Raw Therapee 4.2.905

Edit .raw and other file formats with this free image editor available for Windows

  • Category:

    Graphics Editors

  • Version:

    4.2.905

  • Works under:

    Windows 2000 / Windows Vista / Windows XP

  • Program available in:In English
  • Program license:Free
  • Vote:
    5.8 (69)

RawTherapee is a program designed for processing photos in larger batches, and this makes it a particularly useful utility for photographers who want to filter through their art without having to make adjustments to each of their photos one by one. The name RawTherapee is more apt than it may seem on the surface. Raw comes from the fact that it deals primarily in RAW images, photos that are unprocessed and not ready to be displayed. But RAW images serve a special role in the world of digital photography, essentially existing is the negatives that can then serve as a blueprint for future photographs. By being more ambiguous, these RAW images actually hold more information than their processed counterparts, and they're subject for more variants in how they're transformed into proper photos. Therapee stands for the Experimental Raw Photo Editor. For photographers who are looking to understand more fundamentally how the science behind photography works and spend more time experimenting with the process of developing and altering photos, RawTherapee is a great choice, and the fact that it's a completely free product means there's no risk to you if it's not up your alley.

Since a raw file is basically the source code for all the images that can come from it, RawTherapee doesn't alter the image when you start experimenting with it. Instead, it saves that information in a separate file and displays it in a panel on the right of both screens. This gives you the best of both worlds by allowing you to see in action what effect your changes will have on the image while still preserving the sanctity of the image for later experimentation. All of the major raw file types are supported as well as more traditional image types like JPEGs and GIFs.

The interface is clean and neatly designed, and while it resembles the sort of UI you'd find in a traditional photo editor, it's specifically tailored to the demands of batch photography. A file browser displays thumbnails of all of the raw photos in any given folder so that you can quickly access and edit them, while a simple toolbar located to the side allows you to directly adjust the images without having to jump through a bunch of unnecessary menus. Raw photos can also be queued up one by one so you can more effectively line up your work and handle any adjustments you need to make manually.

A ton of options are available, and many of them will look familiar to anyone who's used Photoshop or a similar program before. The ability to tweak settings like saturation and hue, adjust the photo's noise, or convert the format to black and white are of course standard, but you'll also find a deep dive worth of specialized options like the application of Bayer demosaicing algorithms. This is advanced stuff, and the rabbit hole goes deep. It may take some time to understand the ins and outs of all these options, but once you do, you'll have a lot more leverage to play with your photos than you would with more conventional photo editing suites.

Pros:

  • Editing options for most raw picture formats
  • Well suited to adjusting photos in bulk

Cons:

  • Advanced functions can be overwhelming and take a while to figure out

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