Any Aperture users? Advice needed

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Jazzer, May 17, 2013.

  1. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    I would like to upgrade from iPhoto and from the videos I have seen I like the Aperture interface and it seems pretty user friendly. I know that Lightroom is more popular and has more resources, but given my fairly basic needs, I'm sure Aperture will be sufficient. I have two concerns:

    1. Aperture 3 is a little old at this point and I suspect eventually (hopefully sooner than later) Apple will get around to coming out with Aperture 4. The price of Aperture 3 is certainly reasonable, but I wouldn't want to have to pay for it again should Apple come out with a new version. Is there any indication from the past that there would be a lower upgrade price? Or is there no precedent now that the distribution of the software is through the App Store?

    2. More importantly, I would like to make sure that in the event that I decide to switch over to other software (like Lightroom) or non-Apple hardware I will easily be able to get my original and edited images out and over to a new system. Is there a way to set up my files so that this wouldn't be a problem? I still haven't gotten a handle on the referenced vs. managed library concept and which I should be using. Since Apple set up my Mac for me when I moved over from Windows a couple of years ago, they automatically set iPhoto up to use a managed library and I lost the original file organizational structure I had set up. Perhaps I should just leave it that way?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    1. No lower upgrade prices in the App Store. Either free upgrades or full cost ones. However, we cannot no when a new version of Aperture might come. It may be at this years WWDC, it may take some years while Aperture 3 gets some new features to keep it competitive.

    2. iPhoto library = Aperture library, at least since the latest updates. So no action needed on your side. Migrating to Lightroom takes some hours to keep your organization afaik, but it is possible without loosing any work copies or - even worse - originals.

    After all, I'm still happy with Aperture. You'll need someplug-ins and of course an editing programme which supports layers (Pixelmator is cheap and works great!) to get all needs covered, but the management part of Aperture still is the best in the industry.
     
  3. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    I've never used Aperture, but honestly, if you aren't shooting RAW files you might be farther ahead picking up a copy of Pixelmator instead. Apple is notoriously slow in updating cameras in Aperture. Or Aperture itself for that matter.

    You have hit on one of the bugaboos confronting a large section of the Photoshop user base- how do I guarantee that my work will transfer to another system/soaftware package? One answer is to save your work files as 16 bit TIFF files. Since TIFF is a non-proprietary format it would seem to have the most chance for success.
     
  4. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    Thanks to you both.

    Jim, are you suggesting using Pixelmator for all editing in conjunction with iPhoto for management?
     
  5. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    If you really want to shoot only JPEGs, than yes, this probably is a good idea. But honestly, as much as I love Pixelmator for image manipulation, it's not a very good choice for photo editing. Aperture is much more powerful in this regard. Oh, and it's non destructive. Sure you could use tons of layers, layer masks and .pxm files, but this will need extreme amounts of storage and will be pretty hard to handle as no library based application supports pxm files.

    And for new camera updates: Apple was faster than Adobe to support the NEX-5R and 6, and only a few weeks behind Adobe with Fuji's X-Trans sensors (but the support is, according to some tests, better than Adobe's current support, i.e. the colors are more accurate), so that's not a point against Aperture, at least not for Sony NEX users.
     
  6. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    Jim
    I don't use iPhoto and never have. I can keep track of my photo files just fine without it. ;)

    I'm just starting to play with Pixelmator so I'll bow to Poki's experience with it and how it interfaces with iPhoto. I'm looking toward the future to a point where PS may no longer be viable for me. RAWTherapee will probably handle my RAW conversion needs, I'm still seeking the pixel level editor.
     
  7. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    Well, I expect that I will be shooting JPEG most of the time, but I do expect that I will shoot RAW or RAW + JPEG from time to time. It's worth trying to see the difference in the results if nothing else. iPhoto can handle the RAW files also, but it seems that there are a number of features in Aperture that would make it worth the upgrade. I'm sorry they don't still offer a trial.

    BTW, do I need the latest version of iPhoto to share the library with Aperture? I still have '09 at the moment.
     
  8. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    This is why I am still using iPhoto. Seems every time I think about switching to something else and seriously think about work flow, I get confused and overwhelmed by the options ;).
     
  9. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    iPhoto can SAVE the RAWs and show you that they are there, but it can NOT process them! That's where Aperture comes into play - you can't do anything with your RAWs in iPhoto.

    And yes, you need the newer iPhoto ('11? I didn't keep track) to share libraries. But even with iPhoto '09, it's a one-click thing to migrate your library. Only keep in mind that you won't be able to open it again in iPhoto '09 after this (but you can go back when making a duplicate before migrating, which you should do anyways).
     
  10. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Super Moderator

    Aug 15, 2012
    China
    Colin
    I would get Pixelmator now and learn it.

    After the WWDC I would buy Aperture. Once you move from iPhoto to Aperture (or Lightroom) you will find your needs will change as you get accustomed to how easy it is to edit your photos.

    By the way, if you shoot raw + jpeg to compare the files, the jpeg will always look much better because the raw file is plain/flat with no editing done but the jpeg has the editing of the camera done to it. The raw file allows you to edit much more than the jpeg because you access to all the information the camera has captured, while the jpeg is compressed before you see it. To compare you need to play with the raw file first and then see if you can consistently do better than the in-camera adjustments of the jpeg. Most everyone can (to their own taste), it's usually just a matter of how much time people want to spend (or not spend) in front of a computer.

    At first it may be confusing to try and get a reasonable workflow that doesn't take up all your time, but with some practice and implementing presets Aperture will become very easy to use.

    Aperture and iPhoto can share the same library too so you can continue to use iPhoto until you are more comfortable with Aperture.
     
  11. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran

    344
    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    Larry
    Thanks. I have Photoshop Elements 9 and never really learned to use it. Are there advantages to Pixelmator over PSE?
    Also, what types of things would I need to do on a regular basis in Pixelmator (or PSE) that I wouldn't be able to do in Aperture (or Lightroom)?
     
  12. Poki

    Poki TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 30, 2011
    Austria
    I don't know about PSE vs. Pixelmator. I tried PSE once, but hated the interface, the whole workflow, so I quickly switched to Pixelmator. But as far as I know, both apps feature the most important things (i.e. layers, layer masks and marking tools).

    On a regular basis? Nothing. Aperture can do everything you need technically (down to retouching portraits, etc.), but it can't stack images (i.e. for certain manual HDR scenes, focus stacking, ...) and it can't manipulate your images (i.e. adding things from other photos, ...), which are tasks where both Pixelmator and PSE are fine for.