Camera Tools

12 Best Free and Open Source Linux Camera Tools

Since the advent of the consumer digital camera, hard disks and memory devices have faced the burden of ever increasing amounts of images to store. This is, in part, due to digital photography being an inexpensive way of taking thousands of images without any image processing costs to bear, thereby encouraging the photographer to snap many pictures of the same thing. The only ongoing expense is recharging the batteries in the camera.

When a digital camera captures an image, its image sensors records the light from millions of sensing area. The camera’s digital circuitry converts the generated analog voltage signal into a digital representation. Many cameras allow these images to be stored in a raw image file. They are akin to digital negatives, as they have the same role as negatives in film photography. These RAW files usually offer higher color depth than JPEG files, but take up far more storage space.

As implied by the name, RAW files have not been processed. By taking pictures in raw format the photographer is not committing to the conversion software that is built into the camera. Instead, the individual can store the raw files, and make use of computer software to generate better JPEG files, and also benefit from future improvements in image software.

Linux offers excellent software for dealing with RAW files, for remotely operating cameras, importing and processing raw data, as well as software to read, write and edit camera metadata.

To provide an insight into the quality of software available for Linux, we have compiled a list of 12 useful camera tools. Hopefully, there will be something of interest here for any budding David Bailey or Ansel Adams. Our recommendations are captured in a legendary LinuxLinks-style ratings chart. Only free and open source software is eligible for inclusion.

Ratings chart for the best free and open source camera tools

Click the links in the table below to learn more about each camera tool.

Camera Tools
darktableVirtual lighttable and darkroom for photographers
digiKamDigital photo management application with revamped camera support
gPhotoDigital camera command-line client
ExifToolLibrary and program to read and write meta information in multimedia files
RawTherapeeRAW image processing application
EntangleTethered camera control and capture
DCamProfDigital camera profiling tool
nufrawImport and edit RAW images from digital cameras
UFRawStandalone tool to import RAW data from high-end digital cameras
RawstudioRAW image converter
fspyQuick and easy still image camera matching
KameraKDE integration for gphoto2 cameras

This article has been revamped in line with our recent announcement.

Best Free and Open Source SoftwareRead our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. Our curated compilation covers all categories of software.

The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk.

There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.
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