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Photos for OS X - Random Thoughts #1
Charles Putnam's picture
by Charles Putnam
February 6, 2015 - 3:08am

Disclaimer - I don’t have access to the developer preview, so these thoughts are based off of information from Apple and several videos of Photos in action.  Also, I need to own up and note I opted into Adobe’s CC Photography plan (long before Apple announced they were ending development of iPhoto and Aperture).  That said, here are some random observations:

  • Repeat after me - this is just a beta…this is just a beta.  Point being - it ain’t finished yet.
  • I don’t think Photos was designed to be a full blown replacement for Aperture.  Apple lost a lot of ground and users to Lightroom when Lightroom 4 came out.  While Lightroom’s interface was a lot more clunky than Aperture’s, the editing tools in the Develop module tended to do a better job than Aperture’s.
  • While this isn’t a full blown Aperture replacement, it’s a lot better than iPhoto.  Photos appears to retain Aperture’s basic editing tools - highlight/shadow, black point, definition, etc.  It also does include levels.
  • Remembering back to the WWDC 2014 keynote, one of the big things that stood out to me is the availability of extensions by third parties to add functionality.  Craig demo’d an extension that added lens/perspective correction.  I have to believe that this extension will be available when Photos ships with 10.10.3.  I have to wonder….developers have two months or so to create usable extensions for Photos that will add functionality.
  • Yes - Photos is designed towards the consumer.  But…it’s way better than anything that’s built into that other operating system from the boys and girls in Redmond.
  • There’s a myth that Photos will make people store all their images in iCloud.  Totally false.  If you want to, you can - but you don’t have to.  That sort of stuff is for hipsters who don’t know how to cull through their images and delete the crappy ones. You still have the ability to store your images on your hard drive.
Butch Miller's picture
by Butch Miller
February 6, 2015 - 4:03am

I agree Charles … we’ve seen so much from disappointed Aperture users about what the Photos app appears to be lacking when compared to Aperture and not truly anything about what the Photos app Developer Beta CAN do. I would prefer to hear actual testers’ thoughts on how well the app renders finished images.

My point of interest is how RAW images processed in Photos for OS X compare with the same image processed in Aperture 3.6 and/or Lightroom 5.7.

I would be specifically interested in how the Photos app compares in fine detail rendering, sharpening and noise reduction. Especially at higher ISO and real world mixed lighting situations.

I’m much more interested in the finished product I hand off to my clients than I am about how many bells, buzzers and whistles I have become accustomed to employing in reaching that goal. Isn’t the whole purpose of software to simplify the task at hand? Rather than complicate those tasks?

In time, I may whole heartedly agree with each and everyone who is panning the new Photos app without ever actually using it … it may very well turn out not to be a serious alternative to Aperture … or any other option. However, I will base that opinion on actual results and not conjecture or speculation without any actual use whatsoever.

Charles Putnam's picture
by Charles Putnam
February 6, 2015 - 5:53am

The one thing I picked up on from the WWDC keynote is that extensions seemed to be key in adding functionality to Photos..  Time will tell to see what sort of extensions developers come up with.

helalwi's picture
by helalwi
March 5, 2015 - 1:12pm

Yes some are very interested in finding out about the rendering of fine detail etc. 

I think if this is the issue then we have many other options. First of all Lightroom or Capture One. 

I think that a main challenge when changing from Aperture to something else has to do with the management of our libraries. How much is taken over and how much is lost.

Best regards, Alex

Michael Paolantonio's picture
by Michael Paolantonio
March 15, 2015 - 12:04am

I appreciate this thread–the Photos beta is not ready for prime time, but it’s not supposed to be.  As Charles said, it’s a beta.  And the promise of plugins that act on the raw file, rather than an exported tif, is too great for me to ignore.  That is huge, as it could satisfy the pixel peepers (noise reduction, lens correction, film/color packs), but still provide all of the convenience of a “consumer” app.  And honestly, “professional” apps are usually miserable to use.  That’s why they’re pro–someone has to pay you to use them.  I know, I use some every day!

My wife and I both have iPhones, and we want photos on them.  Friends, too.  If I jumped ship (and I’ve been testing C1 extensively), I’d still need to export .jpgs, import them into Photos, and then share.  I tried to do this for a week.  Call me a lazy non-photographer, but it’s simply too cumbersome, when a Photostream share is a click away.  And if I decide later that I blundered the white balance, I can tweak it.  I don’t need to export another .jpg.

Photos 1.0 likely won’t have everything we want from Aperture 3.6, but it looks better than iPhoto.  And only after 1.0 ships can we really say if it’s worth the pain to switch to another program.  Even if the stars are gone permanently, that’s okay–I’m inconsistent with what a final keeper’s star rating is, anyway (2 some years, 5 some years, etc).  Maybe the binary Favorite isn’t so bad.

I’m curious what others perceive as “deal breakers” with Photos.  Is it because No True Photographer would disgrace themselves to use it?  Because I’m still cautiously optimistic.

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