Scene referred, display referred, and the Colour Science of Canon/Fujitsu/Nikon/etc. in Darktable (filmic-rgb module in particular)

Hooray, that looks much better! :smiley: But I assume that change was made from raw data. All I had to make judgements from was a JPEG with lost details.

Filmulator doesn’t work well in darktable says filmulator’s creator: Filmulator v0.11.0 released! - #26 by CarVac

We are lucky that we have a bunch of different applications that achieve different things. Smushing them all together means we loose that nuance.

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Isn’t it mostly just a matter of taste and time?
Personally I hate the OOC output of my cameras in about 90% of the cases. But if things have to go quick (n dirty) I have to confess - yes I sometimes simply took the OOC Jpegs and adjusted them a bit with gthumb and done.
Maybe I will take the time to optimize my cameras features and get more out of camera, but if not dt is always there as long as there is a raw.
In most cases I use the OOC Jpegs only to sort out unsharp or completely unusable images and then open my new shot raw images and enjoy all the endless options to mold it into either how I saw, felt or remember the scene, colors, contrast etc. or to create an impressive desirable look. An automatic OOC option for darktable may be desireable for some users - then maybe just open your jpegs with darktable to do the finetuning :wink:
The main reason to grab my dslm over the iphone is raw and darktable. When it comes to OOC images the phone is at least as good as the dslm, often better.

While I obviously prefer Filmulator’s results myself, there are obviously many who will not. Either you like it or you don’t.

In the dpreview comments many people didn’t see what the big fuss was about—and that’s okay. They don’t have to use it.

But it’s not self-evident that Filmulator is better. You cannot just say “see for yourself” and expect everyone to agree.

There are two confounding factors here, though, given that you’re talking to the darktable community.

One is that people get used to the way their tools render images, so hardcore darktable users (and devs) are not going to be inclined to see other editors’ results as better. I look at others’ people’s edits and sometimes think to myself “Filmulator would do that better”, and the people here might say the opposite.

The other is that the people who use darktable are the people who already liked darktable’s output. People like me who do think Filmulator’s default output is better already don’t use darktable.


Well the auto (based on what?) button is something that needs more discussion.

However i think darktable has got many good features over the last ten years, for me they are:

  1. Amaze demosaicing
  2. a good wavelet chroma denoiser
  3. a good luma denoiser (I prefer the astrophoto denoiser)
  4. rgb curves and rgb levels (with preserve chrominance set to no)
  5. lch equalizer

There are something very basic missing like:

  1. a not bugged highlights recovery module

  2. a channel mixer that doesn’t produce ton of artifacts (the colorfulness and brightness sliders shouldn’t be there because they’re not based on how channel mixer works), the gamut compression slider is mostly useless

  3. support for DCP profiles and dual illuminant matrices .

  4. something like the “rawtherapee’s avoid color shift” after a lab adjustment Lab Adjustments - RawPedia

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I think it’s easy to create an auto-optimization in darktable. just create 3-4 module-presets and make them be applied automatically to your photos. In addition to exposure and filmic that would be local contrast, chromatic aberrations and contrast equalizer for sharpening, maybe denoise. Then you get the same results as in Lightroom and C1. It’s really no big deal, it’s almost the same for every camera and there is no big science behind it. You probably even get better results with such an approach than in C1 and Lr. I guess it would not be very difficult to add an option in the dt settings “automatically apply style xy” or “enable auto-opimisation”, but the question is, is it desirable.
What I don’t like about commercial raw developers is the fact that it is impossible or difficult to turn off this kind of auto-optimisation.


This. It’s the only reason I’ve more or settled RawTherapee as my LR replacement. Not being a developer I wonder: would there be any chance of using RawTherapee code for highlight recovery in darktable? This was also a very interesting post from the other day.

DCP profiles would be an added bonus.

Bingo! What is the point of trying to use advanced tools to try to accomplish what you already have to start with?

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Playing devil’s advocate, I might reply: the point is for sophisticated software to set its controls such that the OOC JPEG is re-created. Then, if I want, I can adjust any of the controls to improve the image.

I think that objective is (a) infeasible, given the huge variety of cameras and their algorithms, and (b) undesirable because I think the OOC JPEG is a poor starting place.


Do we assume for this hypothetical question that we “like the rendering of a camera” and you just ask why one would still use a raw developing program instead of OOC jpegs? Then there’s a whole slew of reasons I think:

  • Higher bitdepth in TIFFs for example (for printing, the printer-driver might like this)
  • Better demosaicing than OOC
  • Better denoisers than OOC
  • Better hot-pixel rejection than OOC
  • Better capture sharpening than OOC
  • Better CA mitigation/ color-fringe mitigation

I also find it a bit problematic to generalize to OOC jpegs in general (that’s a rather new thing I read on here). As if there is one OOC jpeg recipe, Fujis jpegs are on the better end of the spectrum, canons are mostly garbage. The frowning-upon-OOC-jpegs is frequently pulled out as a straw man I think, as it’s of course is easy to look down on.

@OK1 mentions that a number of commercial software and Filmulator offer what they consider a decent starting point. We know that none of those starting points are identical to sooc jpeg or each other. So I agree with @PhotoPhysicsGuy that it’s being used as a strawman.

It’s not the identical rendering that’s being asked for but a starting point with qualities they find lacking in dt. The reluctance to face up to this is understandable because solving it would be a huge task and requires skills not readily available. In addition to the difficulty in finding people with the skill and taste to solve it you will never know that you have the “correct” answer. Designing a default look is a huge artistic undertaking and full of conflict as all the “color science” wars will testify.

So way back in the day I used Rawtherapee but moved over to darktable (long before filmic) as it developed because if found that it gave a better looking starting point. Mainly it was how bright tones were rendered. RT tended to give (and still does) a sort of tinted, emitting kind of look to bright areas and colours. dt gave a more desaturated neutral look to tones near clipping which I much preferred and which also was closer to sooc jpegs. It also had automatic perspective correction which is critical for me. Then the highlight recovery of RT meant that I switched for all photos needing highlight recovery. Finally pixel shift and other features meant I moved over to RT completely.

I’m just mentioning this because a good starting point is a huge value added. It basically determines what software people use.


Dear darktable developers,

I own Nikon D850 camera and it has the following presets:

  • Auto
  • Neutral
  • Standard
  • Vivid
  • Monochrome (with YORG filters)
  • Portrait
  • Lanscape
  • Flat

Besides, I can also choose the following Active D_Lightig options:

  • Off
  • Low
  • Normal
  • High
  • Extra High and
  • Auto

It would be wonderful if you could integrate all these presets and corresponding combinations for my camera. Since my camera is too dumb to choose presets for me and I’m not always sure when to choose which ones myself (except of course for the obvious ones like Portrait and Landscape), it would be nice if I could just shoot in raw and darktable could choose the best combination for me based on the subject. So that I already have a nice output photo from the beginning and I’m not overwhelmed with many complicated modules to work with.

Please do not forget to adjust the presets when I use polarizing or ND filters!

I wish you success, otherwise you miss the future!

Thanks a lot


Maybe I read it in the wrong way, but I laugh out loud.
(If I did, I’m sorry, English is not my main language…)


if a developers purpose is to get full control over a process other tools doesn’t give then it’s usually no good idea to spend time on stuff one wanted to get rid :wink:

If another thinks that’s usefull, simply fork and code.

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:wink: :laughing:

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Hi Borris,

I’d like to add to that list the creative styles for my Sony ILCE-7RM4 camera:

  • Standard: For shooting various scenes with rich gradation and beautiful colors.
  • Vivid: The saturation and contrast are heightened for shooting striking images of colorful scenes and subjects such as flowers, spring greenery, blue sky, or ocean views.
  • Neutral: The saturation and sharpness are lowered for shooting images in subdued tones. This is also suitable for capturing image material to be modified with a computer.
  • Clear: For shooting images in clear tones with limpid colors in highlight, suitable for capturing radiant light.
  • Deep: For shooting images with deep and dense colors, suitable for capturing the solid presence of the subject.
  • Light: For shooting images with bright and simple colors, suitable for capturing a refreshingly light ambience.
  • Portrait: For capturing skin in a soft tone, ideally suited for shooting portraits.
  • Landscape: The saturation, contrast, and sharpness are heightened for shooting vivid and crisp scenery. Distant landscapes also stand out more.
  • Sunset: For shooting the beautiful red of the setting sun.
  • Night Scene: The contrast is lowered for reproducing night scenes.
  • Autumn leaves: For shooting autumn scenes, vividly highlighting the reds and yellows of changing leaves.
  • Black & White: For shooting images in black and white monotone.
  • Sepia: For shooting images in sepia monotone.

It would also be good to add sliders to filmic that simulate Sony’s contrast, saturation and sharpness settings, to make the software more intuitive for me.

We probably already missed the darktable 3.6 window, but I have a holiday coming up at the end of the year, and so it would be great to have all this implemented in darktable 3.8 at the latest.


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It’s a raw file, a curve has nothing to do with presence of absence of details, it’s only a luminance map : if there are details, then darken highlights, and you will get them back. If you don’t, then there are no details. That seems to be raw highlights reconstruction here. Be careful what you think you see, LR doesn’t allow to split the pipeline apart.

Oh poor @Matt_Maguire ! I don’t want to be in your shoes when you have to take pictures. Now we both have to sweat and wait.

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I think we have exceeded the maximum usefulness of this thread.