Some Advantages of Supplementing Lightroom with the ON1 image Viewer/Database/Editor

I've previously explored some of the benefits of using SA along with a sophisticated image viewer, database and editor such as Lightroom (LR), eg in working with my SA Preset Samples collections:

 But I've recently found a roughly equivalent viewer/database and editor that is better than LR on one important function, and which also usefully complements LR in other significant ways. This is the ON1 Photo RAW 2018 app for Mac or Windows:

 which can be used along with Lightroom, or even as a replacement if so desired.

 First, ON1 has one crucial advantage over Lightroom.  This shows itself when processing several SA presets and saving the multiple results.   On the Mac, as each result is saved, it appears as a filename in a Finder window.  But each of those results can only be viewed one image at a time, by manually scrolling through the list of files.  The Finder won't show you all of those images at once, so you can't directly compare them.

 LR is no help at this stage, because in order to see images of all of those files at once, you have to explicitly import all uncataloged files from the relevant folder.  But you don't want to have to do this after each new image is saved, so you can't directly view in LR all of your growing collection of images as you save them.

Fortunately, the ON1 app is instead set up so that, once a given folder is cataloged, it will automatically check in real time whether any new files have been added to the folder. So each new ON1 image appears, as if by magic, immediately it is saved in the folder, so that you always have a comprehensive overview of your growing image collection.

 Now suppose, having viewed all of your eg 10 new images, that you decide only 5 are worth keeping. If you delete the unwanted files in the Finder, ON1 will automatically remove the images of the deleted files--no extra work for you to do.  But in LR, any images already imported will persist, whether or not the corresponding files have been deleted.  So with LR, there's always extra unwanted housekeeping to do when source files get deleted.  

 Among other things, this makes it a real pain to work with a temporary 'scratch' folder for new images--viewing them in LR rapidly becomes more trouble than it's worth.  But to repeat, ON1 will transparently show, and only show, whatever image files are now actually in your 'scratch' file--no housekeeping needed.

 Next, here are two ways in which LR plus ON1 is a significantly better combination than just LR alone.  First, I've constantly been frustrated with the fact that LR can only show one folder at a time--often I want to directly compare two different folders side by side, but it won't let me! But if you have both LR and ON1 open at the same time, finally you can compare and contrast any different folders you want.  For example, compare your growing scratch folder of new images in ON1 to a previous static LR folder of images from the same project, to immediately see which of the new ones are worth keeping for that growing project.

 And second, LR and ON1 handle nested folders in different ways, so that, depending on your current purpose, one or the other may be more useful.  LR handles nested folders in a 'flat' way, so that if you choose the most comprehensive top-level folder, all of the images from all of the subfolders, plus all of the sub-subfolders too, are shown in a single large 'flat' collection.  Sometimes this may be what you want, eg to locate an image without having to separately open sub or subsub folders.

On the other hand, if you choose a top-level folder in ON1, it will show you a structured collection of all of the next level of sub-folders in that main folder, with an illustrative image for each.  On other occasions, this may be exactly what you want, eg to quickly differentiate one particular set of images from those in many other sub-folders of different projects.  So if you supplement LR with ON1, you will always have the best of both worlds--flat or structured--readily available as currently needed.

 As for the image editing features of ON1, they too offer useful complements to those of LR, but for me it's already a must-have for the above reasons, even if never used for editing.  So please check it out for yourself, and add your own comments here!


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