Hi everyone. Being relatively new to digital photography, I'm just starting to grasp how much post-processing is part of the whole practice. Up to now, what PP I've done has been simple tweaking in iPhoto on my Mac. Now I'd like to step up in capability, and find myself in that oft-cited dilemma: Lightroom or Aperture. I know this has been discussed already (my apologies), but I still can't come to any decision.
I'm leaning toward Aperture because all my photos are in iPhoto, I'm familiar with Apple UI, and my brain pretty much has struggled with Adobe interfaces (I have the full CS3 suite, from when I took a college design course). I'm also weak on file management, and I hear that Aperture is a little better on that score. And while Aperture lacks a few key LR features such as lens correction, I understand that that is remedied with plug-ins. Given the lower price, I've almost pulled the trigger and bought Aperture, except...
It seems almost everyone is using Adobe LR ... and I hear there are questions about whether Apple will continue to support Aperture.
Oh I should add: I don't have the option of the 30-day free trial on either product. (Apple doesn't offer it anymore, and my Adobe trial expired before I had a chance to check it out. It's a long story.)
I thought choosing lenses was difficult. This choice could drive me crazy! Please help.
Tom....I can tell you I simply love Lightroom 5 and all it's predecessors. It is simple to use (very intuitive) and never ever has given me cause to want any other program. I process well over a thousand photos every weekend during my busy season, and it has always performed like a champ.
I have a lot of "post" software (Nik / On-One,/ Photoshop CS4/ and even Aperture) etc. LR is the only one I would never give up if pushed to dump all but one.
If you are already using an Apple product, and you like the Apple UI, and Aperture (with plug-ins) very likely will do the job for you, then it makes sense to go that way unless and until you find that it won't do something you want to do.
There is no need to switch now based on possible future events (which may never happen). Staying with Apple is quite inexpensive and gives you continuity and you are happier there.
If at some point you need a capability that Aperture doesn't give you, then you will have a reason to switch. PP is a big part of digital photography, as you get into it more you will know if/when you need to switch.
All the major packages have their advantages (personally I'm an Adobe user on a Mac), but, particularly as you start out and don't know which is best for you, any one of them will start you off well.
I started out with Capture NX2 also... I liked it, but never used it long enough to love it. I have Photoshop because I use that for other things too (I use it for drawings, etc.) But, getting Lightroom changed my world. That is what I use for my photos without question (and I've not even updated to 5 yet but am planning on that as soon as i get a new computer here shortly). I think Lightroom is much more intuitive and is easy to follow the work flow based on it's layout. You really won't be disappointed.
I started with iPhoto and eventually moved to Aperture. Newer versions of these two applications use a common library. Very easy to move back and forth between the two applications. Aperture does almost everything I want. Library management is very good. Editing is easy and intuitive. Available plug ins (such as NIK and Portrait Professional) are great.
The de facto standard for photo management and editing seems to be Lightroom. I have Lightroom. It is indeed very good. LR has a few features that Aperture does not. Aperture has been slow to deliver major upgrades to stay up with LR features.
I have been trying to move to using LR as my primary image management and editing tool. But, I have found it difficult. I have a large library of photos managed and edited with Aperture. I am very comfortable with Aperture's user interface. I keep falling back to Aperture.
My advise is if you want to align with the de facto standard moving to LR ASAP is a good move. But, if you have a large library of photos managed and edited in iPhoto and it is valuable to seamlessly move these to Aperture, then Aperture is the way to go.
============================== Nikon D7100 & Nikon D3200 Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 AT-X116 Pro DX II Sigma 17-50mm F2.8 EX DC (OS)* HSM Sigma 50-150mm f/2.8 EX DC APO OS HSM Nikkor AF-S DX 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikkor AF-S DX 35mm F/1.8 Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Manfrotto 190CXPRO3 carbon fiber tripod Markins Ball Head Q10i-K Knob Release
Learning one package or another isn't going to make or break you. The things that matter you can learn in any of them. If you learned old Adobe products they "Ain't your daddy's software any more". New Photoshop CC is a monster app and takes time to master but has all the features ever dreamed of. Lightroom is a great start.
They all do the same things and some a little more or easier and you'll never know the differences until you get some images under your belt. If you learn the basic concepts in ANY package you can switch with minimal pain.
Just staring out means you could be around a long time and you will learn all this stuff mostly because it's way cool working in the light rather than in a darkroom with chemicals. It is something that grows with you too so just find someplace nice to start but don't stop reaching further!
Thanks again, everyone. It sounds as though I can't go wrong with either one, at least for the purposes of getting my feet wet in post-processing. I just discovered that there are a bunch of video tutorials and demonstrations of both products, so I'll peruse those and see if I can get a sense of which one appeals more to me.
Just thought I'd chime in just in case you haven't already decided, or others stumble across the thread and are facing the same dilemma.
I am also a Mac user, and very recently facing the same decision. I would have chosen Aperture, except that for 80USD, I was about to buy a software package that would be obsolete in about 3-4 months, when Apple releases their new Photos app with the latest OS update. I simply don't find that to be a good investment.
Therefore, the alternative choices are Lightroom 5 (10 USD per month, I think) or a free app like View NX that comes with Nikon dSLRs (and is a free download) or Picasa while you wait for the new Photos app in the fall.
I decided to download a free 30-day trial of Lightroom and am enjoying it. Will make the decision again when the 30 days are up but it feels like a keeper.
Post-processing is magical.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Don't know what the heck I'm doing half the time, but boy am I enjoying myself! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Apple has recently announced they are discontinuing Aperture. They will be moving to Photos app and might have something interesting - but at this point the jury is out.
I think the default product remains Lightroom unless you have a compelling reason to choose something else. It's relatively cheap, functionality is excellent, and it is a market leading product from a company that is in the design and photo software business.
Short of LR, I'd choose a simple free program like Nikon View NX2 - to be replaced by Nikon NX-D - or something similar.
I think Apple's announcement changes the situation for you. As others have said: 1. Whichever one you learn on, the concepts (maybe not the mechanics) transfer very well to another if you switch later, so don't panic 2. Adobe is the standard so it will give you the longest, straightest path into the future with the best support, although possibly not the most advanced of each and every feature 3. Since Apple has now cast Aperture adrift (maybe Photo will do what you need / maybe it won't), you can't give it equal weight anymore.
At this point (July), decisions made in April should be revisited if you are still unsure of the direction to take. If you have started with Aperture then you can wait and see what Photo brings, but LR is looking like a stronger option than it was 3 months ago.
The $10/mo PS and LR is a deal and when I saw it a few minutes ago I purchased a one year subscription. It will let me learn PS and LR, which I have never used, and use Coral PSP too. I am sure I'll find a balance. I like the mobile abilities they advertised for LR. Very cool.
For years I have chosen to stay with the Paint Shop programs largely because of the high cost of PhotoShop. I do have LR5 and it is great.
This new arrangement for a monthly subscription, while I generally dislike ongoing fees like that, is really good in this case because no matter which direction you go, upgrades are no longer a small consideration.
I love aperture and hope Apples new app will be a winner but I am also looking at DXO optics pro. I do not know why but this app and the packs they offer really seem to fit what i would like. I know nothing of LR or DXO but it might be worth looking into.
Mon 25-Aug-14 06:38 PM | edited Mon 25-Aug-14 06:40 PM by John Bertotti
Well haveI DxO still as a demo not sure about it yet or not, I find myself still going back to aperture to work and have recently seen that I have a whole lot more to learn about post processing.Agitater a cohort here took a pic I had tweaked and he re-tweaked it himself and made incredible improvements I still only dream of. He used ACDSee pro 7. I see it is currently on sale until Sept 4 for $64.99. I really want to stick with aperture but the uncertainty has me a bit nervous. I am holding out until I see Photos and a revision or two. But if anyone is in the market this looks like a good deal.
All these available programs in a range of prices or subscriptions sure do make things a bit more difficult on the decision process. I have always wanted PS but it was always way to expensive for me. This online subscription rubs me the wrong way but when I think about what PS cost when I look flat i could have the subscription for years and still have spent less then the cost of the program. I am more inclined to think the 10$ a month is a pretty good deal. As long as there are no imposed watermarks when you get rid of your subscription and you can keep you photos to store yourself and give up no rights to them. i have not looked into it that far.
Have you decided on a program yet? I know like I said above I am nervous as to the state of aperture and photos but when I think about it if I was coming into this now and moving on from iPhoto I would still go with aperture even thought it is on its way out. I think that it isn't such a big deal because the competitors will be all over the aperture users with instructions for conversion to their systems and possibly deal, especially if photos is a true dud. I will remain confident it will work out in the end. The one thing I haven't down is buy the NIK plugins. I wanted them but will not spend good money for plugins for a program with no real support moving forward.
MyDadsF2 I am curious what you have settled into for a program so let us know please!
Thanks for weighing in, John. I haven't purchased a post-processing program yet, because I've had so little time for photography lately (heresy, I know) and I've spent what little time I have just getting to know my camera.
But I'm most likely getting LR because there's a lot of third-party instructional material for it (including free videos through my local library) and it can probably do everything I need and then some. Also, I believe it's still available for purchase on disk; I too dislike the subscription model.
But I've decided to put post-processing on the back burner until I can devote some real time to learning a new app.
BTW, back when I bought Creative Suite 3 (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, Dreamweaver, Bridge & Adobe Acrobat Pro), I got the whole bundle for $350 by enrolling in a college class and getting the student discount. I don't know if that kind of deal still exists with the current subscription pricing, but it might be worth looking into.
I actually thought about enrolling my wife, I travel to much for any kind of structured schooling, into a class just to get the discount through her! When aperture came down to 79$ I jumped on it instead. No regrets but I do wish I had some of the adobe stuff when I really want to mess around and start layering pictures and getting real creative. Have fun learning the camera! Post pics here in the relevant forums these people are a big help! I think I have learned as much here as I have from any previous photography classes I had in the distant past!
I was taking a class through the local university's extended-education program. I was surprised that enrolling in a single (once a week) class would qualify me for the student discount, but it did. Nowadays, I think you can even sign up for an online class (as long as it's an accredited school) and get student status.
Thanks for the encouragement. I'm still reluctant to post my photos, but I'll get over that hump eventually.
That is a problem here a lot of new people see the amazing stuff the advanced people post and get to intimidated to post. Go for it though because these people will only help you to improve. Also the more new people that post pics up the more likely more people will post new pics up. Only takes a trickle to break a dam.
Since you own an Apple, why would you want to use an adobe product for your post processing. I own an Apple, first starting with iPhoto and then moving to Aperture, and no desire to use and adobe product. So far it has satisfied my photo needs quite well. Since you live in the Bay Area and have access to various Apple Stores with their trained personnel (dedicated to Aperture), you have the oppotunity to use a valuable tool. The website the apertureexpert.com is a resource providing helpful tutorial and operation informaion, plus news updates.
Mon 25-Aug-14 11:10 PM | edited Tue 26-Aug-14 03:23 AM by John Bertotti
Hope springs eternal that the photos app won't be dummied down. Sad really, but since my earlier post I got back into DxO it found it quire intuitive more so then aperture. To bad it doesn't do DAM. I suspect that will be something Photos will do well right off.
We understand the premise of Apple's recent statement regarding Aperture. However many of us are patiently awaiting for the launch new operating system and photo app for further direction. Aperture covers all my post-processing needs for the D610, so I am content. We will see how Apple's direction unfolds.
Launching off on a new tool in the hopes that an unknown replacement is a good tool for serious photographers is a bit risky. I don't see Apple going after the higher end photographic market at this point. They wouldn't leave current Aperture users hanging if they were going to have something at least as sophisticated. You could go through two or more learning cycles before settling into something that met your needs.
Nothing to do but wait it out, no gamble, because changing now costs money changing later costs money but if photos does do what aperture does we ain't out any cash!
The OP has the right idea, use what his using now, learn his gear and on a photos is out make a decision I wouldn't invest in it now knowing it is basically abandon but for those of with it there is nothing to lose waiting.