Friday, 9 October 2009

RAW processing on Linux

A technical post for a change (and the last entry for today as I've other things to be getting on with) and one that I hope will help others that may be struggling with the very same problem I faced.

I'd been using RawStudio on Ubuntu Linux for processing the RAW images from my Canon 350D camera. The results were fine and I didn't have any real problems, although I seemed to have to adjust the settings on almost every picture to get them to look right. I assumed that this was just down to what the camera captured and that having to tweak everything was just a natural thing to do.

I tried to use the same programme to handle images from Rachel's 500D camera and it got totally and utterly confused. The colours were completely off and while installing the latest daily snapshot did fix some of the issues it wasn't ideal. That said RawStudio is still a fantastic programme and it's very simple and easy to use.

Instead I found an application called RawTherapee which has proven to be much more successful and handles all the images flawlessly and, be default, appears to 'guess' the correct settings for all the images I've tried so far, both from the 350D and 500D cameras. The only criticism I have is that it's not as intuitive to use and is also complex in to deal with all of the available settings. However, all the available features means that it's incredibly powerful and I've already managed to 'rescue' some images because of it. For example there is a rotate feature which had meant some pictures that looked slightly wonky could be straightened very accurately and now look great.

To be completely fair, after a few sessions of use, I'm now getting use to the interface and I intend to use this for all the image processing from now on. I think I need to get my monitor calibrated at some point as well but that will have to wait until I can borrow something to achieve that (the tools are very expensive to buy apparently and the monitor I have - a Dell 2209WA (bought from Scan) - is meant to be fairly close to the right settings by default anyway.

Here's a screenshot of RawTherapee in action (in-expertly I should add, this is me using it here).

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