RAW Power Review:  A powerful and affordable macOS RAW editor and Photos extension


posted Tuesday, May 16, 2017 at 8:00 AM EDT


Apple’s last Aperture release was in 2014 and the company has no intention of bringing it back. Instead the Cupertino-based tech giant offers users Photos for macOS which is a far cry from Aperture in terms of power and versatility. What Photos does offer is a cloud-connected experience and a simple user interface. Apple has a built-in RAW decoder in macOS, but Photos doesn’t provide users direct access to the controls that were available in Aperture. Photos does allow the use of extensions and a particularly powerful extension is RAW Power from Gentlemen Coders.

Not only can RAW Power be used as an extension to Photos, but it can also be used as a standalone app. The two use cases share functionality, so anything I say about the standalone app applies to the Photos extension as well.

What does RAW Power offer for controls? A lot. You have manual control over curves and sliders. RAW processing sliders include Boost, Black Boost, Black Point, Luma Noise, Color Noise, Detail, RAW Sharpen and RAW Contrast. Further, you can adjust white balance, exposure, highlights, shadows and much more.

RAW Power offers a lot of adjustments for images, including RAW-centric sliders and curves.

In addition to RAW processing tools, RAW Power offers crop and straighten, customizable presets, copy and pasting of adjustments, ProPhoto RGB 16-bit TIFF output (16-bit output is available in sRGB, Adobe RGB and ProPhoto RGB color spaces via the export function), color picking tools and user interface customizing. Speaking of the user interface, it’s clean and easy to navigate.

The overall user interface is clean and easy to navigate.

The standalone app is not a replacement for image catalog software, but when used as an extension to Photos, which can catalog and organize your images, it shines as a powerful and affordable RAW editor. RAW Power is only US$15 and it offers a lot for that price point, particularly for users who enjoy the simplicity and connectedness of Photos for macOS but want more powerful editing tools.

RAW Power

For the purposes of this review, I was provided a code to download RAW Power by the development, Gentlemen Coders. No other compensation was received.