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Is Lightroom/Aperture a MUST?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dengar169, Jun 11, 2008.

  1. macrumors member

    I have currently been using 30 day trials of both LR and AP. Both are good in their own ways. But my main question is if I'm running CS3, how important would having either of them be? Can I not accomplish the same results for my photos through Photoshop or by using ACR? Does anybody have an opinion as to certain parts of either program that makes it superior to the other?
  2. macrumors 68040


    There are a number of threads on this very topic, but in short -- they do different things.

    There are crossover features like highlights, saturation, sharpening, but Photoshop takes off in a different direction with layer-based editing/creation.

    AP/LR do not function in the same way but are very powerful for editing and managing/archiving large numbers of photos. (Dodge & burn was a big step for Aperture.) With AP/LR, you can sort by any snippet of metadata and batch process, export to a web gallery, etc - from thousands of photos in your library. Photoshop doesn't archive photos in a library.

    Some people use one, some people use a combo. Photoshop and AP/LR are different enough that comparison is not easy, or even worthwhile, depending on the usage.
  3. macrumors member

    I've always been a CS2/3 user. Lately I've been using Lightroom. For quick editing and workflow it is awesome. Dealing with a couple hundred shots from one shoot is faster for me in Lightroom. If I need brush selection or massive layer work, off to Photoshop it goes. One thing to remember is Lightrooms default workspace is ProPhoto RGB.
  4. macrumors demi-god


    Here's a review of Aperture by a professional photographer that may be of some help. He has some interesting points, but keep in mind the review is from 2 years ago and Aperture has been updated since then. Still, it's informative.

  5. macrumors 6502a



    Aperture doesn't do dodging and burning, as far as I know.. :confused:

    Anyways I think that Aperture or Lightroom IS a must if you plan on doing alot of photo editing, as they maintain and safeguard your originals as well as all the metadata, unlike iPhoto.
  6. macrumors 68040


    Aperture 2.0 does have a dodging/burning facility (either 'built-in or as a free download/plug-in... can't remember which). It opens the image in a separate window, and seems to work OK.
  7. macrumors 6502a


    Really? I'm guessing it's as a free download because I can't find it anywhere :p
  8. macrumors member

    Thanks everybody for putting in better perspective for me. All your opinions make a lot of sense. So now I just have to decide which I'll be hapier with for the time being. I can pick up a copy of Lightroom a lot cheaper at my school than for Aperture so I just might have to go that route for now. Again thanks
  9. Guest

    It is included with all copies of Aperture 2.0

    When you right-click a photo and select Edit With, Dodge & Burn should appear there.;)
  10. macrumors G4

    Aperture and LR are about sorting through many hundreds in photos after a shoot and organizing many thousands of photos, or tens of thousands of photos in our library. Yes you could do this with Photoshop but do you want to have to load each of 400 images in one at a time. Aperture makes this very fast. For example once you've color balanced one photo you can quickly "stamp" this corection onto all other photos shot in the same light.

    Aperture is non-destructive. PS really is not unless you take the effort to always keep the unedited pixels in a background layer that is not visable

    Adobe includes Bridge with photoshop. Bridge helps with this sorting and taging and searching
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Keep in mind that once you amass thousands of photos with photo corrections done in Aperture or Lightroom you're not likely to switch to the other ... no easy way to make an image in one program render the same in the other program.

    Manually correcting again even with the speed of Aperture/Lightroom would still take a looong time.

    I went with Lightroom although I've heard good things about Aperture simply because Photoshop is the gold standard for photographers and I knew Lightroom would integrate better with Photoshop.

    If your photo collection is small and you don't tend to shoot big batches at one time then try them all out as each raw converter gives a different look. There's also Capture1 and DxO Optics.
  12. macrumors 65816


    Umm... I doubt there are that many people out there that take anything Ken Rockwell says seriously. I think the best description I've come across of him was something along the lines of " a self- serving, self-infatuated snap shot taker with a blog." From what I've seen, it's not that far off.

    As for the question the OP asked:
    No. If you are happy with PS and Bridge, there is no reason to use either LR or Aperture. There are some advantages, such as better metadata handling, and a number of us use the software for organizational purposes. But if you are happy with using something like Bridge to organize your photos, there is no reason to spend the money.
  13. macrumors 6502a



    Lets not be mean to Rockwell.. He's (very) funny and interesting and as long as you read him with a grain of salt his site is great. :)
  14. macrumors demi-god


    One day... just once... I'd like to see a thread without SOMEONE resorting to bashing either other posters, their ideas or suggestions, or the information they provide! As I said, "He has some interesting points.... Still, it's informative" Ken has volumes of very informative, factual information on his site. I didn't say he was the god of photography. There's no need to be rude and insulting. It doesn't help anyone and doesn't help the OP, which was the intent of the thread.
  15. macrumors G4

    So you are going to make a decision based on saving maybe $50?

    Switching later will not be easy. There is not simple way to move your edits over without many, many hours of work. It is like going with Nikon because the entry level sSLR body is $100 cheaper. That's OK but the saving vanish if you later deside you want some Canon lens and you have to sell all your Nikon stuff at a huge loss

    What I'd do is go with iPhoto. Use it until you find some problem. iPhoto does almost everything Aperture does. Later if you need to move to Aperture or LR it is very easy to convert from iPhoto to one of the others. and iPhoto is free when you buy the Mac.
  16. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Hah, hah! Ken Rockwell! Thanks for the early morning laugh! Ken Rockwell, ha...
  17. macrumors member

    No i'm not basing my decision soley on the $50 savings. I am using both as trials right now and will be weighing the difference between them and ultimately decide which is better for my work flow. So far I find the Lightroom interface more to my liking. But we'll see....
  18. macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    That's really what it comes down to - how it fits your needs and style. For me, Aperture works better, but its also more demanding of the gpu. It can be challenging if you have a lot of images to process on a Mini or MacBook. LR plays better with these machines.
  19. Guest


    I know that you said it with the best intentions... but iPhoto is nothing compared with Aperture or Lightroom.

    In fact, I would even say that anyone with a dSLR or a P&S with RAW must have one of this apps.
  20. macrumors 603


    If you don't know why you would need Aperture, then you probably don't. It's about workflow. Everything else can be handled through iPhoto and Photoshop CS3.

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