Aperture rant: is LR faster and more stable?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Phrasikleia, Dec 10, 2008.

  1. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    I like Aperture's interface and find that it suits my needs well. However, the program is so slow and so unstable that I'm seriously considering moving to Lightroom. I have nearly 30,000 images loaded, organized, and edited in Aperture. So I wouldn't even bother moving them over. I would just keep Aperture around for working with images up to a certain date, and would put all new images into LR.

    But before I go messing around with LR, I'd like to know how it handles massive archives of photos. If you have a project filled with a thousand or more RAW images, will LR run like a walrus? Does LR frequently hang, crash, or do something that requires you to relaunch the application?

    FWIW, I'm running the latest version of everything on a 2.4GHz MBP w/4GB RAM. Referenced files are all on a FW800 drive (7200rpm). The Aperture library itself is on my internal drive. I would keep this setup for Lightroom.
  2. FX120 macrumors 65816


    May 18, 2007
    Since I use a PC for all of my photo work I can't compare directly to Aperature, but so far LR2 has been awesome for me. Huge improvement in pretty much every way over 1.5, much faster IMO...

    My library is ~6000 shots of mixed RAW/JPG, about 10% have been processed. Browsing is fast enough for me, of course I am running my library off of a 6 drive RAID 0+1 array, so YMMV...
  3. marioman38 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Elk Grove, CA
    Been using LR for over 2 years now, I've only got around 4,000 photos loaded (mixed jpeg of various sizes, and 10.1MP RAW) and have never had the program hang, or require a force quit. It is generally very speedy, and since v.2 it now has multiple monitor support, what used to be a main advantage of Aperture.
  4. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    How about trying it: create a few sample projects ~1000 RAW images and see what it's like?

    Since you didn't detail your other config, it could very well be that your Mac is simply starved for RAM. If you load 1000 x 10 MB RAW images in Lightroom or Aperture, they will both need a lot of memory. If you don't have a sufficient amount of RAM installed, neither of the two will perform well. (You can find out whether you need more RAM by launching Activity Monitor and checking the page-outs. If the page-outs (measured in Bytes in Leopard/in pages in Tiger) is high (anything beyond a few tens of MB), it's likely that more RAM will help (with either app).

    Personally, I haven't used Aperture with such large RAW projects (500 was the limit, I think), but I haven't had much problems -- especially if you figure out when to use preview mode.
  5. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    I've used both, and have about 30,000 photos in the library. The clunkiness of LR keeps me from straying from AP. There is a performance gain for small libraries (2500 and under?) but once you get rolling with a ton of images, both slow down. Performance variables include:

    1. JPEGs vs. RAW
    2. External drive vs. Internal drive
    2b. Aperture on same drive as images (AP is on my startup, but the images are on a different internal)
    3. Graphics card! This makes a bigger difference for AP than LR.

    No matter what, both titles will slow you down once your library gets big. The feature set is what will make you choose one over the other.
  6. Edge100 macrumors 68000

    May 14, 2002
    Where am I???
    My $0.02...

    My main workhorse is LR2, and I have about 10,000 images in my main catalog. I also own Aperture 2, mainly for the iPhoto integration and books, and to maintain compatibility with friends who also have Aperture 2.

    LR2 is, to me, a smoother experience. In terms of workflow, I can see people working well in either; I prefer the module approach of LR2 vs. the more linear approach of Aperture 2, but others may feel completely the opposite. But apart from all that, LR2 is just plain snappier on my 2.5 Penryn MBP. That could be because I'm only working with 2GB of RAM; perhaps Aperture would be better with 4GB, who knows.

    Also, and long-time Aperture users can correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Aperture creates jpg previews of all images as soon as they are imported, whereas LR creates the previews when you access specific images. I have noticed that Aperture is dog slow as soon as I import a bunch of images, but then speeds up a bit, presumably after it is done creating previews???
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I couldn't agree more. One more thing to add about the performance is that you can actually create various vaults. For example, if I do a shoot that gets a vault by itself. It's backed up in various places. I don't need to physically see these images in my library. I am unsure if LR does this. I only used it up until the beta became the regular build and users started paying for it.

    I also prefer the way AP backs up the data though I've heard nightmares about both applications crashing and completely losing all photos. Those people should have created some redundancy in their libraries though.
  8. wheezy macrumors 65816


    Apr 7, 2005
    Alpine, UT
    My guess is at 30,000 photos it's all down to RAM now and 4GB just won't cut it with a Library that size. When I moved from my Macbook to my MacPro I started over with my Aperture Libraries; if I haven't touched the picture for a while I just exported the project (this saves all the edits as well) and then removed it from my working Library. Back it up and clean it out.

    I just checked and surprised myself - I have a bit over 16,000 images in my Aperture library but it still flies (I have 6GB RAM). You are running version 2 right? The speed jump from 1.5 to 2 was night and day on my Macbook.

    Looks like I have some exporting to do....
  9. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Don't be so sure.

    I've got 11GB of ram on my mac pro and about 25,000 RAW files in my Aperture 2 library. I've got at least 4GB of unused ram when using aperture.

    recently I've been having problems with picture taking a LONG time (minute or more) to load if they do at all. The picture itself will come right up, but the "loading" icon sits over it and I can't access any editing options on the hud (greyed out).

    I'm very frustrated with Aperture. I've rebuilt the database (that can make a huge difference in performance, BTW) and rebuilt all previews.

    I d/l the demo of LR before and it just felt klunky to me, but I'm very close to going back and trying it again. It seems LR will be long term better supported than aperture the way things are going.
  10. sl1200mk2 macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2006
    I thought that a key feature and advantage of Aperture was the ability to have vaults and break-down very large collections into smaller more manageable ones where they could be accessed as needed? I'm still new to the application and just use the vault as a backup method, but I though that was the larger point of it.

    It seems that 30k images for any application, regardless of system is asking a bit much without somehow breaking things down into smaller less resource consuming collections / projects.


  11. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    Could you expand on this comment? Thoughts or proofs? Not asking to challenge the comment -- I am considering a move to one or the other, and would like to hear why you feel this way.
  12. miloblithe macrumors 68020


    Nov 14, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Unfortunately, as an Aperture owner, I kind of agree. It's really Adobe's core business, so they will focus on it. For Apple it was more of an opportunity.

    Edit: found this:

    On the mac, in 2007 14.3% of photo pros used Aperture vs. 26.6% using lightroom. In 2008 Aperture grew to 14.6% while Lightroom grew to 40.4%.


    Of course, that's an Adobe blog, for what that's worth...
  13. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    A workaround that usually helps me when it is stuck rendering the main image is to toggle back to the previous (or next) image, and then click back. It usually goes right into place. Try it!
  14. Phrasikleia thread starter macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    Thanks for all the input, everyone. So far I'm not hearing anyone complain about serious performance issues in Lightroom aside from some sluggishness with massive libraries of photos. In Aperture I very often get the perpetual "loading" message with dimmed HUD and sometimes a red screen saying "unsupported image format" no matter what I click on (quitting and relaunching the program solves either problem for a while). So nobody is getting those sorts of issues with Lightroom?

    As for the suggestion that maybe my 4GB of RAM is not enough: well, that's the max my Penryn MacBook Pro can take, so it will have to be enough. Does Lightroom gobble up RAM too or is it more efficient with it?

    Someone suggested I just load up 1000 RAW images into Lightroom and try to push it over the edge. Easier said than done. That could be very time consuming if errors are as intermittent as they are in Aperture. This is why I'd like to hear from people who have a lot of hours clocked in with Lightroom, who have pushed it and know what its limitations are. Thanks again.
  15. Cloud9 macrumors regular

    Aug 10, 2005
    between flesh and thought
    I have a Macbook Pro 2.4, 6gbs ram with 256video Memory. I have been using lightroom since its beta release and have played with aperture occasionally.

    I know that for aperture to work smoothly you do need lots of video ram and most macbook pros, except for perhaps the new ones will struggle having "snappy" aperture performance.

    One of the main arguments for lightroom when came out was that it would work pretty well on g4 hardware. Lightroom does not currently use the video card for its processing.

    I know from extended use and experimenting with large libraries that no matter what...lightroom performs better with smaller catalogs. Infact many studios that use light create new catalogs for each client/project. This is sort of the way I work as well. I typically never have more then 8000 photos in a catalog at a time and this keeps things snappy.

    You can choose to have light room render jpegs upon import and this increases speed dramatically.

    Using light room with my current equipment I do not feel pressure to upgrade to a tower or imac as it can handle it gracefully provided I keep the catalogs smaller.

    If you want to have one larger catalog with all of your files in it I suggest have a master catalog that holds all your completed jpegs, and that you restrict raw editing to project/client specific catalogs.
  16. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Vaults are just a backup.

    One of the main reasons i use a DAM program like Aperture is to easily be able to search large amounts of images for just the one I want.

    Breaking down into multiple libraries defeats the purpose.

    think about how large most database applications are - there is no excuse for a silly little 30,000 collection to crush a high end Mac.....

    Also - FWIW I think this perpetual "loading" issue with Aperture is a bug. Any my comment about LR development is just as noted above - the user base is growing rapidly for LR and that's adobe's main market (creative software) whereas Apple has degenerated rapidly into an iphone company and doesn't seem to give a rat's rear about creative users right now (witness only glossy screens and no firewire in new macbooks).

    If only I could figure out how to transfer all my info into LR from aperture I'd switch.

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