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Any new revisions coming for Aperture? #1
xmas65's picture
by xmas65
March 4, 2014 - 6:20am

I have been an Aperture user for  7 years now and and I’m becoming leery of ever getting a new revision to Aperture.  I am seriously considering switching over to Lightroom (believe me I don’t want to) since they seem to keep updating their software.  

Somebody please, can’t Apple tell us anything about the future of Aperture?


Terie Christmas

bjurasz's picture
by bjurasz
March 4, 2014 - 8:19am

I used to work at Apple in mobile graphics (semiconductor) and I can tell you the company is extremely secretive.  Even internally.  I had to sign an NDA saying that I would not tell other people EVEN INSIDE APPLE what it was I was working on.

Personally, I think it can backfire on them.  Even I did not know if the Aperture team was working on incremental fixes or on a full-blown new release.

Bill Jurasz
Austin Texas

xmas65's picture
by xmas65
March 4, 2014 - 8:45am

Thanks.  One would have to think that it is time for something new in Aperture.  I love this software and hate the thought of trying to move all my work to lightroom, as well as the learning curve involved.  


Terie Christmas

Walter Rowe's picture
by Walter Rowe
March 4, 2014 - 8:47am

As Bill stated, Apple is ferociously protective of any forthcoming releases of anything. And for Aperture, they historically make little fuss over major updates. If/when a major new version of Aperture is released, you may see it in the Mac App Store and see no press release from Apple about it. It may not even make the Mac App Store Featured header.

Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
March 4, 2014 - 12:31pm

“If/when a major new version of Aperture is released, you may see it in the Mac App Store and see no press release from Apple about it. It may not even make the Mac App Store Featured header.”

That would go against the grain of what was done when they introduced FCP X and Logic Pro X …

Apple may very well not schedule a special release event, though I do believe they will offer more than a listing in the App Store if/when they introduce a new iteration of Aperture.

Rafael -'s picture
by Rafael -
March 6, 2014 - 6:45am

Yes there is. Release date? Anyone’s guess.

They are well aware of what people want from the new version. They do read the Aperture feedback sent through the program. The real question is what features will actually be featured in the new version.

I don’t expect any special event either. I was hoping for an announcement at the time of the MacPro release but that didn’t happen.I guess the machine is geared towards video and current Aperture doesn’t really take full advantage of all its power and dual GPU capabilities. 

I do hope Apple fights back with good marketing to claim some of the user base lost to Lightroom. Although I still believe that there are way more Aperture users than most believe (currently siting at 15th most paid and 4th top grossing in the App store). 


Philip's picture
by Philip
March 7, 2014 - 9:03am

You sound very confident, which is good. Can you share anything you know that will allow me to be as confident about a new Aperture release?


Nigel's picture
by Nigel
March 23, 2014 - 11:10pm

Gentlemen, the sad reality is that there is no reason to be confident. This year, or next year.

This is the end of the line for me as a pro Aperture user, and here are 5 reasons why:

1. Apple treats pros with indifference, they’ve outgrown us and our voice isn’t being heard. We simply do not bring in enough revenue for them to bother. So why support a company that does not support me??

2. Apple has abandoned serious development of Aperture. This is quite odd as Aperture is seen in ads and even on the new Mac Pro stats page. So what gives? Simple, on the one hand Apple is happy to blithely pretend pros use Aperture, but on the other, they’re simply not willing to put money into it. Even more curious as both Aperture and Final Cut Pro X get high ratings in the App Store. So why does one get attention and the other not? Could it be that Apple actually thinks Aperture is fine as it is?? I hope not! Whatever, Apple’s laziness has led to this: 

3. Adobe’s Creative Cloud has been a massive hit. How did that happen?! Well, Adobe had the market all to itself. With a committed competitor the horrible ’pay-forever-but-never-own’ deal would have been impossible to get away with, but thanks to Apple reducing the Aperture team to two guys in a corner office, it worked. Adobe’s competitors are now effectively locked out. In our company we had to choose between Aperture and Lightroom, and guess which won? I wanted Aperture but I knew full well I had no hope of prevailing. ‘Why’, they asked, ‘when we have every Adobe pro app for one monthly fee, would we pay again for an app that has not seen a full update in four years’? Why indeed.

4. The failure of Apple here, to meet the needs of what used to be their core market, is similar to the Final Cut Pro X debacle. Even if Apple were to pull out all the stops and release something amazing, it’s too late. Anyone with any sense has already moved on. Our video guy is already moving from FCP7 to Premiere, and my hopes of continuing to use Aperture have been dashed. Apple is left with the customers they want: ‘prosumers’.

5. I can trust that Adobe is working on the next Lightroom. The only thing I can be sure of is that Apple is working on the iPhone 6. Maybe they’ll surprise me, but I no longer care. I’m using Aperture to organize my family photos, and that’s about it.


I have to spend 8-10 hours a day on Lightroom, and I am ticked enough to not ever buy a new Mac again. Why Apple bothered with Aperture in the first place is a genuine mystery. Why I wasted so much time sending feature requests to Cupertino… that’s another question. 

Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
March 24, 2014 - 4:48am

No Aperture user is more disappointed that we have not seen a significant update in the past four years than myself … though I don’t agree with a few of your points.

While I, once again, agree with you on the point is seems Aperture has not received the level of attention many of us would desire … I do not agree that Apple has turned their back on “pros” … considering the timely updates for RAW file support and tethering support … few amateurs and hobbyists use either RAW or tethering in their photography … 

Over the past 8 months I have been working much more on the video side of things and I can tell you FCP X (especially v10.1) is quite a professional option … I also have a couple of friends who work in the pro audio recording business and they absolutely love  Logic Pro X. Though I too am impatient that Apple has neglected we pros working in the still image market.

Additionally … I take exception to:

“3. Adobe’s Creative Cloud has been a massive hit.”

While it is true that CC adoption is occurring at a slightly better pace than they, themselves predicted … it wasn’t until they were embarrassed into offering the $10 a month photographer’s package (a price point that I don’t think will support their efforts for very long) that they saw some momentum. However, Adobe sold over 4 million perpetual licenses of CS6 (as well as having over 4 million legacy license holders of CS3-CS5) in the first year it was available … to date, Adobe has less than 2 million CC subscribers ten months into their CC only model … so, I do think the phrase “massive hit”  is a bit of an overstatement.

The CC numbers don’t add up to being a profitable success for Adobe. While I can appreciate the low entry level price point, the ledger doesn’t balance for Adobe to maintain both the levels of development and service that customers have become accustomed too. After all, Adobe doesn’t have hardware profits to fall back on. It’s going to take more than a year to claim CC a “hit” of any level … the model has to stand the test of time a bit longer before that evaluation can be made.

I do agree, if Apple had not been asleep at the wheel, they could have possibly benefited from their efforts by offering a more desirable option to Adobe products. Perhaps even drawing more folks to Apple hardware options. On that point, Apple has simply dropped the ball … in a BIG way …

While it may sound like I am defending Apple, I am not. I’m simply pointing out the degree to which I disagree with some points mentioned here. If Apple does not offer something substantial relatively soon, I too will be forced to consider other options going forward. Something I don’t relish dealing with.

TattooedMac's picture
by TattooedMac
March 24, 2014 - 12:53am

I saw some stats one day, about the huge move to LR and the amount of downloads it had and that day I cried and sent a email off the Tim. 

I was even going to start a Change.og petition, but who would sign it ??Im still thinking of doing that, so who is in to sign it, share it and change Apples way they are treating us ??


It just ‘aint going to happen.

__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __
Arguing with a zealot is only slightly easier than tunnelling through a mountain with your forehead.
"Can't innovate any more, my ass" Phil Schiller

Nigel's picture
by Nigel
March 24, 2014 - 12:17pm

Thanks for the engaging reply Butch.

I posted my diatribe here rather than start a new topic. I didn’t want to hurt Joseph’s deal on ApertureExpert but I had to vent.

Let me explain about the #3 point: Were Apple a meaningful opponent Adobe would never have been able to even float the ‘app lease’ model in the first place. The $10 offer was to entice photographers who do not use most of the rest of Adobe’s CC offerings. Plus, Lr5 was not much of an upgrade from version 4, let’s be honest, and it needed a bit of a push to get people locked in. Regardless, it was enough for my company to nix any opportunity for Aperture to make a comeback. So now I’m stuck on the stupidly awful Lightroom for the foreseeable future, and as you can tell, I’m steaming mad.

Apple has reduced Aperture development to camera support and bug fixes. As Mr. TattooedMac said, starting a petition would do nothing whatsoever, and Apple pays attention to suggestions as much as they do when you hit Report a Problem in Maps, which is to say, not at all.

Good luck in your decision my friend.

Charles Putnam's picture
by Charles Putnam
March 24, 2014 - 1:09pm

Butch is correct in describing that Adobe was embarrassed into creating their special Photoshop Photography Program at $10 a month.  When Adobe first announced their subscription program at Adobe MAX, you could hear crickets from the audience.  It went over about as well as a turd in a punchbowl. 

For those that utilize the full creative suite (i.e. real pro’s) and upgrade ever time there’s a new version, the CC is a decent deal.  Heck, even the $10 for PS CC and Lr5 is a decent deal.

Aperture remains my main DAM and primary editing application.  I occasionally have to flip an image to PS CC for the “heavy lifting”.

Best thing I can recommend is to e-mail….heck…bombard Tim Cook with e-mails requesting an update to Aperture.  I do believe it will be updated this year as Apple did hire several engineers late last year specifically for their Aperture/iPhoto division.  Apple needs to be a bit more open as to what their intentions  are.  They do it with OS X and iOS.

bjurasz's picture
by bjurasz
March 24, 2014 - 1:34pm

I’m assuming tim dot cook at apple dot com?  Its a decent idea.

Bill Jurasz
Austin Texas

Charles Putnam's picture
by Charles Putnam
March 24, 2014 - 1:35pm
mike aiton's picture
by mike aiton
March 24, 2014 - 1:42pm

email sent to tim



Mike Aiton

mike aiton's picture
by mike aiton
March 24, 2014 - 1:42pm

email sent to tim



Mike Aiton

nusbaum's picture
by nusbaum
March 24, 2014 - 1:53pm

I see a lot of threads with talk of moving to Lightroom and I often wonder what is really driving the need to move. There seems to be a lot of fear that Apple will abandon Aperture  and that feat because the reason to move. I got caught up in this myself. I watched a number of people I admire move to Lightroom and I followed right along. But today I find myself rebuilding Aperture libraries and trying to pick up where I left off. Yes, Lightroom has better noise reduction and better sharpening tools then Aperture, but I tend to finalize the characteristics in photoshop anyway. My problem is that after months of playing with Lightroom, I find that I prefer the initial RAW conversion provided by Aperture and I dislike the halos that I sometimes get around edges in Lightroom. Yes, with adjustments I can minimize the halos, but I find the edges in Aperture, and Capture One for that matter, far more natural. I also find that Aperture runs circles around Lightroom on my aging 2010 era MBP.  I’m not suggesting my opinion here fits all needs, but I think there is a lot more to consider than the fact that Adobe continues to update Aperture.

Rafael -'s picture
by Rafael -
March 24, 2014 - 3:32pm

I understand the frustration with the lack of major Aperture updates. I’m in the same boat. However, the current application continues to work great for me and despite being a heavy user (almost everyday since version 1.0)  I am still learning new features even after 4 years of the last “major” update. So, I know I don’t use and know 100% of current features.

As far as new features, each one have different needs, regardless of their expertise or professional level. Some want lens correction/profile, noise reduction, better watermarking, etc. Others want better social media integration (tweet, instagram, etc), better iOS integration (iPad portfolio, metadata editing, etc). It will be their discretion to decide what will make it to the next update, but I guarantee you, no mater how great the next one will be it won’t make 100% of people happy. First because of the different needs I stated above and second because some people just can never be happy.

The lack of transparency, or excess of secrecy from Apple is not new and I don’t think it should be seen as “treats pros with indifference”. This is just the way that it has always been. They won’t show incomplete work just to make you happy that they are working on it (exception was the pre-announcement of the MacPro). Although I would love to know something about new development and features, I don’t, but that doesn’t bother me to the point that I feel abandoned or make me feel like  ”I never want to buy a Mac again”.

Although some have moved to Lightroom, and some claim Aperture is dead. How come the app is still sitting on the most sold list in the App store? People are just dropping $80 and not using it? Does anyone (other than Apple) have any idea what the true user base is? How many are sold every day? That should give them a perspective that the App deserves attention.

Last, I find interesting how many former Aperture users and now very happy Lightroom users still come to forums dedicated to Aperture just to state their frustration with Apple, its secrecy policy and lack of updates. It’s almost like they would love to come back.

And that brings my last point: even if I am all wrong and Apple discontinues Aperture in the near future, the App will still run (like iWeb and iDVD still do). I can then decide to what I will be moving to. The bad thing about the subscription model is that once you decide to stop it, all your edits and work will be gone. It is really a trap, a lifetime commitment to use it. I am just not ready for that. I would rather Apple to discontinue Aperture than to make it a subscription. Hopefully neither will happen.



Nigel's picture
by Nigel
March 24, 2014 - 4:54pm

Good points Rafael. I am as you say speaking out of frustration. My predicament is that I’m in a company with other shooters and all they see is that Aperture 3 is now over four years old. The fabled Aperture X release of last year didn’t materialize. Had Apple pulled its finger out back then we’d be having a different conversation.

Like it or not we’re not Apple’s favored sons, and haven’t been for some time. I was at IUSA and spoke personally to one of the Lightroom authors, Julianne Kost. Where was Apple? Nowhere.

It’s pitifully obvious that Lr has the lion’s share of the market. Just look around you. ApertureExpert is one of only a couple of forums online. I was here a few evenings ago and was the only user on the site!

Some more examples:

The LuminousLandscape site has Lightroom and Aperture forums. 31,000 posts for Lr, 1600 for Aperture. Roughly 1/15th the comments. Also, I personally know of no pro that has not moved to Lightroom, and I was at a pro shooter gathering a few months ago.

Last, you’re right!!! I would love to come back!! I still use Aperture for my family pics. But four years Rafael? Come on. I will not pay good money for Apple to drop the ball like this while they sit fat and happy on $160b. No. 

CNET article ‘Lightroom 4.1 arrives; Aperture users, be patient’ That was May 2012.

Scott Bourne on his move to Lightroom:…

It just goes on and on.

Yes, ‘Creative Cloud’ is a trap. But without a clear and unmistakable commitment from Apple there’s only one logical path. You’re right, Aperture works, but I gave up waiting for something cool to kick Adobe to the curb, and so did my co-workers.

Whitney Dunn's picture
by Whitney Dunn
March 24, 2014 - 5:15pm

The big concern with the lack of Aperture 4 is digital asset management is a big investment and so far Apple hasn’t shown they’re worthy of that trust. 

The trope “Aperture is dead” is clearly wrong – Apple’s shown a strong and continuing commitment… to Aperture 3. Normally that would imply there will be an Aperture 4 (or X, or whatever floats your boat), but that seemingly obvious conclusion is eroded every month – and now every year – there’s not. And the signs against Aperture 4 are worrying. Last fall’s Mac Pro introduction would have been a terrific place to debut it. Nothing. Last December every other Pro app got updates – in the case of Final Cut Pro, a major one. And for Aperture? Nothing. 

At this point, if Apple wants people to invest in their program, they need to reciprocate that trust. They need to reassure people they’re committed not just to the current program but to better versions in future. If not, your photos are just trapped in a dead end. Without that reassurance, people are sensibly moving to Lightroom. Easier to pack up your photos now than later. And as sure as the sun rises in the east, there will be a Lightroom 6 this year. Adobe’s been near clockwork the past two releases. At some point they might even improve the image management.

So, Apple, give us a sign. If there’s going to be a great new version of Aperture this year, say so. For everyone who says Apple doesn’t do that, well, they did with Final Cut Pro X:

nusbaum's picture
by nusbaum
March 24, 2014 - 6:13pm

I think the statement that Apple hasn’t invested in Aperture is a bit of a fallacy, I think that  Apple just doesn’t do a song and dance for every update like Adobe does. In support of this statement, Apple invested in demosaicing for the Fuji x-trans sensor, which was extremely disruptive, and rolled it out with absolutely no fanfare. Adobe talked up their work with Fuji, on multiple occasions, and still delivered a solution that is less than ideal. Apple’s solution worked from the start and many believe it is one of the better solutions for that sensor.  This was significant investment and no bump in version or release.

This bring me to a second observation, the core of Aperture in built into OS X and that core continues to get focus. If you examine the Core Image API, all of the Aperture RAW processing and filters are represented. And, not only are they represented, but they all (at least to the best of my knowledge) support GPU acceleration, something which LR does not do. This last point brings me to a possible reason for the perceived delay in Aperture X. Aperture, and it’s underpinnings in OS X, leverage the GPU processing processing provided by high end graphics cards.  Look at the new mac pro and how far Apple when with the graphics processors. I’m guessing that if a new Aperture is going to roll out, it’s going to get updated to fully leverage the graphics power of these workstation grade graphics processors. Given Apples secrecy, it’s possible that the testing and tuning didn’t start until the mac pro was announced. Of course this is just a guess, but seeing how much Apple has invested in core graphics, it’s hard to image they would simply abandon that apps that make the best use of it.

It would be interesting to see a side by side chart of Lightroom release content and the quiet upgrades to Apple has provided to Aperture and OS X.

Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
March 24, 2014 - 11:16pm

“It would be interesting to see a side by side chart of Lightroom release content and the quiet upgrades to Apple has provided to Aperture and OS X.”

While I do not have the time or inclination to perform the research and create a comparison chart … I will share this:

When Aperture 3 was released on Feb. 9, 2010 the then current model of iPhone was the 3Gs running iOS 3.x. The iPad official announcement was still two months away.

Today we have the iPad Air (5th Gen) and two iPhones, 5s and 5c (Seventh generation of the units running iOS 7.1.)

Back in Feb. 2010, the Mac OS du jour was Snow Leopard OS X 10.6.x … since then we have had Lion 10.7, Mountain Lion 10.8 and Mavericks 10.9 and current stand at OS X 10.9.2.

During that span since Aperture 3 was introduced, there have been at least two major refreshes of the iMac, four updates to the Macbook Pro, four refreshes to the Macbook Air, two updates to the Mac Pro, even three updates to the Mac Mini. 

The list goes on. All the iWorks and iLife apps have seen major updates, even completely re-written in some cases over the same time span that Aperture 3 has been in existence.

While I always try to be a guy who prefers a “glass half full” attitude … I constantly ask myself why Apple insists on treating Aperture as the Odd Man Out ?

Sure we can accept the attitude that there have been some meaningful updates to Aperture, driven by the core features in OS X … but … by that same attitude, we would all still be running Snow Leopard on a 2009 computer … life would be grand …

Technology moves on. The hardware and OS that is available today is capable of accomplishing so much more than just a few years ago. I’m only asking Apple to step up and show a little love for Aperture like they have done in nearly every other facet of their business. No customer wants to feel like they are insignificant. I must say, Apple has lost far too many once very loyal Aperture users. It’s time to stop the bleeding. 

It really is more than the interpretation of version numbers. Especially considering Apple has more actual cash in the bank than does the U.S. Treasury. 

I submit input to Apple via the “Provide Aperture Feedback” link once a week for over a year and half now. In the past, I definitely would have moved on to another source by now. It is my faith that Apple will step up very soon that keeps me hanging on. I must admit, Apple has done very little of late to warrant that trust much longer. Never before have I ever felt compelled to beg a vendor for a product. Never before had I ever groveled, just for the purpose to spend more money with a vendor.

If your photography is your profession and livelihood … doubt in your supporting vendors is not a building block to success. 

Yes, Aperture 3.5.1 is a great application  …. However … I want more and am willing to pay for it … Apple only needs to get off their butt and do something about it.

C Guenther's picture
by C Guenther
March 25, 2014 - 1:09am

I can understand the frustration to wait on a new major update, but Apple does not support Aperture is not true! Look at their updates and patches since they introduce Aperture 3:

3.0.1, 3.0.2, 3.0.3

3.1, 3.1.1, 3.1.2, 3.1.3

3.2, 3.2.1, 3.2.2, 3.2.3, 3.2.4

3.3, 3.3.1, 3.3.2

3.4, 3.4.1, 3.4.2, 3.4.3., 3.4.5

3.5, 3.5.1

And for me a good investment during the last years: no payment in the meantime, all progresses for free. The only major thing I miss is the lens correction, but for most of all works on my pictures I am happy with Aperture. I tried Lightroom, the raw engine is in my opinion not on the level of Aperture (Nikon NEF, but better with my Leica DNG) or esp. Capture One (currently the best tool for picture - IMHO). And the most thing I did not like at LR, is the ugly workflow, I did not understand it to work efficient with LR - that is the major reason for me to work with Aperture.

Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
March 25, 2014 - 5:35am

Yes, indeed, Apertutre 3 has seen a good number of free updates over it’s long lifespan. I appreciate every single update. However, if we sort the wheat from the chaff and eliminate  the “improve overall stability and performance” as well as “fixes” for problems introduced from the previous updates items from the list … there really isn’t much left to hang your hat on in the way of new or additional features and capabilities … 

Aperture could very easily be much more. Apple has the resources available to them to accomplish such a task with little extra effort. They simply have chosen not to make it a priority.

Nigel's picture
by Nigel
March 25, 2014 - 9:15am

Don’t get me wrong here, there’s nothing wrong with Aperture per se, it works and will continue to do so. Fine. Great. My G4 iMac worked too. But there are two problems:

1. The competition has moved on. In Lightroom 5 you can edit referenced images without the originals connected. That’s called progress. I spent top dollar for my gear and I see no reason to make do with 4 year old tech just because Apple can’t be bothered.

2. The customers have moved on. I’m alone amongst my peers and my company has moved wholesale to Lightroom. 

People want to know why Apple doesn’t have a compelling answer in the one field it should absolutely dominate.

It makes no sense.

This isn’t iDVD, this is a key app that serves as a conduit for about 150,000 images. And while Mr. Cook talks about Apple’s successes and high customer satisfaction he’s missing out one piece of information: The innumerable lost customers that weren’t happy but simply moved on. 

nusbaum's picture
by nusbaum
March 25, 2014 - 9:24am

My initial comment wasn’t trying to justify the lack of significant new functionality from Apple. I was trying to point out to the OP that there is more to consider in making the move from Aperture to Lightroom. I followed the trend… I moved to Lightroom, invested in VSCO presets (which are really nice by the way) and then realized, once again, that I really don’t like the RAW conversions provided by ACR. We all have different needs and expectations.  I fell in love with photography in the days of film and there is an analog look that still resonates with me. I have not found my way there yet with ACR and, in my case, all the new Lightroom features don’t matter if I don’t like the RAW conversion that is the foundation of my images. So, I’m moving back to Aperture, or a combination of Aperture and CaptureOne. People can argue that Apple doesn’t care and Aperture is dead, that’s fine with me, I simply wanted to point out that for some of us the decision is about more than the feature list and the release number.

Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
March 25, 2014 - 10:16am

I guess much of my recent disappointment and frustration stems from using FCP X and witnessing the advancements offered there when comparing it to earlier versions … then jumping into Aperture to work on images … not so much that the latest version of FCP has more blue chip features … it is the simplicity of function in FCP X compared to earlier versions … it is more refined and detailed to a modern workflow. It accomplishes more with less effort, fewer clicks and much less frustration. I want that for Aperture.

I many ways, Aperture just feels old  and behind the times … while it can provide the end product many users desire … as one could also do with an older version of FCP … there is much more … I mean a whole bunch more … of simple and subtle improvements that Apple could offer for Aperture.

Just a few examples that come to mind that could be added rather easily …

1. Lift and stamp adjustments should be a function that is much easier and could be done so much more effortlessly and efficiently … the current method has long outlived it’s usefulness as provided.

2. Batch rename … why should I also have to turn off metadata EVERY time I want to batch rename the images at the beginning of a work session … or tick a check box to apply the change to originals … what is so difficult to have a mechanism that remembers my previous settings?

3. How about the addition of a built-in seamless custom FTP export option? The ability is already there under the hood … unless of course exporting to Facebook, Flickr and SmugMug is accomplished using fairies, wizards and unicorns …

In many cases it is not the lack of several whiz-bang, high profile, attention grabbing features never before seen in Aperture … it is more often smoothing out the wrinkles and refining what is already present in the app … Something for which I would gladly reward Apple in a monetary fashion for their efforts because the time and frustration  saved would be well worth the investment. Unfortunately, I can’t purchase that which does not exist.

nusbaum's picture
by nusbaum
March 25, 2014 - 10:24am

Hi Nigel… I hope you didn’t take my comments as confrontational. I actually feel like I’m stepping backwards no matter where I turn at this point.

You mentioned spending top dollar for your gear, which probably includes one or more macs to run Aperture and/or Lightroom. You’ve probably invested in a nice graphics card inside those macs. But, the Lightroom image pipeline does not leverage the GPU on your graphics card, which means you’re not leveraging investment in graphics hardware and you are having to invest in CPU hardware to handle bigger and more complex images. In fact, Aperture and CaptureOne can both leverage GPU acceleration, Lightroom cannot. 

I’m not disagreeing with you, Apple could dominate here and they are coasting. But maybe the next time somebody comments about your old technology you can point out that your old technology just may be a bit more advanced than some of their new technology.

Nigel's picture
by Nigel
March 25, 2014 - 11:24am

Hi nusbaum. You’re absolutely right about Aperture’s GPU use. I use a simple iMac, and was thinking about upgrading to the new Mac Pro, but not any more. Lightroom is a dog even on our latest-greatest MacBook Pro so it makes precious little difference what we do.

This is one of the frustrating things. Apple has some things down, but as you say they’re coasting. It’s infuriating! So close and yet so far. 

For the commenters who say Aperture works for them I say, fantastic, keep on with it. Why fix what works for you. But this is not the situation I, nor I dare say the majority of pros, are in. 

We’ve been on a bigtime 3000+ subject shoot for months now, a hundred multiple-pose headshots every day. The boss man uses Lightroom, his retouchers all use Lightroom and the second shooters use Lightroom. And all the members of our local photographers club use Lightroom.

This situation got me thinking. Apple demands clear roadmaps from their technology suppliers (Intel, etc..) so they know to plan for the future. But they don’t give us the same courtesy. I’m not a consumer, I’m a professional photographer. This is what I do. I love Apple surprises as much as anyone, heck, I’ve watched the first iPhone keynote a dozen times, but as a pro I need to know what to plan for. What I don’t need is to be kept in the dark for 2 years.

I would love to read the news tomorrow about the new remarkable game-changing Aperture X. But I’ve stopped believing it will happen.

nusbaum's picture
by nusbaum
March 25, 2014 - 11:32am

I agree 100% about the need for a roadmap. This is too critical an area for a Pro to just leave to chance. But, are we forced to go to Lightroom just because we know there will be a next release? I want the RAW processing of capture one 7, the workflow of Aperture and the adjustment tools provided by Lightroom… is that really too much to ask for?

John Waugh's picture
by John Waugh
March 25, 2014 - 12:02pm

I have been an Aperture Trainer for over 6 years and have used Lightroom right along to understand the comparison and the strengths of both.  With or without a new major version update to Aperture I use it with confidence and satisfaction on daily projects (50-500) images and massive projects ( 10,000 images) alike.  I find that changes for the sake of change usually  leaves me wanting for something that used to be. Car manufacturers are famous for this.  I can accomplish everything Lightroom offers with a round trip into PS that I need to do in either program.  I for one am happy to operate in Aperture with its frequent minor yet significant updates ( Mavericks + 3.5.1 is a great step up) rather than face a massive change over that leaves tens of thousands of  adjusted images behind and offers a slower and more confusing  interface  than what I use with ease everyday.  With the recent changes to Photoshop I fear its only a matter of time until Lightroom will be subscription based as well. 

My 2 cents worth.

John Waugh, Photographic Images • Apple Certified Trainer• Sport Action Lifestyle Photography

Rafael -'s picture
by Rafael -
March 26, 2014 - 6:59pm

Nigel, I agree with your point. I actually don’t disagree with anyone that Aperture needs a major update. It’s overdue, yes. Do we know when it will come, or what feature will bring us, unfortunately no. I also see the point that to make an investment (not talking about money here, but rather the important one: time spent) on a program without a clear road map is stressful, specially for professionals. Maybe I can take that lack of updates easier since I am not a pro. However I do feel the stress  since I have tons of photos on Aperture and I dedicated a significant amount of time organizing  and editing them. My profession does not depend on Aperture, my photographic memories do. That puts me on the same boat, I also want Apple to be transparent, I also want them to show us some love. But I don’t want the talk, the pre-release, the beta software. I want the working and tested version. 

Butch, your post is an eye opener for sure. A lot of things happen since 2010 when Aperture 3 was released. However I think your statement about the increment updated to Aperture (“improve overall stability and performance” as well as “fixes” for problems introduced from the previous updates items from the list”) is not quite fair. If you open Aperture 3 and compare to 3.5.1 you will see it’s not the same program (and still we had to pay nothing for the changes). Even if you don’t count the changes that were done at the OS level, some important things happened: the unified library with iPhoto for example, photostream and integration Smugmug just to name a few. One may argue that this is not a pro feature but I think from a enthusiast/advanced user this was major. This allowed a number of advanced users to move from iPhoto. No doubt the Lightroom user base is larger, after all, Aperture is Mac only and that per se is just 5% of the computers out there, isn’t it? I still think that Aperture user base is larger than most think, specially looking at its place at the App store. Since it’s release there in 2011, is has never left the top 15 of most paid. Someone is buying it, must be using it. Maybe not going to the internet forums to make its use a big deal.

At the end of the day, when I read all the post above, I see a lot of love for Aperture. We are all mad for not having the love back. I just wish someone at Apple, perhaps someone Joseph used to work with, would stop by, read all of this discussion and bring to their attention. We definitely deserve better.

Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
March 26, 2014 - 10:42pm

Rafael – I think I was more than fair.

If Apple were to apply the same meager development path for OS X, iOS and all the hardware they produce … would their bottom line be where it is today? Would the Apple brand and their market share be growing while the rest of the industry is either stagnant or dwindling?

What I am asking is why Aperture … the app they labeled with a “Professional” status has been the only such pro app they offer to be treated like an afterthought by comparison?

I am a working pro. I need tools that are going to make my tasks easier. As a businessman, I am constantly  pushed to offer more, offer it more quickly and do so efficiently. I need apps that can lead the way in that respect. Not stick stubbornly to the status quo. Until now, Apple always seemed to be forward looking … seeing things I hadn’t thought of yet to make my efforts more streamlined.

I repeat, I am not unhappy or ungrateful with the updates to Aperture 3 … I appreciate they have come with no additional fees … but my business efforts need more … the kind of solutions I would expect a developer with the resources Apple has available for an application they consider to be worth labeling professional. (I am not implying that I think only working pros should use Aperture … only that apps with that moniker should meet or exceed professional expectations)

What good are all the innovations in hardware and OS they have created in the past four years if they are not willing to push the envelope with Aperture?

I think that is a more than fair question.

Rafael -'s picture
by Rafael -
March 26, 2014 - 11:48pm

Butch, I see your point and your needs. I truly respect that and understand where you are coming from. My statement about fainess was regarding the “stability improvement and fixes”, I still think that from Aperture 3 to 3.5 there were changes significant enough that if added a few more bells and whistles would have been called a major update by other companies. 

I agree that a lot happened in the iOS software and hardware side. Sometimes I feel that’s all Apple cares about. On the desktop side I am not so sure. OS X Mountain Lion was not a huge change form previous, the annual OSX updates since have incorporated iOS features and Mavericks introduced “under the hood” improvements. Hardware advancements have been mostly in the GPU area. As far as CPU, in 2010 iMacs already had i5 and i7 on them, we all know that the MacPro did not received a significant upgrade from 2010 until late last year (the 2012 was considered a joke as far as upgrade and if I recall, there was even an apology from Apple after their release). I tried hard to convince myself to get a new MacPro but will end up keeping my 2009 MacPro till I have a definite proof that it’s worth upgrading from the photographic point of view ( I believe that from video editing it’s a different story).

Perhaps Aperture 4 is a re-write from scratch. Maybe is taking longer than expected to make use of the GPU advancements of the new MacPro. Perhaps the long wish list of features have not been added to the current version since it’s been added and worked on the new one.

Anyways, I am not here to find excuses for the lack of upgrades, for their poor relationship with working professionals and lack of transparency and road map. Neither I am trying to tell what people should settle for and not expect from a professional grade software. I was  just trying to share my optimism and be positive about Aperture’s future. 

Take care, Raf

Walter Rowe's picture
by Walter Rowe
March 27, 2014 - 4:49pm

There is an interesting thread on the Apple Aperture Discussions about Aperture 4.

There are 20 pages of conversation dating back to December 2011.

Don rabideau's picture
by Don rabideau
March 28, 2014 - 1:41pm

Not trying to to be an Apple apologist, I’m just as frustrated as everyone else about being left in the dark. But, it’s not like Lightroom has rendered Aperture obsolete like many people on various forums seem to believe. I mean, as a DAM, Lightroom is piss poor and Aperture is actually fantastic in this regard. In fact i don’t know of anything better. ACR is better than Apple’s raw algorithm, but thats really it, and thats only part of the application.

Nigel's picture
by Nigel
March 28, 2014 - 4:46pm

Even then Don, I’ve seen side by side comparisons and they’re neck-a-neck in my view. But yes, as a DAM Aperture rules the roost.

It doesn’t matter.

One company added lens profiles and smart previews to their app, stuff pros might use. The other added iPhoto library compatibility O_o and Faces (which is consumer-grade facial recognition that can only be applied to an entire library or not at all, you know, because as a wedding photographer what I was hoping for was an easy way to choke my drive with 150,000 low-res pictures of people’s faces, car tires, statues and animals, because even though Faces is just that good Apple has spent effort in updating and improving its performance…..)

nusbaum's picture
by nusbaum
March 28, 2014 - 5:07pm

Smart previews? really? Smart previews drive me nuts because they seem to have been pretty much half baked and then set free on the world.

- If you create your smart previews you also need to keep your dump previews around because Lightroom cannot live on just the Smart Previews.

- If you switch to full screen mode Lightroom will generate a 1-to-1 preview to go with your dump preview and your smart preview, even if both the dump preview and smart preview are more than adequate to meet your monitor’s resolution.


I’ll admit that we cannot make adjustments on an Aperture preview, but you can generate your previews and then sit on a plane in quick preview mode and make all of your selections and get everything queued up to retouch. You can also generate web size images from previews, as long as the previews are of adequate size. If used this multiple times on the road when I didn’t happen to have my external drive handy. And… this has all worked for years.

Sorry for ranting…

Nigel's picture
by Nigel
March 28, 2014 - 5:39pm

It’s ok, you can rant. :D

I just mentioned random features, smart previews being one. I could have said graduated filters or the far superior crop tool (Crop/straighten in Lr is ‘R’ - click and drag, easy. Aperture takes 3x the effort.) or any number of things, but the biggest by far is the one feature that takes Lightroom up to another level: Edit History.

This is the game changer that I was sure Apple would bring to version 3, but what with the iPhone selling so well, only 60,000 employees and a bank balance of $160b, we can’t expect the world.

Seriously. Edit history in Aperture would be enough to bring me back. But it is as likely as finding enriched uranium in my cereal.

nusbaum's picture
by nusbaum
March 28, 2014 - 6:33pm

Thanks Nigel… you can toss in the better noise reduction and improved sharpening algorithms, along with the others you mentioned, and I won’t disagree at all.  It would be nice if I could like Lightroom as much as everybody else… but it just irritates me too much.

Martin Herrera's picture
by Martin Herrera
March 29, 2014 - 3:25pm

I’ve been a user and a certified trainer for Aperture since version 1.  Beyond the extremely long delay in providing a new version addressing significant lacks compared to the competition (many of which have been addressed above, and to which I could add support for pressure sensitive pens, etc.), my greatest source of frustration remains the lack of reasonable visibility considering we are taking about a pro product.  Both for professional use, as well as a certified trainer, I find this attitude arrogant and a very poor business judgement on behalf of Apple.  

Martin Herrera Soler |

Anna's picture
by Anna
December 19, 2014 - 1:06am

upgrade ever time there’s a new version, the CC is a decent deal. 

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