Photoshop Has Competition

By Deane Barker on October 19, 2005

Apple – Aperture: Is there a difference — in terms of software — between “professional photgraphers” and graphic artists? Do they use the same type of software?

Designed from the ground up for professional photographers, Aperture provides everything you need for after the shoot, delivering the first all-in-one post-production tool for photographers.



  1. Yep, A professional designer knows what a pica is and when to use spot color. A professional photographer can focus a manual without looking through a viewfinder and knows why his linear polarizers are only useful for his really old glass. Aperture probably doesn’t care about picas.

  2. Aperture is not intended to replace Photoshop, nor could it completely. Apple put the tools in it that a photographer will use and left out the meat of what makes Photoshop Photoshop. Remember Photoshop was around long before people started using it to manipulate their digital photos. Aperture fills a void in the market by providing additional tools that Photoshop does not.

  3. In terms of getting actual work done, I don’t think Aperture does much that Photoshop and Bridge don’t. It does many things differently (and perhaps more slickly — Photoshop has a lot of legacy baggage in its interface and featureset).

    I don’t know any more about Apple’s motivations than the next guy, but given the waiting game that we went through with Photoshop’s transition to OS X it’s understandable that Apple would want to be sure that when the Intel machines come out next year there’s a pro-level imaging app that runs on them from day one.

  4. Apple put in many of the tools that photographers use, but certainly not all. For example, I’d be very surprized to see Aperture supporting advanced sharpening techniques – something best achieved with controllable contrast mask layers (Aperture has no layer support). The converter specs don’t mention chromatic aberration and fall-off correction tools. The list of supported raw file types is pretty shallow for Aperture. No Fuji .raf support. Even pros like to use compact cameras sometimes, especially those with raw format capability.

    Apple makes much of “nondestructive” raw processing as if that was something new. ACR/Bridge/Photoshop tracks raw settings via sidecar files. Nikon Capture saves setting changes along with the original camera settings. No conversion application affects the actual raw file data, it either tracks your settings and changes without touching raw data, or you create a processed image file in a useful format (something you can place in a layout or post to the web). “Destructive” processing is a straw man.

    The real test of Aperture will be how good it is as a converter. Converters vary widely in how well they work . Aperture had better be excellent for the asking price.

  5. I excitely purchased Aperture and had decided to change my entire workflow for 2006 (mainly weddings, events) from a PC using Photoshop and ProShots, back to the mac from which I had to switch from to a PC back in 2001.

    Unfortunately, I come to find out that there is no Fuji S3 .RAF support. Should I have checked compatibility prior? probably, But one would assume that a major camera’s raw file format would be included as one of the target markets for Aperture is weddings and the S3 is widely used in this field.

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