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  1. #1


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    iPhoto replacement - Aperture vs. Lightroom
    I've been using iPhoto for about 6 years and although I really like the organizational features like events and albums, I am fed up with how slow it is. I've been looking around at alternatives and I think I've narrowed it down to Aperture and Lightroom.

    I'm not a professional photographer but have recently bought a DSLR and am learning to use it. I take a lot of pictures and my current iPhoto library is about 175 GB. I'm looking for something that will allow me to organize photos in folders/events and albums/collections, rate and tag photos for easy sorting/filtering, and make edits to RAW and JPEG images. I think both will do that. Synching with photo stream would be a big plus. I would like to move away from the giant database - something about having the individual files accessible seems safer to me (I know Aperture uses the large database, but am still considering it since it has a nice interface and would be an easy transition).

    I have a couple of questions for folks who have used these programs:
    1) Is Aperture as slow as iPhoto? If so, that's a deal breaker for me.
    2) How tough is it to transition from iPhoto to Lightroom? I would hate to have to re-organize years worth of pictures.

    I'd appreciate any other input on one of these programs vs. the other.

    Thanks!

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kliles View Post
    I've been using iPhoto for about 6 years and although I really like the organizational features like events and albums, I am fed up with how slow it is.
    Are you 100% sure the slowness is iPhoto...and not the size of the iPhoto library? If the iPhoto library has a "bazillion" photos in it...iPhoto will certainly be slower than if it had just 100 or 1000 photos.

    Check this out...and see if it helps:

    How to speed up a slow iPhoto library | Macworld

    - Nick

    p.s. Also...if your hard drive is getting full (say more than 80-85% full)...this doesn't help either.
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3


    Member Since
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    Thanks for the quick reply!

    Splitting my large library into multiple libraries might be a good place for me to start. If that helps the speed issue than I may be OK to stay with iPhoto; however, I would like to learn more about digital photography and editing, and I think I'll eventually need a more powerful editor to do so.

    I recently replaced my near-full hard drive, hoping it would help with this and other issues. It was definitely a good move for many reasons, but it hasn't helped with the iPhoto performance. I now have over 1TB free. I do only have 4GB of RAM though. I try to not have other things open when working in iPhoto, which helps a bit but doesn't fix the problem.

  4. #4


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    kliles: you haven't mentioned what model of Mac you have, but what you've said so far makes me think it is fairly old. I think the real problem you're running into might be the graphics card or chipset in your machine. If this is the case, you're going to have a similarly difficult time with Aperture or Lightroom. Let us know what machine you're working with there and be prepared ... the "right" answer might be to upgrade your Mac!

    I've been testing Lightroom, since I have it as part of the $10/month Photoshop and Lightroom CC deal from Adobe. I have to say honestly I'm not wild about it, but when working with RAW files it is certainly a leg up on iPhoto. It's pretty nice, I don't mean to dismiss it, but I'd sure like a demo of Aperture so I could test them side by side. I'd be happier if my MacPhun plug-ins worked more seamlessly with it. Perhaps I need to work with it more.

  5. #5

    Exodist's Avatar
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    @OP, Like Chas mentioned. Would really help to know what system your running.

    Now I prefer Lightroom to answer your question. Going from iPhoto to lightroom is like going from a cheap calculator to a iPad.. It just does so much more...

    BTW, Adobe has announced that the Photography $9.99 a month (yearly contract required) for Lightroom and Photoshop is now permeant.. SO everyone can rejoice on that one..

    If you really want to know the difference check out video tutorials on youtube.. Heck check my blog for that matter to see some of my Lr tutorials.. That will at least let you know how much there is a difference.. We can explain it all day, but unless you see it for yourself, thats only real way to grasp it.

    Joe's Photo & Video Channel on YouTube
    Lightroom, Photoshop, FCP, Gear Reviews and more...
    ***If someone helps you, please don't forget to use the reputation system.***

  6. #6

    Demapples's Avatar
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    The news yesterday about Apple dropping Aperture changes this thread's direction.
    Longtime Windows, then onto slippery slope with iPod/iTunes in 2006, then Apple TV, iPad, iMac, iPhone, rejuvenated a discarded MacBook and, finally, Apple Watch. Happy camper.

  7. #7

    TattooedMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Demapples View Post
    The news yesterday about Apple dropping Aperture changes this thread's direction.
    And iPhotot. The ONLY photo app on OS X and iOS is called Photos, so lets see, where it goes. Pro, semi Pro ??
    At least they will support Yosemite, but anything further and we all will be looking for a new DAM
    Dont forget to use the Reputation System if someone has helped you out !!!
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  8. #8

    Exodist's Avatar
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    They are dropping both.. OMG.. thats not good for consumers really.. Personally I don't use iPhoto. But my wife loves it..

    Joe's Photo & Video Channel on YouTube
    Lightroom, Photoshop, FCP, Gear Reviews and more...
    ***If someone helps you, please don't forget to use the reputation system.***

  9. #9

    Slydude's Avatar
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    If I remember the keynote correctly iPhoto will be replaced by a new program called Photos. I'll wait till that's out before I make any decisions. about replacing Aperture. My needs are modest for the most part.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  10. #10

    chscag's Avatar
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    I really don't care provided the program that replaces iPhoto is included with Yosemite and I assume iOS 8. Also, as in previous moves by Apple to replace their apps with newer and better versions (re: iWork, GarageBand, iMovie) they will leave the old version in place in addition to including the new app. So again, much ado over nothing.

  11. #11

    Slydude's Avatar
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    That's why I'm waiting before making any decisions about where to go next. From what I saw of the keynote The new program seems to add some new/more powerful features and integrate well with IOS 8.

    I have the current version of Aperture though I haven't really learned it well yet. My suspicion is that the iPhoto replacement may well me most if not all my photo editing/organization needs.
    Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  12. #12

    TattooedMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    I really don't care provided the program that replaces iPhoto is included with Yosemite and I assume iOS 8. Also, as in previous moves by Apple to replace their apps with newer and better versions (re: iWork, GarageBand, iMovie) they will leave the old version in place in addition to including the new app. So again, much ado over nothing.
    From what I have read Charlie, is they will be bringing in "Photos" next year, but will be doing a final update to iPhoto and Aperture to give support for Yosemite, so as long as you stay on Yosemite, you will be OK and will be OK until 10.11 Eureka so there is no need to fret about it all just yet.

    If you have a read of the article I posted here http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/app...-aperture.html from Joseph @ApertureExpert he tells it how it is and not to worry too much. Good write up by him.
    Dont forget to use the Reputation System if someone has helped you out !!!
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  13. #13


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    Just to expand a little on what Tattooed Mac said:

    1. As stated, those of you using Aperture don't have to panic anytime soon. It now becomes obvious why Aperture and iPhoto now use the same library format ... it's the format Photos is going to use.

    2. Photos is likely to have a blend of consumer and semi-pro features, since the people working on Aperture are now being reallocated to it. Having said that, DON'T EXPECT MUCH FROM VERSION 1. We've all seen this movie before (Apple replaces/completely revamps something to restructure the foundation for various good reasons), and here's how it goes: Apple brings out replacement app. Old app STILL WORKS FINE, but people throw enormous hissy fits and generally set their own hair on fire because replacement app doesn't have EVERY feature and then some from old app, and because it changes their workflow and CHANGE IS BAD.

    **Over time**, features get added, stuff gets polished, workflow becomes comfortable and before you know it, the new program is actually better than the old program both under and over the hood. The grumblers subside, people start to appreciate the program/changes, then it gets even better. Then Apple kills it. Lather, rinse, repeat.

    3. Once Photos comes out, many will want to stay with iPhotos or Aperture for a while longer. Feel free to do so, but check back in with Photos every so often with a fresh perspective. I'll wager that by the time a year after release has rolled round, you'll be willing to make the switch if you haven't already.

    4. And if Photos isn't going to meet a professional's or serious semi-pro's needs (and it probably won't), there's Lightroom, there's AfterShot Pro 2, or maybe the people who did Pixelmator will decide to do something else. Or others we're not familiar with now. The Mac universe abhors a vacuum for the most part.

  14. #14

    TattooedMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_m View Post
    I've been testing Lightroom, since I have it as part of the $10/month Photoshop and Lightroom CC deal from Adobe. I have to say honestly I'm not wild about it, but when working with RAW files it is certainly a leg up on iPhoto. It's pretty nice, I don't mean to dismiss it, but I'd sure like a demo of Aperture so I could test them side by side. I'd be happier if my MacPhun plug-ins worked more seamlessly with it. Perhaps I need to work with it more.
    If I had a DAM with the File structure of Aperture and the developing features of LR, then I would have the perfect DAM IMO. . . . . The way LR uses their files/folders is just down right BAD, and there is no continuity to it, no logical way of sorting, its a abomination . . . I loved the way I could find any image I wanted within seconds in Aperture . . . . From the screen shot I have seen of Photos, then I think we are going to be pleasantly surprised with what it has to offer. Heck even iPhoto on iOS had a lot of great feature and all of them where in Aperture.
    Dont forget to use the Reputation System if someone has helped you out !!!
    Arguing with a zealot is only slightly easier than tunneling through a mountain with your forehead!!!!!
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  15. #15


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    TMac: thanks for helping articulate one of the nagging issues I've had with Lightroom. Couldn't put my finger on it till you said that.

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