Aperture or Pixelmator or Acorn?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by the8thark, May 6, 2013.

  1. the8thark macrumors 68040


    Apr 18, 2011
    I am a long time user of Photoshop. I have CS6 of it. But I have no intention of going into the cloud with Adobe. So this leaves me with a dilemma. I will be using PS for a while yet. But eventually I want to migrate over to another alternative App. I am not a pro user. Only casual. But I do use some of PS's nice features.

    I see 3 main alternatives.
    Acorn, Aperture or Pixelmator.
    $31, $85, $16 are the prices for me in the App Store.
    The question is which one would be the best for me. I have no qualms paying $85 for a good piece of software. I've only limited experience with Pixelmator of those 3 and no experience with the other 2. So which of these 3 is the best option in your opinion? Which one should I go with?
  2. mic j macrumors 68030

    Mar 15, 2012
    I see Aperture as a photo organizer/enhancer and not for heavy duty image manipulation. Unless your using CS6 for just photo enhancement, which would be way way overkill in my opinion, I think the other 2 options are probably more suited to your needs. I don't have any hands on experience with either, so I really can't recommend one over the other.
  3. Frosties macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    If you don't need the full CS then I would look at PS Elements, if that is left as a full product out of the cloud.
  4. Mike5 macrumors newbie


    Jul 6, 2010
    Similar situation here...

    I have "downgraded" from Photoshop CS6 to Pixelmator myself. Photoshop was paid for by my former employer. Nowadays I only need retouching software for personal use. Not ready to pay the Adobe premium, so I switched to Pixelmator. Very good price/capabilities factor. Good point is the interface is very similar, therefore learning curve is not very steep. Haven't tried Acorn though, but going from Adobe-->Pixelmator way was a good experience to me.
  5. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    It depends on your needs.

    If you need non destructive editing for your images, and also Digtial Asset Management, then Aperture is your ticket.

    If you need image editing, I'd go with Pixelmator. I'm not familiar with Acorn, so I can't say anything good or bad about it.
  6. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2012
    B'more or Less
    I really love Pixelmator.Check out their site, their tutorials, and also the PXM-tuts.com site for 3rd party tuts.

    Between that and iDraw for vector work I haven't cracked my old Adobe Creative Suite in a couple of months and I use them every day.
  7. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    Aperture is a Digital Asset Manager (DAM)... which you should probably be using regardless of what you use for photo editing. The two leading DAMs for serious photographers are Aperture (Apple) and Lightroom (Adobe). I personally use Aperture, and think it is reason enough to switch to a Mac. Even though Aperture is not really a "photo editor"... it is remarkably powerful and sufficient for most normal photo editing operations including RAW processing.

    I agree with you that CS6 is overkill for the majority of "non-professional" digital artists. It is just so darn expensive. I have a copy from work... and I just do not use it enough to justify its expense. Pixelmator is generally considered a great "almost free" replacement for PhotoShop. I would recommend giving that a try.

    My recommendation for a great photo suite would be:

    Aperture: DAM and reasonable photo processing
    Nik Software Suite: Great filtering and extensions to Aperture
    Pixelmator: Great inexpensive processing for whatever Aperture + Nik cannot do. You might find Pixelmator non-necessary because A3+Nik is so powerful.

    Finally... CS6 if your livelyhood depends on digital art or are an enthusiast who can economically stay on the "Adobe Treadmill".

  8. JoeRito macrumors 6502a


    Apr 12, 2012
    New England, USA
    I have all 3 programs loaded on my MBP. Each is nice for what they do. For pure editing, pixelmator is amazing. Extensive edits can be done easily. PM is unmatched for the price.
  9. Michaelgtrusa, May 7, 2013
    Last edited: May 7, 2013

    Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    Agreed! anyone using third party filters in Pixelmator?
  10. jlc1978 macrumors 68000


    Aug 14, 2009
    Photoline is another alternative; I used it until I bought Photoshop. It has a bit of a steep learning curve; and at 59Euros more expensive than PM or Acorn. I have used PM and it is a good editor.

    I am curious why you se the need to switch? I have CS5 and it meets my needs so I see no need to upgrade until it stops working on the latest OS. That certainly is the least expensive option.
  11. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I was shocked at what it could do, for the price. While its possible we'll see plug-ins in the future, I'm not holding my breath. I do most of my edits now in Aperture (or LightRoom) and my reliance on image editing software has significantly decreased.
  12. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Oct 13, 2008
    More plugins for PM and none for Acorn as far as i can tell.
  13. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    +1 THIS I had some good experiences with PS Element on my Dell netbook. It was not bad app it does work for me. :apple:
  14. spacepower7 macrumors 68000

    May 6, 2004
    I own Pixelmator, Aperture and Photoshop. I use Aperture for my personal (Super iPhoto) catalog. Paid work usually goes in its own folders and Pixelmator or Photoshop. When I want to just deal with one image such as ripped movie/DVD/cd artwork, Pixelmator is the choice.

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