I am increasingly impressed with ON1’s products. Does their latest software update, ON1 Resize AI 2022, live up to the standards of other products in this stable and its “Perfect” heritage?
If you’re unfamiliar with the ON1 product line, you might remember it by its old name, Perfect Photo Suite. Part of this package was the industry standard image resizer program formerly called Genuine Fractals. This later became Perfect Resize and is now called ON1 Resize AI. As the name suggests, this is an application designed to resize your photos. Also, it can enlarge images without loss of detail.
ON1 Resize is something I’ve used a lot over the past few years. I have photos in my gallery taken a long time ago with 10 and 12 megapixel cameras. Clients always want large prints of them, so I used Resize to scale these images. I found it to be a much more accurate tool for this than Photoshop.
ON1 is now producing AI-powered components for its sequel, and they’re effective. The tone and color settings in the Develop module of ON1 Photo Raw 2022 give great one-click results much closer to what I’m hoping to achieve than I’ve ever achieved with the automatic settings in Lightroom, it there are therefore fewer manual adjustments to be made. Next, ON1 NoNoise AI is a capable program that stands up to Topaz DeNoise AI, running faster and, arguably, with better results than its main rival.
So, does ON1 Resize AI 2022 live up to that legacy?
Putting ON1 Resize AI 2022 to the test
The photo renders before it opens, taking just over a second on my machine.
Once loaded, there are a series of presets on the left panel. I found it best to start here and pick a preset closest to the final image you want. These allow you to crop and resize the image to match the photo to the size of the media you will be using. They are well sorted into different categories to help you quickly select your desired size and aspect ratio.
Once you’ve chosen a preset, further adjustments in the crop tool can be made to the aspect ratio and output size using the custom boxes at the top of the screen. Output sizes are specified in pixels, inches, mm, cm, or percentages. You can also choose the number of pixels per inch you want.
Deselecting the crop tool by selecting the view tool creates a resized preview so you can zoom in and out. You can both see that the dimensions of the image have changed via the right panel.
You then have a series of settings available. I have found the Genuine Fractals magnification method to work the best in the past. This has been improved with the AI version for the images I tried with. It still uses the patented fractal-based algorithm, but the AI optimizes the settings. A full explanation of how these functions work is available in the ON1 Resize User Guide.
Choosing the pre-programmed settings for landscape photos worked well for the images I tried for this review. However, like other programs, the default sharpness was too much for my camera’s already very sharp images. Therefore, I reduced this zeroing. If you’re using a different brand with softer raw files, you may need to experiment with sharpening to find out what works best for you.
You can also add film grain and tiling, and there is also a gallery wrap option with different wrap variations available, useful for canvas prints.
Just like ON1’s other AI programs, it is fast. I’m using an eight-year-old computer with relatively low specs by modern standards, but the conversions work in seconds. The results are excellent.
The software worked best on images taken with a professional high performance lens. If there are flaws, the program will also enlarge them. Further tests showed that doubling and quadrupling an image worked well. Still, it was still outstanding when resizing images from older cameras. I used a nine-year-old Micro Four Thirds OM-D E-M1 16-megapixel camera in the following example.
Upscaling the 16MP image up to 32MP was not a challenge for the ON1 resizer, as you can see from the 100% before and after version of the image above. On the left is the original 16 MP image and on the right is the enlarged version.
Also, even pushing the software to its extremes, it worked incredibly well. By “extreme” I mean zoom it up to a whopping 108 megapixels. Although not perfect when viewed at 100%, the results were still quite good, but artifacts had started to appear when viewing pixels. However, standing away from the screen, as one would have to see the full image, the full size image looked fine. It was an interesting test, but I see no possible reason why I would want a 108 MP image.
That said, ON1 Resize can also reduce JPG artifacts. For example, for over-compressed photos or those that are small, ON1 Resize AI can reduce the effects of compression and create new details, thus leading to higher quality images with increased resolution.
I ran 15 photos through the resizing process, both using the old and new versions of the program, and the results were good with the former and amazing with the latter.
What I did and what I didn’t like
ON1 Resize 2022 is a great piece of software that does what it claims: it resizes photographs — enlarging or reducing their dimensions — thus allowing images of different resolutions and aspect ratios to adapt to different media.
Unlike some other programs, it’s great that it doesn’t use customer data. Its AI learns from thousands of images taken by ON1 staff, all photographers. With other apps it seems a bit offbeat that after they buy their products they expect to use our image data for free, so kudos to ON1 for avoiding that approach.
I mainly use it when creating large prints from smaller files, but I will also use it to precisely scale down files for printing.
This application will be useful for those who wish to scale images for display on larger screens at higher resolution, although contemporary cameras offer sufficient resolution for 4K. It will also be useful for photographers with low resolution cameras and those who heavily crop their photos. Of course, those who print billboards will continue to use it to enhance their images.
It’s easy to use and most will find they only need the presets. You can create your own presets and streamline included ones by deleting unwanted ones.
Nevertheless, the immediate results may require some adjustments. So, like all software, it pays to spend some time learning how to drive it. Finding out how to adjust magnification settings to best suit your camera images is well worth doing. For example, the default sharpness was too high for my hyper sharp photos from my OM System OM-1, which is true for most programs.
It works as a plugin for Lightroom, Photoshop, Capture 1, and Serif Affinity, priced at $99.99. However, it is more beneficial when purchased as part of the ON1 Professional Plugins Bundle which includes all other On1 plugins at $149.99. For ON1 Photo Raw 2022 users, the Resize AI 2022 will be a module included as part of the following free update, due in a few weeks; The price for this varies across many options, from $79.99 for a perpetual upgrade license to $179.99 for an annual license that includes 1TB of cloud storage.
On1 Resize AI 2022 is fantastic software and a great addition to your arsenal of tools, helping you achieve great images.