Pixelmator+Aperture or Photoshop?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by JackDaRos, Jan 17, 2014.

  1. JackDaRos macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2013
    Hi eveyone!
    Can Pixelmator and Aperture be a viable alternative to Photoshop?
    I'll be working on 600D RAW files and some graphic work.
    Thanks :)
  2. bakechad macrumors member

    Jan 4, 2008

    Aperture is primarily for processing the RAW photos and Pixelmator or Photoshop would be for editing.

    Just about everyone should do some processing to their RAW photos, and while many people complain about lack of updates, Aperture meets the needs of the majority people. For light editing, Pixelmator meets the needs of most people, Pixelmator will work well for you. If you are doing professional editing or some digital artistic work or plan on looking for a job that requires photo editing, Photoshop makes more sense.

    While many people truly need Photoshop, it is like an obsession for people to have it, get it, use it. 99.9% of people will never use 99.9% of Photoshop's features. Programs like Pixelmator, Photoshop Elements, & Paint Shop Pro make a lot more sense for the average person.

    I use a combination of Darktable and Gimp with a majority of my time spent in Darktable. I am considering adding Pixelmator to my lineup, because Gimp is overkill most of the time.
  3. Ed A. macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2007
    Southern Connecticut, USA
    Depends on if you're a Photoshop power-user or not. I'm a professional videographer (my main software is FCPX,Motion and Compressor) and I can use Pixelmator in place of Photoshop for what I do without any regrets. If you're a graphic design person working for an ad agency, then maybe you should stay with Photoshop, and Aperture is not on the same level as Photoshop or Pixelmator for manipulating photos. I have all three, Photoshop, Pixelmator, Aperture, and I use Pixelmator the most.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Aperture has some great tools that are non destructive and so I'd look to use that before anything else. Second line of image editing is plugins for Aperture, while they are destructive the integrate well within Aperture.

    I think PS is a bit better in depth and breadth of tools, but I stopped using that and started using pixelmator, if that's any help.

    I prefer Aperture and plugins before I use Pixelmator as I mentioned
  5. Cheese&Apple macrumors 68010


    Jun 5, 2012
    All great advice here JackDaRos.

    I use Aperture to organize/manage all of my image files (a large library), I use Aperture for 99.9% of my editing needs and I use Pixelmator for that 0.1% of the time when I want to work with layers.

    No knock against Photoshop...it's just that I like to keep things as simple as possible and I've never felt the need to use Photoshop and I don't do graphic design work.

    ~ Peter
  6. netslacker macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2008
    I have PS, Pixelmator, Aperture and many others. Personally, I try to avoid Pixelmator at all costs. Sure it's small, lightweight and easy to use but it lacks one important feature for any serious photographers: 16bit tiff support. Also, Pixelmator has some other major annoyances such as always wanting to save files in it's own proprietary format and the only way to get back to a TIFF is to "export" or "save as copy" so you cannot overwrite your original TIFF file. This makes using it with Aperture or iPhoto a major PITA as you have to then reimport back to AP the edited image, which is a complete waste of space and unnecessary (especially for AP).

    I think PS Elements would be a better choice than Pixelmater as at least you have PSD support and without the annoyances of Pixelmator, even if PSE doesn't support 16bit tiff either.

    Also, as others have indicated, Aperture does do a LOT of editing on it's own. It even has a "clone" feature for pixel level cloning to 'clone out' unwanted areas of a photo. It's not nearly as robust as PS's own cloning function but it works. I mention this only because this is often (at least in my case) the main driver in roundtripping to an external editor, to remove/fix dust/etc at a pixel level.

    Perhaps the best advice here is to download the Pixelmator trial and give it a go. It'll cost you nothing and then you can decide for yourself if it works. Unfortunately, there's no longer an Aperture trial available.
  7. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Jul 13, 2008
    And take a look at Lightroom as well. I like it better than Aperture, esp. for light editing and plugins, but YMMV. The big advantage is that there is a downloadable trial available, while Apple doesn't have one for Aperture anymore :confused:

    PS is still the reigning champion of photo editing but depending on your needs Pixelmator may be enough. And there are tons of other applications becoming available as ideas get ported from iOS. Many of those are one-trick ponies, however...and how many old filmy filters do we need?

    I'm not sure what graphic work you do, but for more purely photographic stuff the Nik Collection is the bomb. And there's Acorn too, although I think Pixelmator is a bit ahead. But worth looking at depending on your needs.
  8. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    If you need Photoshop's full editing capabilities then there's not much that can replace it. Aperture isn't meant as an image editor, it's a digital asset manager (DAM) that provides editing capabilities. Many people can do all they need with Aperture while others need add-ins or other programs like Photoshop. Adobe fans use Lightroom for DAM and light editing with Photoshop for heavy duty editing.

    My editing needs aren't that great and Aperture meets them. Since I migrated from iPhoto I find the Aperture UI more to my liking.
  9. JackDaRos thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2013
    Thank to all of you! I'll probably buy PSE 12 and Aperture. I'm going to try Pixelmator as it's only 20€ but personally, I don't like the UI.
    Thanks again! :)
  10. CrickettGrrrl macrumors 6502a


    Feb 10, 2012
    B'more or Less
    Pixelmator has a free trial, so don't spend the 20 euro just yet:

    (Personally, I love using it, very fast.)
  11. Ed A. macrumors member

    Aug 4, 2007
    Southern Connecticut, USA
    Pixelmator now has 16 bit support:

  12. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
  13. jagooch macrumors 6502


    Jul 17, 2009
    Denver, co
    Pixelmator has 16bit support for all Macs now :)
  14. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I consider post processing to be in three parts

    1) RAW adjustments
    2) DAM
    3) Extended adjustments and edits

    Often items 1 and 2 are together and items like Aperture and Lightroom (and some other software to some extent like Capture One Pro).

    If you are just now deciding which RAW / DAM software to get, consider first which one does best with your camera files and then check to see if the work flow is reasonable for extended adjustments (Photoshop, Pixelmator, GIMP etc.).

    If you don't own Aperture now, you might just either wait for the new "Photos" by Apple and see what it has to offer or as many are doing, going over to Lightroom. Aperture wont be getting soon any more upgrades. It still will function well, take 3rd party plug ins but again, no upgrades.

    While I use Capture One and Photoshop CS6 for my purposes, I often set up friends with either Lightroom or Aperture and Pixelmator. They seem to be very happy with the combo. There are of course other software that you might consider such as DXO. In your shoes, I would be more concerned with RAW processing and DAM than extended edits as related in Pixelmator and Photoshop or GIMP. (I'll just say that for the price Pixelmator is quite amazing in its latest incarnation/version.)
  15. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
    At a cost of $10 a month, Adobe's CC Photography program is really a good deal. Lightroom, Photoshop, and Behance all rolled into one. Adobe's set to announce their major updates to all of the Creative Cloud accounts next week (Monday October 6th is the keynote at Adobe MAX).
  16. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012

    It is a good deal if you specifically want/need Photoshop. Remember that Photoshop, like Pixelmater, is a generic raster graphics toolset. There is nothing specifically about photo editing in it. That is why Adobe introduced Lightroom to provide photographers with a DAM and non-destructive photo editing.

    Personally I have zero use for Photoshop. I use Lightroom as my DAM and non destructive editor. For plugins I have the Nik Collection and Perfect Photo Suite. I also have the every inexpensive Pixelmator as a raster editor but very rarely use it for work on photographs.

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