DarkTable is a most excellent digital photo workflow program (and raw image processor). The difference between it and certain popular software from Adobe® is that it runs on Linux, and it’s open source. Please don’t let that scare you. It’s actively maintained, it’s amazingly powerful, yet easy to use, and easy to install from the package manager of popular Linux distributions. If you should wish to do so, you can download the source and build your own too.

A few months ago I purchased a Canon PowerShot G3 X (camera). It’s a relatively new model, and consequently, no DarkTable noise profile exists for it. That means the "denoise (profiled)" plugin (or filter) didn’t work. That’s a problem.

Darktable does lots of things extremely well, but the characteristics of the sensor are different for each camera model. The DarkTable developers can’t build noise profiles for every imaginable camera because, well, you have to buy the camera in order to have something to profile. Open source projects can’t do that. There’s no budget. Consequently, the DarkTable team needs us (the user community) to use our own cameras and create the profile if it doesn’t already exist. We can then load the profile in our local copy of DarkTable, and we can also send the profile to the DarkTable project team, so it will be available to everyone else that has a camera like ours.

The article associated with this post, explains how I built the DarkTable sensor noise profile for my G3 X, and hopefully, explains how you can do it for your shiny new camera too.

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