Apple releases Aperture 1.1 for $299; free update for early adopters of Aperture plus $200 coupon

Apple today released Aperture 1.1, a significant update to the revolutionary all-in-one post production tool for photographers that runs natively on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs. Aperture 1.1 features dramatically improved RAW image rendering and a new set of advanced RAW adjustment controls. Aperture 1.1 also delivers impressive speed gains on any Mac including desktop performance on a MacBook Pro* with image adjustments and searching up to 4x faster. At a new lower price of $299, Apple is putting Aperture within reach of anyone shooting with a digital SLR camera.

“Since Aperture launched just over four months ago, we’ve been incredibly focused on improving image quality and performance, working closely with pro photographers to get it right in 1.1,” said Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of Applications Marketing in the press release. “With the RAW quality and overall speed of Aperture 1.1 and its new low price, there’s never been a better time for pros and hobbyists alike to take the art and craft of photography to the next level.”

“I love the fact that you can save RAW adjustments in Aperture 1.1 and use those settings on future jobs,” said Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet who recently used Aperture to capture Olympic images from Torino for The New York Times in the press release. “In the past, sending a selection of photos to clients for approval could take hours to import, edit down, resize, tone and deliver. With Aperture, I can do all of this in five minutes. Aperture has become the core application for me.”

“The controls for working with black and white film in Aperture 1.1 are staggering—much more powerful than a wet darkroom,” said John Stanmeyer, co-founding member of the VII Photo Agency and a contract photographer with Time Magazine in the press release. “There are times when I’m working with Aperture that I’m about to burst through my skin with excitement at its potential. There’s no doubt Aperture will become the key tool for photographers.”

RAW image rendering in Aperture 1.1 is greatly improved in areas such as noise reduction, sharpening, and highlight recovery. New RAW Fine Tuning controls allow photographers to tweak decode settings such as boost, sharpening and chroma blur. A new built-in color meter displays pixel values in RGB, Lab or CMYK in the Adjustments HUD (heads up display) or in Aperture’s Loupe magnifying viewer. Enhanced export controls make it easier to output images at specific resolutions and improve the handling of layered Photoshop files. Aperture 1.1 offers support for the Nikon D200 and Canon 30D, as well as dozens of reliability and performance improvements.

Aperture 1.1 delivers significant performance gains on both PowerPC-based and the new Intel-based Macs providing photographers with desktop level experience on the new MacBook Pro and delivering a powerful entry-level photography workstation on the new Intel-based iMac. Performance tests on a MacBook Pro have shown that common repetitive workflow tasks such as Lift and Stamp and searching are processed up to 4x faster on a MacBook Pro than on a PowerBook G4.

In addition to enhanced compatibility, Aperture 1.1 also provides a variety of significant performance and feature enhancements. These include:

Improved RAW Image Quality: Aperture 1.1 provides new, improved RAW decode algorithms that deliver next-generation RAW image handling. Thanks to the improved default rendering of RAW images from supported cameras, Aperture 1.1 yields significantly better image quality, results you’ll see in such areas as noise reduction, sharpening, and highlight recovery. In short, RAW images have never looked better than they do in Aperture 1.1. In order to maintain the image integrity of the existing photos in your Aperture library, Aperture 1.1 gives you the ability to retain the original 1.0 RAW decode. Or, if you prefer, you can selectively migrate images to the new 1.1 RAW decode.

RAW Fine Tuning: When you render images using RAW decode version 1.1, you’ll also gain access to an entirely new set of RAW Fine Tuning controls available in the Adjustments HUD allowing you to tweak decode settings. These include:
• Boost, which lets you intensify or reduce image contrast
• Sharpening, which lets you either dial in the amount of sharpening you’d prefer to see applied to images in the RAW decode process or turn off sharpening altogether
• Chroma Blur, which lets you soften chroma noise by blurring color artifacts resulting from camera sensor noise
Using these fine tuning controls, you can tweak settings on an image-by-image basis, in effect creating a camera-based RAW decode profile on the fly. What’s more, Aperture 1.1 lets you save your customized decode adjustments as a camera default, so they can be easily applied to newly imported images.

Auto Noise Compensation: Designed specifically to deal with noisy images resulting from high ISO or long exposures, Aperture 1.1’s new Auto Noise Compensation option automatically applies the optimal settings for noise reduction to your image. A real time-saver, Auto Noise Compensation takes into account the unique noise characteristics of each camera and dials in the optimal settings to produce a high-quality result.

New Color Meter: Aperture 1.1 includes a built-in color meter you can use to sample the pixel values anywhere in an image and display them in RGB, LAB, or CMYK. Particularly useful when fine-tuning image exposure, color balance, and brightness parameters, you can use the color meter anywhere in Aperture — while editing, adjusting, arranging images on a Light Table, or laying out a book. In Aperture 1.1, you can display color values at any time in the Adjustments HUD or opt to display them right in the Loupe.

Enhanced Export Controls: In Aperture 1.1 the Export Versions command now includes a “Fit Within (Inches)” option and allows you to specify a resolution in dots-per-inch (dpi) for exported images, making it easier to output images at exactly the size you want. In addition, you can also specify the default dpi for images you’d like to open in an external editor. If, for example, you regularly open images for layering effects in Adobe Photoshop, you can now specify that Photoshop open them at 300 dpi (or another dpi of your choosing).

Dozens of Other Improvements: In addition to all of the above, Aperture 1.1 also offers dozens of additional reliability and performance improvements in such areas as image export, metadata handling, onscreen proofing, histogram, cropping, printing, web output, Query HUD, and others. You’ll find performance improvements particularly noticeable in keyword searching and when using the Lift & Stamp tool. Finally, for those of you who use Aperture hand-in-hand with Photoshop, you’ll appreciate improved handling of layered Photoshop files. Aperture 1.1 now allows you to manage layered Photoshop files without having to needlessly create additional flattened versions.

Aperture 1.1 is available immediately as a free Software Update to current Aperture 1.0 customers. In addition, early adopters of Aperture 1.0 can claim a US$200 coupon redeemable at the Apple Online Store by visiting http://www.apple.com/promo/aperture/ as a thank you for their support. Aperture 1.1 is available to order for new customers for a suggested retail price of $299 through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers.

* Performance tests on a MacBook Pro have shown that common repetitive workflow tasks such as Lift and Stamp and searching are processed up to 4x faster on a MacBook Pro with 2.16 GHz Intel Core Duo than a 15-inch PowerBook G4 with 1.67 GHz Power PC.

Find out more about Aperture 1.1 here.

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21 Comments

  1. dont wanna burst your bubble stunned but microsoft gave me £100 when they lowered the price of xbox in uk (for new adopters) though i had taken it back to the shop by then, dont tell (i bought a gamecube with the money haha)

  2. Somebody pass me some kool-aid so I can get started.

    We’re all out dude, you might have to take a trip to Redmond and get a new stash ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  3. If you have been following Adobe’s attempt at catching up with a public beta of LightRoom… Apple is amazing.

    Aperture supports Photoshop Layers… but not Adobe LightRoom
    Aperture supports cloning… but not Adobe LightRoom
    Aperture supports 2 screens… but not Adobe LightRoom
    Aperture has a free form light table… but not Adobe LightRoom
    Aperture is shipping… but not Adobe LightRoom

  4. Before everyone starts gulping the iKool-Aid, I just bought Apple Remote Desktop about 3 weeks ago and ARD3 came out this week. I tried calling and getting and upgrade price, coupon or something and everyone at Apple said sorry, you will just have to pay another $500!!!!!

  5. “Aperture supports Photoshop Layers… but not Adobe LightRoom
    Aperture supports cloning… but not Adobe LightRoom
    Aperture supports 2 screens… but not Adobe LightRoom
    Aperture has a free form light table… but not Adobe LightRoom
    Aperture is shipping… but not Adobe LightRoom”

    Yea but Adobe professional graphics programs not only work efficiently but they also tend to be almost bug free.
    Apperture is in No way a product for professionals. If you make your living with a camera, Aperture is not the way to go. In my opinion, it was just another piece of Apple’s over-priced, not ready for time, beta software.
    Feel free to flame away but I tried using it for weeks in my business and I’ll take Adobe anytime over Aperture.

  6. “Mmmm…while Adobe takes a nap for about a year, Apple makes hay in the sunshine.”

    That may be a little extreme. At least Lightroom was released as a FREE Beta, and it’s very useful even in this form. I’d like to try Aperture, but I don’t need it badly enough to pay even $299. Still, I give Apple a lot of credit for dropping the price and offering the coupon. Competition is a good thing.

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