What does Aperture & Lightroom do that iPhoto doesnt?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rbownes, Aug 28, 2009.

  1. rbownes macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    I use iPhoto now to view, organize, & edit photos. Just wondering if Aperture or Lightroom would be more useful because I just got a Nikon D60 DSLR a couple of weeks ago and I am taking a lot more pictures now.
     
  2. modular macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2009
  3. flosseR macrumors 6502a

    flosseR

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Location:
    the cold dark north
    #3
    Well, iPhoto is an organizer with BASIC editing. Aperture and Lightroom are programs with extensive adjustment possibilities for manipulating specifically RAW files. both give you a LOT more ways to adjust, organize and edit/stack your photos. They are targeted for the Photographer, iPhoto is targeted for the consumer to organize their home (processed) photo collection.

    //FR
     
  4. rbownes thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #4
    Do they have demo versions so I could try them out before buying?
     
  5. toxic macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2008
    #5
    yes. they're on the manufacturer websites (Apple and Adobe).
     
  6. Captpegleg macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
    #6
    Since you're in the Nikon camp and you're spending money, you might as well get Capture NX2. You should have a trial copy of it that came with you're camera. Use it! I think it's absolutely necessary for Nikon raw files. After nx2, use Aperture for file processing and management.
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Full of Win macrumors 68030

    Full of Win

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2007
    Location:
    Ask Apple
    #7
    The best analogy is iPhoto:Lightroom as is TextEdit:Microsoft Word

    If you shoot once in a while, then you might be better served getting another lens, depending on your style of photography.
     
  8. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #8
    They're both aimed at a RAW workflow. As I told someone once before, if you have to ask what that is or why, you're probably not ready for it yet. I suggest some research and training.

    http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials.htm
     
  9. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #9
    Lightroom uses Adobe Converter RAW (ACR), which doesn't do Nikon files so well, at least not without some adjustments. NX 2 is much better for NEF (Nikon RAW) files.
     
  10. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #10
    To confuse you more, not everyone thinks you need to shoot raw, that regular old JPEG is just fine for most anything.

    You might want to look this up on Ken Rockwell's site, see what he says about it. It is another perspective. There is controversy about this, the need for raw, so it would be good for you to check it out and see what you think.

    My own suggestion is to get as good as you can with the simple and pretty effective iPhoto, maybe Elements for perspective control if you shoot architecture.

    Start out by concentrating on the photos, maybe even with another lens as was suggested, and max out your actual photo taking techniques rather than sitting in front of a computer all night playing with the post-production part of it.

    I miss raw mostly for dealing with the easy to blow highlights in digital photography, but I am better at avoiding that now. Play with how you expose your photos until you get that down.

    Now, if I was a commercial photographer, say doing weddings, and I needed as much protection as possible to make sure my one-chance, career-dependent photos had the best chance possible to come out nicely, even if I screwed up or there was some sort of equipment problem, then I would shoot raw. It is certainly worth staying up all night to salvage those photos!
     
  11. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #11
    Avoid Ken Rockwell, unless you're sufficiently knowledgeable on your own to be able to pick the decently intelligent things he writes from the inane or downright false.

    There's no reason at all not to use RAW today, particularly with hard drives getting larger every year, and processing power likewise going up.

    You sacrifice a considerable amount of quality by not using RAW.
     
  12. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #12
    In what way? I've never really found Lightroom wanting, myself. Can you explain this or provide a link?
     
  13. soLoredd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #13
    If you don't shoot RAW (which you should), neither app does much more than iPhoto. However, I've found using Aperture and iPhoto together works pretty good. I'll export my RAWs to JPG and import those to iPhoto so people can look through my pictures without messing about in my Aperture library. Not to mention when I have photos on my P&S or videos, iPhoto is a lot easier to use.
     
  14. soLoredd macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    California
    #14
    Did you ever keep negatives when you had film processed? That's how I look at RAW. Those are my negatives, I don't ever get rid of them. You just never know.
     
  15. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #15
    Only NX 2 can use the entire amount of data contained in each RAW file. ACR throws some of it away because it doesn't have a key for it, so to speak. You can't use the camera settings in Lightroom or Photoshop.

    Nikon kept some of the Demosaicing algorithms for itself, and if you haven't seen your images converted by NX 2, you haven't seen the full extent of how good they can be.
     
  16. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #16
    I'd like something a little more explicit than "good," as I've tried NX2 and I didn't find it to be better than Lightroom, just different. Can you tell me the way in which it is better?
     
  17. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #17
    I've already explained how it's better :). If Lightroom meets your needs, that's just fine.
     
  18. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #18
    By camera settings, do you mean the primaries? It's been a long time since I used NX2.
     
  19. ManhattanPrjct macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    #19
    The one big downside to Capture NX2 is that for some people (including me) it's terrifyingly slow. While I agree that Nikon's software should always have an advantage over a 3rd party's decoding capabilities, I never found LR2 or Aperture lacking to such a great degree that I would feel compelled to buy NX2 and use it.

    Regarding RAW vs. JPEG, if you have a capable camera (which the D60 is), you'll want to do your work justice by shooting RAW. The true test would be: if you have a big enough memory card, try shooting RAW+JPEG sidecar (every time you press the shutter, you get one RAW and one JPEG image that's been converted by your camera). Open up either Aperture or LR2 and start playing around with your pictures. Unless you NAIL the shot, you may find yourself wanting to change exposure values, sharpness, color/white balance, etc. You can do this very easily with a RAW image, but you won't have the same amount of flexibility with a JPEG, since your camera already "developed" it for you. You can still edit those values with iPhoto, but its range/utility is much more limited.

    Regarding iPhoto vs. A2/LR2, I used iPhoto for a long time, so I understand your attachment to it. A2/LR2 can't sync with your iPhone/iPod/ATV (as far as I know), and iPhoto can produce some nice books, etc. I think that's where iPhoto's advantages over A2/LR2 end. The pro programs not only are able to manage your workflow/database better (lean towards A2 here), but are also much stronger editors and developers of your photos (lean slightly towards LR2 here). If you ever want to try HDR photography, start shooting exclusively in RAW, do more than basic edits, or manage a library of more than a few thousand images... you'll be glad you switched.

    Don't take this that you can't/shouldn't use iPhoto at all. A2 can interface well with iPhoto - LR2 can't do it as easily, but it can still be done.

    My $0.02.
     
  20. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Arizona
    #20
    In what way do you find NX 2 to be slow? It seems okay to me, and I've never really known anything else. I know it has a reputation for its slowness, though.
     
  21. ManhattanPrjct macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    #21
    Import and conversion are terrible. Editing - not so bad. If there were any digital asset management to speak of, I'd consider upgrading my hardware, but I prefer a more all-in-one solution (don't really use PSE6 much anymore).
     
  22. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #22
    I too, found it more convenient to have content management and RAW handling in the same app. I also didn't find NX2's advantages that compelling.
     
  23. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #23
    Does Nikon software export to dng?

    What formats would you recommend exporting the images to, so they can be used in LightRoom.

    I shoot in raw but I've avoided using the nikon software because it fails to export in the dng format.

    As for RAW vs. JPG, count me in to state that the JPG format is lacking. I'd rather have all of the image data accessible so I can decide on white balance, sharpening, and such. Since JPG compresses and throws out that information, it requires more work when editing these images. Especially if you've blown the high lights or under exposed the image. In both cases you may have better luck make a workable image in RAW over JPG. Just my $.02
     
  24. gnd macrumors 6502a

    gnd

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2008
    Location:
    At my cat's house
    #24
    I thought Lightroom can work with Nikon raw files.
     
  25. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2003
    #25
    Why don't you just go to Aperture's and Lightroom's web sites and read the information? It's a pretty easy to find out what Aperture and Lightroom are capable of. You can also download 30 day trials of each to find out if there's anything useful to you
     

Share This Page