Apple introduces Aperture, first all-in-one post production tool for photographers

Apple today introduced Aperture, the first all-in-one post production tool that provides everything photographers need after the shoot. Aperture offers an advanced and incredibly fast RAW workflow that makes working with a camera’s RAW images as easy as JPEG. Built from the ground up for pros, Aperture features powerful compare and select tools, nondestructive image processing, color managed printing and custom web and book publishing.

“Aperture is to professional photography what Final Cut Pro is to filmmaking,” said Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of Applications Marketing in the press release. “Finally, an innovative post production tool that revolutionizes the pro photo workflow from compare and select to retouching to output.”

“Until now, RAW files have taken so long to work with,” said Heinz Kluetmeier, renowned sports photographer whose credits include over 100 Sports Illustrated covers, in the press release. “What amazed me about Aperture is that you can work directly with RAW files, you can loupe and stack them and it’s almost instantaneous — I suspect that I’m going to stop shooting JPEGs. Aperture just blew me away.”

Unique compare and select tools in Aperture allow photographers to easily sift through massive photo projects and quickly identify their final selections. Aperture is the first application that automatically groups sequences of photos into easy-to-manage Stacks based on the time interval between exposures. In an industry first, Aperture allows photographers to navigate through entire projects in a full-screen workspace that can be extended to span multiple displays, tiling multiple images side-by-side for a faster, easier compare and select. With Aperture’s Loupe magnifying tool, portions of images can be examined in fine detail without having to zoom and pan across large files. In addition, a virtual Light Table provides the ideal canvas for building simple photo layouts, allowing them to be arranged, resized and piled together in a free-form space.

RAW images are maintained natively throughout Aperture without any intermediate conversion process, and can be retouched with stunning results using a suite of adjustment tools designed especially for photographers. Aperture’s nondestructive image processing engine never alters a single pixel of original photos so photographers have the power and flexibility to modify or delete changes at any point in the workflow. As Aperture allows users to create multiple versions of a single image without duplicating files, photographers can experiment without risk of overwriting the master image or using up large amounts of hard drive space. Aperture images can also be launched directly into Adobe Photoshop for compositing and layer effects.

Aperture features a complete color-managed pipeline with support for device specific ColorSync profiles and a set of high-quality output tools for photographers to showcase their work. Print options include customizable contact sheets, high-quality local printing and color-managed online prints. Aperture provides a deceptively simple layout environment where photographers can quickly create and order custom professional-caliber books and publish stunning web galleries. Aperture makes it easy to back up an entire library of images with a single click and streamline complex workflows with AppleScript and Automator actions.

Aperture will be available in November through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $499 (US).

Full system requirements and more information on Aperture can be found at


  1. I seriously doubt that it can compare with C1 which is the best professional tool for RAW conversion. The speed and accuracy of C1 is something that Adobe just can’t match. I’m interested in seeing the demo.

    BTW, how can Aperture bee a Pro app if it doesn’t support all of the Pro DSLR cameras? I don’t see RAW support for the 1D or the 1DsmkII. It might be close but it’s not quite ready for prime time.

  2. Interestingly, according the the minimum specs listed on Apple’s Aperture page, the new G5’s graphics card (the NVidia 6600) doesn’t meet the minimum specs for use with Aperture. Also, the only G5 upgrade offered for a graphics card is a $1650 bump to the NVidia Quadro FX 4500.

    Wow. You’d think that if you dropped $3300 on a computer, I’d meet minimum specs for a photo program, even a pro level one.

  3. I justs watched the tour and that is a very slick app. $500 is a little much for me but if some of those features make it into iPhoto 06 i will be a very happy camper.

    The 2 I would most like to see would be the
    – Versioning. Since in the current iPhoto if i crop a pic for my web site after making some corrections then if I do the whole revert ot original I am screwed becuase I lose my corrections.
    – The magnifying glass. THat is just fricken slick.
    – Speed. that app flies

  4. “Interestingly, according the the minimum specs listed on Apple’s Aperture page, the new G5’s graphics card (the NVidia 6600) doesn’t meet the minimum specs for use with Aperture.”

    You’re right. However, seeing how a Radeon 9600 is supported, I wouldn’t be surprised if the 6600 will also work. I think that the 6600 was just looked over.

  5. niche, you clearly don’t understand… not to mention that 500 bucks is not a lot to shell out on a commercial business level… this isn’t meant to be used by the average home user.

    Do you know the revenue Apple will get on this application from such companies as Playboy, National Geographic, and Sports Illustrated Magazine?

  6. Aperture is a very slick app for photo pros. I’ve gone thru the tours and I am amazed. Needs a good PowerMac and graphics, but it’s really a well designed app. This makes me hopeful for 2006. Come new year and the new iLife ’06 will blow your breath away. It will have many ‘BOOM’ features. Apple now has complete Video/Film, Audio/Music, and Photo tools. Now we need an Apple design/paint app. Apple could make it work.

  7. MacNut: You’re probably right, but it seems odd that the one that they mistakenly “left off” was the one that they include with all of their pro-level systems (obviously what the program was meant to run on).

    It also seems odd that the only available graphics upgrade is nearly equal to the cost ($1650) of the lower-end PowerMac. I wonder why they didn’t offer a less expensive upgrade to the NVidia 6800 or 7800 (which are officially supported by Aperture) or even the ATi X800 or X850. Seems wierd to me. Maybe these upgrade options will come later

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