Aperture 3 Metareview
I’m going to stuff this page with the highlights of as many Aperture 3 reviews as humanly possible. Sold? Then check out the best deals on Aperture 3 on the web.
Aperture 3 is a huge step up from the previous version, adding pretty much everything that used to be the sole territory of Adobe Lightroom’s (custom adjustment presets and brushes, full screen view), and even a couple of nifty features from iPhoto 09’s Faces and Places. For Mac users who want a big step up in power from iPhoto, Aperture is a natural. For the ultimate in high-end editing of images, Adobe’s Photoshop retains its crown, of course. But among an extremely capable field of pro photo-workflow software (Adobe Lightroom and ACDSee Pro in particular), Aperture’s smoother user interface, plentiful slideshow and photo book output options, and top-notch camera raw file support raise it above the lot.
This is great application for the consumer who does not want to pay the high-ticket price of Photoshop or take the time to learn the complex functions. Aperture 3 is easy to use, has a nice looking interface and works seamlessly with Web applications that are becoming increasingly more popular. It seems as if Apple has made a choice to move towards the amateur photographer market and leave the professional photographer market to Lightroom.
Aperture is better at getting your pictures out compared to Lightroom. As well as direct uploading to Flickr and Facebook, its printing and slideshow features are richer, and you can also create book layouts then send them to Apple – and even to a few vetted third parties to have them printed and bound.
Aperture feels predictably more Mac-like than Lightroom, and iLife/iWork apps’ media panels can grab pics from Aperture much more easily.
In sum, Aperture 3 is an easy-to-learn introduction to digital imaging. The more ambitious amateur might want to delve directly into Photoshop, though Aperture’s $199 price tag is much more competitive than Photoshop’s $999 investment price point. (note – Aperture 3 can be had for $179)
Aperture is still a great program, in my opinion, and the budding photographer would be a lot better off with this than with iPhoto if they’re planning on doing anything more than collecting snapshots. I’ve gotten used to Aperture’s workflow and they haven’t changed it much in 3, in fact they’ve provided a couple serious improvements with Brushes and potentially Places and Faces — you know, if you’re into that kind of thing.
I spent a week using Aperture 3 and came away impressed with its capabilities. Its library management is second to none, and it gives you the choice of Aperture managing your master images within its own database, or you controlling where they will be stored on your Mac.
Along with the library, Aperture also provides a great deal of control over image importing, from a camera, a memory card, or one or more locations on your Mac. I felt like I had control over the import process from start to finish, unlike some other applications, where the import process seems more of a hold-your-breath-and-see-what-happens affair.
I expected Aperture 3 to meet my needs when it comes to editing photos. I didn’t expect a full-fledged image editing application like Photoshop, but something I can use to make basic adjustments to the RAW files (or JPEGs) from my camera. I wasn’t disappointed. Aperture 3 has all of the basic tools I need, and they are easy to use, either individually or as batch processes.
The big surprise was how well the new Brushes feature works. The brushes let me do complex editing that I normally reserve for Photoshop. Aperture is no replacement for Photoshop, but I can now do a lot more of my editing in Aperture and reduce the number of trips I need to make to Photoshop to complete a project.
This is a welcome update of Aperture, but I can’t help but think ‘about time Apple’. It’s a shame there is little in the way of real innovation here: we have seen the more amateur-targeted features (Face and Places) before in iPhoto, and the features that will appeal more to the professional and advanced enthusiast we’ve seen before in Adobe Lightroom. Lightroom has offered users adjustment brushes, presets and a sophisticated slideshow system since version 2. It’s a much faster program too, and new features are being added al the time as the version 3 beta progresses.
That said, there is much to like in this update of Aperture. It’s more creative than its rival and is a hugely intelligent approach to organizing your pictures.
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