Is the diference because Aperture cannot proces my Nef files the right way or are there some default adjustments selected in Aperture, somewhere that I'm not aware of? Maybe some default import setup...?
The difference is, that the preview generated by Aperture really shows the raw data, without any in-camera settings applied. The camera generated preview will reflect any preprocessing done in your camera.
I think this also answers my question:
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.
See the answer in context
I took some new pictures with as many settings as possible set to 0. Then I imported the NEF and JPG separately. Still there is quite a big difference between de Raw and JPG. The JPG looks more like the picture to start from. The Raw has a lot of contrast and vivid colors. (raw left - jpg right)
I find it hard to believe that Aperture is so badly able to guess what the image is supposed to look like...
Now it would be more convenient to use the JPG as the masterpicture...
Hi. This comes up regularly. Here is a post (linking to others that link to others) about RAW: what it is, how it works, and how and perhaps why to use a RAW workflow.
I want to emphasize three things based on your response:
- Aperture makes no guesses. It takes data you recorded with your camera (which is, used this way, simply a RAW data recorder) and converts it to an image.
- Aperture (and its ilk) provide photographers tools to make their digital camera pictures look the way they want them to look. There is no " ... supposed to look like ... " ideal representation.
- If you are satisfied with JPG, why record RAW?