A Digital Darkroom. Like Lightroom. But Free.


DarkTableYou're no doubt familiar with photo and image editors such as Microsoft Paint, Paint.Net, PhotoShop and others. A few years ago, Adobe launched LightRoom, which is not just a photo editor but more of a digital darkroom. It keeps all your image files in its database, and lets you edit them such as adding effects or changing the colour balance.

But unlike a photo editor app, LightRoom is non-destructive. When you make an edit to an image, you can see the edits straight away but, unless you explicitly do so, the original image file doesn't get changed. Instead, the database stores details of the changes that you made, so you can view or change or re-apply them any time in the future.

While LightRoom is a great program, it's also expensive. And as you know, we don't write about expensive software on this site. In fact, we don't even write about cheap software. And I've managed to find a digital darkroom program which is freeware (although a donation is requested, it's not mandatory).

The program is called DarkTable and you'll find it at https://www.darktable.org/install/#windows. The download is around 62 MB and it runs just fine under Windows 10. The file is malware-free according to VirusTotal, and the download site is rated as reputable by Web of Trust.

I think it's really good. Try it for yourself and see what you think.

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Seems there is a MAC version too. I haven't tried it yet though ....

An interesting comparison from a LightRoom user who switched to DarkTable. MC - Site Manager.

Rob, another excellent find. Thanks.

Rob, this is an excellent find. However, I am also a bit disappointed, when I read about the Windows download. There is only a 64-bit version of the program, and I run a 32-bit Windows. Also, from this page on their site about the Windows installer:


It seems that the Windows version is pre-alpha development, so there might be bugs, and it might not be stable.

Users should read the FAQ too:


Definitely an excellent find for users of other platforms, like Linux.