I’ve been a longtime user of Darktable, but there are spells where I decide I’m going to use the paid for software that I own as my main editing packages. After all, they’re commercial software, so should be amazing compared to free software! Over a month ago I decided to live full-time with ON1 2022, but I’m back to Darktable, and here’s why…
First, why I really like ON1 2022
Before we get into why I am back with Darktable, there are a few reasons I actually love using ON1 editing software.
Firstly, the way it handles shadows, mid-tones and highlights is really impressive. Usually, a few little slides of the sliders can bring out the details you need, quickly and easily!
Secondly, the cataloguing, light table view is perfect. You have access to all your images, can compare them etc and if makes the workflow so much easier for myself (I’m a fan of these views).
Thirdly, but by no means lastly, it’s feature packed, and you rarely have to use another image processor to finish it off.
Why I’m back with Darktable…
Darktable has all those things I mentioned about ON1, however, I’m sometimes a bit heavy handed with sliders, and Darktable doesn’t allow as much room for error as it’s got a lot of power under its hood, and this was frustrating me! That’s why I find ON1 slightly easier to use when flying through images and editing them.
But, I’m back with Darktable, not just because it’s an excellent program, but because ON1 kept giving me no end of grief, making simple tasks harder than they needed to be.
Here are just a few of the many issues I ran into that made me leave it (and I will only use it for certain things if needed). This list is in no way exhaustive!
• Sluggish once you get started – At first, ON1 feels really fast, but after a while, the program just feels sluggish. As soon as you start using masks (which I do quite often), things can grind to a halt.
• Unacceptable complete crashes – ON1 has a habit of just randomly crashing on my computer when I just expect it.
• Image blacking out – When moving certain sliders in various modules, the image you’re working on sometimes blacks out for no reason.
• Batch saving issues – When batch selecting images to save, they sometimes simply refuse to save any actual images, even though it’s gone through the process.
• Saved images corrupt – If you’ve used layers, quite often a saved image doesn’t save correctly.
• Slow saving – Saving images is possibility slow, and can takes minutes per image saved.
I don’t seem to be alone with this, various groups I’m in have people having endless issues. The strange thing is, with each new update, something gets fixed, and something that worked fails! It’s a never ending battle that just takes up too much time, and time is money!
Using a development version of Darktable (3.7.1406) has proved more stable, much faster and given more control over the images, with no issues in editing, masking or saving. It’s been a joy to get back to Darktable and do what I love doing best.
Of course, it’s strange that ON1 is so good, yet suffers with so many issues. I have used many other packages on my computer from Luminar, Aurora, Photoshop, Lightroom, Capture One and more, all with no performance issues or major bugs. So it’s not the computers I use!
I’m happy with Darktable, and combined with Photoscape X Pro, it’s perfect for getting the things done I need to do, and I need to remember that!