Looking for an Aperture replacement

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    Ross Collins

    Many LR users have the same problem.  Unfortunately, Luminar isn't going to come within a bull's roar of being a half-viable replacement for Lightroom by September when Mojave is replaced.  I'm also a long term CK user but with LR meeting my data management needs for a 400,000 image database (which LR opens in less than 10 seconds).  My estimate is that L3 just isn't going to cut it for at least 24 months. 

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    Ronald Skinner

    Try ON1 Photo Raw, I use it with Luminar Flex at times

     

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    Ross Collins

    By a process of elimination based on comparative desk reviews of features, video tutorials, user feedback and (where available) on-line user manuals, Exposure X4 also holds the most promise for me to meet my needs as a Lightroom replacement.  As soon as I can clear my other obligations to free up as much of a forward 30 day trial period as possible, I intend to download a trial copy and test it exhaustively.  I'm hopeful that it will stack up, and that I can install and transition to it before Mojave is replaced in September, as I expect Lightroom v6.x will then be incompatible with the Mojave replacement.

    I'm a long time and heavily invested, but very disillusioned, Macphun/Skylum user, who can't see any realistic prospect that Luminar will be a viable LR replacement even a further 12 months after that.  I simply can't take the chance that I will be left high and dry by broken promises and broken software.

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    Jerry Dean

    @Colin Grant, Actually I believe the highlights and shadows issue has been fixed in X4, I am finding it works quite well.  The Dam function is rather good also.  You are correct on the chromatic aberration correction, I suspect it will be added soon.  One of the reasons I like it over On1 is the UI feels similar to LR and the film simulations are nice.  The price is very reasonable with the 10% codes available.  One of the main reasons is the friendly efficient honest support available.  

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    Jerry Dean

    @Donna Miller This code works fine: AnthonyMorganti. I have settled with X4.5, the more I use it the more things I like about it, the dam function is very accomplished, I also like that the free Nik Collection plugins work great with it.  However when the next version of OSX is available I wonder if the old Nik Collection will still work, may have to purchase the DXO version of Nik. 

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    Colin Grant

    ON1 is not a LR, it covers the functionality of Lr and Ps. I still think Lr is the better raw editor, along with Capture One. That said ON1 2019 has been rock solid since release on my Mac. As to Aurora, hdr is not my bag so cannot comment 😀

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    Kirk Osborn

    Thanks for sharing your feedback with us. We appreciate it.

    Our engineering team is working around the clock to make Luminar better.

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    Terry Rogers

    Hi Jim. Please contact us via https://skylum.com/support and we will figure something out.

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    Jerry Dean

    Check out Raw Power, it is designed by the gentleman that was ahead of the Aperture Team.  It is not where Aperture was but it is headed that way. https://gentlemencoders.com

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    Jim Frost

    Thanks for all the suggestions folks. 

    I have tried ON1, a while ago admittedly, and it wouldn't work with external editors then I think(?). RawPower is an option but no DAM(?).

    Looking about I think it might be worth giving ACDSee or Picktorial a try out. They both seem to suggest on their sites that they work with external editors. The search continues!

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    Richard Huggins

    It depends on what you want from a DAM. I use FastRawViewer as what it does is enough for me at the moment.

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    Donna Miller

    Jim try AlienSkin's Exposure X4.

    https://www.alienskin.com/ 

    I have had so many problems with L3 losing all of my edits, crashing badly and only supporting very small libraries... basically the endless problems that you may have read about in these forums and elsewhere that I went looking for alternatives. I have On1 RAW also but it's very slow displaying previews of my images, and I've had other problems with it especially every time they launch a new version, I feel like we've paid them for the privilege of being beta testers, though not as bad as L3's problems.

    So I went looking for an alternative and came across Exposure X4. I downloaded the trial version of their package (with 2 other products at a great price). I used it quite a bit, and also through one of their updates. Unfortunately because I had so much work I wasn't able to use it for the last 2 weeks of the trial, but I had put it through enough by then to know that I wanted to buy it. Their DAM is very fast to load images, their tools cover all the basics. Once I watched a few of their tutorial videos the UI was fairly intuitive. Everything I tested worked fairly well. I did have a couple problems though, and their customer support was stellar! Unlike both Skylum and On1 support. The one thing that I found difficult is that the keyboard shortcuts were so different. But their recent update took care of that with customizable keyboard shortcuts, and even a quick option to convert to Lightroom shortcuts. I would highly recommend getting their free trial version to test out.

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    Donna Miller

    Ross Collins, that last paragraph really sums it up for where I'm at too. When you do get a chance to put Exposure X4 through it's paces, let us know what you think.

    I downloaded the Exposure Bundle and also was very impressed with the Blow Up app too. I'm just waiting for tardy clients to pay me in order to buy the bundle. Their support was very responsive about new feature requests too.

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    Jim Frost

    Thank you Donna and Russ for the recommendation. Definitely one that I will look at.

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    Colin Grant

    ON1 2019 does work with external editors but its functionality is such that I cannot see that will be a frequent requirement. The big daddy out there is Capture One but it is so pricey unless you are a Fuji or Sony only shooter. Tried X4 and not impressed with its raw developer (especially highlights and shadows) and there is no chromatic aberration correction either. X4 is getting there but oh so very slowly. All imho of course :-)

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    Colin Grant

    @Jerry Dean, it is all subjective but yes H&S has been tweaked but is still nowhere near as good as Lr and they have been going to add CA for months. Take your point re familiarity but personally I have given up on that as a selection criteria. I want something that works and works well. ON1 does that and with the next update it will be even better. At the end of the day though C1 wins for me and as I am now a Fuji shooter I can get a good deal. None of that means X4 cannot do a good job though - the simulations are excellent without doubt - but it is not cheap software (but then nothing any good is!). I too have found support at X4 good, others have commented that it is lacking in the are of training vids but I always found what I wanted albeit that the vids were all quite short (maybe that is how it should be). At the end of the day if it works for you go for it. Let's face it they are all years in front of Luminar!

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    Jerry Dean

    @Colin Grant, the price is about the same as the Fuji Pro version of C1. I paid $107.10, I believe the Fuji Pro version of C1 is $109.00, of course there is a basic version for Fuji that is free if that is what you are referring to.

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    Colin Grant

    That is my point. C1 Pro for Fuji is imho much better than X4 so no contest for me. C1 colour management is something else.

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    Jerry Dean

    I agree with that statement, I have the free version of C1 for my Fuji X100F, for my Lumix cameras I would need to purchase the $299.00 version, more then I want to spend, if I were totally a Fuji shooter I would definitely purchase the Fuji Pro version. The color management is indeed very impressive.  

     

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    Colin Grant

    I just do not know why C1 don't bring the price of the full version down. Even the subscription (sorry to mention that word) is prohibitive. Still luckily I am Fuji only. My older stuff, if it needs to be resurrected, can be handled via ON1.

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    Donna Miller

    @Jerry Dean what 10% codes? I may purchase the Exposure Bundle, but at the very least I want Blow Up if I can get it to work as a plugin within On1.

    @Colin Grant I agree with you about On1 being so full featured that most external editors aren't usually needed because so much is already covered in On1. The one external editor I do use regularly through On1 is Aurora 2019 though.

    I know that On1 has their own HDR merge. But in my comparisons between On1 HDR Merge and Aurora 2019 using the same images and settings for Alignment and Remove Ghosting Aurora blew On1 out of the water. No comparison. I am often hand holding my camera for HDR brackets and Aurora does a stellar job at aligning and removing the ghosting that is going to result from not being able to hold the camera as steady as a tripod could. At least Skylum (then Macphun) did something right there. I wonder how much of that was due to the influence of Trey Ratcliff.

    I have also experienced major issues with On1 every time they release a major update. It's similar to what I'm experiencing with Luminar 3, where I feel that I've paid them to be their beta tester and the privilege of wasting time working on images that then are unusable because of issues is their software. In one release an image could look fine, and the exported image had terrible obvious artifacts in it. Their customer support also isn't much better than Skylum's. Eventually, months later they manage to get the bugs out enough that I feel comfortable using it again. But I'm really tired of this being the defacto standard for paid software releases. However, the evolution of the On1 RAW software has been a nice progression of adding functionality and enhancing features. As far as functionality and features I think On1 RAW is well ahead of LR. They also really rock at tutorial videos, including many by pro photographers who are using the software.

    This thread has been really interesting, reading your suggestions and experiences with the various alternatives. It's helped me to refine my focus on what is going to best serve my needs.

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    Donna Miller

    @Jerry Dean thank you so much!

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    Jerry Dean

    @Colin Grant, I am curious in your opinion of all the raw developers you have tried looking for an LR replacement.  Considering Luminar, DXO Photolab, Raw Power, Capture One, ONI, Exposure X4, Lightroom, which one do you like the best and why.  If DXO supported Fuji would you have stayed with them?  Thanks for your time.

    For me I just prefer the way Lr works the best, it is not so much the $ but the Adobe attitude and the subscription.  I also want to give my business to a company that furnishes a finished product, I also have no interest in paying to be a beta tester.  I enjoy a company that provides honest support, provides and meets deadlines for product releases even to the extend of using a product that perhaps does not have all I would like included.

    My email is etracks at me.com if you prefer not to answer here, thank you.

     

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    Colin Grant

    Jerry, I'll drop you an email later. Busy with guests at the moment. In a nutshell though for me it is still Lr that is the best with ON1 coming in second (and improving). I would not have stuck with DxO.

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    Jim Frost

    A quick follow up to this. I have tried most of the suggestions over the last couple of weeks (plus Picktorial, ACDSee, ON1) and have narrowed my choice down to Exposure X4 and Capture One. A very quick summary:

    With Exposure X4 I like the lens corrections and presets, the Fuji simulations look interesting. I would prefer it if you could reduce the font size of the panel titles but that's only a minor quibble.

    With Capture One there is better use made of the "dead space" in the layout, it appears more compact. There is better RAW conversion allegedly but I'm no pixel peeper(!). Also the Auto options for exposure and white balance etc. are handy.

    A very quick summary but both programs offer great customisation of their layouts, with round tripping to all the third party applications that I use and both are fast and stable. Capture One is probably the more "technical" choice and Exposure X4 the more "creative" choice. Whether Capture One is worth the extra initial outlay over Exposure I'm really not so sure though.

    As an aside I went back to Luminar 3 and it really isn't up to either of these programs in terms of the DAM yet. If Skylum can get it anywhere close to matching Capture One or X4 then it could become a serious contender again for me. For now I'll stick with the plug-ins.   

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