Aperture or Photoshop? or Aperture and Photoshop?

by Allen Rockwell

ApertureOrPhotoshop.jpgA lot of people struggle with the decision to buy Aperture because they believe that even if they own aperture they will still need to do some editing to their images that Aperture cannot do and therefore they'll need to buy a program like Photoshop. Buying Photoshop at $699.00 and Aperture at $299.00 together is a bit much for many amateurs and digital photography enthusiasts. So often people end up making a choice to buy one or the other. Quite often it seems to these people that Photoshop is the logical choice because it is true that Photoshop has many advanced editing features that Aperture does not have.


2006-12-01 08:21:04
Is this blog just one big advertisement for Aperture?

2006-12-01 08:50:36
Thanks for pointing this out. I'm waiting for V5 which I assume will be Universal Binary.

This shouldn't need pointing out, but almost no one mention Elements, probably because they've had Photoshop for so long they forget about Elements.

2006-12-01 08:57:14
Anyways is not a word.
Thomas Pindelski
2006-12-01 09:11:43
A well composed piece, Allen. However, while I am a great Aperture fan and find I use CS2 rarely, it may bear pointing out that Aperture's system demands - especially the need for a fast video card and lots of RAM - probably significantly exceed those of CS2, so the economics may not be as compelling if your Mac is dated.
2006-12-01 10:41:51
Someone asked the question, "Is this blog just one big advertisement for Aperture?" Well, the answer is that this is a blog about Aperture. On this site, we explore the use of this application and those who are using it for their work. We'll discuss digital photography as a whole also, but the whole point of this site is to share as much information about Aperture as possible.
2006-12-01 11:53:58
Whilst I have equally almost moved over to Aperture since 1.5 too, there are some useful features in photoshop that I continue to use; increasing canvas size for borders; creating poster style photo art; applying gaussian blurs; and to dodge and burn - none of which I have discovered in Aperture.
2006-12-01 12:29:29
Aperture would be the one stop shop for me, if it had lens adjustments - like vignette control
2006-12-01 12:35:50
re: photoshop/photoshop elements

Don't forget the gimp (gimp.org).


Graham Hind
2006-12-01 13:53:05
I agree - I'm using an iMac 24 and I love Aperture. What I would occasionally need something else for is stuff like the lens distortion correction in CS2. Does Elements have that?


Floyd Summerhayes
2006-12-01 14:35:02
I'd agree shortly after 1.5 was released I had to do a clean install on G5 Power Mac, I decided to leave off all third party software to see what I really needed. So far Photoshop CS2 has stayed in the box, I have put Nikon Capture NX back on as I love the U point adjustments.
Glenn Malling
2006-12-01 18:08:31
For me it's Photoshop. Why? Because Photoshop runs on my G4 Powermac,
Aperture does not.
Duane Thompson
2006-12-01 18:16:25
I first used Aperture in the apple store and I was impressed. I ended up walking out with a MBP Core 2 Duo, 23" Monitor and Aperture. I own Photoshop on the PC and since I've owner this combo (last month) I've havent even been on the PC. Like Allen says it simply does it all when it comes to photograpy. I've very impressed, very happy wth the tech support, it's a great product - very well thought out. While it doesn't have everything CS2 has like Allen mention I never used those features. I was even impressed by the sales staff at the Mall of America store. I was set on getting a 17" mac and then they sold me on the 15" and a 23" HD display. They said I would enjoy that combo better and they were right. 17" macbooks are wonderful but they are rather large.. :)
2006-12-01 19:40:14
Allen, I agree. In fact, that's what I do now.
If Aperture would offer a few additional capabilities such as what one would do in a traditional dark room, i.e. dodge/burn, darken edges, airbrush (healing brush) plus lens corrections tools, I wouldnt even need Elements.
2006-12-01 20:57:55
This is somewhere Apple could help. The two work well together and should never be seen as replacements for each other. I couldn't do half my post production without photoshop and using digital would suck without Aperture now.

2006-12-02 07:28:12
I agree and it was what I had decided on my own. I have Photoshop for my PC which I learned to use by a lot of reading and trial & error. It is more than I need as an advanced amateur photographer. I recently upgraded to a MacBook and use Aperture. All I can say is WOW what a program! So I just bought Elements for those times I feel I need to do some advanced work. So far, I have not found Adobe Lightroom Beta to effectively compete with Aperture. Adobe may miss the boat. Anyway, I have an easier work flow than ever before.
2006-12-02 10:01:02
I hope this website is ALL Aperture, all the time, that's why I am here!

I have also explored using Lightcrafts's Lightzone for dodging and burning select areas of an image. It's pokey to load but fun to use.

I think you'll find that everyone's top five things they'd add to Aperture are the five things they miss from Photoshop. Get some of those into Aperture and you'll have even more converts.

Allen Rockwell
2006-12-02 11:32:42
I want to thank everyone for all the comments. IMHO that's what this is all about, people getting involved and communicating. I am not the ultimate Aperture expert, I just put out my opinions and you all pile on. This is great! Thanks.
2006-12-03 04:25:12
As much as I LOVE Aperture, if I had to live with just one program it would have to be Photoshop.
Photoshop is not just Photoshop alone, it's ImageReady, CameraRaw, Adobe DNG, Bridge and possibly in a very near future Lightroom.
Jan Steinman
2006-12-03 12:17:07
It shouldn't be "Aperture vs Photoshop," rather "Aperture vs Portfolio" or "Aperture vs Cumulus."
Those who are satisfied with manual filing systems either don't need Aperture, or will simply make more business for those of us who know the value of workflow and asset management.

I think it's great that Aperture keeps me out of Photoshop about 85% of the time. That's the value-added over Portfolio, where I currently manage some 20,000 images. But I don't really want Aperture to duplicate Photoshop -- that's not the point!

I would like Aperture to work harder at managing files, however. It won't even look at 100 GB of "legacy" files I have on DVD that don't have filename extensions, nor will it index a bunch of ".stn" Genuine Fractals images I have archived. Those sorts of things keep me from abandoning Portfolio.

2007-01-09 21:03:35
Sorry so long and I do get to a point :-)))
I myself own a PC, and in all honesty don't want to switch to a Mac. Now I know there will be people complaining and saying oh well Mac's are better but that's not always true, a computer is more than what you see and yes the kernel does matter (I prefer Power and well right now both Macs and PC's are lacking on that concept, more into pretty graphics, that might not be the best way to express that but all in all I could care less about the interface "prettiness" and more about how much I can run efficiently on my system at one time (personal opinion). I work on Mac's (MAC PRO) and at home I do a great deal of photography work outside my normal job (PC). I really enjoy Photoshop, yes it's in depth, and can be difficult, but as I always tell people please buy something that you want that suites your needs, not just because someone else said to do so. Aperture is also a very good program, but there are those that require more, and as I said buy for your needs. The Photoshop/elements software package seems like a really good option for those in between armature and professional. Sometimes I think people take these issues personal and forget that it's your computer your workspace, no one else's. So do what you want. I like that there are companies out there supplying us with many choices. I also use Nikon's NX, a wonderful Software piece, I have replaced Photoshop's role of editing with it. To me NX is currently not replaceable, but times change and software gets better, this may not be my opinion in a year or more. Just remember in all these wars between computer companies and software, you are the choicer, just read some reviews try out the software in stores and make YOUR OWN DECISION!! But don't knock another's software or even an interface just because it's not the one you use. I use both systems and I enjoy both. We all have preferences, no ones is better than the other, believe me my Intel 4 pent processor (in my PC) is better than my Mac pro (core duo 2 processor) so does that me I hate MAC no I don't I just use what serves my needs, so be positive!