Is Aperture Dead For Real Estate Photographers?

May 5th, 2013

Aperture3Last week I had a reader tell me he’d like to see some discussion on the blog about how to improve his real estate workflow in Aperture. As he gets busier he wants to speed up his workflow without sacrificing quality. My short answer to his question is, “get a copy of Lightroom!”

First of all let me say that I use both Aperture 3 and Lightroom 4. I’m a Mac user, and there’s several things I really like about Aperture 3, but I NEVER use Aperture for real estate work. I do all of my real estate work with Lightroom! Here’s why:

  1. Lightroom 4 is faster for correcting verticals and barrel distortion: There’s no equivalent of the Lightroom Lens Correction panel in Aperture. This means if you care about fixing converging verticals and barrel distortion (and you’d better care if you are a real estate photographer) you have to use the PTlens plugin with Aperture, and make a round-trip out to PTlens for each photo (yuk!) or run a PTlens batch process outside of Aperture to do what you can literally do with a click and a couple of sliders in Lightroom 4 and will be done automatically in Lightroom 5.
  2. Lightroom and Aperture 3+PTlens are effectively the same price: Back when Lightroom was over $200 and Aperture was only $79 there was at least a money argument for real estate photographers using Aperture, but nowadays Aperture 3 is $79, PTlens is $25 and Lightroom 4 is $106 at Amazon. That means Lightroom is effectively $2 more than Aperture for real estate.
  3. Lightroom 5’s new Upright feature takes fixing horizontals an verticals to a whole new level: Once Lightroom 5 is released the new upright feature that straightens verticals automatically will save real estate photographers a huge amount of post time. It will probably save the price if the upgrade in the first week!

So my answer to the post title is, YES! Aperture is Dead For Real Estate Photographers. If you are a real estate photographer and you are still using Aperture 3 to post process your shoots I guarantee you can speed up your post processing by purchasing a copy of the new Lightroom 5 when it is released. In the mean time get a free beta copy here and start getting up to speed. Sure, there may be a short learning curve if you’ve never used Lightroom before but it is not all that different an interface than Aperture. You’ll be up and running in a couple of days.

The most amazing thing to me is that Aperture 3 was released 2 years ago and Apple hasn’t added all the features in the Lightroom 3 yet. It makes me wonder if they even care about competing!

6 Responses to “Is Aperture Dead For Real Estate Photographers?”

  • I sadly have to agree. I used Lightroom for years, switched to Aperture for several years, then just recently went back to Lightroom. There are so many things that I find superior about Aperture that I hated to go back, but the lens correction and highlights & shadows tools in Lightroom are just too useful for landscape and architecture photography. I’m still anxious to see what Aperture has in store for version 4, but I’ll probably continue to process in Lightroom even after that time comes.

  • Ditto. I have the current version of Aperture, Capture 1, DXO and Lightroom, plus the ver 5 beta for Lightroom. Hands down, Lightroom has better tools for real estate work and batch work.

  • The new Elements 11 has excellent lens distortion tools. Takes me less than 10 seconds to get rid of barrel effect and straighten vertical or horizontal distortion. I had the 02 version of the full PS but no longer use it as E11 does everything I need and much more intuitively.

  • @Chandler – Yes, you’re right PSE11 has all you need to get by. It even can do some things real estate photographers can’t do with LR (e.g. sky replacement) but eventually you will want Lightroom too. Just for managing all your shoots it’s worth $106.

  • I love Aperature. I love how it works, I love what it can do and how incredibly easy it is and how it maintains file structures so much better than Lightroom. I am good friends with Aperature product management team. I am certified to teach Aperature. I am Aperature.

    That being said – we use Lightroom rather than Aperature. Why, specifically because photography workflow for professionals is better on Lightroom. Less plug ins are required and less ins/out are required and when they are – the integration into lightroom is so much better. When we switched to Lightroom (version 3), I started my facebook group ” Workflow for Real Estate Photographers” to specifically focus on workflow using Lightroom. As real estate photographers, Lightroom is the only answer to workflow and the fact that we now have radiant and upright make a compelling case not to re-open the issue of going back to Aperature until there are more changes.

    Caveat, if I were strictly landscape or portrait photography, I might use Aperature for my workflow.

  • Suzanne F, considering you “love Aperature”, “love how it works”, “love what it can do”, “am good friends with Aperature product management team”, “am certified to teach Aperature”, “I am Aperature”, I would have thought you’d at least know how to spell the word correctly.