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RAW conversion, iPhoto vs Aperture

2588 Views 15 Replies Latest reply: Nov 24, 2012 6:54 PM by azartguy RSS
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azartguy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Nov 23, 2012 9:57 PM

I currently shoot in RAW, save the folder to my desktop, convert files in ACR and import into Photoshop for edits; I then create a master edited TIFF for each saved image a, plus make 3-5 variations (composites, B&W, etc) of every master image . When all that is in the (renamed) desktop folder, I then import that folder into iPhoto where finished files are routed to Smart Folders.

 

 

For added security I routinely backup all the RAW files using Export to an external HD.

 

 

The ideal workflow (for me) however, would be to use Nikon's free NX2 software to convert the RAW files into TIFF, do basic editing and import both the RAW and TIFF conversions directly into iPhoto.  So far, I can't get that to work without going through the extra step of NX2>Desktop>iPhoto.

 

 

Am I missing something in iPhoto, or maybe it can't handle that?

 

 

Would Aperture allow that direct NX2 > Aperture import? I'm a little unclear on the Aperture RAW conversion process, so could I import RAW files folder into Aperture and then convert those RAW files to TIFF and edit them within Aperture? That way the only time I'd have to go outside Aperture would be to do something in PS that Aperture can't handle.

 

 

Brian

iPad 2, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (55,075 points)
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    Nov 23, 2012 10:30 PM (in response to azartguy)

    Am I missing something in iPhoto, or maybe it can't handle that?

     

     

    Would Aperture allow that direct NX2 > Aperture import?

     

     

    No

     

    Both work the same and both use the same database structure - you must import photos into either - you can not save directly from another program

     

    Both can import and convert your RAW photos and both provide lossless editing so using giant TIFFs would not be necessagy

     

    Both can directly interface with PS for editing if you want

     

    Aperature offers much more control over RAW editing than iPhoto does and offers more professional level editing options

     

    Unless you have very unusual requirements your work flow seems uncessary and overly complicated to me

     

    LN

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,900 points)
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    Nov 24, 2012 1:19 AM (in response to azartguy)

    The ideal workflow (for me) however, would be to use Nikon's free NX2 software to convert the RAW files into TIFF, do basic editing and import both the RAW and TIFF conversions directly into iPhoto.  So far, I can't get that to work without going through the extra step of NX2>Desktop>iPhoto.

     

    You have to go from NX2 to the desktop because that's the point where it creates the TIFF. It's not an extra step, it's the actual conversion.

     

    When you import a Raw to iPhoto it automatically makes a jpeg Preview of the shot. Why? Because you can't do anything with Raw - can't print it, share it online, use it in other apps etc. So to allow you to use the file immediately the Preview is available.

     

     

    You can, however, also process the Raw in iPhoto simply by editing it. The Raw processing engine in iPhoto the same one used in Aperture, but with less fine control. (Think of the differences between Word and TextEdit, iMovie and Final Cut). The output from the processing then replaces the preview. You can choose to save your output as either jpeg or tiff in the iPhoto Preferences.

     

     

    When you are processing Raw in iPhoto you will see the Raw badge on the bottom of the iPhoto Window

     

    Note: After you have processed a Raw, subsequent edits to the photo are carried out on the processed jpeg (or tiff) not the Raw. If you want to go back to the original then you need to use the Photos -> Reprocess Raw command.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,900 points)
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    Nov 24, 2012 12:09 PM (in response to azartguy)

    This may only make sense in digital-land, but I don't know if you've actually noticed... this is where you are.

     

    1. You cannot see a Raw file, anywhere anytime with any software. None. Not a one. A Raw is not a file, not a format. It's a dump from the sensor into a container.

     

    When you look at the screen on your camera you're seeing a Jpeg preview of the Raw, not the Raw. That preview is contained within the Raw.

     

    When you view a Raw in iPhoto you're seeing the image as rendered by iPhoto. It's not the Raw, it's an interpretation of it. This is also the case with Photoshop, Lightroom, NX 2 and anything else.

     

    This has nothing to do with the Preview. That's only used if you opt to email or upload to a website. That just saves you the bother of exporting - but you can choose to export if you wish.

     

    So, no matter what software you use you're never actually seeing the Raw, just an interpretation of it, created by whatever app you're using.

     

    So if you process the Raw that must be stored as something. iPhoto allows you to choose between tiff and jpeg.

     

    Now let me be absolutely clear: if you're processing a Raw first time round then that is the Raw being processed. Not the preview or anything else. It's the Raw.  The results are saved in a tiff or jpeg as you choose.

     

    If you want to re-edit then you need to ask yourself - do I want to go all the way back to the Raw? If so, choose to reprocess the Raw. And that will allow you to go right back to the Raw. Or, if you don't need to go all the way back to the Raw (to crop, for instance), then just edit and the Tiff/Jpeg is what's changed.

     

    If you want to compare the processed with the original image, hold the shift key.

     

    So, no you don't have to export to process a Raw.

  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (55,075 points)
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    Nov 24, 2012 12:14 PM (in response to azartguy)

    No

     

    You simply have to set your editing program as the external editor for iPhoto - in the iPhoto preferences you can choose to send RAW to the external editor or not - if you do then once you edit the photo you must save it to the desktop and import the modified photo into iPhoto creating a new photo - if you do not pass it as RAW then you save in the editor and it is returned to iPhoto and the database properly updated

     

    As to the process iPhoto uses - all originals are saved unmodified - RAW , TIFF or JPEG.  as they are imported a small JPEG preview is generated for quick access by iPhoto and other programs - with RAW an additional large JPEG preview is saved  --  when you edit in iPhoto the edit steps are saved and applied to the preview and to the thumbnail - future edits steps are also saved so you always start yoru edit with the unedited original and add edits so you never are but one step form the original eliminating the multiple editing losses that cause some people to use TIFF rather than JPEG   --  hence my comment

     

    Both can import and convert your RAW photos and both provide lossless editing so using giant TIFFs would not be necessagy

    and

     

    Unless you have very unusual requirements your work flow seems uncessary and overly complicated to me

     

     

    as to

     

    but if I want to see the original RAW file, and the edited versions stored within iPhoto

    If you want to see both then they both have to be there - since iPhoto always keeps the original and while editing in iPhoto you can view it at any time by depressing the shift key most people prefer to simply their work flow and save the disk space and let iPhoto handle this

     

    It really sounds like you do not want iPhoto and yoru best choice is to shoose a different photo manager that works like you want - or learn and understand iPhoto (and most if not all Digital Asset managers - DAMs - which work much like iPhoto) and use it the way it works

     

    You can use what you please and do what you please, but if you use iPhoto you are making life very difficult by going against its standard procedures

     

    LN

  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (55,075 points)
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    Nov 24, 2012 12:56 PM (in response to azartguy)

    Sorry but you are the arrogant one demanding that anyone change their design to meet your personal needs

     

    Software is designed and sold - you choose to use it or not - if you do  not like it do not use it

     

    Apple has not decided anything for you - they offer you a specific set of capabilities and you can use them or not - your choice - it turns out that millions and millions and millions of people love the capabilities Apple offers adn therefore Apple is wildly successfull having become the largest company every in the entire world

     

    You do not like what they offer - no problem

     

    once again

     

    It really sounds like you do not want iPhoto and your best choice is to choose a different photo manager that works like you want - or learn and understand iPhoto (and most if not all Digital Asset managers - DAMs - which work much like iPhoto) and use it the way it works

     

    You can use what you please and do what you please, but if you use iPhoto you are making life very difficult by going against its standard procedures

     

     

    But I will continue to look for software that supports my workflow.

    Exactly my suggestion!

     

    LN

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,900 points)
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    Nov 24, 2012 1:09 PM (in response to azartguy)

    Outside my door there is a number of cars (not all mine, I stress, but belonging to various neighbours and so on). There is an oddity this evening in that one of the smallest - a Smart Car - sits next to a rather enormous Land Rover/Jeep/Truck-type vehicle. It does look like the you could fit the smaller car into the trunk of the larger one.

     

    Your comments make me think: How arrogant of the Smart Car people to make such an under-powered, little car. Pure arrogance to make a car with a tiny engine and very little capacity. What a hopeless piece of tin!

     

    Does that make sense?

     

    Or is it that the Smart Car is a low cost car targetted at a specific demographic? And if I'm part of the demographic, doesn't that car make much better sense to me than the enormous truck beside it.

     

    iPhoto is aimed squarely at the family snapper with a point and shoot or a phone, who wants to share with GrandMa or friends via Facebook or whatever. It will do other things, of course, but that's what it's optimised for - and that's reflected in the price: $15, or free with a new Mac.

     

    It's worthwhile considering if you fit that niche, and if not, to consider using another app. For instance, Aperture will show you the two side by side. It has plenty of other options too, and that's reflected in its price of $70. The various Adobe products - ranging from $90 up to $600 also have other possibilities, and these too are reflected in their prices (though I still think some are well overpriced).

     

    You would be quite surprised how rarely we see people looking to view versions side-by-side on here. But to create an app that serves a specific market is no more arrogant than building a car designed for city driving, or one designed for hauling troops around a battlefield.

  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (55,075 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 24, 2012 3:24 PM (in response to azartguy)

    Because people like you have no concept - iPhoto is what it is and I help people use it - I do not "defend" it, I explain it (and I could not change it is I wanted to) - you do not understand it and want it changed to something you do understand rather than learn it or choose a package you do like - yes that is arrogant - once again and for the last time you have total fredom of choice on what software to use - pick what works your way and use it  --  no need to attack people who want different things (and it turns out better things) just because you don't get it

     

    Spend your day finding your choice - and enjoy the rest of your life

     

    LN

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (121,900 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 24, 2012 3:41 PM (in response to azartguy)

    No that analogy is not at all specious. It reflects quite accurately the difference between iPhoto and more powerful apps.

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