File Format: (a) Photoshop (supported layer) (b)TIFF (c) JPEG Color Space: sRGB IEC6 1966-2.1 Adobe RGB (1998) Apple RGB ColorMatch RGB Import Color Profile...(import from your system) pixels/inch: pixels/inch pixels/cm Bit Depth: 8-bit 16-bit Enhance provides you with an easy-to-use workspace for your editing. Enhancements module contains all of the core processing options such as Quick Fixes, Color & Tone Adjustments, Color, Vignette, Sharpening and Noise Reduction all with each of their own "reset" button. You are also provided with a "Presets" pane which offers preset correction levels and enhancements. (Corrections/Enhancements). At the very left of the "Enhance" interface is the "Tool Well" which gives you the tools to edit your photo/image. There are six (6) tools given, (1) Crop (2) Perfect Eraser (3) Retouch Brush (4) Red Eye Tool (5) Hand Tool (photo positioning) and (6) View Tool or Zoom (magnification). Perfect Eraser Just to show some of the functions I will tinker with a gold fish photo. I will erase part of the eye of one goldfish and some part of the plants at it's side. Let us see what happens. ON1's Perfect Eraser "paints" a red overlay on the part that you wish to erase. You just have to be sure that you "paint" over the area you wish to remove. ON1 states that Perfect Eraser uses "content aware technology" to remove and replace objects. If on the "first pass" you did not obtain a "perfect result" you just to simply paint over it again and the removal will improve. One thing that I observed is that ON1 erases that portion you painted on immediately but not all. See comparison images below. That "content aware technology" may have it's uses if you want just the "eye of the goldfish" erased and not the background or the "plant" at the back of the goldfish. This is a bit different when I use Photoshop. I usually am cautious in Photoshop (though there is the undo and Step Backward). I create a layer and color it with the pain bucket, say, blue or green(depending on the photo), so when I erase it'll show the green at the back of the image that I am working on. Photoshop will erase wherever you lay the pencil/block/brush eraser tool. It will be completely be erased. ON1's "content aware technology" may have it's uses there as sometimes when I erase a portion of a photo and a background is erased with it I have to reconstruct that background from scratch. Well I am no expert or Pro so I believe there is also a way of doing that in Photoshop but as a non-expert I still have to seek that. Red Eye Tool I tried to do a retouching of one of the most common flaw that we encounter which is the red-eye. When I tried out ON1's there seems to be some dodging of the pixels when I was "targeting" the affected eye and pupil. I had some minor difficulties hitting the target. Plus there isn't much configuration to set or that I see and use. I still need to check if I can set more on this feature. Result was okay with me (again as a non-Pro expert). See images below.