Wednesday, August 22, 2018

The History of Aperture

Stephen Hackett:

Even here in 2018, RAW files can be difficult to deal with due to their size. In 2005, they were all but impossible to manage. Aperture set out to fix that, as Apple’s website said[…]


The specifications for Aperture 1.0 were as steep as the price. Apple created a free “Aperture Compatibility Checker” application to help determine if your system met the requirements.


No doubt the program struggled to shake its early reputation. The performance woes and underwhelming feature set in the first version tainted people’s opinions in a way that was hard for Apple to shake. I have no doubt that some who paid that initial $499 price tag were disappointed by their investment.

Despite persistent rumors that it would be cancelled, Aperture improved through its two major revisions. Apple added much-needed tools and features, all while making the software more responsive and less frustrating to use.

Another interesting tidbit is that Aperture was probably Apple’s highest profile early use of Core Data, but it was then rewritten to use SQLite directly (as does Lightroom).

John Gordon:

It ended as a damned fine product. I still rely on it. Left a gulf in Apple’s product lineup

Nick Heer:

Even today, I am a reluctant Lightroom user; I can’t tell you how much I wish Aperture were still around, with support for iCloud Photo Library. For all its faults and bugs, I always got a kick out of editing my photos in Aperture. In Lightroom, it feels like a chore.

Previously: Aperture Migration Plan, Apple Stops Development of Aperture, Aperture, Capture One, and Lightroom Walk Into a Bar.

5 Comments RSS · Twitter

I didn't know the speed problems were related to Core Data. Once they redid the database then it was great to use. I still prefer it to Lightroom. Kind of interesting though just how big of a debacle Core Data ultimately was for Apple - especially when paired with early iCloud.

I miss the lift and stamp convention for copying adjustments from one photo to another. You can copy adjustments in Photos, but the interface is clunky and not exactly obvious. (You have to enter edit mode on a photo and then a copy adjustments option is exposed in a menu. Then go to your target photo in edit mode and paste it.)

Also, I still cannot believe Apple hasn't copied the Loupe feature. It was so handy to immediately zoom into 100% on part of a photo to check focus, all assigned to a single key.

Long live aperture. :(

I still use Aperture. I will be really sad when it does finally break in a way that makes it infeasible to use. I wish Apple would have sold off the code if nothing else. Lightroom is NOT a replacement for Aperture.

Aperture was evolving to manage far more than just camera RAW files - that's what ticks me off the most.

I have transitioned to Capture One for all my RAW editing needs. Results-wise it is absolutely incredible because they finetune the base profile for every sensor seperately. But the usability of Aperture and its brushes was off the charts. I could never bring myself to use Lightroom.

[…] Previously: The History of Aperture. […]

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