Darktable is an open source photography application and RAW converter, has both a virtual lighttable and darkroom for photographers.  Darktable manages “digital negatives in a database, and allows you to view them through a zoom-able light  table. This workflow also permits you to develop raw images and enhance them.

Firsthand Experience
I am fairly new to the Darktable and Linux so my experience is somewhat limited, yet for daily use I can already say that Darktable is much better than Picasa.

Darktable is very well-behaved. It doesn’t force  you to import and manage your entire photo library. It fits just fine into your current workflow.
The user interface is sleek and dark, which besides being in vogue right now like the latest in Adobe software, is much better for the eyes when trying to adjust images.  Above is a screen shot of the file manager view.  You can sort the photos all to show up in a grid in the light grey area, or click on the bottom center from File Manager to Zoom-able Light Table.  This will treat your files like a strip of negatives laid out.  You can simply zoom in with your mouse wheel and click and drag around to see all of the images.

Here are some of Darktable’s current features, as well as a fast overview over the current image operation modules.

  • Fully non-destructive editing.
  • All  core functions operate on 4×32-bit floating point pixel buffers, enabling SSE instructions for speedups. It offers GPU acceleration via OpenCL (runtime detection and enabling) and has built-in ICC profile support: sRGB, Adobe RGB, XYZ and linear RGB.
  • collect module allows you to execute flexible database queries, search your images by tags, image rating (stars), color labels and many more. Filtering and sorting your collections within the base query or simple tagging by related tags are useful tools in your every-day photo workflow.
  • Import a variety of standard, raw and high dynamic range image formats
  • Has a zero-latency fullscreen, zoomable user interface through multi-level software caches.
  • Tethered shooting.
  • Currently comes with 18 translations.
  • Powerful export system supports Picasa webalbum, flickr upload, disk storage, 1:1 copy, email attachments and can generate a simple html-based web gallery. darktable allows you to export to low dynamic range (JPEG, PNG, TIFF), 16-bit (PPM, TIFF), or linear high dynamic range (PFM, EXR) images.
  • Uses both XMP sidecar files as well as its fast database for saving metadata and processing settings. All Exif data is read and written using libexiv2.

Plus and Minus
This is good on several counts.
First, it makes it much easier and faster to get started with it (a big deal for those of us with tens or hundreds of thousands of photographs to import).
Secondly, some of us are stuck in our ways of thinking  when it comes to our methods of organisation and our workflow and just *&6$ing hate it when software wants to take over every single aspect of it.

Better yet, when you do import images into Darktable‘s library it leaves them in place, rather than making a copy of it. It even keeps a log of the changes you have made in a plain-text file in the same directory as the image; you can delete Darktable‘s photo library file (library.db) and opening that image afterwards will still open it with the filters you applied to it.

The downside is because Darktable has many specific and detail features, it may a bit complex and overwhelming for first-timer.

Category: RAW Converter
Price: Free as free beer
OSs: Linux, Solaris and Mac
Difficulties: Intermediate
Developer: Johannes Hanika
Website: http://www.darktable.org/


One of the alternative software for darktable is RawTherapee, now after using both I must say that Darktable is the better program.
Darktable is a really great tool and I can only encourage you to give it a try. It has a very nice, clean and easy to learn interface and some very powerful tools (you can even do HDR with it).
Have you tried Darktable, hows your experience using it? 
Or did you use another alternative software? What software did you use?

Related terms: Darktable Windows Download, Darktable for Windows, Darktable vs Lightroom, digiKam vs Darktable, Raw Therapy, LightZone, GIMP, RawTherapee vs Darktable vs LightZone