Apple releases Aperture 3; Over 200 new features, including Faces, Places and Brushes

Apple today introduced Aperture 3, the next major release of its powerful photo editing and management software, with over 200 new features including Faces, Places and Brushes. Building on the innovative Faces and Places features introduced in iPhoto® ’09, Aperture 3 makes it even easier and faster to organize large photo libraries. Aperture 3 introduces new tools to refine your photos including Brushes for painting image adjustments onto parts of your photo, and Adjustment Presets for applying professional photo effects with just one click. Stunning new slideshows let you share your work by weaving together photos, audio, text and HD video.

“Millions of people love using iPhoto to organize, edit and share their digital photos,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing, in the press release. “Aperture 3 is designed for both professionals who edit and manage massive libraries of photos and iPhoto users who want to take their photos further with easy-to-use tools such as Brushes and Adjustment Presets.”

“Aperture 3 gets it right,” said National Geographic photographer, Jim Richardson in the press release. “The image editing tools are exactly what I have been asking for, they’re so easy to use and give me a level of control that I never even thought possible.”

“I chose Aperture because it was the most powerful archiving application around, but it’s now an unbelievable imaging tool as well,” said Bill Frakes, Sports Illustrated staff photographer, in the press release. “I am beyond impressed with the massive changes made in Aperture 3.”

Aperture 3 allows you to organize large photo libraries with even more flexibility using Projects and the new Faces and Places. Faces uses face detection and recognition to find and organize your photos by the people in them. You can view faces across your entire photo library or view just the faces that appear in selected projects. In a new view that speeds up the organization process, Aperture 3 displays faces that have been detected but haven’t yet been named. Places lets you explore your photos based on where they were taken, and like in iPhoto, Places automatically reverse geocodes GPS data into user-friendly locations. In Aperture 3, you can assign locations by dragging-and-dropping photos onto a map or by using location information from GPS enabled cameras, tracking devices or your iPhone photos.

The new Brushes feature allows you to add professional touches to your photos by simply painting effects onto the image. Aperture 3 includes 15 Quick Brushes that perform the most popular tasks like Dodge, Burn, Polarize and Blur, without the complexity of layers or masks. Brushes can automatically detect edges in your images to let you apply or remove effects exactly where you want them. Aperture 3 includes dozens of Adjustment Presets that apply a specific style or look to the entire image with just a click. You can create your own custom presets or explore the techniques of other photographers by importing theirs.

Aperture 3 makes it easy to share your work with stunning slideshows that weave together photos, audio, text and HD video. You can select one of six Apple designed themes or choose your own transitions, background, borders and titles, and even add your own soundtrack. You can export your slideshows directly to iTunes to take with you on your iPhone or iPod touch®. You can also share photographs as beautiful prints, create custom-designed hardcover books and publish to online photo sharing sites like Facebook and Flickr, right from Aperture 3.

Aperture 3 is available through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) and existing Aperture users can upgrade for a suggested retail price of $99 (US). A downloadable 30-day trial version is available at Aperture 3 runs as a 64-bit application on Mac OS X Snow Leopard on Macs with Intel Core 2 Duo processors. Full system requirements, online tutorials and more information on Aperture 3 can be found at


  1. I’ll check it out but I’ve found Capture One to be the best RAW program out there. I know there’s more to Aperture then converting RAW files but I haven’t found a need for a program to do more then that. For what little I need after converting my older version of PS does fine.

  2. Ok… now some clever developer needs to come up with a credible alternative for pshop (for professionals) and then Adobe can crawl into a hole dragging their bloated buggy software with them and die (preferably sooner than later)

    And please do not respond with Pixelmator, Painter or Gimp, while nice, they are not Pshp alternatives for professional editing (and although the pro market is a minor fraction of the overall market, where it leads, the prosumer and by extension the consumer market will follow.)

  3. Aperture 3, yeah, I just saw it too…

    iPad, I’ll wait for v2, I want the camera and telephony capabilities. We knew the camera was coming (thanks MDN for the heads-up from Mission Repair) and I figure the cell phone will as well. It will be a great device for the professional that has to deal with conference calls and the business traveler alike. True, Apple typically aims for the average consumer, but with those features, college students (a big demographic of Apple’s) will also want to be able to use it too. I’m thinking v2 will also include iChat AV…


  4. Hmmmm.
    99 dollar upgrade? I purchased Aperture with my new iMac in November. I was stunned to find out what little use beyond that of iPhoto that it was to me. I actually had to purchase Elements 8 to supplement its functionality.
    Snow Leopard was a 29 dollar upgrade. . . . Frankly, I’m feeling a bit soiled.

  5. AppleJack ,
    Are you serious or just another apple hating win trolltroll?

    Snow leopard for $29 was a gift

    A major upgrade for a pro/prosumer level app (like Aperture) is $99 and you are complaining????

    Compared with Adobe CS or MicroSoft upgrade pricing?

    Are you for real????

    I think you are either incredibly naive about the cost of software or a troll…

  6. After watching the videos on the improvements, the $99 upgrade is a no-brainer. I’ll definitely get a lot of bang for the buck.

    They didn’t just make a few minor changes. This looks like a major overhaul and it looks very well thought out and executed. More really useful tools in the box. Once I learn how to make full use of them my life will be a little easier.

  7. Lightroom is so entrenched in the professional sector, it will take a monster leap for Aperture to challenge. I admire Apple for being first with the concept, and although LR is Adobe’s copy of Aperture, it surpasses. Upgrades to Aperture have been slow in coming, while LR has been rapidly developed. As an Apple admirer I wish Aperture would retake the lead. I’ll study this new release. Most of my contemporaries are hardened LR users, even though we all use Apple hardware (In theory, there may be windows pro photographers, but in my long career I have never actually met one.).

  8. Gee UFN!

    I just paid $199 for Aperture, $79 for Elements and $79 for iWork just a few weeks ago. Now I have to pay another $99 to get full functionality of Aperture? . . . And like I said, I don’t find Aperture that useful, no matter how good the software is.

    Yes! . . . I feel a bit used!

  9. Been waiting patiently for this, so glad to see it! I just was never comfortable with iPhoto, and Aperture has been great. Once in a while need to fly into P-S, but mostly Aperture does everything I need, the file management particularly is great.

    Tech Specs show only Intel processors. We’ll have to wait and see if it will run on a G5.

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