Sun Aug 4, 2019
digiKam 6.2.0 is released
by digiKam Team
Dear digiKam fans and users, after the second digiKam 6 release published in April 2019, we received lots of user feedback to consolidate this important stage of this project started 2 years ago. We are proud to quickly announce the new digiKam 6.2.0, as maintenance version.New Camera Supported by Raw Files Engine
digiKam try to be the most powerful with all files provided by digital camera. Raw files support is a big challenge. Some applications have been especially created only to support RAW files from camera, as this kind of support is complex, long and hard to maintain in time.
Raw files are not like JPEG. Nothing is standardized, and camera makers are free to change everything inside these digital container without documentation. Raw files permit to re-invent the existing, to implement hidden features, to cache metadata, to require a powerful computer to process data. When you buy an expensive camera, you must expect that the image provided are seriously pre-processed by the camera firmware and ready to use immediately.
This is true for JPEG, not RAW files. Even if JPEG is not perfect, it’s well standardized and well documented. For Raw, for each new camera release, the formats can change as it depends in-depth on camera sensor data not processed by camera firmware. This require an intensive reverse-engineering that digiKam team cannot support as well. This is why we use the powerful libraw library to post-process the Raw files on the computer. This library include complex algorithms to support all different Raw file formats.
In this 6.2.0, we use the maintenance version libraw 0.19.3 which introduce few new Raw formats corresponding of most recent camera models available on the photo market. See the list below for details:
- Canon Powershot A560
- FujiFilm X-T30
- Nikon Coolpix A1000, Z6, Z7
- Olympus E-M1X
- Sony ILCE-6400
- Several dng files from phones and drones.
This Libraw version is able to process in totality more than 1000 RAW formats. You can find the complete list in digiKam and Showfoto through the Help/Supported Raw Camera dialog or at this url. Thanks to Libraw team to share and maintain this experience.
With this new release we are following the Exiv2 project which has released their new stable release 0.27.2. This library is a main component of digiKam used to interact with file metadata, like populating database contents, updating item textual information, or to handling XMP side-car for read only files.
digiKam 6.2.0 has been fixed to support the new API of this library. All 6.2.0 binary bundles that we package for Windows, MacOS and Linux have been compiled with this Exiv2 version.
In release 5.5.0 we started to use the QtAV framework to play video media in digiKam. We chose QtAV because this framework directly uses ffmpeg codecs which de facto supports all formats very well. In contrast, the QtMultimedia framework requires extra platform codecs that end users need to install explicitly to obtain functional video support. We don’t want to force digiKam users to install extra programs for that. This must work automatically when digiKam is installed. digiKam must work as simple way to deal with video, as for photo.
2 year ago, QtAV 1.12.0 have been released with CMake support. Since this time, no new release was published from this project. We have been very happy to see a new release available just in time to follow digiKam 6.2.0 date plan. digiKam has been fixed to support the new API from QtAV 1.13.0 library. All 6.2.0 binary bundles that we package for Windows, MacOS and Linux have been compiled with this QtAv version.
Iconview : HiDPI Support for 4K Screens
With this release, the Album management gets a new feature: support icon-view items rendering on HiDPI 4K screens. Before this digiKam release, if you have a 27 inch 4K display (typically with a resolution of 3840x2160 pixels), the icon view contents become small and pixelized. Now digiKam scales up images to display them correctly on HiDPI-enabled screens. To use this feature, go to the Setup/View/Icons configuration dialog page.
Portable Archive for Windows
With this release, we start to support the Portable project to publish a 32 and 64 bits archive of the official Windows installers internal contents. This permit to end-users to just uncompress the binary tarball in home directory, and run digiKam or Showfoto as well without to use the standard Windows installer, as this one can require administrator rights. Of course, this method do not register the application links to Start menu and is only available to just one end user.
The Final Words
Thanks to all users for your support, all contributors, all students, and testers who permit to improve this release.
digiKam 6.2.0 source code tarball, Linux 32/64 bits AppImage bundles, MacOS package and Windows 32/64 bits installers can be downloaded from this repository.
Rendez-vous in few months for the next 6.3.0 release and a first report about students who complete the summer job for the GSoC 2019 event.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.digikam.org/news/2019-08-04-6.2.0_release_announcement/