Truly getting back on topic, here are a few things I wish for from a future version of Aperture:
• Targeted auto-exposure with spot and center-weighted options.
• The ability to lift and stamp individual adjustments, e.g. Black Point independent of the Exposure brick.
• The ability to copy and paste individual adjustments.
• The ability to deactivate and/or remove specific adjustment bricks via Lift & Stamp.
• The ability to save, sort, delete, and modify custom crop ratios.
• The new, darker, pro apps UI (see: Final Cut Pro X and Logic Pro X).
• A fully functional, Lion-savvy full screen mode which behaves like the full screen modes of other Apple applications.
• HTML5 web galleries including customizable home pages and links between pages.
I hope they add something like LR's "auto-sync" to Aperture X (or whatever it will be). Lift-and-stamp is old-school, inefficient, and a pain to use when you are processing a shoot of 1000 or more photos. It also leaves a lot out, as you describe above. A new-and-improved feature like LR's auto-sync would let you do a lot of what you want. Keep lift-and-stamp around for those who love it, but please give us some other more efficient options.
Batch change is another abomination of Aperture that needs to be thrown away and totally redesigned. Again, an auto-sync-like feature would do what batch change does, only better.
And the cropping implementation in Aperture is perhaps my biggest peeve with the software, and is also in need of a major overhaul. You've listed only part of the problems. It's another inefficient design that impedes batch processing of a lot of images.
Don't misunderstand, I'm not bashing Aperture. I am no longer using LR after years of use...for a lot of reasons. Their continual attention to only RAW processing doesn't do much for me. But their lack of attention to photo management does, and drove me to Aperture a while ago. But IMO, these are areas in Aperture that I feel could improve the product immensely. For all it's good points regarding DAM features, it's batch processing capabilites are woefully lacking and inefficient in a few key areas when compared to LR.
Yeah. That auto-sync feature is really useful. However, it isn't really a Lightroom feature per se. I mean, it is now, but it actually comes from Camera Raw. I used to use it in Camera Raw long before Aperture or Lightroom even existed. Trivia, I guess.
I suppose the reason I like to bag on Lightroom, even though I've been using it for years, is that having come from a Camera Raw background, I'm very much aware of how little Lightroom brings to the table beyond a horrid UI and poor DAM functionality. Everything that's good about Lightroom comes from Camera Raw, and Camera Raw has always been excellent. It's frustrating to me that Adobe couldn't be bothered to make Lightroom a better piece of software considering that the heavy lifting provided by Camera Raw was already there.
It all ties back to my theory that the reason Lightroom has such a bad user interface — the reason it's ugly, clunky, clumsy, and modal — is because it was a hacky prototype rushed to market in response to Apple releasing Aperture. Adobe took a proof-of-concept demo, and shipped it.
Seriously. Oh well, it was a good run. Kind of. Not real pleased about the White Balance eyedropper turning my images green, so I'm going to roll back to 3.4 before Carbon Copy Cloner overwrites my library, and then think long and hard about how to proceed.
The new iWork, by the way, is a travesty, but I digress.…
Of course the Apple apologists are lined up to say that this the greatest update since the dawn of updates and how this is simply miles ahead of LR, but I for one am seriously disappointed. I had hoped, and hoped that Apple would release Aperture X and I could move back, but alas it was not meant to be...
It's more of a compatability update than anything. That said, it does appear that Apple will release a major update to Aperture when the Mac Pro ships in December. Time will tell if that actually pans out.
Lr5 has some great features - I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love the Develop module and what I can do with presets, but hate the rest. How Adobe has the Library module set up is convoluted (at least to me). Although the Book module has lots of templates, there's only one direct printer (Blurb) - and I've been less than impressed with their quality.
OBW, I really hope you are correct. I really do... I would love to go back to Aperture, but a friend of mine who happens to be an Adobe Engineer says that the next version of LR is going to be even more impressive. Apparently Adobe is listening to Apple customers about what they want and Adobe is going to integrate these suggestions into the next version of LR...
> Sadly, I think that 3.5 is the Mac Pro upgrade, and that there won't be a major revision before mid 2014 at the earliest.
I certainly hope this isn't the case because I really want to stick with Aperture. Maybe it has been only my experience, but most photographers I have run into that use(d) Aperture have switched, or are contemplating switching, to Lightroom. For most, switching from one to the other is such a convoluted process that switching back is unlikely either.
It seems most professional photographers want the assurance that the software they use every day is being actively maintained, like Lightroom. If the most recent paltry update is all Apple has for Aperture users this year, then I think it is safe to assume that Apple is not very concerned with the professional photography market and it might be time to look for a greener pastures.
Adobe is great at rubbing its customers the wrong way, especially Mac users. Given our often hostile feelings towards Adobe, it is a shame that our best option in this situation is to give our money to Adobe.
On Apple's web page explaining Mac Pro performance, there is the following footnote to the section illustrating Aperture's performance enhancements:
Testing conducted by Apple in October 2013 using preproduction Mac Pro 12-core 2.7GHz units with 1TB flash storage and AMD FirePro D700 graphics, and shipping Mac Pro 12-core 3.06GHz units with 512GB SSD and ATI Radeon HD 5870 graphics. All systems configured with 64GB of RAM. Tested with prerelease OS X 10.9 and prerelease Aperture 3.5 using RAW images. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of Mac Pro.
So on the one hand, that Apple would even include Aperture benchmarks is encouraging. On the other hand, the footnote seems to confirm that 3.5 is the Mac Pro upgrade, and that there won't be any major updates this year.
Maybe it has been only my experience, but most photographers I have run into that use(d) Aperture have switched, or are contemplating switching, to Lightroom.
Lightroom is hands down the tool of choice among prosumers, amateurs and wedding photographers, but most of the really serious photographers I come across seem to use Capture Pro One. I'm like the sole Aperture guy, and even I long ago hedged my bets and have every photo I have ever taken dutifully cataloged, taged and adjusted in both Lightroom and Aperture. At this point — with Apple's neglect of Aperture, and Adobe's greed and moves towards the subscription model —I'm tempted to just eschew this category of software altogether and go back to folders and TIFFs. When I think long and hard about it, these programs haven't really saved me any time or improved my photos in any measurable way. On the contrary, they have caused me endless grief, frustration, and uncertainty.
I share your sentiments as well Mark. The only difference is that I completely stopped processing all images in Aperture and have started to use LR exclusively...A very sad day but I see no indication that Apple is even interested in the pro photogpraphy market. This point upgrade is laughable for a pro shooter... It appears that Apple is more interested in facilitating a marriage or iPhoto (consumer) and Aperture (supposedly professional software) into iPhoto-ture... Many to most of my friends have simply removed Aperture from their Macs all together while I remain the lone holdout, hoping that Apple will release something...
As for Capture One, it is very good, but I wish that Nikon would provide hooks to use their RAW conversion engine as for Nikons it is the best at processing RAW's. I do like your TIFF idea. Tell me more.
Don Trammell wrote:
I do like your TIFF idea. Tell me more.
I have a Nikon D700 and a Sigma DP1 with a Foveon sensor (and I used to have a Sigma SD-14). Nikon raw support is no problem. Everything supports Nikons. But the Sigmas are such niche products, and their Foveon sensors are so unique, that raw support is difficult to come by. Aperture has never supported any Sigma raw format. Lightroom supports some, but their X3F (Sigma raw) decoding loses most of the unique character of the Foveon sensor and clips dynamic range. So for years my method for dealing with these Sigma raw files has been to use the very simple Sigma-supplied Photo Pro software to output low contrast 16-bit TIFFs with zero sharpening, and import these into Aperture where I bring the contrast back up with a curve.
The advantage of bringing in a low contrast 16-bit TIFF is that doing so preserves the full dynamic range of the Foveon image so that the resulting TIFF is effectively the same as the original raw file, provided I am careful to get the white balance correct before creating the TIFF. Also, the TIFF preserves the unique Foveon image quality for which I bought the Sigmas in the first place. I'm even comfortable tossing the raw files afterwards, as there are no more advantages to be gleaned once the TIFF is created (Foveon raw files don't require demosaicing, so there's no loss there anyway).
Obviously, NEFs are different and have to be demoasiced, but I'm starting to like the idea of breaking free from raw formats and Digital Asset Management software and just converting all of my raw files to 16-bit TIFFs.
Let's face it: half the reason we're trapped in these DAM applications is because everybody decodes raws differently, and the adjustments don't carry over from app to app (though, intriguingly, Capture One Pro has preliminary support for importing Lightroom libraries, support which preserves critical adjustments such as white balance, exposure, and cropping). I guess my complaint is that, rather than solving problems, these applications have created all new problems which we never had before.
Ideally, camera manufacturers would include the option to save unprocessed 16-bit TIFFs in-camera. My D700 will save TIFFs, but only 8-bit TIFFs, and they're processed like JPEGs, so that's a non-starter.
So the idea of going back to folders and TIFFs — which is how I worked back when my old Canon 10D was practically state of the art — has a lot of appeal to me.