MacInTouch Reader Reports

Photography: Applications

Sep. 28, 2010
Oct. 1, 2010
Oct. 2, 2010
Oct. 4, 2010
Oct. 5, 2010
Oct. 6, 2010
Oct. 7, 2010
Jan. 8, 2011
Jan. 10, 2011
Jan. 12, 2011
Jan. 13, 2011
Jan. 14, 2011
Jan. 15, 2011
Jan. 17, 2011
Jan. 18, 2011
Jan. 20, 2011
Jan. 21, 2011
Jan. 22, 2011
Jan. 24, 2011

Newer entries...
Sep. 28, 2010

item.121801

W. Keith McManus

This may be of interest to digital photographers reading MacInTouch.

http://www.acdsee.com/offers/proformac/

ACDSee Pro for Mac provides photographers with a fast, flexible workflow platform built from the ground up for the Mac operating system. ACDSee Pro for Mac, Beta 1.3, is currently available for public beta testing.

Oct. 1, 2010

item.122031

MacInTouch Reader

Finally.

The eminently versatile , venerable but kludgy Graphic Converter has been modernized, fully rewritten in Cocoa , and released as version 7.0 as of October 1. The first major overhaul in my Mac lifeftime.

Upgrade price is $ 25.95 US , and Full Version is $ 39.95

This is Aperture and Lightroom for the rest of us, and does many things those programs ( or Photoshop for that matter) won't even attempt, or can't. A real pot sweetener for me is the GPS/Geotagging feature set now renders as mapping.

Find out more at: www.lemkesoft.com

- I'm not a spokesperson , just a hugely satisified user of GC since version 3.x and Mac OS-7 days. This is the most useful, cost effective application ever written for the Mac, IMHO, and Thorston Lemke's support for registered owners is second to none.

Oct. 2, 2010

item.122046

Skot Nelson

Re:

"ACDSee Pro for Mac provides photographers with a fast, flexible workflow platform built from the ground up for the Mac operating system."

ACDSee was Windows-only when it was first released. Don't fall for the marketing speak.

item.122056

Douglas Watson

Second that. Graphic Converter is the only 3d-party application that I have kept and used all the way back to OS 9 days. (Maybe even OS 8, is that possible?)

item.122076

John Grout

Since I use GraphicConverter mostly to collect, compress and display images, my experience with GC Version 7 has been extremely negative: the handling of open images (e.g. rearrangement, changing focus between, contextual menus) has been gutted, slide shows have been radically dumbed down... I could go on and on. Unlike GC Version 6, there are no customized versions... no Intel-only, no English-only... just a huge universal binary.

From what I can tell, this version is not so much a paid beta ala Microsoft but a new... and, so far, significantly inferior... program with the same name. After Dantz was acquired by a larger firm, Retrospect went through that... and there have been other examples involving Apple and others.

I will uninstall GC 7, go back to GC 6 and write off the money I spent on the upgrade as a warning to download and try new versions of programs no matter *how* positive an experience I have had with prior versions.

Oct. 4, 2010

item.122106

Eric Godfrey

John Grout wrote:

My experience with GC Version 7 has been extremely negative: the handling of open images (e.g. rearrangement, changing focus between, contextual menus) has been gutted, slide shows have been radically dumbed down..."

He's right. I did try out GC 7 last night (luckily I didn't upgrade); I rely on GC mainly for slide shows to display my large captioned still photo collection. Most of the extensive and flexible slide show options in GC 6 have disappeared, and the slide show does not display captions, which renders it useless for me. Even the browser, which is touted as a new interface, is not IMHO significantly improved; I actually prefer the GC 6 browser and saw nothing wrong with it.

However . . .

I'm a long-time loyal GC user, and Thorsten Lemke has always provided A++ customer support; he's even added a couple of features at my request/suggestion (see below). So I e-mailed him my complaints last night and got the following answer 13 minutes later (that's what I mean about support); I haven't asked his permission, but I don't think he will mind my quoting his reply verbatim:

"Yes, I have to add a lot of slideshow features. GC7 frontend is a complete new development. It was not possible to use the old code."

So I guess we just have to be patient, maybe treat GC 7 as a beta, and assume that he will come through for users as he has in the past. Meanwhile I too am sticking with GC 6.

Bonus for reading this far: Lemke added the following neat but I think undocumented feature to GC 6 at my suggestion. When running a slide show with captions using GC "Comment", you can toggle the comments on and off simply be pressing the 'c' key. Very helpful since comments slightly reduce the size of the displayed image, and you don't always need to show them.

item.122118

Photo Tim

I'm afraid I have to agree with John Grout on GC7 dumbing down. Although if you read the reviews on the 'update' site you see people are gushing about the pretty, new, colorful, interface. I think the folks behind GC would have been much better off taking the existing 6.7.4 and creating a "Pro" version, then creating the newer 7 version for those that require appearance over all else.

item.122128

Samuel Herschbein

I love GraphicConverter and have been a very happy user for years.

IMHO version 7 is not ready for prime time. I use GraphicConverter a lot to create custom icons on image files. This functionality is broken in 7; I cannot get it to work (tried trashing prefs & reconfiguring).

I ended up going back to 6.

The developer (Thorsten Lemke) has been very responsive to issues, I'm hopeful 7 will be a lot better after a couple of bug fix revs.

item.122130

MacInTouch Reader

Keep your GC 7.0 anyway.
It can run alongside GC 6.x and live on the same hard drive and share resources. No reason to trash it. The first releases are always in need of improvement. Give it a chance , since you've already paid for it.

item.122152

MacInTouch Reader

John,

I understand that you aren't totally happy with GC7 and I agree with you that it needs more work.

Unfortunately to take advantage of Mac OS X technologies, some stuff was changed around, and I believe the person in charge will be working very hard to improve

- the interface
- the backend
- the productivity.

Keep the GC7 code around as it will be useful when GC7 gets up to par.

Secondly you can keep both GC6 & GC7 in the applications folder. Just rename GC6 "Graphic Converter 6" and copy GC7 over to the application folder.

Now you can use both versions.

item.122166

Roger S. Cohen

We must recognize and thank Thorsten Lemke for his long and excellent support of Macintosh software. I have been using GC for years, I think since System 6. (Macintosh operating systems were called "System n" then. Then didn't become "OS n" until OS X.)

That said, I'm not ready to use GC 7. It's missing many of the tried-and-true features I need, especially slide show in a window, rather than full-screen.

GC 7 crashed on first use, and sent Mr. Lemke a crash report. He replied in just a few minutes. The weird thing was that, while GC showed itself as having crashed, it was actually still running. I'm not complaining about GC 7 here, but it was the first time that GC crashed on me -- ever.

By email, I asked Mr. Lemke about windowed-mode for slide show. He indicated that it's in the plans, but not ready yet.

Oct. 5, 2010

item.122174

Kevin Lepard

Others are free to differ, but despite the limitations of GC7 compared to GC6, I went ahead and paid for the update.

With Mr. Lemke's track record, I'm willing to support him on faith for the $26 it cost me. The code is good for the entire life of GC7, and he isn't known for rushing to increment the major version releases.

Sure, I suppose I could end up wishing I hadn't, but I believe in supporting independent developers and I'd rather encourage and support a great developer with a long positive history of supporting the Mac. If I'm wrong, then I'll reconsider when GC8 is released, but IMO his track record makes getting the new version now a reasonable decision, even if I still need to fire up GC6 at times.

Sometimes to keep up and prepare for the future you have start over, and you lose a little ground in the features department. I'm guessing we'll all be way ahead again before GC8 comes out, and I put my money where my mouth is to help keep Mr. Lemke's fridge stocked so he can keep updates to GC coming.

item.122191

Gregory Weston

Roger S. Cohen writes:

"We must recognize and thank Thorsten Lemke for his long and excellent support of Macintosh software. I have been using GC for years, I think since System 6. (Macintosh operating systems were called "System n" then. Then didn't become "OS n" until OS X.)"

Nitpickery: Actually, prior to Mac OS X there were Mac OS 9, Mac OS 8 and Mac OS 7.6. The "System n" designation ended with 7.5.x and the advent of licensed clones.

item.122221

Slappy Horowitz

Waay off topic here, but someone mentioned GraphicConverter is their only app from the System x days. I still use several pre-OS X apps, although some were DAs or CDEVs and not apps:

DiskWarrior, DragThing, FileBuddy, HexEdit, Mathematica, MathType, MATLAB (left but came back), Excel, PowerPoint, Word, QuicKeys, Starry Night, Toast, and TypeIt4Me.

My oldest in continuous use: QuicKeys and Excel, with Word and Mathematica a close second -- all from last days of System 5 to early System 6.

Ah, the good old days when you could diagnose (and fix) that bad solder joint on the analog board of a Mac Plus/SE with a stiff whack on the left side of the machine, and software was small and (usually) fast.

Oct. 6, 2010

item.122259

Ken Cohen

[Re: pre-OS X applications]
Also - SpellCatcher (Thunder 7 early on), and Filemaker (before"Pro" was attached, even before Claris bought it).

Oct. 7, 2010

item.122305

David Byrum

Kevin Lepard said:

With Mr. Lemke's track record, I'm willing to support him on faith for the $26 it cost me. The code is good for the entire life of GC7, and he isn't known for rushing to increment the major version releases.

I wholeheartedly agree with Mr Lepard's comments and thank him for stating them so well. Quality Mac software by quality Mac software developers is to be supported and I believe should be given a bit of slack when they introduce new products.

Jan. 8, 2011

item.127359

Derek L

Apple has lowered Aperture's price to $80 via the Mac App Store (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/aperture/id408981426?mt=12). It's been a bit less expensive than its primary competitor, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, for a while, but it's now less than a third of what Lightroom costs on Amazon. I wonder how Adobe will respond?

Jan. 10, 2011

item.127397

David Swift

The $80 Aperture caught my eye. Good way to create buzz about MacApp store. Other thoughts:

-- It's smart money to get customers to buy into an app that periodically demands a paid upgrade. (I wonder how people will feel about a $99 upgrade to an $80 app.)

-- I suspect that you can only run a MacAppStore purchase on the computer that bought it. If so, an $80 Aperture isn't such a good deal for the photog who uses multiple CPUs, especially at upgrade time.

-- If you're jonesing for Aperture, act now! I'm sure the $80 tag will vanish as quickly as it appeared.

item.127456

Leonard Smith

Why does Aperture 3 cost AU$99 in Australia, when 1AU$=1US$. Even with tax it should be AU$86.90?

item.127461

Graham Needham

David Swift wrote:

-- I suspect that you can only run a MacAppStore purchase on the computer that bought it. If so, an $80 Aperture isn't such a good deal for the photog who uses multiple CPUs, especially at upgrade time.

Not true. You can install a MacAppStore purchase on any number of Macs you own (yes, even more than the 5 device limit that the iOS store has). From the Ts&Cs:

"You may download and use an application from the Mac App Store for personal, non-commercial use on any Apple-branded products running Mac OS X that you own or control."

However, this is only true for "non-commercial users". There is a lot of debate about what commercial users can and can't do but the wording in the Ts&Cs is confusing, not clear and tends to refer to iOS rather than Mac OS in this regard?

item.127462

David Swift

re MacApp purchases: Oops. I am wrong.

Help doc says you can install an app on any computer that "you own." It has to pass through your Apple ID, is all.

item.127469

Scott Citron

Sometime over the past holiday season Adobe was briefly offering new copies of Lightroom for around $100 bucks. Maybe this current deal on Aperture is Apple's response? Regardless, even at full retail price, LR is a far better application than Aperture.

item.127472

Stephen Hart

David Swift wrote:

"-- I suspect that you can only run a MacAppStore purchase on the computer that bought it."

I believe I've read that Apple's stated terms allow you to run an App Store app on more than one Mac. That could differ from app to app, of course, just as it does with apps purchased the old-fashioned way.

item.127477

Robert Mohns

David Swift writes:

"-- I suspect that you can only run a MacAppStore purchase on the computer that bought it. If so, an $80 Aperture isn't such a good deal for the photog who uses multiple CPUs, especially at upgrade time."

This is incorrect. Mac App Store products are licensed either for:
* Non-commercial use: Every Mac and user in a household
* Commercial use: Either ONE user on any Mac that user owns, or ONE Mac with any user that sits down at it.

(For a readable interpretation of all the legalese in that link, see Macworld's Mac App Store Licensing FAQ.)

Whichever fits you, home or commercial user, Aperture 3 at $80 is a bargain!

item.127478

Ken Spencer

Aperture for $80? Yikes! I *just* bought it from Amazon for $159! It will be interesting to hear reader experiences about whether or not it will be installable on multiple computers at that price. I already own one license for Aperture, and the two installs are used on my MacPro and my MacBook Pro. I needed another copy for my new MacBook Air. I believe the blurb for the Mac App store said somewhere that the applications were usable on all our computers. Can't wait to hear how this plays out.

item.127480

MacInTouch Reader

David Swift wrote:

I suspect that you can only run a MacAppStore purchase on the computer that bought it. If so, an $80 Aperture isn't such a good deal for the photog who uses multiple CPUs, especially at upgrade time.

Actually, the Mac App Store T&C say:

You may download and use an application from the Mac App Store ("Mac App Store Product") for personal, non-commercial use on any Apple-branded products running Mac OS X that you own or control ("Mac Product").

(I'm ignoring, for the moment, the implications of "non-commercial use" for professional photographers....)

And along these lines, Aperture 3, even when purchased on DVD, will run on more than one machine on the same subnet simultaneously. Aperture 2 and earlier would only run on a single machine on the same subnet at a time.

Jan. 12, 2011

item.127525

Derek L

Scott Citron wrote,

"Regardless, even at full retail price, LR is a far better application than Aperture."

Ahah! I was waiting for someone to say this (or the opposite). Can you share your reasons for that preference? I'm still hemming and hawing about a raw photo management app, and cost is a less important factor than the pain of having to migrate from one to the other (especially since non-destructive edits can NOT be transferred). I'm used the Lr demo quite a bit and am just about to start playing with the Aperture demo (which is still available). However, I know some issues may not arise until one amasses a large library.

Jan. 13, 2011

item.127570

Mike Murphy

re: Aperture versus Lightroom

The main knock against Aperture when it released was that it required *lots* of CPU, making it not very satisfactory for photographers working in the field using laptops. LR ran speedily on laptops, and even more quickly on big desktop machines. For this reason, I chose LR. (This may no longer hold true, but having chosen LR, I find no need to consider Aperture.)

I've been using LR for three years now, and find that it will do about 90% of what many professional shooters need, using Camera Raw to apply tweaks to RAW files. LR makes it so easy to output any type of file from your tweaked RAW files that I no longer keep anything other than PSD or TIF files that I've labored over in Photoshop.

I also find the printing module of LR very worthwhile. Using a calibrated display and work environment, I can make perfect first prints every time; and can also send out a file to a professional lab and obtain the desired results on the first attempt.

The best manual I've found for Lightroom is here:

http://www.d-65.com/downloads.html

IF you can afford it, the 4-day D65 workshop is *well* worth the price of admission. It revolves around Lightroom, and covers all aspects of establishing a solid digital workflow that meets your needs. As a former photo editor, I ran across too many "photographers" that were clueless about how to get the best images from their digital cameras, hence my recommendation for the d65 "Lightroom bootcamp."

Whatever you do, though, don't neglect the importance of frequent backups, including an offsite backup.

item.127572

Gerry Curry

Scott Citron wrote,

"Regardless, even at full retail price, LR is a far better application than Aperture."

On the Windows platform there's no question, Lightroom is king, but on the Mac it's not even close. Both programmes are reasonably comparable, designed with slightly different philosophies and UIs but both quite capable of handling even the heaviest professional workloads, but as part of the Mac ecosystem Aperture is tied into the OS and all other Apple apps, so it's really easy to get at all your images from Mail or Pages or iWeb or Keynote, etc. This cross-application interaction sets Aperture apart. Almost all 3rd party plug-ins are available for Aperture, and it's easy to access Photoshop from within Aperture if you need to. The biggest plus these days though, is that you don't have to deal with Adobe!

item.127573

Michael Mckee

Derek L asked about experiences with Lightroom and Aperture. I decided on the former but wouldn't say that it's better in any absolute sense. The overall capabilities of the two programs are similar. My choice was a personal preference in workflow, which can only be gauged by trying out the two programs. The deciding factors were the tight integration between Photoshop and Lightroom, and larger LR support community. If you're not a heavy Photoshop user the first point is moot, especially with over $200 dollars in price difference, and it's not like there is no Aperture support available.

Since I already own LR, there's no point switching. At the $80 price, I'm guessing that Apple will use the same strategy on Aperture that it did on iWork and require a full price purchase on each major upgrade. Adobe does that, too, with Photoshop Elements.

And, personally, I ignore any advice that claims that one product is "far better" without offering specifics.

item.127575

Brad Hurley

My understanding is that all of Lightroom's edits are applied non-destructively: the software simply takes note of your changes and applies them only when you export or print the file. The original file remains unchanged (even after export or printing -- the changes are applied only to the exported file or the print, not your original file).

Lightroom has none (or relatively few) of the typical Adobe annoyances such as user-unfriendly update procedures. I find it a joy to use.

Finally, one of the best reasons to use Lightroom is that you can learn how to use it by watching the incredibly detailed and informative video tutorial available for sale from the Luminous Landscape's website, in which two professional photographers (Jeff Schewe and Michael Reichman) show you how to use Lightroom to manage, "develop," and print your photos. The best way to learn how to use software is to look over the shoulders of expert users who show how to use the software to produce an end result, rather than a software developer who explains all the software's features. The Luminous Landscape tutorial will teach you not only how to use Lightroom but also how to produce the best possible photographs.

For many photographers, Lightroom is all they'll ever need. Photoshop was initially designed for scanned photographs; Lightroom was designed from the beginning for digital photography. Most landscape and other realist photographers should be able to achieve everything they want to do in Lightroom without ever having to resort to Photoshop.

item.127581

Peter Long

Since we're talking photography, no one seems to talk about Aperture or Lightroom's ability as a database. This to my mind is the much harder, more important task. iPhoto is certainly not very powerful, although its ability to recognize faces is good.

I use Expression Media (old iView) and despite shortcoming is a pretty neat program. The way of the future is lots of digital photographs and the ability to organize is critical. And Expression Media is sadly in need of a major user interface update. I hope the new owner doesn't get caught up in the idea that manipulating the photograph is more important than organizing the photograph!

item.127590

John Etnier

I tried both Aperture and Lightroom and strongly preferred Lightroom. I cannot speak to its strengths and weaknesses as regards sorting and cataloging: I do most of that work with iView MediaPro. But I found Lightroom to be much more flexible, creative and professional when it comes to adjusting and editing images.

There is a kind of 'thing' in the Lightroom user culture about putting all your eggs in one basket: users are encouraged to create giant Lightroom catalogs which contain all their photos. I would suggest rethinking that: I find smaller catalogs much easier to deal with, and of course should disaster strike (irreparably damaged catalog, which happened once to me), your loss is less of an issue.

I really *like* Lightroom: it's about the only remaining application I can say that about.

item.127597

Tyler Heibeck

I won't comment on why Lightroom is better than Aperture. They are both very good programs and have something to offer for someone looking to organize their photos and shave some time off of their photo post-processing. Commenting on RAW conversion is very subjective and I think each person needs to choose which look they want for themselves, so I won't give my opinion there. Although I prefer the organization tools and user interface in Aperture I choose Lightroom because of some specific functions it has that Aperture 3 does not.

The first is Gradients, very powerful, especially be able to apply a color to a gradient. I also like being able to apply a group of functions for one brush or gradient, very powerful even if you can do it for every adjustment type. Also Lightroom has many of the same interaction functions you find in Bridge such as open in Photoshop as layers, HDR, or panorama. When opening a Photoshop file it will as if you want to edit a copy or an original. I also find being able to edit a virtual copy of an original in Photoshop to be very powerful. The output presets are also very flexible though they could be a bit more obvious to access.

What I really want is a fusion of the two programs, which will likely slowly happen in time. Like with MacOS and Windows having two competitors to choose from gives the customers two better products. Plus it's fun to watch people argue about which is better.

item.127601

Gary Kellogg

Derek L wants a perspective on Lightroom vs. Aperture. I am a happy Aperture user, but suspect I could just as easily be happy with Lightroom. Since you have trials of both, then you can decided for yourself if the UI and feature differences favor one over the other. One thing that strikes me about Aperture is that Apple has a track record of releasing full number versions that really aren't ready yet. However by version X.03 or so they seem to come through. I don't recall that Lightroom has this same track record. Right now with version 3.1.1 being nice and stable for me, and with the $79 price, Aperture would be my pick.

It seems to me that rushing to install a full digit upgrade of any program that maintains a large database is asking for trouble.

item.127609

Ken Spencer

I have just tried the Lightroom 3 demo on my new 11" MacBook Air, and decided to buy another copy of Aperture instead. (I have Aperture running on my Mac Pro and MacBook Pro). On my 11" screen, I like that there are only two panes - the one with three tabs on the left, and the larger pane. This means the photo that I am working with is displayed in a larger size. It seems like a more efficient use of screen space. Some people like that Lightroom 3 leaves your imported photos in separate folders stored on your computer. Others like that everything is stored in one giant Library collection in Aperture.

item.127611

Gareth Renowden

Lightroom has two big advantages over Aperture (IMHO) - the ability to apply gradients to adjustments, and the excellent lens profile corrections introduce in LR3. As an example of the utility of the latter, consider a landscape with prominent horizon - a seascape, for instance - shot at wide angle. To create a "flat" horizon, it used to be necessary to export to Photoshop and apply a custom fix before reimporting to LR. The lens profile correction now does that automatically.

However, I bought a copy of Aperture at the new low price because I like the book tools. I am also impressed with the geotagging and face recognition, but find it runs too slowly on my '07 MBP with only 2GB RAM to be used as my main image programme. When I upgrade the MBP that might change -- if Apple can offer gradients and lens profile corrections.

item.127612

Scott Citron

Like most people who spout off about their favorite this or that, I haven't really ever used Aperture enough to intelligently compare it to Lightroom!

But, ignorance not withstanding, Lightroom is a wonderfully versatile and light weight application. While not perfect, what it does it does well. That is, its operation is simple yet not simplistic. Nor is it too technical. Adobe is quick on the trigger to support new cameras, and the fact that it runs on Windows means a larger and more inclusive community of users to bolster and improve its development. Printing is also a breeze and a pleasure.

Not to be overlooked are Lightroom's Photoshop roots. Despite their differences, the two programs have much in common. The same goes for Adobe Camera RAW. In the end this ancestral connection means that if you know one application, the path to learning the others is greatly simplified.

But ultimately it's all about where you're most comfortable. Frankly, I tend to avoid software chauvinism. After all, when you get right down to it, the brand of hammer is less important than the house you build.

item.127619

David Johnson

In one of the popular photography magazines recently, don't remember if it was Pop Photo or Shutterbug, one writer did a side-by-side of Aperture and Lightroom. He (she) had good things to say about both but the final conclusion was that Aperture was a bit better and more stable. You could probably search those sites and find the review.

item.127625

Robert Sholl

For me, I never quite "got" LR2 or Aperture 2. I downloaded the LR3 Beta and have not looked back. It's as easy as iPhoto *used* to be.

Workflow - dead simple. As soon a it detects my SD card it brings up the import box. One click later Im importing with an automatic creation of a new folder by date. I can view/edit images while others are being imported.

As I find images I want to edit I press B and they get put in a quick collection. Click on the quick collection and move to develop module.

I start 90% of my developing with a preset. In LR3 you get a preview of what the preset will do before having to apply it. Once I apply the preset I tweak as needed. If I want to try different things, I make a virtual copy, rinse and repeat.

Back to library where I add keywords and my copyright.

Once I have everything processed I either export to a file or use Publishing Services to send them to flickr. I can even do both at once.

And I do all this on a MacBookPro 1.1 - 2Ghz Core Duo with 2GB RAM. Aperture is no even an option for me because it is a resource hog. My catalog is over 60K images (10MP DNG, 16MB per image) on external USB drives and despite my slow processor and maxed out RAM, I have only had 3 hard crashes since installing LR3 final. Those happened when I had too much open and too much going on. I lost no data.

Ease of use, resource friendly and presets are the big things for me. I have over 100 presets - 20 that I made myself. Presets let me quickly get different looks to an image that I can then modify as needed. And if everything gets dorked up, I am back to my base image in one click.

Aperture is the only Apple product I have ever bought an then stopped using because of user interface and ease of use. It never fit into my way of thinking. LR3 does.

item.127632

Pete Wilson

Dave Citron asked about Lightroom/Aperture comparisons.

I chose Lightroom, because, on balance, I reckon that Adobe is more committed to supporting and developing image manipulation software than Apple - or, bluntly, Lightroom will last longer than Aperture. Probably. Others may differ, and I certainly wouldn't claim night-and-day differences in likelihood.

item.127578

MacInTouch Reader

Regarding Aperture vs. LR the best advice to give is try it for yourself. If you are a happy Photoshop user LR might be the better choice for you. If you get accustomed to the Aperture way of photo editing you'll not look back. If you are looking for a high speed alternative to both try Bibble Pro. I tried LR and Aperture and liked and still do, Aperture way better and think it is more Mac like then LR. But I'm not the Photoshop lover either.

Jan. 14, 2011

item.127635

David Ramos

This may have changed, but when I evaluated Lightroom and Aperture, the two programs adhered to dramatically different philosophies about file storage. Aperture required you to keep files in a limited number of predefined locations, while Lightroom would let you catalog images that resided anywhere on your drives and servers. I chose Lightroom because I prefer software that catalogs images but lets me manage files in the Finder. Another person's preference might differ.

item.127636

MacInTouch Reader

Two more Lightroom resources, for those interested: Victoria Brampton's Missing FAQ http://www.lightroomqueen.com/lrqebook3.php , and George Jardine's Video Series http://mulita.com/blog/ Not associated with either, but for those using LR very useful.

item.127646

Michael Mckee

Peter Long asked about the database capabilities of LR and Aperture. They're both very capable. Call it a photo finish.

item.127650

Harold Zeh

Regarding Lightroom and Aperture, why not use both? I do. Each has specific strengths. However, I never let either program catalog the original RAW files, but I would be more tempted to allow that task to Lightroom.

Off the camera, my untouched RAWs are stored on a separate HD, which is backed up in triplicate and offsite. I use FileMaker Pro (ancient homemade solution using jpeg thumbs,) to catalog. Right tool for the job (for me, a certified control freak who likes dozens of searchable fields and proprietary criteria break-outs the other apps simply do not allow for.)

Because I have used Adobe's Photoshop and Camera Raw for so long, it is Lightroom that gets the initial developing tasks. Once they are exported as tiff, Aperture is used to create albums for uploads and such because of how it ties nicely with Mac stuff such as MobileMe.

Aperture is also used to create books. But on that score, it seems iPhoto could also do that task since it recently received upgraded book creation capabilities and better quality options. Can anyone comment on the (best) new books out of iPhoto and how they compare to Aperture?

item.127667

Jim Behlke

I have been using Lightroom. When Aperture's price went down to 80 dollars I decided to purchase a copy of that too. I'll use both although I'll use Lightroom more. I like the book feature in Aperture, and other members of my family will probably prefer Aperture. Aperture's price and personal use license give a family a lot for the money.

item.127670

Bill Palmer

Ken Spencer comments about the Aperture vs. Lightroom comparison:

Some people like that Lightroom 3 leaves your imported photos in separate folders stored on your computer. Others like that everything is stored in one giant Library collection in Aperture.

Actually, Aperture lets you have it both ways, on a project by project basis! When you do the import, you can choose whether to put the files in the Aperture library, keep them in their current location, or store them elsewhere in the filesystem. Naturally, you can revisit that decision later if your needs change. See the help for "what are managed images and referenced images" for more details.

item.127675

Craig Collins

I've been caught in several LR vs Aperture discussions, and the emotions do tend to run high. I started with both in an early version, and quickly found that the logic and interface of Aperture made me go there and never look back. I'm also an old hand at Photoshop, and have been doing high-end work for decades. Since then, both LR and Aperture have made great strides that help reveal the true potential of the digital workflow. A few notes to help the undecided:

It takes quite a while to grasp the right workflow for Aperture (too long a topic for this post), but the division of modes from file management (excellent), adjustment (great, more in a moment), and output (mostly great) means I only need to make a trip to Photoshop for specialized adjustments and compositing, etc. A few plugins fill most of the workflow gaps. It's a deep program and a continual learning process to make the most of it, as is Photoshop.

The big surprise for me was an elegant and subtle architecture for adjusting images. I can accomplish in seconds a finely-tuned look in Aperture that would take much more work in PS, and sometimes not be possible at all. The algorithms Apple uses are simply that much more attuned to how we perceive images, not just how to move pixel values around. Yes, this takes some learning, but it's a huge benefit. I am often simply astounded by what I am able to pull out of a seemingly hopeless image.

The weaknesses of Aperture are mostly that it's such a resource hog. It wants, even more than a fast processor, as much memory as you can throw at it and the best graphics card. The more deep you get into adjustments, the more it gobbles your machine's capability. Sometimes it's best to just quit the program and restart to clear the memory, but that's not really an inconvenience (remember: there's nothing needing to be saved. Everything is endlessly undoable and non-destructive). And it's really not ideal for huge images like panoramas.

If this thread keeps going, I might throw in a few more tidbits...

item.127676

James Conner

Back in the days of film, and especially in the days of black-and-white, we had "Aperture or Lightroom" discussions about developers: Acufine or D-76; Microdol-X or D-25; and so on. The last time I shot black-and-white I used D-76, but before that I experimented with a great many soups, sometimes with good results. Other photographers exclusively used D-76 or another soup. Good results depended both on using the right materials and tools, and on the photographer's skills.

Nowadays, of course, I shoot digital, and I work a lot in what might be called technical areas, but skills remain just as important as they did in the age of silver based photography. Given the nature of the images with which I work, it makes sense for me to have as many tools/options as possible. My main application is Photoshop CS5 Extended, but I also use Raw Developer, Raw Photo Processor (very good for controlling highlights), and Pixinsight (powerful deconvolution), and I just acquired Aperture 3.1.1.

I think one could choose between Aperture and Lightroom by flipping a coin. Their feature sets are slightly different, but once mastered each application produces excellent results. Lightroom probably has smoother integration with Photoshop, while Aperture offers a different approach to RAW processing and color that matters to some photographers.

As with cameras, the best image processing application is the one that you use.

item.127683

J Land

One thing I'm not seeing mentioned in this discussion is that LR and Aperture serve nearly the same function in your arsenal but they take a different approach and have very different interfaces and workflows. The preference for how the program asks you to think and work is pretty key, aside from the feature set. Everyone thinking of committing to a RAW DAM format should see if they particularly like or dislike plowing through a few hundred images in either one.

item.127696

John Kalla

When Aperture came out, I bought it. Also v.2. I also checked out Lightroom when it was released and found that my main concern with Aperture didn't exist in LR: Extra "rider" files attached to the original RAW file. Lightroom applies all lossless changes to the actual DNG, where Aperture requires the rider files to keep track of the changes. I don't know if Aperture still requires these files or not. I suspect that LR doesn't because the DNG spec supports the extra data, and Aperture wasn't compatible with the DNG format when I used it. Maybe this has changed, but now I'm completely comfortable in LR and don't plan on switching back. It would be nice to have LR more integrated with the MacOS, but I can live without that. Another plus for LR, at least in the past: Lens and RAW file compatibility was much quicker than Aperture. Apple seemed to take a long time to support my latest camera, where it was quickly supported by LR.

Jan. 15, 2011

item.127741

Craig Collins

I'll combine comments and corrections on several notes in one post. Hope that's helpful:

David Ramos

...the two programs adhered to dramatically different philosophies about file storage. Aperture required you to keep files in a limited number of predefined locations, while Lightroom would let you catalog images that resided anywhere on your drives and servers

Not correct. Aperture lets you decide whether it will manage file storage in its own library, or allow you to store files wherever you want on import. I strongly recommend the latter strategy, although it does require a bit more attention. If you move images, there is a tool to help reconnect them with Aperture.

John Kalla

...my main concern with Aperture didn't exist in LR: Extra "rider" files attached to the original RAW file. Lightroom applies all lossless changes to the actual DNG, where Aperture requires the rider files to keep track of the changes.

Not correct. Aperture does not have separate sidecar files (as does Photoshop with RAW conversion). Key concept: original files are never modified (just like you never change a negative when making a print). All adjustments (exposure, crop, output, metadata) are only applied on exported versions. The main Aperture library contains any adjustments as data and displays them in previews.

What tools do people like to use to create HDR images from bracketed exposures?

I use Photomatix from HDRSoft. A bit intimidating with its extensive adjustments, but it makes Photoshop's HDR look like a clunky Microsoft app. It's both a standalone and plugins for LR and Aperture so you don't need to interrupt workflow. HDR is a massive topic. And the $1.99 Pro HDR iPhone app does an amazing job right on the phone!

Larry Nelson

... which alternative will allow me to edit the sculpture images most quickly and easily? Photoshop has a feature I like a lot: crop and resize in one operation. I tell it what size I want the final image to me, draw the crop outline, crop, and there it is. I save that to a new file for Emailing to friends.
Is this crop-and-resize a common feature?

Again, the non-destructive nature of the Aperture workflow (and LR I presume) means that cropping and resizing is vastly simpler and more efficient than using an image editor like Photoshop.

item.127756

Alfie Johnson

I recently got Aperture through the App Store, then imported my iPhoto library, telling Aperture to copy the photos into its own library.

But after doing so, I noticed my Aperture library is 52GB, while my iPhoto library is 76GB. From what I can tell everything copied OK, so why the big difference?

I'd hate to delete the iPhoto library to free up space, only to find out the hard way that something's missing. Is there a way to compare the two libraries to make sure everything got imported OK?

Jan. 17, 2011

item.127776

Gary Kellogg

Alfie Johnson asked about size differences between iPhoto and Aperture libraries.

These are probably due to differences in the sizes of previews. I don't use face recognition or some of the other features but I imagine that these may use different amounts of resources too. You can open the respective library packages up using "Show Package Contents" and then compare sizes of key folders such as the Masters, Previews, and Thumbnails folders which will appear in both packages. I would guess that your Previews setting in Aperture may be set to make relatively small previews compared to your iPhoto previews. Visit Preferences to manipulate this setting.

Obviously, before any spelunking you'll want to back up your libraries. Also, why be in a hurry to get rid of the iPhoto library? I would copy it to a spare drive or just leave it in place until I were comfortable with Aperture.

item.127796

MacInTouch Reader

Alfie Johnson:

...But after doing so, I noticed my Aperture library is 52GB, while my iPhoto library is 76GB. From what I can tell everything copied OK, so why the big difference?

I had Aperture not import raw files when I had jpegs with the same name and only the extension being different.

Jan. 18, 2011

item.127862

David Blanchard

The system requirements for these vary considerably. Some require Intel; others work on PPC and Intel.

Some require OS X 10.5 while others only require OS X 10.4.

I was never able to try Aperture because the requirements always exceeded the hardware/software that I was running. On the other hand, LightRoom 2 (along with CS3) runs quite well on my older G5.

As another example, Photomatix runs on 10.4 and up on PPC and Intel while NIX HDR requires an Intel processor and 10.5.

The minimum requirements might make a difference for some users.

Jan. 20, 2011

item.127998

Steve White

I'm strictly an amateur photographer and while I have a decent DSLR and lenses, I've been using iPhoto and jpeg files for my digital photo management, more out of ignorance and convenience than anything else.

Having been enticed to buy Aperture from the App Store, I now realize I have some learning ahead of me.

Question: what book/manual/resources should I look to first? I have an iPad so something from the Kindle or iBooks store, or a website pointer, would be especially useful, but a superb dead-tree introduction would be fine. Again, I'm an amateur, so I need something that explains basic concepts in work flow, management, etc. I've used Photoshop a little and have CS3.

I understand that the deeper I go, to the extent that I go, I can find more resources, but I need a good starting point. Any suggestions?

Jan. 21, 2011

item.128044

Brett Gaspers

I'm in the same boat as Steve White regarding learning Aperture. As a start, I've gone through Apple's video tutorials on Aperture and am perusing the user manual and Exploring Aperture 3 (i.e., manual lite). These are detailed and free from Apple's Aperture pages.

item.128047

Kerry Stewart

I have found Apple's Aperture Tutorials to be particularly useful. They cover all the key features with great examples of the basic and advanced features of the program. I have two screens and had the Aperture program open on one and the tutorial videos on the other. By following the video I was able to quickly learn how to use it and take advantage of the features and tools not available in iPhoto. Can be found at: http://www.apple.com/aperture/how-to/

item.128051

Eric Stalder

A quick reply to Steve White on his question about getting started with Aperture. I am also an amateur photographer with a decent DSLR and have been using iPhoto with jpegs for the past few years. I was looking to start shooting RAW, and wanted to also upgrade my photo editing and organization program. With the "can't pass it up" price of Aperture on the App Store, I took the plunge.

At first Aperture seems very confusing, and it still does, but with the help of Aperture 3 - Apple Pro Training Series, by Dion Scoppettuolo, I am starting to see how powerful, and useful this program can be. I am excited to get going on my own photos, but for now I am still working through the lessons in this book. I looked around, and the best price I could find was through the iBooks store, about $31, if I remember correctly. It works pretty well on the iPad, and the savings over the $55 cover price (at my local Barnes and Noble,) was worth it. The media files that accompany the physical book can be found at:

peachpit(dot)wamnet(dot)com/cs/peachpit/gallery(dot)html?isbn=0321647440

Just replace the (dot)s ;-) Be warned, it will take quite awhile to download, even on broadband. (I got the above link from an Amazon review, but you can also send an email to PeachPit Press to request the link if this doesn't work.)

Have fun with Aperture

item.128057

Steve Thuman

Steve White asked about a good book for learning Lightroom. The answer is simple:

The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 Book for Digital Photographers ...

A little more money, but well worth it. Watching and following along and doing it as you go, a video of a the actual process is better than reading about it.

http://www.kelbytraining.com

I hope this helps?

item.128059

Ken Spencer

I am a fan of "Apple Pro Training Series: Aperture 3 [Paperback]" available through the MacInTouch link at Amazon

I actually own the book for v. 2 of Aperture. The book is well written, easy to understand, and a comprehensive look at the Aperture application. I am a pathological underliner, so I would suggest the physical book, rather than the Kindle version. There are posts in Amazon reviews about some problems with the downloaded files for the Kindle version of the book you might want to read about.

item.128066

David Gordon

Steve White asks about Aperture book/manual/resources. I highly recommend Apple Pro Training Series: Aperture 3 by Dion Scoppettuolo.

I'm sure this book is basic enough for a new Aperture user while at the same time being useful for those with more experience of photo processing. I certainly learned a lot from it! It is a book you need to follow through (using the supplied images) from start to finish and worth the effort.

item.128079

Eddie Savage

Re: Steve White & Aperture manual(s)

I've found the best guide to be Apple's own "How-To" guides here (mucho pages, so don't try printing them):
  http://support.apple.com/manuals/#aperture

and the Apple Discussion forum:
  http://discussions.apple.com

Enough info and tips to keep you active for a year's worth of reading.

More importantly, are the user sites, such as the aforementioned:

http://aperture.maccreate.com
http://www.apertureexpert.com
http://photo.rwboyer.com

and a few more I check out on a weekly basis. I'd list them but I'm at my work PC with nothing to show for favorites but a headache....

Also, if you're RAM-shy on your computer, say having only 2Gigs, get some more, fast. A3 (Aperture 3) will use it and thank you for it. Trust me. 4Gigs is good, any more than 8Gigs is over-kill (imho), but only 2Gigs will be usable, but painful experience.

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with any of those sites; just a photo enthusiasts (Nikon baby!), frequent reader of those sites, and a heavy user of A3.

item.128087

Steve Hix

If you're just getting started with Aperture, "Aperture 3" by Dion Scoppetuolo, published by Peachpit Press, is an excellent beginning.

It's very much a start at the beginning and work through to the end sort of book, not so much for cherry picking interesting bits.

Jan. 22, 2011

item.128130

Bill Martin

If I switch to Aperture, can I set preferences in Aperture so it will respond the same as iPhoto when I scan a file or when I attach a camera or card reader?

In other words... I want the scanner/camera/card reader to open Aperture and give me the choice to import all or selected photos into a "project", (or Event, as I have iPhoto configured).

item.128181

Giles Roditi

Steve White asks about Aperture resources; while Apple Pro Training Series: Aperture 3 by Dion Scoppettuolo was the first proper Aperture book I bought (and it is good) I actually prefer Apple Aperture 3: A Workflow Guide for Digital Photographers by Ken McMahon & Nik Rawlinson. There are strengths to both books. No affiliations, just my opinion

I rarely leave Aperture now for my photographic work, as it is so easy to securely store, sort, rate and tweak my images as I need. I love the full screen mode which is much improved in version 3. For HDR after trying all the tools that have been mentioned I paid for and use the Photomatix plugin as it does most of what I need for the odd HDR - the standalone version 4 I occasionally revert to for the better deghosting tools. There has not been much discussion about panoramas - would be interested in others' thoughts; for the few panoramas I attempt, I use Doubletake, which integrates reasonably. While I appreciate that different programs suit different people, I don't understand why Lightroom gets quite so much attention in photography magazines and blogs with endless tutorials etc. while Aperture seems relatively sidelined. A shame; I think Apple could justifiably invest in a little more promotion of what is an excellent program.

Jan. 24, 2011

item.128244

Davide Guarisco

Giles Roditi asks about software to stitch panorama pictures together. I, too, have had good experience with Doubletake. That's the easiest to use panorama app, very Mac-like. It does a good job if your panorama shots are well-taken. Tips: orient the camera vertically, set the camera manually to fixed settings, rotate around a vertical axis that goes through the focal point of the lens, overlap a lot.

However, like Mathew Murphy I have found that Adobe Elements 8 (or, presumably, 9) does the best job at stitching difficult panoramas. I have to hold my nose and use this terrible Adobe product just to get perfect panoramas. I have no other use for PE8.

item.128254

Skot Nelson

Re:

If I switch to Aperture, can I set preferences in Aperture so it will respond the same as   iPhoto when I scan a file or when I attach a camera or card reader? In other words... I want the scanner/camera/card reader to open Aperture and give me the choice to import all or selected photos into a "project", (or Event, as I have iPhoto configured).

You can choose to automatically open Aperture when you connect your camera using the Image Capture app, just as you can choose to automatically open iPhoto.

item.128246

James Wages

Like the rest of you, in light of the recent price reduction on the Mac App Store, I am now evaluating Aperture 3 along side some HDR plugins. I currently use iPhoto 2011, and prior to that used and older version of iPhoto and also iView Media Pro. My main reason for eyeing Aperture is the fact I want more photo editing power than iPhoto offers, but I don't want to be forced to used outside apps like Photoshop to do the photo tweaks. Yet I am concerned about the complexity of the Aperture interface for my wife, who was overjoyed when I moved from iView Media Pro to iPhoto.

Craig Collins also mentions HDR, which is of great interest to me. But I must say that Tracy Valleau hits the nail on the head in his blog when he talks about HDR currently being like the Mac back in 1984, where everyone was going nuts over the fact they could use 36 fonts in a single document. It didn't take very long for sane people to realize what a mess that could be. In like manner, HDR fans do some god awful jobs with the HDR tools available. And it's not all the fault of those HDR fans either. Have a look at the websites of the companies who sell those HDR tools and you will see their product promotional pics and photos galleries are filled with highly unattractive surrealism (i.e., 36 separate fonts in a single page MacWrite document). They look like paintings, not photos. And they seem to be encouraging users to create that kind of mess with their photos! Unbelievable! If I want a painting, I'll go to an art gallery. When I shoot a photo, I want to see realism, not surrealism.

What I have read in the DPreview.com forums is that HDR Efex Pro fron NIK Software is rather slow and made for surreal tone-mapping lovers who want a painting rather than a true photograph with more dynamic range. A lot of the posts I read from people who used the NIK app and Photomatix HDR said they preferred Photomatix. That led me over to the HDRsoft website, where I found an Aperture 3 plugin version here:

http://www.hdrsoft.com/download/applugin.html

But just like the NIK folks, Photomatix also has been targetting those tone-mapping lovers. They only added "Exposure Fusion" a matter of days ago, which is the feature true photographers seek: a way to make your real photos stay real photos, yet with more dynamic range. Having not yet plunked down the cash for Aperture yet I've not given this newest edition Photomatix plugin a try, but perhaps some of you may use it and wish to comment about pros and cons.

Another thing I would like to comment on are books about Aperture. Having seen your recommendations on this reader report, I headed over to Amazon and had a look at the Aperture 3 - Apple Pro Training Series, by Dion Scoppettuolo. Looks decent enough, but some reviews state that half the book is about "file management" and that it lacks depth about photo editing. In all honesty, the only reason I am considering moving to Aperture is because of the advanced photo editing features. I really don't care so much about sophisticated file management. I am therefore curious if another book might not be better, perhaps something like "Aperture 3: Portable Genius" -- also available at Amazon and for a lower price too.

But the main consideration about whether or not to go with Aperture is my wife. She likes iPhoto because it's easy to use. She couldn't care less about editing the photos and leaves that to me. But she wants to access the photos in our iPhoto library when she switches to her user account on our iMac (she uses a Japanese UI and I use English). Too many options would confuse and frustrate her. That is another reason I have been reluctant to move to Aperture. I have the understanding that I could use both iPhoto and Aperture, but that's to messy. I'd much rather have one app that we both can use, in the same way we both use iPhoto 2011 seamlessly right now.

It certainly would be nice if there was an "iPhoto mode" in Aperture that would hide all the complex features from my wife's view while allowing me to see those features if I switch out of that mode. I think that would bring a lot of iPhoto users over to the Aperture camp real fast. And honestly, a move to Aperture seems to be what Apple wants too. Have a look at the videos on Apple.com that show iPhoto users how easy it is to move over to Aperture. And consider the price reduction too. Apple surely wants "most people" to move over to their premium product, not just "pros." Hence it only makes logical sense that they should give greater consideration to husband-and-wife users who would use Aperture, one wanting to see all the features of the app and the other who wants a simple interface with the power features hidden from view.

item.128218

Jeff Berg

Bill Martin asks:

If I switch to Aperture, can I set preferences in Aperture so it will respond the same as iPhoto when I scan a file or when I attach a camera or card reader?

Sorry for the delay, I was certain someone would have already answered this question. The answer is yes, but (somewhat non-intuitively) you set this preference using Image Capture, located in your utilities folder, and not from within Aperture.

Connect your camera or card reader to the computer. Open Image Capture. Select the device from the list on the left side of the Image Capture window and, below that list towards the bottom of the window select "Aperture" from the "Connecting this Camera Opens..." drop down.

You may also opt not to open anything when a device is connected in which case you may still access the camera from within Aperture or whichever program you choose on a case-by-case basis. I'm often pulling "single-use" shots from my cameras, particularly the iPhone, into "special purpose" apps so this is the workflow I choose. When I want to import "real" photos, I open Aperture first.

You choose this behavior on a device-by-device basis so your DSLR and card reader could open Aperture while your phone does nothing. (Useful for those who do a hard-wired sync of their iPhone several times a day.)

item.128297

Bill Martin

Re:

The answer is yes, but (somewhat non-intuitively) you set this preference using Image Capture, located in your utilities folder, and not from within Aperture."

Thanks to Jeff and one other who answered my question in detail.

Next Page...


MacInTouch Amazon link...

Talk to MacInTouch     Support  •  Find/Go