These days most digital SLR cameras include the ability to shoot in RAW, an uncompressed image format that gives you great control over a number of photographic variables. This can vary from the basics like white balance and exposure; to curve adjustment, lens vignetting and more.
If you’ve bought a digital SLR camera in the last 3 years or so, there’s a good chance it can capture photos in the RAW image format. Depending on the size of your camera’s sensor, these files can be roughly two to three times the size of your average high quality JPEG.
Whilst it is possible to open JPEG files in some RAW editors, the compression and lack of data stored within a JPEG simply does not compare it to RAW. If your camera does shoot RAW and you haven’t experimented yet then I’d urge you to give it a go.
Once you’ve transferred your RAWs to your computer, you’ll need an editor. With an editor you can change (within reason) most aspects of your photographs in a way JPEG doesn’t allow. Speaking from experience, it’s amazing how well some of your worst shots scrub up after a 10 minute edit!
An incredibly powerful RAW editor, Photivo handles nearly every RAW format and BMP files with startling ease. The interface could do with some work, but with literally hundreds of processing techniques at your disposal it’s clear that the open-source project is being taken in the right direction.
If you’re a fan of GIMP for your photo editing (and let’s face it, using Linux you don’t exactly have a choice) then you’ll also like the way Photivo is able to send modified photos directly to GIMP for retouching.
The developers claim that Photivo uses the most advanced image manipulation algorithms available, though this powerful and complex tool is geared more towards power users and those with prior RAW experience, rather than complete newbies.
Ubuntu install, in Terminal:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:dhor/myway
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install photivo
In case you face any issues, let me know. Cheers!