Anyone using Photos app to process RAWs?

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
Dan Dare Forum Member • Posts: 83
Re: Anyone using Photos app to process RAWs?

I have an iMac 27inch 5K Retina (Mid 2017) with 32GB RAM, and 8GB GPU. I’ve updated to BigSur last week with no problems at all.

I was using Aperture up until Apple dropped support for it and switched over to Apple Photos.

I have been using Photos for the past 2 years to process RAW files from my Nikon D850 and now from a Nikon Z7 which replaced it this August. I also use Topaz DeNoise AI and because RAW support is not yet included for my Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mk3, I’m also using Olympus Workspace as a step before Photos for images from that camera.

The latest version of Photos in BigSur is, in my opinion for what I want, as good if not better than Aperture and of course the big advantage is that by using iCloud it means I have a single photo library accessible  from iPhone and my iPad with all edits synced across all devices.

I just bought my wife a new MacBook Air 8GB RAM and with the M1 Chip she will only use it for non photo applications so as an experiment, I tried it with Apple Photos, DeNoise and Workspace importing some of my original NEFs from the Z7 and ORFs from the E-M1.

In terms of CPU performance it’’s benchmark scores are about 1.5x that of my iMac but the Compute scores are about 0.5x that of the iMac. This shows up with Topaz DeNoise which on my iMac takes about 44sec to render a RAW image from the Olympus compared to about 100sec on the MacBook Air. I think this because  DeNoise is unlikely to be optimised for Metal which is Apple’s Graphics API.

However, the performance of Photos on this MacBook Air is outstanding and so quick I’m seriously thinking of getting one and ditching my iPad Pro. The other advantage compared to Aperture is that if I had a second computer like a MacBook, it means all my original RAW images which are on my iMac and in the iCloud Photos Library could be downloaded to a Photos Library on the second computer and any edits made there would reflect on the iMac.

So bottom line is for me Apple Photos works very well and is in my opinion as good as Aperture used to be for what I want but with all the added advantages and benefits described above which I could not have with Aperture.

 Dan Dare's gear list:Dan Dare's gear list
Olympus E-M1 II Nikon Z7 Olympus E-M1 III Olympus 40-150mm F2.8 Pro Olympus M.Zuiko 300mm F4 IS Pro +5 more
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