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Update on Aperture and more than you wanted to know.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Scott Sherman, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. Well, it has been a rocky start for Apple with the introduction of Aperture to a target audience of "professionals" with extraordinary high expectations. And rightfully so, with a $500 pricetag for a first edition software application.

    in my first impressions as I reported earlier in another thread, I was quite excited and when I first put Aperture on the computer and went into its many "Apple-esque" GUI interface options, it was like a kid opening a package under the Christmas Tree.

    A couple of weeks into it, reality began to take hold. I began to see the weaknesses in Aperture and a bit of dissapointment began to take hold as I realized that the claims of Apple in the form of very slick and well made flash and Quicktime movies may have been somewhat overstated. This dissapointment was fueled by an avalanche internet posts by outspoken, angry, indignation and resentment against Apple for charging so much for so little.

    Even though Apple was clear that Aperture is not a replacement for Photoshop, it was felt by many that it would be at least a Mac only deviation from Photoshop that would do most of the most common tasks that were asked of Photoshop and allow for some out of the box innovations in cataloging and other tasks such as web develpment for photography and professional books of photos and printing.

    Now as I have used it a bit more and had a chance to learn some of the tricks that Aperture is actually capable of, I have begun to re-asses the reality of what Aperture actually is and what it is not.

    First and formost, IT IS a first generation high end software program from a major company that does stand behind it's products quite well. Many (any I am one) had initially expected this software to be, if not a replacement for PS, at least up to par with it's mature interface and excellent output. well, let's remember for moment, that Photoshop is the end result of about 15 years of production improvments based on world wide use and input from users of all levels. No product can put out a first version with that kind of mature interface. While the expectation of a comparison with programs like PS have been a real problem for Apple, it is also an advantage. Apple can look at programs like PS, NC, C1 and others and learn from their progress and problems. So, I believe that Aperture will have a much shorter upgrade path schedule to make it on par with programs like PS which has been upgrading to version 9 to be where it is. Aperture version 2 will probably be a very advanced upgrade and make Aperture an evolved program much closer to what we all expected.

    For now I have lowered my expectation and enjoyed Aperture for what it really is. I have ordered a couple of books and been very happy with those.

    I have put together a website which has a fairly polished look with very little effort. I put this together last night in about 2 hours in an experiment using images that were previously edited for my "real" website". I may actually stop using the other website and just keep my .Mac presence instead. Here is the link if you are interested.


    I have migrated my entire library of images, about 15,000 or so into Aperture and I am quite happy with the ease which it allows for cataloging and retrieving those images. Much better than any thing I have used in the past.

    Is it perfect or even close to perfect? Absolutely not. Aperture is a new concept in imaging software. There is a serious learning curve and there is much room for improvement, but Apple is not a fly by night company and I feel that they will do the right thing here to make it much better. In the mean time, I am now going on record as saying I like it and will use it and look forward with great antisipation to the next upgrade release. It is fun, fast (for me) and very efficient and like all Apple stuff, it looks cool. I have learned to use it quite efficiently with Photoshop as an outside editor and together, they make for a very nice workflow and output combo. PS is magnificent at what it does but can be somewhat bloated, while Aperture is sleek and efficient and fun to use. What one doesn't do, the other does and vice versa.

    Just felt like sharing.
  2. Flew


    Jan 25, 2005
    Very interesting overview Scott. I'm not a Mac user, so Aperture obviously isn't available for me, but I am interested in alternatives to PS. As good as it is PS CS (and CS2) is not a true Windows application (never ran it on a Mac though). It is very frustrating to a Windows programmer to try to work with an app that, while very powerful, has so many dumb limitations (can't script zoom or file operations in an action?? Why not????).

    Thanks for the update.
  3. dbirdsong

    dbirdsong Guest

    That can fixed very easily Frank... www.apple.com


    Once you go Mac, you will never go back...
  4. There are still many limitations in Aperture also for website developing. It does not allow you to put in personalized links to anything and it will not allow commerce, ie; no store page or purchase button or any buttons for that matter. It is a great way to show someone in a remote location a bunch of photos without having to email them. It's a bit like having a coffee table book of your photos on line. If you are in the wedding photography business, I can see how this might work, if you don't need to allow purchase of images on line for prospective clients.

    If you want to have Aunt Birtha in Sescatchewan see your most recent snapshots of the kiddies, it is perfect, (assuming Aunt Birtha has a computer with internet and is willing to use it). making and updating a website is about as easy as pushing a few buttons.

    For complex or extensive web publishing, you still need to get Adobe GoLive or Macromedia, which is now also Adobe or you can just learn to code (yuck!)
  5. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    I've been wondering about that. I have always recommended Dreamweaver to my clients of medium sophistication. I suppose Adobe will decide to stop competing with themselves at some point. Personally I hope they fold GoLive into Dreamweaver, rather than the other way around.
  6. I know that there are not a lot of Mac users here and probably even less that use Aperture, but I will ask anyway...

    I noticed in iPhoto, you can click an option on .Mac to add a visitor counter that show how many have clicked on your website and a contact me link that allows a visitor to simply click to email the web creator. I have not been able to do this with the website I created in Aperture however and I can not seem to do it in .Mac as it only allows it if you use iPhoto.

    Is there a way to add these features to an Aperture website. Here is my aperture website which has been re-designed slightly since my first post in this thread.


    Chris, I doubt that Adobe will fold Dreamweaver into GoLive since Adobe has made a big deal out of the fact that you can use any of it programs with only a slight learning curve, (which is not exactly accurate) because they all have very similar GUI with the tools etc. I suspect in the end thier HTML editor will look a lot more like GoLive than Dreamweaver. That's about worth $.02 I think
  7. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  8. Chris101


    Feb 2, 2005
    I don't know the answer to your question (google 'free hit counter' and there's a bunch of them) but I believe that the percentage of Mac users here is quite a bit higher than in the population in general.
  9. MontyDog


    Jan 30, 2005
    #1064 - You have an error in your SQL syntax;
  10. I really hope Apple does take a hard look at the other programs out there for some lessons learned, etc... I hope you're right. I just think Apple (like Nikon with early versions of Capture) charged far too much money for a program that should be in beta. Ok, maybe that was harsh, but so is $500 for Aperture. How does Aperture compare with PS Elements? That's my million dollar question.

    Eeeeek! You may have posted this in another post, but is it easy to get photos out of Aperture? Is there an export function?

    Yeah, with Mac OS X Tiger I can use Automator or Applescript. For Windows, you can use VB script to handle file operations and batch processing.

    Ars Technica has done an Aperture 1.0 review follow-up to answer many of the emails they received as a result of their first review.
  11. Well, I wanted to follow up with a bit of progress. It seems you can edit your Aperture webpages beyond what is available in Aperture. You just go to iDisk>sites>your site and open the .html page in an editor. ( I used GoLive which worked okay). I just did some basic things like adding a link for email to each page and a counter on the first page. I added some additional page links (Aperture will only allow 6 at a time and makes you scroll to the next set of page links) I hope that Apple will make it a bit easier to add personal touch design tools such as personal links and such.

    Anyway, if your interested, take a look at what I have ended up with. As all websites seem to be, this is still a work in progress, but I am getting there. http://interactivephotos.com

    Sometimes simple is better when it comes to web designs anyway.

    I haven't figured out how to bring the pages edited in iDisk back into Aperture to re-edit in Aperture yet. As it is now, if you edit in Aperture upload to the web, a copy is saved in iDisk on your computer. You can make any changes made in Aperture easily and re-upload the changes, but Aperture is limited, so if you want to edit code, you must do it in iDisk which is saved directly to the web without uploading. However it is not saved to Aperture so when you want to add pictures for example, if you do it in Aperture, you loose anything you change with code in iDisk. Not very good planning IMHO. Now it may be (and very likely is that I just don't know what I am doing) so if any of you programer types can help, that would be outstanding.
  12. Never having used Elements, I couldn't comment. However, RAW processing and file management in Aper†ure are really excellent. This app has a fine Apple feel, too, which if you're a Mac person, you'll understand. One way they could improve processing capability is to provide a levels tool that's as good as Capture, though one can use Capture for that and import the file into Aperture afterward, as one can with Photoshop.

    The shop owner where I bought my copy this week told me that Apple is charging much less than cost (let alone profit) for Aperture because he believes their goal is to sell new hardware. He says that Apple believes that when people decide that they want Aperture and then discover they need a beefier system to run it, Apple will sell a lot of new equipment. He maintains that this is what they did with Final Cut, and it worked. When you see two 30" displays side by side running from a quad core G5 and displaying high definition digital photographs, it's hard to avoid a severe case of greed.

    He also said that Apple is very interested in user comments because they're looking at seriously improving Aperture in the next version. Moreover, that suddenly Adobe is much more interested in customer wishes than they were before Aperture was released.

    Long live competition. :smile:

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