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View Full Version : Aperture - vs - Lightroom (Trial)




-hh
Apr 9, 2007, 10:23 AM
Initial Impressions, based on a start-up of both trial versions this past weekend.

Hardware: SP 1.8GHz G5 PowerMac; 1.5GB RAM.

Data: An iPhoto library of roughly 13,000 images.

Project: within the above, I have 1500-2000 photos from a 2004 trip to Peru. I want to go through and find them all, add Metadata tags to help keep them sorted & organized, and time permitting, sift through them for the keepers and assemble them into some sort of photo album (maybe a slide show too). Motivation to do this is because we've missed making this trip's photo album. The still images in question are either 4MP JPEGs from a Canon A80, or 6MP JPEGs that are from scans of the 35mm film (done by the film developer). The rest of the digital images are probably around half from the A80 and half from my newer Canon D20 (8MP). There's few (if any) RAW files in the iPhoto library, although there are some .MOV files and some assembled Panoramas. IIRC, the total iPhoto database size is somewhere around 10-13GB.



The saga so far:

1. (Saturday) Downloaded both of the 30 day trial versions & installed each.

2. (Sunday AM) Asked Aperture to import my existing iPhoto library (13K images). Did some work in Aperture, then quit (see note A).

3. (Sunday PM) Asked Lightroom to import the same iPhoto library (13K images). Did a bit less work, then let it sit overnight.

4. (Monday AM) Restarted Aperture & let it have the computer while I'm at work today to continue to work on building its database (Vault / Thumbnails).


Notes & Observations (so far):

a. Aperture took around 6 hours to do the initial import. Trying to work with it to do some basic organizational metadata entries was very boggy/slow, which I conjecture at this time was probably due to it performing background activities of building its database ("Vault") and Thumbnails...this is based on a dialog of "I'm not done" (sic) when I went to quit, plus some confirming info that I found when restarting it today - a count of items still to be put into Vault and creation of Thumbnails. I'm hoping that performance will improve significantly once it is done with this "initialization" type of work.

b. Lightroom appears to have taken significantly less time; probably 4 hours. Even while it was still importing, it wasn't as "locked up" and unresponsive as Aperture was. So far, it is a lot more responsive than Bridge has been.

c. My current approach is to give each application a big chunk of free time to do whatever it wants to do in order to get to the point that it considers itself to be fully "set up" with however it prepares its database. While it might be a bit unrealistic to start with 13K images, it seems that this is probably at least a good stress test.

More to follow; comments welcome.

-hh



j26
Apr 9, 2007, 10:27 AM
Look forward to seeing how this turns out. I'm planning on trying them out in the summer.

I'm interested to hear the usability when it's imported

-hh
Apr 10, 2007, 09:51 AM
Notes & Observations (so far):

a. Aperture took around 6 hours to do the initial import. Trying to work with it to do some basic organizational metadata entries was very boggy/slow, which I conjecture at this time was probably due to it performing background activities of building its database ("Vault") and Thumbnails...this is based on a dialog of "I'm not done" (sic) when I went to quit, plus some confirming info that I found when restarting it today - a count of items still to be put into Vault and creation of Thumbnails. I'm hoping that performance will improve significantly once it is done with this "initialization" type of work.

d. Gave Aperture yesterday and last night to do more Vault work (thumbnails, etc). Didn't seem to make much progress - - then actually wrote down the numbers before/after the overnight run: it made ZERO progress overnight!

e. Searched through Aperture's menus to see if there was some wrong setting where it wasn't doing this updating in the background; no luck. Quit the application - - got the "I'm still working, are you sure?" message (its been there every time that I've quit), but this time hit the "continue" option in hopes that maybe hitting the other option (override to quit) perhaps caused it to not work at all when Aperture's been running. Will see tonight if it made any difference.

f. Because of the above, I've still not done much work in Aperture. A plus for Aperture is that it retains iPhoto's "roll" paradigm, which helps to group photos from the same shoot. But a minus is that I have found that the tool to add metadata & copyright info doesn't seem as intuitive as I'd like: I probably now have several 'rolls' that only have the first and/or last image that have had the data appended, even though I did do a 'select all'. Odd.


f. Ran Lightroom, with the objective to go find my Peru photos. Found that LR doesn't use the "rolls" paradigm, which made it hard to find the desired images within the total. LR does have a 'narrow by date' tool, but I'm not sure that it really works correctly. In any event, the previous grouping by 'roll' has also been lost, and I've yet to figure out the logic by which it has assembled the images. Part of the problem here is probably due to most of these images having been digital scans of film from the photoshop that they delivered to me on CD-R's...there's probably not any EXIF data for LR to use, and its not even grouped by its prior "rolls" import, even if the "rolls" aren't being identified by name. As such, the stuff is very random, like a shuffled deck of cards. I've not been able to find any LR tool to sort the images by name, date or whatever ... yet. I can't believe that it wouldn't be present, so I suspect that its simply not enough time looking for it yet.

g. Lightroom also appears to have a good amount of duplicate images in it. Not sure where this is coming from (perhaps the original source?), but one of these two applications did advertise a "kill dupes" option. Wish I could remember now which one it was that had this (I suspect it wasn't Lightroom!)

h. Eventually found the peru pic's in LR and did a group select and dumped them into the "Quick Group". After I was pretty sure that I had gotten them all, I then created a new folder for them and dragged them over there. It then took a bit of trial-&-error to figure out how to purge the "Quick Group" cleaned out, but was successful in getting it done (somehow).

i. Within the new folder, started to figure out how to go through and do a quick review and rotate photos to vertical, etc. There's an available option that allows you to add Previous/Next ("<-- -->") icons to the bottom bar's tab that makes going through multiple images easier. The "slide holder" for each image has several icons on them that appear to be for various options - - number of stars, if it is/isn't within a particular folder, "good/bad" flags, etc. Looks like these will be useful, once I figure most of them out.


More to follow; comments welcome.

-hh

-hh
Apr 10, 2007, 09:53 AM
I haven't read this yet, but here's another A vs LR review:

http://digitalmedia.oreilly.com/2007/03/05/lightroom-vs-aperture.html


-hh

The General
Apr 10, 2007, 11:46 AM
Been an Aperture user for about 2 months. I just started using Lightroom yesterday to test it out. Wow ... just wow ... I'm definitely sticking with Lightroom.

Far more features, far better navigation and GUI layout.

The only thing that Aperture has on it is integration with iTunes so that all my Photos will go on my AppleTV.

But whatever, I stick all my final works in iPhoto anyway. Same thing, only it gets updated far less often. :p

artalliance
Apr 10, 2007, 11:52 AM
Hey Guys,

not trying to hijack this thread, but I am really curious about the organizational workflow in LR (I actually just posted this as another thread topic). Mind sharing either here or in the new thread?

What info do you add when you important?
Do you let LR create folders by date on your disk - does that get too cluttered too quick?
Do you organize/re-organize the folders within LR or do you only do collections?
Do you rename every picture? Or do you just add keywords?

Badradio
Apr 10, 2007, 11:54 AM
g. Lightroom also appears to have a good amount of duplicate images in it. Not sure where this is coming from (perhaps the original source?), but one of these two applications did advertise a "kill dupes" option. Wish I could remember now which one it was that had this (I suspect it wasn't Lightroom!)


I can't speak for Aperture, but LR has this option. When you import, there's an option called "Ignore Suspected Duplicates". It's worked well for me so far.
As for how LR orders things, there are a lot of options and I don't understand all of them yet (only bought the app last Thursday). I think the success of the options depends on how you imported the images. I chose to copy the images to a new location, ordered by date. I can then browse by date, find the pictures I want then create a new collection based on the selected images. I'm not sure how this will work out as my library grows, but it seems ok for now.

EDIT: @ artalliance: I'm not a pro, so could be doing this wrong, but my workflow is to just prepend the date to the image filename as I import. I do all my edits in LR and if I need to export the images, I rename the files then. Can't see much point otherwise. As for keywords, I just give each "shoot" a title and add that, so "San Jose 2007" for instance. I can then use that to create a selection from which to create a collection, then once I have my keepers flagged, I add more keywords. It's very flexible, and a pro would probably have a more structure flow, but it's whatever suits you.

-hh
Apr 10, 2007, 03:11 PM
Hey Guys,

not trying to hijack this thread, but I am really curious about the organizational workflow in LR (I actually just posted this as another thread topic). Mind sharing either here or in the new thread?

Not a problem...I'm trying to sort out what I want my workflow to be.

What info do you add when you important?

(Important = import)?

For this trial, I didn't add any info when I pulled the stuff over from where it was stored in iPhoto ... in hindsight, maybe I should have, but I don't really think that it should have mattered too much in this case, since the only tag that they all would have had in common would have been my copyright.

What I had been trying to do in Bridge and iPhoto was to add a (C) and some basic metadata while on the initial import.

Do you let LR create folders by date on your disk - does that get too cluttered too quick?

IIRC, this is what iPhoto does..? I generally prefer to avoid doing this, and prefer to group by broad topic (ie, vacation trip). I can then sort by name to narrow it to a specific date.

Do you organize/re-organize the folders within LR or do you only do collections?

I'd like to do better organization than what LR imported for me. A work in progress.

Do you rename every picture? Or do you just add keywords?

In general, the filename format that I've been using since before digital is date based. A photo taken today would be named "20060410xxxx". When I was doing this with film, the 15th slide/negative on the 2nd roll shot that day would be "20060410.1-15" Part of the reason for this convention was that I was doing Underwater photography, and the date with roll# was straightforward for me to cross-reference to my dive log to be able to identify what dive site the film was shot on.

With digital, I've been changing my naming convention. I've prefixed the filename with a camera identifier and suffixing with that camera's sequence number: "20D_20060117_4275.jpg". I have the equipment designator as a cue for me to be aware that there's a RAW file available after I've culled based on the smaller/faster JPEGs, and the sequence number is to address how to make multiple shots on the same date have a unique name.

When I drop the file onto my website, I may rename it, or I may get lazy and append it somehow. For example, this file became "hawk(20D_20060117_4275)c.jpg" (http://www.huntzinger.com/photo/2006/hawk(20D_20060117_4275)c.jpg)

In going digital, I found that Bridge was able to do batch renames of files and it could pull the date out of the metadata so as to standardize things for me. Only problem has been that Bridge is for whatever reason on my G5, a very slow batch renamer.

In the meantime, for the stuff that I already have in iPhoto, I've been learning the value to have metadata keywords assigned, so I'm starting to go through and do that now. My first cuts at doing that have been to take an entire photo shoot (ie, vacation) and put a tag on them, to pull them into an iPhoto smart folder, from which I can then tag them a second time to cull them down into keepers. Just keep on making new smart folders and adding a tag for each level of culling. Its probably not what the designers intended, but it worked.

-hh

-hh
Apr 10, 2007, 03:15 PM
I can't speak for Aperture, but LR has this option. When you import, there's an option called "Ignore Suspected Duplicates". It's worked well for me so far.

This sounds very familiar and I thought that I had selected it. Wonder if there's a way to do it after the import is complete? :)

-hh

CmdrLaForge
Apr 10, 2007, 03:20 PM
I did the same thing on an iMac G5 2.1 GHz and

the result for me with Aperture was that it is just unusable slow

Lightroom was ok from a speed perspective but I didn't liked the fact that it doesn't integrate with the other iLife apps where I use my pics and I didn't liked the integrated slideshow.

Result - I am sticking with iPhoto. Have high hopes for version 08 ( I guess the skip 07)

Westside guy
Apr 10, 2007, 04:01 PM
the result for me with Aperture was that it is just unusable slow

See, I just don't get this. I used to use Aperture on my old 1.25GHz Powerbook G4. It was definitely slow, but it was useable (I would get irritated with it occasionally). On my C2D Macbook Pro it flies.

So when I read someone on a reasonably fast computer - and I recall even seeing one person with a dual-proc Intel Power Mac say something similar - I wonder what's going on. It's hard to believe that anyone's expectations could be that out of touch with reality; so I assume there is actually something causing this problem on particular computers. But it's hard to see what could be causing that level of problems specifically in Aperture.

Badradio
Apr 10, 2007, 04:44 PM
This sounds very familiar and I thought that I had selected it. Wonder if there's a way to do it after the import is complete? :)

-hh
Just checked and can't find a way to do it. I guess as long as your collections/shoots aren't too big, it's not unthinkable to scan the thumbs in library mode and spot the duplicates.

M@lew
Apr 11, 2007, 03:03 AM
If you use iPhoto for final work, would you have to export your Lightroom photo in order to import it into iPhoto?

-hh
Apr 11, 2007, 08:16 AM
d. Gave Aperture yesterday and last night to do more Vault work (thumbnails, etc). Didn't seem to make much progress - - then actually wrote down the numbers before/after the overnight run: it made ZERO progress overnight!

Still not sure what's going on, but Aperture does seem a lot less unresponsive now. Put aside Lightroom for the day to see how workflow was on Aperture.

i. Within the new folder, started to figure out how to go through and do a quick review and rotate photos to vertical, etc. There's an available option that allows you to add Previous/Next ("<-- -->") icons to the bottom bar's tab that makes going through multiple images easier. The "slide holder" for each image has several icons on them that appear to be for various options - - number of stars, if it is/isn't within a particular folder, "good/bad" flags, etc. Looks like these will be useful, once I figure most of them out.

j. Now doing the same in Aperture. Because of the iPhoto carryover of "rolls" for grouping of images based on how they were imported, I've been working in groups of 36 of the digitized film imports. Response time is generally acceptable.

k. Entering metadata tags on groups & subgroups seems to be working okay (dang, I need to double-check this); found that Aperture does "auto-complete" on your text entries, and it has some meta-names already in its library ("wildlife", etc). I did discover accidentally (by entering both "Peru" and "peru") that the tagging appears to be case-sensitive which I suspect will can only end up causing headaches :mad:

l. Stacking: I did discover an instance where Aperture had stacked two instances of the same exact photo automatically. It appears to be the original + modified, probably done in iPhoto, since they're both the same filename. The reason I mention this is that they were part of a group that I had been adding metadata tags on - - and the "inside the stack" image did NOT get the metadata added. I've yet to find another stack to see if this behavior is repeatable, but if it is, failure to apply a metadata tag to all instances within a selected stack is IMO a huge shortcoming.

m. Rotating individuals & groups works out okay. Haven't found where the "Star" rating controls are - - in LR, these were part of the UI of the "slide frame" and very convenient to find/use. Since Aperture doesn't include this "slide frame" UI, the info isn't right with the thumbnail. I'd give points to LR for this slide frame UI feature. Also LR allows for 3 ways to tag images: stars, a good/bad flag, plus colors. In the long run, I think I'd prefer to have this flexibility, as I can anticipate using color to do fast/simple coding of elements that I might not necessarily want in the metadata, and I can use the flags for the final culling steps within a group of technically great shots (high stars) of all the same subject to just the "one" image for that particular end application.

n. Throughput in probably ~2 hours (including interruptions) was roughly 20 * 36 = 720 images that have been metadata tagged and image rotated. Because of the library chaos, the rolls are not in true date-sequence, but I plan on fixing that by renaming each roll; I think that I can "alphabetize" them to create the approximate time-sequence order. The real problem here was that I made a mistake 3 years ago when I failed to do any organization of the film scans when I first imported them, so I'm still paying the price one way or another.


More to follow, but not for a couple of days (on the road): "To be continued...", hopefully early next week. Overall, I'm still undecided as to which one will suit me better.

And as always, comments welcome.

-hh

-hh
Apr 11, 2007, 08:20 AM
If you use iPhoto for final work, would you have to export your Lightroom photo in order to import it into iPhoto?

I haven't tried it yet, but I suspect that this would be the case.

Since iPhoto can import an entire folder in a single shot, this isn't the hard part: the hard part might be what amount of organization & information comes over with it that you need to use in iPhoto.

A lot will depend on what you're doing. For example, if you've done all of your culling down to your keepers in LR, it I'd probably not expect it to be a big deal if they come over "naked" if your objective is merely to throw a hundred of them into an iPhoto album for printing, etc.


-hh

M@lew
Apr 11, 2007, 08:33 AM
What I'm asking really is if I edit a few photo's in Lightroom, could I get them into iPhoto without creating another copy. (The Edited version that is)

CmdrLaForge
Apr 11, 2007, 03:09 PM
See, I just don't get this. I used to use Aperture on my old 1.25GHz Powerbook G4. It was definitely slow, but it was useable (I would get irritated with it occasionally). On my C2D Macbook Pro it flies.

So when I read someone on a reasonably fast computer - and I recall even seeing one person with a dual-proc Intel Power Mac say something similar - I wonder what's going on. It's hard to believe that anyone's expectations could be that out of touch with reality; so I assume there is actually something causing this problem on particular computers. But it's hard to see what could be causing that level of problems specifically in Aperture.

Actually - I am wondering as well. Because I really wanted to use Aperture but it really is too slow.

JackArc
Apr 11, 2007, 03:39 PM
I love Lightroom. I even bought it today. What made me choose it over Aperture? My current Mac set-up is only 512mb of Ram :( (Purchasing a new Mac this summer once a new line hits) and Lightroom works flawlessly on it whereas Aperture will not even install itself.

artalliance
Apr 11, 2007, 04:09 PM
And I love, love, love the Develop Module and the tight Photoshop integration (it stacks the Photoshopped version with the original version right back into LR).

Abstract
Apr 12, 2007, 02:54 AM
The reason I mention this is that they were part of a group that I had been adding metadata tags on - - and the "inside the stack" image did NOT get the metadata added. I've yet to find another stack to see if this behavior is repeatable, but if it is, failure to apply a metadata tag to all instances within a selected stack is IMO a huge shortcoming.


The benefits of Lightroom beta 4 outweigh the benefits of Aperture, IMO. I thought the release of Lightroom with stacks and versioning would make it perfect, but it hasn't because I'm under the impression that this is also what happens in Lightroom. :rolleyes: If I add metadata to the photo on top of a stack, and then I reveal all the photos in the stack, the other photos don't share the same metadata. I really think it should. I stacked them because they're similar and were taken together.

technobear
Apr 12, 2007, 04:28 AM
ive been using LR for a bit now (b4 + retail), and imported everything from iphoto.

using iphoto and LR together
--------------------------------
yes it can kind of work, as LR doesnt care where the photos are BUT it probably wouldnt be worth it since:
a) editing - nope, since iphoto both cache, both do non-destructive editing.
b) tags/keywords - would not be reflected in either app as are stored in the 'database'

not really a fault of either iphoto or LR , and would be same in any app (e.g. aperture) - as the above are done for performance

importing from iphoto, and rolls
------------------------------------
rolls = folders in LR (imho)
when i did my import:
a) i made sure iphotos used rolls as directories (think this is the only way to organise in iphoto now (?)
b) then you can import one roll at a time from iphoto, and then can become folders in LR

in the end - there was no difference at all between iphotos rolls and LR folders (LR beta used to call folders - 'shoots' , but changed for some reason) ... and as long as you edit for folder names in LR, they get reflected on the disk.


as for the import process, and be made less 'painful' by creating xmp sidecars - i actually created a small program to create xmp files for all my photos, which contained the comments, description, author and keyword which meant i got these copied across to LR from iphoto (for raw files only :( )

i think you could do the same with PictureSync, (but i didnt as wanted to 'play' with LR, and see how it ticked :))


stacks sharing meta data
----------------------------
can sympathise with this, but depends on what your using metadata for,
e.g. i use keywords to tag not only subjects, but also what ive done with the photo e.g. if ive published it to flickr or not ... in the later case i want the only the specific photo to be tagged not the whole stack.


kill dupes on import
----------------------
id be careful about using this, i had a problem with this not importing non-dupes.... what id did was (i was fortunately only 'playing' at the time) :
i) took 2 picture on my camera - imported directly from camera and did NOT delete the photos - all ok so far :)
ii) took another photo with camera, and then did import again
- it complained about dupes, and said it would ignore BUT it did also did not import the 3rd picture.

i need to investigate this a bit more, but seemed to be a bit problematic, so im going to avoid for time being (anyways, doesnt affect me... as i usually import and then delete off camera, so i should never have dupes anyway)


general thoughts
-------------------
there are a couple of things im not too keen on in LR
a) stacking, not as 'intuitive' as it could be
b) quick slideshow, was a bit simpler in iphoto
c) sycning libraries e.g. i want to be able to keep a copy on my home mac, and laptop... and then import changes. (think this will be in v2, as its commonly requested)

some of the things in LR i love are:
a) performance - even on my G4 imac 1.25ghz! .
b) heirachy for keywords, and general keyword handling
c) printing - quality is excellent
d) editing... actually more altering levels, removing dust spots - so quick and simple and knowing you original is untouched
e) openess, ive been checking out the database it uses... and can easily see myself being able to programmactically perform useful tasks ... and thats even before the SDK is released!


(sorry so long, but thought i might help others)

phuong
Apr 12, 2007, 05:42 PM
@-hh: your test is seriously flawed.
1. AP and LR's intended use is for RAW Workflow, DAM (Digital Asset Managemetn) and Outputing (or mostly Batch Printing for that matter). The only thing you've shown was DAM. You did not show anything related to RAW Workflow and Batch Printing.
2. AP and LR's intended use is for RAW Workflow, DAM (Digital Asset Managemetn) and Outputing (or mostly Batch Printing for that matter). The only thing you've shown was DAM. You did not show anything related to RAW Workflow and Batch Printing.
3. initial importing from an image library that you already have, is a one-time process. you could have always let the computer do this when you're not working with it (i.e., at night, when you're sleeping?), and when you come back, it's done. so, yeah maybe one program imports and organizes the library faster than the other, but really it doesn't matter that much.

-hh
Apr 17, 2007, 07:14 AM
@-hh: your test is seriously flawed.

I'm sure its going to have shortcomings, not the least of which is that I'm not going to be able to get everything that I *want* to do done within the 30 day window.

1. AP and LR's intended use is for RAW Workflow, DAM (Digital Asset Managemetn) and Outputing (or mostly Batch Printing for that matter). The only thing you've shown was DAM. You did not show anything related to RAW Workflow and Batch Printing.

Mostly because I've not gotten that far yet. I started with the iPhoto import because that IMO *should* have been easy, and which would have been less stress on the hardware than the RAW.


2. AP and LR's intended use is for RAW Workflow...

(repeated text) Not sure what you intended to say here yet..?


3. initial importing from an image library that you already have, is a one-time process. you could have always let the computer do this when you're not working with it (i.e., at night, when you're sleeping?), and when you come back, it's done. so, yeah maybe one program imports and organizes the library faster than the other, but really it doesn't matter that much.

I've already done what you proposed; please go back and read notes (a) through (d) where it was documented.

To amplify on this a bit more right now, I'll add note (o):

o. To date, I've given Aperture at least 30 hours completely unattended with it active (only app running: Mail). The first ~10 hours was for it to do the iPhoto import, plus an additional 20+ hours for it to "get itself organized" from the iPhoto import to store things in its Vault.

Despite this many hours of runtime, it still reports that 182 rolls (out of 203) have not been put into the Vault, as well as 12642 images which have NOT been thumbnailed. Consequently, I am still wondering (and looking) to see if I had somehow accidentally disabled the system from being able to do this as a background task. The other alternative might be that it doesn't Vault-ize rolls/thumbs until one manually clicks into that directory...?



-hh

Clix Pix
Apr 17, 2007, 09:17 AM
Do you have enough hard drive space for all this? That may be why Aperture has stopped importing? Do you have "previews" turned on or off? The Aperture vault is supposed to be a separate hard drive -- is that how you've got things set up?

As was mentioned, Aperture really is meant for processing RAW digital images and quick DAM (data asset management), and that may be part of your problem....

-hh
Apr 18, 2007, 08:55 AM
Do you have enough hard drive space for all this? That may be why Aperture has stopped importing? Do you have "previews" turned on or off? The Aperture vault is supposed to be a separate hard drive -- is that how you've got things set up?

Update:

p. I've found the "Vault Problem". It turns out that the vault has completed its operations, but the (I'll call it a) "Warnning" that I was seeing at time of App startup is because of a limitation. found where to "re-run" the Vault on the menus and the dialog there for starting up a new vault explains it all:

"Referenced Files will not be included. These will need to be backed up separately.

Vaults provide auto backup of all Master Files stored in the Application Library Master Files...referenced images are stored elsewhere and are not backed up in Vaults.

Adjustments, ratings and other information are included for all images, regardless of file location."

In other words, because I did an import on my existing iPhoto without making new copies, Aperture is completely incapable of ever putting them into a backup vault. The best I'll get is that the Adjustments & Ratings that I've applied to them in Aperture get saved within Aperture - - and I've also found that Aperture doesn't synchronize any of its Rating or Metadata information back into iPhoto.

As was mentioned, Aperture really is meant for processing RAW digital images and quick DAM (data asset management), and that may be part of your problem....

q. I imported 71 RAW files into both Apps last night, and made them into their own project on each. Neither had the extensive set of controls w/preview like one sees when opening a RAW within Photoshop CS2, but there are some sliders here and there to manipulate the color temperature and so forth. Overall, I quickly developed a significant preference for Lightroom.

r. Looking beyond the import and DAM factors, I spent some time looking at the "develop, print, etc" modules. In general, I found Lightroom significantly more intuitively organized, in no small part because of its use of words instead of tiny "guess at what I do" icons. In looking quickly at the various output options (web, etc), my initial impression of the Aperture template choices was "UGLY", and I viewed Lightroom's option of either HTML or Flash as a nice option.

Overall, I'm leaning towards Lightroom, even though I have a discount with which I can get Aperture at a discount (merely ~$50 more than LR's current "$199 until 4/30" price).


-hh

Mantat
Apr 18, 2007, 12:09 PM
Ok, as an avid Aperture user, I think I should clarify some of your points.

First, managed vs referenced files. Only managed files will benefit from the vault. That is working as expected since you dont want to backup 2x the same thing.

Second, meta data: Once you have a clear naming scheme, the capitalisation of word shouldnt be a problem and I found out that Aperture is far better than LR in that mesure. Which bring me to my third point:

I dont know if you are aware of it, but you could have solved a lot of your workflow problems by using smart folders/albums. If you look at the criteria available for a smart something, there are the most popular ones, but you can also use more advanced EXIF data such a camera name, time, etc... I shot 2200 pics when in Vietnam and I created 34 smart folders, one for each day. Then I created another smart folder for my best pics (rated 1+) and another for those with the book tag. Now, I just have to tag one day at the time and everything is well sorted.

Speed: my dual 1.8G5 with 1.25gig of ram was OK but I have seen some improvement with 3gig, my bottleneck now are my harddrive.

Output options: I prefer the books/website choice from Aperture than the ones in Lr, but that is a personal choice I guess.

To help you out, here is my workflow (for either models or bird shots):
- import card into Aperture in a new folder, if needed add keywords at the time of import (ex: name of model or place if shooting birds)
- do a first pass to reject all the bad (out of focus or no interest) pics at the same time, I will rate 3 starts pics that are standing out from the others and rarely a 5 to something that is awesome. I also give the metadata tag 'deco' to any pic that isnt that good, but that can be cropped in a non conventional way to be used as a webpage border, avatar, etc...
- delete rejects
- second pass. This time I adjust rating, rating 1 = a good pic that worth keeping, 3 = very good pic, 4-5 = going straigth to the portfolio (I have a smart album that get all the 4-5 from all my projects)
- delete everything that isnt rated or as the tag deco
- meta tag everything
- run the sync with the vault

The goal of this process is to reduce the amount of pics that I will have to meta tag. I do intensive metataging. Each of my travel pics have at least:
- location, ex: Vietnam/Central highland/
- theme, ex: war, country, work
- dominant color (useful for books)
- people in the pics if I know them
- type of animal (if any)*
- any other buzz word that could be useful, ex: brick, rice, rubber

This take a while but totaly worth it IMHO.

Personnaly, I think Aperture and LR are quite equivalent, but Aperture has higher system requirements (why?!?). The difference is mostly on how the metadata are managed (Aperture wins) and selective color adjustement (LR wins there thanks to Adobe experience with PS). For me, it was more important to be able to manage my picture library so LR won, but I guess its different for everyone.

I advice that you investigate a bit more on the features of Aperture because there are a lot of incredible stuff you can do with it that isnt that obvious or that is hidden under 3 levels of menus.

LR is more of an application while Aperture is more a workflow thing. If you are creative with your workflow, Aperture will follow you while LR will have you stick within its library concept.

* I have a smart website that gather all the unknows animals that I can later show to friends/on the net for identification. Very useful!

-hh
Apr 18, 2007, 02:39 PM
Ok, as an avid Aperture user, I think I should clarify some of your points.

First, managed vs referenced files. Only managed files will benefit from the vault. That is working as expected since you dont want to backup 2x the same thing.

That is an explanation of its behavior, but I don't really see that as a wholly rational justification for why it should get fussy and make this differentiation, instead of letting me choose.


Second, meta data: Once you have a clear naming scheme, the capitalisation of word shouldnt be a problem and I found out that Aperture is far better than LR in that mesure...

Personally, I loathe systems that are case-sensitive and would like there to be some way to go in and disable case sensitivity. I've already seen some instances of the same word with/without capitalization that has "snuck" in that I'll have to go fix. The auto-complete can also be a PITA at times, but there's nothing new about that, no matter what application we're talking about.

I dont know if you are aware of it, but you could have solved a lot of your workflow problems by using smart folders/albums. If you look at the criteria available for a smart something, there are the most popular ones, but you can also use more advanced EXIF data such a camera name, time, etc... I shot 2200 pics when in Vietnam and I created 34 smart folders, one for each day. Then I created another smart folder for my best pics (rated 1+) and another for those with the book tag. Now, I just have to tag one day at the time and everything is well sorted.

I've already found & used smart folders for a project last year. Overall, I think that my biggest management problem has been a general laziness of not bothering to add any metadata upon the photos' original import, so there's a lot of work where I'm behind the power curve to clean up house. Presently within iPhoto, I'm using the date options to find things.

Output options: I prefer the books/website choice from Aperture than the ones in Lr, but that is a personal choice I guess.

I liked the one book that I've put together in iPhoto so far; I don't have a particular problem is exporting a set of 100-200 images from whichever tool back into iPhoto to do the layout work there.


To help you out, here is my workflow (for either models or bird shots):
- import card into Aperture in a new folder, if needed add keywords at the time of import (ex: name of model or place if shooting birds)
- do a first pass to reject all the bad (out of focus or no interest) pics at the same time, I will rate 3 starts pics that are standing out from the others and rarely a 5 to something that is awesome. I also give the metadata tag 'deco' to any pic that isnt that good, but that can be cropped in a non conventional way to be used as a webpage border, avatar, etc...
- delete rejects
- second pass. This time I adjust rating, rating 1 = a good pic that worth keeping, 3 = very good pic, 4-5 = going straigth to the portfolio (I have a smart album that get all the 4-5 from all my projects)
- delete everything that isnt rated or as the tag deco
- meta tag everything
- run the sync with the vault

The goal of this process is to reduce the amount of pics that I will have to meta tag. I do intensive metataging. Each of my travel pics have at least:
- location, ex: Vietnam/Central highland/
- theme, ex: war, country, work
- dominant color (useful for books)
- people in the pics if I know them
- type of animal (if any)*
- any other buzz word that could be useful, ex: brick, rice, rubber

This take a while but totaly worth it IMHO.

Agreed. For the most part, I've still not really progressed from the old film "shoe box" storage method, where I'd use a lightbox to sort through my slides right after I shot them and pull out the keepers. Particularly with the higher frame count in digital, this is the bad habit that I have to break.

Personnaly, I think Aperture and LR are quite equivalent, but Aperture has higher system requirements (why?!?). The difference is mostly on how the metadata are managed (Aperture wins) and selective color adjustement (LR wins there thanks to Adobe experience with PS). For me, it was more important to be able to manage my picture library so LR won, but I guess its different for everyone.

Agreed. I've been using Photoshop since at least v4, so I'm quite used to how Adobe designs their interfaces. I do like what Adobe has done with LR's "Develop" controls.

I advice that you investigate a bit more on the features of Aperture because there are a lot of incredible stuff you can do with it that isnt that obvious or that is hidden under 3 levels of menus.

This has been something that has surprised & disappointed me: for an Apple product, it has a very steep learning curve because it is so non-intuitive.

LR is more of an application while Aperture is more a workflow thing. If you are creative with your workflow, Aperture will follow you while LR will have you stick within its library concept.

Funny, I at least perceive LR as being more "workflow" oriented, because of the "Library - Develop - Slideshow - Print - Web" dialog in the upper right.

I do agree that Aperture appears to have effectively the same thing in the upper left, but it is organized as "tiny yellow icon", "tiny blue icon", "purple", "pink", etc, and my system is incredibly sluggish to bring up the text-based descriptors of what each is supposed to be.

Hopefully, I'll get a bit more time to work with both of them this week before I have to go on the road next week on business.

-hh

PieMac
May 9, 2007, 06:17 PM
-hh,

Just curious...which one did you choose? I'm in the midst of making this decision myself, and so far, Aperture wins out.

-hh
May 10, 2007, 08:39 AM
-hh,

Just curious...which one did you choose? I'm in the midst of making this decision myself, and so far, Aperture wins out.


I ended up choosing Lightroom.

It might have been not enough time using Aperture to get up the learning curve, but I was finding its interface to be frustrating at times.

Plus on my SP 1.8GHz G5 tower it was simply way too boggy, even after I freed up the CPU as much as possible by quitting all other Apps, etc. Granted, new hardware would probably resolve some of that problem, but I personally don't consider the introdution of the 8-core Mac Pro to really be a major revamping of the Mac Pro line, since the rest of the product line didn't really change its price:performance. As such, I figure that I'm still 6-18 months out from buying an Intel-based Mac Pro, so the relative performance of LR vs Aperture is a factor.

A final factor that I've not checked 100% into yet is that Adobe is generally pretty good about allowing you to use a single licence on both your desktop and laptop, which would also be a factor in favor of Lightroom.


-hh

koobcamuk
May 10, 2007, 09:01 AM
A final factor that I've not checked 100% into yet is that Adobe is generally pretty good about allowing you to use a single licence on both your desktop and laptop, which would also be a factor in favor of Lightroom.-hh

That's the real pain in the ass about Aperture.

CptnJustc
May 10, 2007, 09:12 AM
I think some of the issues here come from an inadequate rush to conclusions (I apologize if that is not the case). I think evaluating either program from a 'cold start' without much study of manuals, video tours or what have you doesn't do them justice. If anyone here is interested in Aperture, I highly recommend putting an hour or two into the quicktours at http://www.apple.com/aperture/quicktours/

I believe Adobe has just a few videos up, but it's true, LR is generally a bit easier to figure out. Still, I've found Aperture's learning curve not nearly as steep as has been reputed -- watching just those videos can eliminate many hours of trial and error.

In regard to referenced files and the like:

That is an explanation of its behavior, but I don't really see that as a wholly rational justification for why it should get fussy and make this differentiation, instead of letting me choose.


Well, for one thing, referenced files may be stuck on backup hard drives that may not be online when you update your vault. So when you tell Aperture to update your vault, it can't guarantee all your referenced files will be included, then you'd have to keep track of which referenced files were backed up when, etc. With managed files, encapsulated in the Aperture library, it can be sure. All this means is that, if you have your referenced files in their own directory structure, you have to back it up yourself, which shouldn't be too difficult (just copy it somewhere). There is still a benefit to using the vault with referenced files -- it archives your Aperture database, previews, etc.

I'm not sure you understand what the vaults are, exactly. They aren't the main Aperture database, and it isn't necessary to update a vault to use the main Aperture database. It's just a backup copy of the database, and doesn't have to be constantly updated -- heck, you don't even have to have a vault. And generally, it doesn't update unless you tell it to -- which is probably why the number of items needing to be added to the vault didn't change.

CptnJustc
May 10, 2007, 09:14 AM
That's the real pain in the ass about Aperture.

You can use just one license for laptop and desktop with Aperture (at least, that's how I've been doing it :eek: ). You just can't use both simultaneously or you get the 'another computer on the network is using this license' message. Just quit out of the program on one before you use the other. A minor inconvenience, but I think not a horrible or Draconian way of achieving their objective.

Edit: Incidentally, I think it's easier to sync laptop and desktop databases with Aperture -- though I haven't spent a lot of time with LR, so it may be just as good on both.

PieMac
May 10, 2007, 09:18 AM
I ended up choosing Lightroom.

A final factor that I've not checked 100% into yet is that Adobe is generally pretty good about allowing you to use a single licence on both your desktop and laptop, which would also be a factor in favor of Lightroom.


-hh



if you check the ELUA for Aperture
at http://images.apple.com/legal/sla/aperture1.pdf

you would see under section 2

2. Permitted License Uses and Restrictions. This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on one Apple-labeled
desktop computer and one Apple-labeled laptop computer so long as both computers are owned and used by you

Just FYI-but it sounds like this is a moot point as you've already made your decision.

I found Aperture much more intuitive than Lightroom and much more free flowing ...LR felt almost claustrophobic at times. Aperture has also been running very well on my Mac-but then again I have a new 5 month old 2.16 MBP Intel core 2 duo with 2 GB RAM.

It really is all about which program suits you. Both are excellent programs.

-hh
May 10, 2007, 09:25 AM
I think some of the issues here come from an inadequate rush to conclusions (I apologize if that is not the case). I think evaluating either program from a 'cold start' without much study of manuals, video tours or what have you doesn't do them justice. If anyone here is interested in Aperture, I highly recommend putting an hour or two into the quicktours at http://www.apple.com/aperture/quicktours/

I don't think that I had mentioned it previously, but I had gone through all of those pages & videos before getting started with Aperture. They did help with the learning curve, but still "not enough" from my personal perspective.


-hh

-hh
May 10, 2007, 09:28 AM
if you check the ELUA for Aperture
at http://images.apple.com/legal/sla/aperture1.pdf

you would see under section 2

2. Permitted License Uses and Restrictions. This License allows you to install and use one copy of the Apple Software on one Apple-labeled
desktop computer and one Apple-labeled laptop computer so long as both computers are owned and used by you

Just FYI-but it sounds like this is a mute point as you've already made your decision.

It is a moot point. In any case, its good to see that this provision is within Apple's EULA.

It really is all about which program suits you. Both are excellent programs.

Exactly. For me, my experience is probably influenced by a decade of working with Photoshop, from at least v4 to present.


-hh

PieMac
May 10, 2007, 09:29 AM
As another poster on MacRumors said-it really is another Canon vs Nikon kind of debate...it's a matter of personal choice in the end and you really can't go wrong with either one.

CptnJustc
May 10, 2007, 09:38 AM
I don't think that I had mentioned it previously, but I had gone through all of those pages & videos before getting started with Aperture. They did help with the learning curve, but still "not enough" from my personal perspective.


-hh

Hrm, strange that you seemed to confuse the vault with the main database, then. :confused:

But I do completely agree with your complaint about the metadata stamping, which could be more intuitive (in both programs), and the fact that some changes don't apply to all versions unless you have the stacks opened.

For me, choosing Aperture was almost a coin flip, but I sided with its more natural-feeling sorting and management features, and multi-monitor support. I'm sure the next versions of both will make a lot of the points raised in these discussions moot, though.