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GNU is Not Unix

Raw Therapee 3 Is Now Free Software 162

Posted by kdawson
from the eye-altering-alters-all dept.
kantier writes "The only (as far as I know) usable and free (as in beer) program for processing RAW photos outside Windows or OS X is now also free as in freedom. From version 3 onwards, the code is licensed under the GPL v3. The main developer's reasons for opening up the program are a lack of time/resources for full dedication, and a lack of interest in some parts of the program (likes to fiddle with image-processing algorithms, not so much the GUI part) — so the F/OSS model seems to be a perfect fit for this project."
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Raw Therapee 3 Is Now Free Software

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 18, 2010 @08:58PM (#30814934)
    He opened up the code so other people could work on the GUI? This will end badly.
    • by creimer (824291) on Monday January 18, 2010 @09:06PM (#30814992) Homepage
      Not really. While the Mac and Windows GUI experts get into a pissing match over graphic design, the command line experts will have the interface nailed down. When the project is abandoned, the program will continue to live on forever in Linux distributions.
      • Yes, because creating a command line interface requires such advanced design skills.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Sir_Lewk (967686)

          No, and yet it seems only open source programs get it right 99% of the time.

          • They're getting it right because they're doing what's easy. It doesn't mean they're good.
            • by Eudial (590661)

              It may be easier, but creating a good CLI interface does require some degree of thought. If you, for example, compare a Linux console to the dismal Windows terminal and what a pain in the rear that is to use, the difference is blatantly obvious. The UNIX philosophy makes a world of difference.

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward

                It may be easier, but creating a good CLI interface does require some degree of thought. If you, for example, compare a Linux console to the dismal Windows terminal and what a pain in the rear that is to use, the difference is blatantly obvious. The UNIX philosophy makes a world of difference.

                Yes the difference is blatantly obvious. 10 people on earth can use Unix and Windows has engulfed the world.

          • by FooAtWFU (699187)
            I blame the fact that Windows has a lousy terminal. The shell isn't irredeemably bad - definitely no Bash, but it certainly sufficed for me in my pre-Windows days - but if it were just more like PuTTY it'd be almost usable for random tasks.
            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by Sir_Lewk (967686)

              The windows terminal emulator software sucking hard (and it most certainly does) doesn't really have much to do with windows not having a rich, powerful, and universal set of command line utilities, with properly designed and useful flags and options. Implementing such a pathetic system years after Unix was designed is laughable.

              Also, it's shell is woefully underfeatured, compared to something like zsh, or even bash. I could never see myself actually attempting to do real work with it.

              • Cygwin comes to the rescue (if you find yourself forced to use Windows)...

                Granted, Cygwin isn't perfect, but it's worlds better than Windows' built-in command-line crap.

          • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @02:39AM (#30816614)

            Not too much of a surprise since the reason most closed source applications have poor CLI is because they just don't care about it.

            When all you have is a CLI it better work. When a CLI is just a bonus feature to enable specific workflows and batch operations then the CLI is usually minimal.

            • by richlv (778496)

              it's late... and i'm tired... but i really missed the space before "it" when reading this the first time.

              When all you have is a CLI it better work.

      • by 0100010001010011 (652467) on Monday January 18, 2010 @10:56PM (#30815592)

        Exactly the problem with FOSS image programs.

        GIMP was written by programmers. They add features that they think everyone wants and implements them the way think think is best.

        Photoshop was started by photographers. People that wanted to do stuff digitally. It wasn't until I started going through my dad's old photography books that I understood what 1/2 of the tools were and why they were named.

        You FOSS zealots can keep on about GIMP, I'll keep getting work done in Photoshop.

        • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

          It wasn't until I started going through my dad's old photography books that I understood what 1/2 of the tools were and why they were named.

          Great, so you are saying I have to be a photography expert before I can even start to understand the names of things in photoshop. That seems much better.

          • by Pulzar (81031) on Monday January 18, 2010 @11:34PM (#30815816)

            Great, so you are saying I have to be a photography expert before I can even start to understand the names of things in photoshop. That seems much better.

            Why is that a bad thing? If you're going to be fine-tuning and editing photos, you should know what you're doing. If you don't, well, there's always "auto levels" or "auto color" menu options to use, and off you go. For those that do know what they're doing, more advanced tools are available and are called what you expect them to be called.

          • by im_thatoneguy (819432) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @01:47AM (#30816380)

            Great, so you are saying I have to be a photography expert before I can even start to understand the names of things in photoshop. That seems much better.

            Yes. That's exactly what we're saying. Just like you have to be a "Compute Expert" and understand what "Mouse" or "Keyboard" is and that a "CD-ROM" goes into the "Tray" or that you need to "Double-Click" on an "Icon" in order to run a program.

            Every area has its own vocabulary. Often the names for things are throwbacks to decades or centuries earlier. In the case of photography you can take something like "exposure". In Photoshop exposure has no meaning unless you understand the photographic concept. Similarly in Photoshop the word "Dodge" means nothing unless you understand it from the photographic concept of "dodging" which involves blocking the light of the print in an area and reducing the exposure. Similarly "burning" means selectively extending the exposure to a region of your print. Burn means nothing when you're talking about pixels, but it makes perfect sense when you think about it optically. There are many ways to brighten or darken an image. In the case of Dodge and Burn as an example though you're talking about a very specific type of brightening and darkening.

          • by dangitman (862676)

            Great, so you are saying I have to be a photography expert before I can even start to understand the names of things in photoshop. That seems much better.

            Given that the majority of users of a photo editing application will be photographers and graphic artists, it makes perfect sense. You wouldn't expect a large percentage of the users to be computer programmers.

            Plus, if you're a non-photographer learning to use the program, then the naming of things will help teach you photography - which would be a good thing, as you're using an application for photographers!

            What's next, are you going to complain about software for nuclear reactor design using terms that a

            • I am a photographer .... I use a digital camera like most people nowadays

              Dodge/Burn etc .. makes no sense whatsoever to me, they are terms in the archaic process of developing, something you do not do with digital photos.....

              I am processing photos taken with a digital camera, as digital data, on a computer.... why are terms derived from developing silvered photographs still used!

              This would like terms from horse driven carriage driving being used in your car

              • by dangitman (862676)

                Dodge/Burn etc .. makes no sense whatsoever to me, they are terms in the archaic process of developing, something you do not do with digital photos..... I am processing photos taken with a digital camera, as digital data, on a computer.... why are terms derived from developing silvered photographs still used!

                They are still used because they are effective and well-known. What would you call those tools instead - "selective lightening/darkening tool"? That's a but cumbersome.

                The English language is a wonderful thing, and this kind of thing really adds flavor and character. It gives us insight into history. It's also educational, because when someone asks "what is dodging and burning" then they learn about these techniques and technology they have never heard of.

                Would you rather just erase history and forget about

          • by mwvdlee (775178)

            ...And programming tools use terminology like "build" instead of "make it double-clickable" and
            "debug" instead of "it doesn't work".

            If you want a graphics program for people who aren't familiar with graphics terminology and don't want to get too deep into the matter, use GIMP.
            Personally, I'd rather go with any one of the cheap alternatives to PhotoShop. I'd advise Paint Shop Pro, but there are many other valid alternatives.
            For OS's other than Windows and OS-X, I've always liked Pixel32, but I haven't used i

        • by Draek (916851)

          Photoshop was started by photographers.

          Then taken over by graphic designers and, later, Adobe's marketing department. In fact, they screwed it up so badly Adobe started *ANOTHER* app by-photographers-for-photographers just to keep them happy, Lightroom, because they were already running away from its bloated and nightmarish interface to Apple Aperture and similar programs.

          Photoshop is the only piece of software that makes Vista look lean by comparison.

    • Re:Oh sweet Jesus no (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Hurricane78 (562437) <deleted@s[ ]hdot.org ['las' in gap]> on Monday January 18, 2010 @11:02PM (#30815622)

      When I remember how my PHBs handled GUI interfaces in the past, my guess is:
      - MOAR BUTTONZ!!!!!!111one(lim (x->0) (sin(x)/x))
      - Highlight this! It is important!
      - Oh noes! Now everything is highlighted!... Just make it red!
      - My clickiez iz 2 smal! Iz maek it huuuugeee!
      - Oh noes! No spaes left on full HD! Let’s splitz, wif 1 button in every modal windowz!
      - Nowz too compleecated! We needz MOAR WEEZARDZ!!!!
      - Yz ur program so sloow n stoopid! Me no can use! Plz 2 fix ASAP! U SUCK! KTHXBAI!
      *Original developer starts crying about... now*

      P.S.: Yes, my PHBs were very similar to cats. Their behavior made no sense at all, and they ignored every advice or information you gave them. Except when it was about money. They they were all over you. The rest of the time they were outside the house until late at night, or asleep in their office.

  • dcraw (Score:5, Informative)

    by characterZer0 (138196) on Monday January 18, 2010 @09:02PM (#30814964)

    http://www.cybercom.net/~dcoffin/dcraw/ [cybercom.net]

    GPLv2

    There is a gimp plugin that provides a very nice front end for it.

    They've been in Debian for years.

    • RAWTherapee uses dcraw under the hood.

      Changes to the underlying version of dcraw are referenced in the version history on the project website's front page
      http://www.rawtherapee.com/ [rawtherapee.com]

      • Not a frontend (Score:3, Informative)

        by Mprx (82435)
        http://www.rawtherapee.com/?mitem=4&faqid=17 [rawtherapee.com]

        Is RawTherapee an interface for dcraw?

        No. RawTherapee uses dcraw only for decoding of the raw files. It is not commonly known, but dcraw is the basis of the decoding engines of almost all raw converter software (including Photoshop, LightZone, RawShooter, etc.).

        All the algorithms of the image processing steps (including the demosaicing) are RawTherapee's own methods.

        • Just plain wrong (Score:3, Informative)

          by syousef (465911)

          . It is not commonly known, but dcraw is the basis of the decoding engines of almost all raw converter software (including Photoshop, LightZone, RawShooter, etc.).

          It's not commonly known because it is just plain wrong. Photoshop and Lightroom use Adobe Camera RAW.

          • by SuperBanana (662181) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @12:48AM (#30816174)

            It's not commonly known because it is just plain wrong. Photoshop and Lightroom use Adobe Camera RAW.

            Adobe Camera Raw, as well as most of the other commercial software which decodes raw images, used dcraw source and probably still uses much of that code. The license for dcraw permits it, and Dave Coffin is pretty proud of that. He should be- his code is used worldwide by millions of photographers.

            Google around, bud. You can find dozens of articles, as well as Dave's resume, talking about this. He lists the dozens of programs which use dcraw, too, on the dcraw homepage.

            • by tlhIngan (30335) <(ten.frow) (ta) (todhsals)> on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @12:58AM (#30816214)

              Adobe Camera Raw, as well as most of the other commercial software which decodes raw images, used dcraw source and probably still uses much of that code. The license for dcraw permits it, and Dave Coffin is pretty proud of that. He should be- his code is used worldwide by millions of photographers.

              No big surprise - dcraw has reverse-engineered *every* RAW file format out there, and new cameras are being added pretty quickly. (The dirty little secret of RAW files is many manufacturers make RAW file formats proprietary so there's no generic RAW file opener. That is, until dcraw came around. Hopefully things will change with the digital negative format (DNF) format which is a standardized RAW file format).

              If you want to open a RAW file, dcraw will understand it. He's got a right to be proud of it. Imagine trying to create a workflow if you have a bunch of different equipment and RAW files, and have to use Nikon's tool for once, Canon's for another, Sony's for a third, etc...

            • by E-Lad (1262) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @02:15AM (#30816492) Homepage
              I wouldn't be so generous in your detraction.

              ACR, as it stands today, does not appear to be built around dcraw as you imply. It may at some point in the past used snippets or knowledge gleaned from dcraw and just might still today, but ACR is very much Adobe's own creation. In fact, one of the very articles you sort of point to by urging the OP to "google around" talks about this [cnet.com], with Thomas Knoll of Adobe essentially saying "Thanks but no thanks" W.R.T. Mr. Coffin reverse engineering the encryption in Nikon's RAW format.

              I use Lightroom and PS CS4 on a daily basis, so I have ACR available and did some snooping. One thing that jumps out at me:

              [daleg@iridium]/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Plug-Ins/CS4/File Formats/Camera Raw.plugin/Contents/MacOS$ strings Camera\ Raw | grep -i copyright
              Copyright 2009 Adobe Systems, Inc.
              Copyright 2008 Adobe Systems, Inc.
              17CCopyrightMLUCTag
              Copyright %4d Adobe Systems Incorporated
              $$$/Private/CRaw/About/Copyright=^C ^0 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved.
              copyright
              xmpDM:copyright
              COPYRIGHT : Copyright (c) 2002-2007, Adobe Systems Incorporated
              Adobe XMP Core Copyright (c) 2002-2007, Adobe Systems Incorporated
              Copyright
              tiff:Copyright
              Copyright (c) 1998 Hewlett-Packard Company
              Copyright 1999 Adobe Systems Incorporated
              Copyright 1999 Adobe Systems Incorporated
              Copyright (c) Eastman Kodak Company, 1999, all rights reserved.
              Copyright 1999 Adobe Systems Incorporated
              Copyright 1999 Adobe Systems Incorporated
              Copyright 2005 Adobe Systems Incorporated
              Copyright 2006 Adobe Systems Incorporated
              Copyright 1999 Adobe Systems Incorporated
              Copyright 1999 Adobe Systems Incorporated
              Copyright 1999 Adobe Systems Incorporated
              Copyright 1999 Adobe Systems Incorporated
              Copyright 1999 Adobe Systems Incorporated
              Copyright (c) 1998 Hewlett-Packard Company
              Copyright 2000 Adobe Systems, Inc.
              13CCopyrightTag

              While probably not definitive, I would expect to see a salutation to Mr. Coffin and dcraw in there if there were dcraw bits present. There is one other binary installed with ACR, a library by the name of NkMiniLib.dylib. Given the name I would suppose this is a library containing the properly-licensed smarts required for ACR to decrypt Nikon NEF files. I admit that this is a hunch on my part, but I think it's a good one given the known circumstances around Nikon as a company and its RAW format - Nikon would rather you buy their Capture NX 2 software for RAW file manipulation. I can only imagine how much Adobe paid or pays for licensing the ability to do this in ACR (and by extension - in Lightroom and Photoshop.)

              It is also well-known that Adobe's ACR team creates the profiles that plug into ACR for each camera, they don't lift them from dcraw. It's likely they get samples from manufacturers in advance or soon after a camera's release to divine the profile themselves for release in a future version of ACR.

              So color me not convinced, regardless of what Mr. Coffin might put on his resume. In the course of "googling around" I cannot find one authoritative bit of info linking ACR to dcraw. ACR as it stands today doesn't appear to have a whiff of dcraw in it judging from some minor binary snooping... so until proven otherwise, I'd say that millions of photographers wordwide do not use his code as you might claim.

            • by syousef (465911)

              Please point me to something that clearly states that Adobe Camera RAW is based on dcraw.

              "Thanks to dcraw source code, Adobe Photoshop and dozens of other image tools now have built-in support for raw photos, and the popularity of raw photography has grown enormously." is the only line I could find on Dave's resume and you'll forgive me if I'm skeptical since I found NOTHING else with a quick google.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Also in the repos is RawStudio [rawstudio.org]. It uses dcraw to do conversions, but inside a lightroom-lite (as in it only has the basic abilities you actually use) interface. Unfortunately the "export to gimp" menu option is broken, but it still opens images faster, makes adjustments faster and exports to jpeg faster than lightroom under windows on the same hardware.
      • as in it only has the basic abilities you actually use

        Uh, ok... I'm no professional and while I don't use the slideshow and fancy layout stuff in Lightroom, but I do use almost all of the "developing" and library features it offers. Not everything on every photo, obviously, but I think I've used every feature since I've been using it.

        I fully appreciate RawStudio and similar programs that are trying to offer similar functionality, but the key to Lightroom being so great is that it offers all of the "basic abilities you actually use" from Photoshop, which is a

  • Digikam (Score:2, Informative)

    by thatkid_2002 (1529917)
    The only (as far as I know) usable and free (as in beer) program for processing RAW photos outside Windows or OS X... DigiKam was the only one I knew about for AGES before I heard of Raw Therapee.
    • by RuBLed (995686)
      You had been missing much then :D ... One of my hobbies is photography and I'm using Linux in my home desktop and RawTherapee is GOD-SENT (all caps for awesomeness).

      I just hope this would be for the better of RAWTherapee, if you read various reviews from photography websites, this is almost on par and outperforms commercial versions like Lightroom in certain areas. The batch processing is somewhat lacking but I'm hoping someone would now tackle that.
  • Only? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Xabraxas (654195) on Monday January 18, 2010 @09:07PM (#30815006)
    What about rawstudio [rawstudio.org] and ufraw [sourceforge.net]? I have used all three and I can say that while I like the features that rawtherapee has I like it the least overall. Everything is so slow that working on a RAW image takes forever. Rawstudio has the least amount of features but is very fast and the SVN version has added a few very important features. It is currently my favorite. UFRaw is nice but the interface isn't as clean as rawstudio and there is no batch processing. Every image has to be opened separately.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tpwch (748980)

      Thats not entirely accurate. Ufraw has for a long time included a batch tool called ufraw-batch. Try running that command it if you have ufraw installed and see for yourself. The idea is that you process one image in the series in the normal ufraw gui and save the changes you made as a template to a config file (thats what that button in the ufraw gui is for). Then you have ufraw-batch load that config and process as many pictures as you like. I tried rawstudio, but it kept crashing for me. Been using ufraw

      • by macshit (157376)

        I tried rawstudio, but it kept crashing for me. Been using ufraw for two years, and it works great here. I don't think the UI is confusing.

        Both ufraw and rawstudio seem generally usable to me. The annoying thing is that while ufraw has a great denoise tool (basically one parameter, and always seems to do a great job), it has no sharpening tool, and while rawstudio has a great sharpening tool, it has no denoising tool!!

        Even more odd is that as I understand it, dcraw -- the underlying library both apps use -- is actually where ufraw gets its great denoise from, so it seems a bit peculiar that rawstudio doesn't use it...

        [Overall, ufraw seems a

        • by tpwch (748980)
          That makes sense to me. Denoising can be done much better when you have the data from the raw image than when you have already converted. Sharpening is the same either way, so you could just as well do it in gimp or something, so a raw program doesn't need to include it. Also sharpening should always be the last thing you do, because it doesn't turn out nearly as well if you do it earlier in your workflow (And I mean the last, after doing all modifications, and resizing. The only thing left to do when you'v
        • by Xabraxas (654195)
          That's the great thing about the SVN version of rawstudio. It has a denoise tool, LensFun integration, including controls for vignetting and color aberration correction. There is also a channel mixer now.
      • by tpgp (48001)

        Ufraw has for a long time included a batch tool called ufraw-batch. Try running that command it if you have ufraw installed and see for yourself.

        This functionality is also available in a pretty nice GUI fashion via an f-spot extension [f-spot.org]. Works very well for me.

      • by neurovish (315867)

        Thats not entirely accurate. Ufraw has for a long time included a batch tool called ufraw-batch. Try running that command it if you have ufraw installed and see for yourself. The idea is that you process one image in the series in the normal ufraw gui and save the changes you made as a template to a config file (thats what that button in the ufraw gui is for). Then you have ufraw-batch load that config and process as many pictures as you like. I tried rawstudio, but it kept crashing for me. Been using ufraw for two years, and it works great here. I don't think the UI is confusing.

        Its command-line only, thats probably why you missed.

        ufraw is probably what I use most because of this feature. Setup a general profile for how my raw photos come out, then ufraw-batch the entire 10G directory, and spend the next couple days/weeks going through the results and picking out images that might need some more processing. Those usually just end up sitting around until I forget about them though. I still haven't found anything suitable in linux for editing individual raw photos that need it. LightZone in general works well, but the price for it

      • by Xabraxas (654195)
        Wow. Thanks. I never knew that. Now only if you could select photos from a series like rawstudio and prioritize them. It seems kind of funny to have such an advanced gui in UFRaw but with a batch interface that is CLI only.
    • Actually Digikam [digikam.org] is currently the leading open source raw conversion utility IMHO. My wife is a photographer (does some pay work but mostly play), and she prefers Digikam to lightroom hands down, and uses it all the time. (yes she owns lightroom and doesn't use it)

  • What does it do that puts it in a different category than Rawstudio or UFRaw?

    yp.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Well, it's the only one that calls itself the only one.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by kantier (993472)
        No, I called it the only one, thinking I was right (when I wrote that)
    • It doesn't say it's the only one, it says it's the only usable one.

      As any True Scotsman could tell you, that's a highly significant difference.

      (seriously though, I'm a die-hard UFRaw user - it does everything I need it to, although it is a little slow... I've never tried RAWStudio, and I can't as it doesn't support my camera.)

  • by MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) on Monday January 18, 2010 @09:12PM (#30815046) Homepage

    Great news. For those who don't know, a digital camera's sensor is actually a monochrome sensor. It is not a true color sensor (except for Sigma cameras). Each seperate sensor cell (sensel) has a colored filter placed over it. So the color is actually calculated by compariing each sensel's value with the adjacent sensels. Thus the demosaic process is very important.

    All digital cameras have a built-in processor that processes the raw data the creates a JPEG file. But the JPEG file has less data (8-bit vs. 12 to 14 bit RAW) and suffers when heavy post processing is applied. Thus most pros shoot in raw, as you can image PhotoShop, Lightroom, Aperture and others can do a much better job than the built-in processor.

    The availability of a RAW converter for Linux is a big deal. Without it, Linux is very limited it its usefulness to photographers.

    Might GIMP soon include RAW conversion? I sure hope so.

    • by yankpop (931224) on Monday January 18, 2010 @09:18PM (#30815094)
      Might GIMP soon include RAW conversion? I sure hope so.

      It already does, via UFRaw and Rawstudio, and maybe others.

      • Thank you. It's unbelievable that so called professional and serious amateur photographers who also are familiar with linux can not know one single application capable of handling raw format, when they have been available in one form or the other for quite some time.
        • Unbelievable? You don't know many photographers, I take it. Open source is nearly invisible to that group.

          Most of the attention is focused on Photoshop, followed by LightRoom and Aperture. The OEM products (like Nikon's Capture NX) fit into the also-ran category, with all the other products finding it hard to gain any attention at all.

          I run Linux and BSD servers, yet I had no idea GIMP had RAW plugins. I only use GIMP (actually GimpShop) on occasion. But professional photographers (and I am one) need a c

          • by Slayer (6656)
            While GIMP can indeed do RAW conversions, its main limitation for photographic purposes comes from its 8 bit color space, which makes color corrections next to impossible, at least in useful quality. If you want to steer newcomers towards open source, my recommendation is you show them digiKam for RAW conversion and color correction, and have them use GIMP only for pixel manipulation (healing/cloning, merging, ...)
            • I've never looked at digiKam. Looks pretty cool. Thanks for pointing me in that direction.

              • by Slayer (6656)
                Good thing about digiKam is that they use ImageMagick as their backend, so they have full 16 bit color and multithreading support and don't have to reinvent the wheel for every image manipulation task. Despite the beta sounding version number it is very stable and can handle huge image data (say 120 MB TIFFs) without any problems.
            • Cinepaint is a fork of gimp that supports 16 bit.
              http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CinePaint [wikipedia.org]
      • My hope is that RAW conversion is included with the base package. I've suggested GIMP for beginners on a budget, then watched them dump it because it couldn't read RAW. Not everyone knows how to look for plug-ins, or even know plug-ins exist.

    • by tpwch (748980)
      If you read some of the other comments you'll see that linux has had multiple free software raw-processing programs for many years. There are at least two plugins for gimp, one for dcraw and one for ufraw. And there are professional photographers that use them.
    • by OverlordQ (264228)

      Might GIMP soon include RAW conversion? I sure hope so.

      You mean a version besides UFRaw plugin that has been out for 5 years? Or do you mean built-in?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 18, 2010 @09:35PM (#30815196)

      Thanks for this post! I read the web page, and part of the forums and still never understood that the goddamned program was good for. This is all too common in open source.

      Folks- if you're going to put your code out there, then tell the world what the hell it does and what it's good for- not that you've improved the frobulation, and rejiggered the comblastictor.

      grumpy

      • Folks- if you're going to put your code out there, then tell the world what the hell it does and what it's good for- not that you've improved the frobulation, and rejiggered the comblastictor.

        But this new rejiggerment is ALPHABETSOUP-2010 comblastictor(TM) compatible!

    • by EvanED (569694) <evaned.gmail@com> on Monday January 18, 2010 @09:40PM (#30815230)

      Thus most pros shoot in raw, as you can image PhotoShop, Lightroom, Aperture and others can do a much better job than the built-in processor.

      IMO, the conversion from RAW -> JPEG being done better than on the camera chip is by far the least compelling reason to shoot RAW, especially with Canons (where the on-camera processor already does a really job). 99% of people would never be able to tell the difference between the two processing options, even on a properly calibrated screen.

      The real reason to shoot RAW is the world of post-processing options that shooting RAW presents you. Because of the 12 bits of color depth you have more latitude with playing with the exposure controls; if you make sure that you don't overexpose anything (i.e. you "expose for the highlights") you can compress the dynamic range a bit to bring out more detail in the dark areas. Because white balance hasn't been applied yet, you can change white balance post-processing losslessly. (There's software that will give you white-balance controls over JPEG pictures in a similar manner, but it's lossy.)

      • by MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) on Tuesday January 19, 2010 @01:53AM (#30816402) Homepage

        The real reason to shoot RAW is the world of post-processing options that shooting RAW presents you. Because of the 12 bits of color depth you have more latitude with playing with the exposure controls; if you make sure that you don't overexpose anything (i.e. you "expose for the highlights") you can compress the dynamic range a bit to bring out more detail in the dark areas. Because white balance hasn't been applied yet, you can change white balance post-processing losslessly. (There's software that will give you white-balance controls over JPEG pictures in a similar manner, but it's lossy.)

        Agreed. You've added more detail than I did, when I said "the JPEG file has less data (8-bit vs. 12 to 14 bit RAW) and suffers when heavy post processing is applied."

        I have a habit of describing how a watch works when people simply want to know the time. Overcompensating, I left out lots of detail. Perhaps I oversimplified.

        But 16-bit-per-pixel (actually 3x16bpp=48bpp) editing is not lossless. Generally the loss of quality is not visible, but not in all cases. But as you point out, its WAY better then 24bit (3x8bit) JPEGs.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by stephanruby (542433)
      Am I only the one who understood the summary to mean that he lacked interest in like image processing? And that the submitter/slashdot editor must have been like a valley girl?
      • by dangitman (862676)

        Am I only the one who understood the summary to mean that he lacked interest in like image processing? And that the submitter/slashdot editor must have been like a valley girl?

        I didn't get that, but I was wondering why FOSS graphics software has such brutal and disgusting names. First "The Gimp" and now an application name gloating about having raped someone until they were raw?? Ewwww.

    • Raw Therapee is a frontend to DCraw, which has been around for at least 5 years.

      http://www.cybercom.net/~dcoffin/dcraw/

      The challenge isn't demosaicing the images, nor is there a need for the user to have control over it, assuming it works properly. It's reading the file format; Nikon encrypts theirs, and everyone else changes their formats seemingly with every new model/model year. Makes for an annoying moving target for most of the programs which support raw images, and the entire reason Adobe create

    • by dangitman (862676)

      Great news. For those who don't know, a digital camera's sensor is actually a monochrome sensor. It is not a true color sensor (except for Sigma cameras). Each seperate sensor cell (sensel) has a colored filter placed over it.

      How is it a monochrome sensor if it has colored filters to sense different colors? Don't those filters turn it into a color sensor?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        >How is it a monochrome sensor if it has colored filters to sense different colors?
        The sensor itself is monochrome - it just detects brightness. Overlaying it is a mosaic of coloured filters set in a pattern. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demosaicing [wikipedia.org] for a good explanation
        • by dangitman (862676)

          The sensor itself is monochrome - it just detects brightness. Overlaying it is a mosaic of coloured filters set in a pattern.

          And that mosaic of filters is a part of the sensor's design, an integrated part of the sensor.

  • Why do people persist in uppercasing "raw" as if it were an acronym??? I suppose if you wanted to be sure people realized you were using a technical term, you could capitalize it: "The file is in Raw Format". But uppercase???

    • Why do people persist in uppercasing "raw" as if it were an acronym???

      It is an acronymn. RAW = Really Awkward Workflow ;-)

      Actually when I use an SLR I almost strictly shoot RAW these days, because while it can be a pain it's worth it.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by im_thatoneguy (819432)

      We persist because every similar word is also capitalized (even though most of them actually are acronyms) so it seems sensible to stay within conventions.

      File formats are all capitalized:
      TIFF
      EXR
      PNG
      JPG
      DPX
      etc...

      Colorspaces and gamma definitions are also often all caps as well:
      sRGB
      LOG
      LIN

      Since RGB is all caps it's just common practice to use RAW in all caps to make the distinction that you're referring to a bayer pattern image and not the raw unprocessed data.

  • Plug for Bibblepro (Score:5, Informative)

    by swillden (191260) <shawn-ds@willden.org> on Monday January 18, 2010 @11:34PM (#30815814) Homepage Journal

    Bibblepro is a great commercial RAW converter that runs quite well on Linux. I've been using it for several years and really like both the job it does and the options it gives for structuring your workflow.

    Not to detract from this new open source tool (which I look forward to trying out), but I like to point out that there is at least one really high quality tool for Linux users already.

  • The only (as far as I know) usable and free (as in beer) program for processing RAW photos outside Windows or OS X [..]

    You might dislike the workflow of Ufraw, but there is no question about it being usable.

  • Raw conversion tool for Linux is good news, but the thing that really seems to be lacking is colour management. I'm a serious hobby photographer (exhibited and published), and I use Photoshop on Windows. Heresy on here? Well, it does colour management properly and supports profiling hardware. The Gimp is a great piece of software, and probably beats Photoshop Elements, but I need the pro features of Photoshop (mainly back to colour profiles again).

    I'm a couple of years out of date on the state of the art un

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