Aperture 3, I missjudged you, I'm sorry.

It’s been 19 days since my post about Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 vs. Apple Aperture 3 and in that time I’ve changed my mind quite a bit. I’ll admit I didn’t want to like Aperture, let’s face it, 2 wasn’t great, and I didn’t find it intuitive and thus didn’t give it a fair shake. So I’m going to be a good sport and give it a complete trial, again and write a new article. Screen shot 2010-03-09 at 11.43.50 PM_.jpg

This change of heart has been primarily the result of being informed about some of Apertures paradigms and the location of options I wasn’t able to find in my short trial; and Lightroom (and I gave it a lot rope because it’s “beta”) being insanely buggy and having a frustrating user interface. It looks good, the workflow makes sense but under use it ends up being unpleasant. I don’t know if Aperture is better yet really, but given some of the things I’ve learned since my article, it looks positive.

Let’s hope Aperture is higher quality than Apple’s hardware. My hard drive is making noise, it’s not even a two months old. This better not be another lemon like my MacBook Pro was…


Two hours later, I’m not pleased with Aperture 3. I’ve been trying settings in Aperture 3 for two hours trying to get the same or better results as LightRoom (which is open and zoomed to the same level while doing this so I can flip back and forth.) The raw processing is brutal, resulting in muddy images with unnatural color and an indescribable “bad” quality. The noise reduction is little more than a masked blur, and doesn’t seem to do anything more than this to treat chromatic noise, which is the most unpleasant kind. Also it’s considerably slower than LightRoom at virtually everything.

Positive points of course are Faces, Places and everything else to do with asset management really. It’s not bad for organizing snaps of your life, like I said before. However I already have iPhoto ‘09 for that. Regardless of this, Aperture 3 is more capable than I thought and I will continue to work with it to better understadn it. It’d probably be fine if you didn’t actually care about the fine detail of your images. Which I guess I shouldn’t I almost never print my pictures and people only see them on Flickr and Facebook. Whatever, I do care, and some day I’ll print stuff to put on my walls.

Lightroom is still buggy in unpredictable ways and many interface element’s are way smaller than they should be. For example (this is just one) when picking what to import you use little check boxes by the images, the problem is the check boxes are very very small meaning you have to move your mouse very slow. I couldn’t figure out any kind of a key shortcut for this. This makes importing annoying. But this problem shows up in other places. They picked a good looking interface over functional, it’s easy to fix, just make the button’s hot spot bigger without making the graphic bigger. Although maybe their toolkit doesn’t do that.

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