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12-10-2019, 07:52 PM   #1
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GIMP vs Darktable or something else?

I am quitting Adobe Lightroom at the end of the year and looking for some free editing software. From what I have read the above two free editors can do pretty much what Lightroom can do. However, having downloaded them they both look to have quite steep learning curves. Is there one that is preferable? Or is there one I have missed?

I work mainly in black and white. I particularly need to be able to control the color filters in the black and white conversion.

Controlling highlights and shadows is also important for me.

Any thoughts or ideas are most welcome.

12-10-2019, 07:54 PM   #2
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GIMP and Darktable are different tools for different jobs.

GIMP is more or less an open source equivalent of Photoshop, and Darktable more or less an open source equivalent of Lightroom.
12-10-2019, 08:12 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by bertwert Quote
GIMP and Darktable are different tools for different jobs.

GIMP is more or less an open source equivalent of Photoshop, and Darktable more or less an open source equivalent of Lightroom.
Thanks, that's good to know. Darktable is probably going to be more suitable for my needs. I am starting to look at some of the tutorials...
12-10-2019, 08:37 PM   #4
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I like Rawtherapee too. In Linux there's a hopefully up and coming new app called Krita. It appears to be more drawing oriented but includes gimp's g'mic plugins and some nice control layouts. It's not likely to replace gimp and Rt for me in the near term though.

12-10-2019, 09:00 PM   #5
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I use Capture One, look for the 1 month trial to test the program
12-10-2019, 09:14 PM - 1 Like   #6
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After moving to Linux systems I switched to Gimp first which is a great software package and theres a wealth of tutorials. I use it still but mostly use Darktable now... and a RawTherapee as well. I can't praise Darktable enough. Its got a learning curve as all software that is new to us does but I really enjoy working with it... and it does most of what I need. Gimp fills in the rest.

hth,
Al
12-10-2019, 09:46 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alnjpn Quote
I am quitting Adobe Lightroom at the end of the year and looking for some free editing software. From what I have read the above two free editors can do pretty much what Lightroom can do. However, having downloaded them they both look to have quite steep learning curves. Is there one that is preferable? Or is there one I have missed?

I work mainly in black and white. I particularly need to be able to control the color filters in the black and white conversion.

Controlling highlights and shadows is also important for me.

Any thoughts or ideas are most welcome.
GIMP is my no. 1 choice for photo editing, I'm not used to Darktable and Rawtherapee, Krita is new to me but I do not have good drawing/Painting skill. GIMP actually very easy to use it has traditional UI and runs on both M$ and *nix I believe Mac too.
12-10-2019, 09:58 PM   #8
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Krita has been around for at least 10 years and is highly regarded. It started as mostly a painting program used by digital artists but has expanded since then. It has its own niche as do GIMP and darktable.

12-10-2019, 10:32 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
Krita has been around for at least 10 years and is highly regarded. It started as mostly a painting program used by digital artists but has expanded since then. It has its own niche as do GIMP and darktable.
Thanks for the info., there are lot of choices outside the PS circle, since I don't draw and paint much and without the necessary h/w Krita is not known to me.
12-10-2019, 11:19 PM   #10
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I'm pretty underwhelmed at Lightroom. I use RawTherapee for nearly everything. Squirrel Mafia's presets are pretty great.


If more serious post is needed, I export from there into GIMP, which finally in 2.10 got features like 16-bit color and LCH.


If ISO is really high, lens aberrations are bad, or other tough situations, sometimes I'll fire up DxO Optics.

SilkyPix seems to have the best de-noise algorithm anywhere but I only use it for nightmare high ISO stuff.
12-11-2019, 03:42 AM - 1 Like   #11
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If you install Gimp 2.10 and Darktable then Darktable can be used like a plugin within Gimp. If you "open with" Gimp then Darktable opens with your image and you do the primary raw steps, then close DT and your image opens in Gimp. It is quite a nice workflow. I don't think DT can be simply compared to Lightroom -- DT is purely and simply a raw developer.
For me workflow is --
Archival work and image access; Digikam
"open with" Gimp which opens the image in Darktable.
Primary DT tools : Color temp - Profiled denoise - Exposure - Graduated density - tone curves - then open in Gimp
Gimp work for me ; fine tune colour curves - clone/heal blemishes -- Layer mask local adjustments - smart sharpening - cropping and resizing.

Gimp has the most comprehensive B&W conversion of the two.
I believe Nik effects can be set up to run in Gimp.
12-11-2019, 09:21 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
DT is purely and simply a raw developer.
Darktable comes with cataloging features, in a fairly efficient and interoperable way, enough for my needs.


A significant differentiator to Rawtherapee, where this is still experimental and not in the main build, is Darktable's ability to do local/masked adjustments and support multiple instances of the same module.
When it comes to pixel shift images, wavelet-based processing and in general, sophisticated algorithms and color model support, Rawtherapee has an edge and i tend to go back to it for "difficult" cases.
12-11-2019, 10:27 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by GUB Quote
Archival work and image access; Digikam"open with" Gimp which opens the image in Darktable.
My workflow too, digikam <-> darktable <-> gimp for the details.
Rawtherapee has some advantages, for me I can get better results with least effort when compared to darktable, but if need, darktable's extra effort is worth it.
12-11-2019, 12:28 PM   #14
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I use Gimp to process details and color. Also Pentax/Ricoh Digital Camera Utility for cataloging and raw conversion. I am also considering to use Darktable in my workflow.
12-11-2019, 12:40 PM   #15
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I mainly use Rawthetapee these days. darktable is arguably more efficient workflow wise and has just enough dam functions (tagging etc) and local editing to make it a one stop solution.

I just find I get better results quicker with rawtherapee.
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