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Doug b 02-11-2010 01:00 PM

Aperture 3 (doing the trial for kicks)
Aperture was the first DAM software I tried when we bought our first MacBook Pro back in 08'. Right off the bat I felt it was really too sluggish to be of any use. Spent more than half my time waiting for it to finish processing photos, before I could attempt to edit anything. That affair didn't last very long at all.

I think that for a while, I stuck to things like Picasa before trying out Lightroom. I've been using Lightroom 2 for about a year or less and have found the experience to be mostly good, but sometimes frustrating. Likely due to stupid me not RTFM/user error. But I'm finally getting the hang of it and am very close to having a real workflow. That might not sound like much, but when you're really anal retentive about how you keep your files, it really is !

I've spent a lot of time devising a way to keep my folders labled as well as having key worded a lot of my photos in order to take advantage of that system too. Keywords and projects are both very important aspects of both Lightroom and Aperture.

So now we have Aperture 3. I got the trial yesterday, and it is currently "processing" all of my RAW files, which will likely take a bunch of time. But the first thing I don't like, that I noticed (in comparison with LR) is that Aperture 3 shows you absolutely no indication of what it is doing exactly. Nor did it ask me how I wanted my photos to be processed in the initial stage.

Lightroom gives you options upon import, as far as how you'd like the preview images done. You can import them in a standard resolution, or less, or you can do 1:1 previews, or you can just import sidecar files. Aperture gave none of these options. Which is too bad, because it's extremely handy if you're busy. Lightroom also has an indicator bar at the top of the screen which denotes (with each line present) how many processes are taking place, and what those processes are. It also indicates when each said process will be finished. These are all really small but very important details that I am now missing sorely.

The second thing I noticed, is that Apple is boasting "200 new features", yet not one of them happens to be internal text watermarking ? Come on now.. It's a feature that not only professionals use, but amateurs and beginners use as well. Granted, Lightroom has to incorporate a plug-in for Watermarking to be as robust as it is with text, but at least it's within the program modules ! And come Lightroom 3, it will be a fully fledged feature. How could Apple miss the mark on that one ? Did people not care or ask for it ? And yeah, I know you can create watermarks with an external editor. But that's not what I'm talking about. Jumping through hoops is not a great answer.

What I do like thus far, is the GUI. It's very clean and easy to navigate. I really love the project style orientation, where folders are represented as albums. That's a huge plus over Lightroom's all or nothing view in the main screen. I mean yeah, I can view my photos in different ways, which I have to admit, serve an actual purpose for a workflow, but it would also be nice to have the layout as clean as what I'm seeing in Aperture's default album view.

I have yet to mess with "faces", but if it works the way Apple intends for it to, it should really be very cool. I guess I can say the same for "Places" too. I'm still waiting for it to "process" my RAW files, and it's already been well over an hour I believe. What I would like to know is, what information is it processing ? Is it actually processing different sizes of the master photo so that there's no lag time when zooming in and out ? Is it importing the tags I created in Lightroom ? (that would be awesome)

I'd like to know what others think about it. And just for the record, I'm already seeing a LOT of features that I miss from LR, which serve to make the workflow easier, so I doubt I'll switch.. but I could be wrong and that's why I'm testing it.

The one big negative though, aside from workflow stuff, is that I don't think that Aperture supports Nikon camera profiles. Profiles basically allow the processor to see as much of the original and intended data produced by the in camera's settings. Each camera has their own profile and they can emulate settings specific setting types. Without those profiles, the photo will be a lot harder to process, in order to get them to look like how the manufacturer intended.

Of course though.. this isn't the fault of Aperture. It's the ego of every stupid camera manufacturer out there. They don't like giving out their secret sauce ingredients in order to sell their own [usually] crappy photo processing software. Luckily though, Lightroom has profiles which are supposedly d@mned close to the originals.


Doug b 02-11-2010 05:01 PM

Well, I think I officially hate Aperture. It's the same d@mned resource hog years later ! I chose to import folders as an project.. so that it would import all of my RAW file folders at once.

At first, it seemed to be going rather quickly. It created all of the folder project icons, and after a while it stopped importing and went on to "Processing".
After close to two hours of this processing, it was enough. I had other tasks to do, but couldn't. Why ? Well, I'm not sure if it's because my 13" MacBook Pro Unibody doesn't have enough muscle *base model* or because the Aperture 3 code is d@mned sloppy ?

Everything came to a near stand still ! I had a few things open like text edit, a couple of IM programs and Lightroom. But Lightroom wasn't doing anything. Oh..and Firefox. So, I quit Firefox and Lightroom... but believe that I had to force quit one of them *FF I believe*.

I then attempted to close Aperture. RIIIGHT ! After finally even getting my dock to rise up so that I could try and quit Aperture, all this did was cause the "processing" to stop. Aperture then went on to "update the library" And lemmie tell you... at the speed it was updating, I was NOT about to sit around while not being able to perform another task with my MBP, as it updated nearly 10k files ! It was CRAWLING !

I then tried to force quit Aperture. sigh... I think it finally stopped after about 15-20 minutes.

Thanks Apple but no, again. Thanks for playing and come back when you find a way to not make Aperture such a sloppy, hungry pig ! All I know is that Lightroom has NEVER made my MBP choke like this, under ANY circumstance.


chas_m 02-12-2010 09:07 AM

You guys might enjoy the software mentioned in my signature, though I should caution that it is in early beta and not yet feature complete. If you feel adventurous, check it out. If not, just an option to keep in mind later on when its released.

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