Let's compare: dt vs. RawTherapee

Thank you @Thanatomanic for doing this and championing the notion that we should not be creating an “us vs. them” mentality. We should not see ourselves as Team RT or Team DT, etc. We’re all members of the F/LOSS community and supporters of the collaborative work being done to produce fantastic software.

I had read the other post that inspired this one, and I was very disappointed in some of the views being expressed there. Especially because the author of that post is a YouTuber with followers and a certain degree of clout. I would have hoped that someone who champions open-source imaging software would have spent more time learning darktable instead of criticizing it and making false assertions about it. But at least it was great to see a developer of RT sticking up for dt in that thread.

When I first moved over from Adobe, I tried RT, ART and darktable. I can categorically say that every single one of them had a learning curve. None of them felt particularly familiar to me at first, and all had their quirks (obviously ART and RT share quite a few similarities). I spent quite a long time with RT and ART, but eventually moved over to darktable when I decided I needed the DAM features. But I still follow the other projects and love many of their features. Ultimately, I believe each of them has benefited from the existence of the others.

There is absolutely nothing to be gained from fanboy-type behaviour that just tries to create a club mentality. I hate it in the equipment world where you get the full-frame vs crop sensor arguments, Sony vs Canon, etc., and I hate to see it here. This community should hold itself to a better standard (as most do, to be fair) and just be supportive of every project. :handshake:


FWIW, I wouldn’t describe @Andy_Astbury1 as a “champion” of FOSS – nor as a detractor, for that matter (not that you said nor implied the latter). He’s been clear that he uses RT not because it’s free but rather because it’s capable and can do certain things better than LR. I’m not speaking for him, defending him nor condemning him. It’s just my impression he has a “right tool for the specific job” approach. Sometimes RT is that tool, sometimes it’s not.


Thank you Len :+1: :smiley:

One comment that I have:

Regarding Sigmoid, Filmic, Basecurve vs RT’s tone curve:

RT’s tone curve system is closest to darktable’s basecurve if you move basecurve later in the pipeline, with one critical difference:

rt’s “film-like” hue preservation approach is superior to anything in basecurve, as is rt’s “perceptual”

one of the aspects of darktable’s sigmoid that makes it so great vs. filmic and basecurve, in my opinion, is its adoption of rt’s “film-like” hue preservation approach, with some additional tweaks.

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I would love to lift some of the other capabilities in sigmoid and adapt them into RT’s tone curve implementation, but I’m not sure how to make it play nice with the UI/UX.

rt’s “film-like” mode, along with rt’s Exposure->DRC are, effectively, why I transittioned tools. (Well, that and AP’s behavior)

I really would not say that basecurve corresponds to AMTC… AMTC has no equivalent in darktable other than the fact that darktable has some presets that were made to roughly correspond to camera tone curve responses. I would definitely say that RT’s core “tone curves” module combines certain aspects of basecurve and sigmoid together.


Of the DT modules, I find myself using the LowPass and HighPass modules often. It would be great if RT also has some equivalent to these. In addition, I have already whined about it, the lack of Watermark module. There is a workaround with some scripts, but I like to see a preview of the watermark before I export the image. All I do is a simple copyright text in some corner of the image with some opacity/size setting.

I’ve been using DT for a decade or more probably, and lately touched vkdt, RT and ART. Vkdt IMHO has very promising processing pipe but unfortunately lacks usable UI this far: it takes too long to process a photo. I liked ART’s feature set more than RT’s one, and found that I can get better colors from ART comparing to DT, probably because of DCP vs. ICC input profiles. Yet I feel short of features with ART in comparison with DT, maybe because of much weaker experience. Now I’m using both…