Aperture or Lightroom and why?

Started Dec 24, 2012 | Questions thread
kaholt Regular Member • Posts: 147
Re: Aperture or Lightroom and why?

I have used both quite a bit.  First I used Aperture for several years as Lightroom struggled to catch up with features and capabilities. Last year I switched to Lightroom as its feature set has caught up, but its user base is so much bigger now it seems like most enthusiast/pro users dont even know about Aperture anymore.  For example, the number of training courses on Lightroom vastly exceeds those on Aperture to the point that it seems if you want to talk to other photographers about stuff you need to know Lightroom to have a conversation.  I think this clearly points to Lightroom having far larger marketshare than Aperture, at least among enthusiast and pro photographers.  I could still suspect there are a lot of aperture users out there who are much more casual photographers that have migrated up from iPhoto.  For those users I think Aperture is far too powerful for them because it was never intended to be an iPhoto+.  It is a powerful tool in its own right without apologies to Lightroom.  So those users are using Aperture, but they are not the kind of serious amateurs and pros that get together and talk about changes to the RAW conversion process or how to put ITPC tags on their photos during import or go on expensive photo workshops and safaris toghether.

However, many of us photographers use iMacs and MacBooks and love them and will never switch to PCs running Windoze.  On the Mac platform specifically, Aperture does a much better job of adhering to and making consistent use of the MacOS X user experience.  And for that reason Aperture can be somewhat more pleasant to use on that platform.

My switch to Lightroom was not because I didnt like Aperture.  It was because everyone else is using Lightroom, and there are advantages to being  a part of that greater community of users.  I miss the tight integration that Aperture has with my Mac.  But I also have learned to like the superior image adjustment  controls in the Develop module in Lightroom.

At the end of the day they finally have reached parity and basically do the same things in more or leas the same way as one another.  You can have a great experience with either program and get the same results with an equally efficient workflow.

My reasons to switch is that I am taking more photo workshops and participating in more photography groups and meetups, and I like to be able to share information with other users (both directions).  As an Aperture user I felt an outsider as so few others at my interest level use it.  I also have another concern and it is this:  Developing photo software is at the core of Adobe's business.  Even when they make mistakes, and they do, there is never any sense they are  abandoning the market.   Since Apple first introduced Aperture they have had explosive success in the mobile devices field (iPhones and iPads) that they simply  arent the same company they were before.  Not by a long shot.  The creative professionals market that kept Apple alive during their tough years are no longer a key focus for the company.  They have grown and moved on to bigger things.  Good for them.  In the meantime though I have more confidence that Adobe will surpass Apple from here forward as Lightroom is closer to their core interests.

So far I am happy with my switch to Lightroom.  I miss Aperture too, but doubt I will be going back.

Hope that helps.


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