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Tybeck reviewed on 28 Nov 2009
I've used RAW Developer (RD) as my main raw file processor for about the last 2 years. Having tried CaptureOne, ACR, Bibble, Aperture, Lightroom and a several other raw converters, RD had the best mix of speed, quality of output, and easy of use for my needs. There are some features that would be helpful like shadow recovery, flash fill, and a local contrast tool like Vibrancy, but the flexibility and control that RD provides makes up for these absences. Any photo that I can't tweak to my liking in RD can be done in LightZone (another wonderful program).

Stand out features: Speed - this is the fastest raw converter on Mac I've tried. Batch mode - very flexible with excellent scale up features, fast. Only RAW developer I've seen that will allow multiple format output in the same batch session. Controlling exposure sectors with sliders - very intuitive. Copy and Pasting Settings - move all or groups of settings between photos. B&W development - absolutely the best black and white rendering that I have seen in any raw converter.

What this program is not: It is not Expression Media, Aperture or Lightroom, it will not help organize your photos at all. RD does play well with other programs, for example you can open a selection of photos directly in Expression Media, the Finder, or Path Finder in RD. It's more like ACR as stand alone. To my eye it is not that effective with high noise photos. I use NoiseNinja for this.

In brief, if you looking for a fast, clean raw file converter for Mac and won't miss the "one program for everything" approach (like in Lightroom and Aperture) give RAW Developer a serious look.
[Version 1.8.6]

tybeck commented on 25 Apr 2006
Did anybody else get a promotional email from Mariner staying that people who purchased MacJournal in March would get a free upgrade to 4.0? I seem to remember this, but must have deleted the email. I like some of the new features, but $14.95 seems a bit steep for just having bought the program. I only bought 3.x because of this offer and would have otherwise waited until the release of 4.0. I tried my serial number for 3.x and it didn't take.
[Version 4.0]

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