ON1 Photo RAW 2020: A Powerful, but Confusing Editing Program

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ON1 Photo RAW 2020 DEALS

ON1 Photo RAW 2020 is one of the main competitors in the post-processing industry. It has long been held as a main competitor to Lightroom and has an excellent array of features. The latest version of this program promises to make performance improvements, but also provides some cool AI-enhancement features too.

If you require a dedicated post-processing software with photo management features, this program is one of the best choices available. It allows users to make infinitely detailed RAW edits using the various tools and presets.

Furthermore, the photo management system is extensive – you can rate photos, add keywords, and even edit image metadata. In the sections below we look at specifically what ON1 Photo RAW 2020 has to offer:

Main Features

ON1 Photo RAW 2020 is one of the most comprehensive photo editing programs available. It has a full set of features and tools that easily rivals what Lightroom and other software has to offer. We have listed some of the main features below:

  • Full RAW editing
  • Range of presets and filters
  • Selection of AI-enhanced retouch tools
  • Support for 800+ cameras/lenses
  • Full photo management features
  • Detailed import and export options

Essentially, using this program, you can fully edit RAW photos and turn them into masterpieces. You can freely edit parameters like shadows, temperature, exposure, and saturation. Moreover, you can apply preset filters, and use detailed adjustment layers to edit only certain areas of photos.

The basic editing and functionality of ON1 Photo RAW 2020 is right up there at the top of the industry standards.

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Previous iterations of ON1 Photo RAW have been plagued by performance issues and this has given the company and product negative feedback. Overall, the performance issues have marred the reputation of this otherwise fantastic post-processing software.

The initial version of ON1 Photo RAW 2020 did indeed have performance issues. In general, the program appeared a little sluggish. When using the different editing features and working with large RAW files, there was a little lag, and the program did not run 100 percent smoothly.

In addition to this, the system requirements for this photo editing software remain high. The MINIMUM system requirements are listed below:

  • Operating system: Windows 7 or later
  • Processor: Intel Core i5, Xeon, or better
  • Memory: 8GB of RAM
  • HDD: 1.5GB storage for installation
  • Display: Open GL 3.3 compatible card with 512MB of internal memory

These are the minimum requirements – not the recommended. While a device with these specifications will run ON1 Photo RAW 2020, the performance will not be outstanding. The main limitation is the memory. It is recommended that you have 16GB+ of RAM which makes a big difference.

This is a bit disappointing, and it remains an area that ON1 Photo RAW 2020 needs to improve on. This has been addressed in later versions like the current ON1 Photo RAW 2020.1 but it’s still not perfect.

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While the performance of ON1 Photo RAW 2020 may not be fantastic, the usability is much better. ON1 Photo RAW 2020 has a user-friendly basic layout. On opening the program you are taken to the main file management layout where you can start editing images.

On the left you can see your folder locations and fully manage your photo storage system. In the center, thumbnails of images are shown with any ratings and info. Finally, the right-hand-side shows metadata and other information like keywords – it is a logical layout.

The main post-processing screen also has a logical layout. In the center, you have a large image preview which can be altered to show a before and after. In addition, the different toolbars and editing tools are all clearly labelled and logically organized.

Convenient tooltips are provided when you hover over a menu or tool. A small preview is shown while an animated gif shows how the tool works. This is useful for first-time users and for those who are not familiar with the different editing tools.

ON1 Photo RAW 2020 vs. Lightroom 2020

Lightroom 2020 and ON1 Photo RAW 2020 are two of the main competitors in the photo editing software industry. So how do the latest iterations of these two programs compare? We have created a basic comparison table below:

ON1 Photo RAW 2020Lightroom 2020
Photo ManagementYesYes
Full RAW EditingYesYes
Support for CamerasYesYes
Social Media SharingYesYes
Cloud ConnectivityNoNo

Like for like, there is little to choose from these two programs. Both feature a comprehensive set of editing tools that allow users to make full RAW edits.

In addition to this, both programs have detailed photo management capabilities. Using either ON1 Photo RAW 2020, or Lightroom 2020, you can organize your images, and assign ratings including colors and star ratings.

One of the main differences is performance. Lightroom 2020 does have better performance than ON1. It is not perfect, but it does not require as higher-spec of a computer. Moreover, Lightroom has received virtually no backlash in relation to its performance.

Another thing to consider is the cost. Lightroom 2020 requires a monthly subscription. The price is not huge, but ON1 Photo RAW 2020, on the other hand can be brought outright for a one-off price. This could be a deal breaker for some.

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Can You Overlook the Performance Issues of ON1 Photo RAW 2020?

It is hard to overlook performance issues when they keep reappearing. You would hope that after such negative feedback, the software developers would have put this issue to bed and sorted it finally.

ON1 Photo RAW 2020 does indeed have better performance, but it is still not perfect! Furthermore, it requires a powerful computer to run smoothly. If you do not have a top-range PC, you may be better suited using an alternative like Lightroom 2020, or even the cloud-based Lightroom CC.

Aside from the performance, the actual editing features and quality of ON1 Photo RAW 2020 are fantastic. You can create detailed edits of RAW photos and produce some beautiful images. It provides ultimate control, and the range of built-in presets are amazing too.

The Review

ON1 Photo RAW 2020

Overall, ON1 Photo RAW 2020 is a strong editing program. Its performance needs improvement, but the editing features and photo management options are excellent.


  • Detailed photo management tools
  • Full set of RAW editing options
  • Brilliant image presets


  • Poor performance
  • Requires a high-spec computer

ON1 Photo RAW 2020 DEALS

Review Breakdown






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