Version 3 of the popular photo management an RAW processing software Darktable was released on December 24, 2019, and what a beautiful christmas gift for photographers it is. On the outside, the program sports a rewritten GUI suitable for 4K and 5K monitors with three new themes (gray, dark, darker). On the inside, according to the developers, almost 3000 code commits were made and 66 issues were fixed. Most importantly, Darktable brings new modules (as if there weren’t enough of them already) that – with the <em>filmic RGB</em> module at the center – allow for a complete linear RGB workflow. This is highly recommended by the developers to take advantage of the high dynamic range of modern cameras.

A new module ‘filmic RGB’ which, like the previous ‘filmic’, is designed to replace ‘base curve’, ‘shadows and highlights’ and other global tone-mapping modules. This new version replaces the one introduced in 2.6.2; it should be easier to use, and it will reduce color casts. The old ‘filmic’ module is now deprecated and is only available on images where it was already used for editing.Release notes

Also new in modules: RGB curce, RGB levels, 3D lut, basic adjustments, and last but not least tone equalizer (using the zone system defined by landscape photographer Ansel Adams) proposes HDR like editing, but far more realistic and without halos around high contrast edges. The denoise module has been greatly improved, the tagging module completely rewritten.

The upgraded Darktable is not yet in the Ubuntu repos. However, the Darktable team makes packages available via the OpenSuse Build Service. Consult the installation instructions in the catalog entry for Darktable. The upgrade involves a database upgrade, so backup your ~/config/darktable/ folder to be on the safe side.