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When it comes to photo applications it seems Windows and Mac have things nailed down, with plenty of individual applications and several packages packed with tons of features. In this second look at how media and storage applications for Linux, and particularly Ubuntu, compare, I found the Gnome camp has plenty of options too - …

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Happy

Smiley face

What a timely article - I'm attempting to transition from Win7 to Ubuntu 10.04 and one of the main things I need is a Lightroom equivalent. Tried RawTherapee, Lightzone and Bibble - all of them fall short of the glory that is Lightroom, I suppose it'll just take some getting used to.

Are you sure Lightzone is free, though? It wasn't immediately obvious on the lightzone website, but I could go look again.

Also, your screenshots are way too small. You should consider allowing us to click on it to see a larger version. Look for lightbox. It's nice.

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Linux

de-Monofying Gnome...

anything that helps is a bonus...

Mono is a ticking time bomb being lovingly cared for by that "usefull idiot" Miguel De'Icaza

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Not just for linux

RawTherapee is cross-platform - I also run it on an old Windows XP box.

It's free, but if you use it do make a donation to the developer (who I have no connection to).

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Boffin

Partial review

I hate to put it bluntly, but The Gimp, which I use and like, is no way near Photoshop for picture editing. Don't misunderstand me : I use it a lot, but it comes very far down my post processing path, in fact as the last tool before uploading to the web, because The Gimp is still limited to 8 bits, and not so good for archiving pictures without losing an enormous quantity of colour information. This said, for converting a 16 bits colour managed image into something optimized for the web, it's a treat.

The reviewer also forgot a fantastic combo found with KDE 4 : digikam and showfoto. It's really all you wish a raw software to be for filing, geotagging, archiving and uploading your pictures. From raw to web or print in a couple of minutes. It does correct chromatic aberrations, geometric aberrations, allow finely tuned perspective corrections and levelling. Truly a thing of beauty. The list of raw supported cameras is about the one of dcraw. And icing on the cake, it's of course colour managed and full 16bits. The digikam package also includes everything you should need to work on DNG raws that are now the de facto standard for high quality archival of raw images.

This is not photoshop for now (it might become when Krita is finally useable), but for conscious amateurs worry of degrading their files, it's got all you need and more.

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Hmm?

>The Gimp is still limited to 8 bits, and not so

>good for archiving pictures without losing an

>enormous quantity of colour information.

Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly does this mean? Last time I used gimp, which admittedly was almost a decade ago, gimp used 24bit depth with 8bit alpha. I must be misunderstanding something, but what? Please enlighten me.

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Boffin

@ Grifter

24 = 8 x 3

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8 bits

He means 8 bits per channel (24 bit images are 8 bits each for red, green and blue). Photoshop lets you work with 16 or 32 bits per channel.

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Same thing.

He is talking about the per channel bit depth; 8bit/chan = 24bit overall.

The 8bit alpha is an additional channel, used for masks and stuff.

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re: gimp used 24bit depth with 8bit alpha.

24bit depth which would be 8 bits per channel - RAW files are often 16 bits per channel (48 bit) - though usually only effective 12 bits per channel. While the eye can't see the difference the extra colour depth allows more tweaking during post processing to do such things as bring out details in shadows

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@Grifter

Some raw formats may support more than 8 bits per channel.

Scenes with very wide lighting ranges will suffer from dynamic compression when being converted to 8 bits.

Lets say a camera supports 10bit per channel.

Each channel can take a value of 0 through 1023 per pixel.

If all the pixels in the photo are within a small range of intensities, say 500 - 700, then they can be encoded in 8 bits without loss of information.

On the other hand, some images have a wide range of intensities, say 200 - 1000.

The conversion to 8 bit either requires range compression:

8bit value = 255 * (10bit value - 200) / (1000-200)

Or it requires the range to be cropped by clipping values to produce a range of 0-255.

Most software/formats don't do any of this and simply treat all bytes as identical regardless of the relative intensities from the source images, which is why cameras have "raw" formats in the first place.

Apparently gimp is limited to 8bits per channel.

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8x3=24

8bits/channel x 3 channels (RGB) = 24 bit color. He was talking about bits/channel. Better to have 36 or 48 bit color (12 or 16 bit/channel, respectively).

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Linux

Pounding nails with the handle end of a jackhammer.

> I hate to put it bluntly, but The Gimp, which I use and like, is no way near Photoshop for picture

> editing. Don't misunderstand me : I use it

Unless you make matte paintings for Hollywood movies, you don't really have much reason to care either.

There is a reason why stuff like Picasa and iPhoto have been created to deal with photo management for the masses. For most people, the idea of using Photoshop or other Adobe

applications is absurd and excessively expensive.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hmm?

They mean 16 bits per channel. There was a fork of The Gimp used in film post-production which had such support, but it's apparently not quite there yet in the mainstream version of The Gimp.

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Actually no..

You say for "most people, the idea of using Photoshop or other Adobe applications is absurd and excessively expensive". While I'd agree with the "excessively expensive" bit, I don't really see why it'd be absurd.

Now back to the point. Since the article is talking about raw processing, it isn't really directed at "most people", rather it's aimed at people who are serious enought about their photography that they're willing to add the additional step of having to process the images from raw. For anything other than the most minor of adjustments, 8 bit colour depth falls flat on its face. DSLRs have a depth of at least 12 bits in general, so you're chucking away over 90% of the tonal information available to you by editing in an 8 bit application (12 bits/channel=4096 levels, 8 bits=256). GEGL will eventually solve these problems, but it's been in gestation for almost a decade.

Gimp also has other limitations compared to even PS Elements (which mostly operates in 16 bit mode now). No adjustment layers for one.

Like another poster I DO actually use GIMP, and it is quite capable, but I typically only use it for stuff bound for the web, but as a serious photography tool - sorry.

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What about Digikam?

I'm surprised that this review has left out what's probably the most sophisticated photo management app on Linux - Digikam. Digikam is KDE based, but runs just as happily under gnome, and offers several features that are not present in F-Spot. Definitely worth a look.

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Bronze badge

letters and/or numbers

An egregious omission.

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Anonymous Coward

You forgot the best one

ImageMagick!

Seriously, why use those new-fangled rodents and holy images when you've got a working keyboard and a capable shell?

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Pixelmator

Pixelmator is built in part using the power of ImageMagick:

http://www.pixelmator.com/specs/

So it is not just for the shell. I think something like Pixelmator would be a good middle ground between powerful functionality and ease of use for Linux. Two brothers did the first version in under 12 months, so it has to be possible.

The GIMP is a bit too daunting for beginners I feel.

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Go

Obligatory Bash one-liner

If you have ImageMagick installed, this should work:

$ [ ! -d thumbnails ] && mkdir thumbnails; (echo "<html><head><title>Photos in $PWD</title></head><body>";for F in *.jpg; do T=thumbnails/$(basename $F .jpg)_mini.jpg; convert -resize 200x200 $F $T; echo -e "<a href=\042${F}\042><img src=\042${T}\042 /></a>"; done; echo "</body></html>") > index.html

To use it, cd to the folder where your .jpg images are kept and run the command. Open your web browser, navigate to the folder with the images and open the file "index.html". Click on a thumbnail image to open its larger counterpart.

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Linux

Digikam?

What about Digikam? Isn't that a photo manager that supports RAW files of various kinds? And maybe the reason for F-Spot getting dropped is the absolutely crazy timestamp corruption, erm, modification that the developers thought was such a great idea. A lot of users were miffed when such second-guessing was finally exposed for what it was.

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Picasa on Linux

There's no need to use Wine to run Picasa on Linux.

Try using a popular search engine and entering 'picasa linux'.

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FAIL

Yes there is

Last time I looked, Picasa for Linux was simply Picasa for Windows wrapped in a customised version of WINE.

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Picassa uses wine

To run under Linux, it is in fact a sloppy port.

You do not need to install Wine to run Picassa. Picassa installs the Wine libraries it needs to run.

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Picasa for Linux

I believe it has Wine included in the installation. It certainly shows up under the Wine folder on my Ubuntu laptop

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Linux

DigiKam?

No mention of DigiKam? It's aimed at the 'professional' user, incorporates both organising and editing tools and is purportedly cross-platform (Win, Mac, Linux). I've never got around to evaluating it myself, but it seems like a pretty serious contender.

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Thumb Up

Picasa indeed

You can even run the latest picasa release, it works perfectly. Nice way to sort your pictures, and the face detection is a fun tool too :)

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Hugin

A brilliant photo tool that I use all the time in Debian is hugin. It's a photo stitcher for creating panoramic images.

It's great for creating panoramic pictures, I typically scan whatever I'm trying to photo - leaving some overlap between each image. Lets say 10 photos for a 360 view and 10 more going around again giving me a high and low 360 that will give more hight to the panoramic.

Pop all 20 images into hugin and let it do it's thing for 30 minutes and out pops a massive 300MB tiff file which has all the photos stitched together nicely in a whopping 10000x3000 (approx) pixel image.

sudo aptitude install hugin autopana-sift-c

You'll need the debain multimedia or medibuntu repositories for autopana-sift-c as it's not GPL but licensed from the university of British Columbia and it's good for non-commercial use

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Silver badge

Another vote for Hugin

This is amazing - a super piece of software with a lot of options than can still be used in a minute. All I have to do is put my camera on burst mode, and walk in a circle. Then it stitches them together - beautifully. Great for making skydAomes - this one took 10 seconds to photograph, and less than 10 minutes to process it into a 360 panorama: http://i762.photobucket.com/albums/xx263/jhwoods/skydome/BD2_crop_2.jpg.

JHW

(Suggestion - the Ubuntu articles are welcome - but maybe you should consider an 'eyecandy' one - people are usually blown away when they see my GUI - and it's only a few simple steps to create something fantastic - rotating desktop cube with skydome, transition effects, widgets and a nice dock)

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Anonymous Coward

Another vote for digikam

I've been using digikam for about 6 months - far and away the best program like it for linux - no problem running with gnome. If you have an interest digital photography on linux, give it a try.

Trust me

You'll love it,

It's a way of life.

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Illogical

You spend two or three grand on a camera to shoot in raw, and then you are too stingy to shell out another 200 dollar for a top notch program ? Highly illogical...

Even if you buy only a 800$ camera. Get something like Paintshop Pro and Photoalbum ( Now under the corel flag) for 80$.

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Pint

Consider (some of) the audience

You're willing to spend $200 on computer software when there are still lenses that you haven't bought yet?

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And they sell ...

... Linux versions where?

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Megaphone

Way off base

Who said anything about paying this much for a camera? Article is about photo management programs, not professional editing.

Most of us are using a camera that cost $200, or more likely LESS than $100

Even more to the point, due to economy, I bet most of us bought them a year or two ago.

Sure you make a valid point for the professionals, you are only as good as your weakest tool in the chain when it comes to media reproduction (sound pictures) of any type. However if freeware tools are as good, no reason to waste money.

I imagine not only does the average digital camera user not use RAW format, they probably aren't even aware its there, or what it is.

Try selling RAW to a person in layman terms:

Ok, so you take photos this way (RAW), and they will take more space up on your camera, so you can fit less pictures in there. Then you have to copy them off the camera, and convert them to a new format if you want to share and send them out in email. Oh and they will take more space on your laptop, etc,etc.

Oh,, but they will allow you to have visual elements you can't see, that MAY allow you to lighten up some shadows and make that one picture look better.....Oh and you'll need a software program that cost twice what you paid for your camera to properly edit them....

Ogg faces a somewhat similar problem.... better isn't better if it is not easier as well.

Competing formats have to be no extra steps, just as easy to use, or kiss goodbye to unwashed masses.

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Grenade

Bah

The real issue is that people are taking too many damn pictures.

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FAIL

shotwell... itself in the foot

So I installed and ran shotwell, it started cataloguing my photos. Great.

Came back an hour or so later, with messages about my home partition behind out of memory. Odd, I thought I had a few gigs free at least..... yup - shotwell copied all my photos (15gigs worth) from my media partition to the root of my home partition, with date named directories.

Looked for settings to change this, couldn't find any......

apt-get uninstalled straight away

Hopefully they will fix this before it's default in 10.10

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Megaphone

Yup

I have the same problem with digiKam -- or did it change recently? It insists in copying ALL the photos somewhere else from their original place. At least you CAN customize that. But why can't the program use the original locations? I've never found an explanation for that. It's a problem in my case, since I have an old computer with a bunch of different partitions in three old hard-drives, all of them with little space available.

I keep searching, them.

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@James Dunmore

Just found this at the Shotwell website (http://trac.yorba.org/wiki/UsingShotwell0.6), maybe it wasn't an option in the version you used...?

By default, Shotwell stores your photo library in the XDG Pictures directory. The XDG Pictures location is specified as XDG_PICTURES_DIR in ~/.config/user-dirs.dirs. Usually XDG_PICTURES_DIR is ~/Pictures. To change the library location, choose Edit ▸ Preferences and press the Browse button in the Library Location section to select or create a library directory.

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Big Brother

@AC 14:39 Re: Another vote for Digikam

On the bus?

<----- The Central Scrutinizer.

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Anonymous Coward

Wot, no syborg icon ?

Yeah, I do a lot of work on it with my special lens.

It looks just like a telefunkun U47

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I am sure the article says Gnome and not KDE

"In this second look at how media and storage applications for Linux, and particularly Ubuntu, compare, I found the Gnome camp has plenty of options too - you just need to be picky."

I knew it did. I have been unable to locate a Gnome version of DigiKam... Please stop mentioning it.

:-D

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Red herring

Who cares? It works perfectly well within a Gnome environment, even if it's running the KDE libraries.

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Anonymous Coward

But... but...

It works with Gnome.

*However* --- installing it results in installing a lot of KDE dependencies, albeit not the complete desktop. Unless you really object to that, there is no reason to stop mentioning it.

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Linux

Re: I am sure the article says Gnome and not KDE

"I have been unable to locate a Gnome version of DigiKam... "

Digikam works on GNOME as well, although it depends on various libraries that are probably already available (if not already installed) for your distribution. On the Free Software desktop you are allowed to pick and mix applications, you know. ;-)

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@Derek Bradshaw

While you won't find a Gnome version of DigiKam it will still run in Gnome just like Gnome apps will run in KDE so DigiKam, DigiKam, DigiKam, DigiKam.

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Picasa?

If this is an article about Gnome apps only,then why is Picasa mentioned?

I would also like to add my vote to DigiKam.

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@Derek Bradshaw

> "... the Gnome camp..."

Are Bibble, LightZone, Picasa and RawTherapee GNOME apps now?

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Anonymous Coward

Alternative platforms

" In the Windows and Mac world, freebie photo apps - like Google's Picasa or Apple's iPhoto"

We notice that (unlike Apple) Microsoft themselves have not made such an application - except "MS Paint"...

Actually, that's probably a good thing, I can only imagine how awful it would be...

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Windows Live Photo Gallery

http://explore.live.com/windows-live-photo-gallery

They have and it's not awful.

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Boffin

Phoyo app..

> We notice that (unlike Apple) Microsoft themselves have not made such an application - except

> "MS Paint"...

Oh, they did. It's called Photo Manager. Dig around, it comes with Office 2003/2007.

And yes, you're right, it's awful.

Prior to that, they also have Photo Editor, which is even more awful. Crashes due to a filter being of newer version than the app, frequent memory issues.

Best stay away.

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Gates Halo

Lightroom

A couple of years ago I finally made the switched from Windows + rarely used Linux dualboot, to Linux + rarely used Windows dualboot, due to better TV card support . However, I'm now planning on getting a second desktop to run both OSes in parallel.

Why? Because there really is no substitute for Lightroom. Well, except Apature on a Mac. And there was an attempt at an open-source equivalent, blueMarine, but it appears to have died already. The current linux options aren't bad software per se, they just can't match the high standards set by Lightroom.

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