Any Lightroom 4 alternatives that cost less?

Started May 7, 2012 | Discussions thread
IanW Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Any Lightroom 4 alternatives that cost less?

I am an enthusiastic, hobbyist photographer with a relatively small catalog of imges (around 5000) using a Canon 5D Mark II and working in raw on a 21.5" iMac.

I have been a long-time user of Lightroom (since the original beta release) and for the most part I've been content with it, however, the recent events with Adobe have cast doubts on the long term availability of LR as I will not change to a subsciption service.

Whilst Adobe's statements assure that LR5 will not be exclusively cloud based and that "there are no plans" for LR to be cloud only; they have said that the cloud based LR will have additional functionality.

This all creates doubt in my mind and of many others.

Adobe are also progressing towards a 12 month upgrade cycle for LR which means smaller, more frequent upgrades and costs.

LR5 does not contain any significant added functionality for me and so this would seem the time to consider the alternatives, namely Aperture and Capture One.

I already have Aperture (£55) and it is cheaper than Capture One (£228) and so has a head start in that respect.

One aspect that attracts me to Aperture is the ability to store the original images inside the library and via the Vault to keep them up to date. LR of course offers no means of backing up the original images other than on initial import, thereafter leaving the user to manage them. The same is true of Capture One. This is a major selling point for me with Aperture.

The negative side to Aperture has always been that I could not emulate the results I could achieve with LR in image development but in recent days I seem to be overcoming this and now feel that, with further understanding of, and practice with  Aperture, I can emulate my LR processing.

There are a few things which are not available in Aperture which I would miss, mainly the gradient tool. The lack of lens/perspective distortion could be overcome by using Canon DPP or the PTLens plugin, which would both require exporting the image to Tiff or jpg of course. Alternatively I could accomplish these corrections and apply a gradient mask etc in my external editor Pixelmator.

Capture One certaily has perspective correction via it's keystone tool and lens distortion correction though this is "greyed out" in my trial version. CO7 also has a gradient mask tool.

The DAM aspects of all three seem perfectly good in all three applications and will present me with  no real difficulties other than learning them.

There are other parts to all three applications such as Book creation, Geotagging, Web creation, Slideshow creation and publishing directly to Facbook etc. I don't need any of these functions and in fact in LR I just turn-off those modules and panels. I do not even use the print module in LR as I do not have a printer and if I do print images then I send them to a commercial print supplier, namely Peak Imaging.

Aperture allows me to round-trip to my chosen external editor (Pixelmator) which CO7 does not appear to do.

Finaly I find myself peferring the "lighter" interface of Aperture rather than the dakness of CO7 and LR and I prefer the non-modular approach of Aperture and CO7 to that og LR.

All in all at this moment in time I am strongly favouring Aperture mainly because of the backup facility and the cost. That is not to say that I won't change my mind as Adobe seem to have thrown everything into a state of flux.

A statement of intent in respect of future additional functionality in Aperture and an indication of time-frame for the next major release from Apple would go a long way to consolidating my thoughts but I doubt this will be forthcoming. It would seem that this is a golden opportunity for Apple.

I hope this post may prove of interest to someone, somewhere and I, in turn would be very inerested in any thoughts you might have.



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