To get the best results out of your digital camera, it is recommended to record your pictures in RAW format.This format is specific to a camera and cannot be read directly by image editing applications.
dlRaw is an open-source program to read and 'develop' RAW images from most digital cameras.It reads raw images using a modified version of Dave Coffin 's raw conversion utility DCRaw.
dlRaw will convert your RAW files into JPEG, TIFF, PNG or PPM images. JPEG or PNG is a standard format to view, print and share your images. PPM or TIFF is a representation of your image suited for further processing, for instance in The Gimp.
dlRaw has a GUI to open a RAW file and experiment interactively with the controls. That way you can see how different settings influence the image. The so obtained image can be written or the settings can be stored in a 'job ' file. This job file is used by a command-line oriented batch mode to develop a set of RAW files.