5 Replies Latest reply: Jul 3, 2013 7:36 AM by léonie
billbir Level 1 (0 points)

I have been contemplating purchasing Aperture. I already use iPhoto and Pixelmator. I am an enthusiastic amateur, with a collection of about 3000 photos, but am looking for the best quality at my level. Would the addition of Aperture be a worthwhile investment and why?

iMac 27" i5, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • léonie Level 10 (90,985 points)

    What is it, that you are missing, when you are working with iPhoto?


    Aperture does mostly what iPhoto is doing, but you have more advanced options to do it.

    • Raw fine tuning - if you are shooting raw images, you have more control over the raw developement.
    • Advanced image editing - you can apply most adjustments locally by brushing them in and having multiple instances of them with different settings applied to the same image.
    • Hierarchical keyword sets and access to the iPTC and EXIF tags,
    • More smart rules in searches and smart albums
    • More options to organize the projects (events), albums, products (books, slideshows,light tables) in a hierarchical folder structure.
    • Tools to manage a referenced library (keep the original images on different external drives, if the library gets too large for an internal disk)
    • ..... and many more


    iPhoto is a great tool, but if you find yourself restricted by the simple and basic features and are longing formore freedom for your workflow consider Aperture.

    You will be able to use your photo libraries with both programs, since they are using the same library format.




  • billbir Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Leonie,


    Thanks for your helpful reply. I suppose that I do not know what I am missing from iPhoto. I realise that it is a pretty basic program and supplement it with Pixelmator for photo editing. I have gleaned from your reply that Aperture provides an integrated approach so that you switch from the basic iPhoto to the more sophisticated Aperture fairly easily. The improved organising of photos also appeals to me. I am not sure that I understand the advantages of tagging metadata but presumably a tutorial should be available somewhere.


    Thanks again for taking the time to respond to my query.

  • léonie Level 10 (90,985 points)

    There are introductory videos on the Aperture Support page:  http://www.apple.com/support/aperture/


    Also look at the online version of the Aperture User manual:



    And Kirby Krieger's recommendations here: Re: How to merge projects in Aperture 3.4


    . I am not sure that I understand the advantages of tagging metadata but presumably a tutorial should be available somewhere.




    You can have hierarchical keywords:

    For example for nature photos you may want to tag your photos with keywords like "Animals" and "Plants", and within the "Animals" categorie you want "Birds" and "Cats", within the "Birds" categories "Waterfowl" and "Songbirds".


    In Aperture you set up the a hierarchy:


    • Animal
      •   Birds
        •     Waterfowl
          •       Duck
        •     Songbirds
          •       Sparrow
      •   Cats
        •     Tiger


    Now, If you tag an image with the keyboard "Sparrow", it will automatically included in all searches for "Songbirds", "Birds", and "Animals" as well.


    You can search for all kinds of EXIF or IPTC tags, and define presets of metadata, that should be applied automatically when importing into Aperture. Defining presets is what you will be doing for all aspects of managing your photos. You can customize your workspace and the tools you are using. For example, if you find that your raw photos are all underexposed, because you have set the camera to preserve highlights, you can define an import prset to automatically increase the exposure on imort.


    In iPhoto you may find it difficult to drag between events, because only one event ca be viewed at a time. In Aperture you can open browsers for more than one project (event) or album.

    Just have a look at the documents at the Aperture Support page.



  • billbir Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi Leonie,


    Thanks for the advice and links. That should keep me busy for a while!


    I have learned from your reply and can see the organisational power of Aperture.


    I have been very fortunate to have you respond to my query.



  • léonie Level 10 (90,985 points)

    You are welcome, Bill!