A brand new version of the free, open source photography tool Darktable is available to download.

Darktable 4.0 is a fairly major update that boasts improved color science, updated modules, additional camera support, and reel after reel of bug fixes and performance tweaks.

Headline changes include new ‘color science’ in the filmic RGB module. This replaces mandatory desaturation with “true gamut mapping against the output (or export) color space”. This mapping uses the ICC relative colorimetric intent to deliver more saturated colors.

This change, in combination with other recent improvements, means Darktable users can “…color-grade images safe in the knowledge that invalid input colors can be recovered in the least destructive fashion possible, early on in the pipeline, and valid colors can’t be pushed out of gamut.”

The exposure and color calibration module gains a new “spot mapping” mode; the global color picker will show the name of the picked color in its tooltip on hover (useful to those with color-impaired vision); and the color balance RGB module uses a new saturation algorithm derived from a 3 month research project.

Darktable 4.0 screenshot improved UI and theme
Darktable 4.0: improved UI and theme

Various modules, including the channel mixer RGB and color calibration, benefit from collapsible sections and a UI rejig to make their core functionality ‘more obvious’ in use. The vignetting module is also split across two sections for clarity.

The UI has also been “completely revamped […] to improve look and consistency. Padding, margins, color, contrast, alignment, and icons have been reworked throughout.” Additionally, the default theme switches to Elegant Grey by default.

  • Support added for the IPAPGothic font
  • “Contrast” parameter added to guide line overlay settings
  • Module-description tooltips have been reworked
  • A new “collection filters” module
  • Improved module search
  • Support for gamepad triggers as shortcuts
  • Improved monochrome images support
  • Modifier keys (e.g., shift) can be used when dragging sliders
  • EXR 16-bit (half) float export
  • DNG GainMap EXIF information

You can find a full(er) change-log on the Darktable website.

Download Darktable 4.0

Darktable is free, open source software available to download for Windows, macOS, and Linux from the Darktable website, with source code available on GitHub.

Linux users can also install the latest version of Darktable (and subsequent updates) using the official Darktable OBS repo, which provides pre-built packages for Fedora, OpenSUSE, Ubuntu, and more.