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Scarab Darkroom 1.43

Scarab Darkroom Editor's Review

Take control of your digital darkroom with this cool Windows app.

I love digital photography. Unfortunately, I was bitten by the camera bug quite a while back, and I am constantly on the lookout for a new lens, new picture tweaking or developing software and new information to help my pictures become more professional looking. Tools like Scarab Darkroom really fit the bill, too. This Windows based app is something that most every owner of a supported camera should have.

Scarab Darkroom is a digital camera file converter with support for over 100 different camera models.  Many digital cameras can take pictures and save them directly as a JPG or other compressed file format, but doing so really limits your ability with what you can do to the file, post production.  Many cameras have their own native formats, often called RAW.  Most image editing apps don't support them out of the box. Scarab Darkroom does.

The compression algorithm in JPG's is popular as a storage format – files are usually small and easily transported from one computing system to another.  JPG's are also very popular with web sites like Facebook , Flickr, and Shutterbug.  However, when you try to tweak a JPG, you lose a lot of information and detail.

Scarab Darkroom provides support and tools for editing RAW files directly.  It allows you to edit fill light, brightness, contrast and black levels and provides a way to edit simple tone curve adjustments.  You can also tweak color temperatures and gives you the ability to pick white balance from a gray area in the picture, among other editing options.  When you're done, it provides a lightning fast conversion with excellent detail rendition using a proprietary demosaic algorithm. Basic editing options – crop, resize, etc. are also supported.

App Pro’s: Free.

App Con’s: Freemium options only.

Conclusion: Scarab Darkroom is a decent application. Its support for many RAW file formats from Nikon, Sony, Canon, Olympus, Panasonic and others is something that can provide value to a great many enthusiasts.  The anticipated Pro version is said to have all of the freemium features as well as others including more color controls, a grayscale mixer and noise reduction, among others.  A Mac version is also anticipated next year.

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