Apple today introduced Aperture 2, the next major release of its photo editing and management software with over 100 new features that make it faster, easier to use and more powerful. With a streamlined user interface and entirely new image processing engine, Aperture 2 also introduces new imaging tools for highlight recovery, color vibrancy, local contrast definition, soft-edged retouching, vignetting and RAW fine-tuning, and lets users directly post their portfolios on the .Mac Web Gallery for viewing on the web, iPhone, iPod touch and Apple TV. At a new low price of US$199, anyone can easily organize, edit and publish photos like a pro.
“Many of the most respected photographers on assignment all over the world trust Aperture to organize, edit and deliver their images,” said Rob Schoeben, Apple’s vice president of Applications Product Marketing, in the press release. “With its simpler interface and lower price, anyone can take full advantage of Aperture’s power.”
“At the end of the day, it’s all about the quality of the image,” said Sports Illustrated contributing photographer David Bergman, in the press release. “Even before I begin making adjustments, Aperture’s new RAW processing gives me better images with more visible detail and better color rendering than any other program I’ve tested.”
“I used to have so much stress about post-production on a shoot, having to juggle multiple applications to make sure they all worked,” said Bob Davis, PDN Top Knots Wedding Photographer 2007, in the press release. “With Aperture that’s no longer a factor. I can do everything all in one application.”
Featuring a new, easier user interface designed to be more intuitive and accessible, Aperture 2 now lets users navigate between Viewer and Browser modes with a single key command. Screen real estate is maximized for images with an all-in-one heads up display that allows users to toggle between library, metadata and adjustment controls in a single tabbed inspector. The All Projects view, modeled after iPhoto’s Events view, provides a poster photo for every project and the ability to quickly skim through the photos inside, and the integrated iPhoto® Browser offers direct access to all the events and images in the iPhoto library.
Performance has been enhanced in Aperture 2 so it’s faster to import, browse and search large volumes of images. Embedded previews let photographers caption, keyword and rate images as they are being imported, and with the ability to export images in the background, photographers can continue working while images are processed to JPEG, TIFF, PNG and PSD file formats. Quick Preview allows users to browse RAW images in rapid succession without having to wait for files to load, and the Aperture library database has been re-architected to provide fast project switching and near instantaneous search results, even when working with extremely large libraries of 500,000 images or more.
Aperture 2 delivers powerful new imaging tools for getting the most out of each photograph. Apple’s next-generation RAW image processing is at the core of Aperture 2 offering uncompromising image quality and precision controls that let users fine-tune the image profile for each of their cameras. New tools for improving and enhancing images include Recovery for pulling back “blown” highlights, Vibrancy for selectively boosting saturation without adversely affecting skin tones, Definition, which offers local contrast for adding clarity to images, Vignette & Devignette filters for providing professional visual effects and a true soft-edged Repair and Retouch brush for quickly and easily removing blemishes, cleaning up sensor dust and cloning away problem areas.
Aperture 2 works seamlessly with Mac OS X, iLife, iWork, .Mac and Apple print products, so any image in the Aperture library can be accessed directly from within other applications, such as iMovie, Keynote and Pages, and even from within Leopard Mail. Now with .Mac Web Gallery support, Aperture users can publish their photos once to view them on the web, iPhone, iPod touch and Apple TV. Books in Aperture 2 feature new theme designs, layout tools, customized dust jackets (including full-bleed) and foil stamped covers.
Aperture 2 is available immediately for a suggested retail price of US$199 through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. Owners of previous versions of Aperture can upgrade to Aperture 2 for just $99.
More info about Apple’s new Aperture 2 here.