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LightZone Photo Editing Software is Now Open Source and Completely Free


ScreenHunter_16 Jul. 09 11.27

Photographers still irked about about Adobe’s decision to make Photoshop rental-only have a new alternative with the re-release of the pioneering LightZone application as a free, open-source program for Windows, Linux and (eventually) Mac OS.

LightZone, initially released in 2005, was one of the first programs to offer 16-bit. non-destructive editing of RAW images, plus the ongoing ability to selectively withdraw adjustments and innovative batch-processing options.

Light Crafts Inc. sold Windows and Mac versions of the program until 2011, when the company abruptly shut down. Within a few months, fans had formed the LightZombie Project to keep the software going, and Light Crafts released its code under an open-source license.

Windows and Linux flavors of the new version 4.0 were released a few weeks ago.  Mac users can download a beta version of 4.o or stick with 3.9.2, the final commercial release. The new version includes all the old tools users relied on, including detailed tonal adjustments, plus a slew of new RAW profiles.  Check here to see if your camera is supported in the RAW profiles yet.

ScreenHunter_17 Jul. 09 11.27

The commercial versions of LightZone drew consistent praise from serious photographers, including a Macworld review that compared it favorably to Adobe and Apple competitors and concluded: “If you long for simplicity in photo editing in an un-bloated piece of software, give LightZone 3.0.6 a try. Its unique visual approach to editing, time-saving Styles, and well-designed help system will aid the learning process.”

LightZone: Open-source digital darkroom software (via PDNPulse)