Darktable: A Free and Open-Source Alternative to Adobe Lightroom Now Available for Windows

Adobe announced earlier this year that it will kill the stand-alone edition of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. Lightroom and darktable are both photography workflow application and raw developer which help you to archive and enhance your pictures in a non-destructive way.

Adobe offers now only the subscription license for Lightroom which will probably scare a lot of the hobby-photographers away as you have to pay a monthly fee. You can stick with your current version of Lightroom but if you upgrade your camera, Lightroom won’t support newer RAW-files anymore and you have to go the extra step and convert your RAWs to DNG and then use it in Lightroom. That also means that your standalone version won’t receive any further updates or features.

lighttable mode showing a collection

Of course, you can climb on the subscription-bandwagon or you look for an alternative. Such an alternative could be darktable.

It just got released in version 2.4 which is the first version supporting the Windows Operating System. So far darktable was only available for a few Linux derivate and macOS. Because darktable is open-source you can view the source code and it is available completely for free.

Isn’t that a great deal? Jumping from the subscription model to completely free? The windows version is still missing some features and has some bugs like the import doesn’t support TIFF files with non-ASCI symbols. However, it is already a solid solution and for the hobbyist definitely worth a look. The software supports all the basic needs to work with your RAW files in a non-destructive way and has a lot of great features. I am very impressed what the software can already do and it’s on my radar now since Adobe decided to kill the standalone license for Lightroom.

darktable’s darkroom mode with an image opened (courtesy of darktable)

For all of you Facebookers out there. Darktable has built-in support to export your pictures to Facebook web albums, Google+ and Flickr. On my wishlist for darktable is the support of actual Lightroom plugins. This would make the software the ultimate Lightroom-Killer.

For everyone who looks for a great and cheaper alternative for Adobe Lightroom, give darktable a try. Head over to their social media pages and spread the word to push development of this great software. Please also help with contributing bugs and other issues you find on the official bug-tracker.

(Images are courtesy of darktable)

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