A comparison: Adobe Lightroom vs. Apple Aperture
by Michael Clark
For the next ten days, I will work with both Lightroom and Aperture to work up images from a recent stock shoot and draw conclusions as I compare how each program deals with a variety of workflow topics. I don't intend this to be a definitive comparison - just my thoughts on what works for me. I will post a few extra blogs this week as I work with both programs and present a wrap up article with my conclusions which will be published on the Inside Lightroom website on February 28th.
Just to give you a little background, for the last year I have been using Lightroom quite a bit and it is currently the heart of my workflow. I have worked with Aperture a little but I must admit I don't know it nearly as well as I do Lightroom. My initial impression of Aperture is that it seems overly complex when compared to Lightroom. The user interface for Lightroom is very intuitive and easy to use, especially coming from a Photoshop and Adobe Camera RAW workflow. By comparison, Aperture seems a little clunky because a lot of the interface seems to be buried in drop down menus but mostly because I just haven't spent as much time learning how to use the software. I'll admit I am biased towards Lightroom, but I'll try to overcome that and make a solid comparison with Aperture.
One thing to keep in mind as I compare these two programs is the type of images I shoot and the number of images I have to edit and process. I tend to shoot a large number of images (anywhere from 300 to 2,000 per day or per photo shoot) and I end up processing about 20 to 25% of those images. Since I photograph adventure sports, I usually have a lot of sequences shot at 5 or even 8 frames per second. For photographers that don't produce such a high volume of images then my analysis and workflow may be a bit skewed for your workflow.
As I go through and process my latest stock shoot of 800+ images I will be looking at quite a few different aspects of each program including the following:
Importing Images and adding Metadata
Image Editing: Ranking and Rating Images, Stacking and Versions
Creating Web Galleries
Final processed image quality comparison
This should be a fun week and I am looking forward to getting started on the comparison. I hope you'll check in regularly, and I look forward to reading your comments.
Adios, Michael Clark
"My initial impression of Aperture is that it seems overly complex when compared to Lightroom."
|I'm looking forward to your findings. I've written a fairly through walk-through of LR here: http://blog.tc.dk/item/91 - including a link to this page.|
Spend enough time to really learn Aperture... I find it very fast to work in, primarily with keystrokes for moving around or adjusting the state of the UI. Having used both products significantly, I'm interested in your opinions... I don't think they're as similar as is sometimes claimed. Feature-wise, maybe, but they differ significantly in workflow style IMO, and to give Aperture a fair shake, you can't approach it from a rigid "this is how these kinds of apps work" viewpoint.
|Jeremey you raise a good point, both apps need to you "subscribe" to their way of thinking. For some, one app will seem easier than the other.|
|Give it some time... I'm really interested as I'm about to buy one of these two!|
|No worries guys. I'll definitely give Aperture a fair shake. It is a sweet peice of software and has some really nice features. I think in the end whatever software you end up using depends a lot more with how you are used to working on your images and what software you have used in the past. The good news for consumers is they really can't go wrong here. And with Apple and Adobe in direct competition then both programs will improve going forward which is great for the end user!|
I am in a very similar situation to your self, while I mainly do portrait work I also do some extreme sports. Most of my experience lately is with Lightroom which I get on with quite well but don't yet know whether to shell out £100. I have a version of Aperture on my Macbook Pro but haven't read any manuals and didn't get on with it as well at first look. Obviously I also have Photoshop and a couple of other brousers. Really looking forward to hearing what you make of them both now that LR1 has been released, a truer comparison is possible. Good luck.
I am very much impressed with the above situation.
I have been using Aperture since it's release. I played with Lightroom in beta but at that stage it was no more responsive than Aperture. And that's the real kicker-- speed.