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Recently I have stumbled upon digiKam software which internally uses LibRaw library as a raw conversion engine.

I have tried to convert one of the images I have using digiKam with all conversion settings disabled/set to default (i.e. gamma 1.0, no auto brightness, camera WB, no exposure correction) and only I have an input a custom ICC profile and output color space set to AdobeRGB. The output looks like this.

However, when I do "almost" the same using LibRaw library from the command line (dcraw_emu.exe) which is compiled already with LCMS I get totally different results (https://imgur.com/a/bKtVuXZ) where colors are not as bright and shiny as they look in digiKam's output.

The parameters I used for LibRaw are (-4 -T -w -p custom.icc -o AdobeRGB.icc -o 0) which are supposed to match the default settings of digiKam.

Any idea why LibRaw command output looks kind of washed-out and has different colors?

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Because it is software for photographers, DigiKam’s developers probably feel their defaults produce a better results than a straight pass through. They want to provide photographers with sensible defaults. Digikam is opinionated in regards to photography.

Because it is software for developers, Libraw’s developers have a different intent. They want to give developers full control. The library is opinionated in regards to software development.

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