Photivo – Open Source (Free) RAW Conversion Software

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    The latest edition of the (some might think mythical)  C’T Digital Photography magazine details an open source RAW converter called Photivo.

    I decided to give it a try and it seems really powerful. The most powerful open source RAW converter I’ve come across. It’s not the most intuitive piece of software and there is no manual to speak of so it might not be suited to RAW conversion beginners.  It does have an awful lot of image parameters that can be tweaked; from common parameters such as exposure to  multiple sharpening methods, black and white conversion, vignetting, graduated filters etc etc. A new experimental version also has a spot adjustment tool too. At least with it being non-destructive you can play with the settings as much as you like with no damage being done to your RAW files!

    For any GIMP users, it also allows images to be exported directly to GIMP.

    For details and download see:-

    For Flickr Discussion and help on Photivo (plus lots of photos created using it) see:-


    meg cumming

    Thanks for the information Darren. I’vr yet to try Raw, but have decided I really must. This site looks a great help.


    Pete Robinson

    Thanks for the advice Darren. I’ve had a quick look and Photivo looks quite comprehensive. An excellent free find for anyone who wants a free quality RAW converter.



    A few years back the best RAW converter was a free one, I used it exclusively, then the authors were bought out by Adobe. I’m not sure whether they wanted their talents or they feared the competition. Since then Adobe have developed Camera Raw which is arguably the best RAW converter; available with Photoshop, incorporated into Lightroom or (in simplified form) with Photoshop Elements.

    If you need a RAW converter don’t be put off by the fact that this one is free – give it a try and see if it suits your needs.




    John what is the download link for the one you use, I am a Sony user so thwarts best for Canon may not work with mine

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