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Author Topic: Aperture  (Read 5017 times)
John Camp
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« on: January 03, 2006, 07:47:55 PM »
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I was interested to see this review; it's less technical and more pertinent than others I've looked at, although most seem to be heading toward the same conclusion -- that Aperture might be good some day, but not yet.

My personal feeling is that this is a major misfire. There'd been rumors of an Apple program that would take up some of Adobe's space, and everybody expected something that would be extremely well-designed and that would take a bite out immediately. That might be the reason for Adobe's Bridge -- an early defensive move.

Now, though, it seems likely that Adobe is in a position to adapt the best features of Aperture into its own programs, and make Photoshop even more complete, while Aperture spends time thrashing away at its own shortcomings and poor reviews. To me, the lack of a integrated Aperture-like program has been one of Photoshop's more mysterious omissions. It's obviously needed; all the other cataloging programs have problems in various ways, so much so that there are long discussions on the web regarding which is the least weak. If Adobe takes a long look at Aperture -- especially the positive remarks -- and comes up with its own version, then it could be Aperture that becomes the niche product.

One point in the review with which I would disagree, is the comparison to Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect to Microsoft's Excel and Word (one might add Access.) I don't think the Microsoft programs were better --- I think their eventual dominance was the product of a ruthlessly and illegally competitive company willing to manipulate its Windows monopoly to destroy competitors in areas it wished to control. Right up to the time I began using Word, I preferred WordPerfect -- but Word was becoming a standard and I needed my work to be in the standard. I still don't like Word; it's a bloated, awkward anti-intuitive product that I sometimes think (in the Mac version) is designed to drive people back to Windows.

But that's another rant. I think the same dominant-player process will work AGAINST Aperture, if Adobe makes Bridge into an Aperture-like product. Aperture is Mac only -- Bridge will talk across both operating systems. I think it could be a good example of the old saying that if you attack the king, be sure you kill him. Apple went after a piece of Adobe, and Adobe was barely affected.

Whatever happens, there is a need for a really good, solid, and photographer-friendly program like this, where you don't have to take three courses in database management just to get a friggin' image into your e-mail.

I hope sensitive people will excuse the friggin'.

JC
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2006, 08:54:19 PM »
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John Siracusa of FatBits at ArsTechnica has an interesting bit to say regarding Aperture comparing it to the release of the currently dominating Final Cut Pro.

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One point in the review with which I would disagree, is the comparison to Lotus 1-2-3 and WordPerfect to Microsoft's Excel and Word (one might add Access.) I don't think the Microsoft programs were better --- I think their eventual dominance was the product of a ruthlessly and illegally competitive company willing to manipulate its Windows monopoly to destroy competitors in areas it wished to control.
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Monopoly theory aside (which isn't technically accurate; but again, another debate...), I think MS's dominance in the office realm was partly due to their lax attitude towards the piracy of Office. It used to be extremely easy to install illegal copies (I remember it was not that long ago simply typing "1234" for the serial code would unlock it). By letting so many steal office in the beginning and forcing the need for upgrades through altering the file format constantly it helped make everyone dependent on it.

Lotus had legal issues with the original spreadsheet (VisiCalc) which didn't help. WordPerfect didn't fair too well with a bad adaption to Windows and being sold numerous times amongst various companies.

MS is no saint, but programs and companies fall for many reasons. Many of which unfortunately are self-inflicted.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2006, 02:31:31 AM »
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To me, the lack of a integrated Aperture-like program has been one of Photoshop's more mysterious omissions. It's obviously needed; all the other cataloging programs have problems in various ways, so much so that there are long discussions on the web regarding which is the least weak.

JC
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This isn't very surprising actually.

Many content creation applications in areas other than bitmap 2D have been facing the very same issues as far as data Mgt and collaboration are concerned.

Whether to develop their own tools, or whether to enable the easy plugging into more general data Mgt tools is a difficult debate, and most of these companies are not confortable entering for real the data mgt arena that is both very specific and clearly outside of their area of expertise.

MS has once more understood this and the file Mgt model that is likely to be adopted by Windows Vista appears to be aimed at providing a cross applicative solution/foundation for these data Mgt needs. Their competitors will IMHO be more Google, Oracle and Yahoo than Apple, even if there were to be a Windows version of Aperture.

Regards,
Bernard
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Graeme Nattress
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« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2006, 03:48:54 AM »
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For me, the real issue with Aperture is lack of attention to detail. As photographers, we have to have attention to detail, and that Apple seem to lack this in Aperture, is very telling - I don't think it was developed by people who really undertand and live by making photographic images. Just as I wonder sometimes whether the FCP team actually edit video, it's quite obvious from the shortcomings in usability and overall picture quality, that the Aperture team listened to the "wrong" photographers when they made Aperture, and don't have an eye for it themselves.

If they had an eye for it, they would have soon spotted that the RAW conversion is sub-par. It's a very crude algorithm they're using. I know because I've just be coding up some debayer algorithms, and I get the same parquet floor artifacts in my most basic of basic first attempts at coding it.

As for usability - the "levels" control is practically useless. You really can't get good results with it like you can in Photoshop. It's 1/4 points to give you curves of a sort that really don't work at all. You always end up posterising the result in a nasty way.

Aperture seems all about emulating an old film based photo workflow, so I'd guess that the photographers they got input from were not digital photo gurus who know how to use photoshop, but they are the type of photographer that find photoshop scary.

I love working in LAB mode in Photoshop for the vast degree of control it gives, especially when working with saturation. Aperture just doesn't do this. It's stuck in RGB. And because I can't properly round trip to Photoshop, can't keep layers, certainly can't keep LAB mode, Aperture is a capture solution / find the "pick" at best. I can use the rough controls to see if the image has the possibility of being tweaked to perfection in Photoshop, but I can't tweak it in Aperture. I can't even dodge/ burn for goodness sake. And even then I use a layer based method, not the dodge and burn tool!

Argh. Promises so much, but delivers so little. And don't get me started about it's speed. There's no earthly need for it to be as slow as it is. Not when ACR can run at a decent speed on my laptop.

It seems that Aperture is aimed at Sports / Wedding photographers, not fine art / landscape / wildlife etc. photographers who like to tweak the hell out of their images to make them as utterly best as possible. Oh dear.... At least FCP isn't desigend for wedding videographers.... (no offence intended to wedding photo/videopgraphers)

Graeme
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David Mantripp
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« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2006, 05:55:04 AM »
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IMHO the strongest feature in Aperture is Versions. This I really, really want, but I want it in an open environment, not a proprietary closed one.  I hope that iView or Adobe, or somebody else, is busy working on this.   It isn't a new idea, either.  Lightbox seemed to be trying to do it, and at a somewhat lower price, but unfortunately seems to have given up
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« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2006, 02:02:31 PM »
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It seems that Aperture is aimed at Sports / Wedding photographers, not fine art / landscape / wildlife etc. photographers who like to tweak the hell out of their images to make them as utterly best as possible.
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I know quite a few photographers who would take major exception with that statement.
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Graeme Nattress
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« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2006, 02:33:19 PM »
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I know quite a few photographers who would take major exception with that statement.
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You're probably very right. I don't think that came out quite how I wanted it it. I'm sure if I try to describe what I'm getting at, I'll just dig my grave deeper, so I'll stop now....

Graeme
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digitaldog
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« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2006, 08:09:33 PM »
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There are some serious hurt me buttons in Aperture. The RAW conversions, at least with my Canon are subpar. I like the default color rendering fine. But there's too much sharpening being applied (even when set to off) resulting in some ugly aliasing in shadows.

The bug that strips all EXIF data on export is a bad one. When you Open With External Editor, you have no option over the color encoding (it's always Adobe RGB (1998)). That doesn't cut it from some scenes where the gamut far exceeds that color space. But I can't tell since the histogram is based upon the internal color space. There's no feedback based on the encoding color space so with that, and a lack of RGB info palette, I'm flying blind. Ideally I'll look at the Histogram and base the encoding color space on any saturation clipping. If a scene is so muted it falls within sRGB, fine. But lots of stuff falls outside Adobe RGB (1998) so I'll then use ProPhoto RGB (always in high bit). IOW, I don't always use one working space for everything. I want to see how best to map the scene "gamut" for a better fit.

For output, I have no control over rendering intent. There's no control over rendering intent for the soft proof either. So no kind of Ink Black/Paper White simulation. Kind of odd for a company that put the ICC together and a system level CMS.

Then there are just really dumb bugs. Open an image in Photoshop from Aperture to make a new Version and work on it. Save. Go back into Aperture and should you select Undo or Command Z, the version disappears forever. So much for non destructive editing <g>. You can't select Adobe RGB for soft proofing (it's simply nowhere to be found) but that doesn't matter as NO matrix profiles work when you use the On-Screen proofing (so why are they there)?

This product has some seriously cool stuff for Ingestion but a lot of other "what were they thinking" issues and plenty of bugs. QE and beta was very poorly done.
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Andrew Rodney
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JKSeidel
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« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2006, 10:43:03 PM »
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I was interested to see this review; it's less technical and more pertinent than others I've looked at, although most seem to be heading toward the same conclusion -- that Aperture might be good some day, but not yet.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=55133\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I was interested as well ... up until I tried to determine what the heck the review was about. It seemed more of a drunken ramble than a review. Sorry, I have followed this site for a bit ... and that is one of the shoddiest 'reviews' I've ever read. I'm not even a Mac fan. I think Macs should have been dead and buried long ago. However, Aperature deserves a better and more thoughtful analysis than that though.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2006, 10:44:12 PM by JKSeidel » Logged

Jeffrey

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61Dynamic
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« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2006, 11:28:15 PM »
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I was interested as well ... up until I tried to determine what the heck the review was about. It seemed more of a drunken ramble than a review. Sorry, I have followed this site for a bit ... and that is one of the shoddiest 'reviews' I've ever read. I'm not even a Mac fan. I think Macs should have been dead and buried long ago. However, Aperature deserves a better and more thoughtful analysis than that though.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=55334\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Now there's constructive criticism.  

Maybe you missed it, but the subtitle of Michael's Aperture article is "A Non-Review."
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David Mantripp
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« Reply #10 on: January 06, 2006, 10:47:47 AM »
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However, Aperature deserves a better and more thoughtful analysis than that though.
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And at the very least it should deserve the correct spelling...

(why is it that so many people spell it "Aperature" ? I don't get it)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2006, 10:48:30 AM by drm » Logged

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Graeme Nattress
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« Reply #11 on: January 06, 2006, 11:25:32 AM »
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I'm not even a Mac fan. I think Macs should have been dead and buried long ago.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=55334\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You don't have to be a mac fan to appreciate the solid combo of hardware and software that works, and the relatively easy development environment, plus a very, very solid unix core.

The reason why macs, even with their small market share, are not dead, is obvious.... Just because blended whiskies are more popular and cheaper than single malts, it does not mean there's no place in the market for something like the 16yr cask strength Laphroiag single malt I just picked up....

Graeme
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phila
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« Reply #12 on: January 07, 2006, 01:38:19 AM »
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Michael wrote:

"Given how frequently new camera models are coming to market this means that Apple will have to issue 3-4 OS updates a year to keep up."

They already do this with the normal .2/.3/etc upgrades. They could possibly even use Software Update for a more frequent schedule.

Also of interest:  www.appleinsider.com/article.php?id=1445
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