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Author Topic: Aperture or Lightroom ??  (Read 33326 times)
Martin Archer-Shee
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« on: April 30, 2014, 06:38:54 AM »
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I recently became a partial convert to mac when I got a MBPro with 500ssd and 16ram.( many thanks Lawrence, for the thoughts and guidance). So far I still have my desktop PC. I have used  LR a bit but am not fluent with it. Often I use Photoshop to finalize and then print.

So my question is " Which is the better/easier/more useful program to use LR or Aperture?" Posting in this forum probably will have some bias  Grin but will also have more knowledgeable respondents on the Aperture side.

Pros and Cons and experiences are most welcome.

Thanks
Martin
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Chairman Bill
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2014, 06:57:37 AM »
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I can only speak for the ease of use of Aperture, and the fact that it gives me some great results with both Nikon & Fuji cameras. I also use the Nik software plug-ins, mainly Viveza & Silver Efex 2.

Aperture is also a simple download for about £55 - https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/aperture/id408981426?mt=12

Obviously US price will be different, but for comparison, the cheapest way of getting the latest version of Lightroom is through Adobe's creative cloud, and essentially a rental agreement of about £9 per month, on-going. That makes Aperture significantly cheaper.

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ButchM
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2014, 09:01:07 AM »
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I do have a bias ... after using Lr from the very first public beta until a little more than a year ago, I moved my entire RAW workflow from Lr to Aperture. The superior capabilities Aperture offers in the areas of books and multi-media slideshows was very important for me as both products are popular with my clients and sell rather well. No longer did I have to export mountains of images to use in other software for those products ... I could work directly with my RAW images from import to finished product. To some, this may not seem important as it is rather easy to export images from Lr .... but I am talking tens of thousands of images over the course of a year. That is a huge savings in time and effort for me.

Secondly ... Support for new cameras and tethering support. With Lr, if you purchase a new camera and it is on the cusp of a new version release (assuming you are using the perpetual license version of Lr) You may be forced to upgrade Lr just to have it be able to convert your files without using the free DNG converter because Adobe does not offer updates to RAW support for past versions ... RAW support for Aperture is actually OS based in Core Image and is updated very frequently at no additional charge to the end user. Apple supports nearly twice as many cameras for tethering ... and usually adds tethering support on the same day they add RAW support. Adobe supports fewer cameras for tethering and adds support often many, many months after offering RAW support.

I much prefer the cloning/healing capabilities in Aperture over Lr ... it is much more Ps like in that respect. Though, Lr does have much more detailed and refined lens correction. So comparing item for item, each have their benefits ... you just have to discern if certain features are more important for you.

I have to say, that Aperture is quite likely the best bargain I have ever made for a software purchase. At $80, you really can't go wrong.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2014, 11:04:23 AM »
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You should really test both. There are pluses to each. I do most of my work in Lightroom but agree with Butch about books, they are much better in terms of creation and output in Aperture. I don't find it difficult to move my finished images from LR to Aperture for book production. I love the Print module in LR.
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Andrew Rodney
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KirbyKrieger
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« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2014, 10:22:49 AM »
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They are each excellent, wondrous programs.  The differences between them have remained the same since LR 3 and Ap 3 came out:

Aperture has better image organization features.
Aperture has a better UI (modeless).
Aperture is much more tightly integrated to other Apple programs.
 
Lightroom has a much larger installed user base.
Lightroom has more, and more readily available, learning materials.
Lightroom is more frequently, and faster, updated to include new cameras.
Lightroom is more up-to-date.

If none of those pushes you on one direction, my suggestion -- seriously -- is to use the one that looks good to you. 
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2014, 11:06:00 AM »
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Aperture has better image organization features.

No, its smart folders are certainly much better, but Aperture's organisational structure is only more "in your face" than Lightroom's equivalent features. You're forced to use virtual folders (projects, albums, "folders") and Aperture's UI hides your photos' folder locations, while Lightroom's UI shows your hard drive folders and only also offers virtual folder ("collections") organisation.
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KirbyKrieger
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« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2014, 11:50:49 AM »
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No, its smart folders are certainly much better, but Aperture's organisational structure is only more "in your face" than Lightroom's equivalent features. You're forced to use virtual folders (projects, albums, "folders") and Aperture's UI hides your photos' folder locations, while Lightroom's UI shows your hard drive folders and only offers virtual folder ("collections") organization.

Hi John,

Could you be specific? 

The difference, as I see it, can be summarized generally as: Aperture is an Image-manager, whereas Lightroom remains a image-format file manager.  The hiding of the (created-for-use-in-Finder, "logical"*) location of your files is deliberate, clever, and neatly matched to the image-centered design of Aperture.  Since Images exist only in memory while the program is running, it makes little sense to use a file manager to manage them.  (Images are rendered on-the-fly from the imported file and the text file of instructions on how to change the appearance and metadata of that file.  As an aside, "photo" has no exact meaning in Aperture.  IME, its use is ill-advised.) 

*Your files are no more "in" the virtual folders shown to you by Finder than your Images are in the equally-virtual folders you create in Aperture.

More specifically, the virtual folders and Image containers (in Aperture, Folders hold containers; they do not contain Images that are not in another container) that Aperture provides constitute the organizational advantage that Aperture has which Lightroom (afaik) does not.  Contrary to your claim, there is nothing equivalent in Lightroom (again, as far as I know).  I find this "upper layer" of organization extremely useful.  It is one the reasons I elected to use Aperture instead of Lightroom.

I don't what you mean to emphasize by "in your face".  Aperture is delightfully modeless (unlike Lightroom).  It's organizational features are always available.  I count this as a significant advantage.  If this is more "in my face", then "more of that, please".
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2014, 01:02:21 PM »
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I disagree that Aperture is an "image-manager" and Lightroom supposedly an "image-format file manager", whatever that distinction may be, Kirby. They perform the same role, just Aperture obscures where your files are. Deliberate as that may be, it still leaves the user with only virtual organisational bucket structures compared to Lightroom offering control over both physical and virtual organisation. Although Lightroom lets some people try to use folders to categorise their images, most don't, and you can have the same project-style organisation. I even know of one guy who hides Lightroom's folder panel and has an Aperture-like experience only using collections. Really, there's little to choose between the organisational strengths of the two apps.

As for "in your face", what I mean there is that Aperture's organisational aspects - projects/albums etc - are much more part of users' experience of the app. In Aperture you must put images in projects, and all the other buckets go into that structure, so you're continually thinking in terms of categorising your images in projects. Aperture's UI is all about this organisational hierarchy. By contrast Lightroom's two organisational features, OS folders and virtual buckets, mean there isn't a single way in which users perceive or experience its organisational aspects. The "better organisation" of Aperture is apparent rather than anything real.

John
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ButchM
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2014, 01:28:43 PM »
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Lightroom is more frequently, and faster, updated to include new cameras.


I disagree ... While Adobe may offer new versions of Lr more frequently, Apple routinely adds new camera support in about the same time period as does Adobe for ACR/Lr ... the two constantly leap frog each other in this respect with neither capable of claiming a defining title to timeliness for offering new camera RAW support.

One distinct difference though, Apple does not charge Aperture users for new camera support ... whereas, if Adobe offers the new camera support on a time cycle that coincides with a new version release of Ps/ACR or Lr ... users are compelled to invest monetarily to receive that new camera support.

On the matter of "organization" .... I think that is a wash as well. In terms of quickly accessing specific  images by searching various metadata criteria, both apps do a good job of offering up the desired results. It's also a matter of six of one, half dozen of the other in applying said metadata. They are different, but not so much as to enable the claim of superiority for either. If you use Aperture with referenced libraries, I have experienced no difference in performing my daily tasks. Both are equally useful and efficient.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2014, 01:42:57 PM »
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I disagree ... While Adobe may offer new versions of Lr more frequently, Apple routinely adds new camera support in about the same time period as does Adobe for ACR/Lr ... the two constantly leap frog each other in this respect with neither capable of claiming a defining title to timeliness for offering new camera RAW support.
Agreed about the leapfrogging (is that a word?). The new camera support bit of this is a huge hassle for both companies and completely due to the camera manufacturers. Apple can update the OS to support newer cameras and as they have to update their OS often, they do it there. Adobe has to update the DNG converter such that there is no cost to their customers for this updated support. I don't see this as a viable area to compare the two due to the main reason this issue occurs in the first place. It's possible a DNG converter update will land prior to an Apple OS update for camera support and vise versa. It's a mess neither company nor their users should have to deal with.
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One distinct difference though, Apple does not charge Aperture users for new camera support ... whereas, if Adobe offers the new camera support on a time cycle that coincides with a new version release of Ps/ACR or Lr ... users are compelled to invest monetarily to receive that new camera support.
Adobe doesn't charge either unless there are new features added. I think that's important to emphasize. And the free DNG converter is another option. But again, it's a mess no one should have to deal with.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2014, 01:57:33 PM »
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Aperture supports DNG. So say you have a brand new camera. IF Apple updates their camera support, advantage Aperture. But if Adobe updates the DNG converter first, I'd suspect you could use it to convert those new camera files to DNG and use them in Aperture. So in that respect, Aperture gives you two possible routes to use the new camera files.

Now if Apple would just better support/fix some issues with DNG (like the lack of previews in the Finder).
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Andrew Rodney
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ButchM
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2014, 02:07:05 PM »
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Agreed about the leapfrogging (is that a word?). The new camera support bit of this is a huge hassle for both companies and completely due to the camera manufacturers. Apple can update the OS to support newer cameras and as they have to update their OS often, they do it there. Adobe has to update the DNG converter such that there is no cost to their customers for this updated support. I don't see this as a viable area to compare the two due to the main reason this issue occurs in the first place. It's possible a DNG converter update will land prior to an Apple OS update for camera support and vise versa. It's a mess neither company nor their users should have to deal with. Adobe doesn't charge either unless there are new features added. I think that's important to emphasize. And the free DNG converter is another option. But again, it's a mess no one should have to deal with.

I agree on the DNG converter ... it is free, though it can create a slowdown or bottle neck for users when on a tight deadline or working with larger volumes of images to import, sort and organize. Native support creates a much more seamless and efficient workflow. I do appreciate that Apple doesn't charge me for such updates.

I also agree offering new camera support is no fault of third party software developers. Unless or until, those of use who buy these cameras, insist upon a universal RAW file format from the camera makers ... we are all stuck in purgatory for new camera RAW file support.

See Andrew ... and you thought there wasn't much we actually agreed upon.  Wink
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BobShaw
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2014, 01:03:34 AM »
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I just got asked the same question in another group, so copied answer.

I am a long time user of Aperture and an occasional user of Lightroom. I have to use Lightroom for some workshops.

Frankly, Aperture eats Lightroom in usability and cost. It wasn't too bad when you could buy Lightroom outright. I am currently on $9 per month with Photoshop but that is likely to change, and as I already owned Photoshop comparatively expensive.

The interface in Aperture was designed by real people. Lightroom, even though it was copied from Aperture, is cumbersome. For instance, if you are in the Library in Aperture, you see the Library but don't fill up your screen with tools you aren't using.

Lightroom does have Lens correction and camera profiles, which Aperture does not. However the Aperture library can be put on a server along with the files, so the same catalogue can be used by multiple computers and backed up by Time Machine overnight. That is a big plus for me. Also the export to books etc is much better on Aperture. You can also use an Aperture library with iPhoto is you choose to.

The hidden secret with Apple of course is how it all goes together. I can share my Apple library to my iPhone or iPad and take it with me or play it through Apple TV for presentations and that is pretty good.

Unfortunately Apple seems to have abandoned Aperture at Version 3.5 and there have been no updates for a while. Keeping my files as referenced means that the same originals can be used by Aperture, Lightroom and Capture One, so I am free to use whatever. However if I leave Aperture it will be to Capture One not Lightroom.
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ario
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« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2014, 01:18:50 AM »
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Keeping my files as referenced means that the same originals can be used by Aperture, Lightroom and Capture One, so I am free to use whatever.
This is also what I do.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2014, 02:12:21 AM »
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It wasn't too bad when you could buy Lightroom outright. I am currently on $9 per month with Photoshop but that is likely to change, and as I already owned Photoshop comparatively expensive.

You still can buy it outright, Bob. But cost shouldn't be a factor - maybe Apple are having to price low? Aperture's cost is artificially reduced because there's not been a proper upgrade, while LR's rental cost includes an elephant too. They're both astonishing value for money.

The interface in Aperture was designed by real people. Lightroom, even though it was copied from Aperture, is cumbersome. For instance, if you are in the Library in Aperture, you see the Library but don't fill up your screen with tools you aren't using.

Apple-eyed there! Don't forget Aperture copied large elements of its design directly from Extensis Portfolio (take a look at where Apple got Aperture's product manager and lead designers). Lightroom was unveiled a month or two after Aperture, which is a bit fast for Adobe's coders to have copied it, and Lightroom had been in development as "Shadowland" at the same time as Aperture. Aperture did have a big role though - its initial welcome being so positive that it convinced Adobe that there was a market for this kind of product.

Lightroom's UI is distinctive, a series of task-oriented workspaces, while Aperture's encourages you to do one thing when you were intending to do something else. So one's good for those who focus on a task, the other for people with shorter attention spans? Not really, the UIs are just different.

Lightroom does have Lens correction and camera profiles, which Aperture does not. However the Aperture library can be put on a server along with the files, so the same catalogue can be used by multiple computers and backed up by Time Machine overnight. That is a big plus for me. Also the export to books etc is much better on Aperture. You can also use an Aperture library with iPhoto is you choose to.

Books and certainly the Slideshow are better in Aperture. Shame one can't say the same about Print, or about adjusting multiple images simultaneously - Lightroom's AutoSync mode is even better in LR5.

As for using iPhoto, sure that isn't that a sign that Aperture is going to be merged into iPhoto? 

The hidden secret with Apple of course is how it all goes together. I can share my Apple library to my iPhone or iPad and take it with me or play it through Apple TV for presentations and that is pretty good.

Or how it goes together as long as you stay in an Apple-only world? Aperture doesn't even work if you want to use a different brand of computer.

Unfortunately Apple seems to have abandoned Aperture at Version 3.5 and there have been no updates for a while. Keeping my files as referenced means that the same originals can be used by Aperture, Lightroom and Capture One, so I am free to use whatever. However if I leave Aperture it will be to Capture One not Lightroom.

It's amusing that the most-visited page on my Lightroom site is consistently the how-to page on Moving from Aperture to Lightroom....

John
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« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2014, 03:56:28 AM »
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It's amusing that the most-visited page on my Lightroom site is consistently the how-to page on Moving from Aperture to Lightroom....

Do you have a page on moving from Lightroom to Aperture?
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2014, 04:14:10 AM »
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Do you have a page on moving from Lightroom to Aperture?

No, why, would it interest anyone visiting my site? In any case, Lightroom doesn't make it as tricky as Aperture - it saves metadata back to the files in a safer manner, and doesn't let people hide their photos inside the library/catalogue.
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BobShaw
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« Reply #17 on: May 02, 2014, 06:20:49 PM »
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maybe Apple are having to price low?

LOL. First time I heard anyone say that about Apple.

Lightroom's UI is distinctive, a series of task-oriented workspaces, while Aperture's encourages you to do one thing when you were intending to do something else. So one's good for those who focus on a task, the other for people with shorter attention spans?

Shorter attention spans? That is a really unfortunate comment. 

Quite simply, if I am going through the catalogue, I want to see the catalogue, not the adjustments. If I am doing adjustments I want to see the adjustments, not the catalogue. One click clearing the screen works for me. I don't have a 27" screen to cover it with crap I am not doing, but  each their own.
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ButchM
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« Reply #18 on: May 02, 2014, 11:13:31 PM »
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LOL. First time I heard anyone say that about Apple.

Shorter attention spans? That is a really unfortunate comment. 

So is ...

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The interface in Aperture was designed by real people. Lightroom, even though it was copied from Aperture, is cumbersome.

I think it is quite reasonable to point out that the engineers that originally coded Lightroom for Adobe are indeed "real people" and living breathing human beings ... and that while Aperture may have officially been publicly introduced first ... it's quite safe to say that Lr (Shadowland) had been in the works long before Apple made the Aperture announcement.

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Quite simply, if I am going through the catalogue, I want to see the catalogue, not the adjustments. If I am doing adjustments I want to see the adjustments, not the catalogue. One click clearing the screen works for me. I don't have a 27" screen to cover it with crap I am not doing, but  each their own.


Well, if you need to save space on a smaller monitor or laptop screen ... Lr has had the ability (for quite some time) to show or hide end panels and the film strip. I routinely use the "Auto Hide and Show" feature by hiding the panels I don't wish to view full time ... a simple mouse over and they pop up as needed.

Wow ... I hate defending Adobe ... Even though Aperture is my preferred tool of choice, we should be fair about the capabilities of software when we make direct comparisons.

There are plenty of areas where I think Aperture is better ... but I don't think we need to be insulting or making false claims to further the cause.
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BobShaw
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« Reply #19 on: May 03, 2014, 02:53:55 AM »
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Sorry, but I posted a comment to the op. If others disagree then they should state their opinion to the op, not waste time dissecting the comments of others.

IMHO having to use Auto Hide and Show to cover something that it not necessary in the first place is just bad design. I find the Lightroom interface a dog. If you disagree or don't like Aperture then that is your choice, but why are you here on the Aperture section?

Something I should have added in regards to the Aperture price. It is an App in the App store and by comparison to most Apps, it is not cheap. The reason it should be and is a lot cheaper than Lightroom is that it doesn't need to provide raw converters, because that is all done in the OS, where it should be done. As new cameras come on line then it automatically supports them, without dropping support for older cameras like Adobe does.
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