When comparing GIMP vs Darktable, the Slant community recommends GIMP for most people. In the question“What is the best photo editing software?” GIMP is ranked 2nd while Darktable is ranked 7th. The most important reason people chose GIMP is:
GIMP is completely free and open source, meaning you can use GIMP and all of its features without spending a penny. This makes it an excellent case for artists or designers who may not have the budget to spend over 700 USD on Photoshop. It is also available for free on Windows, Mac OS and Linux. It's licensed under GPL with source code available [here](http://www.gimp.org/source/).
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Free, open source and cross-platform
GIMP is completely free and open source, meaning you can use GIMP and all of its features without spending a penny. This makes it an excellent case for artists or designers who may not have the budget to spend over 700 USD on Photoshop. It is also available for free on Windows, Mac OS and Linux. It's licensed under GPL with source code available here.
GIMP is the most feature rich free image editing tool. It has most image manipulation and workflow tools that you would expect from an image editing software and what it lacks it makes up with plugins.
Pro Content-aware tools with a plugin
There's a content-aware fill plugin available for GIMP.
Pro Modular & single-window interface options
By default GIMP splits out each window, but you can check to use the one screen mode in options if you prefer.
Compared to to other photo editing software, GIMP is very light weight. In addition it isn't very resource-intensive, meaning you can put it on a flash drive and have it with you to load up on just about any computer.
Gimp has less features than programs like Photoshop, but for a beginner, or someone not needing complicated options, Gimp is the perfect choice. It allows you to quickly do basic photo manipulation so you can easily get the product you need without having to worry about complicated features getting in the way.
Pro Full channel support
Pro Feature rich
There are a lot of different modules.
Pro Edits are saved to a separate file
Original files are untouched by any edits. No worries on what was done before or if an accidental save occurs. All work is separate from the originals.
Pro Fast and Flexible
A very well considered UI makes edits fast and fluid. You can redo or undo any step without disturbing any other part of your edit. The UI doesn't get in the way.
Pro Good batch editing capabilities
Darktable allows applying the same set of operations to multiple images and saving your history stack as a style (you can pick exactly which modules).
Pro Allows for local adjustments
Most modules, by default, affect the whole image, but have the option to only be applied to masked-off areas (be those drawn masks, parametric ones, or a combination of the two).
Pro Supports tethered capture
On the camera set it to use USB Remote. Open Darktable, on the left side under Import, click scan for devices. The camera should appear. Click on tethered shoot. Next on the right side look for the gear icon above the battery n/a and click it. go to the session options tab, and change the base directory to the location you want to save photos. close that settings window and try taking a picture. It should come right up.
Darktable allows favoriting modules and remapping hotkeys.
Con Unintuitive interface
GIMP doesn't embrace OS X application design, thus Mac users might have a hard time wrapping their heads around GIMP's interface.
Con Less features than other programs
Being a free program, it shouldn't be surprising that it has limited features. For those needing more advanced features for something more professional, GIMP just isn't for you.
Con Lacks adjustment layers
Adjustment layers offer a non-destructive way of combining different photo manipulations. Without adjustment layers the only way to see changes is by irreversibly editing the image.
They are promised in future updates.
Con Poor performance
Con Can be overwhelming
There are a lot of different modules. You're going to need some time watching tutorials to understand how to get the best out of it.
Con For tethered capture on Linux you may need additional software installed that is not a dependency for Darktable
First make sure you have gphoto2 and libgphoto2.
Con No official Windows version
Whilst official builds exist for Linux and OSX, this isn't the case for Windows (though unofficial versions do exist).