ON1 Photo RAW just dropped today.  As a panoramic photographer, I am excited to test out the tools. The feature is still technically “in beta”  so one would expect it to get better over time.

Officially, the tool even warns you when launching:

“The Panorama Stitching feature is still being enhanced and improved for certain scenarios. It works for most panoramas, however, there are still cases where the results are not perfect. This can occur when there are changes in exposure or color caused by shooting in an automatic mode, from lens fall-off with wide-angle lenses, or insufficient overlap between photos being stitched together.”

If you want to try the software out for free – click here.

Video Overview

Here’s the official introduction.  This is worth checking out as it’s brief and to the point.


How to Make a Panoramic Image in ON1 Photo Raw

The process of making an image in ON1 Photo Raw is pretty straightforward. Here’s how you can merge.

  1. Choose File > Browse Folder and navigate to a folder with your panoramic images.
  2. Select all the images you want to use.
  3. Develop the raw files first and be sure to sync the results from one image to the rest.
  4. Click the Pano button in the right toolbar.
  5. After some time, a new dialog opens to show you your options.
  6. From the Edges pop-up choose how you want to handle any gaps in the data (often caused by a tripod that’s not level).
    • None – Merges the panorama without cropping the finished image
    • Crop – This trims the edges of your panorama to fit the best rectangular crop.  This gives you a smaller image potentially.
    • Warp to Fill – Content-aware fill technology tries to stretch the edges of the scene to fill as much of the entire frame as it can.  This creates a bigger image (but you should look at closely, as the possibility of “weird” pixels exists).
  7. Then choose what you want to do with the file.
    • Browse – Save it for later
    • Develop – Develop the results
    • Effects – Apply effects
  8. An important option is the Add Panoramic Metadata choice.  When marked, this allows the image to be pannable on sites like Facebook and Google.
  9. Once merged it’s easy enough to take the file into the Develop module and touch things up

Testing Results

The merging speeds seemed reasonable. But not great.  I’ll assume that this will improve once the application leaves beta.

TEST 1: Merged 24 JPEG exposures from a 360 pano to test.  See the results above.

  • Photoshop 2018 | 01:16
  • Camera Raw/Lightroom | 0:45 to preview image | 1:17 to full quality file
  • On1 Photo Raw | 1:20 to preview 3:57 to full quality file

TEST 2: Merged 5 DNG file  Pano shot on DJI Osmo

  • Photoshop 2018 | 00:29
  • Camera Raw/Lightroom | 0:09 to preview image | 0:20 to full quality file
  • On1 Photo Raw | 0:06 to preview | 0:30 to full quality file. (missed the end bracket)
Image by Francis Torres

TEST 3: Merged 24 DNG Aerial DNG  Pano

  • Photoshop 2018 | 00:29
  • Camera Raw/Lightroom | FAILS
  • On1 Photo Raw | 1:20 to preview | 4:49 to full quality file

Initial Impressions

I’m glad to see another panoramic tool come to market.  There aren’t very many outside of Adobe.  The tools show lots of promise, excelling in some areas, but needing to catch-up in others.

  • Limit of 25 shots.  While 25 shots is a lot, I sometimes use more in aerial photos.
  • Makes a PSD file. Of course, so does Photoshop.  But lightrooms panoramic DNG here which preserves raw flexibility is the winner.

    Lightroom’s all RAW workflow has most flexibility on high contrast scenes.  Being able to use a radial adjustment here allowed for an additional lift in the shadows.
  • Some failures. Some aerial shots which seemed easy failed… where not expectedPhotoshop and Lightroom succeeded.
  • Some successes. Some shots that Lightroom, failed on, ON1 succeeded.  Go figure.
  • Don’t worry about the previews. Merges often looked better than the previews.
  • Great corrections. The distortion corrected nicely in merges, comparable to Lightroom, and beats Photoshop.
  • Social rocks. The include pano data for Facebook works great… insanely great.
  • No 360 Support. Just like Lightroom, a true 360 pano could not be seamlessly merged. I have a hack for cylindrical in Photoshop, but it’d be nice to embrace VR.


The bottom line… give it a try! Here’s a link to use it for 30 days, no watermarks, fully functional – click here.