DigiKam – Photo Manager, Editor, and Much More

By | July 24, 2018
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DigiKam – Photo Manager, Editor, and Much More

This is NOT freeware for the faint of heart!

This freeware program is not point-and-shoot-easy. It’s not install-and-use-easy. It will take you a while just to figure out how to use its basic features —  and a very long, long time to learn how to use all its features. That being said, it’s free and you have as long as you need to learn it.  All you have to have is a lot of time to and the desire to learn. So… if you love a challenge, one that will be worth the time and trouble in the end, then DigiKam might be just the photo manager extraordinaire you’ve been looking for.

I’ve been using DigiKam for over a week now, and while I know a whole lot more about the program  than I did a week ago, I realized today that I have barely scratched the surface. It has far more features, functions and options than I’ve had time to discover, and far more I will probably ever use. But if you’re looking for a very powerful photo manager, organizer and editor,  you may find DigiKam worth the time and effort it will take you to learn it. It’s not at all intuitive and it’s not for you if you need something you can install and learn in a few minutes.

DigiKam is a complete comprehensive package. You can import you images into the program in several different ways. You can organize your photos into albums. You can browse through you collection by location, time, tags, faces, more. You can edit your photos, retouch them and add professional effects with DigiKam’s powerful built-in photo editor. You can create calendars, build panoramas, create slide shows and videos, save your photos and your creations  or share them via an impressive list of social media and online services.

DigiKam is a powerful image management program that focuses more on helping you search and organize your photos than it does on editing them. However you’ll find the available editing tools far superior those of Google’s old Picasa program or Windows Photos. For instance, when you click on the “Color” menu,  you’ll have many options including: “Auto-Correction”, “Brightness/ Contrast/ Gamma”, “Hue/ Saturation/ Lightness”, “Color Balance”, “Levels Adjust”, “Curves Adjust”, “Invert”, “Color Negative”, “Black and White”, “Channel Mixer”, “White Balance”, “Depth” and “Color Space Conversion” – and each of those have many sub settings and sub-options available to you also.

The program has far more positives than negatives, but we need to mention the negatives. As we said, it’s not a point-and-shoot, open-and-use kind of application. It will take you a long time to learn. It will take you time just to learn some of the basic features – so if fast and easy is on your list, you can scratch this program right now.

DigiKam was not originally designed for Linux, not for Windows, so some of the interfaces may seem strange to Windows users. But the Windows version works well on Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows 10.  The fact that it has such a huge number of options, features and functions can be aggravating when you’re looking for a particular feature, option or function. But, again if you’re willing to take the time and put in the effort, you may find this program to be one of best of its genre.

Cloudeight Freeware Pick - DigiKam

Cloudeight Freeware Pick - DigiKam

Above: Screenshots from our DigiKam tests.

And now… some words from the developer:


The following is a concise overview of features and tools available in digiKam. The application covers the photographic workflow consisting of five major stages:

Import photos, raw files, and videos
Organize your library
Browse and view items in the library
Process and edit raw files and photos
Share and publish photos
Support for all digital camera models that work with Gphoto2

Import module supports the following actions:

Delete images
Upload images
Lock images
Auto-rename pictures during import
Auto-rotate pictures during import
Auto-creation of albums during import
Lossless conversion during import
Show camera information
Group photos, raw files, photos, and videos into albums and sub-albums
Add tags and comments to albums
Sort albums by folder, category, and creation date
Sort items in albums by name, path, date, and file size
Filter album items by rating, filename, file type, tags, and labels
Support for RAW pictures using LibRaw included in libKdcraw Support of more 800 proprietary RAW camera file formats. Complete camera list is given here

Easy comparing similar pictures using Light Table:

Files displayed side by side
Synchronized panning and zooming
Navigation by pair
Raw files support
digiKam core, image editor and image filters support 16 bits color depth pictures (RAW, TIFF, PNG, JPEG2000). Image Editor has a full Color Management support using ICC color profiles.

Thumbnail sizes can be adapted to your screen size on the fly

Sidebar used everywhere to display

Image information
image file properties
tag filter information
colors information: histogram and ICC profile
Fast preview pictures mode embedded into albums interface with zoom and panning features

Plugins architectures

To ease development and to share code with other applications, digiKam make use of plugins architecture.


Export to 23
Export to Flickr
Export to Flash
Export to Google services
Export to SmugMug
Export to Piwigo
Import From/Export to FaceBook
Import From/Export to Shwup
Export to Zooomr
Export to a local directory or remote computer using KIO protocols (ftp, ssh, smb, fish, svn, tar …)

Other tools available in digiKam core

Calendar creation wizard
Print wizard
Create slideshow
Lossless transformations with JPEG pictures
Add GPS coordinates to images by synchronizing them with a GPX files (created by GPS receivers and/or GPS tools), or by manually editing the longitude/latitude/altitude or also by using Google Map capabilities.
Acquire image (eg. with a flat scanner)
RAW image converter
DNG converter
Adjust time and date
Edit Pictures Metadata
Create video-slideshow
Images batch processing

Features available in Image editor are:

16 bits image color depth support.
RAW camera image support.
Histogram viewer
Color Management support.
ICC profiles tool to perform advanced color corrections into images
ICC profile viewer
Exporting to another image format
Removing images from current Album
Image comments editing
Image file properties
EXIF/MakerNote/IPTC/GPS viewer
Printing images
Red eyes correction

Brightness / Contrast / Gamma correction

Hue / Saturation / Luminosity correction

Color balance

Invert colors

Color auto-correction tools: Normalize / Equalize / Auto levels / Stretch Contrast

Blur / Sharpen

Ratio-cropping with proportion aids and composing tools based on Fibonacci rules

Free cropping

Black and White and tonality converter using curves adjustments



Adjust levels : a tool to adjust the photograph histogram levels manually

Adjust curves : a tool to adjust the photograph colors using curves

Noise Reduction : noise filter based on wavelet algorithm

Liquid Rescale : content aware resizing to change ratio of a picture while keeping the content intact

Local Contrast : a pseudo HDR-tonemapping tool to recover highlights and shadows while keeping local contrast

Unsharp Mask : a photograph unsharp mask filter to unblur picture without increase noise

Lens Distortion : a tool for correct lens spherical aberration on photograph

Vignetting : a tool for removing or adding vignetting on photograph

Channel Mixer : a tool to mix the photograph color channels

White Balance : a tool to adjust white color temperature balance of photograph

Photograph Inpainting : a tool to remove unwanted photograph area using CImg library

Photograph Refocus : a sharpness editor to refocus a photograph

Hot Pixels Correction : a tool to remove photograph hot pixels generated by a deficient camera

Photograph Restoration : a tool to reduce photograph artifacts using CImg library

Free Rotation : a plugin to rotate a photograph with a free angle in degrees

Shear Tool : a plugin to shear a photograph horizontally and vertically

Perspective Tool : a plugin to adjust the photograph perspective

Add Border : a tool to add decorative frame around a photograph

Insert Text : a tool to insert text under a photograph

Apply Texture : a tool to apply a decorative texture to a photograph

Solarize : a tool to solarize a photograph

Oil Paint : simulate oil painting on photograph

Emboss : an effect filter to emboss photograph

Rain Drops : adding the visual effect of raindrops on photograph

Charcoal : simulate charcoal drawing on photograph

Film Grain : simulate film grain on photograph

Infrared : simulate infrared film effect on photograph

Blur FX : apply blurring special effects on photograph

Distortion FX : apply distortion special effects on photograph

Please note this is a 275 MB download…

Ready for challenge? You can read more about and download DigiKam for Windows here.

3 thoughts on “DigiKam – Photo Manager, Editor, and Much More

  1. Bill

    I might try this program, but I think that it should have been mentioned that this is a 275 MB download for Win 64 bit. I found this out by checking all downloads.

  2. D.

    I just wanted to come back and say the more I use this program the more I like it. You have to take the time and go through it. You can not be in a hurry. I see what you are saying. I came close to uninstalling it. I thought I don’t need all of this. Then again you don’t have to use everything but just what you need. The customization I think is very good if you take your time and keep going through it. It is there. It really is a good program if given the chance.


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