Presenting at the Photokina trade show in Cologne, Germany on Monday, the Cupertino, Calif.-based company showed off several new features of the software, including a powerful new open library, iLife '06 and iWork '06 integration, XMP metadata support, new adjustment tools and an export API that makes it easy to extend the Aperture workflow to third party applications and services.
With a new open library system, managing RAW, JPEG and TIFF images in Aperture 1.5 has been made more flexible, allowing photographers to store image files wherever they want -- either within the Aperture library itself, or in other disk locations, including external hard drives, CDs or DVDs.
The new version of Aperture can also generate high-resolution previews of each image so that users can review, rate and organize images as well as perform slideshows -- even when the master images are offline. The previews, which can be generated at a range of size and quality levels, make it possible for photographers to keep their original images safely stored on a desktop system at home or in the studio, while still being able to take a compact version of their entire photographic library on the road using a MacBook or MacBook Pro.
Aperture 1.5 is now supported across Apple's full line of Macintosh computers, the company said, from the Mac mini to the Mac Pro, and offers new integration with the iLife '06 suite of digital lifestyle applications and iWork '06 productivity software. The tight integration means that photographers can build complete websites with iWeb, create self-contained slide presentations with Keynote, or produce DVD slideshows with iDVD, all using JPEG versions of photos directly from their Aperture library. Integration also includes syncing to iPod using iTunes 7 and the ability to access and copy Aperture photos from within iPhoto.
With Aperture 1.5, Apple has dramatically streamlined the process of adding metadata to photo shoots with new pre-filled IPTC Metadata Presets. Captions, credits and other critical metadata that photographers rely on can be added on import automatically or via a batch process at any point in the workflow. Another major enhancement to metadata support within Aperture is the ability to export RAW images with IPTC data stored in XMP sidecar files for easy use with other applications like Adobe Photoshop and even the ability to generate XMP files automatically through AppleScript.
Some of the powerful new adjustment options in Aperture 1.5 include a sophisticated luminance-based Edge Sharpen filter for extremely high-quality sharpening results and a new Color tool that lets photographers tune the hue, saturation and luminance of specific color ranges within each image. Aperture's popular Loupe magnifier has also been dramatically enhanced with a set of onscreen controls, smooth zooming with up to 1600 percent magnification and a new option that enables it to be detached from the cursor while making adjustments. Meanwhile, individual image adjustment settings can now be saved as presets that can be automatically applied through a menu command, so that photographers can quickly and easily make standard adjustments.
Wih Aperture 1.5, Apple is also introducing a new export API plug-in architecture that allows third party developers to tap into the expanding Aperture user community with plug-ins that seamlessly connect Aperture's workflow to complementary applications and services. Plug-ins from industry leading companies, including Getty Images, iStockphoto, Pictage, Flickr, PhotoShelter, DigitalFusion, Soundslides and Connected Flow, are being previewed at this week's Photokina tradeshow -- demonstrating a range of printing, publishing and storage workflows that take advantage of the new architecture.
Pricing & Availability
Aperture 1.5 is available this week in English, French, German and Japanese as a free Software Update to current Aperture 1.0 customers. Aperture 1.5 is available to order for new customers for a suggested retail price of $299 through the Apple Store, Apple's retail stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers.