just a few lines to let you know, that the project is not dead So in the last days I've worked on one important part of RAW processing, the demosaicing. Additional filters were added, and with these image quality can be improved.
Demosaicing is the part which creates from the Bayer pattern the actual image right at the beginning of the processing. This is important when it comes down to details, noise and sharpness (and of course artifacts ). We're mostly talking on pixel level here, so the differences are not that big (100% view in the 1:1 pipe). I've prepared two small losslessly compressed samples (the RAWs are kindly provided by imaging-resource, I took the ISO 100 and ISO 25600 shots). So just download the files yourself and play with the settings on the 1:1 pipe (otherwise the demosaicing filters won't affect the output) to see if you can get similar results with the current version without these algorithms Only settings on the camera tab are used, no additional sharpening or denoising, and no wavelet denoising on the RAW. Sure it is not perfect, but an improvement. You won't see the detail differences very often, because you really need fine structures for this, eg small patterns (moire areas) of fine bright hairs (like whiskers)... The differences in the noise on high ISO shots are far more prominant. Of course improved quality doesn't come for free, the calculation times are much higher, but it is still bearable with a modern multicore CPU, all of them are already parallelized (demosaicing of 10 MP on a Q6600 with very good quality and many refinement steps takes around 10 seconds). For more information, there is a nice comparison of demosaicing algorithms here. So, have fun to explore your RAW files for these fine structures and stay tuned for the next release