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Images, Graphic Design, and Digital Photography Discussion of all things graphics.

Aperture or Adobe Lightroom for Photographers

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Igor39's Avatar
Member Since: Oct 14, 2008
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So this is a question for people who take photography very seriously. I have had experience with Lightroom in the past and it has done many great things for my photos, but that was on a PC, now that I am a Mac owner I am considering Aperture. At first glance the two programs seem to have plenty of similarities, and it does seem easier to organize with Aperture, but I have only used it on a couple of occasions. So if there is anyone out there who has experience with both programs, please weigh in. Thanks.
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I used both for the free trial periods and ended up with Lightroom. To be completely honest, it is all about what works for you though. A few friends swear by Aperture, while me and a few others swear by Lightroom. I would download both and wear out the trial periods, then see which one you really like the best.

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I agree with trying both trials to get a feel for the apps. I ended up with Aperture and really like it and use it all the time. I could not see why Lightroom was so much more expensive for basically the same features.
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Member Since: Dec 24, 2006
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I am one who swears by Aperture

* I have NOT tried Light room
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Definetly try both.

When Lightroom first came out it was, in my opinion, pretty poor when compared to Aperture. Lightroom 1.4 improved things a lot but Aperture 2 still wiped the floor with it (again, in my opinion). However Lightroom 2 has really levelled the playing field and Apple will have to make some very serious improvements in the next version of Aperture if they want to stop Adobe from becoming the run away winner.

As it stands Aperture's library management is still vastly superior to Lightroom's. Some say that it is easy to search and find photos in Lightroom via keywords compared to Aperture but I don't have to do that very often and even when I have I've found Aperture to be perfectly usable.

One thing that is definitely worth experimenting with is to see how each program processes the RAW files from your camera. I have a Canon 30D and found that Aperture produced better results than Lightroom did from the same RAW file. Now this isnt to say that you cannot achieve the same results in both programs, just that I could produce the result I was happy with much more quickly and easily in Aperture than I could in Lightroom.

Where Aperture has really dropped the ball is with plugins and presets. In theory the fact that Aperture now supports plugins could make it a massively powerful program but the problem is that the plugins are just soooo expensive and as Aperture cannot be cross platform the plugins are never going to become as cheap as many of the Photoshop plugins already are and if Adobe ever add Photoshop Plugin support to Lightroom then that would kill this feature of Aperture overnight. Presets are a very big draw in Lightroom and the fact that Aperture doesnt have anything similar is a big mistake as presets really can be highly creative and incredibly quick to use which is the whole point of such programs.

I started off using only Aperture and Aperture is still my favoured program but I do now have Lightroom too because there are some things it simply does better.
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I swear by lightroom. I have both programs but rarely use Aperture. What i like about Lightroom is the way the software is designed. Its so simple and everything is pretty much self explanatory. All its features are right there on the side bar and you don't have to go browsing for some file everytime you need it.

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software is all about the users style.
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