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Advice on Aperture alternative

PBW70s

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2018
12
1
Hello. I have continued using aperture as I didn't like the organization and navigation of Photos initially. But given that Aperture is no longer updated or supported, I suppose I should switch. I shoot about once a month so have a fair number of photos to store and organize. I don't do a lot of post processing, but do some. I've tried Affinity and like it for editing. I'm looking for advice from other photographers -- do you store in Photos and if not, what do you use? Thanks.
 

R2FX

macrumors regular
Mar 25, 2010
160
217
my 2 cents - there's no Aperture alternative... I continue using it as my DAM for final jpgs while I do most of my RAW editing & conversion in Capture One Pro. The only 'simmilar' program is Lightroom but comes with subscriptions and fugly Adobe UI and performance quirks.

I've been Aperture user since v.2 and I love that UI and functionality so much that I have a dedicated machine running Mavericks only to handle the Aperture library and it's backups. If you just need organisation of your pics then stick with Aperture, you'll save yourself a lot of hassle and time.
 
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maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,150
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Boston
Late 2017, and into early 2018, I searched long and hard for something that could replace Lightroom, but sadly I came to the conclusion that there is no other product that offers the same level of features, and ease of use as LR. While I abhor the idea of a subscription, there's a reason why LR is the market leader.

I used to use Aperture and I went right over to LR when Apple announced its death, I wished they didn't kill it off, because I think Aperture is that one program that offered similar features and abilities.

While there are developers jumping on the DAM bandwagon, few have the same level of control, as LR does. Capture One is probably the closest that gives a lot of editing ability, great RAW conversion, and decent DAM capabilities. Yet, I found I was shoehorning my work into a workflow I didn't care for. That is LR allows me to work the way I want too, but C1, did not.

Like it or not, Adobe has done an incredible job with Lightroom, and it really doesn't have any equals in my opinion.
 
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r.harris1

macrumors 65816
Feb 20, 2012
1,013
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Denver, Colorado, USA
I too am a former Aperture user. I can personally do much more in Capture One than in LR, but to be fair, I've never warmed up to the way LR does things and haven't therefore tried to find a tool that "does it like LR". Of the Adobe tools, I'm more likely to use Photoshop. My DAM is mostly my hard drive with raw images stored in location->date order in folders and heavily key-worded by Photo Mechanic. That way I can use Spotlight to do at least a rough search of images based on keywords.

Doing that way also gives me flexibility in raw converters for further processing and I mostly split my time between Photos+Extensions+Edit-In and Capture One, though I've been spending more time lately in the latter. Admittedly, most people prefer a one-size-fits-all tool, but I care more about flexibility.

I actually find Photos to be pretty easy to use for organization DAM-wise since it already "thinks" in terms of dates and locations. Its raw processing is actually quite good and very, very fast, though nothing like the features of Aperture. I can then build smart albums based on keywords and go from there, depending on the needs of whatever project I happen to be working on.

- Ray
 
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MacDonaldTrump

Suspended
Nov 28, 2018
318
720
Brisbane Australia
I loved Aperture, was always laughed at by my photographer friends however my images always stacked up. I hate the subscription model but after years of holding off I jumped into Adobe.I am paying the price now having to reorganise and rework my work flow.
Lightroom is great for cataloging and similar edits as aperture.
 
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MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,560
421
Atlanta
Two major alternatives:

Adobe Photography Plan with Lightroom, Photoshop, Bridge, and Camera Raw.

Capture One Pro as it will you set up your catalog as either managed (images are inside the database as they are by default in Aperture) or referenced (images are in folders in the file system such as done by Lightroom).

Capture One is by far the most flexible in how to import and store images. But it is not inexpensive.
 
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Cheese&Apple

macrumors 68010
Jun 5, 2012
2,004
6,604
Toronto
For me, it's the combination of Lightroom and Photoshop.
  • They are currently the best for cataloging and editing. They're the applications that others are trying to emulate with only marginal success and both are so much better than Aperture ever was.
  • I like Adobe's Photography subscription plan. For a bit more than $10 a month, I get the best and always up to date applications. In the overall scheme of things photography related, for me, $10 a month is a small fraction of expense for something that is a huge part of my photography needs.
For the casual photographer capturing images at family events and holiday occasions with little to no edits, Photos will do the job very well.

Beyond these options you can search for the holy grail of applications but the important thing is to pick one and stick with it, learn it and understand what that application can do for you. After all, there are only so many ways you can manipulate pixels and often the only difference between applications is how those tools to manipulate are presented to the user.
 
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MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
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Atlanta
Adobe does not have Lr Classic for iPad. Maybe after they release Photoshop for iPad they will provide a Lr for IOS with all the Classic capabilities.
 
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F-Train

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2015
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Adobe does not have Lr Classic for iPad. Maybe after they release Photoshop for iPad they will provide a Lr for IOS with all the Classic capabilities.

I'm mostly interested in the upcoming Photoshop mobile app. Re Lightroom, for me it's just a question of when, not if, I transfer from Lightroom Classic to Lightroom CC. At the moment, it is possible to use Lightroom Classic with Lightroom CC on the iPad, although there are some limitations. I suspect that we'll see Lightroom CC's features expand rather than further integration. I'm fine with that. Lightroom is already close to the point where I'm ready to jump, especially with Photoshop in the pipe.

What I don't want is to be in a situation where I'm using unrelated desktop and mobile apps. For me, that was a significant reason to reject the idea of moving to Capture One.
 
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robgendreau

macrumors 68040
Jul 13, 2008
3,371
277
Hello. I have continued using aperture as I didn't like the organization and navigation of Photos initially. But given that Aperture is no longer updated or supported, I suppose I should switch. I shoot about once a month so have a fair number of photos to store and organize. I don't do a lot of post processing, but do some. I've tried Affinity and like it for editing. I'm looking for advice from other photographers -- do you store in Photos and if not, what do you use? Thanks.

It would help considerably if you explained how you use Aperture, some of your workflow. And did you use a managed or referenced library?

And what about Photos didn't you like?

Do you plan on continuing to use Affinity? have you tried it's extensions in Photos?
 
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PBW70s

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2018
12
1
It would help considerably if you explained how you use Aperture, some of your workflow. And did you use a managed or referenced library?

And what about Photos didn't you like?

Do you plan on continuing to use Affinity? have you tried it's extensions in Photos?

Thanks for the questions. I import photos via Aperture.

I found it difficult to organize and find photos in Photos. I use folders and projects in Aperture.

I used Affinity for some editing I wanted to do that Aperture couldn't handle... this was for a specific project... I don't do a lot of post processing... when I do it's usually cropping and adjusting exposure, etc. Thanks.
 
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BJMRamage

macrumors 68030
Oct 2, 2007
2,537
935
I too am still using Aperture. I know there will be a time (probably already passed) that I will NEED to move on.

I purchased Luminar 2018 with the 'promise' of a DAM. Skylum finally provided a library (not DAM) for Luminar 3 (basically Luminar 2019). I have not had a chance to use it but thought they business model for it stinks.

I did just purchase On1 Photo RAW 2019....will test that out soon.

I am an amateur photographer, so dedicating $$$ isn't always on the budget but I know I need something. I currently shoot RAW and use Aperture as a DAM to organize my photos into groups. Aperture was a HUGE upgrade to iPhoto but not sure if Photos can handle what I'd like.

*I am following along to see what becomes of the others using Aperture. (I would have liked if Apple sold an Aperture "plugin" to use with Photos...basically Photos is the very basic - use Aperture Plugin/Extension to get more out of Photos
 
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steve123

macrumors 6502
Aug 26, 2007
300
111
Have a look at Raw Power. The guy behind this was a developer on the Aperture team so it feels a lot like Aperture. The capabilities have been shaping up nicely. Inexpensive and worth the money.
[doublepost=1546492340][/doublepost]For anyone that is interested, Nik Bhatt is looking for input on what we miss most from Aperture.

https://gentlemencoders.com/what-do-you-most-miss-from-aperture/
 
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MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,560
421
Atlanta
Notice he does not mention things like a DAM and he does not mention things that would be needed in Aperture to keep it competitive such as layers, luminosity masking, color range masking, blending options....etc. These days entry level apps such as Luminar and Photo Raw have such capabilities.
 
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r.harris1

macrumors 65816
Feb 20, 2012
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Denver, Colorado, USA
Notice he does not mention things like a DAM and he does not mention things that would be needed in Aperture to keep it competitive such as layers, luminosity masking, color range masking, blending options....etc. These days entry level apps such as Luminar and Photo Raw have such capabilities.
It depends on your definition of DAM. To me, it’s less a specific thing sold by one company (though that option exists, obviously) and more of a collections of tools and processes to manage digital assets. Plenty of things in that list at the raw power site that help manage image assets. As to the other items you mention, sure, they’re nice. I think he’s at least trying to be more of an adobe camera raw first, then move into the other stuff later.
 
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Ledgem

macrumors 68000
Jan 18, 2008
1,891
723
Hawaii, USA
For organization, the transition to Photos wasn't overly terrible for me. I most often found photos in Aperture through either face detect or geotagged locations, with some keywording and color-coding, and the occasional usage of specific searches through EXIF data. Photos has all of that, except for the color coding (and star rating system, which I didn't really use). I still have albums sorted into folders for manual organization. (And like @CmdrLaForge I'd probably still be on Aperture even today, were it not for the fact that my current camera is not supported by it.)

Where Photos really didn't cut it was in editing, which doesn't sound like a major issue for you. I used the brush system in Aperture for finer edits, and Photos still lacks that. I still want the ability to make large-scale adjustments to multiple photos at a time (another thing that Aperture allowed that Photos does not). More recently I bought Capture One Pro. The RAW editing capabilities are superior to Aperture (and of course, Photos). I've heard people remark that changing to it is "like getting a whole new camera," and while I don't totally agree with that, it definitely seems to increase my camera's capabilities. However, Capture One Pro lacks a geotag/map module, as well as a face library.

What I do now is to import my photos into Capture One, sort them and perform general edits there, then export the JPEGs to Photos. If photos weren't already geotagged within the camera, then I geotag them in Photos. Photos then acts as my platform for viewing and sharing photos. It's not really necessary to do, but I have mirrored the folder and album structure in both programs so that if I ever wanted to re-edit a photo that I found in Photos, I could easily go and find it within Capture One. I think of this as the digital equivalent to having a photo album that is separate from a binder for negatives.

It's a bit more work than things were with using Aperture alone, but what can you do... if I weren't already using Photos for sharing albums through iCloud and just wanted a single application to take over Aperture's functionality, it sounds like Lightroom - which I've admittedly never used, and which I distinctly avoided due to the subscription model - would be the program to use.
 
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Micky Do

macrumors 68020
Aug 31, 2012
2,008
2,750
a South Pacific island
Hello. I have continued using aperture as I didn't like the organization and navigation of Photos initially. But given that Aperture is no longer updated or supported, I suppose I should switch. I shoot about once a month so have a fair number of photos to store and organize. I don't do a lot of post processing, but do some. I've tried Affinity and like it for editing. I'm looking for advice from other photographers -- do you store in Photos and if not, what do you use? Thanks.
Photos works for me, though I didn't like the move from iPhoto initially. Not interested in the subscription mode of Lightroom or purchasing any other alternative as I don't have a credit card to pay.

I take photos to archive events, to use on some websites and Facebook group pages, and provide a few for the sports pages of the local newspaper, so need to do a little editing, as well as reasonably well organised storage.

My first experience of Photos was Photos 1.0 when I upgraded my 2009 Mac Mini to El Capitan late in 2017. It was bad. ..... limited editing tools, and not very intuitive organisation. I pined for iPhoto, which though basic, was simple to use and functional. Still, I did persist and found I could do an OK job of organising photos with it. Was not happy with the editing though. I keep just a few photos on the internal HDD, and archive the rest of the keepers on an external HDD.

After holding out on getting a laptop for a long time I got a MacBook Air, mainly to use for work and when travelling. It came with Photos 3.0, which is a big improvement in functionality for both editing and storage, but with just a 128 GB SSD, I didn't want to go storing my library of photos on board. Explored using an external drive for Photos is a bit of a hassle though.......

I had been thinking of replacing the 2019 Mac Mini with the 2018 model, but was less than impressed when it came out..... Great performer for pros, but for the average Joe or Jill it is too expensive with too little storage in basic form, and horrendously expensive to specify more storage.

However, an upgrade to Photos 1.5 has arrived, and it has some useful upgrades to editing tools.... Now it is at least as functional as iPhoto was, and better in some respects. Will just stick with Photos on the 2009 Mac Mini, though will probably install a larger HDD next time it is open for a clean out
 
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CmdrLaForge

macrumors 601
Feb 26, 2003
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good for you, and I hope it stays like that for a long time ... it just failed on me a few weeks ago and I was forced to make the move, going with LR classic

How so ? What happened? I have one issue now and that’s during import. I have to wait for the iCloud sync to finish before I start importing from SD cards otherwise it’s crashing.
 
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jz0309

macrumors 6502a
Sep 25, 2018
825
2,048
Temecula, CA
How so ? What happened? I have one issue now and that’s during import. I have to wait for the iCloud sync to finish before I start importing from SD cards otherwise it’s crashing.
I had originally a managed library with ~ 70k photos that I started to move into a referenced library and ~ 2 weeks ago I started moving some photos out and went to be while it was "processing", the next morning it had crashed and no repair/rebuild has worked since, it stays up for no more than 1-2 minutes and crashes.
My reasoning to go to referenced library was that I knew it wasn't going to be running forever, so wanted to be prepared but now I'm forced to move on ...
 
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CmdrLaForge

macrumors 601
Feb 26, 2003
4,441
2,578
around the world
I had originally a managed library with ~ 70k photos that I started to move into a referenced library and ~ 2 weeks ago I started moving some photos out and went to be while it was "processing", the next morning it had crashed and no repair/rebuild has worked since, it stays up for no more than 1-2 minutes and crashes.
My reasoning to go to referenced library was that I knew it wasn't going to be running forever, so wanted to be prepared but now I'm forced to move on ...

Well that kind of sucks. I hope not to run into this kind of nothing goes situation. I keep my fingers crossed.
 
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PBW70s

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 30, 2018
12
1
Thanks all for sharing your thoughts and experiences. I will check out the various options. If I make a change, I'll post here and let you know how it's going.
 
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