Digikam – The image program your Windows buddies wish they had

DigiKam - Your Windows buddies should be so lucky

DigiKam - Your Windows buddies should be so lucky

Sadly it’s difficult to get Digikam to run under Windows.  It can be done, but it’s a painful exercise.  That leaves Digikam as one of the jewels of open source applications only available to Linux users.  I don’t use Linux and Digikam for lack of other options, I use them for image work because I haven’t found anything better.

I use Digikam to organize my image files, trim, edit, run batch processes, include watermarks and just generally keep my image libraries organized.

A few of my favorite features:

16 Bit Per Channel Editing

Just like the big boys.  16 bit per channel color depth.  You can spend hundreds of dollars for a program that does the same thing, or get Digikam for the cost of a Ubuntu CD (which is free) and a Digikam download (also free).

This is nearly a must have for photographers working with RAW files.

The Light Table

One of the features I like most about Digikam is being able to pull images from different portfolios on to the light table for side-by-side work.

Advanced file browsing and image search functions in DigiKam

Advanced file browsing and image search functions in DigiKam

It makes it easy to mix photos for a new job without moving them out of their original folders.  I’d be lost without the light table and it’s one of my favorite features, giving me the ability to scan large numbers of images and pull out copies of the ones I want in one convenient place, review the metadata, launch the editor and anything else one normally does in the program window.


Digikam also lets me scan large image collections and add specific images to queues.  Queues are how Digikam opens up all the program functions to you for batch conversions.

DigiKam queues for batch processes

DigiKam queues for batch processes

Dozens of color correction filters, resizing, converting, add a watermark almost anything you can do from the program interface, you can do from the queue and apply to a whole selection of images.

Calendar Tool

Sort of old fashioned in these days of iPhones and Google Calendar, but it’s a neat feature all the same.  There’s sort of a retro appeal to an old fashioned print calendar and what better than one featuring your own pictures.

Slide Show

Create an MPEG slide show from your photos and burn it on to a CD or DVD.

Key Word Tagging

Tagging and ratings that help me search for images across directories.  I can classify them by event, and Digikam can automatically place all the images I took on a certain day on a list.

Rotate Image Based on EXIF Information

Certain cameras record the orientation of the camera when they take a pictures. Digikam can read this information and automatically orient your pictures (if you enable this feature).

So a quality photo editing application and a world class operating system, all for free.  Worth a try, don’t you think?

DigiKam processed HDR image

DigiKam processed HDR image

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2 Responses to “Digikam – The image program your Windows buddies wish they had”

  1. Why Linux Rocks For Photography says:

    […] For screen shots and a more complete look at Digikam features, take a look at: Digikam – The image program your Windows buddies wish they had Article […]

  2. Jonathan Davidar says:

    Hi Stacy,

    Thanks for the informative post. I have just started using Digikam and f-spot for my photo editing. I use GIMP for editing but are there other tools that can mask skin imperfections with softer tones? I know that Windows has some but I would like something that is purely Linux-based. I use Fedora14.

    I look forward to hearing from you. Cheers, Jonathan

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