Sam Newman's site, a Consultant at ThoughtWorks

I’m in the process of saving up for a new Mac (probably a MacBook Pro) for photo editing. I’m seriously considering getting Apple’s “Aperture”: software. I know the history of the project has been “beset by problems(ThinkSecret – Aperture future in question as Apple axes bulk of team)”:, however with things having stabilised (and the price being slashed), I was thinking of giving it a go.

Does anyone have any experiences with it? Should I consider it? Or should I wait for “Adobe Lightroom”:

6 Responses to “Feedback on Aperture requested”

  1. Paul Ingles

    I use Aperture on my PowerBook, but haven’t tried Lightroom yet. I find I use it primarily for organising my photos and making picks from the photos I shoot. Out of a few hundred I’ll find maybe 20 or 30 shots I’d like to keep. Aperture makes it a doddle to do that.

    I also use it for making very basic adjustments. I shoot in RAW (well, NEF actually – Nikon’s proprietary equivalent) and Aperture does a good job of exposure adjustments and levels adjustments that are often all that’s needed to fix up the exposure and bring the shot to life.

    However, much beyond that and it’s necessary to fire up Photoshop.

    I would check out James Duncan Davidson’s recent post on the subject (a way better photographer and and much more detailed opinion):

    If you’re going to get into shooting RAW and want a great way to manage your photos, then Aperture is a great choice.

  2. sam

    Hi Paul – thanks for that.

    It looks like I can actually download a free beta of Lightroom – and it seems to have more modest requirements, so it may even work on my Mac mini (it’s a universal binary). I’ll certainly make sure I evaluate it before making my choice, but your comments about still needing Photoshop are well taken.

  3. Andy Todd

    Run, don’t walk, towards and download a copy of Lightroom. I’ve had a go at most of the photo organising software out there and this is leaps and bounds ahead of the all of it.

    If you want a reason to prefer it over Aperture, in Lightroom you can tell it where your photos are and it indexes them. Aperture insists on importing them into its database. This means that Aperture manages your photos for you whilst Lightroom helps you catalogue and organise them.

    Plus Lightroom will (Adobe promises us) allow you to archive your photos to external drives or even DVDs or CDs and still be able to manage them (it’s really quite smart at recognising when certain photos aren’t actually available) whilst Aperture will force you to keep them all on your Mac or PC.

  4. Ben Ward

    You’re certainly right to want a Pro machine for running Aperture or Lightroom, not least for the increased screen resolution. I’ve run the Lightroom beta on my iBook G4 (12″, 1024×768 screen) and, well, there wasn’t much room left in the UI to display the photographs. However, on a large wide-screen I imagine it’s excellent.

    Also, Apple are rumoured likely to announce a big Aperture update on the 25th of September as they’ve got a media event scheduled before Photokina.


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