Is there a tool to rate Raw+JPG as pairs?

Hi everyone. I’m new on this forum, but have been happily using darktable for the last year or so. I have a question which may need a little explanation first…

I mostly shoot Raw+JPG.
Now, I’ve discovered that I like the rating feature in darktable, it means I can run through a batch of images, handing out stars to the good ones, and quickly narrow down a batch of ‘decent’ photos. This works especially well well with a subject like motorsport, where I end up with loads of ‘ok’ images but only a few that really stand out (if I’m lucky!).

Here’s the rub: for this kind of photo I usually lean towards using the JPGs. And I don’t like to have the JPGs in darktable, it clutters things up having 2 of each image. Also, darktable is a bit slow on my old-ish PC (I run Windows 11).
It’s so much easier running through the JPGs in something like Windows Photo Gallery (or whatever it’s called).

But I want to be able to rate the images like in DT, AND it would be really good if those rating were applied to the Raws at the same time. So that when I head back to DT to process a few favorites they show up with the 3 or 4 star rating I gave to their JPG twins.
So, if anyone managed to read my rambling story (sorry) does an application exist that can rate Raw+JPG pairs in a darktable compatible way?
To summarize differently, I’d like to organize the Raws and JPGs in parallel as it were.
Edit: Sorry if this is a daft question… but I haven’t had a lot of success in trying to find out. Thanks😀

I sympathise. I photograph RAW+JPG, so that I can view the black and white JPGs on the camera. I also select and rate the pictures using the BW JPGs. But then I transfer the ratings to the RAW files, before converting them to monochrome for processing. (As you may guess, I don’t do colour!)

Copying the ratings from the JPGs to the RAWs is a laborious - and error-prone - process. So, like you, I’d appreciate having my ratings of the JPGs applied automatically to the corresponding RAWs. But, like you, I can’t see a way currently to do this in dt.

So I, too, am interested in any suggestions…

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Hi Archie (?), nice to know I’m not the only one wanting to do this :slight_smile: . Actually, I wouldn’t have thought it’s such an unusual workflow, so I’m hoping that something like Digikam or similar might do it. But I’m not too keen to install and try all the options - although I might one day…
I’m sure someone will know!
Do you rate the JPGs in dt, or in some other software?

I’ve just found out that ON1 Raw allows something along these lines in it’s organizer. ‘Link Raw & Jpg’ or similar. So it is done (hurrah!). I just want something open source that does it…

Which is are you using? On Linux I use geeqie but digikam has a feature that groups jpg/raw pairs.

I’m running Windows 11. Thanks for the digikam suggestion! I was just starting to dig into it’s documention a bit. Do you know if dt recognizes Digikams rating system? (I may try it anyway… would be interesting)

Small update… I’ve installed Digikam, from the webite, ver 7.7.0, but it seems to be missing the option to group images that apparently should be in the ‘View’ menu.
Umm… dunno! Also, from my brief research into it, Digikam seems to work best when converting all raws into DNGs. (I may well be wrong) But basically, it looks far to much software for what I want to do :-/
I’ll keep looking, there are some other image manager options out there.

Try a right-click on one of a group of selected images, the last item of the popup menu should be “group”. As I don’t use that functionality very often, I don’t know if there’s an automatic way to group raws with associated jpegs. Perhaps ask in the digikam section of

Well, no. digikam works very well with raw images for the DAM functions, no need to convert all raws to .dng (with a possible exception for not yet recognised cameras, but even there I’d keep the raws)

I particularly like the tagging functionality, but that’s a function of how I use digikam: lots of nature photos (close-up and birds), where I want to search by group/species or location. And I store my images by date. So that’s three independent trees.

Ratings transfer without problems, keywords, captions, and titles also transfer rather well (there is a catch with hierarchical keywords, but I don’t remember the details anymore, it’s a matter of “setup once, use often”).

On the other hand, colour labels don’t transfer at all between the two applications, their use is too different (digikam: only one colour label allowed, dt: as many as you want). And I don’t think dt has the notion of pick labels…

Thanks rvietor! That’s very helpful info, and I stand corrected on the DNG issue-that-isn’t. (I had a nasty feeling I should have read the docs more carefully…).
And I just tried your suggestion to get the grouping function and it works. :+1: If I select the whole album of photos, I can group all the raw+jpg pairs with a couple of clicks, so that’s good. Maybe Digikam is the way to go after all, especially if the ratings transfer to dt as you say. I’ll try that next. Anyway, thanks again.

You may have to fiddle with the settings in both digikam and DT, but the ratings and colors do transfer. Flags don’t however.

Make sure digiKam always writes xmp sidecars, and that DT always checks the xmp for changes.

Hi Donatzsky, thanks. I had a go at that last night, I set DK to write XMPs, and DT to check them, but my ratings weren’t showing up in DT. DT did recognize that the XMPs had changed however. But I ran out of time to go further. I’ll get back to it when possible! Thanks again everyone for the assistance :slight_smile:

Sorry to take so long to reply. I rate in dt. I’ve never used DK for rating; and I recently purged DK from my Mac. (macOS has never really played nicely with DK; and my Linux laptops are too old and lacking RAM to run dt or DK comfortably.)

No worries at all, thanks for replying! All understood. I spent a while early this morning with DK and DT (:wink: ) and have got the ratings to transfer to DT.I think the setting I was missing was something to do with when DK writes to an XMP or not. (I’m on a different computer right now so can’t check -sorry).
So I can have what I want - ratings that apply to both raw+jpg, as long I group the pairs in DK. (quite quick) and they show up in DT.
I should be happy! I’m just not 100% sure how I’ll go I in the long run using two separate apps, but I’m nitpicking here. Thanks for the help everyone!

I think you should re-think your workflow :slight_smile: DT helps here more than you seem to be aware of.

Normally - if you import raw & jpg files each “pair” found will be put in one group. What happens if you do rating, color buttons.

a) you work in single image mode the rating is applied to all selected images, ok?
b) you switch on grouping mode you will see 1) just one image of that group and 2) the rating you set will be applied to all images in that group.


Hi, thanks for the ideas! But… I must be missing something. When I import a folder of raw and jpgs, they all show up separately. IS there a way of grouping the matching pairs of raw+jpgs? Sorry about the late reply, too.
EDIT! Got it! I just tried importing a folder of raw+jpgs, they show up separately as usual, but then hit the "collapse grouped images’ button on the top left, and hey presto, they all pair up. Now, why didn’t I find that before?? (rhetorical question)

This leads to another question though. @hannoschwalm, you said above
“b) you switch on grouping mode you will see 1) just one image of that group and 2) the rating you set will be applied to all images in that group.”
I just tried this, and it works as you say, but the image I see in the preview mode (when grouping is on) is the Raw, as it seems DT sets the Raw as the group leader.

If I want to view the jpgs instead, I can do that by entering .jpg as a filter. But then, as I go through, rating/culling images, it seems that the ratings are only applied to the jpgs, not the raws. I assume because they’re not the group leader. I can set the jpg as leader, but only one at a time.
This means that I can’t sort my photos working with the jpgs. Which I want to do, because (at least with my Sony raws) when I enter the full preview mode, DT processes it’s own version instead of showing embedded jpg, which is slow.
I’m almost there! But not quite.

There is an option to toggle this behavior as well.

Is there? I couldn’t find it (sorry!)

The only thing I could find seems to only relate to thumbnails, under the Lighttable tab in Preferences

Yes, that’s it. I assume when you say “enter into full preview mode” that you’re still in light table. Otherwise I don’t understand.