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08 April 2013, 12:41

Darktable 1.2 introduces Lightroom import

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Multi-instance support
Zoom Using the same module multiple times can enhance selected parts of a photo (in this case, the foreground colour is emphasised)
Source: darktable project

The latest release of the open source photo workflow package darktable adds de-noising profiles for camera sensors, support for using the same plugin multiple times on one photo and the ability to import workflow data from Adobe's Lightroom. Additionally, darktable 1.2 includes a number of other improvements, bug fixes and an improved user manual.

In a post on the darktable blog, developer Pascal Obry explains the reason why they included Lightroom import in the latest version of the program. Specifically, he believes that Adobe "will probably never" port the software to Linux and the darktable developers want to make it easier for photographers to migrate from Lightroom to darktable. The import module converts image processing done in Lightroom to darktable's format but is still under development and requires manual adjustment for every image; an automatic batch import is not available yet. Some of Lightroom's edit modules are completely supported, others are a work in progress and are not completely accurate yet when their information is imported. Obry says the developers are working to further improve this part of darktable in the future.

De-noising profiles for camera sensors in darktable automates the process of improving image quality using profiles for each sensor model. Thanks to a number of community-provided profiles for popular digital cameras by Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Pentax and other manufacturers, users can automatically process, and thus improve, all photos taken with a certain make of camera. Version 1.2 of darktable provides such profiles for 72 different camera models.

Another major feature in darktable 1.2 is multi-instance support which, as Aldric Renaudin explains on the project's blog, gives users the ability to use the same development module several times on one picture. This allows photographers to use the same tool to improve different parts of one image with varying settings, such as for selective colour adjustments in photos where a dominant foreground colour is desired to make the main object of the picture stand out from the background.

Other new features in darktable 1.2 include support for the lossless JPEG2000 image format, faster thumbnail loading and improved dithering to prevent banding with certain filters. Translations of the user interface and documentation were also improved.

Darktable 1.2 has been packaged for Ubuntu, Fedora, openSUSE, Arch Linux, Funtoo/Gentoo and RHEL/Scientific Linux/CentOS 6. A version for Mac OS X is also available. Instructions on how to install the software, links and repositories for source code and other resources are available from the project's Install page. The darktable source code is licensed under the GPLv3 or later.


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