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Thread: RAW photo developers - user experience

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Lightbulb RAW photo developers - user experience

    There are many RAW file developers in Ubuntu and in the open source and/or free softwares area as well as the proprietary ones and in other platforms. Each one is having its own approach towards RAW file manipulation (I dont care much about jpeg files, as there is GIMP and other variants).

    In the Linux world, I have seen (not tried all of them) Digicam, Darktable, Rawtherapee, ufraw, lightzone, fotox, gimp (with some plugins) etc.. I think all of them are open source and are very powerful.

    The proprietary ones and the ones in other platforms include adobe lightroom, bibble, photo ninja, captureNX, canons software, DXO, aperture etc.. (I have tried only two of them)

    All these point towards the only aim: better photos from RAW files

    In many cases, a different processing in one software or a combination in another softwares gives the same result. In that sense, if one is patient enough to spend some time, one can avoid the use of proprietary softwares and could promote the open source projects. There are many forums and blogs discussing the same.

    What is my point?

    1. There is a lack of information about the similar features and how one desired effect could be reached from various softwares.
    2. How two open/free programs could give the effect of a commercial program until the effect is included in a open/free RAW developer
    3. A comparison of the user interface and experience
    4. The discussion of RAW conversion is not universal: it ends in the support forums of respective softwares (I know its not that practical to have one universal forum)

    What I have found:

    I found that both lightzone and lightroom could give very close results (to my satisfaction of course : this is where the can of worms gets opened)
    I am going to try fotoxx : from the features, I think that its a mixture of lightzone, gimp and hugin : Has anyone tried them?

    More info and opinions are welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Ubuntu Mate 15.10 Wily Werewolf

    Re: RAW photo developers - user experience

    I recommend trying rawtherapee and Darktable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Boston, MA, USA
    Ubuntu 16.04 Xenial Xerus

    Re: RAW photo developers - user experience

    I tried UFRAW several years back (at the time I think it may have been the only native option) and wasn't too impressed with it. The options were limited, and you had to select them all upfront before exporting to a full featured image program.

    I am going to ahve to try some of these other ones to see if the situation has improved since then.

    For now I am using Nikon's Capture NX2 from within a Windows 7 Virtualbox VM for all my RAW needs.
    I only use LTS releases, and mostly for servers.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Williams Lake
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: RAW photo developers - user experience

    I just started using Lightzone, it's open source and uses a BSD license. You have to jump through a few hoops in order to get a download link, but once installed it works quite well. So far I've just been going through some of the tutorials, but from what I've seen it seems to be quite comprehensive.

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