NY TImes: Apple’s Aperture 2.0 offers advantages for amateurs and pros

Apple Store“Aperture, Apple’s photo management and editing software, was originally intended as a professional alternative to iPhoto,” Ian Austen reports for The New York Times.

“But since it was released about 18 months ago, a large number of Aperture buyers have been amateur photographers with digital single-lens reflex cameras who want more sophisticated controls,” Austen reports.

“Aperture 2.0, a major revision of the program, offers advantages for the amateur and the pro,” Austen reports.

Full article here.


  1. I used to be an Aperture believer… but it’s no speed demon when compared to Adobe Lightroom… I mean, I LOVED Aperture’s UI, but sorry, the speed is just not cutting it for me (even with 2.0, it’s lacking in so many ways in performance).

  2. Aperture is great for amateurs with nice cameras.

    It’s not up to the task of functioning in a production environment. Sorry, just my opinion, but Lightroom gets the job done faster and the interface and hotkeys quickly become second nature to a Photoshop user.

  3. C1 – Are you an actual working professional photographer?

    As a professional event photographer shooting thousands of images in a week, I find Aperture to be the perfect tool for my production environment. My business partner switched from LR for Aperture’s better organizing tools, faster (yes, faster!) image review, book layout feature, and the ability to work collaboratively on multiple Macs by exporting and importing entire projects. I don’t understand people’s speed comments. While Aperture can be brought to a crawl with extensive retouching, it actually renders images faster than LR on our G5 towers and Macbook Pros, which makes culling and ranking images faster than in LR. Full-screen mode is much handier, too, which is a great help when working on location on a 15″ MBP screen. Too, dual-monitor support is a godsend.

    I think it’s LR that’s more appropriate for amateurs who don’t need Aperture’s powerful organizing and editing tools for high-volume work, people who shoot a handful of images and like to futz with them ad nauseum. For futzing, I’d rather go into Photoshop, which is a snap with Aperture. Aperture was clearly designed from the ground up for pros who shoot tons of images. LR is for tweakers. Aperture is for busy pros managing tens or hundreds of thousands of images.

    Aperture’s v2.0 RAW engine is greatly improved, with better color and much improved noise reduction. The new adjustment tools largely close the gap with LR, and the Retouching brush is actually better than Adobe’s Healing Brush. And, the new adjustment plugin architecture opens a whole new world of opportunities for third-party tools. Alien Skin has already expressed interest in developing Aperture versions of their products. Can lens distortion correction tools be far off? How about a Lightzone plugin? That would be awesome.

    Aperture 2.0 is a great product for pros and about to become a whole lot more powerful.

  4. I don’t use Aperture, but hasn’t v2 improved the product quite a bit? My understanding was that it’s performance is now on par with Lightroom. I’d be interested to hear from those who have used both of the latest versions.

  5. I much prefer Aperture to LR but it’s unusable at the moment. Hasn’t anyone else noticed the elephant in the room? The thing SOFTENS ALL YOUR IMAGES!! I suspect Leopard is the culprit actually or whatever engine Aperture uses to process the images as the same problem exists for all Apple imaging apps including iWeb. Do a search on the Apple Aperture discussions under “soft”.

  6. @ Majikthize
    “C1 – Are you an actual working professional photographer?”

    Calm down. I believe I said “just my opinion”.

    I shoot thousands of images a month. But you’re right, I probably don’t know what I’m talking about. For more references, please take a look at Getty Images, Wizards of the Coast, the Photoshop CS3 splash screen, and this site – http://chrissyone.com/

    Then eat me.

  7. @Chrissy
    If you prefer LR, say so and say why. I prefer Aperture, and I said why. Blanket assertions that Aperture is “not up to the task of functioning in a production environment” are too broad to have any credibility. There are just too many different needs out there. I know plenty of pros who find that Aperture is just what they need in their production environment. You might want to look at the Aperture section of Apple’s website and see the big names who use it before you write it off for everyone.

    BTW, what have Getty Images, Wizards of the Coast and the PSCS3 splash screen got to do with anything?

    Aperture 2.0 renders files from my Canon 10D, 1D, 1Ds and 40D cleaner and sharper than v1.5.6 – truly excellent. I just did a test export and saw none of the alleged “softness”. In fact, with light Edge Sharpening, it looked better than an older version I had run through PhotoKit Sharpener in PS for a 20″x30″ print.

  8. @ChrissyOne
    It sounds like you’re the one who needs to lighten up.
    I was showing a friend the softness problem and it miraculously seems to have disappeared. I installed the iPhoto update but that’s the only difference to my system. Another guy on the apple discussions says he no longer has that problem either. If you use the straighten tool in Aperture the image looks horrible (soft) in the Aperture window but now exports OK. Let me know if yours does the same.

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