Review RawTherapee - a quick review

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2,682
Name
Peter
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#1
Since Keltic Ice Man has asked for one, I thought others might be interested as well.

Here's a more detailed manual: http://www.rawtherapee.com/?mitem=6

Screenshots here are from RawTherapee's website unless stated otherwise.

You can download the latest version here:
http://www.rawtherapee.com/?mitem=3
It's 2.3 at the moment.



Above is a screenshot of RawTherapee 2.2 in action, 2.3 looks almost the same.

There are two ways to open up an image with RawTherapee: you can either send it to RawTherapee from e. g. Windows Explorer (via Open file with..., for example) or by opening RawTherapee and navigating to the desired folder using the directory tree in the left hand bottom corner.
It can also open tiffs, jpegs and pngs, but some options are not available with those.

There are currently three algorithms of demosaicing available: EAHD, HPHD and VNG-4.

VNG-4 is for 4/3 users who get the cursed 'maze' with the other algorithms.

EAHD is a slow but a high quality algorithm, it used to be the default one. AFAIK, it's not optimised for multi-core/cpu machines.

HPHD is quite a bit faster, occasionaly it results in very small jaggies (if it does, switch to EAHD), this one can take advantage of more cores/cpus. It is also the new default algorithm.

Speed of RawTherapee depends on how fast your machine is, a LOT.
It runs on my Athlon 64 3000+ with a gigabyte of ram better than most other converters with comparable features, although exports can take a bit long, but it depends on your processing options.

Some of the features I like and use:
  • CA correction
  • Vignetting correction
  • an excellent highlight recovery feature (for Nikons about on par with what ViewNX can do, that part of it should be the same as the highlight recovery in Capture NX)
  • pretty well working sharpening, there's the USM and well working RL deconvolution
  • dynamic range enhancing tools (not for stitching multiple exposures, though)
  • a funky channel mixer
  • There's a small preview when you check the Detail checkbox below the image. Use this for previews and RawTherapee will be faster to work with, a lot.

Its noise handling puzzles me a little, it's excellent with my D50 without noise reduction applied, but it doesn't seem to be so hot with a D80 unless you turn noise reduction on.

D80's raws look quite a bit better in ViewNX at high ISOs (800+).

To save some time, I'll just sum up the pros and cons I've found:

+ conversion quality is very good
+ lots of nice tools (inc. Vignetting correction, ...)
+ free
+ available for Windows and Linux

cons:
- can be slow at times (depends on the processing parameters)
- no batch jobs, although you can set a file to convert and move to another one
- you'll likely need to create your custom generic profile tuned for your camera (can be done in a few minutes, though)
- noise reduction isn't all that great, often usable only for small export / prints

If you like soft, smooth transitions and you usually edit only a few raw files, UFRaw might work well for you.

Some comparisons with most of the other converters: http://linuxphoto.org/tests.html
Comparison of EAHD and HPHD: http://www.rawtherapee.com/RAW_Compare/ with some other algorithms used by other converters as well.

If you're looking for a free yet fairly powerful raw converter, RawTherapee might be just the thing for you.

That's enough for now, thanks for reading.

Any questions?
 

RobertP

TPer Emeritus
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14,453
Name
Robert
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#2
I downloaded and installed this when I saw it mentioned the other day. Not looked at any instruction - just blundered around for 10 minutes. Everything seemed so slow - drag a slider across a bit then wonder why nothing changed... then the picture updates.

I do intend to upgrade my PC sooner rather than later but P4 3Ghz is not *that* slow.

I'll give it another go after I upgrade.
 
OP
OP
Slapo
Messages
2,682
Name
Peter
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#3
I downloaded and installed this when I saw it mentioned the other day. Not looked at any instruction - just blundered around for 10 minutes. Everything seemed so slow - drag a slider across a bit then wonder why nothing changed... then the picture updates.

I do intend to upgrade my PC sooner rather than later but P4 3Ghz is not *that* slow.

I'll give it another go after I upgrade.
I'm an idiot, I forgot to mention that there's a small preview when you check the Detail checkbox below the image.

I've also update the review now, thanks :)
 
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34
Edit My Images
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#5
I downloaded version 2.2 the otherday after posting a thread, when ever I open an image it has a red tinge to it

Any ideas ?
 
OP
OP
Slapo
Messages
2,682
Name
Peter
Edit My Images
Yes
#6
Try 2.3, there should be some issues with colour and exposure solved. If not, try the RawTherapee forums, there's lots of people tinkering with it.
Also, delete the .pp or .pp2 file with the name (without an extension) the same as the name of your photo.
 
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