It's Time for Aperture 3

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On Feb. 12, 2008, Apple released Aperture 2. Now, more than a year and a half later, it's time for Aperture 3. Here's why I think we'll see the next generation by the end of 2009.

  • iLife 09, which was a massive undertaking by Apple, is now signed, sealed, and delivered. There are shared resources within Apple for iPhoto and Aperture, so it's difficult for them to release both products within a short time span.
  • Snow Leopard is already at 10.6.1. You can bet that Aperture 3 is going to leverage technologies within the latest operating system. So, Snow Leopard had to hit the streets before Aperture 3. Now that it's on the prowl, the cage door is swinging open.
  • Lightroom 3 is around the corner. Chances are good that we'll see Lightroom 3 in the not-too-distant future. You just know that Apple wants to have Aperture 3 out first.
  • The grumble effect. Once we get deep into the product cycle, users start grumbling about an update. Whether it's coincidence or not, when the complaining reaches a certain pitch, we usually see a release. Not sure if this is chicken or egg, but the grumble effect is in force right now.

So, assuming that I'm right and we'll see Aperture 3 by the end of the year, what's it going to have? I wish I knew. My guess is that we'll see some of the technologies introduced in iPhoto '09, plus some new things that we aren't even imagining right now. I'm assuming we'll have more localized edits, better speed, and continued integration with other Apple technologies. I'm confident that it will be a solid release.

And I can't wait to try it.

More Aperture Tips and Techniques

To learn more about Aperture 3, check out my Aperture 3 Essential Training on Lynda.com. Also, take a look at our Aperture 3 Focus Section. Tons of free content about how to get the most out of Aperture.


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53 Comments

I think if Adobe manage to come out with Lightroom 3 before Apple release Aperture 3 then it will be game over for Aperture. Don't get me wrong, I love Aperture, but Apple still haven't addressed many of the features Adobe added to Lightroom during it's 2.x cycle, such as the gradient tool.

While I personally still prefer Aperture for its better RAW conversions and its better organization, it's hard to convince others from a feature to feature point of view. I'm not overly optimistic of a significant upgrade either. The recent updates to Final Cut Studio weren't that significant, and I just hope they add more to Aperture

Either way, here's hoping they announce something soon.

Oh, how I hope you are right, Derrick. And with XMP support, please...

Well, Thomas, I get your point, I do. But based on what I saw in iPhoto '09, and what I know about the Aperture team, I think Version 3 is going to be excellent.

And I agree with Jess, XMP support please!

Aperture 3 has been at the top of my wish list for a while. There is probably no app that Apple makes, the mighty Final Cut included, better suited to benefit from Snow Leopard's technology than Aperture. With this in mind, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised to find Aperture 3 is Intel only.

The last time I was at the Mother Ship for some Aperture related stuff, they told me they were "working on something special." That's all I could get and it's had me excited ever since. I hope you're right Derrick, and we see the fruits of their labor in the next couple of months.

Speed is what I'm looking for, particularly for tools like Highlights, which can bog down on Aperture 2 when you've done quite a few edits. I'd like it to take full advantage of the 64 bit architecture in Snow Leopard.

I know Photoshop CS4 very, very well, so why would I want or need Aperture or Lightroom in the first place since, from I understand, all three manipulate images?

Response to John Dingler: If you only think of these apps in terms of being image editors, there's no reason to pick them over Photoshop. However both are meant to help you with your complete photo workflow.

Speaking more generally: I hope Aperture 3 brings in some of the consumer-friendly bits of iPhoto. If we're going to have "red eye correction" in a "pro" app, then we should also have things like face recognition - that would be a great addition IMO. As far as photo editing goes, it's already true that I hardly open Photoshop anymore (for my own photos anyway) - so any additions or improvements are just frosting. Of course, I do love frosting...

I like frosting too, and I think Apple must continue to push the envelope in terms of non-destructive image editing. And I think they will.

I also agree that I rarely open Photoshop for first pass on images. Aperture handles all of the common edits so effortlessly, that I'd be crazy to wander from the library. Plus I use the Mobile Me web publishing function in Aperture for client review.

Once I hear back from the client on the one or two favorites from the shoot, only then do I open Photoshop for the finishing touches.

It's a workflow I really like, and I anticipate it getting only better.

Please better NEF raw conversion that compares to Capture NX2.

Oh, I hope so! It will be like Christmas morning the day they release that. I've tried Lightroom, but all those modules drive me crazy, and I love the integration with my Mac life (iPhone, AppleTV, Mail, MobilMe).

Since Lightroom is 64 bit and no Apple Pro app is 64 bit I expect Aperture to be the first 64 bit Apple pro app. If you are fortunate to have an 8 core recent MacPro with 8 or more gigs of ram it should stand up and scream, especially if you have the right graphics card as well. Perhaps our patience will be rewarded soon. Along the same lines I wonder how long we will have to wait for a 64 bit FInal Cut Studio, Logic Studio and iTunes. None of Apple's purchased applications iWorks, iLife are 64 bit yet.

I want Aperture 3 to be a 64-bit application.
I also want it to be faster than Aperture 2.

Now I'm worried.
I too am eagerly awaiting Aperture 3 and hoping that it finally gets fully into its stride. But surely, Derrick, if it were coming you, of all people, would already be beta testing it. The fact that this column has appeared means you're not, because if you were you would be under an NDA.
Q.E.D. it's not coming.

"I think if Adobe manage to come out with Lightroom 3 before Apple release Aperture 3 then it will be game over for Aperture. "

If so, it may be game over for Lightroom too, given that Adobe only released Lightroom because of Aperture. Let's face facts, Adobe likes to charge a lot of money for Photoshop. Without Aperture, they probably never would have released Lightroom or done so at a competitive price.

But I don't think Lightroom can kill Aperture at this point. I'll never use Lightroom as long as Aperture is available. Why? I don't trust Adobe. They are slow to adopt mac technologies. The overcharge for updates. They have a monopoly type position with photoshop, and like all monopolies they kind of abuse it (though not as bad as Microsofot).

Also, I like the integration with iLife and Mobileme. A cross platform app like Lightroom is never going to compete with Apple's offerings as far as mac integration.

And I do think those Lightroom "modules" are dopey, sorry.

Hope you're right Derrick, the sooner the better for Aperture 3. My wish list is speed improvement plus a way handle the working on 2 computers. Currently have an iMac in the office and a Mac Pro on the road. I'd really like a way to add keywords and star ratings on one computer then somehow have those reflected onto the other. Either merge metadata or have some kind of server function. Currently you can only export/import the entire project from one computer to another.

If all Apple does is fold in the faces/places from iPhoto and match Lightroom's local adjustments in RAW, it will placate many but send many others to Lightroom (which will undoubtedly refine current features and add more).

Apple needs to improve speed, improve dodge/burn, desperately needs to have local corrections, and it needs to overhaul its RAW decoders.

Better still would be to compete in Windows. Without that market Apple will forever be at a severe market disadvantage to Adobe. This is not like Final Cut where Apple grabbed most of the pros, shut down Windows development, and didn't need to compete on another platform. Far more people need to manage their photos than videos, and Lightroom is a very competitive product with a much larger userbase.

If Apple opened up Aperture's data pipeline to outside RAW developers who could provide RAW converters this would allow camera manufacturers to ship converters so new cameras would quickly do RAW conversions. Since Adobe (and Apple) are killing the RAW converter market with their software that bundles converters, and since Apple's converter is only average-to-good, by opening up the pipeline Apple would gain HUGE support from small developers who would have time to tweak and support cameras that Apple cannot. Again, this only works if A3 comes out cross-platform, but if Filemaker and iTunes can do it....

System Intergration is what makes a complecated operation work. In my opinion, Apple intergrates each of their applications with each other in a reasonable way. Perfect? No, but they work. I also remember back in the day that no one would use an IBM/Microsoft system if they could get something else.There is something about the big gorilla that leaves me cold. I'm a photographer, not a computer operator. I want the fewest number of key strokes that do the most number of operations in the fastest time in a way I don't forget. Aperture is just plane easy to use by folks like me, Aperture 3 will be an added treat that will keep me looking through my view finder, not at my monitor.

One big problem I have is the fact that Aperture did not actually fix the problem with losing the custom sort order when moving or exporting images. I do a lot of processing in the field on my MBPro to save time. I like to sort the images, but if I export them and then import them to my work station (Mac Pro), the sort order is shuffled around. Same thing happens when moving images between projects within Aperture. This is not occasional. I can reproduce the anomaly every time. It may not happen with a few images, but try a couple or so dozen, and it happens every time.

I wonder if this relates to the way Aperture packages a project. In each project, each download from the CF card is in a separate folder. You can see this if you open the exported project package. Perhaps Aperture has a problem maintaing the custom sort order across multiple folders in the project.

I have gotten the Apple support tech folks to reproduce this and they promised to refer it to the software engineers, but it is still a problem inversion 2.1.4 and it badly interferes with transferring projects.

Since LR is 64-bit and Apple needs a 64-bit posterboy for it's OS, Aperture 3 will most likely be 64-bit. It should also take advantage of Grand Central and OpenCL for significant performance boosts on newer hardware.

Apple should also add video clip integration to Aperture for the vSLRs like the Canon 5DmII, 7D, Nikon D300s etc. Perhaps some crude video editing capability similar to what is included on the iPhone would also be useful. Most photog friends of mine are now collecting still and video on the same shoot/CF card.

I am a photographer and a Mac fan. There's a reason Aperture is down to 6% market share. It's too complex, too slow and needs a slew of plug-ins to be worth the effort. You may find a few fans here that use and like it, but most of the time it's because they've never used Lr.

I found Lightroom to be so much better than Ap it was absurd.
Ap was so unbelievably slow I was amazed. I tried it out on 4 machines and it was a dog on each one. Lr is markedly faster. I can apply 10 adjustments to 800 files and continue with only a few pauses to slow me down. I can go back and look at the history of any image and tweak or remove things I did to them with ease.
In Ap the beachball would be up for every dumb little thing.

Apple, you seriously dropped the ball. I'm a pro and I don't take kindly to being treated as a knee-jerk consumer. If you add the consumer grade (ie: rubbish) faces/places 'features' to Aperture - a PRO app - I'll know for sure you're not serious about this.
You think I have time to mess around with tagging people's faces? Shooting 1000-3000 images a week? And you think MobileMe integration is what pros want???
Have you even consulted more than 3 pro photographers!?!
Pros want 3 things: Speed, power and flexibility. And then more speed.
Lr gives all that in buckets, Ap gives it like the cool drink dispenser on your fridge when you have 45 thirsty guests.

Yes, Lr does lack organization, so here:
Burn DVDs of the original RAW files as backup.
Create a folder, the date in this format, and the client name:
2009-09-19 SmithJones Wedding.
Now all your shoots will be in date order. Inside make a folder to import the RAW files into and one for jpg exports or whatever.
To preserve your changes in Lr export each shoot as a Lr catalog and back that up somewhere.
Simple.

My predictions:
Apple will trot out Ap3 next year. By then its share will be 3%.
It will include Faces and Places which will be its keynote features most mentioned by journalists.
It will be marketed as being twice as fast but in practice be only 20% faster. Journalists will note that the beachball doesn't show up as much.
Adobe will beat it to the punch with Lr3, which will eat Ap3's lunch.
Ap3 will require Snow Leopard.
Lr3 will run on 6 year old G4 Powerbooks running Tiger.

The single biggest disappointment here is that Apple is floundering in a market it should outright dominate. Nowhere is this more of a surprise than in the photography field. Aperture should be a compelling reason for pro shooters to blow good money on a MacBook Pro, instead it's a laughingstock. Pros listen, they ask other pros and get opinions. On Ap the consensus is clear; it's a $200 version of iPhoto. Apple is just too happy paying Mr Story to get the news.

The only reason I abandoned Aperture is Lightroom's ability to write metadata changes to the files themselves. After a glorious Aperture crash left me without metadata in the image files themselves, I insist on being able to write those changes directly to the files.

It's obvious that Apple is handling Aperture like they are still a company being run out of Steve Jobs garage by a group of college kids.

But you have to give credit where credit is do. I am currently using LightRoom only because Aperture is very buggy under snow leopard on my machine. Though there are some great features in LightRoom I actually prefer Aperture.
The UI is better, I think it is silly to have to bounce around to different modules in LR.
The book layout function in Aperture is phenomenal.
I'm a pro photographer and I use the MobileMe integration all the time.
The organizational aspect of aperture is ridiculously better than lightroom.
I find the raw conversion to be better in aperture.

That being said, LightRoom is getting better and better while Aperture seems to be barely treading water.

I've used Aperture 2 since March of last year and I've never had any of the buggy issues that others have (thankfully) and I became very familiar with it and love it. Then I started working at a studio that uses Lightroom, so I had to become familiar with that program too. I love the gradient tool in Lightroom and it seemed like such an obvious tool, I bet those at Apple were slapping their foreheads. However, I will say that I really dislike how Lightroom handles color, namely white balance adjustments. Aperture seems so real and convincing in it's exposure and color correction were Lightroom seems really heavy-handed and false. Has anyone else noticed that?

What I would love to see from Aperture 3 is a gradient tool (of course) and other non-distructive editing items, but I would also love to see a multi-user library system (I'm not that techy, so I don't know if I'm calling it the right thing) but a system where you check out a project from your central database to, say, edit or work with on another computer then be able to integrate it back into the mix.

The other thing is better on-line gallery templates for NON-mobile me web pages. Gosh, that's were they really stick it to you. Just one flash page template, please.

I was a die-hard Aperture fan until late last year at which time just a handful of LR features persuaded me to defect:

(i) Chromatic Aberration correction
(ii) Local adjustments
(iii) Ability to preserve a keyword hierarchy

If they could fix those in Aperture 3, I'd almost certainly be back for Aperture's unbeatable flexibility.

I've carried on importing all my photos into Aperture first before moving on to LR to keep the faith alive...

Perhaps I'm different...I'd rather stick with an app and wait for the new features than switch sides because the competitor has the new features/more features first.

The workflow is important to me. I hate having to learn and unlearn keyboard shortcuts and new ways of working once I'm in the groove. As a matter of fact, I'm coming to "need" photo manipulation less and less these days, especially as I improve my composition, in-camera color correction, lighting, communication with the subject, and makeup artist. Because of that, I stick with Aperture.

I believe Aperture 3 is coming soon, too. With Snow Leopard out, FCS, iLife, and a slew of new hardware options, Apple certainly has something up its sleeve, and I think it is "integration". Aperture 3 is likely going to integrate well with Snow Leopard, MobileMe (yes, "pros" use MobileMe accounts and Aperture, certainly here in NYC), and iPhones. There's likely going to be some native local adjustment plug-ins and speed enhancements.

When it comes out, I'm likely going to be ready for it. Sure, I'll read the reviews and listen for the bug reports, but I'm willing to stick with Aperture until it proves to be a dead issue.

Good article, Derrick.
Scott

Your all wrong, Apple releases features you haven't even thought of. All you lot reffer to is iPhoto's Faces and Places, well that's a given and you don't have to use them if you don't want to.

Writing metadata to a Library is instantly faster than to the files and better for reasons of preservation - I have PNG file with metadata applied but of course that formt cannot handle metadata. XMP is an Adobe propriatory format, one used by Windows also, so its not certain Apple will adopt it.

I don't actually use the manipulation tools that you lot do, I use the library features like tagging and sorting so I would like to see deeper contructs to smart folders and search - there is an extension for this, but it costs money and I'd like to see all that built in.

Talking of extensions; the API needs to be opened up more, for even the icons of the extensions cannot appear in the bar at the top. More besides. And I like the idea of Places, something I've waited four to five years for - that is geotagging and reverse geocoding thanks. I like the swish look of that in iPhoto, Aperture is a bit dull looking.

Also Time Capsule support, which should replace Vaults. I just had a system crash and spent a lot of time piecing my library back together from remote backups and the like, I did it, but it was hard. TC should solve this.

I did like the suggestion of working on the road and having the ratings and tags sync between machines, not applicable to myself, but a good idea.

There will be a lot of features refined and some new ones, what else can you be waiting for.

Derrick, hope you are right! I have both Aperture and Lightroom and vastly prefer the concept behind Aperture. It works for me and allows me to breeze through my work.

I think that some of the grumbling is warranted - when Apple releases software updates to OSX various things were going wrong in Aperture. It seems that Apple cannot keep its own house in order. Those issues seem to have gone away for me now and Aperture 2 is pretty stable for me and fulfills most of my needs.

I think these are the biggest reasons why Lightroom has garnered so much support (I don't include Windows support):

1. Global adjustments (with rollover) and the ability to share them. Right from the outset, this created a huge amount of preset creation and people were selling presets out of the blocks. For anyone who shoots a lot and has specific looks that they want to easily apply to images, this is a HUGE time-saver. While Aperture has presets, they are on individual adjustment blocks only and they cannot be shared without really digging into the preference files. I think this put Aperture at a major disadvantage. With the wedding and portrait crowd, they devour LR presets and cannot live without them. Apple really needs to allow for import/export, global presets (across adjustment blocks) and rollover previews. Without this feature there is no hope that Aperture can successfully claw back any more market share than it has now. You just have to look at the reviews and comparisons of the two products online to see that Aperture is consistently chastised because of this very important missing feature which clearly should have been released in version 2.

2. Adobe appear to have engaged their customer base in ongoing dialogue about features and functionality through user forums and 'champions' like Scott Kelby. Apple is of course a closed organisation when it comes to product management and development. They do get the advice from a select few, but their way of working is very secretive and will never change. That's Apple's way - it works for them, but unfortunately these days where we are all on forums expecting feedback and we don't get any (especially on Apple's own where they actually remove negative posts!) we get frustrated. When it comes to professional applications, those of use making a living from our tools expect to be able to speak to the makers of them and be heard to some degree, despite the fact that both Nikon and Canon are also very secretive and we never really expect them to give us exactly what we want.

I think there are two levels of communication here: the first is product collaboration, which Apple will never make a public process and the second is product support, which is currently only a one-way process via the feedback option. If Apple could at least address the product support in a way that would allow the customer to directly interact with Apple to get problems identified and solved (a ticket system) I think people would have a lot more faith in the product. I can certainly live without knowing what feature is coming next, but when I have a big problem that needs to be fixed and I have clients waiting, I need help.

When Joe Schorr was being interviewed by Derrick on the O'Reilly podcasts (many times) we all had a better feeling about the product; of course now that that podcast and the inside aperture blog has died our 'official word' on Aperture also died. Even the independent Aperture Network (apertureprofessional.com) died through lack of user interaction. Tumbleweeds all around. For vocal online Aperture users, there really wasn't much to get their teeth into and it all looks like Aperture was heading the way of the dodo. Doom and gloom all around, but that doesn't mean that Apple isn't working on an update.

3. I have been using Aperture since v1.0.1 in early 2006. The product was really a tremendous leap in its ideology but was extremely buggy and extremely slow. I used it alongside the Lightroom beta for a while but really found the workflow clunky. Unfortunately the rather buggy nature and its extreme slowness, which was largely fixed in 1.5 in September 2006, persisted in the minds of reviewers. Much of the comparisions between Lightroom and Aperture are still made as if Aperture never made v2 (which is an astounding product). Unfortunately the web is full of misleading information and also full of readers who will accept anything that anyone writes as fact. Comparison reviews are STILL being written using older v1 reviews as a source.

4. With version 2, the number and frequency of updates has dramatically slowed. I believe that with v1 there was either a larger, dedicated product and engineering team for Aperture, or the resource was shifted from iLife for a long period (more likely). The recent iLife updates were pretty substantial and it appears that the team working on Aperture is shared with iLife; there was now way that Aperture would have been updated this year given that. The lack of updates obviously gets people upset and threatening to move over to LR. I guess the fear is that Aperture will die a slow death and when people have invested a huge amount of time placing their faith in a system they would be rightly upset.

5. Last year there was much fanfare when Apple announced that they would be able to release RAW support for more cameras more quickly, but that did not appear to actually happen. Lightroom/ACR is supported more or less (unofficially)the day that a camera is released; it takes Apple MONTHS to get them out of the door. Coupled with the rather poor integration with DNG and you leave customers hanging and a lot of bad press. Yet another reason why folks head to Lightroom.

6. Lack of curves. Even though Aperture has very advanced level adjustments, which do the same job, when it comes to reviews and feature matching the lack of curves is a knock down. It doesn't matter that Aperture has something that does that job, the fact that it isn't called curves leads people to believe that they cannot do what they need to do in the product.

There are a lot of other features that Aperture is lacking that need to be included to make a level playing field again, notably: camera profiles (important for commercial photographers), non-destructive local adjustments and photoshop integration on a par with Lightroom's. REALLY important.

Whatever comes in Aperture 3 I will be excited, but I also hope that Apple addresses some of their shortcomings that are identified above.

you hit the nail on the head. the only feedback you can get about aperture is from other frustrated users. even one of apertures biggest advocates scott bourne ( http://aperturenatureworkshops.com )has started using lightroom for all his new projects http://bit.ly/IlAhC

You all sound like tech heads wanting this and that. True pros should use both apps, i do and love both, what i know is both apps have their strengths and weaknesses. For example speed in LR is sweet, printing in A2 is much better than LR... A2 has Tethered support, LR does not, a feature i like very much in A2 btw. The list goes on, for me it falls back to workflow, depending on a shoot, start to finish, i ask myself how do i want to proceed? From there i use which ever application suited for the job to get started and bounce between both. I also use Capture One Pro, NX, iPhoto and Photoshop with a slew of photo plugins, its all about workflow and where you need to end up.

ikphotography.com

I hope for Aperture 3 to slap Lightroom in it's face. Don't get me wrong I consider Lightroom a very good program but Adobe is just the kind of Diva company who cares very little for those who actually buys its "not very cheap" software. I have lost my trust on them ever since they started using adjectives like "Premium" launching too many packages and "New releases" every year (CS3 launched on 2007 has had no update for new hardware since the beginning of 2009) I left the PC world behind in 2000 and I am saying bye bye to Adobe too. But Hey! That's only my situation! I will always welcome good software (even if I personally can't afford it).

I am perplexed by some on here who say that pros are using mobileme galleries. I checked those out and I have to say I don't see how they are appropriate for professionals at all. They images are totally stealable by the client simply by right clicking, there is no e-commerce solution. If we were musicians we could sell our music on iTunes, but as photographers we can't use iTunes as an e-commerce solution. Why not ? Ipods and Iphones view images. As a wedding photographer why can't I sell images on iTunes? There should be a photo store on iTunes fully integrated with Aperture. Now that would make one hell of a difference. The galleries are fine if you don't care if people are paying for your work, i.e. sharing, but if your trying to put food on the table its of no use. Everyone has iTunes, and they can download images just as easily as any other form of media, so why not ?

there is a option to prevent downloading images on mobileme

Apple better get it's arse into gear and release Aperture 3. I'm that close of letting aperture go in favor of lightroom... this is way too long between releases and I hope this is not an indication of future releases...

My wish list being
1) Better Noise reduction
2) Chromatic Aberration correction
3) Soft proofing matching PS
4) Speed

With all these come true Aperture will be a perfect application.

Its a little sad that people are almost threatening apple if they don't get aperture3 now now now (stomp my feet and cry). I'm sure its on the way but i mean its not like ver2 is limiting my photography. This is just nerdy behaviour that people grumble cos the guy down the road has a feature or 2 they don't have. If they jump... bye bye... I've been using aperture 2 with photoshop since release of ver1 and its a great app and can only get better I'm sure. The interface is second to none. I've tried lightroom and yea its a great app but theres not a whole lot i can't do in aperture and if i need it photoshop. Plus the UI of Lightroom is just a bloody mess...
If aperture is based on snow leopard tech then we have a lot to look forward to. There are some good wishlist comments above and hopefully apple will implement them. In my opinion apple will not rush this release, they'll want to release an app that blows LR outta the water. The thing i would say to people thinking of switching is to hold off and wait a while. If you think your photography is really limited by aperture then your not using the app right.... My 2 cents.. Apple will blow LR outta the water... LR will come back with something great the result : This is the best possible scenario for "US" comsumers and Pro Photographers... two companys fighting neck and neck to produce top quality app... I mean come on... what more can we ask for .. just like the Nikon Canon race this is only good for one person... YOU...!

I must say, I am ready. I have tried an early version of LR and while it had some slick features, I felt the Pro environment offered by AP to shooters of large numbers were much more important. I also work with he Nik plugins and have for years. I use both AP and PS in my workflow depending on what I need to do. The latest major project involves migrating my Extensis Portfolio libraries to AP because of compatibility issues with SL. This is major work when you consider more than 200 DVDs reading, adding keywords, thumbnail generation (way too slow). I want AP3 bad, but I will also wait and not make the mistake switching to LR

I love Aperture IU and integration. But I fear Aperture fate is sealed. Unless Aperture 3 blows LR 3 out of the water, unless it work at least as fast as LR in any of their tools, unless it has non-destructive local adjustments and lots of speed, Aperture will be dead within a year,

I think as photographers, it appears that we not only get obsessed with our gear but also with software. Always wanting the very best and very latest.
All the updates /wish lists i see here more or less points to minor stuff, cept maybe for the metadata edit feature.
Am a new photog and been using Aperture for close to a year now and currently about 60000 images in 14 bit NEF format on my dual quad Macpro.
The system handles it without breaking sweat.
I used to use photoshop then i found Aperture.
I love aperture and i will wait, and if no update comes, i will wait some more

Aperture 2.1.4 is a great program. I have used LR if only in brief. I have also seen a fair few workflows using LR. I have to say that Aperture does have the storage bit down pat. The LR workflow need way to much thinking to figure out a good system. I have no need to find out what is going on with all the bits and what is happening to the files. Should you need to find a file in the Aperture library:
Right click on the Aperture Library and chose show package content. Then right click on the project again; show package contents, and in you go and have a look till your hearts content. I have not changed or altered images from there but it is open to experimenting, BACKUP FIRST.

There are a couple of features like "open as smart object" which Aperture does not have but no great loss. Abberation correction to a lesser degree for those really once in a while images you really need to use as it is the only one fitting your purpose.

I would like to see Apple update the software to make better use of the system i have heavily invested in. Runs great now but there is no substitute for speed and power when you have loads of images to crunch through in even less time.

I wonder about the question of camera support taking ages. How often do people change camreas to find this out. Or is there only certain camra ranges that might take longer? Certainly not aware of any Pro cameras taking time to be added.

My wishlist would be to have
some curves adjustments,
a way of tagging and image with a note.
An on the fly shortcut to choosing which external application i wish to use. i.e. Photoshop, or Photomatix. Currently need to go into preferences to change this.

Anyway for the time being i am happy. Aperture 2 is doing all i need it to do. Aperture 3 would certainly be welcome though. Hopefully sooner rather than later, as in the next 6 months tops.

I would like to see an Aperture server version. I want more than one machine to work on projects with the server being the authoritative source. I would then further like said server to have built in web serving capability so that I can group some pictures and say publish. If I update a picture that has been published, the web version is automatically updated.

Well, still no Aperture 3; now I'm beginning to wonder if Apple has abandoned it already. I'm a raw-converter workflow collector, so I purchase, try and compare them all. I like to have knowledge of all possibilities for the classes I teach. The betas of Lightroom and Bibble Pro 5 are fantastic, especially Bibble for it's superior high-speed corrections, and it's light-years faster than Lightroom or Aperture at exporting. Too bad there's no beta of Aperture 3 to compare! Now Extensis is jumping into the game with their new add-on for Portfolio, but I haven't been able to download the software yet. SilkyPix from Japan is also a fantastic RAW converter and organizer. Or the Mac-only Raw Converter. Etc.. Apple better make Aperture 3 spectacular with so much competition.

In my eyes, two things are wrong in Aperture 2 that urgently need fixing. 1 is writing back metadata changes to originals, so they become visible outside Aperture and can not be lost. 2 is better integration with Time Machine. A substantial part of my Time Machine backups is Aperture previews and thumbnails (which I know thanks to Backuploupe). Even simply being able to exclude those from TM but still backup everything else in my lib would be a great help.

Come to think of it, preview/thumbnail files should shrink when you remove images from your library (right now your library just expands forever).

In short, Aperture right now waste more unnecessary disk space than any other app.

cool blog :) I'm so happy I stumbled onto it through google, Going to definitely have to add another one to the old bookmark list.

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And for all the hand wringing, Apple released Aperture 3 first - zing!

They sure did and what a stunner an upgrade it is too.

and there's a free 30-day trial download of aperture 3 out now on apple's website, with immediate download...(http://bit.ly/aperture3in_moments)

I think by this statement it shows that you know Photoshop a lot more than you understand why Aperture/Lightroom.
Their primary purpose is to catalogue images, secondary is the editing features. If you know Photoshop you will spend a lot of time editing your images in Photoshop, if you know nothing about Photoshop you will spend most of your time editing with the local adjustment tools.
Lightroom and Aperture are not aimed at being replacements for Photoshop.

I believe photoshop can still do so many of these job well if you take time to use it thoroughly

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