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macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Popular photo editing app Darkroom received a significant update over the weekend, introducing major under-the-hood changes to the rendering engine that should bring dramatically improved performance, stability, and reliability.

The substantial rebuild has touched over 50 percent of the app's code, so while the update doesn't bring any new features, the developers say that every existing feature is better and faster as a result of the changes.


First up, the new depth engine should provide much more accurate blur rendering results that are on a par with Apple's Photos app.
Now when you open a Portrait photo, we match the simulated aperture that the photo was captured by, and when available, we use the same blend of available depth images to provide a very high quality editable Portrait image that the system camera does.
In addition, a year-long reworking of the entire RAW editing feature has also been undertaken that should provide a faster, smoother, and more stable experience across all platforms.

The revamp has also made the transition into and out-of RAW images much lighter and more smooth, improved the performance of all editing operations, and added support for pixel-level zoom on all RAW images.

Other improvements in this update include a 5x increase in the zoom range that enables more efficient spot checking of smaller image regions, improved photo grid performance including the use of higher quality thumbnails, and an altogether more responsive app interface.

Darkroom is available on the App Store for the iPhone and iPad. The app's subscription-based model is set at $3.99 per month or $19.99 per year. A one-time $49.99 purchase option is also available.

Article Link: Darkroom Photo Editing App Rebuild Promises Major Performance Improvements
Last edited:


macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2009
The substantial rebuild has touched over 50 percent of the app's code, so while the update doesn't bring any new features, the developers say that every existing feature is better and feaster as a result of the changes.

Although every feature must be "feaster" (sic) now, why couldn't it be "beater"? :p


macrumors member
Sep 26, 2017
I downloaded and had a look. Basically functionality is free so you can adjust exposure etc. in the same way as you would in ACR for LightRoom or PhotoShop. So off to a good start, though there's no immediately visible ability to check for clipped highlights or shadows.

Sadly then I was asked to pay for the ability to adjust a tone curve so in the bin it went. A real shame as it looks promising, I'm just not willing to pay money to try out what to me is a pretty key function of photo editing. That's no criticism of the vendor BTW, just a statement of fact.


macrumors 6502a
Nov 22, 2011
Strasbourg, France
while the update doesn't bring any new features
Gosh, this is such a rookie developer thing to do - rewrite existing code and think that it would be a good enough reason to make people pay for the app again.
Darkroom was just fine before - that's why I paid for it! Yet now the subscription is offered for an app with no new features!?!


macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2011
I've used this app for a long time so I don't have to subscribe to it but I do hate how so many apps are becoming subscription based.
Utterly annoying.
If it wasn't for the fact that I bought it a long time ago I would get something else, something where I'm not forced to pay for a subscription.
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