As of 24 December, Raw Therapee Beta 4 is available, more bug fixes and added camera support.
The 2.4 Beta differs from the 2.4 Milestone release in April, in that it incorporates all of the functional improvements intended for 2.4 – and it’s looking good…
The “biggie” is batch processing.
Earlier incarnations of RT lacked this, and while its absence never bothered me too much (I don’t take thousands of pictures on a shoot – although a couple of hundred isn’t impossible – and usually have time to process what I take at a more leisurely pace) I would still routinely fire up Capture One 4 if I’d taken a lot of pictures, not least because it has effective batch processing options.
Well, I can happily confirm that RT’s batch implementation is a gem to use – intuitive, efficient and highly effective, with very good filtering and ranking options available to boot.
This means that in addition to the usual ranking/batch processing options found elsewhere, I can create say, a “high ISO” RT profile (typically using different sharpening settings), filter a batch of images by ISO, and then set the batch off to process only the high ISO stuff, with the high ISO profile.
There are also lots of more subtle improvements to this version of RT which like – better thumbnail/file browser options, the ability to delete images straight from RT, a “Send To Editor” option which will send a TIF of your RAW file to the editor of choice…
In terms of ergonomics and usability then, the latest RT is streets ahead of its predecessors.
Image processing functions have also seen some useful improvements.
One which I’m appreciating straight away is that the spot White Balance seems more accurate – I’ll actually happily use it now, whereas I was previously reluctant to do so, because I was not entirely convinced by its results.
Overall I think that the IQ from the Beta is a tad better than from the previous version, although I haven’t done any like-for-like comparison testing: suffice to say, the RT continues to produce excellent conversions.
Now, it’s not all sweetness and light – being a Beta, I’ve had a couple of crashes, and there are bugs in there (the whole thing will grind to an unrecoverable halt if you click “Send To Editor” without configuring it first) but all in all, it seems pretty robust, and will of course get better as Gabor irons out the wrinkles.
Much as I rate Capture One 4 – especially for high ISO files – I can see it getting less use now that RT can batch process.
And if I find that RT can now handle 3200 ISO+ banding, Cap One might actually find itself redundant..!
Don’t forget either, that RT is available for Windows and Linux.