Currently Being ModeratedNov 1, 2012 11:52 AM (in response to KnoxvilleDan)
What camera? If you are using a Canon, do you have highlight tone priority turned on?
Currently Being ModeratedNov 1, 2012 12:23 PM (in response to Keith Barkley)
Nikon D7000. Interestingly, I can actually watch Aperture darken each raw image as it loads.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 1, 2012 1:35 PM (in response to KnoxvilleDan)
Are you per chance using the in-camera setting for D-Lighting? If so, this is a Nikon proprietary use where the camera intentionally underexposes the image, then applies in-camera processing to bring it back to normal exposure that offers a slightly enhanced dynamic range. Unfortunately, Nikon does not share how this is done and it can only be rendered by their own software options.
Aperture, or any other third party RAW image processor, can't easily match these proprietary processes in any exact fashion ... they have to develop their own ... not just for one camera or one brand ... but all those they support ... even if they would try to match these in-camera settings ... the likelihood that they would satisfy more than a small batch of users is quite low ... tone and color results are purely subjective so finding a match that would please everyone is almost impossible.
This is why if you plan on using a third party RAW processor like Aperture, it is best to avoid using the in-camera processing settings. Rather you should create your own presets within Aperture to achieve your goals. In this instance, it is better to allow your chosen RAW processor to do the work, rather than the camera do the processing.
The reason you see the change in the image as Aperture loads it, you initially see the embedded jpeg preview from the NEF file. Then Aperture creates a new more accurate view based upon Aperture's RAW processing engine.
Currently Being ModeratedNov 1, 2012 1:46 PM (in response to KnoxvilleDan)
It's not darkening the RAW images as they load. Aperture will, unless you set it otherwise, use the in-camera converted-from-RAW JPG as a placeholder while it converts the RAW file using its own converter.
A RAW workflow differs in many ways from a JPG workflow. Are you familiar with RAW?