Looking at Rawstudio

Rawstudio is another program that reads Raw files and is able to manipulate them, and it has a different set of features. Rawstudio also makes use of dcraw and  has support for file browsing and ranking.

But lets look at my list.

  • Raw support: Rawstudio supports the same raw formats as UFRaw since they are build on the same program, dcraw. Normal JPEG files are not opened.
  • White balance and colour correction: Both white balance and colour correction are present in the menu on the left. White balance can be changed using Warmth/tint. Besides the sliders, the white balance is also controlled by clicking in the image, but this can be very annoying since I often find the colours change when I don’t want to.
  • Lens correction: In the version that is installed by Ubuntu 10.04 there is no lens correction support, but in the development versions there should be support for lens correction.
  • Tools for straightening, cropping and perspective correction: Perspective corrections is not available, but straightening and cropping are. Cropping works as you expect by just making a selection using your mouse, there is no way to make a crop using your keyboard. Straightening works very nice when you have straight lines in your photo. When the straighten tool is selected you have to draw a line that is used to straighten to photo. In the photo that is active in the screen shot, I would draw a line across the horizon. When you don’t have a horizontal or vertical straight line in your image, it would be difficult to straighten a photo, since there is no other way of straightening. A nice feature is that you are able to uncrop and unstraighten.
  • Export options: Rawstudio makes it possible to export photos to different formats. You can export a single picture or you can do a batch process. When exporting you can give size constraints, so you can export an image with a specific size or scale. You can also export to Gimp to make more specific changes to the photo.
  • Non destructive editing: All changes made within Rawstudio are non destructive.
  • Easy and clean interface: The interface is pretty straight forward. Some options are difficult to find because they are not in the tool tab but in the main and context menus. Personally I wouldn’t have put the Open and Export tabs on the same side of the Tools tab, but I would have placed them somewhere else. (not sure where though.)
  • Photo browsing: Rawstudio has support for photo browsing, but when there are a lot of photos in a directory or when you look to photos recursively, Rawstudio will not respond that well. Looking at the blog, this should have been solved in the version that is coming in the future.
  • Simple ranking system: Rawstudio has a ranking system. When browsing the photos, you can give them a priority (1 to 3) or delete the photo by pressing Delete. The photo is not deleted directly but marked as deleted and you are able to view them. By selecting a different tab you can show the photos with the same priority.
  • Multiple versions of a photo: Rawstudio makes it possible to change the colours and other setting in three different versions. You can show these versions side by side. Straightening and cropping are done on all versions.
  • Adding copyright notice: It is not possible to add a copyright notice to photos.

I did work with Rawstudio for a few months until it stopped working. It did crash a lot of times and I started using a daily build. After some time it became clear that Rawstudio was just to slow to work with, opening a directory with 200 photos took just too much time without any sign of what was going on. Exporting a lot of pictures did not work reliably and Rawstudio crashed several times. At that point I decided to look for another solution. Hopefully the new version will be a lot better than the current one.

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