The first release candidate for Darktable 3.0—the popular free, open source Lightroom alternative—was announced earlier today, and it comes with some major improvements over 2.6, including UI improvements, a major rewrite of the Lighttable module, bug fixes, and more.
The release of Darktable 3.0.0rc0 comes (perhaps on purpose?) just as Adobe revealed its latest build of Lightroom at Adobe MAX, and it adds a bunch of features and enhancements that should make Darktable easier to use, navigate, and personalize.
Major improvements include (but are hardly limited to):
- A new CSS-controlled GUI that allows for preset themes like darktable-elegant-darker, darktable-elegant-gray and others
- A more versatile color picker that lets you sample any area
- The addition of undo/redo support for tags, color labels, rating, metadata, and more in the Lighttable module
- A new timeline view in the Lighttable
- A new “culling” mode in the Lighttable
- And a “quite extensive rewrite” of both the Lighttable and the Filmstrip that promises “drastically” improved performance.
That last point addresses one of the complaints we’ve seen most regularly when writing about Darktable, so it has the potential to really improve the Darktable experience.
There’s way too much in this first release candidate to cover here, but suffice to say that the first build of Darktable 3.0 comes with a slew of new features, usability & UI improvements, and bug fixes, and you can read about all of them in detail at this link.
To learn more about this editor or pick up the first Release Candidate, head over to the Darktable website or go straight to GitHub to download Version 3.0.0rc0 for Windows, MacOS or Linux. And if you’ve never heard of Darktable (or you’ve heard of it but never actually given it a try) be sure to check out this video, which offers a comprehensive introduction to the software.
Free, open source software comes with its fair share of quirks, but Darktable (and the other popular option, RawTherapee) has served many an Adobe deserter very well for the price of “on the house.”