Aperture 3 V. Lightroom 3

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by steven_arellano, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. Okay, I've moved up to a DSLR. I am taking some awesome photos in RAW format, but that leads me to another question. Which is better for processing my RAW files, Lightroom 3 or Aperture 3. My instinct is to go with Aperture, mostly because I am a Mac guy. Ive taken a few minutes and perused both Adobe and Apple websites and other than the huge price difference I can't find many advantages one way or the other. From those of you who have used one or both, which do you find the better software? As far as the basics, uploading, tethering, etc... I am not worried. I am a computer programmer by trade so I know I will easily be able to adapt to either of these programs. What I want to know is which is technically superior?
  2. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I haven't used Aperture, but can give advice on two things:
    1) Lightroom 3 or Aperture 3 You should be looking at Lightroom 4. The beta is out and it's been bug-free for me so far. I haven't yet seen any reports of major issues. You can run the beta until it's released.
    2) My instinct is to go with Aperture, mostly because I am a Mac guy Everyone I know using Lightroom, including me, is on a Mac. I've never heard any negatives about using Lightroom on a Mac.
  3. Jeff, what is it about Lightroom that makes it worth the extra $200+? I get it, the beta is free and I've seen some screenshots of Lightroom 4, very nice. But at some point I will have to pay for it.
  4. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    You have to decide where the value is. Things that keep me from looking seriously at Aperture:
    1) Lightroom is a core product for Adobe, it's not for Apple. I'm not convinced that Apple will support Aperture as separate from iPhoto for the long term.
    2) There is a feature in Lightroom called Collections that I would have a very hard time abandoning. Collections fits my workflow far better than the Projects viewpoint of Aperture.
    3) When I was doing my own printer, I bought an Epson. The primary reason I bought an Epson was the huge support community around Epson printers. I could get a question answered in minutes on the web. I could get utilities, third party stuff, and profiles for Epson that were not available for other printers. The same thing is true of Lightroom. There is a lot to consider beyond the product, and Lightroom has a huge community of educators and developers around it.
  5. Jeff, you have made some good points. I was initially leaning to Aperture, but I think now I will download the trials of both and see which fits me better. Any tips on how best to compare the two?
  6. Maybe this will help:
    I use both and prefer Aperture. Even more-so when you consider the price difference and at one time Aperture was crazy, $499, expensive! If choosing Aperture, be advised that Aperture has two ways of managing your images: referenced and managed. Lightroom only uses referenced. In a referenced library, your images are still located on your hard drive within your typical folder hierarchy. You can navigate to them outside of using program. But if you move of delete the image, then the program won't "see" the image. Again, both Aperture and Lightroom can have referenced libraries. Aperture can also use a "managed" library. In this case, Aperture imports the image into it's own directory system (inside a package not available outside of Aperture unless you want to go digging around in the package contents). In essence, this means you can't see the image outside of Aperture.This also means you can't move or accidentally delete the image outside of Aperture as well. Personally, I prefer managed libraries. I bought the program to manage my growing library of images!
  7. Steven, I tried them both. I spent a couple of hundred hours using Lightroom on my wife's Mac, and then used the trial of Lightroom 3 on my machine. I like Lightroom a lot, but ended up buying Aperture. The price difference didn't make any sense -- I feel that Aperture is priced appropriately and the Lightroom (like all Adobe products) is expensive. Aperture works just as well, and intergrates very nicely with the rest of the Apple ecosystem (I also use Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro.) Aperture has all of the editing tools I need for 99.5% of my photos. The RAW support is fast and seamless -- other than the extended dynamic range for adjustments, you can't tell the difference between working in JPEG or RAW. Workflow is fast - importing files, reviewing and rating shots, editing, export. I haven't used the printing/books features but they seem very well done.
    I am not a huge user of plugins. The big-name plugins are available on Aperture but not nearly as many as for Lightroom. That's the one area that Lightroom wins. If you can mostly live with the tools provided by Aperture, then it doesn't matter. If plugins are everything to you, then look at Lightroom.
  8. This http://www.twin-pixels.com/raw-processors-review-aperture-bibble-capture-one-dxo-lightroom/ seems to be a good comparison between LR and Aperture (and a few others). I'm a PC guy so I use LR3 (and Canon DPP). LR3 requires frequent switching between library and develop modules. I agree on the review that switching between modules is less than perfect. A friend of mine uses Aperture and she's always faster than me in presenting pictures but perhaps that's personal and not software related.
  9. I just read Rick Ellis' comparison (linked previously) last night, and agree that it's one of the more balanced comparisons. I've had Aperture since I bought my iMac in 2008. Last weekend, I did some HDD housecleaning/memory upgrades, and did a clean install of both Snow Leopard and Aperture 3 on my internal boot HDD. Here's how I'm running it:
    1. 2008, iMac, model 8,1 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo with 6GB of RAM (1x4 in slot zero, 1x2 in slot one).
    2. Clean install of Snow Leopard.
    3. Primary 300GB Aperture library file resides on its own, dedicated 500GB Firewire external drive.
    Note that 2007-2008 (models 7,1 and 8,1) iMacs can actually support 6GB of RAM, not just 4GB as Apple states; 2009 and later iMacs support 8GB-16GB of system RAM. If you own a more recent Mac, I would recommend no less than 8GB if planning to run RAM-hungry plug-ins such as onOne's Perfect Photo Suite, etc. However, with a clean OS X install on a wiped boot drive, Aperture runs very well, even on just a 4GB iMac.
    I'm still figuring out my workflow, but I liked Aperture enough to invest in its current version and some books. I bought the only three titles available on Amazon--all three are pretty good, and I highly recommend them if going with Aperture:
    Apple Aperture 3, McMahon & Rawlinson
    Focus On Aperture 3, Hilz
    Aperture 3 Portable Genius, Anon, Anon
    The first is the most comprehensive, the latter two sell for below their published price, and are a good bargain at only about $12 each.
  10. >>> What I want to know is which is technically superior?
    Adding to what Jeff said above, for me it is not about which is technically superior (though I believe LR is). It's about which company will be in imaging for the long term supporting my needs.
    At this point if I needed to switch from Lightroom to Aperture, and retain all of my edits, with >100K images it would pretty much be impossible. And the same would be true if I were using Aperture now, and for whatever reason needed to switch to Lightroom.
    Also, Adobe has been very responsive with updates, new features, and moving RAW processing forward with better and better algorithms. And I'm confident that will be the case over then next 10 or 20 years.
    Will Apple? Hopefully yes. But with their huge emphasis on mobile (with amazing results), and letting some video professionals down with Final Cut Pro X, I'm just not willing to take a chance.
    Choose carefully...
  11. It seems like the majority of you prefer Aperture. The links were very helpful. It really has me leaning back to Aperture. Since digital photography is a passion and not source of income it seems like the better choice. I think I will download the demo of both, go out and do some shooting on a wide range of subject matter and lighting then come home and run the images through both programs.
  12. Also, Adobe has been very responsive with updates, new features, and moving RAW processing forward with better and better algorithms. And I'm confident that will be the case over then next 10 or 20 years.
    Will Apple? Hopefully yes. But with their huge emphasis on mobile (with amazing results), and letting some video professionals down with Final Cut Pro X, I'm just not willing to take a chance.​
    But then just maybe, we can convince Apple to buy Adobe :)))))) Let's face it, they have the cash!
  13. Let's not restart the discussion on how Apple got all that cash :)
  14. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    While the majority of posters on this thread prefer Aperture, that's not true of the market in general, which is why I think Apple will eventually merge Aperture and Lightroom. Going back to the community and support issues I brought up, I happened to see this recently:
    I am an Apple Certified Trainer for Aperture, but I hear nothing. They do not even include us in Beta testing.​
    which might be considered an indicator. It's kind of amazing to me that I have never met a photographer using Aperture, only seen it here, and I meet a lot of photographers. Most are pros working events with me though, so that may be a differentiator.
  15. Steven:
    I was in a hurry to post my last message . . . here are my further thoughts:
    1. Lightroom has far more users than Aperture. So, expect continuing product upgrades from Adobe. Aperture's future support is less clear. The popularity of Aperture in this thread is a bit of an anomaly.
    2. Although I'm not as familiar with Lightroom, I know it definitely has some capabilities that Aperture cannot match, and any "missing features" in the current version of Lightroom looks as though they've been addressed in the Lightroom 4 beta release.
    3. I re-read your post, and you actually asked, "Which is better for processing my RAW files, Lightroom 3 or Aperture 3?" which is not what I answered. My reply for that question is as follows:
    Truth be told, I have no definite workflow right now, and I do not use Aperture as my primary RAW converter. My preference to convert RAW files would be either Nikon's Capture NX2 and/or DxO Optics Pro 7. When concerned with producing single images for personal work at their highest quality (e.g., portfolio, gallery, publication, etc.), I lean toward a more dedicated RAW converter, rather than a "workflow" application like Lightroom or Aperture. I will likely end up with several workflows: 1.) For clients (either Aperture or Lightroom); 2.) Personal work (NX2 or DxO). For asset management, I'm currently using a browser, PhotoMechanic, which means, I'm managing my assets manually using OS X' folder structure and manually assigned HDDs.
  16. So, to continue . . .
    In answer to your question, within the constraints given, my vote would go to Lightroom 3/4, and its integrated Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) converter. I have some familiarity with ACR by working with it in Photoshop 5.5. I like ACR, and am comfortable using it. So, the bottom line . . .
    Adobe Lightroom v3/v4 benefits:
    1.) Lens correction data support (which Aperture lacks).
    2.) Superior noise reduction.
    3.) Adobe ACR.
    4.) Lightroom's large user base guarantees extended future support from Adobe, third-parties, and the user community in general.
    That said, Lightroom makes the best case for being the "safer" bet. However, for the casual user, it's largely personal preference. Personally, I just prefer Aperture's user interface, and it's only one of two applications I know (the other being Capture NX2) which is able to display the camera's auto-focus points.
  17. I think its also a matter of who can help you and the community around a software...
    some user use Gimp, its free (or cheap.. dont recall and dont care) but theres no book or little if any, the community is small.. not many user on PN anyway. And some use Photohop... do i have to say more about it?
    Same for Apperture,price is amazing, its a Mac product (if Mac put out the TV i will get it, if they make a car, i will probably get it also ; ) and the lightbox is very good, better than Lr.. but again, a community almost non existent, the number of user keep going down since is introduction, camera update are slow, at some point rumor was that they will not make any update anymore, or very little from time to time.. and i know far more user that switch from Aperture to Lightroom in the last 2 years.
    Witch one is better? they are both good, both do the same result, its a matter of support and how big the community is if you need support.
  18. I just switched from aperture to Lightroom. Aperture was glacially slow, buggy and generally horrid for me, and I was glad
    to dump it. Lightroom 4 has several features aperture doesn't, and the noise reduction I found superior. Also it runs way
    faster for me. I also found aperture poor when it came to key wording and then trying to find images based in keywords. For instance, you can see a list of keywords by clicking the keyword icon, but you can't click on one of the keywords and see the images for that keyword.
  19. Hi Steven. I am a Mac user, and I went with Lightroom (I have version 3). I find it easy to understand, and the workflow makes sense to me. I also like that it is easy to work between Photoshop and other programs from Nik while working in Lightroom. I know people that work with Aperture, and they say they like that program as well. I have never worked with Aperture, so I cannot comment on that program. Good luck!
  20. Wow, just so much data. So to extend the topic. What do you find is the most important feature in either of these programs. What feature do you find is missing in either of these programs?
  21. I'd go back to what Jeff said in the first response -- the community around Lightroom is HUGE compared to Aperture, and that matters. A lot.
    In the end your photos will look great from either one, and there are ways to get the same things done in either one. Today, one might be easier than the other for some things, but the other will be easier for other things. Tomorrow, that may change, but you probably won't change tools once you pick one. I wouldn't choose based on today's functionality.
  22. I'm an Aperture user for several years and I just upgraded to Aperture 3. I must say though, that Aperture 3 is glacially slow, as Chris Nielsen stated, but only if you edit in 64 bit mode (I should add that my files are huge being that I shoot 4x5). This is a known bug. I bought the upgrade anyway because I've been using it for so long and I'm hoping that Apple will put out a fix in the next iteration. Also because of the huge price difference. If you set Aperture to edit in 32 bit mode it's as fast as the previous version. I noticed that in all of the above posts, where the posters say it's fast, they don't say whether they're using Aperture 2 or 3. It's a great app though, and I recommend it, with the caveat about the 64 bit mode.
  23. I own 'em both. I have been a Mac user since forever, which is to say, my default thought is, go with Apple's offering.
    But I do 95% of my work in Lightroom and the 5% I do somewhere else (Aperture, or DxO Optics Pro, or elsewhere) I do partly because I just want to keep my fingers in the alternatives.
    For a while I liked the fact that Aperture made it relatively easy to create a book. Lightroom 4 now works with Blurb to create books. I do a lot of my own printing and printing (and in Lightroom 4, soft proofing) is a real strength of Lightroom.
    The main thing however is that I simply find it MUCH easier to work in Lightroom. The UI makes four times more sense than the UI in Aperture. That's my opinion and I think the opinion of many other photographers.
    But Aperture is much cheaper and that's definitely worth something. Since you can get a free download of both of them, I'd try 'em both and go with the one that feels better. You can't lose either way.
    By the way, you might want to consider the desktop version of Snapseed. The Snapseed iPad app is one of the most brilliant apps ever and now they have a desktop equivalent. If my needs were simpler, I'd be using it myself.
  24. I have both and they are basically very similar. Lightroom works flawlessly on macs. Aperture works well too. However for me the advantages Aperture had in one area, book making, appear to no longer be true. I tended to like Ap's individual local brushes better than using one brush with setting the different parameters, but though I haven't downloaded LR4 I will now, because of recent experience, I'm very interested in local white balance adjustment. As far as interrelation of raw files I think they both are pretty equal, though again, LR 4 may be the next leap up. Actually, I find the best raw file converter and the program I'm mostly using for like a wedding or paid sort of situation is Capture 1. But different experience. I think LR is less of a resource hog than Aperture, but all these programs are greedy because of the GUI's. Lightroom generally has less speed hiccups. Also, the light table in Aperture is something I was interested in and I like it, but I've never ever really made good use of it. As far as overall image adjustment, they both pretty much do the same thing in a similar fashion. I don't think there's really much learning curve going from one to the other. I would try LR 4beta just based on Jeff's recommendation alone.
  25. 600,000 images in Aperture 3. Also have Lightroom 3/4beta, latest PSCS, Nikon Capture NX2. Have tried DxO and Phase 1 Capture 1. All give good results. I like A3 the best. I like the way it works and I like the RAW processing results. It really does a nice job.
  26. I think the argument that Lightroom has X number of users so it must be better is largely misguided. Adobe has a forum for Lightroom. Apple has a forum for Aperture. Kelby Training, Lynda.com ect, offer tutorials in each app. Aperture even has a dedicated user's group website:
    Each app has several books written about it. I can't imagine how much more third party support a person could want? I mean if the answer isn't in one of the forums, or one of the websites, or found in one of the books... there isn't one. At that point it becomes an issue, not a question!
    In terms of speed: have a good workflow. I keep all my media on dedicated hard drives and I have always had a decent amount of Ram and I have never had an issue. I started with Aperture version 1 on a Dual PowerMac 2.7 G5 machine and it was fine. Our "slowest" computer now is an i5 iMac, however we have 12GB of Ram and Aperture runs just fine accessing the library over a gigabit network. So a lot of speed issues are really system dependent.
    What do I miss when I am working in Lightroom? Again, I can't get my head wrapped around the different "modules": library, develop, etc. I would miss my keyboard shortcuts and different views in Aperture. Hit v to toggle through view modes. In full view mode, hit f for full screen and everything goes away except the image. hit h to bring up a heads up display over the full screen image. The HUD can be "docked" or floating, whichever your preference is. If you use the HUD as a floating palette you can press the shift key while making an adjustment (say an exposure adjustment) and the HUD fades away except for one line that you can move to make the adjustment leaving you with only one adjustment line and your image filling the screen. Not only do I love that, clients get a kick out of it too. No mess. Just the image. I would miss all of that and the attention to detail in represents.
  27. An important consideration is the integration into your other products and workflow. I am speaking out of ignorance because I have not used LR so I do not know exactly the level of integration it has with other devices or things that are important to you.

    Since the poster works with Macs and assuming he has other Apple products like an iPhone, iPad, AppleTV then Aperture would make a lot of sense be. Furthermore Apple is doing more and more with iCloud and Photostream (currently Photostream is a work in progress) so again the integration potential is higher to me. For example when I want to sync my iPad with pictures it simply opens up a menu with all of my familiar Aperture "projects, smart folders etc." so it is a very simple process.
    Finally, Aperture is $80. How can you go wrong for $80? Even if Apple dropped support for Aperture tomorrow (something people have been saying for 3 years ) I would use it until I got a new computer. Meanwhile, I use Aperture to organize all of my photos, built slide shows and for the stubborn photos that need local control I "roundtrip it" to photoshop. Apple did a nice job of recognizing that Aperture plays a certain role and that it can never compete with Photoshop. Clearly Lightroom is in the same space but I would argue for Aperture if integration into other Apple products is important to you.
  28. pressing F cycle thru different view, L turn the light out meaning everything is hide except the image, D is the develop
    module, G the library in grid view, etc... all Aperture can do or close to all can be done in Lightroom and vice versa.

    the fact that a community is bigger should be taken as a + when choosing a software, i wouldtn buy a PC since all my
    friend have a Mac, i wouldtn learn Page if all the people i know use Word... for me, the number of user have a part in my
    final choice.
  29. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    the fact that a community is bigger should be taken as a + when choosing a software, i wouldtn buy a PC since all my friend have a Mac, i wouldtn learn Page if all the people i know use Word... for me, the number of user have a part in my final choice.​
    This is very important to me. I use Macs, lots of my friends and professional acquaintanaces use Macs, some use PCs, I have yet to encounter one who uses Aperture.
  30. For those saying Aperture is running slowly, I'm running Aperture 3 on just a 2008 Core 2 Duo 3.06GHz iMac with only 6GB of RAM (the maximum supported by 7,1 and 8,1 model iMacs), and it seems to be running very fast--no complaints. I think what's making it fast is:
    1. Clean OS X install (Snow Leopard).
    2. Dedicated HDD for Aperture library with >30% of the drive free.

    Again, after I wiped my drive last weekend, and performed a clean OS install, I felt like I was using a new computer. If you're running Aperture on a 2GB machine with a boot drive that hasn't been wiped in the last year, it probably runs like molasses. However, I did read that Lightroom has a much smaller code base than Aperture, so I would expect Lightroom to run faster on similarly equipped machines, all else being equal.
  31. I too am running a clean install of Aperture on a brand new MacBook Pro with 8Gb ram, and it is slow in 64 bit mode. I think the problem might be the new OS; Lion that is slowing it down, and not Aperture per se.
  32. I have about 300,000 images in Aperture 3 management extending over a decade now. To the best of my knowledge, I have not lost an
    original RAW file, but I maintain 4 copies of my RAW files. I use it daily, and PS (CS5 currently) as a huge plug-in for critical needs and
    Nik filters. I tried Lightroom but felt their interface and database structures were more complex. If you want see the final outputs, visit
    my website at http://www.e2photo.net.

    I really like the ability to drag and drop images into a variety of applications such as Fotomagico, iMovie, emails, Sandvox

    I agree that you should download both programs for testing, but I could persuade myself that the quality of the RAW processing was

    Good luck
  33. >>> I use Macs, lots of my friends and professional acquaintanaces use Macs, some use PCs, I have
    yet to encounter one who uses Aperture.

    Ditto what Jeff said.

    Bottom line for me is not features. It's who's in it for the long run. Once you get beyond a thousand
    images (and I'm waay beyond that), having to switch between the two programs and lose all of your non-
    destructive edits would be a nightmare. Impossible, actually.
  34. John Deerfield:
    I think the argument that Lightroom has X number of users so it must be better is largely misguided.​
    Nobody is saying that more users means the product is better -- just that it's a differentiating factor, and an important one.
  35. Peter:
    Yes, I've seen reports of Aperture 3 running slowly on Lion installs (actually, right on the first page in the AppStore!), but I don't recall what the issue was. Some are running it under Lion just fine, and some aren't. If you wiped your boot disk, and performed a fresh install of Aperture, I would definitely be suspect (and, is the main reason why I'm still operating under 10.6.8). By the way, I tried running Aperture 3 in 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard) in 64-bit mode, and Activity Monitor indicated that something was guilty of memory leaks (decreasing amounts of free RAM after closing an app), so I switched back to 32-bit mode for the moment. I haven't yet determined the source of the memory leak, but I had the following applications open concurrently, partly to test my new 6GB RAM install:
    Aperture 3
    Photoshop 5.5
    DxO Optics Pro 7
    Photo Mechanic (32-bit)
    Something just wasn't giving back its memory after multiple open/close cycles. This is only Day Two of my Aperture 3 install, so I haven't really vetted the problem. At least in 32-bit mode, under Snow Leopard, Aperture 3 has been running as fast as I've ever seen it. I'm ultra-happy with its performance currently.
  36. pressing F cycle thru different view, L turn the light out meaning everything is hide except the image, D is the develop module​
    Not even close to Aperture's full screen mode or heads up display. I have both. In any case, that is what I would miss!
    just that it's a differentiating factor, and an important one​
    How so? Again, if a user has a question that can't be answered via forum/tutorial/website/book, then it is no longer a simple questions but an issue with the overall product. Using that type of logic means that we should all be using Windows because it has a larger user base and therefore easier to find answers to issues.
  37. To the OP:
    Part of the reason I've been so active in this thread, is because I've been evaluating the exact same decision, and only just upgraded to Aperture 3. Since I already owned Aperture 2, I was tempted by the $79 AppStore price, and decided to give Aperture another shot. I think overall, the stronger app is Lightroom, but I like Aperture's user interface better.
    However, while most of this is personal preference, there are real consequences to the decision made here. If you ever need to switch from one to the other (or, if the software publisher abandons the app), you will lose all of your application-specific adjustments. Both Adobe and Apple have abandoned apps in the past, but I do feel more nervous about Apple's commitment to Aperture than I do about Adobe's commitment to Lightroom. For me, the jury's still out, but Im really enjoying using Aperture in the meantime.
  38. Aperture speed... rarely is troublesome to me as I can stamp 1000 pictures (or more) with white balance, exposure, contrast, saturation adjusts, and etc, etc, etc and be done with it in a few seconds. The fine editing of blemishes etc I am much slower than the program so it is rare that it is the problem
    Apple commitment to Aperture vs Adobe to LR.... I would really really love to meet the person who can see/predict the future. Otherwise it is a guess. It is true that to switch is a big deal, but the solution is not to worry about migration of the legacy as the programs will last a long time, or convert image work to TIFF so your modifications are engraved into the image file. And I would guess that both company's commitment will last longer than the backup strategies most of the folks on here use... in other words the risk of losing the image is far greater than a company bailing out.
    Try both and see which one will fit your work flow the best.
  39. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Nobody is saying that more users means the product is better -- just that it's a differentiating factor, and an important one.​

    Exactly. Nothing like inserting a projection onto other people to defend one's own preference.
  40. how full can a screen be? by pressing F u go no menu, by pressing Tab you are going no ligtroom menu, full image ,
    small black frame... are whe gonna fight over how much frame whe see on screen.

    aperture 3 introduce level and curve... that was about time! lightroom 4 will introduce book with blurb, that is about time
    also. both are very similar in there option, both are excellent product. its more a question of what interface you like, what
    make your workflow more *comfortable*
  41. It's the little UI gems in LR that I like. For example, double-clicking any slider returns it to its neutral
    position. Wish photohshop did that...
  42. Brad said:
    It's the little UI gems in LR that I like. For example, double-clicking any slider returns it to its neutral position.​
    For what it's worth, Aperture has the same feature!
  43. In many respects, this is a lot like Nikon vs. Canon. Aperture and Lightroom are both fine products, are both part of larger "systems" of interrelated pieces, and both will give you great results once you learn to use them. But the products themselves look and feel different, and the companies behind them are different. Choose the one that fits your hand better.
    I chose Lightroom, but that doesn't mean you should. Don't go by what other people chose unless those other people are close to you, so you can borrow their lenses (expertise).
  44. So what I am getting is that it really comes down to personal preference. This really seems to be similar to a PC v Mac, or Coke v Pepsi debate. I guess I'll just spend 30 days with both and pick what I like best. It doesn't seem that there is any clear winner here today.
  45. are whe gonna fight over how much frame whe see on screen.​
    The OP asked what someone might miss with either app. I answered. The "fighting" is by those who seem to think an opposing opinion has no value.
    how full can a screen be?​
    Since you asked, it can be the full screen. Not a floating image with a frame around it.
    by pressing F u go no menu, by pressing Tab you are going no ligtroom menu, full image , small black frame...​
    And again, not the same thing. Have you tried using the shortcuts I mentioned in Aperture before to verify the difference. Or are you arguing for the sake of arguing? And finally, while I suppose we seem to disagree on the above, by my knowledge, there is nothing remotely close to the HUD in Lightroom... but that might be because they don't offer a full screen view ;)
  46. Steven:
    Yes, try 'em out, and see which one you like! The problem will likely be, you'll find things you really like about both! Here's my two top "likes" from Aperture and Lightroom:
    1. Aperture: Full-screen view with floating HUD (head's-up-display). Very pretty UI design here, and a fun way to work.
    2. Lightroom: direct RAW-to-Photoshop and back (Aperture requires you to generate a TIFF to "edit with" an external application like Photoshop).
  47. Aperture's low price compared to the competition makes it seem like a gift from Apple to those who buy it's computers. When I bought it long ago, I think The British Journal of Photography reported that the Raw convertor was quite a bit better than Lightroom's. I doubt that's still true, but Apple will probably provide updates longer than Adobe will. When Adobe releases a new version, they will probably stop supporting the old, forcing you to buy the new version if you buy a new camera. That may not seem likely, but you never know. In either case, it's difficult to transfer from one to the other, so the decision is pretty binding. best, jamie
  48. I don't know about Aperture, but I use Lighroom with dual monitors so I always have a full size preview on the second monitor (live). I don't know if that you can do that with Aperture and that is the deal seal for me.
  49. I don't know about Aperture, but I use Lighroom with dual monitors so I always have a full size preview on the second monitor (live). I don't know if that you can do that with Aperture and that is the deal seal for me.​
    I could not agree more! Back in the beginning, Aperture started with dual screen support. Lightroom added this feature later. Often, I am working with dual screens- but the ability to do a full screen image, bring up a HUD, and make an adjustment while the HUD fades away, is simply awesome when working with dual screens and the screens are mirrored (like I might dot with a client) or if you are simply working from a single screen.
    but Apple will probably provide updates longer than Adobe will.​
    Maybe. Apple ties Raw support to the OS. So you might have to update your OS. Which in turn might mean you need to update your software (Aperture). But yes, I imagine Apple will support "older" OS's.
  50. I use LR3 and beta LR4 on Macs. No complaints whatsoever or any desire to switch to Aperture. I find the noise reduction capabilities of LR when processing RAW files show at high ISO/low light conditions to be invaluable. Likewise, the lens correction tool in LR is something I would never be without again. Not having it in Aperture would be a showstopper for me.
  51. I'm not a Mac guy and have never used Aperture so I can't speak to that. The issue with Lightroom (I have LR3 and there have been great bargains out there, got mine for $99 and I ahve yet to see anything in LR4 that makes much of a difference) is that it is really not primarily a photo editing tool but a photo database. Yes, it works for developing RAW files since it uses the same Camera Raw tool found in Photoshop CS5. Different interface but otherwise the same.
    What you have to understand with this is:
    a) Editing is limited in comparison to PS etc
    b) LR is a database that remembers the edits you made but does not save an actual edited version until you tell it too. Some people love it others struggle with that.
    c) Due to b) working on files on different computers (even if the files are on a network drive) is a challenge
    d) People who are used to certain settings in Adobe Photoshop will find surprisingly different ways how things are set up in Adobe Lightroom, e.g. cropping tool, exporting to jpeg, etc
  52. Brad said:
    It's the little UI gems in LR that I like . . .​
    Although I do really like Lightroom's "click-to-zoom" cursor feature, and prefer it over Aperture's more awkward tilde-activated "loupe" view.
  53. it


    I have used Aperture for 4 years without any problems. I like the library system, works for me.
  54. Aperture 3.2 v. Lightroom 4 beta release:
    Although I'm still evaluating both, here's what I came away with so far:
    1. Camera-specific RAW support in Aperture is dependent on Apple OS X upgrades, which seem to lag behind, appear less-frequent than Adobe's, and can potentially be far more disruptive to install.
    2. Aperture lacks lens correction support--Lightroom 3/4 includes this.
    3. Lightroom's built-in noise-reduction bests Aperture's.
    4. Since Adobe authors both, Lightroom beats any non-Adobe app for RAW integration with Photoshop.
    5. Aperture finally added a "curves" adjustment with version 3, with independent color control, a feature now also available in the Lightroom 4 beta release. The lack of a curves adjustment in Aperture 2 was probably among its most-criticized "missing feature."
    6. While it would be nice if Aperture had a similar "gradient" feature to Lightroom's, I generally perform gradients in Photoshop layers anyway.
    While the deck seems stacked in Lightroom's favor, I still find myself favoring Aperture's user interface over Lightroom's. Someone mentioned that Aperture's UI didn't make any sense to them, but since I'm more used to it, I guess, I feel the other way around. I really like having the Inspector panel on the left side of the screen, with its three nested tabs: Library (file management), Metadata (with its easy-to-read, "camera LCD panel" display), and Adjustments (where all of the "develop" features reside).
    As for Lightroom's superior noise-reduction algorithm, I've just downloaded a trial version of Nik's Dfine noise-reduction plug-in for Aperture 3, and I'm pretty impressed. Yes, a more kludgey approach than Lightroom's built-in solution, but a solution nonetheless, helping to bring the app into greater parity with its competitor.
    However, both lens-correction support and RAW "round-trip" workflow, via-a-vis Photoshop, remain significant "missing features" of Aperture 3 (the latter of which, likely can never be "corrected"), when compared with Lightroom, giving potential Aperture users pause as to how they're going to integrate those missing features into their workflow, myself included, if so desired.
  55. Can anyone using Aperture and exporting 'professionally' (your own definition of this will vary) comment on the ability to properly handle metadata as per the problems highlighted in my previous post? I skipped Aperture because of these problems and am interested in people's real world experience.
    metadata problem with Aperture.
  56. OP UPDATE:

    I have been using both Lightroom 4 and Aperture 3 for a few days now. Early on I find myself reaching for Aperture. I just
    find the UI to be more comfortable. As far as the technical side, each has it's strengths and drawbacks, but not enough to
    give it a clear advantage over the other.
  57. John:
    I haven't really used Aperture that much (even though I've owned a copy since 2008) so I won't be of any help in answering your question (for ingest and EXIF/IPTC data management, I've been using the OS X version of PhotoMechanic). But, I saw that blog as well, and noted that it's about a year old (dated 01/31/2011). Plus, he was running Aperture 3.1. I did a quick search in Apple's support forums, and didn't find any recent posts complaining of similar metadata problems. I did find some users reporting metadata problems with Aperture, but those posts were dated 2009 and earlier. Hopefully, v3.2.2 has addressed those issues.
  58. Steven:
    I think I've given up comparing the two. I probably didn't invest enough time with Lightroom to give it a fair shake, but I kept coming back to Aperture for its UI as well. Even after owning Aperture 2 for years, I never really used it. Now, with a fresh install of Aperture 3, on a newly upgraded 6GB iMac, it's literally like a new program to me, especially since I'm now learning its post-processing features in-depth. This, thanks in large part to the Focal Press book, "Apple Aperture 3," by McMahon & Rawlinson, that I only just purchased. It's the most comprehensive book on Aperture 3 I could find, and I highly recommend it.
    That said, I'm still a bit reticent to use Aperture as a primary DAM, and am using Aperture on a few selected imported image folders at the moment (in addition to a largely unedited, 300GB archive), but I think I'm warming up to the idea. But, I'm really enjoying Aperture's many available post-processing adjustments, now that I'm more familiar with how they work. I also just downloaded a trial version of Nik software's Viveza 2 (along with Dfine), and finding that a lot of fun. Control points are awesome! Lots of bang for very little cerebral investment. Will probably buy the entire Nik plug-in suite for Aperture soon.
  59. Hello everyone,
    I'm joining the conversation a bit late, but I'm currently going through the same dilemma. For me, the Lightroom/Aperture debate is closely tied to the Apple/PC debate.
    I've gone from PC to Mac and back a few times in my life, but I've been mostly Mac for about 5 years now. However, time is coming to upgrade that hardware, and I'm debating which way to go. If Apple has hardware as good as what's available in the PC world, there would be no question to ask, and I'd stick with Apple and Aperture. But a Dell M4600 with RGB LED IPS screen is way better than a MacBook Pro (and about the same price), and the Mac Pro is so outdated it's not even funny. Hardware-wise, I'm heavily leaning towards jumping to the PC side.
    The unfortunate part is that I've been an Aperture user since version 1.5, and I'm rather happy with it. I haven't really looked at what Lightroom has to offer over the past few years. I last used Lightroom 2, and I found the interface weird, so I stuck on the Aperture side.
    Library migration isn't a huge deal, because I don't really revisit old projects much once I've finished processing everything and exported TIFFs. I'd probably keep an old Mac around if I needed to get to some of the old master files and move all new captures to Lightroom.
    Then again, Apple could release a MBP with an IPS display in a few months and update Aperture to v.4 also. But It's difficult to keep on waiting without indication of releases that may or may not happen...
  60. OK, I'm REALLY late to this conversation, but better late than never....
    I've been using Aperture for about 5 years and have never really had a problem with it. However, like others who have posted, I'm concerned about Apple's commitment to the product going forward in light of their other lucrative priorities. Moving my photography workflow to an iPad will not be an option!
    For the past week I've been giving Lightroom 4.1 a try. I copied and imported a handful of my Aperture projects to compare them side-by-side. Here are my early, initial thoughts:
    1. LR is much faster to launch and quit. In between the two programs are comparable in speed.
    2. I use the NIK Software plugins extensively and they work just fine in both programs.
    3. I prefer the way Aperture lets you embed Albums and Smart Albums right within projects. LR's collections live outside the folders. Therefore, if you want to create a Smart Collection with photos restricted to a certain folder, you need to specify that folder by name. But this can become problematic if you have multiple folders with similar names, because the folder name matching criteria in the Smart Collection editor are a bit fuzzy, and you can't point to specific folders on disk with a folder picker.
    4. I've always used referenced files in Aperture, so the fact that LR supports ONLY referenced files is just fine with me.
    No clear winner for me so far. At the moment I think both products expose very similar capabilities in different ways. But now I know that if I have to jump ship to LR the biggest adjustment for me will be collections vs. albums.

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