Aperture vs. LR vs. waiting for OSX Photos?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by SueEsponte, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. SueEsponte macrumors newbie

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    Jan 25, 2015
    #1
    Hi,

    I just bought a new rMBP and was doing a little research on Aperture when I noticed that Apple recently announced (last summer, I guess) that it was ceasing further development of Aperture and iPhoto in favor of a new app called Photos.

    I've never used LR but I've heard people talking about it for years. Photoshop is way more than what I need. I'm a photo hobbyist but Aperture (from the description) seemed like a decent fit for what I am looking for in an editing and storage app for my photos. I'm also not a big fan of the LR subscription model (no thanks -- not interested in spending $10/mo) but I did see that you can buy a perpetual license of LR only; although it costs 2x as much as the current EOL Aperture.

    Anyway, is it worth buying Aperture now or should I be patient, hang with the iPhoto app on my computer and leave any editing duties to my iPad until Photos is available for OSX?

    -Eric
     
  2. Mac-lover3 macrumors 6502

    Mac-lover3

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    #2
    Well if you can wait just wait and stick with iPhoto till Photos app is released if it pleases you you just can stay with Photos if it you don't like it you can change to Lightroom or buy Aperture (Apple said it will be supported for a while so i guess 3 - 4 years not sure though). The Photos app will probably be released at the same time as the Apple Watch around February if the rumors are right not you don't have to wait for a long time.

    Greets
     
  3. G4DP macrumors 65816

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    #3
    There are NO rumours relating to Photo.app. There has been nothing since it was shown at WWDC. Apple have removed all mention of it from the OSX pages on Apple.com.

    At this moment nobody knows outside of Apple if it even exists anymore. Hell, it could even have been iPhoto with a new UI they were showing at WWDC.

    Apple will not support Aperture for 3 - 4 years. You will be lucky to see 2 years of continued support.
     
  4. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    #4
    There are a whole bunch of threads about this, but Mashable says it's pushed back even further than the "early 2015" date originally floated (which Cook said meant as late as April). Dunno if that's accurate.

    But Aperture would be poor investment IMHO; it is still working fine, and you could live with it for quite a while, but it does require a bit of a learning curve. And more importantly, it saves adjustments in its database. You can, of course, export a finished photo, but it also means a lot of work could be tied up in a dead application. Maybe all those adjustments will carry over to Photos, and that may even be likely, but Apple hasn't guaranteed that...when they COULD guarantee that.

    Meanwhile, there are lots of alternatives besides iPhoto, Aperture and LR. Search around and you'll find many others that are currently supported.
     
  5. glenthompson macrumors 68000

    glenthompson

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    #5
    A lot boils down to what you need more, organization or editing. Lightroom, iphoto, and Aperture excel at organization but iphoto is weak on editing capability. That's the reason I switched to Aperture some time ago. I like Aperture and have no plans to drop it until Photos is shaken out.

    I don't like the Adobe UI so Lightroom was not an option for me. YMMV.
     
  6. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #6
    I've already switched to Lightroom.

    Apple's track record for their image software is horrible, while I like Aperture and there's nothing wrong with using it now, the hand writing is on the wall.

    They seem rather fickle upgrading some of their applications, Aperture withered on the vine for so many years, new major versions of their applications had much used features/functionality stripped away. Its not something I really want to deal with.

    At least with Lightroom you know what you get, and you know Adobe will continue to update and improve the product on a regular basis. You can't say that emphatically with apple at the moment.
     
  7. SueEsponte thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    I tried using Photoshop years ago but I didn't use it enough to ever get the hang of it or really enjoy it. Moreover, its power far exceeds my needs. I'm currently using a combination of apps on my iPad (Snapseed, PicsArt, etc.) to edit photos. Unfortunately, none of them currently does everything I need so I have to switch between them (a bit of a PITA but doable). Anyway, I was thinking/hoping something like Aperture or LR would be a good fit now that I'm up and running on my new rMBP.

    I've never tried either but based on some of the other threads I've read and my experience with Apple's apps, I was thinking I might prefer Aperture's UI to that of LR. But, what do I do since I've never used either? lol

    maflynn, do you like LR more than Aperture now that you've made the switch? Or, did you just make the switch because you knew Aperture was a dead/dying platform?

    Anyway, I'm not a big fan of buying into dead/old technology but I'm also not a fan of spending $150 for a license to something I won't like (LR) and the whole subscription license scheme is a waste to me. Of course, there's no guaranty I will like Aperture either. iPhoto is fine but it's basically an organizational tool so it isn't powerful enough for my needs.

    -Eric
     
  8. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

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    #8
    Apple has stated its intention that the unreleased Photos application will replaced both Aperture and iPhoto. I would not count on them backtracking. This means that Aperture - while perfectly usable right now - is dead. It received an update for OS X 10.10 compatibility (thought to be because Photos wasn't available yet); it's unknown if Apple will update it to support OS X 10.11 or 10.12.

    Last I'd heard, Photos will be a free application. That means it'd be very easy for new users and current Aperture users to try it out and see what it does for them. The trouble is, we haven't heard much about Photos since its announcement. The fact that it's intended to replace both Aperture and iPhoto means that it will likely be more advanced than iPhoto, but less advanced than Aperture. We're just not sure what features will be lost or dumbed down, nor do we know how easy it will be to transition from Aperture to Photos.

    As for Lightroom, version 6 is expected to be released some time this spring. Aside from switching over to being fully 64-bit, I haven't been keeping up with it to know what other improvements are expected.

    Put all together, it means that you shouldn't spend any money (or time learning a program) right now. Unless you absolutely need something right now, it makes no sense to buy Lightroom 5 when Lightroom 6 will probably be released in less than half a year. It makes no sense to buy Aperture when we don't know about Photos... and when Photos is released, it won't make sense to spend money on Aperture then, either, because the successor program will already be available.

    I like Aperture, and continue to use it. I'm waiting for both Photos and Lightroom 6 to be released. If Photos offers me a nice transition and all of the features that I need from Aperture, then I'll use Photos. Otherwise, it's off to Lightroom for me. If I were in your shoes and absolutely had to buy something, I'd go with Lightroom at this point. I sincerely hope to be proven wrong, but I do not have a good feeling about what Photos will offer to those of us on Aperture.
     
  9. SueEsponte, Feb 2, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2015

    SueEsponte thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 25, 2015
    #9
    Hmmm...

    To the extent OS X Photos is a 'beefed up iPhoto/watered down Aperture' it doesn't sound like a real winner for what I'd like to see. As for alternatives, how does Elements compare to its sibling LR5?

    I'm an amateur photographer with no illusions of grandeur. I love taking pictures but I have no aspirations of becoming a professional. It is a hobby of mine though so I do take a lot of photographs. Would PSE potentially be a good fit vs. LR5? I know LR5 is the stronger tool but might PSE be sufficient for the hobbyist? Can you clone in PSE? Are the tools in PSE just limited to campy edits like pasting beach balls and fireworks on photos (not what I'm looking for...at all)?

    Just curious...

    -Eric
     
  10. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

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    #10
    I don't think of Photoshop (or Photoshop Elements) as being similar software to Lightroom or Aperture. Lightroom and Aperture are photo management tools, allowing you to easily go through many photos, applying large-scale, non-destructive adjustments to many photos at a time. While they have brushes for finer control of specific elements in a photo, that's not their strength. Those finer (or potentially more drastic) adjustments are where tools like Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, or Pixelmator really shine. Yet, unless something has changed in more recent versions (last I'd used was Photoshop CS3), applying adjustments made in one photo to a whole set of photos is a bit more of a tedious process. By comparison, it's a breeze with Aperture (and presumably, Lightroom).

    Put another way, I have Aperture, but I also own Pixelmator. While they have some overlap in functionality, they are not at all redundant programs. Owning Aperture and Lightroom, or Pixelmator and Photoshop, would be redundant.

    So I guess you'd first need to decide what you're really looking for. Aperture and Lightroom will offer you better cataloging and editing options than iPhoto, but if you're really just looking to make edits and you only want to edit a photo here or there, then looking at Photoshop/PSE or Pixelmator might be the wiser choice. If you're looking to make edits like applying a certain amount of sharpening and contrast adjustment to all photos taken with a certain lens, and still want to retain the ability to do some brushwork adjustments without going to a separate program, then Lightroom would be the better choice.
     
  11. SueEsponte thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 25, 2015
    #11
    That's very helpful. I truly appreciate all of the information (and patience) as I am clearly a newbie in this area. I've always loved photography and have always take a lot of photos but, more recently, I've made more of an investment into the hobby (equipment, learning, etc) and have also started editing some of my photos. Almost all of my recent editing has been on an iPad using relatively basic tools. The major issues I've encountered are the inherent storage limits, filing and retrieval (which is cumbersome and time consuming), and I'd like a bit more power in the programs in fixing details.

    That said, I don't know what I don't know and having never really used any of these programs I'm not entirely sure what I will or won't use because I'm not familiar enough with everything these programs can do! It probably sounds silly but, for example, I'd never heard the term 'stitching' before. And, while I've figured it out I've clearly never used it in a tool before. I remember the first time I found the cloning tool in one of my apps. It was like the heavens opened. Anyway, not to belabor the point but I'm sure there are a lot of tools that I'd find useful but I wouldn't even know to ask.

    What I can say for certain is that iPhoto is not sufficient. I can also safely say that Photoshop is overkill for me. I used it years ago and while it has likely evolved greatly since then it is far beyond my needs. Where I lack experience and information is on the benefits/intended uses of each of the different apps which is why your post is very helpful. What you've described makes me think PSE might be better suited for my needs. Yes, cataloging is important and certainly very useful, if not necessary, at some level. The better the system the happier I'll undoubtedly be...but I'm assuming even PSE offers some basic cataloging features even if it isn't its strength. No?

    Anyway, I will take another look at the different applications looking at the capabilities of Lightroom as complementary to but different than PSE to figure out which program best suits my immediate needs and also consider options such as Pixelmator as well in my comparisons.

    Thanks,
    -Eric
     
  12. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

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    Jul 22, 2010
    #12
    Lightroom's Develop module has the same image editing control's that Photoshop CC's (and maybe Photoshop Elements) Camera RAW plug-in has, except in an easier interface. Aperture has similar types of controls, but it's basically dead on arrival.

    Lightroom does allow you to do an extensive amount of editing to an image - adjusting the exposure, bringing down highlights, bringing up shadow areas, sharpening an image, reducing camera noise (if you shot an image at a high ISO), minor retouching, cropping, printing, etc. Anything beyond that requires an editor like Photoshop, Pixelmator, Photoshop elements

    "Stitching" refers to when you want to make a panorama - i.e. you're standing in one spot, and take two or more images that will be "stitched" together to make a wide panorama image. There are plug-ins that do this, but Photoshop CC probably does a better job all around.

    FWIW, I'm a serious amateur (occasionally getting a paid gig). I've opted into the Creative Cloud Photography program. $10 a month is actually a pretty decent deal considering you're getting both Lightroom and Photoshop, and all of the regular updates.

    Adobe is working on the next version of Lightroom (Lightroom 6). Adobe has historically said that they'll keep Lightroom as both a retail program and part of the Creative Cloud.

    A quick search indicates that Lr6 will be released sometime in March. No details as to what enhancements it'll have.

    Me personally - I'd recommend giving the Creative Cloud Photography program a try for a year. There's good training available from lots of different sources - Adobe TV (free) to various blogs (Lightroom Killer Tips) and books (Scott Kelby has some of the best books on Lightroom and Photoshop).

    I wasn't too jazzed about "renting" Lr and PS CC, but, even as a serious amateur (occasionally getting a paid gig), I use Lr primarily to do the bulk of editing, and only flip to Photoshop when I need to do extensive retouching or use stuff like Content Aware Move/Fill....or when my wife comes up with a difficult embroidery design she needs put together.
     
  13. shaunp macrumors 65816

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    Nov 5, 2010
    #13
    if iPhoto meets your needs then stick with that until the new Photos app is released. If it doesn't however, I would download the trial versions of Capture One and Lightroom. Both are more photo management applications with some editing capability rather than Photoshop, but I guess that's what most of us use in the first instance. Capture One is a very capable piece of software that is a good alternative to Lightroom.
     
  14. Dranix macrumors 6502a

    Dranix

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    #14
    I was so angry about the Aperture end that I started my own alternative - It's still a long way till release but if there is interest in a Pro gui for the OSX imaging components I will provide a link for the beta testing when it is far enough.
     
  15. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

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    #15
    It sounds to me like what you want is Lightroom (rest in peace, Aperture), rather than Photoshop. You'll be able to easily sort through your photos and apply edits that photographers typically do. Plugins can further extend the capabilities of the program, but sometimes you still will want a dedicated application for certain things (for example, I have a dedicated program for merging exposures into HDR images, and I was using Microsoft's free imaging program as an automated photo stitcher). Yet in the ~4-5 years I was using Aperture, I can only think of one or two times when I took an image out of Aperture and into Photoshop. Those were cases where I needed to clone out an element and doing it in Aperture alone just wasn't cutting it. Granted, I've cloned items out in Aperture before, these were just more complicated.

    If you're unsure, I'd suggest downloading trials of the software. I don't know if Apple still has the Aperture trial available, but I wouldn't waste my time with it, either. Check for the Lightroom trial, which I think lasts for 30 days, and give it a go. Understanding that there's a learning curve, see if you feel that it's doing what you want it to do.

    If you're looking to do really wacky things with your photos then Photoshop/Pixelmator is probably the way to go. If you're looking to do the types of editing that most photographers are engaging in - general enhancements to photos, rather than mashing up and heavily manipulating your photos - then Lightroom is the way to go, and Photoshop/Pixelmator should be considered a secondary tool.
     
  16. SueEsponte thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Thanks! Sounds like a great idea.

    -Eric
     
  17. Steveatesh macrumors regular

    Steveatesh

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    #17
    I'm in the same boat as you - serious photography hobbyist. I was using Paintshop Pro on the PC but having come to Mac I've had to find another solution.

    I recently trialled both Lightroom and Capture 1 Pro 8. Both are superb pieces of software that allow you to easily get pictures from your camera, sort them, reject the ones that you don't want, then apply significant changes to them along the lines already suggested above.

    They can then be published in a variety of ways, or uploaded to the likes of Flickr all within the same program. Really saves time!

    They are not the same as Photoshop or Elements - these are pixel editors and allow you to blend, layer, cut out, join and lots of other things too on a photo by photo basis. They have a steep learning curve!

    Start with Lightroom or Capture 1 Pro, then take it from there. My choice was Lightroom 5 not because it is "better" than C1Pro (I don't think it is) but because it is cheaper to buy and upgrade and version 6 is due soon which should (fingers crossed) have several improvements (Please please be faster in my RiMac!).

    Whatever you do get some training books or videos - loads for LR about and cheap too :)

    best of luck with it, Steve.
     
  18. adamhenry macrumors 65816

    adamhenry

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    #18
  19. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

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    #19
    While most of the reviews seemed to make a favorable comparison over iPhoto, it seems that Photos lacks brushes and some other features found in Aperture. That's disappointing. Perhaps Apple will add it in a future update, but it's increasingly looking like Lightroom (or Capture One?) is going to be the way to go.
     
  20. applepuree macrumors 6502

    applepuree

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    #20
    What I cant figure out is how to get my aperture based photos into the new app. When I started the photos app, it imported my iPhoto pictures automatically, but it wont open my aperture library.

    suggestions ?
     
  21. Sven11 macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    I've used Aperture since 2009. I'm not looking forward in switching to Lightroom or any Adobe product. I've read many good things about Pixelmator, what do you think about it?
     
  22. SueEsponte thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 25, 2015
    #22
    Thanks, Steve! I'll definitely look into the training, books and the apps. I've had a crazy week with work but my current plan is to download a trial of Lightroom 5 this weekend and, perhaps, also Pixelmator (in lieu of Elements) as a complement to LR5. I'm curious to see how they work together.

    Thanks guys. That doesn't surprise me one bit. Based on Apple's past, I kind of expect Photos to be a watered down version of Aperture that emphasizes Aperture's powerful cataloging tool (over iPhoto) in a new platform while doing away with Aperture's more powerful editing features. I never imagined Photos (free) would be an improvement over Aperture ($$) unless Apple was looking for a way to unseat Adobe by placing a better developed, more powerful tool in the hands of all Yosemite owners at no cost. That just didn't make sense to me if they wanted to get out of the photo editing tool business. I'm going to venture a guess that Mac owners take or receive pictures on the computers. They need a cataloging system. I'll also venture a guess that most Mac owners are not professional or serious photographers; even if a significant number of them might be. And, of those, the group is further bifurcated by the number who rely on Aperture vs. LR. Catering to the niche or minority group of owners is costly. Catering to the common denominator makes for more happy OSX owners. Just my $.02 although I have no idea what Apple's actual philosophy is on the topic.

    Based on the comments above, Pixelmator is an alternative to PSE (not Lightroom or Aperture) as a digital, pixel-level editing tool. Rather it would be a complementary tool to either LR5 or Aperture, which are non-destructive and operate through layering coupled with strong cataloging features. I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.

    -Eric
     
  23. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #23
    Pixelmator is a great image editing application. I think its a poor replacement of Aperture. With Aperture you get DAM features, such as rating, keywords, categorization, organizing your images. Editing tools are non-destructive. The ability to use plugins for features missing in Aperture.

    You need to decide if Photos (now in beta) is a good fit for your needs - if so, then the transition is easy. If not, then you need to consider Either LR, or Capture One.

    Lightroom has a plugin that will read your Aperture library and import your images into LR. I've used this and it was a good mechanism. It obviously has some limitations but its better then manually transferring the images.

    My work flow is based on the year, so I recommend something along those lines.
    Now that we're in 2015, start using Lightroom, or C1 (or another tool), so all your 2015 images will be in LR, all your history will be in Aperture. Aperture will continue to work, but won't receive any updates. Depending on the size of your library, I'd look to use that plugin (if you choose LR) and store the images in there at some point just in case a future update to OSX breaks Aperture.
     
  24. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    #24
    Photos may meet your needs, if they are modest. With its ability to interact with iOS you might be able to do some of your editing with iOS apps instead of doing it on the desktop. Some more sophisticated tools won't be available except on the desktop, but some iOS tools are amazing...and cost a fraction of desktop tools. I find the workflow way too much of a PITA except for occasional or travel use, but YMMV.

    And now that we know a little more about Photos it's possible that you could use that and supplement with other applications like Graphic Converter, which does a lot of stuff, rather than go for a DAM like LR or Capture One or Photos Supreme or others.
     
  25. Olddiverman macrumors newbie

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    Oct 24, 2014
    #25
    Lightroom for me

    I've been using Aperture for a few years and loved it but I have now imported everything into Lightroom and deleted everything Aperture. I played with LR for a day and watched some training videos and I'm really loving it, much to my surprise.
    And, I feel comfortable knowing that Adobe aren't going to pull the plug on me.
     

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