storage question: Nikon Transfer and iPhoto/Aperture

Started Apr 27, 2013 | Discussions thread
DiploStrat
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Re: storage question: Nikon Transfer and iPhoto/Aperture
In reply to Tone654, Apr 28, 2013

... because I like the fact that the files are visible in a normal folder structure, and I'm confident that I can copy/export them to any other place that I might need them. I don't have this confidence about iPhoto/Aperture, since the files are buried somewhere that I don't understand.

A "package" is actually just a folder. You can open it, read/write, etc. It is "sealed" to prevent you from doing accidental damage to files that are part of a data base.

I have a concern that at some point in the future, if I switch to using different software I won't be able to export the photos,

Only if your copy of iPhoto or Aperture fails so totally that it cannot run. And then you can always, as noted above, use the Finder. (And iPhoto and Aperture keep your files much more neatly than you will ever be able to.)

or that iPhoto or Aperture will have somehow messed with the RAW files so that I'm stuck with some proprietary Apple files that aren't usable elsewhere. Is this something I should or shouldn't be concerned about?

Well, yes and no. At this point, RAW files cannot be edited, period. The only semi exception to this is that Nikon (and perhaps Canon, et al) can write notes inside the RAW file that their software can see, but no other programs can read these. iPhoto/Aperture/Lightroom all use what is called a non-destructive workflow. Unlike Photoshop (and other programs) which read and rewrite a file (not a RAW), iPhoto et al keep all of their edits in a separate file which is recombined with the original, which may be RAW or JPEG or whatever, on the fly, to show you the new image.
So:

* Your RAW files will never be changed, no matter what program you use.

* Edits made in iPhoto or Aperture or Lightroom will always be stored in separate, proprietary files. So if you go from Lightroom to Aperture, you will lose your edits, but not your originals. Of course, the only real reason to change from one to the other is that you expect the new program to give better image quality, so you would probably want to redo your images anyway.

N.B. The real issue to to be sure that you have multiple backups of all of your data. I use Time Machine, SuperDuper!, and Crashplan for off site, but there are other ways to accomplish this. Having had a HD die last week, back up, back up, back up!

Hope this is helpful.

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