10 Replies Latest reply: Apr 30, 2010 4:25 AM by cwog
John Florence Level 1 Level 1
I've been running into Lightroom users lately, and would like to have an informed debate. Bugs aside, any thoughts as to the pros/cons feature wise of each, would be appreciated. I love the new brush-in features of A3, but am told LR2 already has these. I'm surprised at how many mac users left after the problems with Aperture 1 and never looked back....

imac, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • William Lloyd Level 7 Level 7
    The brushes in Aperture 3 are truly fantastic, in how they can brush them in, adjust them, apply them, etc. The brushes in Lightroom are quite constrained by comparison.

    That said, it's up to you. I'm fantastically happy with Aperture 3. I've used Lightroom a bit (mostly Lightroom 1.x), and the modular architecture drove me crazy. I absolutely hated constantly having to flip between the Library and Develop panes, and having shortcuts not work when I was in the wrong module. Also, I spent a lot of time getting the panels out of the way.

    So if you're happy with Aperture there's probably no huge reason to let curiosity get the best of you, but of course you could always evaluate, given LR 3 is in beta. See what you think.

    Lightroom is more popular than Aperture: In many ways because it's available for Windows where Aperture is not. Also, perhaps the Lightroom users are advising you that way because it's what they know. Have they actually used Aperture lately? Recall that advice is worth what you pay for it.

    As far as cross-platform goes, I'm not using Windows (any more), the fact that Lightroom is cross-platform is of absolutely no value to me. Furthermore, if it is designed "lowest common denominator" in some ways to be cross-platform, that could have some net negative effects.
  • John Florence Level 1 Level 1
    Yes I'm completely happy with Aperture, not considering switching, just want to be able to have an informed conversation with LR users. I've heard on the cataloging side, Aperture excels, and you seem to confirm that.

    My reason for going with Aperture was, when they were both introduced several years ago, I figured they would split the mac users, and as it was already getting hard at that time to get companies to write programs for the mac, I didn't want to be in a tiny group at Adobe's mercy. Things haven't quite turned out that way, but I'm still happy with Aperture; hardly ever need photoshop these days.
  • Matthew Bergsma Level 3 Level 3
    I'm with William on all points.

    I couldn't imagine culling images in the lightroom UI/workflow - I'd rather go to the dentist. Aperture is the only program I've ever seen that captures the entire workflow of a photographer in the way a photographer's mind works.

    The added bonus is that for canon raw files the aperture raw decoder completely blows ACR out of the water in terms of skin tone representation and overall tonality - especially in shots under tungsten lighting.
  • SierraDragon Level 4 Level 4
    Both apps have pros/cons in specific areas, but the bottom line is that for processing a 1000-image pro shoot Aperture is *overall much faster* and easier.

  • Pieroman69 Level 1 Level 1
    The workflow and modal UI of lightroom is a nightmare, and feature-wise aperture 3 seemed to be on par with the lightroom 3 beta.

    But (and it's a huge but) Adobe announced support for automatic lens correction and perspective correction tools in the final LR 3. This is an amazing functionality to have in a RAW processing software (unless you only shoot portraits with amazing lenses).

    So LR is again a HUGE step ahead of Aperture, and too bad for the better UI of aperture, but I can live with lightroom's for a function like this (think of the time and hard drive space it takes to load an image in an external correction tool like PTlens).
  • robogobo Level 2 Level 2
    Ditto. I don't worry about its popularity, but I do hope Apple develops a Windows version to fund and ensure Aperture's future.

    My decision to use Aperture was also an extension of my growing frustration with Adobe's products, combined with a growing attraction to OS X integration. After 15 years with Photoshop and then Bridge, I felt like I could finally breathe again with Aperture. Of course I still use Photoshop but doubt I'll continue on the upgrade path, and watch hopefully to the young competitors brave enough to take them on.

    That said, I will be evaluation a CS5 trial, just so I know of what I speak.

    Oh, Lightroom. Yeah, I never could get into it. Seemed like the worst of PS and Bridge rolled into one.
  • Bob Rockefeller Level 1 Level 1
    Check out my website at www.bobrockefeller.com. There's an article there on Lightroom vs Aperture and several on how Lightroom techniques can be applied in Aperture.

    In the end, its a Canon vs Nikon thing. Which do YOU like better?

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10
    but I do hope Apple develops a Windows version to fund and ensure Aperture's future.

    If you look at Apples behaviour in this area up to now you will note that they only port applications to Windows when it's useful for selling hardware: iTunes and Safari help sell iPods and iPhones. So, while there's nothing certain I would reckon that's a long shot.


  • robogobo Level 2 Level 2
    Excellent point. I guess I'll have to wait until the iPhone's camera supports RAW. heheh.
  • cwog Level 1 Level 1
    Automatic lens correction etc --

    Do not write Aperture off in this area - with the version 3 of the Digital Camera Raw program used by Aperture etc Apple introduced lens correction capability both for distortion and chromatic aberration - so they may now have the capability for adding more lens and perspective correction - however this is only speculation