Aperture 2: First Thoughts

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Grimace, Feb 14, 2008.

  1. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #1
    Overall, it's a great product. 8/10 Some of these features have been talked about elsewhere, but I've been playing with my new copy for a few days and have the following comments:

    Strengths:
    1. Faster loads, even for "older" machines. Aperture still likes high end hardware but it is now accessible (not just on paper) to any Intel Mac.
    1.5. The "processing previews" spinny thing spins a lot faster. That makes us think that Aperture is working harder, although it isn't. :p
    2. The navigation is marginally better. Meta data and adjustments were cluttered together before, and the tabs work really well for segmenting the tasks.
    3. Organizational hierarchy is still very clean, and much better than Lightroom. Albums, Projects, etc. can be seen by your iPhone/iPod so you can take your good stuff on the go.
    4. Multi-monitor support is still awesome and a big plus over Lightroom's single display setup.
    5. Highlights and shadows have marked improvement (and added specificity) in the Levels adjustment pane.
    6. Vignette Control works surprisingly well. Small refinements from good lenses work well, big refinements from so-so lenses doesn't quite hold up as well.
    7. All-Projects and the accompanying preview (with all images virtual scroll-through) is not all that interesting at first, but will prove very useful as a reference when you want to quickly scroll through hundreds of images in a project without viewing the full images (more slowly.) "Key Photo" is helpful in that regard too.
    8. For crop cameras, Meta data shows focal length AND 35mm equiv focal length; handy for sorting images with multiple cameras.
    9. Rule-of-thirds grid when cropping -- Genius!!

    Weaknesses:
    1. Web gallery exports: crippled to 5 pathetic options, unless you have .Mac and iLife '08 -- that's where the cool stuff lies. Lightroom kicks the pants of of Aperture in this category.
    2. Still no network vault backup via FTP etc. Maybe Time Capsule (only) will proprietarily integrate into vaults. :rolleyes:
    3. Not enough control over batch change and lift/stamp options.
    4. Still prefers lots of RAM and shiny new hardware.

    Overall, it is a solid update. Since 1.5 was free, I guess we had to pay eventually. The original was $299, so $199 is welcomed. But is it worth it? If you are buying it for the first time, or choosing between Ap and LightRoom, definitely. $199 is a good value for this professional tool. (Don't get me wrong, I would love it for $149 but it really does value between $200-300.) If you have 1.5 and are pondering the update...it is worth $99 in my view.

    Bottom line: 2.0 is zippier. It is better organized and easier to navigate. There is better control over shadows/highlights. BUT, the web gallery exports are embarrassing (hence the 8/10 rating). If you want to publish to .Mac (and have iPhoto 08) - this is less of a concern. Integration with other iApps (including iPhones) is great. Play with it in an Apple Store, download the demo, or just pull the trigger; you'll like it.
     
  2. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    UK.
    #2
    Ordered my upgrade today - hope you're right! :)
     
  3. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2006
    Location:
    Salt Lake City UT
    #3
    too bad I can't run this on my powermac g3!!!!
     
  4. juanm macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 1, 2006
    Location:
    Fury 161
    #4
    It already did that before, I think.

    -2 points for something not everybody even uses (web export) is a lttle too hard a judgment. You should make a poll. It would give an actual insght of what the users think. Me? I give it an 8, but not for the same reasons
     
  5. kcdude macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #5
    Newbie question for you....if only lightly touching up/cropping etc...do you need PSCS3 with 2.0? I am a very amateur user and do not even come close to using the full capabilities of CS3. Does 2.0 have more overlap with CS3?

    I have a new MacPro and 2.0 on the way with CS3 unwrapped sitting on my desk...wondering if I should return it and see if I can live with 2.0. Am I limiting myself when I should begin focusing on learning 2.0 and CS3? Thoughts?
     
  6. Grimace thread starter macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #6
    If those are your needs, you might be able to use iPhoto and be perfectly happy. CS3 has a whole lot of other stuff that isn't always helpful with photography. That said, Photoshop (one part of CS3) is a great tool for some types of editing. "Darkroom techniques" and post-processing can be done in Aperture and Photoshop, but the former is really appreciate for its workflow for photographers.

    Since CS3 is unwrapped, you won't be able to return it. In a perfect world, for your needs:

    iPhoto--->Aperture--->CS3 (depending on advanced needs.)
     
  7. kcdude macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    #7
    Woops, I was unclear... it is unwrapped as in I have not opened it. I did get the app on an Ed discount so I am thinking that it is a keeper and something to learn . Up to this point, I have been using CS2 in a WinXP environment and am really looking forward to using Aperture for work flow management.
     
  8. disdat macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #8
    Thanks for the review. I am really considering the purchase, coming from iPhoto, but I haven't had time to play with the trial yet.

    I tested the 1.5 trial, but stopped after a week because I was starting to enjoy working with it, but didn't want to torment myself any longer because I knew I couldn't afford it. So, the $100 off for A2 is a big help to me!

    Thanks again!
     
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #9
    You should consider trading Photoshop CS3 for Photoshop elements. Elements has almost everything you need and almost everything that CS3 has, that you would actually use.

    The #1 most important edit feature that Aperture/iPhoto/Lightroom lacks is layers and selection tools. Those are basic and you need them. Elements 4.0 has almost the same selection and layer tools at CS3. and I suspect elements 6.0 will bring these tols up to par with CS3 (Elements 4.0 was more like "CS")

    The only question is if you should wait for Element 6.0 or just buy 4.0 now. My advice is always "if you need it now buy it now."

    Note that you can buy a Wacom tablet and "elements 4.0" is bundled inside. The tablet sells for only $20 more then the cost of Elements 4.0. You will need the tablet and $20 is an unbeatable price for one

    One more thing: If I'm wrong and you should have kept CS3 it's not a big deal because you can upgrade from Elements to CS3 and recover the price you paid for Elements,

    So, Buy Elements 4.0 then upgrade only i you need to. There is nothing to lose the user interface in Elements is enough like CS3 that yu do not have to re-learn anything.
     
  10. Grimace thread starter macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #10
    After shooting and processing tens of thousands of photos, I have never needed layers.

    Post-processing (tweaking) photos will not involve layers 99% of the time. Photoshop is fantastic (as is PS Elements) for layer-based work, but given the poster's needs, layers don't come into play.
     
  11. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #11
    Grimace, thanks for the "first thoughts" on Aperture 2.0! Went to Tysons today to buy the upgrade and they had only the full version, so then I tootled over to Montgomery Mall and they had the upgrade but no full version! (Heads up to anyone in the VA/MD suburbs) So now I'm a happy camper and tomorrow will be upgrading my machines....really looking forward to being able to process RAW images from my D3 and D300 in Aperture!

    As for someone wondering what to use or buy as far as the Adobe products, my vote is for Elements UNLESS someone is really into doing extensive work with layers and filters and such. Personally, I rarely use layers and filters, preferring to process my images as lightly as possible (which is why I love Aperture). People who do a lot of "digital art," "digital art photography," etc., where there is extensive manipulation of the original photographic image, need Photoshop. For the person who just needs basic post-processing/editing tools, Photoshop Elements really fits the bill at a significantly less expensive hit on the pocketbook than CS3......
     
  12. Everythingisnt macrumors 6502a

    Everythingisnt

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #12
    Do you think I'll see a tangible increase in performance in my machine? ("old" Macpro w/ 9gig RAM). Photos are really just a hobby for me so this isn't something I am depending on in any professional capacity. Still, it would nice to know if I would get any performance benefits for the $99 upgrade cost. (Although I actually acquired my version of Aperture recently enough that I think i'm eligible for the $9.95 upgrade to Aperture 2:D...)
     
  13. Grimace thread starter macrumors 68040

    Grimace

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    with Hamburglar.
    #13
    I have the same machine, and 9GB of RAM. I think it's a bit zippier, but I wouldn't upgrade just for speed -- there are some other helpful tools.

    For $9.95, it's a no-brainer! :D
     
  14. Doylem macrumors 68040

    Doylem

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2006
    Location:
    Wherever I hang my hat...
    #14
    I'm with Clix Pix. A lot of people imagine they need the 'full monty' of Photoshop, when they really don't. Aperture 1.5 offers a range of adjustments, and 2.0 has a few more. These are fine for 99% of pix for photographers who aren't into dramatic graphic effects.
     
  15. Mac In School macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #15
    Anyone have a non-dot Mac gallery to show us, so we can see for ourselves?
     
  16. marclapierre13 macrumors 6502a

    marclapierre13

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2005
    #16
    Thanks for the review, I enjoyed reading it. I think Ill hold off for now, a) because I find I rarely use aperture, and b) I have several other programs I use more, PS being one of them.
    If i was in the market though, it definitely seems like good value.
     
  17. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #17
    Few of my observations (started with Aperture 1.1, used 1.5.6 as primary digital asset management tool, and now using 2.0):
    • 2.0 RAW processor (for Canon Digital Rebel XTi/EOS 400D) represents minuscule improvement over 1.1, which was a huge improvement over 1.0.
    • Noise reduction is still pathetic, worse than iPhoto '08. Hopefully, new plug-in architecture will bring 3rd party noise cleanup add-on soon (e.g., Noise Ninja).
    • Still no meta data based browsing.
    • UI is significantly redesigned and more usable now, and even better, requires very little learning curve for previous Aperture users.
    • Yes, everything is significantly faster. Everything. 'nuff said.
    • Vignetting tool works great, but what about other lens correction tools such as barrel distortion?
    • Love all the color/level adjustment tools. Retouch brush works much better.
    • Lens type data! Too bad it required me to edit template to add this useful data. Now exports meta data and supports changing timestamp!
     
  18. student_trap macrumors 68000

    student_trap

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2005
    Location:
    'Ol Smokey, UK
    #18
    hey guys, maybe this is a silly question, but is it worth getting aperture even though i already have cs3? ive heard that aperture is particular useful for its photo filing, which i think i'd find really useful, as since using photoshop a fair bit my mbp is getting pretty messy file-wise, but do these two programs work well together?

    I should probably ad that as im at uni, i can pick up aperture for £55
     
  19. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #19
    Well, I am up and running with Aperture 2.0 in two machines! Installed it in the 17" MBP first, as that machine already was running Leopard, and that way I could get an idea of what to expect and if there were any "gotchas" during installation, etc. Looked good, so then I first backed up all the stuff on the desktop of my Mac Pro (images, mostly) and then installed Leopard and all software updates, then installed the upgrade to Aperture 2.0..... Looking good! Didn't take time to fiddle with anything except to rearrange the layout so that the browser is where I prefer it (left side) and to check that all my original Aperture library was intact..... Have to work tomorrow but maybe on Sunday I'll have a chance to actually play with the program!

    @ student_trap: Well, it depends upon how much editing you like to do.... For me Aperture has always been great because I can very quickly process images in it using the tools provided. However, I'm talking basic editing: WB/exposure adjustment, adding a bit of contrast, maybe cropping judiciously, resizing, sharpening..... For anything more I go to CS3 -- that's when I want to use layers, filters, whatever.

    Hope this helps! Can't really offer a concrete evaluation of Aperture 2.0 since I've only just installed it, but can tell you how I've used Aperture in the past...... Is it worth it to you? Depends on how much editing you like to do, how much money you want to spend......
     
  20. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #20
    I really want to try Aperture again.....but when I have time.

    Hopefully I can try it out soon.
     
  21. one1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    #21
    I am running on what can only be called minimal gear. THIS is my entire setup :D

    Even with my limitations in gear I find that I can't produce the same effects in Elements, Lightroom, or Aperture as I can in CS3 because of one thing I must have..... actions. I use the actions in CS3 (mostly add-ons) to produce some quite nifty pictures. If you're just going to adjust, then you'll be fine. If you want to produce some tweaked photo's then CS3's actions are a must have.
     
  22. JonD25 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2006
    #22
    Actions only automate things. Anything you can do with actions, you can do without actions. Although they are very useful.
     
  23. one1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2007
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN
    #23
    No way I'd sit there and try to pull off the rubix cube over 25 minutes when I can click it. :)
     
  24. disdat macrumors regular

    disdat

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2005
    Location:
    New England USA
    #24
    edit- sorry, I figured out my speed issue. I think it was related to my particular system.
     
  25. pprior macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2007
    #25
    As to the network Vault issue, that's irritating they didn't fix it yet. However there is a workaround - I back up my vault to a NAS all the time.

    Create a vault on a local disk.
    Move it to the NAS
    Then reattach it at the new location.

    Voila - you can now backup to a vault on a LAN.

    Most of you probably know this, but just in case it's a tip I learned and have used until Apple eventually lets us do it automatically.

    It does take forever to backup a large library on my NAS however :(
     

Share This Page