Aperture Vs. Lightroom

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by aaronw1986, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. aaronw1986 macrumors 68030

    Oct 31, 2006
    Which would you rather use, Aperture or Lightroom. They would cost the same price for me. Which one do people think is better?
  2. dllavaneras macrumors 68000


    Feb 12, 2005
    Caracas, Venezuela
    That depends... Lightroom would integrate better with PS and Aperture with iPhoto, so which programs you use may determine which one is best. Also, Aperture relies much more on a powerful graphics card. I say try them both out and see which one you like better
  3. adrianblaine macrumors 65816


    Oct 12, 2006
    Pasadena, CA
    Don't they both have free demos? I agree with dllavaneras, you should try them yourself. I think you'll find it split pretty much 50/50 so it really comes down to what fits you better.
  4. purelithium macrumors 6502


    May 28, 2006
    Kingston, Canada
    That's a poor analogy...

    Aperture will launch whichever external editor whenever you choose by simply right clicking on the image. It will convert the image to a .tiff and then pop it open!

    I'm going to check out Lightroom today, and see which is better for me...
  5. Phatpat macrumors 6502a


    Jun 15, 2003
    Cambridge, MA
    I used Aperture for a month, and recently started using Lightroom. They're both good programs, but I prefer Aperture. I'm going to give Lightroom 1.0 a shot when it's available, then make a purchase.
  6. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    Lightroom had issues handling a large number of photos when I tried the demo. It basically made my Macbook Pro unusable for about 10m. Aperture was slow, but the computer was still useful for other tasks while it was importing about 230 large raw files from a D2x. That sealed it for me (I tried the other package that escapes me at the moment too- I didn't like it.)

    Ideally, try it yourself with your standard workflow and see what fits your needs best. That's the value of the companies offering demos.
  7. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Oct 9, 2005
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    I have been using Aperture since it was first released. I tried the first couple of Beta versions of Lightroom but preferred to concentrate my energy on learning Aperture.... I didn't try later beta versions of Lightroom so can't really fairly compare the programs now, but I definitely can say that I like Aperture very much and plan to stick with it.
  8. Aperture macrumors 68000


    Mar 19, 2006
    I use Aperture and it's great.. (Hence my username)

    I watched a preview of Lightroom over at Adobe.com and it looks really nice. I'm not sure though, too bad Lightroom doesn't offer a demo.
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location

    Both software takes awhile when you first start importing. For some people who had 2000-10000 photos to import, they would start the process and go watch TV, go out with friends/wife/kids, and then go to sleep. When they woke up, they went to check their machine.

    I like Lightroom because I don't feel like I need to leave Lightroom to edit my photos effectively. I know that Aperture is slightly better/faster for organizing and cataloguing photos, and it includes the 'versioning' feature, which is invaluable. I also know that for editing, you can use an external editor like Photoshop CS/CS2/CS3/Elements, so it doesn't matter. However, I only have a laptop, and when I'm already running a RAM hungry app like Lightroom (and especially Aperture), running a program like Photoshop isn't optimal. That's when Lightroom's Develop module shines....I don't need to use other software very often. Aperture can do the same sort of editing, but it's harder to use.

    Lightroom = famous for it's incredible 'Develop' module.
    Aperture = famous for it's superior viewing, rating, and cataloguing of photos.

    Now, Lightroom has versioning in the v1.0 release, so that's a non-issue. If Lightroom's Library module was 90% as good as Aperture in terms of viewing and cataloguing photos, then Lightroom is superior in my opinion. However, if v1.0 is still far behind Aperture in these areas, then it's still a toss-up for me.

    I'd give Aperture the advantage if I found it intuitive to use. It doesn't really look or feel like an Apple app.
  10. mashinhead macrumors 68030

    Oct 7, 2003
    I think they both work well, but i just like that aperture UI so much better, it's really easy to work with, the learning curve is small. Lightroom feels awkward and unfamliar. You can export your images as psd from aperture, so i don't know how relevant, or how much of an advantage it working with Photoshop would be. Personally i love aperture. I'm one of those people that likes to have all my stuff in one place. So i don't even use iphoto, aperture manages everything. highly recommended.
  11. biturbomunkie macrumors 6502a

    Jul 30, 2006
    both are very similar to me but personally i prefer aperture b/c the way it organizes photos.
  12. sarge macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2003
    I wonder if Aperture is going to eventually merge with a more robust data manager like Filemaker. Seems like this might eventually distinguish the two apps. Use lightroom before manipulating your images, but Aperture to make your selects and build your catalogue.
  13. Mydriasis macrumors 6502


    Mar 17, 2005
    Why would Aperture want to merge with Filemaker? Filemaker is program that allows the novis user to create and work with data structures, to build a data base. Why would you want to edit aperture's data base structure?

    Remember: Lightroom and Aperture are a pro verions of of programs like iPhoto or Picasa (for lack of a better analogy). They are basically just image organization tools that layout the post production work flow.
  14. 2ms macrumors 6502

    Nov 22, 2002
    not to be OT too much (i hope not at least), but could someone quickly tell me what the roles of Aperture and Lightroom are relative to Photoshop? I am new to photography but want to become excellent at working with photos. I am very familiar with Photoshop (though not for working w/ photos) because Ive used it considerably along with Illustrator for graphics.

    Right now I do not own any of them though, so am trying to decide what to get.
  15. balofagus macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2006
    Ontario, Canada
    The two are used for cataloguing and organizing your photos and then making global edits. They can make some non-global edits like cloning. I generally don't have to use Photoshop for anything more than cloning (its not in the Lightroom Betas, but will be in the final release however it isn't as good as the one in PS) and sharpening, because LR sharpening ain't so great. It also doesn't have text or layers...solely for photography, not design.

    PS. I use Lightroom and will be purchasing it in a couple days when it is released.
  16. sarge macrumors 6502a


    Jul 20, 2003
  17. wmmk macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2006
    The Library.
    I think Abstract really hit the nail on the head. Aperture just doesn't make as much sense as Lightroom to me. As a recent convert from film, the darkroom metaphor is also rather comforting. The develop module is just amazing! I hope LR's versioning system is more intuitive than Apeture's. Then again, maybe I'm being too harsh on Aperture. It doesn't accept PEFs or DNGs made from my K100D's RAW files, which is certainly my biggest reason to favor Lightroom. Oh, and FWIW, the most intuitive and fast photo browser for people who shoot JPEG is iViewMedia Pro. I shoot RAW, so it's not much of an option.
  18. islandman macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2006
    I prefer Aperture by far. The learning curve was slightly steep, but there are books for it that have helped. Now that I know the software, there's no way I'll go to Lightroom (which I beta-tested from the beginning).
  19. compuwar macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2006
    Northern/Central VA
    If you're used to film developing, I'd really encourage you to try LightZone as an editor. It's hands-down the best darkroom-like editor out there, makes getting levels adjusted to a particular zone a snap.

    The free trial lives at:


    They've got a "light" version to plug into Aperture or Lightroom.
  20. mlevison macrumors newbie

    Feb 27, 2007
    In "Aperture vs. Lightroom - best comparisons" - I'm tracking and summarizing the best comparisons out there.

    Glossing over many of the important differences.

    Aperture pros:
    Many users find it easier to make quick changes in Aperture since you don't have to switch back to the Develop module. Aperture users always have access to all their tools via the HUD.

    Lightroom pros:
    • faster, faster, faster - Lightroom just runs faster for a lot of operations (probably because Aperture relies on the GPU for rendering)
    • Works well with smaller screens. Apparently Aperture really needs a large display. Otherwise your image will be overlayed with tools that your currently using.
  21. mcarnes macrumors 68000


    Mar 14, 2004
    USA! USA!
    I use Aperture on my 15" MBP and find it very usable. The latest version 1.5.2 is way faster than 1.5.1. Speed in a not an issue with raw files from a 5D.

    I've tried both and prefer Aperture. Lightroom just feels clunky. For me, most image processing is done in PS anyway, so I find Aperture a better image organizer than Lightroom. If you don't use PS, I guess Lightroom might have a few advantages. But the Aperture/PS combo is hard to beat.
  22. Westside guy macrumors 603

    Westside guy

    Oct 15, 2003
    The soggy side of the Pacific NW
    I think Aperture's photo editing tools are significantly better than many Lightroom users realize - but they don't follow the Photoshop/Camera Raw paradigm, so there's a learning curve if that's what you're used to (and frankly most of us ARE used to that).

    I also think it's funny how, for some people at least, this is turning into Canon versus Nikon all over again. :D They're both great tools. Having tried both... personally I prefer Aperture. If you prefer Lightroom, more power to you - we'll both benefit from the competition.
  23. valdore macrumors 65816


    Jan 9, 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri. USA
    I want to resurrect this thread and hear some new input on this subject.

    There are several things about Aperture that irritate me. It's a memory hog, and a lot of its operations seem counter intuitive and poorly thought-out. Maybe it's just me.

    Let me know what you guys think.
  24. Lovesong macrumors 65816


    Sep 15, 2006
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    What are you finding unintuitive? I have used both extensively, and I think that for the most part, there is little difference between Lightroom and Aperture. The big one for me, and the one that got me to stay with Aperture, was the way it organized pictures into a distinct vault, letting me organize all my images through the software itself, instead of struggling with Finder (and then Bridge). Neither Lightroom nor Aperture has the processing power of PS, so for more serious things, I just open the image through CS3.
  25. valdore macrumors 65816


    Jan 9, 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri. USA
    The thing about Aperture that irritates me the most is how I can't just start a new sub-album or folder within a project and then import the photos directly into that sub-album or folder. Everytime I try, the imports always end up in the parent project. I've recently taken to saying to hell with it, importing directly into the project (no sub folder) and then clicking/dragging to where I want the image versions.

    I will concede that maybe there's something I'm doing wrong, and would love to hear suggestions, but it seems to be the software developers could have done a better job at making Aperture more user friendly.

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