Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

Started Apr 17, 2013 | Discussions
fyngyrz Senior Member • Posts: 1,562
Re: Old vs. new H&S brick

Majikthize wrote:

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.

Wow. Good thing I didn't upgrade then. I used the heck out of those before Apple dropped support of OSX 10.6.8.

Hoping to build some support for the 6D into my current version of Aperture; I'm a dev, I just haven't looked at the problem yet. Be wonderful to move back, Lightroom's just not in the same class.

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.

Thanks for letting me know. I'll stay FAR away from the (cough) "up"grade.

Sometimes I wonder just what the people at Apple are thinking. I *really* don't understand the trend t dumb things down. They already have iPhoto for those who want it quick and easy. Why cripple down the pro level app?

Maybe I should write my own application, eh? That'd be one way to get some control over this mess.

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fyngyrz Senior Member • Posts: 1,562
Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

The two apps may act differently in tight memory conditions, or with GPU availability. Just a thought.

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Alpha Doug Veteran Member • Posts: 9,222
Re: UNHappily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

fyngyrz wrote:

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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Hey, I apologize big time.  When I went to reply I was thinking the comment about LR doing a better job of highlight recovery came from you, but after a re-read I discovered it was Stu5.  Sorry.  But my point still stands.  Even after the crescent change to the Highlights/shadows tool. Aperture still does a superior job of highlight recovery with less halo creation.

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Andy Hewitt Veteran Member • Posts: 3,379
Re: Old vs. new H&S brick

fyngyrz wrote:

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.

Thanks for letting me know. I'll stay FAR away from the (cough) "up"grade.

Sometimes I wonder just what the people at Apple are thinking. I *really* don't understand the trend t dumb things down. They already have iPhoto for those who want it quick and easy. Why cripple down the pro level app?

Maybe I should write my own application, eh? That'd be one way to get some control over this mess.

You can still use the old brick, there is a workaround as Aperture still supports the old one too, it's just well hidden. Any existing images using the old brick still use it, I think there's a way to copy it across to new images.

FWIW, I don't use it much, I tend to start my workflow at the top of the stack, and recover highlights and shadows in the Exposure brick first - adjusting the Exposure, Recovery and Black Point sliders until all the clipping has gone - as I see it, that starts you off with all the available image data to work with. Then I move on and adjust the image to what I want - more often the Magic Enhance button does a good job, leaving only a little bit of minimal tweaking needed.

As I see it, if an image needs too much adjustment, was it that good in the first place?

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mpe Regular Member • Posts: 457
Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

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.

Wish that's the case.

My computer is Macbook Air 2011, Core i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD

Test case:

- create empty Aperture library and Lightroom catalog

- import 5 D800 RAW files to empty aperture library

- disable quick previews to work with the actual RAW file

- open the picture and zoom to pixel level (Z shortcut key).

- measure time between pressing the key and disapearing of the Loading... indicator

Results:

Aperture 3.4.4 - 4.5 sec

Lighroom 5 beta - 1 sec

My experience is that Lightroom is significantly faster in pretty much everything. Faster computer can mask the difference, but there is a huge difference in processing performance. There are similiar differences in batch operations, opening the app, etc.

Jacques Cornell
Jacques Cornell Veteran Member • Posts: 8,989
Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

mpe wrote:

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.

Wish that's the case.

My computer is Macbook Air 2011, Core i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD

Test case:

- create empty Aperture library and Lightroom catalog

- import 5 D800 RAW files to empty aperture library

- disable quick previews to work with the actual RAW file

- open the picture and zoom to pixel level (Z shortcut key).

- measure time between pressing the key and disapearing of the Loading... indicator

Results:

Aperture 3.4.4 - 4.5 sec

Lighroom 5 beta - 1 sec

My experience is that Lightroom is significantly faster in pretty much everything. Faster computer can mask the difference, but there is a huge difference in processing performance. There are similiar differences in batch operations, opening the app, etc.

Well, that's pretty persuasive. Just one question, did you allow Aperture to finish processing the imported images before you started timing it? This makes a huge difference.

FYI, you said your files were 24MP and your camera is a D800. D800 images are 36MP.

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mpe Regular Member • Posts: 457
Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

Yes. Everything is imported when I start my test and the app is restarted after the import before the test. Faces disabled, previews generated. I even tried to restart the computer between the test to minimise impact of disk cache (but I am on SSD).

I am using D600 (24 megapixels). For this tests I used D800 RAWs downloaded from here:

http://www.photographyblog.com/reviews/nikon_d800_review/sample_images/

I can see the difference even on my 12mp files from D700. It was slow, but manageable. I started to suffer once I switched to 24 megapixels. It forced me to thing about upgrade.

Looks like it is about CPU performance. Memory is fine - the Aperture process consumes about 1GB active memory after start. Lightroom is about 660MB. Despite having just 4GB memory I have 1.27GB inactive and 200MB free - so definitely no memory issue. No page-outs (and swapping is very fast on SSD).

Alpha Doug Veteran Member • Posts: 9,222
Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

What size did you have your initial previews set to in each program?

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mpe Regular Member • Posts: 457
Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

I have 1680x1680, Quality 8 in Aperture and 1440 pixels, medium in Lightroom.

Don't think it will make a difference - previews are pre-rendered and I don't measure displaying these. Both apps need to decode RAW when going to 1:1 zoom.

Alpha Doug Veteran Member • Posts: 9,222
Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

So, seems your settings are OK, as long as you have waited long enough for both programs to finish up their preview creation.  However, the time differences just don't add up.  On my 2011 MacBook Pro, 2.2 Ghz i7 quad core, with the AMD 6750 GPU with 1gb Vram, I don't see those kinds of diferences.  Let me grab a couple of my 24 mb files, and try them as you did.  I'll get back to you.

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Jacques Cornell
Jacques Cornell Veteran Member • Posts: 8,989
Aperture renders RAW 3x faster for me.

mpe wrote:

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.

Wish that's the case.

My computer is Macbook Air 2011, Core i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB SSD

Test case:

- create empty Aperture library and Lightroom catalog

- import 5 D800 RAW files to empty aperture library

- disable quick previews to work with the actual RAW file

- open the picture and zoom to pixel level (Z shortcut key).

- measure time between pressing the key and disapearing of the Loading... indicator

Results:

Aperture 3.4.4 - 4.5 sec

Lighroom 5 beta - 1 sec

My experience is that Lightroom is significantly faster in pretty much everything. Faster computer can mask the difference, but there is a huge difference in processing performance. There are similiar differences in batch operations, opening the app, etc.

Aperture renders my 21MP 1Ds3 RAW files 3x faster, whether clicking through immediately after import or generating 1:1 previews. Ap takes 2 seconds vs. 5-6 seconds for LR5b.

When downloading and then immediately clicking through, Aperture's speed advantage is obvious. However, if I pause on an image for longer than LR needs to render it, the next one renders immediately. It seems LR is prefetching the next image, which Aperture doesn't do.

So, when I'm really in a hurry, Aperture is much faster. When I'm not in a hurry, LR can be more responsive. However, if I'm not in a hurry, both apps can generate 1:1 previews, which makes click-through and 100% zooming instantaneous. LR uses the 1:1 previews by default, whereas in Aperture this Quick Preview mode is toggled on and off with the P key.

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Travellling Fool Regular Member • Posts: 171
Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

I switched a little over a year ago.    Reality for me is they are much more alike than different results wise, I can't say one is "better".  Personally I liked Aperture's overall interface quite a bit better while the publishing plug-ins for things like Smugmug for example seem much better integrated with LR.

However, like you're experiencing I gather, performance issues (slow, bogging down my machine, and getting worse) rendered the process more frustrating than it was worth.   Although my Mac has some age to it, it's got a healthy amount of memory and is a solid spec.  LR moves along quite nicely.

Liked Aperture, couldn't live with the performance issues, like LR too so yes I'm happy.

CharlesTokyo Contributing Member • Posts: 721
Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

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?

I switched a little over a year ago to Lightroom. This was mainly when I took my printing class, so I've gotten better at LR than I was at Aperture. So it's not really an even comparison. I still don't like the editing modes on LR. It's a pain switching back and forth between the library, development, printing modules. I much prefer Aperture here. I never pushed Apertures library functions a lot when I was using it, and I've gotten used to LR now, but Aperture seemed more powerful. On the other hand LR's tagging system seems a little more sophisticated. I took another brief look at Aperture, but I couldn't figure out how to allow aliases for tags. (I type a tag in English and it also applies the tag in Japanese). Granted, this isn't something most people would use. NR is better in LR compared to when I used it, as is highlight recovery. Noise isn't nearly as much of a problem with modern cameras and there are a lot of third party plugins to deal with it, so I don't find this much of a problem. Aperture had some updates to help with highlight recovery, but I haven't done any comparisons. I feel LR may still be a bit better.

Unfortunately I didn't print with Aperture, so I can't comment there. Moving between apps is a pita, so I'd give some thought before swapping. Maybe wait until after LR5 is released and see if Apple does anything. They always tend to work at their own pace, but I think the update will be nice when it comes.

I really miss in the integration with the rest of Apple's products with LR. No photostream, which I use a lot more now to share photos with family and friends. No easy syncing to iPhone/iPad. Some tricks make is less painful, but it's still not as smooth.

I haven't had a speed problem with either application, 16MP files. Creating the proper previews I want and using them properly makes either app fast, although both handle it different. The preview mode in Aperture. In lightroom though you have to use the library module, scrolling through photos in the development module loads the raws which is much slower.

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bravozulu Contributing Member • Posts: 897
Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

To prepare for the day when I'll be able to run PP software, I have been lurking here. My current Mac is a G4, so it doesn't  have an Intel CPU and thus can't run any current PP ware. Thus, I read. Not just forums, but I've downloaded the Aperture documentation and have read that. Also read the documentation for PhotoMechanic. That is my anticipated workflow scheme, along with PhotoNinja or possibly Nik.

This last week I got The DAM Book from the local library because I felt I need a battleplan to do PP and manage my image workflow. The author has a startling awareness of image and digital management. For people running either LightRoom or Aperture, the book explains things handled  automatically by the programs. Little knowledge is required of the user since both have built-in databases to keep track of things.

But I was a little sad when he made a mildly negative comparison of the two. He talks a lot about media that becomes a dinosaur over time. Anyone remember Zip Disks? The author, Peter Krogh, is bothered that a lot of the metadata created by Aperture can't be exported. Sooner or later ANY media will be dead duck, meaning that editing tags created by Aperture can't be read by other programs. Maybe I'm not using the correct nomenclature for the parameters involved, but it seems the other programs create files which are more universal. Whereas Aperture files (or maybe just metatdata) are unique.

That doesn't spell 'permanence', nor security. And what is the objective of archiving and backup disks if the files they store can't be read at some time in the future. I haven't made my final choice, and being a Mac guy and hearing about the user interface of LR , I want AP to work for me. I heartily recommend the book. At the least, you will learn marvelous paths to keep your data clean, organized and secure.

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Jacques Cornell
Jacques Cornell Veteran Member • Posts: 8,989
Digital impermanence

bravozulu wrote:

But I was a little sad when he made a mildly negative comparison of the two. He talks a lot about media that becomes a dinosaur over time. Anyone remember Zip Disks? The author, Peter Krogh, is bothered that a lot of the metadata created by Aperture can't be exported. Sooner or later ANY media will be dead duck, meaning that editing tags created by Aperture can't be read by other programs. Maybe I'm not using the correct nomenclature for the parameters involved, but it seems the other programs create files which are more universal. Whereas Aperture files (or maybe just metatdata) are unique.

That doesn't spell 'permanence', nor security. And what is the objective of archiving and backup disks if the files they store can't be read at some time in the future. I haven't made my final choice, and being a Mac guy and hearing about the user interface of LR , I want AP to work for me. I heartily recommend the book. At the least, you will learn marvelous paths to keep your data clean, organized and secure.

Aperture is no more or less "permanent" or "universal" than Lightroom or any other RAW processing & image management app. It can, in fact, export metadata such as IPTC and EXIF information for cataloging in other apps. As for adjustment settings, all RAW processing apps use proprietary engines, AFAIK. For example, the .xmp sidecar files that Lightroom and Adobe Camera RAW create are readable only by other Adobe apps. Until the industry adopts a single universal RAW format such as DNG, the issue of processing lock-in will remain.

The question of Zip Disks and other physical digital media is an entirely different matter. Folks have been gnashing their teeth over it since the dawn of digital imaging. The solutions, though, are not that hard to understand or implement. Backup your data to multiple media (hard drives, DVDs), and copy it to new media as they become available (BlueRay, SSD, cloud storage, etc.).

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jbagg Regular Member • Posts: 237
Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

bravozulu wrote:

To prepare for the day when I'll be able to run PP software, I have been lurking here. My current Mac is a G4, so it doesn't  have an Intel CPU and thus can't run any current PP ware. Thus, I read. Not just forums, but I've downloaded the Aperture documentation and have read that. Also read the documentation for PhotoMechanic. That is my anticipated workflow scheme, along with PhotoNinja or possibly Nik.

This last week I got The DAM Book from the local library because I felt I need a battleplan to do PP and manage my image workflow. The author has a startling awareness of image and digital management. For people running either LightRoom or Aperture, the book explains things handled  automatically by the programs. Little knowledge is required of the user since both have built-in databases to keep track of things.

But I was a little sad when he made a mildly negative comparison of the two. He talks a lot about media that becomes a dinosaur over time. Anyone remember Zip Disks? The author, Peter Krogh, is bothered that a lot of the metadata created by Aperture can't be exported. Sooner or later ANY media will be dead duck, meaning that editing tags created by Aperture can't be read by other programs. Maybe I'm not using the correct nomenclature for the parameters involved, but it seems the other programs create files which are more universal. Whereas Aperture files (or maybe just metatdata) are unique.

That doesn't spell 'permanence', nor security. And what is the objective of archiving and backup disks if the files they store can't be read at some time in the future. I haven't made my final choice, and being a Mac guy and hearing about the user interface of LR , I want AP to work for me. I heartily recommend the book. At the least, you will learn marvelous paths to keep your data clean, organized and secure.

How old was the book you were reading? When Apple updated Aperture to Aperture 3, Apple made a special effort to ensure that the meta data in Aperture was standards compliant. I would be surprised to hear if Lightroom was somehow more standards compliant than Aperture 3. (Aperture 2 apparently didn't support IPTC data properly, but that isn't the case with version 3.)

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Alpha Doug Veteran Member • Posts: 9,222
Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

The DAM book hasn't been updated in a long time, and it wasn't very accurate to begin with.  If you are looking for the better DAM solution, Aperture is the best.  But the next upgrade needs to include lens corrections, perspective corrections, better noise reduction, and better sharpening.

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uniball Senior Member • Posts: 1,859
Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

Dr Chandra wrote:

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.

I switched last year due my Fuji XTrans files. Totally agree with the above. On my 2008 2.8 iMac, Aperture appears more fluid in its general execution. I assume its better integrated into OSX and, irrespective of cpu usage, runs better. But LR is an excellent editor.

bravozulu Contributing Member • Posts: 897
Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

It took a little more reading in the DAM book to get a fuller picture. I might have oversimplified in my previous comment. The author follows a train of thought that explores what computers do  with image files. Features of specific programs are secondary to his argument.

About 1/3 of the way into the book, he 'lifts the hood' on PIE (Parametric Image Editing) programs. LR/AP are both PIE 'cataloging' programs. And here he makes a strong assessment. In inventing the DNG file format, and then publishing the code for anyone to use and incorporate in other image applications, Adobe ensured that it will be widely used. And thus, better ensures the longevity files written to that standard. Hell, I see today that the new Leica saves images in the camera in DNG format.

DNG isn't quite the same as TIFF or RAW (either Canon or Nikon). And this package of data is 30% smaller than TIFF. It is what Krogh terms an 'envelope' that contains not just the RAW image and Metadata. It also carries over all image edits and a preview without destruction of the original. There's some other stuff in there too that borders on digital archiving magic, but I'm not that computer savvy.

My personality doesn't lean to the 'fanboy' type. But for anyone who takes PP seriously, I would read Krogh's book. It will change your workflow for sure. It explains the rationale for image storage and preservation.

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Alpha Doug Veteran Member • Posts: 9,222
Re: Happily switched from Aperture to Lightroom?

Glad you're finally getting some of the concepts we have been telling you about.

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