In-Sync with ON1 Photo RAW

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Most of us have more than one computer we work on our photos with. I have an iMac I use at home for my main editing. It has a beautifully huge display. It’s where my photos live.

I also have a laptop I use when traveling, or when I want to sit on the couch. There are lots of ways to get your photos on both computers. I use Dropbox but there are lots of other great and inexpensive cloud syncing solutions (Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, etc). Most of this storage is darn-near free. If you have an Office 365 account they give you 1TB of OneDrive for free. Same thing if you have Amazon Prime, you get unlimited free Amazon Cloud Drive storage. Cloud storage is great. It gives you an online backup you can access anywhere and automatically manages keeping your photos in sync across multiple devices.

You can also use a file server or NAS drive. These are common place in work environments. Many photographers who work in studios use these to store there photos on a private internal network where the photos can be accessed from multiple computers.

Of course there is the tried and true external hard drive as well. You just take your photos with you and connect the drive to whichever computer you want to work on.

The trouble comes with raw photos. Most raw editors store all the non-destructive edits and adjustments as well as metadata in a catalog file living on one computer. That means the photo will only look as intended on that one computer. In order to share the photo and its settings you have to move that catalog from computer to computer, often dealing with broken links.

In ON1 Photo RAW this works differently. There is no catalog to have to move around. Instead you can enable the sidecar feature which creates tiny sidecar files for each photo that you change metadata or make edits and adjustments to. Those sidecar files get copied and synchronized along with the photos, using any of the methods mentioned above. Then when you view those photos on another computer, they scan those sidecar files and show you your photos as you intended. There is no catalog to move, no files to copy, no broken links and no conflicts to resolve. Best of all, it uses whatever method or service you prefer. You are not locked into one companies account or ecosystem. You can even use multiple services and methods at the same time. We think this will be a simple, effective and open method for keeping all your photos in-sync on all your computers.

So, tell me what you think. Do you use multiple computers? How do you keep your photos up to date? Do you have multiple people in your studio who need access to the photos?

9 comments on “In-Sync with ON1 Photo RAW”

  1. On August 23, 2016 at 1:42 pm HL Arledge wrote:

    Hey Dan,

    We’ve been hearing the On1 Raw Beta would be available in late Summer. It’s certainly late Summer. Fall (the stated date of the production release) is next month. Are there problems? Should we be concerned about the delay? We’re all excited, anxious to get our hands on the future. What can you tell us?


  2. On September 4, 2016 at 8:23 am sam re wrote:

    Hi dan,

    I would love to see the noise reduction module improved. I love on1 software however there’s always a need to go to Topaz noise reduction. It will be great if we could improve this module.

  3. On September 12, 2016 at 5:39 pm Michael Klass wrote:

    It would be better if the edits were contained in a propriety section of the Raw file. Then making sure you sync sidecars would not be an issue.

    Nikon did this will Nikon Capture NX before they came out the the less than stellar Capture NX-D.

  4. On September 12, 2016 at 8:27 pm Robert Baldassano wrote:

    While I have signed up for OnOne RAW, I am not sure I will make use of the RAW capability. I used to use a combination of Nikon CNX2 and Photoshop, where my NEFs stored all of the edits, and I only sent 16 bit TIFFs to Photoshop. I no longer have a camera that is supported in CNX2, so I can’t store RAW edits in a NEF and have to use Nikons proprietary sidecar in CNX-D, where I primarily use the SW to capture all the Nikon settings and any ADL settings as well in a 16 bit TIFF for export to Photoshop where I use the Picture Postcard Workflow created by Dan Margolis.. I know you will most likely have a system like everyone else that cannot read the maker data in the NEF. However I do applaud your effort to minimize the problems with orphan sidecars. I will most likely make more use of OnOne RAW for my phone images, having a Nokia 1020 that shoots 4o MP DNG and also a Microsoft Lumia 950 that also shoots 20MP DNG. Will OnOne RAW support these formats? Finally I assume processing RAW files in OnOne will maintain the original RAW file and keep all edit steps in the sidecar. What if I only want to edit a TIFF as if it were RAW like I can do in Photoshop. Will a new RAW file be created or will those new edit steps just be kept in the sidecar as well?

  5. On September 13, 2016 at 3:13 am Marcin Gil wrote:

    I’m using built-in SSD drive to keep all my current edits, then I sync them to NAS.
    Working from NAS seems like killing all the speed gains. So how does this work?

    Opening a photo from NAS caches it locally? Can I sync metadata files only?

  6. On September 13, 2016 at 3:40 am Jim Vining wrote:

    I currently have LightRoom store my edits to sidecar. Because I convert all of my photos to .DNG, my sidecar files are embedded in the .dng instead of a separate file on my drive. I convert my photos for this purpose only. I hate having those extra sidecar files. Will ON1 RAW do this sidecar in a similar way? I have been an ON1 user for a long time, but I think that if I am forced to carry and extra sidecar file around, it would be the end of me using ON1. If it can be embedded in the .DNG or your own file extension, I could work with it. I find it intolerable working with that separate little file tagging along. Maybe it is just me, I can not answer that.

  7. On September 13, 2016 at 4:49 pm Raymond Lee wrote:

    I have been using LR for years although only as a home user, nothing professional. I don’t mind the way it handle the catalog and has been happy. But then when I got two computers last year and need to work on both every now and then, I feel the limitation: so many issues trying to sync the catalog file. This is still OK. I practice import and export of catalogs. Still barely manageable. Then comes LR mobile. I love it but problem: mobile can sync with only one catalog! That means I can work one my phone and only one of the computer! The more I love LR mobile, the more serious this problem appears!

    Will you have a mobile version? How are you going to handle all mobile devices together with a couple of computers?

  8. On October 6, 2016 at 5:32 pm Richard Boehlke wrote:

    This is a big deal for me. I use a laptop when traveling and transfer all photos to a NAS when back home. Trying to do this in Lightroom is a major pain. I want a divorce from Adobe! Hopefully OnOne will be able to completely replace Lightroom and Photoshop.

  9. On October 17, 2016 at 7:54 pm Michael Benoit wrote:

    I use Microsoft One drive to sync my entire LR catalogs. I can use multiple machines that can work on the same catalogs. Completely seamless for me. Only issue is making sure all of the monitors you use are calibrated. My laptop monitor is not the quality to support editing with accurate rendering. Mainly use it for managing the catalog: Metadata, ranking, collections, etc.

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