Aperture or Lightroom for this Apple user?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by hathi, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. hathi

    hathi Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Jun 10, 2011
    Philadelphia PA USA
    I've tried both, in 30 day trial mode, over the past couple of months of :43: use. I liked Aperture for it's price and general ease of use. Lightroom was more difficult to use initially, but lately I've come to really enjoy it. Both are licensed for a desktop and laptop, which is great.

    I'm mostly shooting in RAW and using the software to generate color profiles that I like more than the native GF2 output and to apply different color filters to B&W photos. I haven't done a lot of experimenting with brushes and retouching, but the two seem to have similar capabilities in that regard.

    The one big functional difference that I have noticed is the noise reduction and sharpening algorithms seem to be better in Lightroom. I've gotten some very nice improvements to 1600 and 800 iso shots with a combination of NR and sharpening.

    I'd like to appeal to the collective wisdom. Assuming you are a apple user, why did you choose one over the other? Are there major points that I have missed? How is each in terms of plug-ins and expandability?
     
  2. scarbrd

    scarbrd Mu-43 Regular

    144
    Jul 1, 2011
    Houston, TX
    I had the 30 trail of Lightroom 1. Didn't impress me, so I went with Aperture.

    I would like to see lens profiles built into Aperture like in the more recent version of Aperture, but other than that, I've very satisfied with Aperture.

    One thing I like in Aperture is the ability to create multiple instances of the same adjust tool in RAW. You can have multiple Levels adjustments, for example. Lightroom may have something similar by now, but they didn't when I was evaluating it.

    Now I have almost 1TB of images in Aperture. I don't see myself switching anytime soon.

    Plus, I still use Photoshop CS4. I upgrade about every other version. The Adobe RAW only updates for the latest version of Photoshop. So, I have to have something like Aperture or Lightroom to use RAW files from the E-PL2 or my recently arrived E-P3.

    I don't like that Adobe does not support not-so-old version of Photoshop. Apple RAW will work with any version of Aperture and iPhoto. Plus, Apple seems to update their RAW converters faster than Adobe. Not always, but most of the time.

    Adobe has also taken a page out of the Microsoft licensing book with all the various packages of the Adobe Creative Suite. I made the mistake of purchasing Adobe CS2 suite. I don't really use much other than Photoshop, but Adobe will not let me just upgrade Photoshop, I have to upgrade the entire suite just to get a more recent version of PS. There is nothing special about PS app in the Creative Suite, it's just a gotcha my Adobe.

    I used to be a big Adobe promoter. Not so much anymore.

    If Apple ever comes out with a full fledged photo editor like they have for movie editing, I dump PS for sure.
     
  3. tomrock

    tomrock Mu-43 Regular

    132
    Jun 21, 2010
    Indianapolis, IN
    Adobe has the finest minds in digital imaging working for them. Without a doubt, the sharpening and noise reduction in LR are much better.

    Adobe updates for new cameras faster.

    Adobe has lens corrections built into LR.

    Aperture will let you brush on any adjustment.

    Search for LR and Aperture training on the web. You'll find tons of support for LR. Not so much for Aperture because it's a smaller market.

    Either are great (I have both -- there are a lot of things I really like about Aperture) but in day-to-day use I use LR.
     
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  4. tomrock

    tomrock Mu-43 Regular

    132
    Jun 21, 2010
    Indianapolis, IN
    • Like Like x 1
  5. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I prefer LR. I find that Adobe updated RAW quicker (back when I tested both. Not sure if that still holds). If Windows ever got their act together and Apple stumbled, I like that LR is cross-platform (your database becomes critical, and you need to have it cross-platform). I dislike a few things in LR (why can't I crop in Library?), but it's workable.

    I like the output from LR a bit better. I also find the fonts on Aperture hard to see -- very small.

    Price, of course, tends to favor Aperture (if something is cheaper AND has a smaller market share, though, that should tell you something). I got LR on an education discount, and that made it very price competitive. YMMV.
     
  6. timallenphoto

    timallenphoto Mu-43 Veteran

    266
    May 20, 2011
    Kent, England
    I hated Aperture and tried it 3 times before going with Lr instead. On the same hardware Lr runs much more consistently and I found the noise reduction in Ap laughably simplistic. Apple seem to be incapable of writing efficient software for their own system, and I still think the Ap price reduction was in part a way of apologising for the horrific latest version of iphoto.
     
  7. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    For just about the same price as Lightroom.

    Aperture3 - all of your Macs simultaneously
    Use the savings over cost of Lightroom for NIK - Color EFX pro.

    Best of both worlds, fabulous Aperture 3 filing system, cloning tool / brushes etc. Nice integration with your OS, Aperture vault backup system etc. etc.

    NIK Color EFX which is just fabulous
    Spend a few more bucks and add Silver EFX

    My 2 cents.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Richard Elliott
    This is a win-win decision. Both are getting better and better. Pick one and don't look back. Kinda like choosing between Olympus and Panasonic. :wink:

    If you qualify you can get Lightroom for $90 under an educational discount which makes up for the Aperture cost advantage.
     
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  9. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Richard Elliott
    How many do you have?
     
  10. Gillymaru

    Gillymaru Mu-43 Veteran

    I love the video editing built into Aperture. You can shoot small snippets of video and combine them with your photos, then export the whole lot to Youtube. So easy to do and with a little practice the results are very impressive.
    My daughter now insists I make a 10 minute DVD of our latest holiday so she can take it into school to show her friends.
     
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  11. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Confessions: I run LR simultaneously on my computers (PC and Windows) without issue. Personal use only. Not multi-user, but I don't want to have to "quite" out of each instance of LR.
     
  12. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    both apps do a fine job. I personally use Aperture... It just does what I want... it organises my photos and lets me edit and share my photos quickly.

    NR is not a big factor for me... nor is having RAW support for a new camera instantly available a big factor either - Apple have got much better at adding the support more quickly, and generally the profiles they produce are very good, and are used throughout the OS - so even in the Finder or Preview you are getting the RAW conversion.

    Aperture will struggle on older machines... if you have a 5 year old consumer Mac then it may struggle... but on the other hand I run it on a 11" Macbook Air when I am on the road and find the performance more than adequate for my needs.

    The price drop was a bold move to change the model of the way software will be sold....

    K
     
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  13. Alanroseman

    Alanroseman Super Moderator Emeritus

    Dec 21, 2010
    New England
    Hi Richard,

    Several. It's the business I'm in. That said, many folks have a desktop be it iMac, Mini, Mac Pro etc, to go along with a MacBook or Macbook Pro, sometimes the kiddos have one too.

    Cheers, Alan
     
  14. IIGQ4U

    IIGQ4U Mu-43 Regular

    120
    Mar 22, 2011
    La Jolla CA
    You may want to look into Pixelmator. It is a very good alternative to Photoshop with a much cleaner interface.
     
  15. hathi

    hathi Mu-43 Rookie

    18
    Jun 10, 2011
    Philadelphia PA USA
    They can certainly both do everything that I need and it seems that I'm always choosing between good options when I look at photography stuff. It's a fun thing to think over when it is too hot to go outside and shoot.

    I do qualify for the educational discount! $79 Lightroom 3 here I come!

    Thanks all for the input.

    Now, to archive photos in RAW, PSD, TIFF or JPG? ...
     
  16. timallenphoto

    timallenphoto Mu-43 Veteran

    266
    May 20, 2011
    Kent, England
    Yes I got the edu discount but I still would have paid full price for it over Aperture. For the record my mac is an 18 month old MB Pro with 4gb of ram and a 7200rpm drive yet Ap ran like a total dog.
     
  17. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    With all due respect it sounds either like

    1) you had exaggerated expectations of performance - last time I looked 'total dog' was yet to be defined as International Standard of speed

    2) Or there was something up with your configuration or how you were using the application.

    I have long experience with Aperture and I will admit that it was slower in its younger days - but never would I define it as being a total dog on the hardware you describe.

    I am writing this not to make you change your decision - if you are happy with Lightroom, good, but in discussions like this it is more useful to qualify and quantify any disattisfactions you have so that others can assess whether the problem you encountered is relevant to them.

    Aperture, used correctly, e.g. as an application to ingest RAW and Jpeg file, organise and edit them and then export/share, should run fine on the machine you specified.

    just aying

    K
     
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  18. timallenphoto

    timallenphoto Mu-43 Veteran

    266
    May 20, 2011
    Kent, England
    I know it should but this was my experience, and I've spoken to others on twitter with exactly the same issues. It makes no sense I know but there seems to be an element of luck involved with Aperture. On my Mac with no other apps running it was annoyingly slow to do anything and I never got to the bottom of why. Having tried it at work on a Mac Pro it was acceptable speed-wise, but from using the trial the bigger issue was the noise reduction and some annoyances with file handling too. I know plenty of people happy with it, but having wasted time on iphoto 11 I wasn't wasting any more on Aperture. Each to their own and all that :)

    PS I have/had no desire to start arguments by the way, I just found the app frustrating to use and it's performance mystifying.

    On another note, I may well be buying one of the new i5 Mac Minis this week which will be a nice upgrade from my MB Pro :)
     
  19. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Hmm

    If Aperture was running poorly on that MB Pro, I would consider having a look at the Mac. Maybe run an app like Onyx, or do a clean install, and up the RAM too (although 4GB is OK).

    You don't say which MB Pro you have. If it's a 15", then it has a dedicated (rather than integrated) graphics card. The integrated cards run very well these days, but for some pro applications, speed is boosted with a dedicated card. The Mini has an integrated card.
     
  20. timallenphoto

    timallenphoto Mu-43 Veteran

    266
    May 20, 2011
    Kent, England
    It's a 13" and everything else runs exactly as I'd expect, only exception was Aperture. I know 2 other people with exact same model, one runs Ap fine, other was same as me. Bizarre.