Quick RAW developing software? Comparison of Lightroom, ON1 and FastRawViever

Started 7 months ago | Discussions thread
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ncherkasov New Member • Posts: 2
Quick RAW developing software? Comparison of Lightroom, ON1 and FastRawViever

Hi There,

My old Lightroom v 5.7 is getting old (and slow as always) and I started searching for a faster alternative. Could you suggest something (without subscription fees)? Below, I compared Lightroom (v.5.7), ON1 (2018.5) and FastRawViever

Is there a fast not slow RAW converter?

I changed the last four last computers because of Adobe Lightroom. With every new version, its performance was falling and a few megapixels in a camera created horrible lags. The lightroom is nowadays only cloud-based and I will have to look elsewhere in the future. After all, I am not happy to pay $1 per picture processed – I do not shoot so many and so often.

Hence, I decided to look for alternatives looking for good performance in the first place. High performance is possible – after all, RawShooter 2006 managed to handle RAW files much faster than the first Lightroom.

To start with, I compared Adobe Lightroom v5.7, FastRawViever v1.4 and ON1 Photo Raw 2018.5. The latter file is advertised for incredible performance with realtime modifications in the develop mode and culling of the RAW files.

Comparison methodology

I have installed the software on an SSD drive with ~100 photos taken by Canon EOS-M6. The text system is Lenovo Yoga X1 (1st generation) with an Intel i7-6500U 2-core processor, 8 Gb RAM, 2560x1440 pixel screen, a built-in SSD, but without a dedicated graphic card.

The software was tested in the culling and develop modes – I tested how quickly the new image is loaded and displayed on the screen at approximately fill height mode. I was taking a video of the screen with the EOS-M6 camera at ~60 fps. An external camera provides imaging without loading the computer – hence, the CPU is fully dedicated to the software as during the real RAW handling. The QiPress software was showing when I pressed the button. Analysing the video captured, I measured the delay between pressing the button and getting an updated image on the computer screen.

Results: image culling

The image shows how much time it took to update an image in the preview mode.

Timing of image changing in the preview mode

Adobe Lightroom took a quarter of a second to update an image – to show the JPG built as a standard preview. Hence, the timing is not comparable to all the other cases because a lot of pre-processing was involved prior to the test. In my opinion, this update timing is just acceptable – slow, but not too annoying for culling.

FastRawViever, in contrast, was considerably faster – you can scroll up to 6 images while culling. FastRawViever was 50% faster than Lightroom or much faster considering a lot of pre-processing required in Lightroom. Moreover, the FastRawViever has a lot of features allowing to see the full dynamic range of the RAW image.

ON1 Photo RAW with its claimed "massive overall performance boost" worked really horrible – note a different scale on the Y axis. For some images, the software worked well, for others – it took simply forever. Definitely, the performance is far from “realtime” claimed and not acceptable for culling.

Results: developing RAWs

It testing the develop model, I made some drastic change – exposure or white balance and measured how much time it took to show the change. Of course, FastRawViever does not provide developing was not measured.

Timing of implementing a change in the Develop mode

Developing in Lightroom was quite consistent taking almost 400 ms to update the image. Horrible performance but I can, grudgingly, live with it.

FastRawViever ON1, in contrast, was poorer – in average it was twice slower than Lightroom and in some cases it took almost a second to update the view. Nothing in common with the real-time performance claimed.

ON1 has also one peculiarity – you need extreme dexterity in dealing with their sliders – out of 18 attempts to hit the bar, I hit only 9 times – 50 %. You hit, customary wait for any change and see that the slider did not move - really annoying! Moreover, Lightroom captures the sliders allowing to use the mouse wheel – ON1 did not think about convenience.

The image shows where you need to click in order to move the slider – you should click below the slider only! Lightroom provides an equal distance above/below. If you try to hit the line (as I did), you have a high chance to hit 1 pixel above – the slider will not move.

ON1 sliders - be on the safe side!


FastRawViever is an ultimate leader in the test with excellent performance.

Lightroom – it works, but slow. No surprises.

ON1 Photo RAW can outrun only lazy snails – sluggish in contrast to the claims. Considering the huge gap between the claims and reality, I see it as a fake promise.

After all, their promotional video shows a guy with a laptop. OK, that laptop may have not so power-saving processor, but it cannot be a factor of 10-50x faster than mine. Horrible!

Do you have any ideas what to try to beat at least my old Lightroom?



Leica X1
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