August 17th, 2010
Mac users starting out in real estate photography are faced with a choice of whether to go with Lightroom or Aperture for photo management/editing. Back in February I did a comparison of of Lightroom and Aperture just after Aperture 3 was released. Now that both Aperture 3 and Lightroom 3 have been out for a while it’s a good time to revisit the comparison of these two photo management applications.
I use both Lightroom 3 and Aperture 3 on a MacBook Pro (a 2 year old 2.53 GHz MacBook Pro with 4 Gig of RAM) Here is my impression of the pros and cons for these two applications. This comparison is by no means intended to be exhaustive. These are just some of my favorite features and issues.
- Aperture brushes: I am totally in love with this feature. If it weren’t for the lens correction features in Lightroom I would move completely to Aperture just for this feature.
- Aperture video editing: This is compelling feature but you get the same features on every Mac for free in iMovie.
- Aperture GPS mapping: This is another feature I love. I can just snap a iPhone shot while shooting with my 5D when I import the iPhone photos with the 5D photos and Aperture will automatically put the iPhone GPS data on the 5D shots taken around the same time. Very cool!
- Aperture feels slow to me on my MacBook Pro: It always seems to be doing stuff in the background and just doesn’t feel as snappy as Lightroom 3.
- Slide shows: Aperture 3 will create slideshows on me.com but I just don’t find these useable for real estate use.
- Aperture updates: Historically new versions of Aperture seem to be few an far between and Apple does not let the user community participate in betas like Adobe does. There have been many long waits for RAW conversion compatibility in Aperture’s past.
- The Lens correction features: for real estate photographers this is a huge time saver not to have to round trip out to another an application like PTlens or Photoshop to just fix verticals or horizontals.
- Lightroom feels snappy on my MacBook Pro.
- The ability to create slide shows on any website you can access
- Costs $100 more: A new license cost $100 more than Aperture.
- Interface: Lightroom 3 doesn’t feel as “Apple like” as Aperture 3 does.
In summary, my opinion is that having great lens correction features built into Lightroom 3 makes it the obvious choice for real estate photographers. This feature doesn’t make much difference to other areas of photography but having your verticals, vertical your horizontals, horizontal and not having barrel distortion from your wide angel lens is super important in real estate photography and the time a real estate photographer saves buy having these features built into Lightroom 3 is worth the extra $100 over Aperture 3.