Apple today released Aperture 1.1, a significant update to its all-in-one post production tool for photographers. The Universal update, delayed from last month's expected release, runs natively on both Intel- and PowerPC-based Macs and features dramatically improved RAW image rendering and a new set of advanced RAW adjustment controls. Aperture 1.1 also delivers impressive speed gains on any Mac including desktop-like performance on a MacBook Pro with image adjustments and searching up to 4 times faster, according to Apple. Apple also announced that it has reduced the price to $299 so as to put it "within reach of anyone shooting with a digital SLR camera."
"Since Aperture launched just over four months ago, we've been incredibly focused on improving image quality and performance, working closely with pro photographers to get it right in 1.1," said Rob Schoeben, Apple's vice president of Applications Marketing. "With the RAW quality and overall speed of Aperture 1.1 and its new low price, there's never been a better time for pros and hobbyists alike to take the art and craft of photography to the next level."
Apple said that RAW image rendering in Aperture 1.1 is greatly improved in areas such as noise reduction, sharpening, and highlight recovery. Version 1.1 features new RAW Fine Tuning controls to allow photographers to tweak decode settings such as boost, sharpening and chroma blur. It also offers a new built-in color meter that displays pixel values in RGB, Lab or CMYK in the Adjustments HUD (heads up display) or in Aperture's Loupe magnifying viewer.
In addition, Aperture 1.1 features enhanced export controls to make it easier to output images at specific resolutions and improve the handling of layered Photoshop files. It offers support for the Nikon D200 and Canon 30D, as well as dozens of reliability and performance improvements, according to the company.
Aperture 1.1 delivers significant performance gains on both PowerPC-based and the new Intel-based Macs providing photographers with desktop-level experience on the new MacBook Pro and delivering a powerful entry-level photography workstation on the new Intel-based iMac. According to the company, performance tests on a MacBook Pro have shown that common repetitive workflow tasks such as Lift and Stamp and searching are processed up to 4x faster on a MacBook Pro than on a PowerBook G4.
Aperture 1.1 is available immediately as a free Software Update to current Aperture 1.0 customers. In addition, early adopters of Aperture 1.0 can claim a $200 coupon (redeemable at the Apple Online Store) as a thank you for their support. Aperture 1.1 is available to order for new customers for $300 through the Apple Store and other retailers.