A closer look at the Exposure tab shows how this section has changed. On the left the Exposure module of ART, on the right the one of RawTherapee.
ART adds two new modules too, a Tone Equalizer and a Log Tone Mapper. Both work very nice.
The Tone Equalizer is quite self-explaining, but that's not directly the case with the Log Tone Mapper - because what's Log Tone Mapping, and especially that 'Log' part? A word to the developer revealed that this is "essentially a poor man’s version of the filmic [module] of Darktable (minus the 'look' tab, which you can do yourself by using the tone curve)."
Okay, I'm familiar with Filmic RGB (a great tool btw), so let's give it a try.
I open the following raw, taken in Marseille, France, with a Sigma 10-20. Neutral profile.
Now I enable Log Tone Mapping. Apparently it tries to do some kind of an auto exposure, as the first three sliders change position. Of course you can manually fine-tune this first result.
That gives this.
Now a bit more of contrast, in Tone Curves.
As the last step I use the Tone Equalizer and that results in this.
Okay, my first impressions of these new exposure tools in ART are good. They seem to do their job and with a little - I said little - effort you can easily surpass the results of the Auto-matched tone curve. And that's a good thing, as editing your photos manually gives nearly always better results than to let the software decide what might be good for you.
Just to compare, here is the same photo with the Auto-matched tone curve applied (left), and the out-of-camera jpg.