The Buying Decision
Aperture occupies an unusual place in the RAW workflow world, having both pro-level RAW conversion with options like exporting 16-bit TIFF files and editing with Curves, and more consumer-level features like Facebook syncing and direct photo book creation.
As an Apple product, it’s already extremely specialized and will likely draw many of its users from the group of photo enthusiasts who love Apple software and want to move up from iPhoto.
If you’re a heavy Photoshop user and do lots of retouching, you would probably prefer Lightroom for its tight integration with Photoshop, particularly since its Camera Raw processing is exactly the same as Photoshop’s. For example, if you like to open a lot of RAW files as smart objects in Photoshop, you won’t be able to do so while keeping Aperture’s adjustments.
But if you would rather avoid Photoshop altogether, and especially if you want to make high-level RAW conversions but also want to make multimedia slide shows and book projects, Aperture is a great choice.