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RAW Therapee a Free and Powerful alternative to Lightroom for Windows, Linux and OS X

We all know that photography is not a cheap hobby.The cost of the camera, the crazy cost of lenses and then there’s post-processing. You don’t have to. But you really should.

Whilst you can do this on most systems using the inbuilt software, specialist software suc has Adobe Lightroom and Aperture are often the way to go. But with Adobe Lightroom costing $149 (which is a bargain in my opinion) and Apple Aperture for Mac costing $79  but it can be a difficult cost to justify for someone new to photography.

So if you want to play around with working in RAW then there’s a very good  free, open source alternative called RAW Therapee for Windows (XP/Vista/7/8), OS X and Linux.


Click to read absolute beginners guide to RAW

Click to read absolute beginners guide to RAW

RAW is not a file format such as .jpg, .gif or .png.

It’s a lifestyle. No wait.

RAW the term given to a camera sensor’s pixel by pixel capture of what your camera sensor sees and unlike JPEG which will apply some compression to the photo you have take as well as prettify it somewhat, RAW will not. RAW is lossless as it is uncompressed but the file size will also be much, much greater.

So what’s the file format then?

Well, each manufacturer has their own proprietary format. To name a few, for Nikon camera’s it’s .NEF, Canon it’s .CR2 and for Pentax it’s .PEF, respectively. Luckily all the popular image processing applications will read them so no issue there. But, you should consider converting to another format called DNG when you move them to your computer

Click for RAWTherapee Features and Benefits

Click for RAWTherapee Features and Benefits

High Image Quality

  • Get the most details and least artifacts from your raw photos thanks to modern and traditional demosaicing algorithms: AMaZE, DCB, fast, AHD, EAHD, HPHD & VNG4.
  • Advanced color handling from white balance to HSV (Hue-Saturation-Value) curves and color management.
  • Enhanced exposure and tonality tools: tone and Lab curves, highlights and shadows tools, etc.
  • Multiple denoising methods: luminance, chrominance, impulse (for salt and pepper noise) noise reduction.
  • Several tools to enhance details: unsharp mask, RL deconvolution, contrast by detail levels.


  • Multi-threaded algorithms for high performance (RawTherapee can utilize modern processor features).
  • Quick thumbnails load lightning fast and are replaced later with live thumbnails
  • Batch processing: convert all the developed images at once without not loading the processor while you work.
  • Basic tools immediately at your hands.
  • Parallel editing of multiple images.
  • An optional secondary display can be used.


  • Wide variety of supported cameras: almost all DSLRs and even some medium format bodies are supported.
  • Advanced control over the algorithms with many fine-tuning parameters.
  • Command line usage besides the normal graphical interface.
  • Various layouts: multiple tabs, single tab with filmstrip, vertical tab with filmstrip.
  • Freedom for Free
  • RawTherapee is free and open source software, meaning you can use it free of charge, wherever you like on whatever hardware you like, as long as you abide by the copyleft GPLv3 license. Download the source code, modify it, feel free to do what comes to mind. We believe in open software.
  • RT is cross-platform: Linux, Mac, or Windows, be it 32-bit or 64-bit – you pick, we provide.
  • International: it is available in 25 languages.

To download RAW Therapee, visit

One comment

  1. Fotograf Kameratrollet

    Using RawTherapee every day. You can watch my youtube video here:

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