The ON1 Story

Writing about the ON1 latest software release, last week, I wondered too who they were? Also, where’s the money coming from? ON1 answered the first question in a backgrounder video.

And, with this text

We were founded in 2005 and have always been located in beautiful Portland, Oregon. One of the best locations to get out and shoot. Since the early days we’ve seen big companies gobble up cool technologies and software titles, many of which were in the photography space. Some have gone on to flourish under new ownership and some have simply been left to die.

Our team knew early on there was a better way. The company was started without venture capital or outside board members telling us how to run the business so they get the best return on their investment. From day one, we’ve been committed to doing it differently. Our company and our community are treated more like a family. In fact, many of us have had the great fortune to work with each other for over a decade, some two decades. The good news is that even after all those years, our vision is still alive and well.

To compete in the photo app is no small feat and my first impression of the app is very good. That’s because the program auto-imports all photo libraries without reprocessing tens of thousands of previews—that’s really the way to get started.

I was super skeptical of ON1’s community-driven model during their first beta and they proved me wrong with a strong launch and follow-on release.

Is it enough to switch from whatever you use? Well, I don’t believe in switching wholesale, just use what you come to prefer, and start from this day forward instead of a migration project from one app to another. I have Aperture, Lightroom, iPhoto, Capture One library/catalogs, and now the option to use them on ON1.

How ON1 manages your photos is an important distinction because it gives you a choice of editing them where they are or creating a Cataloged Folder. Read this post on why ON1 does it this way and turn on sidecar files if you do.

Sony A-mount photographers read about the support for your lenses here.

ON1 is available in two tiers: a perpetual license for $119.99 and a pro account at $149.99 a year with extra features, classes, and tech support.


My daily shooter is Sony A1 with a vertical grip and various Sony lenses attached like the FE 20mm F1.8. Find more gear recommendations in our shop. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.