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Archive 2012 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?
  
 
rlcramer
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p.1 #1 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


I've been flip-flopping between these 2 tools for a really long time. I guess you can say that I have some "commitment issues," because every time a new version of either app comes out, they both tend to leapfrog each other in one form or another, which causes me to switch between them.

That being said, I've been using LR4.1 for a while recently, and while I like the RAW conversion quality, and some of the new version 4 tools, I really detest the workflow and the DAM abilities of Lightroom. The whole design of the application really slows me down. I may get slightly better quality conversion from LR, but the interface just doesn't gel with me, and I don't really enjoy the post processing process with LR anywhere near as much as I do with Aperture.

The reason for this post is to ask - it seems that most of the world is actually switching AWAY from Aperture at this point in time due to infrequent updates, fear of the "FCPX affect," lack of certain features (lens correction, camera profiles, etc). But I wanted to find out - are there any photographers left who are wholeheartedly committed to Aperture, and who find that it serves their needs really well at the present time? Or at this point, is every Aperture user just wating to see if / when Apple decides to release a 4.0 version so that they can make a final decision on wether or not to stick with it going forward.

I guess I'm just looking for a little validation from my FM bretheren to see if I'm making a really stupid mistake. Not trying to start an Aperture vs Lightroom flame war, but I was hoping to get some opinions on what you guys and gals are thinking with regards to wether it makes sense to commit to Aperture 100% at this point in time..

Bobby



Jul 06, 2012 at 03:51 PM
finnianp
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p.1 #2 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


Use the best tool for you - If you don't like Lightroom's workflow and Aperture works for you then go with it.


Jul 06, 2012 at 06:59 PM
Kenneth Farver
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p.1 #3 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


can't help you - have never used Aperture.
I have used Lightroom from the beginning and enjoy using it. Workflow is very fast for what I do.



Jul 06, 2012 at 07:04 PM
BluesWest
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p.1 #4 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


I really detest the workflow and the DAM abilities of Lightroom. The whole design of the application really slows me down.

I agree with you about the above issues. The user interface of Aperture is far superior to Lightroom, and this translates into a faster, smoother workflow in Aperture (for me). But as far as raw image processing is concerned, the latest version of Lightroom leaves Aperture in the dust, particularly with regard to recovering blown-out highlights. Sharpening and NR are also far better in Lightroom than in Aperture. For me, the best solution is to process images in PS and use Aperture strictly for image management.

Based on what I've read, it is not clear whether Apple has a long-term committment to any of their professional applications. After all, they are now essentially a toy company.

John



Jul 06, 2012 at 07:47 PM
Brit-007
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p.1 #5 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


I do not think you are a fool. It is a very personal choice which to use and you will find more people here are on Windows systems so they do not have a choice. I have stuck to Aperture mainly because it is a pro app and I like the workflow. I find it way easier to use.

There are rumours out there and they are just rumours. When it came to Final Cut, Apple I think was after increasing sales. There was a huge reaction from Hollywood but Apple listened. The current version now has multi camera support and other updates to match their ol;d version. The newer version is easier to use and they reduced the price dratically to attract a new crowd.

I have no reason to think that Apple would drop Aperture. Everyone expected that there would be a Version 4 but instead they released 3.3. If you actually run 3.3 you will find there are numerous changed which under normal circumstances, could be classified as a full version and yet the cost is FREE.

There are some really cool tools in Aperture and I find it so much easier making adjustment. It is a personal opinion, but I find that Lightroom is way too slow and cumbersome. They did a test last month with importing 500 images. They used Aperture, Lightroom and Photo Mechanic. They were able to go through the images within 3 minutes on the latest Aperture.

Apple is getting very fancy on some of it's automation. There is a new wand that will analyse the image and make a change to up to 5 adjustments including curves. In the main it does a great job but then allows you to make changes or add other changes. I personally like ease and speed when I am working on images. Time is money.

A Good read (even though it is a few years old): http://www.macworld.com/article/1058422/digitaldarkroom.html

The Speed Test: http://www.apertureexpert.com/tips/2012/6/19/import-browse-test-aperture-vs-lightroom-vs-photo-mechanic.html





Jul 06, 2012 at 07:48 PM
James_N
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p.1 #6 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


The following line from the "Speed Test" is laugh out loud funny. The word "import" has a specific meaning in the context of Lightroom use and that seems to have eluded the reviewer:

"If you are a Lightroom user, you’d be well served to use something else to import and browse through your images. In this test, Lightroom didn’t fare well at all."

I'd love to see how you could use another application to "import" files into Lightroom.

Be very wary of reviews like this one.



Jul 06, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Brit-007
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p.1 #7 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


The point of this was to say that if you were a photo journalist and had to go through culling and editing rapidly because you were on a tight schedule, then Lightroom is not the program to use. Both Aperture and Photo Mechanic are a way better choice. It was just referencing that part of the equation.

I am not knocking Lighroom at all as it is a fine program for a lot of people. The poster asked a question about moving to Aperture and I gave him an answer. For me, I prefer Aperture as I find Lightroom too cumbersome. That is my opinion and I prefer the simple approach which works for me. They both give the same end result as other programs do as well.



Jul 06, 2012 at 08:29 PM
James_N
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p.1 #8 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


I fully understand what you point is; and my comment wasn't directed at you so no need to be defensive. Perhaps the author of the review meant to say "you'd be well served to use something else to download and cull your images." However, he/she said "import" and as anyone can tell you, another application cannot be used to import images to Lightroom since "import" means to register images with Lightroom's database. Similarly I'm sure you cannot use another application (not even iphoto) to "import" files into Aperture.


Jul 06, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Brit-007
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p.1 #9 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


Actually, in 3.3 they have made both applications, iPhoto and Aperture able to read each others and adjust each others images. So you can import in to iPhoto and edit in Aperture and after editing, the edits show up in iPhoto.

I think Apple, rather that getting out of the Pro application field, are trying to sell more to the amateur market by making a price point affordable. By going to the App store only as a buying option, they have got rid of all the costs associated with creating DVD's, packlaging and marketing and shipping. The cost savings are then passed on to the consumer. Final cut Pro for version 7 is around $1200. In the App store it is now $299. This is slightly a misleading price because the older version included Motion and other extra's whereas no you have to purchase the other modules at $49 each.

Originally I paid $199 for Aperture then it was $99 for an upgrade. Now you can buy the full version for $79. What has really surprised me is that Adobe Lightroom is also available through the App store for $149.

Getting back to the point that the image download part was just a very small part of the segment. I went further and went to the full Website and checked out some of the other stuff and videos. I did watch their just over 2 hour conference call on the 3.3 update and did learn a couple of points.

The beauty of most of the photo editing programs do allow you to download and try. That is great as everyone is different which makes life less boring



Jul 06, 2012 at 10:13 PM
S Dilworth
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p.1 #10 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


I started with Aperture, but bought Lightroom for its superior demosaicking and noise reduction, and to try to keep abreast of industry standards. But I haven't been able to transition from Aperture to Lightroom. The Aperture user interface is delicious. I love launching that app and getting to work. Lightroom is very clunky in comparison, and I don't say that only because I'm more familiar with Aperture.

Consider the following screenshot from Lightroom 4.1:







I've highlighted a few of the many inconsistencies here, most of which are entirely gratuitous. Alas, I could have continued with pretty much the entire Lightroom interface, which is the kind of incoherent mess that only Adobe could get away with!

The following items should be consistently named, instead of mangled like this:

White Balance --> WB
Basic Tone --> Basic
White Clipping --> Whites
Black Clipping --> Blacks

Clarity has been isolated on its own in the Synchronize Settings window, while Saturation and Vibrance have had their order reversed. They're grouped under Color instead of Presence.

Treatment (Color) has its own little island too, instead of being grouped under the Color list immediately below, where anyone sensible would expect it.

And the button to bring up the Synchronize Settings window is called Sync… (with the ellipsis carelessly formed by three dots instead of the proper glyph), while to proceed you press a button called Synchronize. Messy, messy, messy. Almost intolerably messy, in my opinion.

I know many people couldn't care less about the aesthetics of the above (which can only be because they're philistines insensitive to beauty, flair, diligence, and artistry), but they do care about ease of use. Tools should be presented in a sensible and systematic order every time.

Lightroom 4.1 performs very well in terms of demosaicking, noise reduction, and sharpening. (The deomosaic engine was dreadful before Lightroom 3, but it's been state of the art ever since.) But with every update the interface descends into further intractability: a path well trodden by Adobe with their other big apps.

So I remain hopeful that Apple will add the features we need to Aperture. Version 3.3 was superficially unremarkable, but if you pay attention you'll notice Apple performed some serious under-the-hood engineering and rewrote the 600-page user manual. That doesn't suggest Apple is about to throw in the towel.



Jul 09, 2012 at 05:15 PM
 

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mguffin
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p.1 #11 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


BluesWest wrote:
Based on what I've read, it is not clear whether Apple has a long-term committment to any of their professional applications. After all, they are now essentially a toy company.

John


Wow.



Jul 09, 2012 at 05:54 PM
mguffin
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p.1 #12 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


rlcramer wrote:
I've been flip-flopping between these 2 tools for a really long time. I guess you can say that I have some "commitment issues," because every time a new version of either app comes out, they both tend to leapfrog each other in one form or another, which causes me to switch between them.


I feel the same way. Can't 100% commit to either, they are both great. I have switched 3 times from one back to the other, now using LR 4, and it's great. Hopefully, the next version of Aperture will be "switch-worthy"...



Jul 09, 2012 at 05:56 PM
photoelle
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p.1 #13 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


I've been using Aperture for event photography for 3 years, and I'm thrilled with it. The interface is elegant and easy, imports are fast, and the speed of creating web files for selling on my web site is incredible. For me, the faster they are posted, the better.

If you don't like the standard RAW conversions, that is completely customizable, and can be made as a preset on import. Its worth taking the time to play around with the RAW Fine Tuning block to tweak your preset exactly to the way you want it to be for your camera model.

I don't think Apple is going drop Aperture anytime soon. They just released 3.3, and I think a major upcoming release was announced in the last keynote.



Jul 10, 2012 at 01:45 AM
hidden_Markov
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p.1 #14 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


photoelle wrote:
I don't think Apple is going drop Aperture anytime soon. They just released 3.3, and I think a major upcoming release was announced in the last keynote.



Just my guess but I think apple is putting the horse before the cart. You can expect bugs and such post release. With an upcoming OS release (which too will have its bugs, way it goes for any devs) they probably wanted to not have aperture and OS devs blaming each other for bugs. I am hoping mountain lion releases, all the volunteer extended beta testers, aka early adopters, aid in the initial big bug hunt then apple will let aperture dare I hope 4.0 out of the cage to a more stable OS. What I am hoping is the case at any rate.

If not...adobe I will not go back to. Ptlens plugin covers any glass I own a or plan to buy for a year or so. Nik fills in other gap/weaknesses in the software (which nik also does for lr...like thier work better than LR's built in stuff personally). So if aperture gets suspended in time as it were and is "done", I could ride it out ffor a while.

Apple for me jsut has to worry about Nikon shocking nikon shooters by releasing a capture nx 3. But even snowballs in hell laugh at that the chances of that happening. Just learned to like that program and do miss it sometimes. The mac version jsut added more bugginess than even the windows version to keep with it.





Jul 10, 2012 at 06:28 AM
EOSDNG
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p.1 #15 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


I am clearly joinining BluesWest opinion "Based on what I've read, it is not clear whether Apple has a long-term committment to any of their professional applications. After all, they are now essentially a toy company".

No one knows, if there will be further version. As a wedding photographer I need long-term committment. I go even further and will soon switch from the mac platform altogether, install Windows 8 and buy a Sony Vaio laptop.



Jul 10, 2012 at 10:57 AM
S Dilworth
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p.1 #16 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


EOSDNG wrote:
No one knows, if there will be further version. As a wedding photographer I need long-term committment.


I think version 3.3 tells us Apple is committed to Aperture. Apple invested a large effort in Aperture 3.3, for few visible changes, and they wouldn't have done that unless they planned to produce new versions of Aperture on this new foundation.

I understand concerns about Apple dropping Aperture, but I think Aperture's future is more certain today than it has been for a while.



Jul 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Alan321
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p.1 #17 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


Anyone who will, or might, change from Mac to PC for any reason should carefully consider the impact that being tied to Aperture will have on them when they switch.

I'm having enough problems with Apple that I won't switch to Aperture unless the immediate benefits are very substantial, and of course that means substantial enough to compensate for the pain and effort of switching.



Jul 10, 2012 at 11:43 AM
farski
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p.1 #18 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


BluesWest wrote:
Based on what I've read, it is not clear whether Apple has a long-term committment to any of their professional applications. After all, they are now essentially a toy company.


Final Cut Pro X most definitely has long-term commitment from Apple.



Jul 10, 2012 at 02:32 PM
rlcramer
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p.1 #19 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


I actually sat down last night, and did a comparison edit of a project using both Aperture and Lightroom, just to make sure I wasn't going to waste my time by switching back to Aperture from Lightroom on a whim. While it is clear to me that Aperture's interface is MILES ahead of Lightroom in terms of usability, and the overall "experience" of editing, I did discover a lot of other things by doing a "parallel edit."

Lightroom Pro's
- Lightroom's shadow and highlight recovery tools are simply amazing.
- Lightroom's straighten tool is much quicker to use and to me is much more accurate / intuitive than Aperture's straighten tool.
- Lightroom's TAT is awesome for adjusting color casts, saturation, etc.
- Lightroom's camera and lens profiles are REALLY handy (camera profiles are GREAT with my NEF's, but just "OK" with my CR2's)
- Lightroom's post crop vignette tool is MUCH more flexible than aperture's
- Lightroom's auto masking seems to be much more accurate
- Lightroom's clarity slider is really incredible for adding pop, and for softening skin (reverse clarity)
- Lightroom's noise reduction is amazing
- Round tripping to Photoshop as a smart object is really nice, and something Aperture will probably never be able to do.

Lightroom Con's
- Lightroom performance under 4.1 is MUCH worse than when I was using 3.X
- The fact that I have to switch from the Library module to Develop, in order to tweak an image is simply ridiculous

Aperture Pro's
- Aperture's Interface is amazing, and actually makes me enjoy sitting in front of my computer, noodling away at my images
- Aperture's skin tone white balance tool is frikkin AWESOME!
- Aperture v3.3 feels very speedy

Aperture Con's
- lots of features that I mentioned above in Lightroom don't existing in Aperture (some aren't 100% necessary, but they are missing nonetheless).
- I noticed some bugs in screen redraws (entire images turned red, until I chose another image and then went back to the previous). Not a real show stopper or a crash, but Lightroom never exhibits any type of erratic behavior in my experience.

So in the end, I think I've decided to stick with Lightroom. It's not perfect, but I can't deny that Apple's recent treatment of it's pro users has taken its toll on me. I am a HUGE apple fan boy (I probably own every single piece of Apple hardware and software that exists today) but I fondly recall the days when Apple was all about supporting creative pros in audio / video / music / photography, etc but those days really do seem to be long gone. I would hate to commit so much time and effort into a tool, only to find out that when Apple kills it, that I am stuck on an unsupported platform.

Anyway - thanks to everyone for their help. I seem to have made my decision...at least until Aperture 4 and Lightroom 5 are released!

Bobby



Jul 10, 2012 at 08:11 PM
hidden_Markov
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p.1 #20 · Am I an idiot for switching from LR4.1 to Aperture 3.3?


Alan321 wrote:
Anyone who will, or might, change from Mac to PC for any reason should carefully consider the impact that being tied to Aperture will have on them when they switch.

I'm having enough problems with Apple that I won't switch to Aperture unless the immediate benefits are very substantial, and of course that means substantial enough to compensate for the pain and effort of switching.



that would be any PP app actually. Capture one is not going to help you migrate away, and neither is adobe going to help you come into the fold.


And OS wise, a mac user to windows (or other way) will have bigger issues beyond aperture. Mac's *nix base will create some issues. Text files for example. *nix and windows have varying formats. For the common user, this may jsut mess up your format in say notepad. For someone like me who has done coding in the past, unless I convert/resave in a real text editor or run perl scripts for conversion, if I am keying on a feature in text file that differs between OS, the code doesn't work well.


Second issue may be, especially in a real network -active directory servers and such - that sometimes windows will hose mac os file permissions or other things badly. And vice versa. See this at work time to time. Stuff runs smooth for weeks...then we get the occassional problem child ticket where either OS is just not playing nice with the content of certain files transfered over.





Jul 11, 2012 at 07:37 AM
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