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Author Topic: What do like/dislike about Apeture 3?  (Read 7962 times)
oceanrhythms
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« on: May 24, 2010, 10:38:34 PM »
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What do like/dislike about Apeture 3? I am doing research and trying to decide on purchasing Lightroom (when the new version comes out) or Apeture 3. Thanks for your insight!

John
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Hywel
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2010, 03:43:14 AM »
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First of all, the LR3 beta 2 is free, and Apple have a 30 day free trial on Aperture 3. So download both, set aside a day each to try them for some actual (but non-urgent) work and see which you get on with better.

For me, I prefer Aperture 3. Aperture 2 had some stability issues with large files (it definitely didn't like 16 bit TIFFs from my 31 megapixel Hassleblad). For that reason I switched to LR2.5 then LR3 beta 1/2. I've just completed the switch back; Aperture 3 is 64 bit throughout and is stable with these large files.

Here's why I've moved everything back to Aperture, and heaved a huge sigh of relief at being able to do so:

1) The selective retouching tools in Aperture 3 are DRAMATICALLY more capable and flexible than the rather primitive toolset in LR. For example, both programs will let you clone or heal patches in the picture. Aperture uses a "Paint on: clone out this" brush which lets you retouch irregular shapes. LR only lets you do circles, with no control over the falloff or softness of the effect. That's fine for pure dust spots, but functionally almost impossible to retouch out a telegraph wire or a line on skin from tight clothing.

The LR "spots" stay editable and viewable more easily, but that's all they've got going for them. You can't even overlap them to get proper coverage on a non-circular feature you want to retouch out, and they're not good at edge detection so getting rid of a blemish that goes up to a boundary in the picture is nigh on impossible.

For me this is THE killer feature of Aperture, because it means I don't need Photoshop in my workflow, which is a huge time saver. (It isn't that Photoshop itself is slow, it is that Photoshop is a great tool for processing single images, but not so well set up for batch workflow on hundreds of images).

2) The skin smoothing tool is similarly much better in Aperture. It does its job better and is easier to control, edit what areas it covers, etc.  The same control system is used for the other adjustment brushes like dodge, burn, blur, sharpen, polarise, etc. These have edge detect, which makes it much easier to control.

3) Personally, I find the non-modal layout of Aperture more natural. In Lightroom, you are forced to do operations in a certain way. If that suits your workflow, fine. If it doesn't, Lightroom will fight you every step of the way. It is little things like the keyboard shortcuts being mode dependent.

For example, if you are going through and adding keywords to your shots and you see a dust speck you want to remove, in Aperture you just click the retouch brush or hit "x" and do it, then carry on with whatever you were doing. In Lightroom, you have to switch to Develop mode, then select the brush. The keyboard shortcut for the brush ONLY works if you are already in develop mode. If you are in another mode it will do something completely different.

That means that getting to the job you want to do next in Lightroom requires you to know where you are right now. So remembering how to retouch means first looking at the screen to see what mode you are in- you can't get it into muscle memory so easily.

Whereas Aperture's interface and shortcuts are more sensible to me, more streamlined and THE SAME at all times. "x" always brings up the retouch brush.

4) It is not actually a big deal for me, but Aperture 3 has soft proofing; LR3b2 does not. If your final destination is print, this may be a big help.

5) On the other hand, Lightroom does have more flexible control over colours in the image. If you want to make a "Hollywood" 3 point colour correction to make the shadows cool, the highlights warm, hold the skin tones where they are and make the rest of the mid tones somewhat greener, I find it easier to do in LR than Ap. It can be done in Aperture, but I don't find it as natural as the HSL sliders for different colour ranges that Lightroom has. Aperture is probably ultimately as flexible or more so, but Lightroom's system is more immediate.

6) If you absolutely need to play nice with other software, Lightroom's ability to automatically write out all changes and metadata to sidecar XMP files is better than Aperture; Aperture CAN write out the XMP sidecar files but you need to re-export the master images to do that, rather than just writing the sidecar files as it goes.

However, the fact that you can export with sidecar means that one is not "locked into" Aperture, which was a worry expressed by people in earlier versions, and Aperture 3 reads (most) metadata from LR//ACR happily enough. Using referenced masters (which pretty much everyone I know using Aperture professionally does) means that you retain your current organisation of master files on disk, too.

7) Aperture 3 treats libraries as proper first-class citizens. You can export a project or a selection of projects to a new library in seconds, merge and import libraries, and switch libraries quickly within the program. I find this very useful for managing my work- my production queue lives in one library, my archives live in another, my personal pics in another, and when I go on location I can keyword and process images and seamlessly import back onto my MacPro when I get home by exporting the library. This all works very well and is much better handled in Ap than LR in my opinion.

Cool The geotagging and places feature is kinda fun, and possibly useful if globe trotting is your major activity. I use it for my non-work pics and enjoy it. The faces feature seems more like a gimmick to me and I don't use it, but places is nice.

9) Aperture-produced books are very easy to make, printed to a high standard... and sadly rather expensive compared with blurb etc. But for one-offs it is so easy to do from within Aperture that I find the feature worthwhile- I've actually made some books and enjoyed the process, which was nice.

10) Management of adjustment presets is nice in Aperture, building up a library of standard looks is easy and you can preview how each effect will look on your current photo which is interesting in getting you thinking about the image.

11) Full screen mode (with the heads-up-display where needed) feels like flying, it gets you much more "involved" with the shot somehow. Definitely better than LR's full screen implementation.

The bottom line? Aperture 3 is a one stop shop for me. Lightroom isn't. I enjoy working within Aperture, it feels fluid and natural and well laid out to me. Lightroom feels like it is fighting me, and its interface and layout is an absolute mess.

Hope that helps.

  Cheers, Hywel.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2010, 03:54:20 AM by Hywel » Logged
Steven Draper
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« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2010, 07:17:32 AM »
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Strengths over LR (version 2.x)

Good Raw conversion of Nikon files, not quiet as good as Nikon capture NX2, but perfectly adequate for all but my high end shots.
Good selection of editing tools and plugins.
Better user interface then LR (IMHO)
Very customizable metadata, very useful is you have a collection that benefits from unique tags. For example my Aviation collection can have fields such as Airport and Registration. My print catalogue also has unique fields for search and reference.
Places is great, although not essential. Faces seems a bit gimmicky at this point.

File system:
Apple have a different approach to filing and the use of a structured folder system is not required. When aperture launched the ability to create a referenced system was not permitted and everything was managed. This caused problems if you then wanted to find the raw file to convert in a different raw convertor. APerture 1.5 rectified this with the referenced system.
I used to have a real problem with this having a very strict folder system, but the more I use aperture the less worried I am about folder on my hard drive system. The Project, folder, album concept actually works really well and if I need to place all particular images together for some reason then I can.

Gotcha:
When shifting files around, the Move file will actually copy the file unless it is on the same hard drive.

Concern:
Aperture following is much smaller than LR which means that there is always a concern over its future. However 5 years of Aperture have seen strong improvements, even if a little behind LR at times.

Summary:

Overall Aperture knocks LR off the shelf for my workflow preferences. Like most things there are multiple ways of doing things and the first exposure that we have often sets preferences as alternative approaches seem alien later. Aperture is built around the Mac OS structure and search capability and requires a slightly different approach to the traditional Folder structure get the best out of it.

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maljo
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« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2010, 08:33:27 AM »
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I have 450,000 RAW files in Aperture.  I love the way the program works and I
find the image quality to be the best of any RAW converter I've tried.
Making web sized JPGs and printing are a joy.  Finding any given image is a snap.

Shoot 2,000 RAW bike race photos, process them, output resized JPGs for the client - easy.

What I like the best?
image quality
organization of images

I also use PSCS 5, LR3, NX2.  I've tried DXO, Capture One, RPP.
They are all good, but I prefer Aperture 3.

maljo
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mcmorrison
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« Reply #4 on: July 18, 2010, 06:48:29 PM »
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Hello,

I like A3 a great deal for many of the reasons listed in this thread.

I have a few items on my wish list for A3:

Auto-scaling with the straighten tool limits the possible crops. This seems needlessly limiting.

Brush adjustments are great, but I find it hard to know which adjustments bricks have brushes associated.

I would prefer to make a brush mask, and then be able to associate one or several adjustments with it, rather than being limited to just one adjustment brick.

The lens correction adjustment in LR3 is fantastic, and I want it in A3.

Best,

Michael
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sjprg
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« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2010, 11:47:14 PM »
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 I must be dense. I copied my raw images from my PC pictures folder which is laided out by yyyy/mm/dd/folder name to my MacBook Pro external firewire 800 drive and than told aperture 3 to import them, which several hours later it completed. I opened Aperture 3 and there was 6,000 images in a list. I can't find a thing without traversing the whole damm list. Put CS5 on the Macbook pro and bridge showed all my folders as laid out without creating a huge catalog. I'm sure that those who take the time to figure out how to use a database cataloge find it useful, but for me I can traverse a yyyy/mm/dd/folder name directory much quicker. At any rate Apture 3 is deleted and CS5 purchased
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Hywel
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« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2010, 02:58:08 AM »
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Quote from: sjprg
I must be dense. I copied my raw images from my PC pictures folder which is laided out by yyyy/mm/dd/folder name to my MacBook Pro external firewire 800 drive and than told aperture 3 to import them, which several hours later it completed. I opened Aperture 3 and there was 6,000 images in a list. I can't find a thing without traversing the whole damm list. Put CS5 on the Macbook pro and bridge showed all my folders as laid out without creating a huge catalog. I'm sure that those who take the time to figure out how to use a database cataloge find it useful, but for me I can traverse a yyyy/mm/dd/folder name directory much quicker. At any rate Apture 3 is deleted and CS5 purchased


... "Import folders as projects" would have given you exactly what you want in Ap3.

Aperture maintains a logical structure, by which I mean that the structure inside Aperture can be anything you want it to be, rather than imposing the same physical organisation that you have on disk. This is potentially powerful. But that means you've got to decide what that structure is actually going to be, Aperture will let you organise it however you like so if you don't tell it to, it won't do any organising.

Importing Folders as projects gets you a mirror of your physical drive organisation.

Alternatively you could have asked import to auto-split the photos by date, making a new project for each shooting day.

But since you didn't ask it to do either of those things, it gave you a flat list

Hywel Phillips


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Theodore
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2010, 11:32:44 PM »
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I moved from LR 1 and 2.x to Aperture 3.x.  Although I had copies of Aperture 1 and 2, it was Aperture 3 that did everything that I wanted and more.  I've described what I like about the program over LR in other posts, and much of it echos what is written above, but to hit some high points: RAW conversions - I like these much more than LR.  Speed - oh my, even over external FW800 Drobos, the images are coming up super fast and render super fast; LR would take FOREVER (by comparison anyway) to render a set of several hundred photos even on an 8-core Mac Pro with 14 gigs of RAM.  The editing tools are better with the exception of not having the excellent LR graduated filter.  THE INTERFACE.  This is SO much better than LR for me - and is so modular - full screen mode is excellent and you can bring up the HUDs and put them where ever - cool Aperture tip that I got from Scott Bourne:  if you are in full screen and are making an adjustment with a slider, just hold down the shift key and the hud disappears except for that one slider.  So if you have a 30", you see your photo in that whole area with just that ONE SLIDER visible.  The user experience is very Apple, which is to say there is a lot of "ah, that's lovely" going on where as LR feels like your slogging away in a computer program (subjective, I know).  

To the poster who was opting for CS5 over Aperture, I use PS in concert with Aperture when needed and it's great.  Here's a nice little web video about how Chase Jarvis uses Aperture in his front-to-back work flow:  http://blog.chasejarvis.com/blog/2010/06/w...or-photo-video/

Chase Jarvis has a fantastic G-Drive server system that he uses with Aperture and Joe McNally uses Aperture as well with a large libraries using Drobos.  My experience with my Drobos is that it is VERY, very flexible and can keep track of things for you with a logic that isn't available in LR or you can do the folders in structures you create just like LR.  I like that I can switch between libraries instantly and break up types of photos (and collections of folders) that way.

I also highly recommend the free and well-done Apple videos:  http://www.apple.com/aperture/action/

The Apple "how to" videos are free and also excellent with the basics:  http://www.apple.com/aperture/how-to/  
There are other training resources out there at places like kelbytrainig.com and maccreate.com   I'd spend some time with the "in action" and "how to" videos at least when working with the free trial as a very few minutes will open up a lot of understanding for you.
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Theodore
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« Reply #8 on: July 26, 2010, 01:26:35 AM »
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And I'm going to have to stress speed again.  I did try LR3 and there are some great additions and what I think are improvements over LR2.6, but my goodness that program was running slow on my 8 core mac pro w/ 14 GB RAM.  Another thing that hit home as I played with it was again that limiting interface.  I'm attaching a screen shot from Aperture 3 that shows full screen with a left-locked HUD.  But you can put that HUD anywhere you want and go truly full screen.  And if you want to see your other shots while in full screen - just move your mouse / pen pointer all the way to the bottom of the screen and your film strip pops up.  Other edit tools pop down from the top.  Move away and you're back to full screen real estate for your photograph.  To get to full screen at any time - hit "F" - for the HUD hit "H" - to drag it into a locked and expanded position, drag the free-floating HUD to a side.  If it's free floating and you make a slider adjustment - you can hide everything in the HUD but the one slider you're using by holding down "shift" while you adjust.   I've attached a few screen captures show how these views look in Aperture 3.
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FredT
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« Reply #9 on: July 26, 2010, 09:05:06 AM »
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Quote from: Theodore
And I'm going to have to stress speed again.
Though I've used it since it's beginning, I'm not a fan of the Lightroom user interface.  I gave Aperture 3 a trial and found it fast enough for most things, but sharpening was a deal breaker.  Each time I would move a slider, the entire image would go soft, then some noticeable time later pop into focus.  I found it very difficult to judge what was happening.  I've never seen this kind of sharpening behavior in a program before.  Was I doing something wrong?
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Theodore
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« Reply #10 on: July 26, 2010, 03:48:00 PM »
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Quote from: FredT
Though I've used it since it's beginning, I'm not a fan of the Lightroom user interface.  I gave Aperture 3 a trial and found it fast enough for most things, but sharpening was a deal breaker.  Each time I would move a slider, the entire image would go soft, then some noticeable time later pop into focus.  I found it very difficult to judge what was happening.  I've never seen this kind of sharpening behavior in a program before.  Was I doing something wrong?

Fred -

I think LR has super-duper sharpening and it's called... sharpening.  Aperture can sharpen well too, and it's called ... Edge Sharpen.  Unfortunately, they put "sharpening" into the default list of adjustments so that you're not even looking for something.  If you right click and see all of the adjustments that aren't added to the default set until you added them, you'll see Edge Sharpen.  What I've done is added Edge Sharpen to the defaults and removed sharpening back to a right click existence.
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CatOne
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« Reply #11 on: July 27, 2010, 01:49:42 PM »
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Quote from: Theodore
Fred -

I think LR has super-duper sharpening and it's called... sharpening.  Aperture can sharpen well too, and it's called ... Edge Sharpen.  Unfortunately, they put "sharpening" into the default list of adjustments so that you're not even looking for something.  If you right click and see all of the adjustments that aren't added to the default set until you added them, you'll see Edge Sharpen.  What I've done is added Edge Sharpen to the defaults and removed sharpening back to a right click existence.

I think this is the default these days?  If you started with 1.0 it might not be but I figure with all new installations of 2.0 and later that Edge Sharpening should be the default.

That said, while Aperture's edge sharpening is quite good (you need to increase the default amount from 22 to 50 or so, generally, for Canon and Nikon cameras), Lightroom gives you more control.  You can specifically use the modifier key to _see_ the masks and how much it's applying, and in many ways I like that.  Though I don't know that it necessarily gives better results.
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