Thank you for a great piece of software

I’m sorry for a somewhat contentless post, but I am absolutely stunned by RawTherapee.
Having taken up photography a few years ago (after a couple of decades hiatus - there’s still undeveloped film sitting on a shelf somewhere!), I absolutely hated postprocessing.
Bouncing between tools and workflows, I finally decided to give RawTherapee a decent chance. After a few months with RawPedia and the software itself, I have come to both appreciate, understand (well a bit at least) and at times even enjoy postprocessing my photos.

Raw editing is daunting, and powerful tools aren’t mastered in a few days, but I find that RawTherapee makes decent results easy to get and good results feel achievable.
I imagine it has taken many many hours of dedicated work to get here.

I’ll see if I can find time to translate RawPedia (to Danish) as a way to pay it back, but the very least I could do seems to give a humble thank you.


I also think that RawTherapee is an underrated software.

I tried Dark Table for a while, but had to spend too much time to get the desired results (or at least, to start with, close to a camera jpeg). Dark Table is very powerful but also overwhelming, and it changes too often (which requires learning). Then I switched to RT, which seems much easier to me. In RT, RAW, when opened with a standard tone curve and exposure compensation corrected, looks very similar to a jpeg from the camera. (I don’t like the auto-adjusted curve because my camera often saves RAWs that are underexposed by 1EV or 2EV and need exposure correction first.)

On my computer (with a weak integrated GPU and not a bad CPU) RT also works much faster than DT. It’s also good that local editing in RT (5.9) has a separate tab. In DT, you can add a mask to each tool, which is very powerful, but also over-complicates the interface. At the same time, in my amateur applications, I don’t use local edits very often.

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This is hands down my favorite RAW converter. I’ve used DxO, Lightroom, darktable, & many others, but I find this to be the easiest & fastest to use. I shoot Pentax cameras & have those cameras set to work with RawTherapee by turning off the D-range settings in them. I’ll use an Adobe .dcp file in RawTherapee to get the color, contrast, & brightness that I get from the camera. I have some PP3 files set up with different noise reduction setting for each ISO. Can’t use noise reduction settings from an ISO 100 image on an ISO 12800 image & vice versa. I have rules set up in the Dynamic Profile Rules settings that makes everything a breeze. It just takes a few mouse click to get RawTherapee to atomically apply the correct noise reduction to each RAW file, color settings, & whatnot. I’ll process & batch 10s, 100s, or 1,000s of RAW files with a few mouse clicks. I can confidently shoot my cameras to ISO 12800 knowing that I can still get a good image out that ISO. Can’t beat that with a baseball bat.

Thanks to all the developers that make RawTherapee happen!


Maybe I do not understand what you mean exactly, but why not shoot in jpeg if that is what you like and edit that a little if needed.

My camera saves both, jpeg and RAW. In 80% cases I like the jpeg (I have Fuji camera) or only need to crop[1] it. Then I don’t edit RAW at all. However, sometimes I want to improve the jpeg, for example reconstruct highlights on the sky or fix white balance. Then I usually want to start the work with RAW from the state similar to the jpeg from the camera.
I occasionally make major changes, so knowing the RAW editor is desirable anyway.

[1] jpegs can be cropped without loss of the quality, see: GitHub - jepler/cropgui: gtk frontend for lossless cropping of jpeg images (this is another underrated piece of software, whose code I even help to improve).