onOne Software Review

Save Money with the new onOne Coupon Code

Ready to download it? Come over to onOne Software and for a limited time use the coupon code “STUCKINCUSTOMS” to save 10%! You can visit the link before, or go right to the onOne Store.

Use the coupon code STUCKINCUSTOMS to SAVE 10% on a new account!


Update: Perfect Browse on the scene!

The latest addition to the suite is supa-sweet! It’s called Perfect Browse and solves one of the BIG problems in the Lightroom workflow without necessarily replacing Lightroom — and I have a dedicated Perfect Browse Review.

Perfect Photo Suite 9 Premium

Perfect Photo Suite 9 is yet another smart iteration in the series. They just get better and better! In my opinion, this package is the best option because, as you’ll see below, you get their flagship product (in my opinion), Perfect Effects, and then you also get all the other goodies which I can promise you’ll use way more than once!


These work on Mac and Windows and are compatible with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, Apple Aperture, and Photoshop Elements.

onOne Software Review Updated!

These reviews take a long time, but I’ve been playing with the latest version of the software, and it’s coming along well as you can see below. Everything is more streamlined and the tools are improved and evolutionary. Below you can see a screenshot of all the new tools in the upper right.


onOne Plugin – Perfect Effects

I find myself using THIS tool the most. It’s much improved over previous versions, and the interface is pretty and fast.

The whole interface is simple and easy to use. Along the left side are a variety of different filters. Each one expands and collapses. When you expand one of the filter areas, you see a number of different thumbnails. I’ve really become a big fan of looking at thumbnails to decide what I want to do. Now, most of my shots are now bigger 36 megapixel photos, so running any filter (even on a fast computer) can take a while. By a while, I mean about ten seconds. I know I know… ten seconds… big deal… but I guess nowadays we like to see instant results. Anyway, the little thumbnail gives me a really good idea of what the final version will look like, so I end up saving a lot of time.

If you find one you like, you can click the little flag and it goes to your favorites. I recommend this, because otherwise you’ll have trouble remembering if the effect you like was in “Vintage” or “Movie Effects”! I’ve tended to stay in my “Favorites” tab most of the time with occasional forays into the wild for new filters.


Above, you can see the Dynamic Contrast effect, which is kind of like a less intense HDR option. There is a master selection over on the left, and then controls you can tweak out on the right.


Above you can see the fun and very fast “Tilt-Shift” filter.


Above, here’s one of the crazy “Glow” filters. This one is called Hollywood Glow, and you can see the split-down-the-middle comparison view, which can be toggled in a few different split views there on the lower left.


Above, you can see the effects of some of the HDR Looks on the image. Again, it is very easy to dial up or down, depending on your drug tolerance level!


Above you can see one of the cool new features. You can actually make the preview thumbnails so huge that you don’ t even have to click on them to see how they will look! These are the five options for Dynamic Contrast.


Above you can see some of the OnOne built-in presets. These are smart combinations of the other filters. You can see I expanded the “Landcapes” presets. And yes, these are goats in a tree.


Above is another example of some of the presets in the “Cinematic” category.


Above you can see the Cross-Process filter. See that little tool in the upper left? That allows me to go brush back in part of the original photo. You can see the masking over on the right how I masked back in the original sky.

Border Effects

There used to be a different way of adding border effects, and now it’s all integrated into Perfect Effects. Don’t forget that you can tweak out all the border effects (and any effect for that matter) over there on the right. If it’s too thick or intense or whatever, you can just dial it back.

Above, you can see one of the many borders. I don’t do this much on my photos… but, whenever I do, I often kind of like it. And I think, “Hey I should add more borders to my photos!” And then I forget about this idea for a while… and come back in and use a tool like this and am excited… and then the whole cycle starts over again.

Final Thoughts on Perfect Effects

You’re going to end up with a good problem that maybe you’re not accustomed to. You’ll inevitably find between 2 and 10 versions you really like, and many may be quite different. Then you’re faced with the decision about which version will be the final version. This causes a strange kind of stress. Maybe stress isn’t the right word, but you’ll know what I’m talking about when you feel it. You can always take solace knowing that you have more options rather than less.

Sometimes I’ll fully process an HDR photo using other tools then pop into Perfect Effects for one of these finishing touches. 100% of the effect is maybe too much, but I can easily dial it back a few notches till it feels right.

Perfect Black and White

You launch this the same way as all the other plugins, by opening the panel then double-clicking on the tool. I find the whole getting-into-onOne-tools process to be quite clunky, but that is probably not their fault. It is probably something with the way that Photoshop talks to plugins. Anyway, once you are in the tool everything is simple and self-explanatory.

Again, you are presented with a ton of thumbnails down the left side. You can pick one that suits your fancy then tweak it on the right. You may have better success if you bring in very colorful photos with strong shapes and lines. If you look over on the right, you can see how you can tweak out various “input” colors to be more black and white.


I recommend this instead of the basic tools that come with Photoshop and Lightroom. These tools end up adding a lot more drama to the shots… and these tend to be the kind of black and white photos I prefer… but that’s just me.

Perfect Portrait

Want to easily make faces look better? This is a great tool for that. It’s easy and fun to use. You’ll be impressed by the results.

But watch out, if you use it too hard, you’ll end up making people look like a bottle of lotion. You know that look, right? Where people look smooth enough to spread like hummus and their eyes pop out like white supernovas, burning into your retinas. You can go all extreme if you want to… but try to avoid the temptation. I suppose it’s cool that the tool allows you to slide into the cocoa-butter zone, but you’ll just have to treat your great new power with great responsibility.


The new Perfect Portrait is very good at finding faces. If it can’t find the face, you can use a nifty little tool to tell the program where the eyes and mouth are. You can see how I used it to make this Japanese guy look even more Japanese-awesome!

Perfect Resize

Formerly, this was known as Genuine Fractals, which was a very nerdy name. I like how OnOne has consolidated everything down.


Above, you can see the options over on the right for making your image bigger. People use this tool a lot in commercial printing situations to make sure that when images are blown up that they don’t look to pixellated. I also use this tool all the time whenever I need to make a bigger-than-recommended print size! It’s great!

Any questions about the nature of these reviews? Visit my Ethics Statement. It’s all quite simple!

  • I’ve been digging this set of tools, too! But I always love reading your take on things. Thanks, Trey!


  • I’ve only used Genuine Fractals and it’s freaking AMAZING!!! Had one of the owners of my company bring me a 72dpi 3×5 photo wanting it printed 8×10. Thanks to Genuine Fractals I was able to give them something that didn’t suck! And what’s even more cool to me is they are an Oregon company, only like 10 minutes away from me. 😉

  • Awesome, Trey. How you get the time to do all this while launching your book AND still work is way beyond me. I guess some people thrive on two hours of sleep. Thanks for the review.

  • Super review Trey!
    I’ve been using FocalPoint1 since it first came out, I just love it!
    Already 1/3 of the way through your book. Fabulous job, it rocks!

    – Mike (aka Dudewithacamera)

  • This was super helpful. Thanks for taking the time. I have the suite, and just did not realize all the cool features.

  • It’s a shame that they feel they have to charge so much for the software. IMHO (and I own a software company) they would sell much more that five times the licenses if they made their prices one fifth of what they currently are. Imagine of the whole suite were only $100, it would pretty much be standard fare for many many photographers. But price it at $500 and it’s going to put off a lot of people, me included.

    Compare Photomatix; do you think it would have become as popular if it cost $500? I would not say that On-One is 5 times more powerful than Photomatix..

  • Hi Trey,

    Great review, gives a great overview of these apps, but as beautox say’s, the price (even with your very generous discount) is a little too steep for me, maybe oneday.

    All the best


  • Gary

    I purchased Mask Pro several months ago and spent a few weeks trying to master it. I found it to be very frustrating to use and I couldn’t get quality results. So, I asked OnOne for a refund.

    Trey, I would have liked to see the results of your masking the girl with the hood.

  • Modules crashed deep and repeatedly after a no-exceptions installation on an XP machine with huge memory. Nothing this bad since Corel many years back. Uninstalled immediately through control panel. Never again.

  • Kennon


    I agree with you. I tried the demo (before the new version came out in November) and couldn’t get a single image to mask well. I even watched the tutorials. Sometimes I find these plugins fun but usually never satisfied with the results.

    But Trey, I do appreciate the review and now that the whole Suite 5 is out I’m going to try it out again.

  • Wendelius


    Thanks for the review. It makes me really interested in the tools. But I’m a Lightroom 2 user who hasn’t seen the need to reinstall his old copy of CS2 on his new machine. And I don’t plan to get a newer version as LR really does a lot of what I need.

    So my question is: Can I still use and get the most of the On One tools in that case? Do they integrate with LR or require Photoshop?

    Any advice on which, if any, of the tools apply to me would be much appreciated.

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  • kim the canon chick

    I LOVE ONONE and NIK. I was a student last year and took advantage of that and bought NIK SUITE for 600$ and bought ONONE for next to nothing. Thank God for student discounts and thank YOU Trey for almost a 1/4 off list price for those who can’t afford the regular price. OnOne is awesome. I could NEVER do any of it using Photo Shop. Photo Shop has soooo many steps and forumulas to remember. There are just too many variables involved.

    Since there are 300 ways to skin a cat, I like to skin all my cats using NIK and / or ONONE or both. I have NEVER had NIK crash anything or make CS4 crash.

    I have NEVER had ONONE crash or make CS4 crash with the exception of using Genuine Fractals. And it was because ( I believe) I had a ton of stuff open and the image had a bagillion layers on/in it and I don’t think I flattened the image.

    For the gentleman whos machine crashed, I guarantee it WASN’T ONONE software that did it. I have NEVER read an ill review of their products with the acception of folks not liking the price. It is a shame you didn’t try it again. You are missing out!

    Everything is pretty easy to use with the exception of Masking. It is very difficult to use the first several times. There is a learning curve and all you can do is practice practice. Watch the video tutorials!!!

    Onones customer service is some of the best. Sometimes there can be a little bit of a wait, at one point I was on hold for 11 minutes and less than that a few times. You know how difficult it is to expalin yourself to Adobes customer service because they are over-seas. Something ALWAYS gets lost in translation, then you get hung up on after being called sir, when clearly you are a woman.. LOL Onone is the complete opposite. Their customer service force was funny, kind, and very helpful and encouraged me to call with any further questions or problems AND I HAVE VISTA, so that should tell you right there that I allready come to the table with problems, when I really dont have any problems!!

    Photomatix – 99$, expensive? are you KIDDING ME? What do you want, do you want it for FREE? some folks are so ungrateful. It is one of the best ones out there, AND it’s easy to use AND their customer service is double decent. As far as ‘involved’ software is concerned, Photomatix is very specialized. There is however, a serious lag when emailing your problems. We are lucky its ONLY $99. And not 299$. These people spend countless days and hours working on these programs for us, and Photomatix, as far as I am concerned should/could be charging more…

    As far as Adobe software? What a joke. I bought CS4 for 399$ with my student discount. Regular price is 1899$, now, talk about a RIP OFF. And on top of that, they don’t include any classes, or a manual. I ended up buying 5 CS4 books, a Camera Raw book, A Layers book, and since I have Lightroom 2 (which is worth the 200$ pricetag too) I got Martin Evenings Lightroom 2 book as well.

    and, to think, I STILL dont know what I am doing.

    with thanks to Trey – my HDR is getting better. I just need a ball head and some legs. Right now I can only do the 1 image deal beacause I can never straighten out my 3,4,5 images for a true HDR experience. Talk about expensive. Really Right Stuff ball and legs together is around 900$!! (for the set I want) and can not afford. Now, that is a travesty!

    Just my 3 pennies worth.

    thanks for everything Trey! We have such a great community. thanks to everyone else who contributes to make this place that much better!!!

  • Hi Trey,

    I’ve heard that noise removal software can soften an imafe, however, can software such as Lucis add sharpeness back to an image?
    Awesome work you do. I am impressed, and about to embark on doing HDR in my portrait work.

  • Becky Purvis

    I agree that it’s a great set of software and I use it all the time. I see that you have shown a bunch of NAPP presets and wondered where you got them. I’m a NAPP member and have never seen them. Thanks!

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  • William

    Sorry to say… i tried the demo and everytime i use the MASK PRO it crashes every single time and makes photoshop CS4 crash on my MACbook.

    i will not recommend Mask pro… the rest of the plugins i didn’t have the time to try them and i will not have a chance on doing it cause i decided after 25 times of crash to remove the plugin!


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  • Ade

    Hi Trey
    I am so grateful for your superb website, especailly with your recommendations for software..Great!
    Just one thing to correct under your NAPP preset picture, there is no such thing as British spelling, only English spelling. Hope you don’t mind the correction.
    Thank you again.

  • John

    Just tried your discount code and it was only providing 15% for the suite.

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  • I love onOne! I love the ability to create my own presets and how much it has enhanced my creativity and artistic exploration – with speed. This is a huge review and I learned a few things to try out even.

    onOne has been doing really awesome with the webinars to help people learn and experiment more too. They are doing great to show off features and uses. Great company!

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  • I just recently bought this software (Genuine Fractals is now called Perfect Resize), and I love playing with it. So glad I discovered you via G+, you’re my new guru.

  • I’ve used teh genuine fractals feature to make some great life sized prints.

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  • Onone Photoframe has been discontinued. the border effects are now in perfect effects 4 http://www.ononesoftware.com/products/#discontinued

  • Trey Ratcliff

    Update of the review currently in progress… should be up sooooon! 🙂

  • Ray Pertierra

    Nice review Trey. Do you now prefer on-One’s Perfect Effects to Nik Color Effects Pro?

  • They are both great… it’s hard to choose!

  • I’ve been using this since the Perfect Tools days and absolutely consider 9.5 to be essential. Granted there is one big feature they removed in 8.5 onward and that was the ability to put a Preset (which consists of one or more individual filters) into a single layer in the filter stack, now when you add one you see all the individual filters of the Preset which makes masking or changing the opacity of the entire effect rather tedious. Who know, it could have been a speed issue as things do tend to get really bogged down when you stack a lot of effects, especially lens blurs.

    But that complaint aside, I really love using this and would feel lost -at least for a while, if forced to give it up.

  • mike

    Help ……..please. I have been using cs6 and have now brought my first Sony a6000 but the images will not open. What can. I do? do I have to buy more processing software ie Lightroom or what…………please reply, many thabks

  • Rick Diffley

    Looking for some definitive reasons to consider On1. To have it and Nik software, be an overkill?
    I have the following Nik collection: Analog Efex Pro 2, Color Effects Pro 4, Dfine 2, Sharpener Pro, Silver Efex Pro 2, and Viveza 2.

  • Ron

    I am having issues with anyone that recommends this software, there is no customer support. I have been very happy using there software until I upgraded to Windows 10 , which is where I lost On1, it has been two weeks and I cannot get any return calls, no emails no support. I would be very suspect on upgrading again. Nice software as long as you never need customer or tech support. Very unhappy.

  • Doug

    I have had the same problem. I am in the middle of a big project and have contacted support several times during the last week as I am getting an error message that it has too many activations! All they need to do is reactivate the product key or issue me a new one. How hard can that be? This is costing me.

  • Open mindend human

    Great software but incredibly terrible customer support. I have never had such a bad issue with any company’s customer support. It is non existent.

  • Open mindend human

    I agree.

  • Gallego

    all these pictures….and most HDR look like paintings…I do not regard this stuff as Photography anymore

  • David Soden

    This company is a black hole – if the software works for you GREAT, if you need help your totally on your own! The version 10-10.x is flawed and has been flawed for a long time so you cant activate the product on certain windows 10 PC’s. They removed their phone from the website to hide from their customers, and if you check your CC statement the phone 503-968-1468 works for now, but they will not answer any calls. They claim 30 days to try the product or your money back if you do not like, but this company is not reachable past their online ticketing system also flawed in UI/UX design, and the promised 24 hour response they state on the phone if you call does not APPLY in real life… so BUY AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!

  • guest

    the trial is a joke, don’t waste your time.

    there’s a reason … because photoshop now does it all.

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