Upgrade iPhoto.. what to?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by funkright, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. funkright

    funkright Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 15, 2012
    I've been using iphoto for years, well, since we'd moved to the mac, but now having bought a GX1 w/ 2 lenses (14-42 PZ and 45-200) I am thinking it would be nice to move to a better app.

    Not quite sure what that better app would be? Aperture or Lightroom or Photoshop Elements or...?

    They all need to be native to OSX/Mac.

    I'd like to have more control and maybe a variety of presets that surpasses what iphoto gives, but I am definitely NOT a professional or even an intermediate in this area yet (not quite an absolute beginner, though closer to that than anywhere else).

    I've been reading through the various forums and hope I have asked this question in the right area.

    Thanks for your insight, in advance :2thumbs:
  2. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    I tried iphoto when I first got my mac. I quite like the interface, but I didn't like how it would import and store my photos (I prefer to create my own file structure). I ended up getting lightroom, which I'm quite happy with. If you have a family member who is a student or teacher, you can get an educational discount.

    If your happy with iphoto, aperture might suit you better.
  3. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Lightroom is excellent for so many reasons. Some also like Aperture. Photoshop elements is NOT what you are looking for. IMO, you want a library-management system built with editing (or "raw developing"). That's LR, Ap, Bibble, DXO, and some others, but the market leaders are LR and Aperture (at least market leading on the Mac). If you Google "Aperture vs. Lightroom" and look only at the more recent posts (because they've been duke-ing it out for YEARS, you want recent comparisons talking about recent functionality, not battles from 2010).

    One big thing to consider, again IMO, is that Lightroom CAN be ported to Windows. Aperture is locked into the Mac OS. I'm on Mac now myself, but I like the surety that if I ever wanted to leave Mac, I can take my adjustment database with me. With Aperture, you would only be able to carry over your unadjusted files.
  4. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    Both have free trials - my advice is try them both out for a little while. I did (also coming from iPhoto), and while initially was convinced I'd use Aperture, after using LightRoom I ended up buying a copy of that instead.

    Aperture is very much similar to iPhoto, so you'll find it an easy transition in that respect. That said, I found LightRoom to run better on my macbook and I preferred the LR interface over Aperture after using both for a while. I also like that LightRoom has faster RAW support for new cameras, more integration options with various services, plugins and so on.

    Either is a perfectly capable choice so it will probably come down to which things are more important and what functions you use the most. That's why I recommend taking advantage of the trial periods for both, more than likely you'll find which one *you* prefer after a while.
  5. funkright

    funkright Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 15, 2012
    I can only find a trial for Aperture. Have dl'd it, now exporting my iphoto library to use it in the trial version.
  6. David A

    David A Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 30, 2011
    Brisbane, Australia
    I moved from iPhoto to Aperture a bit under 2 years ago and Aperture is very definitely a step up in what you can do but both basically use the same RAW processing engine, Apple's RAW Camera processor which is an OS update. You get more options and flexibility with Aperture and that's worth while, but that's all you get.

    I swapped to Lightroom a bit over 6 months ago and I think Lightroom is a significant advance over Aperture. It has features Aperture doesn't have such as automatic chromatic aberration correction which is something I wanted. Lightroom's "targeted adjustment tool" and eye dropper for some adjustments make doing some things much easier in Lightroom than they are in Aperture and you get more adjustment range for exposure and some other things as well. I can do more with problem highlight and shadow areas in Lightroom, and I can do more easily than I could in Aperture once I got used to working in Lightroom.

    There are some negatives to swapping to Lightroom however. It's more expensive for a start, both more expensive than Aperture was when I bought it before Aperture's price drop, and a lot more expensive at Aperture's current price. There's also a different user interface and processing workflow that you have to come to grips with, and I still think that Aperture has a better file management process than Lightroom but Lightroom's file management is still quite good once you come to grips with it. All of these things are ultimately temporary inconveniences in my view, and not reasons for not making the change to Lightroom but you need to be willing to pay more and spend some time learning a new application if you're going to make the change. If you aren't prepared to spend that extra time and money, then go with Aperture. It's a good program but not as good as Lightroom in my view.
  7. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    Here you go: www.adobe.com/go/trylightroom/

    All you do is download and install the regular version. It'll work normally with all functionality enabled, until the trial runs out (I think 30 days).
  8. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Most of photo management packages can be tried for a trial period.

    Google and try them all..

    Capture one

    My preference has been Lightroom.
  9. edwardconde

    edwardconde Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Do you use iCloud? That is the one reason why i am using Aperture, cause my photostream imports directly into my library. I mostly use it for photo management purposes tho... not editing.. My understanding both LR and Aperture have great photo library management features.. I edit on my iPad, so Photostream imports back to my mac. I am sure there are methods to do something similar with LR on the mac.. but I haven't looked for that.

    On the other hand, my mac is getting really old now and LION is the last OS i can run. So upgrade time is coming. I am considering going back to Windows and still sync with Photostream to iTunes then from there find a way to manage my images. Switching back would be mostly a cost thing... Since I edit on the iPad about 95% of the time, either OS should work for me...
  10. MizOre

    MizOre Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2011

    Lightroom is an Adobe product -- go to their website and then look for Lightroom.
  11. funkright

    funkright Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 15, 2012
    I mixed the 2 up, I dl'd Lightroom, but couldn't find an aperture demo. Doing a web search it appears apple discontinued that program :confused:
  12. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    That's too bad.

    I'm a Lightroom user myself but one feature in Aperture blows me away every time I see it. The loupe tool.

    Weird I know but it's nice having a real loupe that you can move around to see 1:1.
  13. edwardconde

    edwardconde Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 8, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you are running Mac, go to the Mac App Store. Aperture has not be discontinued. Not sure if they are still offering demos of the app.
  14. funkright

    funkright Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 15, 2012
    I meant that they discontinued the demo of the program, not the actual program :rolleyes:

    Maybe I will stop by an apple store or dealer to see if they have aperture running on their systems, play around with it a bit, and get a feeling from it. I've been playing with LR a bit and can honestly say that either of these programs, given my LR experience thus far, are pretty big steps up from iPhoto. Both will probably take a decent investment of time to become proficient at :redface:
  15. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    David Dornblaser
    I use Aperture. One of the nice things about it is that I can share my wife's Photostream. I have Light Room as part of CS6 but I have only dabbled with it.
  16. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    I was an iPhoto user when I was still using a point-n-shoot camera, then upgraded to Aperture when I got a NEX. Few months ago I've moved on to Lightroom 4 since it seems to be more flexible for my use (storing photos on network drive, external drives and viewing them from multiple computer including the wife's).

    Now I manage the photos from LR4, export the selected ones to Aperture to be made into books. Aperture/iPhoto still has better book templates for me than LR4.
  17. Exposed

    Exposed Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 13, 2011
    Central Washington State
    Real Name:
    Randy dawson
    When I started using digital about 6 years ago, I went with PS elements. I have used lightroom and aperture trials and they are great programs, but elements is what I use and have not wanted to move away from. It comes with bridge and adobe raw. If you look around, it can cost you as little as $70. I use it with my mac running osx 10.4.11. I have never really understood the "file management" everyone talks about. I file manage when I download by putting photos from each shoot into there own named folder then number and tag all at the time of download. Bridge also has the loupe one was talking about.

    For the price, it is a great program.

  18. Talanis

    Talanis Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 15, 2012
    Sherbrooke, Canada
    Real Name:
    Eric Cote
    Aperture is slow and heavy. It's a nice software but I made the switch to Lightroom a couple of years ago and could not be happier. hmmm... ok, I could be happier if we could have a real healing brush instead of spot healing.
  19. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    I use Lightroom 4. Most folks say the big difference between Aperture and Lightroom is that Lightroom forces you to do certain tasks at a certain time by having isolated modules, whereas you can hop to whatever you want to do in Aperture without the "modal" think. Which one you prefer is a matter of how you work.

    Between Lightroom and PSE, Bridge/ACR/PSE can probably do everything you can do in Lr and more, but Lr is a more integrated UI, designed specifically for a photographer workflow. Photoshop has more tools for pixel-level editing and compositing. You can think of Lr as the 10% of PS you use 90% of the time, and there are a lot of photographers who never need anything else.

    One more word of caution. I tend to think of the Lightroom free trial version as the Adobe gateway drug (first one's free...). You may end up wanting more than just Lightroom by the time you're done. :)

    If you are broke or prefer the freedom of open source, you may want to check out RAWTherapee and Dark Table, as well. They're also RAW conversion/organization tools, similar to Lightroom, but free as in free beer. :)
  20. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    If you are coming from iPhoto you'll be able to pick Aperture up straight away. I used to have both LR and Aperture but found myself using the latter more. Image organisation and appearance is what felt more natural.

    I have a 15 retina and everything reacts instantly.