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Aperture or Lightroom for 15” MBP?


Indianapolis, US
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JustJeff Registered since 14th Mar 2011
Sun 13-Nov-11 02:22 PM

Does anyone here have enough experience with both Aperture and Lightroom to assess which program might be better for my specific situation?

I’m in the process of buying my first computer and processing software dedicated solely to photography. Unlike many photographers in 2011, I'm buying on a clean slate: although I have used PCs for many years for other purposes, I want to buy a system now that will best serve my photography. After a fair amount of research and consideration, I've decided on a 15" Macbook Pro, which takes that threshold issue off the table. The question I really need to answer now is whether Aperture or Lightroom would be better for my specific needs. Obviously, the final call on that issue will be mine. Just as obviously, though, my decision-making process will improve if I consider the opinions of people who are far more informed than I on this particular question.

After a fair amount of research, I’m leaning strongly toward Aperture, with Photoshop to come later, if at all. I’ve looked on Nikoscope and generally online, but it’s not easy to find opinions from people who know both Aperture and Lightroom. My general online research did manage to find head-to-head comparisons of Aperture and Lightroom that say such things as these on the more editing-related functions, as opposed to the organizational functions:

-- Aperture is easier to learn for photographers who are new to photo editing (a description that fits me);

-- Aperture lets you edit/tweak/etc at any point in the process, whereas LR is so structured that it forces you to do any particular function only at its assigned place in the process;

-- Aperture is better for photographers who strive to "get it right in the camera" (as I in my persistent slide-film mentality still do);

-- Aperture is actually appreciably better than LR at the editing functions themselves (as one experienced Aperture user wrote after testing whether he should change to LR3, a point that might bias such an appraisal in favor of Aperture); and,

-- When combined with Photoshop, Aperture actually gives you access to a wider range of functions than when PS is combined with LR because (as you'd expect) Aperture does not overlap with PS as much as LR does.

The arguments favoring LR over Aperture often stress that most of the known world uses LR, that training is easier to find for LR, and so on. Focusing solely on the merits of each program for day-to-day use, though, my research suggests that Aperture is very likely a better choice for my particular situation.

Thoughts? Suggestions?


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