When Do You Outgrow iPhoto?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by silver25u, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. silver25u macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2007
    I've been using iPhoto but lately it seems to always be sluggish (~8,000 photos) and keeps getting my photo events messed up (i.e. photos from 2003 showing as 2008). My university signed an agreement earlier this year that allows me to get just about any Adobe product for free - including Lightroom. So my question is what is everyone else's opinion of when you outgrow iPhoto (obviously a subjective question)?
  2. macuserx86 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2006
    Just get LightRoom now; iPhoto is really only useful if you're just doing family photo/snapshot type stuff. It's export options are very limiting, it's raw processing isn't very good, etc.
  3. silver25u thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2007
    I'm not really wanting to have to learn a new app but I feel I'll soon be beyond what iPhoto can offer. I'm really looking to improve my photo management and tagging/keywording. I'm playing with the aperture trial at the moment and it seems more what I like interface wise, but did notice the smart album options seem limiting to me (i.e. only 1 keyword criteria). I have LR installed as well and not a fan of the black UI. I'm not trying to get into the whole Aperture vs LR debate as yet, but inquiring as to others transition from iPhoto.
  4. flosseR macrumors 6502a


    Jan 1, 2009
    the cold dark north
    WEll, my wife is using iPhoto and has upwards of 10000 in there in more events and albums that i care to look at. it still runs smooth as butter and it does exactly what she wants it to do: organize them and adjust small things.

    With that being said, I would not use iPhoto after using Aperture for a few years. But as I said, it runs fine for her and she doesn't want/need the next level since she just wants the processed JPG's, from me :).
    btw: She has a MAc Mini 1.83ghz, faster hdd and 3GB ram.

    However if Lightroom is for free, I would get it too :D
  5. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Seems like you're ready to outgrow iPhoto. I think for many a good transition point would be when they start shooting raw as iphotos raw capability does not really do it justice.

    Just IMO but I like the dark UI of LR and I am pretty sure it was done on purpose as not to distract or influence the viewing/manipulating of photos. There is some level of customizability to the UI though if you poke around the preferences and settings.

  6. Troglodyte macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2009
    Much the same here. RAW processing in iPhoto is painful so I do all mine in DPP. My wife wants all the photos in one place though and she knows how to use iPhoto so I do all the RAW edits then export jpegs out of DPP and import them into iPhoto.
  7. needlnerdz macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2006
    - The moment you learn about Lightroom and/or have someone demonstrate some of its key features. Please take advantage of that school offer and just acquire it then google for some tutorials on the most basic functions to test out with a small collection of photos you've got and wait- you'll be convinced in a matter of hours/days that the switch was well worth it!

    ... now LR, give us CMYK output functionality! ... among other minor requests
  8. ukuleleman macrumors member

    Jul 19, 2009
    When? As soon as it deletes every photo in the library!

    I can give you the definitive answer as to when you outgrow iPhoto,

    When, as has happened to many, it suddenly and for no apparent reason dumps every photo that you have entrusted to its unreliable arms.

    I have recovered many of my pictures , but not from iPhoto, some were saved onto disc, and many were recovered from my CF cards using a recovery programme that was not cheap.

    It seems to be behaving itself after the initial brainstorm, but I now have no confidence in it and all my pictures are either put onto CD or onto an external hard drive before I use iPhoto.

    Appeals to Apple (not by me) appear to have met with something approaching disbelief, after all nothing bad must be said about Snow Leopard.
  9. mlblacy macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2006
    the REAL Jersey Shore
    Silver, good luck trying not to stir the A vs LR pot. Also, it seems that there are some shills who are always pushing LR (not saying that is happening here). Not sure what your specs are, or what version you are using... but with 8k in your library, you should not be lagging yet. You might want to make sure that your IPhoto trash is emptied... other than that, your IP photo library might be corrupted. Usually there are other symptoms and odd behavior that would tip you off. Read this for how to rebuild it: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2638

    I am one who uses BOTH Aperture & iPhoto (professionally). I transitioned away from Portfolio, which I used for archiving our image library. I hated Portfolio... it was SLOW, cumbersome, and only offered 2 tiny preview sizes... whereas IP could scale the images to any preview size, and offered some basic, imaging adjustments. IP had the slight lead interface-wise and was a bit more intuitive. Some of A's logic might be a bit frustrating, and it always defaults back to the "top" of the image archive when switching between albums, and when reopening the ap (IP usually remembers where you left off). A is due (overdue) for a refresh, but even as it is it is a wonderful ap.

    I maintain a pretty big (60k+) library, and have moved vast amounts of my imaging away from pshop. 90% of my imaging is done within Aperture these days, and the only thing I gush more about than Aperture, is the NIK software suite from Nikon. The non-destructive, size independent, workflow is a godsend. The only thing I am missing is CMYK support, and layers & type... but that is no biggie, as I can just control click to edit/work within Pshop.

    Lastly, I could be mistaken, but I think you can apply more than 1 keyword to your smart-albums, at least after you have created them. Have you tried selecting the images you want to keyword...going to the keyword hud and select the keywords you want to apply. Then drag the keywords across to the image browser and the selected images should have the keyword.

    I run both Aperture & iPhoto from a first gen 24" iMac with 3gb ram. It creaks here and there, but my library is pretty big... it runs fine though. I will be upgrading to a 27" with 16 or 32gb pretty soon... hopefully just about the time Aperture 3.0 is out.

  10. mlblacy macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2006
    the REAL Jersey Shore
    on deleting photos...

    Uke, it is very rare that the photos are actually deleted. It sounds like your library had gotten a database corruption. Also, the pictures are now kept in a "package" as opposed to a folder you can just open. If you select the iPhoto library, and control-click on it and select "Show Package Contents" from the contextual menu... you should be able to see folders with the original images intact. (I would NOT muck about though, as you can create some worse problems... but you should indeed be able to see you images are still there).

    There is a good utility called iPhoto Library Manager... they also have a good rundown of what all the files are, and what they do: http://www.fatcatsoftware.com/iplm/Documentation/iPLM/pgs/libraryfolder.html

    I had experienced a library corruption previously on our family computer with our own images. A rebuild fixed everything. Search the Apple support forums for "Old Toad", he is a frequent poster with sage advice for those in plight.

    Lastly, I have held off upgrading my workstation to Snow Leopard, as there are a lot of reports of slowdowns and other issues. Upgrades always seem to fix some things, and break others along the way. I try not to be on the bleeding edge, especially when my work depends on it...
  11. georgemann macrumors regular


    Nov 25, 2005
    Seattle, Washington & Siem Reap, Cambodia
    It looks like that moment for you is right now.

    For me it was about five years ago, when Aperture and Lightroom first came out. It was pretty obvious then, that iPhoto would forever be targeted at casual digital camera users and never be developed into a pro-level application.


    Nikon Digital Photographer - http://nikondp.com
  12. zeeflyboy macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2009
    There is of course the option with iPhoto to not copy pictures to library... instead just referencing the photos in whatever folders you have them in on your hard drive, thus creating a virtual library.

    This lets you continue to use iPhoto for whatever features you do like (personally I love the slideshows and keepsake applications), whilst maintaining full control over your original image library.
  13. Trek2100 macrumors 6502a


    Oct 20, 2009
    Sevierville, TN
    I totally agree. I've been using DPP (I assume you are talking about Canon's DPP software, if not, oops) for several years even before I bought my first Mac. What many photographers don't seem to understand is the manufacturer's propriatary software is made specifically for their image sensors. I've used photoshop but it is not and has never been photographer friendly and I find that I've never really needed it for it's primary purpose (graphic art work and making manipulated images). Like, were you really at the Grand Canyon? I used it mainly for cropping and printing and perhaps an occassional tweak. I burn all of my client images on DVD for archival purposes. With the online service I used I FTP'd the images from my computer so I had to manually organize the images into folders and subfolders. I just started using iPhoto for organizing but the jury is still out on that as far as client work is concerned. I had the original Aperture and upgrades until version 2. I didn't upgrade to v2 because I didn't really like it. Now I can't use it (v1) because it will not run with Snow Leopard. I keep getting the error that it will not run with the OS. Thanks Apple! As an aside, I've read where photoshop CS3 and CS2 will not run under SL. CS2 still runs on my MBP after upgrading to SL. It took 3 attempts to get it to install and run on my new i7 but everything works fine. Now if I can get it to print correctly again I'll be happy.
  14. hana macrumors regular

    May 23, 2003
    Los Angeles
    Well, I downloaded iphoto library manager a long time ago. Every time my library reaches about 4ish GB, I burn a DVD and start a new iphoto library. So I never have thousands of photos in my library. (I have a canon xt, shoot raw, files are about 7MB max for the raw ones)

    The libraries are chronologically numbered and I do keep them on the drive to access. Yes, I do also believe in external drive back ups, but since I've killed a couple of external drives, I also keep DVD back ups.

    All that being said, I have Aperture and need to learn it.
  15. ronjon10 macrumors regular

    Dec 9, 2009
    IMO, iPhoto is great for managing jpeg collections up to a certain point. When it starts to get flaky, it's time to move along. You can keep your collections smaller by doing work outside the system as hana here is doing now. At that point though, you might as well just move on to more advanced software.

    I think if you shoot RAW, you'll be happier by learning and using Aperture or Lightroom. Honestly (and in my very subjective opinion) if you aren't will to pay for more advanced software than iphoto (Aperture, LR, Bridge, etc), you don't need to be shooting in RAW anyway.
  16. TK2K macrumors 6502


    Jun 4, 2006
    Still havn't outgrown Geotagging or facebook integration

    kidding. Honestly though, I'd love the geotagging to appear in aperture.

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