I’m finally ready to give up on Aperture (I know!), and I’m currently looking at switching to Photos along with RAW Power (and also PowerPhotos to assist with the transition).
I’d love to hear from others in the community who use RAW Power – specifically those who were fans of Aperture, but all feedback is welcome.
Good? Bad? Ugly?
Killer features? Missing features?
FWIW, I use Affinity Photo for any heavy retouching, but most of the time I rely on the built-in tools in Aperture.
I think they have free trials without any restrictions besides watermark when exporting. Why not have a try and see if you like it?
What do you shoot? if you own Nikon cameras you owe it to yourself to check out Nikon’s all-in-one post processing solution called NX Studio. It was new in early 2021, has a well-designed UI, takes advantage of features unique to Nikon cameras, and is offered by Nikon for free.
I also am a fan of Affinity Photo but I will be trying out NX Studio as a substitute for Affinity Photo’s Develop Persona (their RAW processing module).
I used to have a Nikon D70s, but currently I use a Fuji X100s and iPhone. I try to use Apple solutions as much as possible. I would need a very compelling reason to step outside the Apple ecosystem.
Fuji is something of an outlier in the way that their photo sensor and RAW files are organized. They also provide their own post processing software solution and I wonder if you have tried it? Would think it might work better than Apple’s RAW processor which is what the Gentlemen Coders use in their Raw Power software.
I never had a problem with the RAW processor in Aperture – even with Fuji files. It’s not really that relevant anymore because I stopped shooting RAW soon after I switched from Nikon to Fuji.
That’s right, Fuji is famed for their JPEGs right out of the camera, aren’t they? I’ve read so many good things about Fuji. I really wanted an XT-1 when it came out. And everytime they release a follow-on, I get the urge to own a Fuji again. But it is an expensive system to get into so I stay in my Nikon corner.
Fuji’s own software is a non-starter. Very limited in functionality and also buggy. Not worth spending time with it.
I’ve been taking bird pictures with Fuji X-T2 and X-T3 cameras for a few years. Apple does not support compressed RAW files, but RAW Power does. That was one of the reasons why I adopted it.
- Ingest: FastRAWViewer
- RAW Conversation: Used to be Capture 1, looked at DXO Photolab, picked RAW Power
- DeNoise: Topaz
- Tagging: SetEXIFdata
- Photo Editing: Affinity Photo, with Nik and Topaz plugins.
Only then will I bring it into a digital asset management system. Until then, it’s Finder-based.
Why RAW Power?
- Capture 1 and DXO assume that you ingest and manage all images in their environment. Overkill, if you just want to use them for RAW processing
- Easy to use, very Apple-like interface. Supports all the functions that I need.
- All I do is straightening, cropping and making tonal, exposure and white balance adjustments. No blemish removals, etc. I typically spend less than 3 minutes on processing a RAW file. RAW Power is really great at getting in, doing it and then exporting it.
- Small, useful feature: When export is done, I can automatically launch the next step in my workflow (DeNoise). Love this feature.
Hope this helps.
I will keep Raw Power in mind if I can’t make NX Studio work for me. NX Studio is Intel-based software that has to run via Rosetta 2 on my M1 MacBook Air. I like it a lot but it has crashed on me a couple of times.
I never shoot JPEG with my Fuji, only RAW. It’s as easy to work on as JPEG without the downsides of all pixels “burnt in” in a JPEG.
Affinity’s RAW Processing is subpar compared to others that I tried. I looked at it as well and did not like at all what they delivered.
That’s why I’m still on the lookout for a good RAW processor that does not include a Digital Asset Manager.
Irrelevant to OP, but one of the pros who has a YouTube channel I watch was saying he uses Capture One because it is so good with Fuji RAWs. Pretty much the only pro I have seen on YouTube that doesn’t use Lightroom Classic.
I’m not a pro, but have processed >20k Fuji RAW images with C1. Their Raw processor is very good, but it’s a very resource-hungry, DAM-like Lightroom replacement. If I wanted that, I would not have moved away from Capture 1. RAW Power is more comparable to Adobe Camera Raw. It’s lightweight and does just one thing - processing RAW images. And it’s pretty good at that. That’s why I switched.
It’s been a while, but I stopped using Photos because any time I tried to edit a photo in an external editor shot in Sony’s RAW format, it created a 72ppi compressed version.
I am sure it’s great, but even outside of YT, doesn’t sound like people like the company behind it. Something about a questionable business model? I don’t remember specifics, just when I was researching it there was a lot of negativity about it, so I didn’t give it a serious look.
C1 is a very good product, if you need a Lightroom replacement. The problem with the company is that they
- Eliminated the single manufacturer versions (Fuji, Sony, Nikon), so you have to buy their universal version, which costs twice as much
- Their pricing is all over the place, with them having multiple competing offers in the market at the same time, which left me wondering whether they were offering me the best deal. Not exactly conducive to building trust.
RAW Power is the best that I found. Even DXO Photolabs is a DAM.
Then I look forward to giving the Raw Power app a look! Thanks for the recommendation! I enjoyed reading about the details of your photo workflow earlier, too.
I just looked up what Thom Hogan recommended for software (Nikon Pro who writes very thorough articles/books on Nikon). He recommended RAW Power and Photos (among other things). Also plugged Jason Snells guide on Photos.
I will have to set Halide to shoot RAW and will try out RAW Power