Apple announces Aperture 3

Following the Apple Store downtime that was said to be bringing a revamped line of MacBook Pros (which turned out to be false), the Cupertino-based company has revealed its long-awaited revision of the Aperture software. Aperture is a tool aimed at photographers, and version 3 brings some very good changes for those who use it (and even for those who don't).

The new version of Aperture brings over 200 new features, all of which are listed on Apple's product page, which aim to bring the software up to date when compared to Apple's iPhoto application, found in the iLife suite. Apple seems to be marketing Aperture as iPhoto for professionals, with Apple SVP of Worldwide Product Marketing Phil Schiller stating, "Millions of people love using iPhoto to organize, edit and share their digital photos. Aperture 3 is designed for both professionals who edit and manage massive libraries of photos and iPhoto users who want to take their photos further with easy-to-use tools such as Brushes and Adjustment Presets." To further put the nail in the coffin for iPhoto when it comes to professional use, Aperture 3 has brought in the Faces and Places features that were first announced when iLife '09 was released, helping identify people in photos as well as where photos were taken.

In addition to Faces and Places, Aperture 3 adds a few more iPhoto-based features, including the ability to export photos to Flickr, Facebook, and MobileMe, saving users a pretty substantial amount of time. Apple's product page shows in detail the rest of the changes, which are too numerous to list, though if you'd like to get a trial for Aperture 3, you can do so here. If you're already an Aperture user, you can upgrade for $99 from Apple, or else buy the software new for $199. It's worth noting that Aperture 3 is fully 64-bit compatible, though you'll obviously need a newer Mac in order to take advantage of that.

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23 Comments

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I wonder how "non-destructive" editing works in this version. In Aperture 2 it simply made copies of files, not applied adjustments as Lightroom does. A very crude solution in the least

Pity it's only on the Mac. This appears to be one of the only Apple applications that might actually be worth installing on a PC.

excalpius said,
Pity it's only on the Mac. This appears to be one of the only Apple applications that might actually be worth installing on a PC.

Logic Pro is also very popular among musicians, as well as the various Final Cut products among movie makers. :)

Edited by Northgrove, Feb 10 2010, 8:38am :

I'm a bit confused with the whole "shutting down the store for a bit". Is this just some marketing tactic or does Apple WebObjects just suck that bad you need to shut the store down to upload a product?

Kalint said,
I'm a bit confused with the whole "shutting down the store for a bit". Is this just some marketing tactic or does Apple WebObjects just suck that bad you need to shut the store down to upload a product?

I doubt it considering that WebObjects powers the #1 music store in the world (by revenue and volume), iTunes.

Why is everybody is knocking them for making the store unavailable when they probably just had a large backend code push? Ya know...not all major code changes are meant to be visible. I happen to know from personal shopping experience that Dell does exactly the same thing, but I guess there aren't thousands of people dedicating their lives to refreshing their site to write bull**** stories about how their store "just went offline for one lousy software product update."

I never really liked Aperture to be honest, but maybe this version will make me like it.

In their change-log, they're talking about bigger icons and text sizes, which was one of the main downsides for me. On a 27", I could barely see something.

Looks good, and my tempt me to 'upgrade' to Aperture from iPhoto. I just wish they'd add library sharing to iPhoto or Aperture - with multiple computers in a household, many photos get duplicated from one to another, which is a bit crazy.

Sounds great! :)

Coming from Aperture 2, I've grown used to it now, and especially likes how it doesn't force you into a particular workflow like Adobe Lightroom does. And there is really a crapload of features there. Granted, many are minor, but among those classed as "minor" is for example faster thumbnail generation. That in particular was a problem with me and my large RAW images, so I hope there's a noticeable improvement there.

hotdog963al said,
They took the store down for this?

What did you expect from a company that doesn't know how to (or indeed how NOT to) regulate app development?

Examinus said,
Hmm, there are some features from iPhoto that just don't appeal to my professional side.
As an amateur photographer, it strikes a nice balance between consumer (with faces and places, both really cool features) and professional (brushes, precise control over photo editing without necessarily opening up Photoshop).

Simon said,
As an amateur photographer, it strikes a nice balance between consumer (with faces and places, both really cool features) and professional (brushes, precise control over photo editing without necessarily opening up Photoshop).

I can't say I agree, although I'm not a photographer myself; I work with photographers on set then process and apply their images. From that point of view I can't imagine any use of Faces and Places. They don't seem like professional features to me, which is how Apple market this. In some respects it just seems like a lazy port from iPhoto.

Examinus said,
I can't say I agree, although I'm not a photographer myself; I work with photographers on set then process and apply their images. From that point of view I can't imagine any use of Faces and Places. They don't seem like professional features to me, which is how Apple market this. In some respects it just seems like a lazy port from iPhoto.
But that's exactly it, I'm an amateur DSLR user, I don't work "on set" :P

Examinus said,

I can't say I agree, although I'm not a photographer myself; I work with photographers on set then process and apply their images. From that point of view I can't imagine any use of Faces and Places. They don't seem like professional features to me, which is how Apple market this. In some respects it just seems like a lazy port from iPhoto.

Faces I can understand as it's not that great and I don't see what a professional would use it for (there's actually a setting in Aperture preferences to disable it completely). But if you're not shooting in a studio or something similar I can see the use for Places, be it quicker library navigation, or just remembering where you took a photo.