Just take a closer look at Aperture !

Comments

29 comments

  • Avatar
    Phillip Rodokanakis

    You're right. Aperture was way ahead of its time and it's a real shame that Apple just abandoned that program. 

    My only complain about Aperture was that all the original photos and the edited versions were stored inside a database. I'm afraid that one of the future updates to the macOS, will disable the program and recovering the photos will become a nightmare...

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Barry Komar

    Couldn't agree more with this post - I suspect if you were to poll all the users who have been waiting patiently for L3 Libraries to come out, you'd find the majority are Aperture users who know they are running on borrowed time. That said - just focus in on key DAM features found in Aperture.

    For me, a more robust smart album functionality like in Aperture would be very welcome. I would hope L3 expands their sorting function to be much more granular than just "x stars or more".

    On the positive side, i think Luminar's approach or referencing photos where they reside (rather than Aperture's separate, and in my case, often error-prone import function) is great (given my limited work with the product so far).

    Hopefully this avoid that dreaded loss of synch that Aperture was infamous for if you ever moved your library or source photos to another drive.

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Matthew Stough

    Peter Gutbrod,

    We must be twins!  I couldn't have said it any better!  Long live Apple Aperture, on iMac 2019, on macOS 10.14 (Mojave), and running like the champ it was when it was a decade ahead of anything else out there...and still is regarding DAM + edits (w/plug-in capability).

    1
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Peter Gutbrod

    Hi Phillip,

    I assume you always used it managed and not referenced. Referenced you decide where your pictures live. You define the folder structure you use for storing referenced. You can even decide on a picture by picture basis, whether you use managed or referenced. I use this extensively. New imports go managed on my SSD. After editing is complete they are moved to referenced on a big Ironwolf hard drive. That way my Aperture library stays small on my internal SSD.

    Plus I can "transfer" projects exported as managed mini-libraries between Aperture libraries to move pictures including edits and metadata. Absolutely important when I use my Laptop in the field and want to bring over any metadata, ratings and slight edits to my main Library when I'm back home.

     

    Luminar has nothing to offer in this area of syncing edits currently.

     

    Btw. edits in Aperture are stored as recipes in the Aperture library. Pretty much like it is in Luminar. No edited versions are store as real pictures (JPEG) unless you request Aperture to generate previews. IMO the same in Luminar, there are no edited JPEGs autogenerated until you explicitly export them.

    For referenced photos Aperture even picks up if you move a photo in Finder. Again very similar to Luminar reflecting any file moves done in Finder.

    A real difference is that Aperture needs an import step to see pictures, while Luminar is watching a folder hierarchy. In fact I like Luminars approach here better.

    So quite some similarities. Of cause 95 % of the functionality of Apertures DAM is just missing in Luminar's DAM currently.

     

    Concerning Aperture no more working at some time. That will happen but there a few options:

    Best is probably keep the older system on a virtual machine (Fusion, Parallels etc.) and access your Aperture library from there. Library/pictures don't have to reside in the VM, just System and Aperture.

    Or open your Aperture library in Apple Photos and use them from there. Some things get lost (i.e. star ratings) but edits should stay intact as Photos has the processing engine of Aperture incorporated.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Andrew Hewitt

    That's not entirely true of Aperture, Phillip. You could choose whether to store them as managed or referenced originals. As for the edits etc, that's pretty much the same for all DAMs that handle non-destructive editing of Raw images.

    Even Lightroom does have the option to use sidecar files, but it still uses a proprietary database in any case, the sidecar files are only for cross app compatibility (with Bridge for example). Indeed, so does darktable and Digikam. Some others may use other methods, such as sidecar files, or even proprietary file versions (as Luminar does with .lmnr files, or Lightzone and Graphic Converter which can use a modified JPEG or TIFF file to handle the edits.

    There are so many different ways to do this, it'll be the cause of arguments as long as Betamax vs VHS or 8 Track vs Compact Cassette, and of course the old Mac vs PC war.

    Personally I hope they consider something similar to the Lightroom sidecar file, rather than the more space wasting proprietary editing file.

    However, I do agree that looking at Aperture as a base to work from is a very good starting point.

    All the best.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Phillip Rodokanakis

    Peter and Andrew:

    Thanks for the feedback. I didn't realize that there was such an option as managed or referenced. When I first started using Aperture years ago, I found it a bit confusing so I just used all the defaults in setting up the libraries. I even bought a DVD course for it, but I don't recall them mentioning thes configuration options as to managed or referenced. Live and learn, I suppose... 

    Peter:

    I used to make a VM of every MAC before upgrading to a newer model with Fusion. Unfortunately, when I tried doing that with my 2016 MacBook Pro, I could complete it. VMware support said something about having problems with drives where FileVault is enabled and they've contacted Apple about getting some resolution. That was a few months ago, before I upgraded to a 2018 MacBook Pro, so perhaps they've solved the problem by now. 

    Yes, I plan on creating new Photo Libraries and using them to open my Aperture Libraries so that I can still access the photos in case future releases of macOS disable Aperture from running. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Allan Hise

    A couple other Aperture features I miss: Stacks and side-by-side comparison of images.

    these made evaluation of similar images so easy...

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Richard Otte

    Completely agree with this post.  I'm an aperture user, and was very disappointed to see the DAM in Luminar 3 (as one person said, basically a glorified file browser).  I basically want the file management of Aperture with the editing abilities of Luminar (without using Luminar as a plugin).  Hopefully Luminar will soon at least be able to handle metadata tagging; without that I'll be using Aperture (or maybe migrate to Photos).

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Howard Winn

    I like others here have continued to use Aperture while using luminar as a plugin. The Luminar DAM by all accounts has been a huge disappointment. So I am thinking of taking Apple's Photos more seriously. It has improved considerably since it was first introduced.

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Paul Barnard

    Howard. Don’t waste time trying the Photos route. It really isn’t an option. Like everyone in this thread I’m hoping that Luminar will, eventually, fill the void left by Aperture. They have had a very bad start...

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Paul Jennings

    Sorry but I have to disagree about Photos. Having been a user of Aperture for many years, I had hoped that the promised DAM in L3 would replace it - it doesn't and not by a long long stretch. It would have been useful if Skylum had listened to what people were using and liked instead of creating a new Mickey Mouse version of a DAM.

    For me Photos gives you a stable DAM although there are many things I wish I could delete or rearrange, however, it is a preferable way to work for me using Luminar as a plugin, which incidentally still crashes but not as often as trying to use L3 as a standalone.

    Only reason I have stopped using Aperture, was because I bought a new Mac and thought I would give Photos a try.

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Paul Barnard

    Paul,  It's fine to disagree, that's why there are options in the world, but for me Photos is certainly not a good choice for non invasive DAM.  First off it uses a proprietary library.  The format of which gets changed on nearly every update.  You can't even right click and show in Finder.  Not having something as simple as star rating is fundamental.  On top of that I simply don't trust Apple any more.  They used to have real 'pro' credentials but have dumbed down everything for the iphone generation.  I used to be a user of .mac and that got killed taking all my web pages and every thing I had in the cloud away.  Next they killed Aperture.  They are now pushing everything to iCloud and charging you for the privilege.

    Right now I'm using Photo Supreme which is a fully fledged DAM.  It has some quirks but the DAM functionality is a mile beyond Photos and the developer answers email in minutes.  The only problem is that Luminar is treading a weird path as far as file handling goes which makes integrating it fully with an external DAM a bit of a pain.

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Paul Jennings

    PB Sorry - didn't mean to appear dismissive of your post. You are correct in all those things, as Apple is favouring the iPhone user in all its products, with Logic probably being the only exception which is very usable from a Pro aspect. I merely meant that Photos is a usable option (maybe only for me) at the moment until something better comes along. I really like the fact that I can leave the info window open and see with each image which file format, camera, lens combination or phone I have used. As an amateur photographer, I cannot justify throwing money at Adobe, nor will I throw any more at Skylum as they obviously don't have the knowledge to create a stable alternative. That leaves using a separate DAM and Editor of which I am sure there are several options to suit the varied requirements of photographers. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Paul Barnard

    Paul J, I certainly didn't take your comments as dismissive.  I'm fortunate to have a full Adobe account through my work but I'm still looking for the grail replacement to Aperture.  I don't like the Adobe ethos and don't want to find myself in a situation where I can not access my edits if I stop paying the Adobe subscription.  With a purchased copy of an application you have it forever.  You can keep an old computer to run it on if necessary.  With subscription, and I fear with Apple products too, you have no guarantee of being able to access all your edits in the future.  I'm a bit concerned that Luminar has gone the catalogue route which potentially locks you into the application.  I hope they support standard image sidecars for meta data in the future to make data transportable.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Andrew Hewitt

    Yes, a touchy subject isn't it?

    I disagree with Paul J about Photos though. I have not found it at all reliable or stable. I have on occasion tried to migrate to it, from Lightroom, even making a fresh start I find myself battling with crashes and lockups before I've even imported all my photos into it. I recently managed it by reinstalling Aperture, then migrating the library into Photos, as it was the only way I could get it to import everything and maintain the folder/album structure. Even then I had to run the migrate twice before it worked.

    I had used it as my primary DAM/editor a couple of years ago, but a catastrophic failure of the library left me having to start again. I went back to Lightroom at that time. My recent trials with it have not shown any improvement, as I still get it crashing while managing my folders and files, or when editing.

    I understand the reluctance to go with Adobe though. I have gone that way myself, but would like to get out of the subscription trap at some point. However, after much testing of different apps and solutions, I still find Lightroom is the best overall DAM and editor there is, at about the best value for the cost.

    I agree about Luminar, they've really failed monumentally with this release, and for future security of my image management, I've not got much trust in the Skylum apps at this time - I'm hoping to be proved otherwise though, and will wait and see how things pan out. However, if it's going to be another year or two before we see much of the promised functionality, then it'll not see me using it much more, let alone trust my entire photo collection to it.

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Paul Jennings

    I am sure we all have bad experiences with different software - none of it is perfect, which is why I have 2 separate automated hard drive backups as well as 3 cloud backups of all my photos and music. Too many years of history to consider losing. Already discovering the mistakes of cheap developing and prints as I browse my sepia collection of 40 year old colour prints. Whatever we all prefer, I think we all agree that Skylum has a big fail here, as the great editing ideas and tools are too compromised with regular crashes, lethargic operating and gaping holes in functionality.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Andrew Hewitt

    I suppose all you can do is to choose whatever suits your needs, and offers the least possibility of failure.

    I think you're spot on there with your description of Luminar at this time. I actually find the Auto AI enhance presets very good as a starting point, indeed they work better than anything else I've tried, so as an editing tool, it certainly has potential.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Daniel Voulkos

    Guys and gals. Can you tell me what OS you are using to be able to still use Aperture? I have a friend still using El Capitan and would really like to see her update to at least Sierra if not High Sierra. As with you she cannot afford to lose her library if it were to be corrupted. A complete disaster for her. Thanks.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Mark Hertel

    I’m on Mojave 10.14.2 and it still works for ME.........can’t say of course how it will work on other machines. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Howard Winn

    I am using macos operating system 12.01 and am using Aperture

    . I recently acquired an Olympus EM1 markll and see that I can't upload directly to aperture. I remember vaguely reading somewhere there is a way round this.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Phillip Rodokanakis

    I'm currently running Aperture on Mojave (v10.14) which is the latest release of the macOS and have successfully run it on all earlier versions of the macOS since Apple quit supporting Aperture. So your friend should have no problems upgrading to whatever version of the macOS she would like, assuming of course, that her hardware supports it. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Allister Jenks

    Apple's Photos is... challenging. Unlike Luminar, it has keywords, but it may as well not have. They are a complete pain to enter on a Mac and not much easier to see/use. If Skylum deliver *any* form of keyword management, it'll be hard to go below the bar set by Photos. I just hope it measures up to LR's.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Rick Garside

     I will weigh in on this in the hopes that Skylum monitors these discussions and listens to these comments.  I, too, was a long time user of both Aperture and iPhoto - both fantastic products with the database organization, facial recognition and ways to create books and calendars.  I loved all those things about it.  The facial recognition was particularly awesome.  I made calendars every year for my families and more or less kept my personal life on iPhoto and professional life in Aperture.  Just when I was about to move both libraries together into Aperture, Apple made their announcement.  

    The I stopped everything.  I stopped making books and calendars, I stopped importing my stuff into either program since neither were going to be supported, and I started looking for alternatives.  This was because, at this point - I also stopped trusting Apple.  I did at least give 'Photos' a try. Twice.  And hated it both times. I was told by Apple techs that once I got used to it, I would love it.  WRONG.  I loved what they already had.  And that didn't take any 'getting used to - it just worked, and worked great.  I did not need software that mimicked how my phone could handle software.  I liked the desktop features.

    So I purchased Luminar 3 hoping it could become my go-to app for these things.  I realize Skylum started small and has been building up over time, and I agree with the comments above.  However, if Skylum is listening, if you do create a robust database that easily handles files and organizing them, using key words and easy metadata, and - for me at least, had a way for me to print books and high quality calendars like Apple did, then I think you could absolutely dominate this entire market that Apple has so carelessly tossed away.

    Obviously you are not there yet.  But if you could commit to trying to do that for us - your customers, I'd be glad to pay all over again for those features.  And you would be able to keep making money on sales of books, cards, calendars, etc. on a regular basis.  It could be your way of gaining an ongoing revenue stream without going to the hated 'subscription model'.  You may have considered this already, but you have not stated your full intentions.  

    It would seem that the technology to do all this lies well within your grasp, and - if you could 'out-Apple' Apple, by taking things others have already done, but packaging them in a way that is easily accessible and meets the needs and desires of your customers, I think your business would absolutely explode.  You have no idea how many of us out here are looking for this specific thing and have been very unhappy with all the alternatives.  I looked at that 'Photo Supreme' that the person above suggested, and it looks good, but all it seems to do is organize.  (Which is a big part of what we want - don't get me wrong.)  If I could have all that AND the editing AND facial recognition AND book/calendar options in one package, I would be in photo heaven.  Maybe Apple will sell you Aperture and you can improve it from there.  Why not give it a go?  

    Thanks for starting to provide a real option.

    Rick

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Phillip Rodokanakis

    @RickGarside

    Skylum does apparently monitor some of these posts, as I got a reply from them to an issue I was/am having with the DeNoise filter in Luminar. They've asked me to send them a couple of photos where this problem was cropping up, but directed me to their support site to do this (which interestingly has an 8 MB limit on file uploads--I'm not sure what camera anymore shoots RAW files that don't exceed 20 MB, which renders the 8 MB limit rather silly). 

    I can sympathize with your comments 100% as I have found myself in the same position since Apple killed Aperture. I started using Skylum products when they were marketed under McPhunn with the first version of Aurora. I then bought Luminar since it was launched and have upgraded both products each and every year. I too was hoping that Luminar 3 would become a suitable solution to replace the aging Aperture app which I'm still using as my main DAM. 

    Unfortunately, after experimenting with Luminar 3 since its launch I have come to the conclusion that Luminar is not going to provide the answer to my photo storage problems. As everyone has commented, there are many shortcomings to Luminar 3, particularly the lack of support for Keywords, EXIF and IPTC metadata, etc. These render it practically unusable and I don't have much faith on how long it's going to take Skylum to add these features to the program as they need to first address the stability issues lots of the users are reporting. 

    My major beef with Luminar 3 is the fact that the edited photos are stored inside the catalog. Yes, they can individually be exported to Luminar file format or JPG, but that's a show and tedious process if it's undertaken for every photo.

    After the Aperture fiasco we experienced with Apple, I swore that I would not use a program again that stored my photos inside a proprietary database. What happens to our photos if support for the program disappears in the future or if a major upgrade to the macOS disables the program completely and the vendor no longer has an interest in updating the app or they've gone out of business? 

    No thanks. I'm not risking this again. I'm saving my images in RAW format and I will only use a program that creates a library from reading the saved RAW files. I also want to make sure that edits are not destructive in any way and are stored as separate files, ideally in the same folder where the original photos are stored. I also want the program to support all types of metadata in separate xmp files that can be used to import the metadata into another program in the future, if necessary. 

    In my quest, I've come across ON1, which meets or surpasses most of the criteria I've set for a DAM upgrade. It saves the metadata in .XMP files, it reads the RAW images from the drive in non-destructive format and generates a separate file that contains the settings for any images that are edited. The proprietary file they generate to store the information on the edited photos are named after the same file name used by the RAW image with the .on1 file extension; this is a text file that the ON1 app reads and displays the photo in its edited format. As one navigates through the folders containing the images, ON1 quickly displays the contents of each folder displaying the edited version of the image. A one button click allows you then to view the original unedited image for quick comparison. 

    Granted, if the ON1 developers go out of business and their program stops functioning in the future, I'd probably lose the edits, but I will have the original RAW images along with all the metadata generated by ON1, which I could then use to import to another DAM. I suppose I could also save the edited photos in JPG or TIFF format in the same directory along with the original photo, but that will require some additional manual processing.

    As it stands now with Aperture, I end up keeping two copies of the RAW images, one inside the database and a copy of the original photo on a RAID server. ON1 will allow me to just keep one copy of the RAW images along with their corresponding XMP and ON1 files in the same folder (and only have to worry about creating a backup of the folder structure I use to save the RAW images). 

    So I'm switching to ON1. I will continue using Aurora and Luminar as editing tools and store the edited images into the same folder with the parent RAW image in either JPG or TIFF format. But for quick edits, I'll probably end up using the editing tools that come with ON1 as I become more familiar with the capabilities of their tools and filters.

    I'm hopeful that this will answer my quest for a new DAM to replace Aperture...

    Good luck to your quest for a DAM replacement... 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Phillip Rodokanakis

    @MikeMiles

    Thank you for the feedback, Mike. So far no problems with ON1 Photo Raw 2019 running on my 2017 iMac with 32 GB of RAM and 2 TB Fusion Drive. The photos are stored on an external Samsung T-5 SSD connected to the iMac via USB-C (Thunderbolt 3 connector, but basically running at USB 3.0 speeds). I have not tried it on my MacBook yet and have not added too many photos into the ON1 library. I hope that things don't slow down when I add lots more photos. But so far, so good... 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Allister Jenks

    Philip, you realise that Luminar does exactly what you want with regard to reading your RAW photos from wherever on disk you want to put them?

    Aperture and Lightroom both allowed this also, although only one of them (LR) defaulted to this behaviour.

    Luminar’s edits are just as non-destructive as both Aperture and LR, too. It’ll likely never be possible to move edits between products because they’ll each have their own algorithms and methods that will be incompatible, so if you want to “keep” them, you’ll need to render/export copies. None of this is any different to when I moved from Aperture to LR right after Apple announced the death knell.

    The interesting thing I am finding is after converting all my RAW files to DNG and asking LR to write all metadata to file (with DNG they get stored in the file itself, not a sidecar) I’m finding Luminar seems to see some aspects of my LR edits. Namely images that were edited in LR appear to have at least exposure and possibly WB set when viewed in Luminar. Also, as LR has written my keywords into the files, when I export from Luminar they go along for the ride.

    I get that some functionality is missing or marginal but the basic library/file handling is essentially the same as LR or Aperture.

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Phillip Rodokanakis

    @MikeMiles

    So far, I have not experienced any lags or refresh problems. I tried the clone stamp tool the other day and it worked just fine. 

    In browsing their site, I saw a reference to their support forum, but so far have not spent any time there. I want to watch some of the videos they make available first. 

    Thanks for the feedback. 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Phillip Rodokanakis

    @AllisterJenks

    Thank you for the feedback. Yes, I do realize that Luminar 3 edits are non-destructive to the original image. My dislike to their approach is that the edits are contained inside an SQL database. Which to me means I would have to export each and every image I edit to TIFF or JPG to make sure that I don't lose the files in case the database gets corrupted or is no longer supported in the future. 

    But the points you raise are valid. Regardless, the lack of essential features, such as support for keywords, EXIF and IPTC metadata prevent me from jumping into the Lumina 3 DAM bandwagon. I certainly would like to go with a product that's committed itself to strongly support the metadata standards most mature photo programs support. 

    I still like Luminar's and Aurora's editing capabilities and will continue to use those when warranted. But as far as their DAM goes, I believe the jury is still out... 

    0
    Comment actions Permalink
  • Avatar
    Rick Garside

    Thank you for that tip on ON1 Phillip - and you answered a question I was wondering about whether their De-noise filter was incorporated into Luminar 3, which I'm glad to hear it seems to have been.  I'm still trying to figure out the program.  It seems Skylum has a number of stand-alone products that really should all be incorporated into Luminar along with a good DAM set-up.  I will try out ON1 as well as Photo Supreme and see if either is a good fit.  Take care!

     

    0
    Comment actions Permalink

Please sign in to leave a comment.