February 12, 2008

Aperture 2.0 Update

I’ll be getting my 2.0 copy this week. In the mean time, I downloaded the trial copy while waiting and I have to say that in the few minutes I played around, I was very impressed. The new database code makes the whole program feel faster.

Other new features I really like: Export photos to Flickr, SmugMug, Gallery, Zenfolio, or Picasa, Sync directly to iPhone, iPod, or Apple TV, Show the location of your photos on Google Maps if your camera embeds GPS data.

This is no doubt an exciting update that will intensify the attention placed on Aperture. As a long-time Aperture user and advocate, I have to say – it’s about time.

This post sponsored by the Digital SLR Store

Join the conversation! 14 Comments

  1. I am looking forward to your review. I am using Lightroom right now and very satisfied, but who knows :-) when buy my D300 maybe I’ll switch.

  2. I ordered a Mac Pro in January with Aperture pre-installed. It hasn’t shipped yet, but I got a message from apple today that there were upgrading my Aperture from 1.5 and giving me Aperture 2 for free. :) Gotta love that!

    Thanks for keeping the blog up-to-date between podcasts!

  3. I have downloaded as well the trial, but as a newbie, found it not easy to handle. Is there any resources available I can get to understand Aperture 2.

  4. Hey Scott,

    I was just curious to see if I understood you right. All of those export options, including Flickr, are built into version 2? You don’t need any extra plugins to do so?

    Keep up the great work!

  5. thanks for the update that’s awesome news. I’ll be trying 2.0 out for sure now.

  6. To Zoobos:

    For new users I thoroughly recommend reading the manual. It’s available from the Help menu i Aperture, or you can find it online on Aperture’s support page:

    I found it invaluable to get a handle on the structure and thinking behind Aperture when I started learning how to make best use of the app.

    chaos pilot

  7. Using the trail now… cant find a built in flickr exporter, but other wise a great improvement,,, im using it on a Santa Rosa MacBook (integrated GPU) and it runs dam fast, much improved Database handling

  8. I have to say, I was scared of the 1.0/1.5 UI (just as I’m scared of Photoshop), and thus had trouble hooking into it.

    I’m not sure if it’s 2.0 itself or the learning I’ve done since 1.5, however, for $200 (which honestly is a non-trivial amount of money to me) and the new interface, I’m pretty sure I’m going to pick up a copy on the way home today.

    I know I need a work-flow. Since I almost exclusively shoot RAW, just as a matter of course, I figure it’s time for me to get into Aperture or Lightroom. Good timing on Apple’s part…

    Which brings me to a sort of off-topic comment. It’s the middle of February and we’ve had substantial Apple announcements this year, already. I hope future announcements help photographers (I’m thinking SD / CF card dumping to an iPhone). Simple editing, it could be done!

  9. So Aperture 2.0 is out now. Who cares? I spent $500 for version 1.0 and switched over to Lightroom as soon as it was out of Beta. I hated Aperture. I had to relearn it every time I used it and I used it every day. Now my whole library (over 50.000 images) are in Lightroom. I won’t even consider switching back to Aperture. Too disruptive for my workflow. I think they have missed the boat.

  10. Smari to answer your question – I care…along with the tens of thousands of others who use Aperture. I am glad you found something you like in Lightroom.

  11. I’m pretty excited about the new Aperture, too. Although no layers. Harumph.

    In answer to Smari, I have to say that I think his preference of Lightroom over Aperture, as opposed to my preference for Aperture over Lightroom, centers around the issue of modality.

    Lightroom is very modal. It uses a paradigm where there are different steps involved in the process of creating an image on paper (or whatever). Personally, I find that very limiting.

    Aperture, on the other hand, is pretty much non-modal. I like that a lot.

    This is a lot like the religious wars in the Unix/Linux community over vi versus emacs. It has less to do about the actual product than about how our minds work.

    Both Lightroom and Aperture are very fine products. I strongly prefer Aperture for a wide variety of reasons, but in the long run, it boils down to my workflow.

    Your religion may vary.

    -Ron Braithwaite
    Photographer since 1964

  12. Ron Aperture is not designed as a pixel editing program – hence no layers.

  13. I am also a former Aperture user. I was quite happy with it and didn’t see anything in the Lightroom Beta that I considered to be worth switching. But as the months went by Aperture, for reasons that I cannot explain, simply became less and less reliable. Spinning beachballs at random times, and a host of other issues just seemed to make what was once a rather pleasurable experience turn into frustration. (Before Aperture I was using Capture 1 Pro and iView).

    I’ve read other comments on the different modalities of Lightroom vs. Aperture and I suppose they may be right, but frankly I don’t see a lot of difference and, for me, the move was one of frustration that Apple’s product seemed to be declining in reliability and performance with each point release instead of going the other direction.

    With the 1.1 release of Lightroom, I felt that Adobe had matched Aperture in all but a few ways (e.g., it lacks Smart Albums) as far as my workflow was concerned, and in many ways the raw processing controls were superior (Aperture 2 has now achieved parity with Highlight recovery, Vibrance (called the same in Lightroom) and Definition (which is called Clarity in Lightroom and is generically known as local contrast enhancement).

    Lightroom has been a solid platform and did not seriously degrade as I loaded 40K images into it. I find it a pleasure to work with on both my quad-processor MacPro and my Macbook Pro (particularly with the ability to move catalogs between them).

    From my perspective Apertures biggest advantages over Lightroom (again, for me) are it’s integration with the iLife/iWork apps through the media browser, the integrated book generation gizmo, and, from a cool perspective, it’s ability to really take advantage of multiple monitors. For some, the vault feature may also be considered a big plus.

    I’m sure there may be some real gems buried in Aperture 2, but reading what Apple wrote about it on their web site, I see it mostly achieving parity with Lightroom on the major bullet items.

    This might have been the release I was waiting for, but alas, there’s nothing significant there for me to contemplate the utter pain of switching back (and, believe me, there IS pain moving between these two great programs.)

    – dave

  14. I love Aperture 2!

    The eyedrop on the color control is something I was hoping for (and looking for the instant I opened the control up in 1.5). The speed when in preview mode (“P” toggling between the two) is absolutely phenomenal, and I’m running a “low end” box (dual 2.0 G5, first generation) so that helps greatly.

    Question though: How are people using the GPS linkage in Aperture? I see the Latitude and Longitude EXIF tags are still non-editable through the interface (although I haven’t tried modifying them through AppleScript). So, still, it seems the workflow has to brand GPS info into the RAW files prior to Aperture import (meaning, that period of time when my wife wants me to show her a quick slideshow of the pictures we took during the day).

    I am not fortunate enough to have a Nikon with GPS support directly, and so what I end up with are a bunch of photos with timestamps synced to my GPS (or, if I forget to make sure they are synced when I start off, the last picture of the day is a shot of the GPS time screen so I can see the difference between the camera’s timestamp and the GPS timestamp, at least to 1 second accuracy), plus a library of GPS tracks (pulled in using MacGPS). I find I tend to have a little “massaging” work to do with my GPS data after pulling it in (probably my GPS’ing technique; it tends to lose signal entirely for patches, or get so weak a signal it thinks I’ve teleported around to the other side of the mountain for a few minutes), which takes time.

    I haven’t wanted to introduce a GPS-alignment step in between pulling the RAW in from the camera and importing it into Aperture for this reason. However, there aren’t any nice tools to add GPS data *after* it’s been pulled into Aperture (there is a tool to copy lat/long from Google Earth to a single picture, but the author hasn’t responded to my offer to help him expand its scope).

    So, what do you do? Do you rely on an on-camera GPS doohicky? Or, do you rely on one of the SD card reader/branders (which, frankly, really scare me!) to add GPS data to the images before import to Aperture? Or, do you insert a new step in your workflow to run everything through a software GPS brander prior to Aperture import?

    As much as I’d like to be able to brand my photos with the GPS coordinates of where they were taken, I just can’t seem to fit that into my workflow …

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