RAW Therapee : A free software to process RAW files

For those who own a DSLR and new to the world of photography will have lots and lots of questions on how to do things and what is the best way to do it. One such thing is processing RAW image files from your camera. When you ask other photographers they will say that light room or adobe camera RAW is the best tool to process RAW image files. Even I agree with the fact. They are really good for what they’ve been made.

Apart from that, you also have proprietary RAW editing software like view NX (for Nikon) and Digital photo professional (for canon) which comes along with the camera. But there are also other tools that are free and quite good in editing raw image files.

We’ll take a quick look about one such software called RAW therapee which is a free software tool available for processing RAW files. The GUI has a dark theme and looks more like Light room. The GUI is split into File browser, Batch Queue (for batch processing).

raw therapee 01

The file browser looks neat without any disturbances and if allows you to rate the images omn a scale of five. The good thing about the tool is it facilitates RAW editing in multiple tabs. You can process two or more RAW files by switching tabs. And there is a superb metadata filter which allows you to filter images based on different parameters

For example, if you want to filter an image taken at an aperture of 2.8 and ISO 800 you can filter that alone. That is cool!

raw therapee 02

Apart from that, the tool contains five panels (Exposure, Detail, Color, Transform, and RAW) which contains similar sliders like Camera RAW. But many sliders were named differently which is a bit confusing and doesn’t give us an exact idea of where to use it. The tool also has a set of presets which will allow you to apply various effects to your image file

Regarding the output, I tried processing a couple of images (one image is given below) and the results were satisfactory. The result is up to the mark, but doesn’t match the output of camera RAW or Light room. There’s a small loss in the image quality (as far as I know). But I think future versions of Raw therapee will overcome this issues.

walking in the street

But as a free tool, this software works in a splendid way. We’ll soon try to compare much more striking features of the tool and discuss this in detail.

Download the software here


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