ON1 have announced that their upcoming suite of products will include not only ON1 Photo RAW 2020, but also a mobile version, ON1 Photo Mobile 2020, and a video editing suite for desktop, ON1 Video 2020. To connect Photo RAW with Photo Mobile, there will be ON1 Sync. Of Sync, ON1 write, “You will be able to view and edit photos on all your devices without requiring you to store them in the cloud or a closed system.” However, you can also select one of several established cloud storage solutions – ON1 do not go into detail on which, although SmugMug is mentioned on the current product page.
This is a screenshot of the video editor – only a low resolution was provided:
There will be an open beta of ON1 Photo RAW in September and for ON1 Video in November, according to a blog post.
Noteworthy is this paragraph:
“We are also developing our software using new AI technologies and tools. […] At ON1, we feel AI should never be used to create artificial or unrealistic results just for the sake of AI. We are inventing new ways to use AI to remove pain points in your workflow and save you valuable time in editing but never at the cost of great imagery. […] you are still in control of your organization, creativity, and style. Currently, we are working on AI technologies for faster photo organization, sky replacement, object recognition, color enhancements, and skin retouching.”
So they are doing some, but not all, of what Skylum is doing with AI in Photolemur and Luminar. Automatic keywording using AI is an oft-requested feature. Face recognition is by now a somewhat well-established feature in some businesses and corresponding software. As for further AI use in keywording, it remains to be seen whether it can generate keywords that are of practical relevance to individual photographers’ specific needs.
My criticism comes at reading, “We will never force you into a subscription model. You will always have a choice of perpetual license, subscription, or membership when choosing how you buy ON1.” If memory serves, ON1 had previously said they would not offer a subscription service. Given that they’ve slipped on that, can we believe they will really continue to support a perpetual model like they are now saying they will?
The thing to keep in mind is this. Several of the major RAW converters in the market right now are offering import from Lightroom. I haven’t tested if the latest Lightroom will allow effortless export, but I would assume that for the time being, third parties are keeping up the quality of the import to keep capturing those who want to quit. Once you’ve imported your data into one of those third party libraries and continued working on it, it may be much harder to leave because no particularly good exporter will be offered, and marketshare of your chosen product, be it ON1 Photo RAW or AlienSkin Exposure, may not be large enough to entice anybody else – even AlienSkin or ON1, to provide an importer for a library from such small-marketshare competition.
So if you’re not going open source, be careful in who you choose to organise and edit your data!