The latest version of Apple's RAW workflow tool has features for everyone.
Apple, Apple, Apple
Steve Jobs & Company ensnare people with interconnected products, which can be both wonderful and infuriating. Wonderful when you love the products; annoying when you don’t. A perfect case in point: iPad syncing. Photographers who use their iPads as their portable portfolios will have a very good reason to consider Aperture, because adding albums of photos from Aperture to your iPad is a breeze. But if you use Lightroom, you’ll need to export your photos from there, then put them in a folder to sync to your iPad.
More bonuses for Apple aflcionados: If you use the Address Book to manage your contacts, Faces will suggest names based on your contacts. And if you do tag people who are contacts, their e-mail addresses will be linked up with their photos.
iPhone owners are also able to use their phones as GPS taggers. If you import your iPhone images, they can be automatically located on a map using Places. When you’re shooting with your DSLR, take a shot with your iPhone at all of your favorite locations. Then use Aperture to grab that location data and add it to a group of images from your DSLR. Do this during your whole trek, and you’ll have a complete geotagged map of where you’ve been.
Finally, if you sign up for MobileMe—Apple’s internet, syncing, and backup service—you can create web galleries and upload them straight from Aperture.
Still Not Perfect
Although we tested version 3.03, which flxed many of the bugs in Aperture 3’s initial release, we still had a few major crashes. Sometimes the image would hang up when loading, and no adjustment we made would preview. Restarting the program flxed the problem.
We liked the revamped import dialogue, which makes it easy to add metadata, to see where your pictures are going, and to do simultaneous backup. But there’s a strange quirk: While you can see all your subfolders if importing to Aperture from your computer’s hard drive, when you offload a memory card, the program only reads files that are located within the card’s DCIM folder. So if you make organizational subfolders within that folder, Aperture will bring all the images in at once. (To circumvent this problem, we just manually copied the images to our computer and imported them from there.)
We wish that the export dialogue were a little more robust, and hope that the next version of Aperture adds the ability to sharpen for export. Printing, while improved, still doesn’t quite stand up to Lightroom. When printing contact sheets or pages with multiple photos, you must preselect them—you can’t add them while making the layout.
Probably because Apple is not dedicated to imaging software, RAW updates can be a little slow in coming. We were frustrated that, at press time in mid-June, we couldn’t load RAW images from the Olympus Pen E-PL1 or the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G2, despite the fact that we could process them with Adobe Camera Raw. Apple suggested we try using Adobe’s DNG converter to add them in that format, but, at press time, we still couldn’t get our files to load.