Aperture and Lightroom- An Open Letter to Apple and Adobe

March 16th, 2010

Since late February when the trial version of Aperture 3 was released I’ve been using Aperture 3 a lot. I have to say that I am both dazzled by its’ brilliance and outraged by the sluggish performance and crashing.

On the positive side, the brushes feature in Aperture 3 is my favorite feature. I may upgrade to Aperture 3 just for this feature and the ability to manage video files. The brushes are so easy and intuitive compared to Lightroom brushes that there is no comparison. In Aperture the brushes just work like you’d expect brushes to work. I’ve never read an explanation of how they work. Everything about them is obvious!  I love them. On the other hand, Lightroom brushes are so wacky I have to go read a description of how they work every time I try to use them. I’ve even watched Chris Orwig’s demos on and I still can’t remember how they work. The way they work is just not intuitive to me. I don’t know what they were thinking when they designed Lightroom brushes like this.

On the downside, Aperture 3 is so slow and sluggish, it tries my patience. When I first tried it, I was using it on my 3 year old MacBook Pro that only has 2 Gig of memory. I moved to my newer MacBook Pro that has 4 gig of memory. It’s better but Aperture is always doing something in the background and the brush operation is at times jerky and erratic. Aperture 3 is the only application I’ve encountered that is sluggish on my newest MacBook Pro. I love the Aperture 3 features so much I’m thinking about upgrading my MacBook Pro to 8 gig just for Aperture 3 to play in.

My other big issue is with video files. All of my primary cameras capture video files and I am tired of trying to manage different files that come off the same memory cards separately. It’s time that photo management software managed everything that comes out of cameras! Are you listening Adobe? I swear that if the Lightroom 3 final release doesn’t manage video files I’m walking away from it. I’ve got all my photos back to 2000 in Lightroom so it will be a lot of work but I can’t continue living with photo management software that can’t manage all the files that come out of my camera.

The real benefit for everyone with this current situation where much of the functionality of Aperture has caught up with Lightroom is that both Aperture and Lightroom are going to be better as a result of the competition between Adobe and Apple.

Sorry about the rant, but I just had to get this off my chest. I feel much better now.

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14 Responses to “Aperture and Lightroom- An Open Letter to Apple and Adobe”

  • […] 1 votes vote Aperture and Lightroom- An Open Letter to Apple and Adobe Since late February when the trial version of Aperture 3 was released I’ve been using […]

  • I am curious — do you run Snow Leopard (10.6) on your laptop? It’s 64-bit and might be a lot faster for something like Aperture. A 2-year old MBP with 4GB of RAM is solid hardware for image editing.

    It could also have to do with the video card on your laptop, maybe it’s the lower-end one? Although I thought the MBP’s all had the nicer GPU.

    Anyway, those are some things to think about that might help performance.

  • @Alan, Yes, I run 10.6.2 on my MacBook Pro and it’s the newest unibody version that has the NVIDIA graphics card.

  • I use both Aperture and Lightroom. Lately I have been using Aperture a lot more and I can not tell any difference in speed between the two. I did have some problems with the trial version, but have had no problems with the paid version after they released the last update. Maybe some of the issues you are having have been addressed in the updated paid version. I am running it on an I Mac 24″ with 4 meg. So far it is running great. I have faces disables.

  • Thanks for your feedback Larry. I appreciate that you took the time to outline your concerns as a Lightroom customer which is important as I know that you provide a valuable community resource for those involved in Real Estate Photography.

    Tom Hogarty
    Lightroom Product Manager
    Adobe Systems

  • Hey, I’m going to jump in here while Adobe are listening ;-), we [all RE & Arch shooters] would very much appreciate lens distortion correction to RAW files, without having to burn tiffs or whatever and go through PTLens or DxO.

  • Hi Tom- Thanks for checking in! Glad to know that Adobe IS listening!

  • A good rant!

    Conflict, including details and resolution, including suggestions!

    A help for us all.


  • hello friend,
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  • mention Adobe on Twitter & you’ll get a response from them there too… they’re pretty good about monitoring activity 😉

  • I’ve used Aperture since 1.0 and could never really see what all the Lightroom fuss was about. I have gripes with Aperture, especially the way 3.x handles permissions, but on the whole have been very happy.

  • Are you sure there’s competition? It would be an interesting stat to compare the number of users of each app.

  • I too have switch from Lightroom to Aperture 3 and i’am loving it.

    Here are some hints I have picked up along the way.
    1. Run Aperture 3 in 32bit mode, I have found it crashes far less. Get Info on Aperture in the Application folder to find the 32 bit switch.
    2. Turn off Faces unless you really want to use that feature, its in Preferences.
    3. If you are importing multiple cards, restart Aperture 3 after the import of the last card, Aperture 3 may process the files multiple times if you don’t.

    I have a bunch of information on my site regarding Aperture 3.

    Bill Debevc.

  • Aperture 3.0.2 seems to be ready to prime time, I ran 64 bit yesterday editing some photos and no crashes!

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