Release: Darktable 4.2

Release: Darktable 4.2

The free Darktable 4.2 is now available. This open-source project aims to make a freeware equivalent to Adobe Lightroom, to help in bulk processing the RAW images from your digital camera. It has always been actively developed, but the UI and workflow have been very off-putting to many. It certainly was to me, when I tried it some years back. But it can be fast if your camera has a supported profile, and speed can be important for those with 200 RAW files of an event or field-trip to auto-process. Sadly it doesn’t support my key camera makes…

“Darktable currently only supports regular Bayer style sensors (which probably accounts for 99% of available cameras). This means Darktable will not be able to handle Sigma FOVEON based cameras. A lot of Fuji cameras have weird variations of the standard Bayer scheme which make them incompatible with Darktable, too.”

The other free open source alternative is RawTherapee, which in July 2022 had its first big update after the lockdown years. This does support Sigma’s FOVEON camera sensors (i.e. a quality SRL sensor, but in a pocket-sized compact camera)…

“RawTherapee supports most RAW formats, including Pentax Pixel Shift, Canon Dual-Pixel, and those from FOVEON and X-Trans sensors.”

That said, if you’re using a Sigma with a FOVEON sensor then you should really be using the free SIGMA Photo Pro for processing RAW. That will allow you to recover far more detail from shadows while damping the highlights better, compared to Lightroom. You then take it out to a good .TIF and put that into RawTherapee, Lightroom etc.

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