Aperture 3

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  • studio460studio460 Posts: 205Member
    I really like Aperture, and have been an avid user since 2.0, when we converted to all-OS X machines. But it doesn't have any lens-correction profiles, so I recently bought DxO Optics Pro Elite 8 for OS X, and I love it! DxO finally decided to support my AF 14mm f/2.8D ED prime, and boy, does it make a difference. I use Aperture for quick stuff, and DxO as my RAW developer of choice for NEFs.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    @studio460 Thanks for your input, DxO is also a candidate as follow-up for aperture to me - but last time I checked they still didn 't have a lens profile for my Sigma 35/1.4 so I decided to wait a bit an reevaluate them in a while.

    How do you like / how do you handle file management with DxO?
  • studio460studio460 Posts: 205Member
    edited March 2013
    I use DxO very selectively. I don't use it for file management at all. I used to use Aperture as my primary DAM, but found that it's easier and safer to manage files manually in OS X folders. For sheer speed and ease of re-naming EXIF/filename data, I use the uber-fast, PhotoMechanic browser for sorting and burning discs, because that what that's good at. So, a combination of PhotoMechanic for OS X (which is merely a browser--think of it as a "Super-Finder" in OS X terms), and OS X folders is what I use for file management now.

    So, I've succumbed to using three different photo apps (and will eventually add CS6):

    Aperture: Casual post-processing work.
    DxO Optics Pro Elite 8: Specific NEF work.
    PhotoMechanic: "Finder" on steroids/EXIF-filename editor/disc-burner

    I also held out a long time before deciding on DxO Optics Pro as my primary RAW developer, waiting for DxO to support one of my key lenses--the AF Nikkor 14mm f/2.8D ED prime. They finally did, just last month. I, too, am in the same dilemma as you now, since I'm planning to also buy the Sigma 35mm f/1.4. I assume (and hope), that due to the lens' stellar reviews and popularity, that DxO will offer a profile for that lens soon.

    However, while some may say DxO is slow and clunky, I've customized my DxO workspace so that all tools, including the 100% viewer are on one side of the screen in a single column. This works out nicely and is now similar in design to Aperture's interface. DxO may not be the fastest RAW developer on the planet, but after owning it for a month or so now, I believe it's the best. Many of its most satisfying results are automatic, and requires less tweaking than may be required in other RAW environments. I'm extremely happy with DxO, and I use its powerful perspective correction tools quite often.

    Also, DxO's "lens softness" sharpening feature is pretty impressive. Toggling between "correction preview" and "as shot" displays is really amazing to see how much better profiled lenses perform in this application. If you want to wring every bit of sharpness and geometric correction from your supported lens inventory, I don't think there's really any competition for DxO Optics Pro.

    I also considered Capture One for its industry-standard tethered shooting feature, but shied away from it due to its universally poor reviews of its integration of iView Media Pro/Microsoft Expression Media, now, "Phase One Media Pro" file management component. If I start shooting for bigger clients, I'll have to relent and buy C1 as well, since that's what most clients are used to looking at.
    Post edited by studio460 on
  • studio460studio460 Posts: 205Member
    edited March 2013
    image
    DxO Optics Pro Elite 8 for OS X screenshot with perspective-corrected image shown.
    Post edited by studio460 on
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    @studio460 Thank you very much, that's so much usable information to me. Some people are hoping as well, that C1 might become an acceptable DAM once it gets off the stuff Microsoft did to it. But I'm still unhappy with C1's interface as usablility and ergonomics seem to be foreign terms for them. Much too much black and grey and low contrast text in supersmall size.

    While perspective correction is a very cool tool in C1, the lack of lens profiles (out of the box) is as much a reason not to update from 6 to 7 as I really don't know, if I could customize it's interface to a sensible workflow.

    Btw. your screenshot shows a very sufficient and efficient interface, I could get used to that.

    Fpr C1's tethered shooting capabilites I don't have much use - I don't own a laptop. I've got another app for tethered shooting (on iMac) and CamRanger for wireless.

    I think, I have to take a closer look to PhotoMechanics, too. So far this possibility was unknown to me.
  • studio460studio460 Posts: 205Member
    Yes, I really enjoy the DxO interface now. Once I realized I could move all the clutter to one side (like in Aperture), I was a happy camper. Be warned, that the file output takes longer than any other RAW developer, but you can still work on other things in the program while its outputting files with no appreciable slow-down. However, on the upside, DxO's file output is also one of the most powerful, and can simultaneously write several different versions of a file (e.g., different resolutions).

    PhotoMechanic is really quite good at what it does. It's wicked-fast, and most likely the most powerful filenaming/EXIF editors around. Its filenaming variables are unparalleled, offering dozens of preset variables. However, it offers only the most basic image editing options, but it's really handy for routine sorting, and disc-burning chores. When purchased, you're issued two licenses, so you can have one on your desktop, and one on your laptop, I believe, even if they are different systems (e.g., Windows/OS X).
  • studio460studio460 Posts: 205Member
    One more thing . . . the standard DxO interface template puts the image directory in the same window as the main "process" screen along the bottom, and looks sort of like a filmstrip or slideshow. However, it's much cleaner (and faster) to "un-dock" this directory view window, and put it into an entirely separate window, or better yet, a separate screen if you have a multiple monitor set-up.

    But just because I like DxO doesn't necessarily mean you will as well. I would recommend that you download the trial version, and see if you really like it.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    I would clearly miss face recognition very much. I would also miss the SmugMug plugin in Aperture. I don't have two screens yet, just a 27" iMac. I didn't have to decide how to name the files. They are organized in projects and albums and intelligent folders. I don't need to tell you how easy it is to handle pictures in the library structures of aperture.

    I really hate the idea to abandon the aperture boat, but after so long time without some signs of life I consider it as sinking ship.
  • aquarian_lightaquarian_light Posts: 135Member
    I too have been considering jumping the Aperture boat, I too have been dreaming of a version 4.0 just for the sake of it. Aperture does everything I need it to. Yes it's iPhoto's bigger brother, but Logic is Grageband's bigger brother and 9/10 recording studios use Logic. Yes it's a very grey design, but it keeps me focused on my work and not distracted by the pretty colors surrounding my images. I do a lot of low-key work, and with black frames or any dark color I sometimes can't tell where the edges are. So I like the grey. Faces is very important for finding images of a specific model fast, Places is very important for finding images of a certain venue fast. I.E, oh where are those shots I took of that wedding at X-church last fall? Map->church->last fall->oh there they are! No time wasted tying in endless batches of keywords or names. Just type in names once and it already knows every other picture that person is in. It just makes life so much easier in way's nothing else can.
    D800E, 24-120 F4 VR, 50mm 1.8G, 85 1.8G, 28mm 3.5, 135mm 3.5
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    @studio460 The combination D800 and Sigma 35/1.4 is now available from DxO
  • studio460studio460 Posts: 205Member
    That's good news! I've been checking almost everyday under the Nikon D3s and D800E body/lens combinations--nothing yet, but that's a good sign--those two bodies are likely to come soon.
  • studio460studio460 Posts: 205Member
    At least for now, I'm sticking with Aperture because of its excellent interface. Plus, I know it pretty well. If and when Apple decides to move to a version 4 release, I'll be among the first to upgrade. However, Apple has been known to abandon software (e.g., Apple Shake). As I said, DxO takes care of the serious work, but I love Aperture for everything else.
  • PB_PMPB_PM Posts: 4,312Member
    Considering that Aperture 3 is now over three years old, without any signs of a major point update I too am among those beginning to doubt that there will be an 4.0 update. 3.4 was a serious updated (totally new highlight/shadow processing) in an of itself, so it's hard to say.

    The problem with Apple is that their software teams moves from one project to another, so the same team doesn't keep working on the same app long term.
    If I take a good photo it's not my camera's fault.
  • studio460studio460 Posts: 205Member
    edited March 2013
    Also, another key reason why I prefer Aperture to Lightroom is its unique (well, other than Capture NX) "show focus points" feature. I use that feature fairly often, and is invaluable in troubleshooting focus errors which occurred during shooting.

    image
    Aperture 3 screenshot @ 100%.
    Post edited by studio460 on
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    Guys, I have to say, I enjoy this discussion very much and appreciate your input. At least, there ARE other aperture users with the same needs and with the same perspective of it's positive aspects.

    @PB_PM I thought so, too. Let's hope we don't get the same team who was responsible for "maps" - on the other side, these people would like to be seen as "they can do good things, though". And working on an app long term doesn't have to be necessarily a good thing. That shadows and highlights were changed I knew, it's good to know that the change turned out to be well done.

    @studio460 I use the focus points lately quite often, didn't realize the feature to be unique but I didn't check C1 and DxO for that. As I see, you haven't upgraded aperture to the last "grey" versions?

    Well, with the new D7100: Nobody so far updated their converters. But as it's a new Toshiba sensor, I think updates will come up soon. Until then I'll benefit of the two slots for RAW and JPG. Good to know I just can start if I get the camera today.
  • studio460studio460 Posts: 205Member
    edited March 2013
    Well, I'm glad you got something out of it, JJ. I enjoy using Aperture so much, it's a pleasure to be able to share my thoughts with other users in such a Lightroom-dominated world. Apparently a correction is in order since I don't see a Sigma 35mm f/1.4 profile for the D800 in the DxO-supported lens combinations list (there's a Samyang 35mm f/1.4, but no Sigma). Nevertheless, as luck would have it, B+H today just received some inventory of the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 lens, and of course, I couldn't resist, and bought one to fill the gap between my Nikkor 24mm f/1.4G and 85mm f/1.4G.
    Post edited by studio460 on
  • studio460studio460 Posts: 205Member
    I didn't even realize there was a major version revision available for Aperture. I guess it requires that I first upgrade my OS to Mountain Lion (I'm still on 10.6.8), which I have yet to do. Look forward to using it, though!
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    Same here. The lenses and the OS version. Just make sure, your copy is AF-wise okay. Mine needs -12 on D800 and +5 on D7000. But then it'll blow you away, especially with D800e!
  • studio460studio460 Posts: 205Member
    edited March 2013
    Yes, I'll be sure to check--thanks. I'm really looking forward to shooting with it. I bought the 24mm f/1.4G for environmental portraits, but found it to be too wide; however, it's great for landscapes (nightscapes, in my case). The Sigma 35mm f/1.4 should be much better for full-length shots. Plus, it's a perfect "street" lens with its fast f/1.4 aperture. Looking forward to shooting more street photography again with this lens, too.

    By the way, off-topic, I know, but since we have the same lenses, I also just bought the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 OS macro for use explicitly as a portrait lens. It kinda blows my Nikkors away. Wicked-fast AFS-style focusing, image-stabilization, and sharper than crap! The Sigma 150mm is the first non-Nikkor lens I've purchased for my FX bodies, and I'm now a true believer--in Sigma.
    Post edited by studio460 on
  • studio460studio460 Posts: 205Member
    Yes, as far as I know, only Aperture and Capture NX have the "show focus points" feature. It's surprisingly handy, and I don't know why more applications don't support this.
  • studio460studio460 Posts: 205Member
    Well, I just filled out the DxO form to request a new lens-combination profile for the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 with both the Nikon D800E and Nikon D3s bodies. Anyone else looking to get this lens, who may also be interested in getting DxO Optics Pro someday, I would suggest to also fill out and submit the form located here:

    http://www.dxo.com/intl/photo/support/modules/availability/pb_availability

    (I also asked for the AF Nikkor 18mm f/2.8D if anyone wants to add that as well!)
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    For portraits I think I'll stick with 85/1.4 G - not everybody's skin can deal with sharpness to the edge and I don't do model shots - but your's on the screenshot looks incredibly good. And since 150 is close to 105 Micro Nikkor, I take your experience gladly to the "where Sigma's good at" list. There are already some lenses on it, when I was using Pentax, I had 4 Sigmas and especially the 10-20/3.5 was yummy. Changing to Nikon, I had a quick and superficial comparison of Sigma 17-50/2.8 and Nikkor 17-55 and decided to save a bit money. Lateron I sold it - it's tough for me to use a good zoom if you have excellent primes. ;;)

    That savings I then spent on 24/1.4 for indoor shots in crowded places. A good year later I went to FX and was glad not to have spent a lot on DX lenses. It became a big deal less employed since Sigma 35 enterred the scene, but it's there to be rediscovered any time.
  • JJ_SOJJ_SO Posts: 1,158Member
    I was just looking again on Photo Mechanic. I will keep an eye on it, but so far they don't seem to offer localized versions and the "catalog" feature is under construction. As soon as I see they did a got job on it and it's as good as a Mac user can expect, I will try for sure.

    Don't know LR, con't know if I can conclude from Bridge to LR. But as poorly as Bridge is to use on windows I just don't want to make any experience with it on Mac.
  • AdeAde Posts: 1,071Member
    Also, another key reason why I prefer Aperture to Lightroom is its unique (well, other than Capture NX) "show focus points" feature. I use that feature fairly often, and is invaluable in troubleshooting focus errors which occurred during shooting.
    CaptureOne has a nice feature called "focus mask" which will show you areas of the picture that is actually in focus (vs. simply where the camera's focus point was set).



    I currently use Aperture but am contemplating a switch to C1 or LR.
  • studio460studio460 Posts: 205Member
    JJ: PhotoMechanic is not marketed as a DAM (at least it shouldn't be)--it's merely a browser. Localization? Which country are you in? By the way, the Aperture screenshot wasn't shot with the SIgma 150mm, it was shot with the Tokina 50-135mm f/2.8 DX lens on my D7000, believe it or not.
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