Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

Started Apr 17, 2013 | Discussions
The A-Team
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Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
Apr 17, 2013

I have been using Aperture for about 3 years now, and I think it's time for a switch. Speed issues.

For those who have switched, what has been your experience? Are you pleased overall? What aspects are you more pleased with? What are you less happy with?

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Derek C
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Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
In reply to The A-Team, Apr 17, 2013

The A-Team wrote:

I have been using Aperture for about 3 years now, and I think it's time for a switch. Speed issues.

For those who have switched, what has been your experience? Are you pleased overall? What aspects are you more pleased with? What are you less happy with?

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Long time Aperture user and still loving it, its fast and gets the job done.

Because Aperture is now a bit long in the tooth I was curious enough to trial Lightroom, whilst I found Lightroom to be very similar in terms of processing and the end result achieved, I stuck with Aperture as its (a) faster (for me) than Lightroom and (b) has a way nicer user interface.

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Dr Chandra
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Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
In reply to Derek C, Apr 17, 2013

Having recently switched to Lightroom 4, my observations are:

Lightroom's adjustments cope better with poorly exposed images than Aperture's. Both applications can rescue highlights and shadows to the same degree but the results in Lightroom look nicer. If your images are well exposed to begin with, I find processing results to be about equal.

Lens corrections are very nice and extremely useful. The sharpening workflow is powerful and has better visual feedback to guide your settings than in Aperture.

Lightroom's organisation sucks. Aperture's Project metaphor is far more powerful than Lightroom's folder based approach. Aperture's smart folders are also better, with more relevant criteria available.

In Aperture's workflow, the image comes first and you decide which process you want to apply (organise, post-process,  export etc) whereas in Lightroom's workflow, the process comes first and is then applied to the images (and the interface is often specific to the process). In practice I have found Aperture's workflow far simpler and switching between processes mid-flow (say jumping from editing to key wording to geotagging and back) much easier. Lightroom imposes a modular workflow and Adobe intends photographers to work sequentially through importing to editing and finally publishing their images, which I've found works fine until you need to break that sequence and you are then let down by poor interface design that hampers your ability to quickly jump between modules without losing your place.

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Jacques Cornell
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Other way 'round
In reply to The A-Team, Apr 17, 2013

The A-Team wrote:

I have been using Aperture for about 3 years now, and I think it's time for a switch. Speed issues.

For those who have switched, what has been your experience? Are you pleased overall? What aspects are you more pleased with? What are you less happy with?

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My biz partner used Aperture and Lightroom side by side for years, then defaulted to Aperture after version 3 came out, primarily because of LR's modular interface. He's got a Nikon D800E, which really taxes the hardware, and doesn't see a substantial speed difference between the two apps. If speed is your bugaboo, there are a few things you can do. First, when editing (reviewing & ranking), in Aperture you can hit the "P" key to switch to Quick View mode, which displays a RAW file's built-in JPEG preview rather than rendering the RAW file. This give almost instantaneous image display when clicking through large numbers of images. Second, with my referenced Aperture libraries, I've found that putting the libraries on an SSD makes most operations perkier. The referenced image files reside on a Thunderbolt RAID, which is no slouch, either. Having at least 8GB RAM helps, and 16GB is marginally better. Also, if you're on a Core 2 Duo or Core i5 machine, the newer Core i7 processors are substantially faster. A quad-Core i7 Mac mini with 16GB RAM and an SSD makes a killer budget Aperture machine. It seems that Aperture 3 is less GPU-dependent than earlier versions, so the lack of a separate graphics card is not a liability. My 2012 13" Macbook Pro is 50% faster than my 2008 8-core Mac Pro was.

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Andy Hewitt
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Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
In reply to The A-Team, Apr 18, 2013

I couldn't even get LR to work. I downloaded the trial only a few days ago, as I'd spotted the price seems to have dropped a lot lately.

It just runs with a 'couldn't switch module' error, and then you can't seem to do anything, there's not even an obvious way to import images.

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Alpha Doug
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Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
In reply to Andy Hewitt, Apr 18, 2013

I'm not a big LR fan, but how abothe big big "Import" button at the lower left corner of the Library module screen?

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Robert Peters
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Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
In reply to Andy Hewitt, Apr 18, 2013

Create new preferences for LR5.  Repair permissions and offer the entrails of a chicken to appease the gods

Importing:  Look in the File menu for "Import Photos and Video...".

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fyngyrz
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UNHappily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
In reply to Robert Peters, Apr 18, 2013

I switched because Apple dropped support for camera RAW in OSX 10.6.8 -- Wouldn't even have considered it otherwise. 10.6.8 is where I'm staying, the last upgrade was a huge PITA (for me, your milage will almost certainly differ) and I don't plan to go through that again. If Apple comes with a new Mac Pro, I'll probably buy one and move to the latest OSX at that time, and I'll probably move right back to Aperture, too.

Lightroom's image management is simpler; you might like it, or not. But Aperture's image operators are more powerful and more consistently organized than Lightroom's. For instance, you can adjust contrast and brightness in Lightroom, but you can't switch that module on and off. But you can with the noise reduction module. Why? Who knows? It's just... inconsistent. With Aperture, you can turn it all on and off, feature by feature. Excellent for before after comparisons... did that really improve the image, or are you fooling yourself? You *can* switch everything on and off, but that's not the same thing at all.

One thing, though: Lightroom's noise reduction beats Aperture's hands down. If you're a user of, for example, Noise Ninja or DFine, that won't matter. But if you want it as a basic feature, Aperture's noise reduction is ultra lame.

Aperture's lift and stamp is a bit better than the equivalent functionality in Lightroom as well.

But for me... Lightroom can read my 6D images, and Aperture, under 10.6.8, cannot. So Lightroom it is. For me.

If you're running the latest OSX, then odds are excellent you'd find Aperture a stronger toolkit. Especially with a few plugins added. Noise reduction (cough.)

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Calxoddity
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Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
In reply to The A-Team, Apr 18, 2013

Hi,

I tried Lightroom 3 and didn't like it.  I downloaded the LR 5 beta two days ago and have been trying to use it because I like to understand what my options are.

Unfortunately, I just can't enjoy using LR due to its haphazard interface and modal behaviour - it grates with me every time I use it.

Perhaps LR does do noise reduction and lens correction better than Aperture, but I'm frustrated the other 75% of the time when I don't need the extra that LR gives.  With the full Nik plugin suite and Aperture's current feature set, there's just no compelling reason for me to change.

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Stu 5
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Re: UNHappily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
In reply to fyngyrz, Apr 18, 2013

fyngyrz wrote:

I switched because Apple dropped support for camera RAW in OSX 10.6.8 -- Wouldn't even have considered it otherwise. 10.6.8 is where I'm staying, the last upgrade was a huge PITA (for me, your milage will almost certainly differ) and I don't plan to go through that again. If Apple comes with a new Mac Pro, I'll probably buy one and move to the latest OSX at that time, and I'll probably move right back to Aperture, too.

Lightroom's image management is simpler; you might like it, or not. But Aperture's image operators are more powerful and more consistently organized than Lightroom's. For instance, you can adjust contrast and brightness in Lightroom, but you can't switch that module on and off. But you can with the noise reduction module. Why? Who knows? It's just... inconsistent. With Aperture, you can turn it all on and off, feature by feature. Excellent for before after comparisons... did that really improve the image, or are you fooling yourself? You *can* switch everything on and off, but that's not the same thing at all.

I take it you have not used Lightroom since version 3 as it no longer has a 'brightness' setting. It has a 'whites' setting. You can't turn 'contrast' and 'whites' off because they are basic settings that you need to at least look at every time. They are also not separate as they come under other basic settings. Noise reduction though also comes under the same section as input sharpening, so if your going to look at sharpening each time which you should at least do you will have noise reduction open at the same time anyway.

One thing, though: Lightroom's noise reduction beats Aperture's hands down. If you're a user of, for example, Noise Ninja or DFine, that won't matter. But if you want it as a basic feature, Aperture's noise reduction is ultra lame.

Aperture's lift and stamp is a bit better than the equivalent functionality in Lightroom as well.

But for me... Lightroom can read my 6D images, and Aperture, under 10.6.8, cannot. So Lightroom it is. For me.

If you're running the latest OSX, then odds are excellent you'd find Aperture a stronger toolkit. Especially with a few plugins added. Noise reduction (cough.)

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Stu 5
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Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
In reply to Calxoddity, Apr 18, 2013

Calxoddity wrote:

Hi,

I tried Lightroom 3 and didn't like it.  I downloaded the LR 5 beta two days ago and have been trying to use it because I like to understand what my options are.

Unfortunately, I just can't enjoy using LR due to its haphazard interface and modal behaviour - it grates with me every time I use it.

Perhaps LR does do noise reduction and lens correction better than Aperture, but I'm frustrated the other 75% of the time when I don't need the extra that LR gives.  With the full Nik plugin suite and Aperture's current feature set, there's just no compelling reason for me to change.

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Calxoddity
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I think you need to play with it a little longer because you are missing some things like 'highlights' settings which is much better at recovering than Aperture is. Try the basic adjustments out more and you will discover than can open up a photos dynamic range better. Also you have an 'exposure' brush which does not exist in Aperture.

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hisoy86
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Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
In reply to The A-Team, Apr 18, 2013

I personally never had speed issues - 2011 MBP i7 - Aperture is way easier to use, but Lightroom 4 has superior development/editing power.

Either one will manage your portfolio of images very well.

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fyngyrz
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Re: UNHappily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
In reply to Stu 5, Apr 19, 2013

Stu 5 wrote:

I take it you have not used Lightroom since version 3 as it no longer has a 'brightness' setting. It has a 'whites' setting.

No, I just misspoke. Haven't been using it long, just since Apple hosed the RAW support for 10.6.8. Yeah, Lightroom is missing a brightness control. Very weird. Aperture has both a comprehensive black, shadow, highlights, whites control *and* brightness + contrast. They both have exposure. Lightroom has a local contrast (which they call something else... er... yeah, "clarity") Aperture has a local contrast (which they ALSO call something else... "definition")

Lightroom's isn't switchable:

ALways on local contrast and color mods for Lightroom

Whereas in Aperture you 'll find these switchable under Enhance, shown below.

The fact that you can knock them on and off without disturbing their settings in Aperture makes for a powerful before-after comparison. Lightroom falls short here.

You can't turn 'contrast' and 'whites' off because they are basic settings that you need to at least look at every time. They are also not separate as they come under other basic settings.

Yes, well, they're just as "basic" in Aperture, but you can turn them on and off there, and you can't in Lightroom, which was my point. Whatever the rationale, it's inconvenient and Aperture does it better:

Aperture brightness, contrast, exposure, etc. - switchable

Lightroom exposure, contrast, BSHW controls - not switchable

Aperture's switchable comprehensive BSHW controls

Aperture is really a much better tool in this regard.

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Alpha Doug
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Re: UNHappily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
In reply to fyngyrz, Apr 19, 2013

fyngyrz wrote:

Stu 5 wrote:

I take it you have not used Lightroom since version 3 as it no longer has a 'brightness' setting. It has a 'whites' setting.

No, I just misspoke. Haven't been using it long, just since Apple hosed the RAW support for 10.6.8. Yeah, Lightroom is missing a brightness control. Very weird. Aperture has both a comprehensive black, shadow, highlights, whites control *and* brightness + contrast. They both have exposure. Lightroom has a local contrast (which they call something else... er... yeah, "clarity") Aperture has a local contrast (which they ALSO call something else... "definition")

Lightroom's isn't switchable:

ALways on local contrast and color mods for Lightroom

Whereas in Aperture you 'll find these switchable under Enhance, shown below.

The fact that you can knock them on and off without disturbing their settings in Aperture makes for a powerful before-after comparison. Lightroom falls short here.

You can't turn 'contrast' and 'whites' off because they are basic settings that you need to at least look at every time. They are also not separate as they come under other basic settings.

Yes, well, they're just as "basic" in Aperture, but you can turn them on and off there, and you can't in Lightroom, which was my point. Whatever the rationale, it's inconvenient and Aperture does it better:

Aperture brightness, contrast, exposure, etc. - switchable

Lightroom exposure, contrast, BSHW controls - not switchable

Aperture's switchable comprehensive BSHW controls

Aperture is really a much better tool in this regard.

To Fyngyrz,

I think that your opinion vis a vis Lightroom's superior Highlight recovery is a self perpetuating myth.  Look at the Aperture highlight and shadow recovery brick above.  Notice that if you drop down the Advanced options, you can adjust the radius, Color correction, High Tonal Width, Mid Contrast, and Low Tonal Width, relative to the recovery you are working on.  This would appear to be much more comprehensive and powerful than the same single slider in Lightroom.

Not to mention that there is also a "recovery" slider in the Enhance brick, which is meant for more subtle recovery use.  Yes, some adjustments in LR work better than Aperture, but tonal corrections are not among them.

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Andy Hewitt
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Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
In reply to Alpha Doug, Apr 19, 2013

Alpha Doug wrote:

I'm not a big LR fan, but how abothe big big "Import" button at the lower left corner of the Library module screen?

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Yes, it wasn't there. The menus were all but empty too, and nothing anywhere that said 'Import'.

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Andy Hewitt
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Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
In reply to Robert Peters, Apr 19, 2013

Robert Peters wrote:

Create new preferences for LR5.  Repair permissions and offer the entrails of a chicken to appease the gods

Importing:  Look in the File menu for "Import Photos and Video...".

I did, it wasn't there.

Obviously something went wrong with the installation, but as I already have my 40,000 photos in Aperture, I really couldn't be bothered trying to fix it.

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mpe
mpe
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Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
In reply to The A-Team, Apr 19, 2013

I am now in the process of switching.

I have recently upgraded my camera and Aperture can't cope with 24 megapixel images any more I found the Lightroom is significantly faster in everything, requires less memory and has much more features.

My strategy is to keep old pictures in Aperture library and start importing new images to Lighroom catalog. I use referenced images in both apps, so I can access the same masters when I need them. I leave Aperture installed.

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Jacques Cornell
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In reply to Alpha Doug, Apr 19, 2013

Alpha Doug wrote:

Aperture's switchable comprehensive BSHW controls

Aperture is really a much better tool in this regard.

To Fyngyrz,

I think that your opinion vis a vis Lightroom's superior Highlight recovery is a self perpetuating myth.  Look at the Aperture highlight and shadow recovery brick above.  Notice that if you drop down the Advanced options, you can adjust the radius, Color correction, High Tonal Width, Mid Contrast, and Low Tonal Width, relative to the recovery you are working on.  This would appear to be much more comprehensive and powerful than the same single slider in Lightroom.

Not to mention that there is also a "recovery" slider in the Enhance brick, which is meant for more subtle recovery use.  Yes, some adjustments in LR work better than Aperture, but tonal corrections are not among them.

Um, not to rain on anyone's parade here or anything, but in the current version of Aperture the Highlights & Shadows brick has been simplified and now has just three sliders for Highlights, Shadows and Mid Contrast. The Advanced options are gone. If you have images or saved presets that used the older brick you can still access it. I kind of miss the flexibility and power of the old brick. The new one is much less flexible and extends too far into the midtones for my taste. But, it doesn't suffer the halo issues that could arise with the old one.

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Jacques Cornell
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Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
In reply to mpe, Apr 19, 2013

mpe wrote:

I am now in the process of switching.

I have recently upgraded my camera and Aperture can't cope with 24 megapixel images any more I found the Lightroom is significantly faster in everything, requires less memory and has much more features.

My strategy is to keep old pictures in Aperture library and start importing new images to Lighroom catalog. I use referenced images in both apps, so I can access the same masters when I need them. I leave Aperture installed.

Aperture can certainly cope with 24MP images. I run through hundreds or thousands of 21MP RAW files per job on a 2012 13" Macbook Pro, and Aperture has absolutely no trouble keeping up. My biz partner finds LR no faster with his 36MP D800E RAW files.

If you're finding LR faster, it may be that you're comparing a new small LR catalog to a much larger and older Aperture library, or that some other factor is impacting your Aperture performance, or you're comparing to Aperture 2, not 3.

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fyngyrz
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Re: UNHappily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?
In reply to Alpha Doug, Apr 19, 2013

Lol... you got it exactly backwards. I think *Aperture's* controls are far superior to lightroom's. Not sure what you read that made you think I was saying otherwise. Can you quote something I wrote that said Lightroom had better BSHW controls? Maybe I had a brain fart.

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