RawTherapee 5 ramps up its RAW processing power

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Open-source raw image processor RawTherapee has hit version 5.0, its first major release in more than two years, with some important new features and functionality.

The Wavelets tool provides a smart way to perform some action — sharpen, denoise, colorize — on one detail level, without affecting other levels. This could allow reducing noise in one part of an image, while sharpening other areas.

The Wavelet’s feature has been around in developer builds for a while, but it’s good to see them finally reach a stable release. If you’ve not tried them already, check out a simple starter guide here.

RawTherapee 5.0 also includes a Retinex tool for effectively dehazing images, rescuing underexposed photos and generally recovering detail from your pictures.

The new release is much more suited to working with a range of devices, thanks to new monitor profile and rendering intent support, and print soft-proofing (simulating how an image may look when printed).

There’s now built-in automatic chroma noise reduction, with manual slider and curve-based luminance noise reduction if you need it.

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File compatibility has been improved with support for more RAW file formats, 32-bit TIFF files, and grayscale TIFFs and JPEGs.

The new release has a pile of other new features, from simple additions (sharpening after a resize for extra crispness) to extra controls (Luminance and Perceptual exposure tone curve modes) and powerful new tools (a Lockable Color Picker takes multiple sample points across an image and shows you how they change in real time).

RawTherapee 5 is available now for 64-bit Windows Vista and later.

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