Aperture afterlife


The king is dead, long live the king!

 It’s sure Apple is no longer support Aperture – the very useful tool for photography which many people fell in love with a long time ago. And below you can see why I am still using it as my main RAW converter/DAM/Editor. Photos is not an option due to lacking many functionality although Apple promised to interact with some plugins (even of 3rd parties). Anyway – I recently started to search for substitution, however Apple with Aperture set bar really high. I would be satisfied with 3 different products but only if they posses good interoperability.

 I considered this list as one of possible solution:
Adobe Lightroom – LR
darktable – DT
AfterShot2 Pro – ASP2
digiKam – DK
PhotoSupreme Premium – PSP
PerfectPhotoSuite – PPS
Media Pro – MP
CaptureOne Pro – C1P


 There are 2 groups of people – one which like/don’t mind using Adobe (LR,PS,etc) – and 2nd group thinks about Adobe as ‘not convenient’ politely said. From my POV I still feel LR logic very strange: arrows instead of sliders, archiving structure, etc. I still prefer to do some fine editing in Aperture, but must admit, that for HDR or Panorama using 3rd parties SW (Hydra, Autopano, Photoshop). I still feel controls & logic in LR cumbersome and I don’t like spending more time trying it there. And another drawback is their subscription – this is no-go for me as I’m not gonna pay ransom money and once I decided not to pay to loose everything. Remember I can still access/edit/export everything from Aperture.


 Well, this is the worst I encounter from whole group. I must say – it was a waste of time. From screenshots it looks quite promising, but the reality was horrible. Only benefit could be the price, the rest is disadvantage. Usability ease, workflows, results…


 Formerly Bibble, currently owned by Corel. Only worse here about working space was DT. For me was quite unnatural layout and also its interoperability was zero. It could be maybe the World’s fastest RAW convertor, but when comes to editing it’s completely useless.


 Another OpenSource in the jar – I tried DK some years ago on Linux and also bring it to Mac eventually. This is quite nice and useful tool. Of course there are few bugs, which needs to be fixed, but community around DK is quite large and their forum is also live. My main disappointment is installation. It’s really heavy (it consumes ~1G of space due to various dependency). On the other hand it offers lots of nice tools. What discourage me was the installation on OSX and interoperability.
EDIT: digiKam-package-Yosemite – link for 4.9 version


 Pure DAM solution, well, maybe it’s slightly better than Photos – maybe. Interface is kinda immature and there is waste of space, so I need to use external monitor for comfortable ‘work’. Another thing which quite annoys me is that shortcuts are simply not there and when doing changes, it’s not handy at all.


 You can read on their pages, that this ‘suite’ is offering bunch of various editing tools in one package. Well, the other vendors are not distinguishing among such ‘features’. So resizing, layers and other adjustments are many times part of the SW. Now I can feel the pain, when know that Aperture will evaporate one day – but I also know, it will for something much better not worse. What I like here was possibilities of various Cloud services. Interface is not so bad in comparison with the others and you can indeed do lot of nice stuff (check their pages for tutorials). I found again something weird in their workflow (eg: when cropping), weird weird zooming in Resize and so on. Also it behaves quite slowly (saving after crop, recalculating images) and for me the main issue was size of adjusted image. Somehow when using layers the size jumped – when cropping 22MB file it creates 320MB file. The only option when you don’t want to loose quality (when edit files you need to copy it and then only FileFormat which supports layers is Photoshop anyway). That really disappointed me – masking in Aperture took few kB (it uses channels stored in TIFF).


 I will said it quickly – maybe it’s powerful – I don’t really know, because interoperability is weak. MP is not even properly communicate with its sister’s app C1P. So I didn’t really try it.


 It advertises itself as professional RAW convertor not a DAM. Also the advert says – more than 300 cameras supported – heh, sad the iPhone is not among them. It posses also Catalog for files (not only Filesystem) & it really caught my attention with powerful functions it offers. Especially Tethered sessions (studio shooting via cable is really sophisticated – you can see on youtube one presentation). It should also import Aperture. I didn’t try, because on their user forum are reported some issues and support {hopefully} will fix it soon. So as MP was disappointment for me, C1P surprised me pleasantly here. I like the ability of switching workspace – I guess it’s more than handy! You can switch layouts depending not only based on functionality (brushing local changes or viewing), but you can change it base on your own mind 🙂
And yes, I found few things which bother me. The Catalog is not the perfect one, no iPhone support, the interoperability with MP is not good and the another disadvantage – price. C1P is approx 3x more expensive than Aperture was.

I am still exploring C1P and it’ll take me some more time to decide. I’m not in a pressure – I still store my pics in Aperture – I’m really more productive there. Aperture is really logical & pleasant from user usability perspective – it’s not just habit. Even the support ends, it’s still running on my Mavericks (and will once I’ll migrate to Yosemite) which gives me another 1-2years.

The above is my personal preferences, if someone has different – feel free to express yourself 🙂