Aperture update to improve image export quality

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
Apple Computer as early as this evening is expected to release the first update to its Aperture all-in-one post production tool for photographers.



The update, labeled Aperture 1.0.1 Update, is expected to address a number of issues related to reliability and performance.



Aperture 1.0.1 will also deliver improved image export quality and metadata handling.



Owners of Aperture 1.0 will be able to access and install the update via the Mac OS X built-in Software Update mechanism. Alternatively, users should be able to download the software from Apple's Web site via this soon-to-be-updated support page.



Introduced in October, Aperture offers an advanced and incredibly fast RAW workflow that makes working with a camera?s RAW images as easy as JPEG. Built from the ground up for pros, Aperture features powerful compare and select tools, nondestructive image processing, color managed printing and custom web and book publishing.



Aperture retails for $499, but Amazon.com is currently offering a $59 savings on software, bringing the cost down to $439.99.



Update: Apple has now posted the 11.4MB update to its Web site.



In addition to the aforementioned enhancements, Apple said some of other key areas addressed in the update include: white balance adjustment accuracy and performance, book and print ordering reliability, auto-stacking performance, and custom paper size handling.

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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 65
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,585member
    I really hope this solves these problems. It's being battered around on several major sites.



    Besides, I want to buy the damn thing already, but I don't want to use it with the problems it has.
  • Reply 2 of 65
    creativepro.com had the best, most balanced, and exhaustive review so far.



    ars technica's review was fine as far as it went; it just didn't go very far. Very disappointing considering ars' usual excellence.
  • Reply 3 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bikertwin

    creativepro.com had the best, most balanced, and exhaustive review so far.



    ars technica's review was fine as far as it went; it just didn't go very far. Very disappointing considering ars' usual excellence.




    ArsTechnica's review quality has gone waaay downhill in the past year. This is in part because they let anyone review. The author of the AssTechnica review is a Photoshop guru...does image composition for a living. He's not a pro photographer and couldn't care less about workflow. The bulk of his review (which he tried to correct with a second part) revolved around RAW conversion of a handful of samples, tweaking them with effects (his Photoshop instincts) and exporting them.



    His excuse for not reviewing the entire app was "the app didn't cut it for *my* workflow"...ok, but he's not in the business of sorting thousands of photos really fast.
  • Reply 4 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally posted by kim kap sol

    ArsTechnica's review quality has gone waaay downhill in the past year. This is in part because they let anyone review. The author of the AssTechnica review is a Photoshop guru...does image composition for a living. He's not a pro photographer and couldn't care less about workflow. The bulk of his review (which he tried to correct with a second part) revolved around RAW conversion of a handful of samples, tweaking them with effects (his Photoshop instincts) and exporting them.



    His excuse for not reviewing the entire app was "the app didn't cut it for *my* workflow"...ok, but he's not in the business of sorting thousands of photos really fast.




    Interesting! I didn't know that.



    Hopefully the screams of protest in the forums (they ended up locking the thread) will give Ars a hint that they need to think this through better next time.
  • Reply 5 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bikertwin

    Interesting! I didn't know that.



    Hopefully the screams of protest in the forums (they ended up locking the thread) will give Ars a hint that they need to think this through better next time.




    I think the consensus was that Beige (Dave) did an decent job showing some of the major problems in Aperture (RAW conversion and problems with metadata not sticking on export) but poor at showing the workflow aspect of the app (which is what that app was all about.) He then compared some aspects of the app to Photoshop (another hint that his heart is in image composition and not photograph sorting and tweaking.)



    Yes, there are bugs in Aperture. Some are fairly serious to some people. But it's no excuse for a reviewer to stop his review short. And if it is an excuse to stop a review short, the review rating should be skipped altogether.



    If we compare to Version Tracker or MacUpdate reviews, there are two types of people: ones that recognize that they can't review the app if it, say, crashes on launch and those that don't. The ones that do will leave a polite note saying the app crashes on launch and not rate the app. The ones that don't will give it a rating of 1/5 (or whichever is the lowest rating) and whine about it without giving any substantial information.



    The Ars review of Aperture almost sounded like the latter.
  • Reply 6 of 65
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,585member
    Dave is not untypical of those who will be using the program. Many photographers never do selections of their own photos any more. The editors do it.



    As he said, even he has to do it. I've had customers over the years who asked me to sit with them and make selections.



    I can easily see editors in newspapers or magazines using this. The photographers almost never do their own selections.



    When we used to run a Kodachrome line, we had Time as a client.



    We would keep the lab open on weekends when they had stories being flown in. We would develop the film and give it straight to a member of the editorial staff, who took it right to the offices to be evaluated.



    The photographer was still on the other continent.



    If anything, with digital images being transmitted directly to the home office, there is less intervention by the photographer.



    For weddings and the like, it's a different story.
  • Reply 7 of 65
    Arse Technika is populated by Windows shills and astroturfers. It has always been a place where Apple users and fans are attacked and denigrated by the gang of pompous asses that like to assert their presumed superiority over anyone that chooses the Macintosh as their platform of choice.



    In their review, Aperture was dismissed out of hand for it's RAW converter alone, with no consideration to it's revolutionary workflow and photo selection features, not to mention it's gorgeous user interface.



    RAW is not an Industry standard, but a set of proprietary algorithms to convert the raw information captured by the camera's CCD chip. Each manufacture's implementation is unique, thus Nikon's RAW implementation (NEF) is different from Canon's or Sony's or anyone else's.



    Aperture has tackled the monumental job of making order out of the chaos that is RAW file conversion. That they have a product that can address this at all is surprising, that version 1.0 has shortcomings for Photoshop wonks is not.



    Adobe is attempting to address this with a universal format (DNG) for camera RAW files. This is hopefully something that the camera manufacturers will get on board with, and when they do Apple will be there with Aperture.
  • Reply 8 of 65
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,585member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Aphelion

    Arse Technika is populated by Windows shills and astroturfers. It has always been a place where Apple users and fans are attacked and denigrated by the gang of pompous asses that like to assert their presumed superiority over anyone that chooses the Macintosh as their platform of choice.



    In their review, Aperture was dismissed out of hand for it's RAW converter alone, with no consideration to it's revolutionary workflow and photo selection features, not to mention it's gorgeous user interface.



    RAW is not an Industry standard, but a set of proprietary algorithms to convert the raw information captured by the camera's CCD chip. Each manufacture's implementation is unique, thus Nikon's RAW implementation (NEF) is different from Canon's or Sony's or anyone else's.



    Aperture has tackled the monumental job of making order out of the chaos that is RAW file conversion. That they have a product that can address this at all is surprising, that version 1.0 has shortcomings for Photoshop wonks is not.



    Adobe is attempting to address this with a universal format (DNG) for camera RAW files. This is hopefully something that the camera manufacturers will get on board with, and when they do Apple will be there with Aperture.




    I've been there for years, and Ars has a very large Mac community.



    Many of those on both sides of the debate were Mac users. In fact, most of those in the debate were Mac users.



    What has to be understood is at this point in time there are numerous programs that offer RAW conversion. It is nothing new.



    The point that was being made was that with all of these programs that do it, and with several professional level programs that do, Apple has had time to evaluate how well it was being done, and had the understanding as to what would have been expected from a conversion.



    That their conversions seem to be substandard when compared to these other respected conversions was a point of contention.



    I had pointed out that it seemed as though Apple was going for more detail in shadows than other converters were. The compromise they accepted by doing this looks to be too much.



    There were other problems as well.



    It's a first try. The 1.0.1 update doesn't seem to have helped much, but we'll see when 10.4.4 comes out.
  • Reply 9 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    I've been there for years, and Ars has a very large Mac community...



    ... It's a first try. The 1.0.1 update doesn't seem to have helped much, but we'll see when 10.4.4 comes out.




    Right melgross, there are many Mac users in Arse forums, and the Macintoshian Achaia forum is especially useful for Apple users. But there is also an undeniable population of long time Mac haters and Microsoft's paid shills that rule the Battlefront forum especially. Some are even moderators!



    But back to the topic at hand, yes Aperture has flaws, and 1.0.1 is just the first of many "improvements" to the program. The RAW conversion process, being a core graphics implementation, will be improved with 10.4.4 and future OSX updates.



    Beige's review was a total slag off of Aperture, which will get Apple's attention when it comes to improving their RAW conversion. Getting that slap in the face will ultimately be a good thing for the program's development.
  • Reply 10 of 65
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,585member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Aphelion

    Right melgross, there are many Mac users in Arse forums, and the Macintoshian Achaia forum is especially useful for Apple users. But there is also an undeniable population of long time Mac haters and Microsoft's paid shills that rule the Battlefront forum especially. Some are even moderators!



    But back to the topic at hand, yes Aperture has flaws, and 1.0.1 is just the first of many "improvements" to the program. The RAW conversion process, being a core graphics implementation, will be improved with 10.4.4 and future OSX updates.



    Beige's review was a total slag off of Aperture, which will get Apple's attention when it comes to improving their RAW conversion. Getting that slap in the face will ultimately be a good thing for the program's development.




    There are a few guys I've tangled with.



    His review was tough, it's true.



    But if you were a pro, shooting critical work, wouldn't you be concerned about the quality of the conversions more than you were concerned with the workflow?



    I know I would. Most of the work that came through my plant was for advertising, fashion, magazine editorials, and sometimes huge images for the sides of buildings, such as the Sapphire Bombay ads.



    It's slow and careful.
  • Reply 11 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    Dave is not untypical of those who will be using the program. Many photographers never do selections of their own photos any more. The editors do it.



    As he said, even he has to do it. I've had customers over the years who asked me to sit with them and make selections.



    I can easily see editors in newspapers or magazines using this. The photographers almost never do their own selections.



    When we used to run a Kodachrome line, we had Time as a client.



    We would keep the lab open on weekends when they had stories being flown in. We would develop the film and give it straight to a member of the editorial staff, who took it right to the offices to be evaluated.



    The photographer was still on the other continent.



    If anything, with digital images being transmitted directly to the home office, there is less intervention by the photographer.



    For weddings and the like, it's a different story.




    Weird. You start off by saying that the reviewer is not untypical of people using the program. And then you give a number of reasons for that type of user not to need Aperture.



    Well, then isn't the logical conclusion that they shouldn't buy Aperture?



    It's like asking a secretary who writes nothing but memos all day to review InDesign. :-) If s/he doesn't need the features, why buy or review the program?
  • Reply 12 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    But if you were a pro, shooting critical work, wouldn't you be concerned about the quality of the conversions more than you were concerned with the workflow?



    The point is that the review was incomplete, not that its (limited) conclusions were wrong.



    Look at the review at creativepro.com, and you'll see he came to the same conclusions about the raw conversions (in fact it had a lot more complaints overall) and yet he managed to review the entire application.



    Have you read the creativepro review? What did you think of it compared to Ars Technica's review?
  • Reply 13 of 65
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,585member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bikertwin

    Weird. You start off by saying that the reviewer is not untypical of people using the program. And then you give a number of reasons for that type of user not to need Aperture.



    Well, then isn't the logical conclusion that they shouldn't buy Aperture?



    It's like asking a secretary who writes nothing but memos all day to review InDesign. :-) If s/he doesn't need the features, why buy or review the program?




    Not at all. If you read it the way I wrote it, along with I've said before, you will see that what I'm saying is that this program will be used by these people.



    But, right now, the problems it has with quality will preclude that use.



    Once Apple fixes those problems it will be a different story.



    Perfectly logical.
  • Reply 14 of 65
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,585member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bikertwin

    The point is that the review was incomplete, not that its (limited) conclusions were wrong.



    Look at the review at creativepro.com, and you'll see he came to the same conclusions about the raw conversions (in fact it had a lot more complaints overall) and yet he managed to review the entire application.



    Have you read the creativepro review? What did you think of it compared to Ars Technica's review?




    It was incomplete. You are right.



    That was one of the complaints about the initial review.



    My point was the same one that he had made. That as the quality of the conversions was poor, he didn't want to evaluate the workflow, as having good workflow (assuming that it would, since he hadn't checked at that time) wouldn't matter if the output was unusable.



    It does make sense. He wanted to wait until Apple fixed those problems that they had already admitted to by the time his review had come out.



    So, he felt that he would wait until 10.4.4 came out, with the "improved" converters, and then do a full review.



    It's possible that he should have waited in the first place, but that wouldn't have been right either. It was proper to let people know his initial conclusions about the quality.



    As I Think you also said, maybe this review will help to spur Apple to fix it faster.



    EDIT Sorry I didn't answer the other part of your post.



    Yes, I read it.



    It seems to me that both reviews are saying about the same thing.



    Each one emphasizes their own concerns.



    Other reviews have said pretty much the same thing. Some reviews seem to have been written by amateurs. They tend to be less critical, and more "wow".



    Remember we were arguing about this program before it came out. We couldn't see the quality problems because we had nothing to compare it against during the show. It all looked good!



    Some of the workflow problems were apparent , however. But we didn't have time to test them there.



    My feeling is that Apple had better fix these problems quickly. If they do, everything will be fine. But, if they don't, then it will haunt them.



    The other question that remains is how older photo's still in the database, but given initial corrections will fare when the conversions are adjusted by Apple.



    Since they are applied every time you open an image, will they be different?



    This is a BIG question. If I correct an image based upon older conversions, and do a workaround to a quality problem such as noise, what will happen if they change that noise correction later on? Will I have to re-do the image all over again? This is a problem with the approach they have taken.



    So far, Apple has not commented upon this. They should let us know what will happen, and somehow detect previously corrected images and allow the old corrections to be re-applied when opening them again after the newer converters (or any other improvements to the corrections are made). Then give us the option to apply a correction to an uncorrected version, in addition, if we so wish.



    Do you agree?
  • Reply 15 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    ... But if you were a pro, shooting critical work, wouldn't you be concerned about the quality of the conversions more than you were concerned with the workflow?... It's slow and careful.



    I am a pro, in the sense that I get paid for my work when I do a shoot. I've taken pictures for money for decades.



    You want to talk huge images? At one point I owned an aerial photography firm that used a mapping camera that cost more than the aircraft that carried it! When I talk "large format" I think about 12" x 12" negatives, this on a 400' roll of film!



    Aperture would not have been very useful for replacing an analytical photogrammetric plotter for evaluating stereo photo pairs, and I suspect that, at least until Apple gets the RAW converters up to par with the best out there, high resolution work will continue to use their current RAW conversion process. That's where "slow and careful" comes in. Picking the shot to be processed is where Aperture surpasses anything that has come before it.



    This is where Aperture would be worth the $500 just to sort the RAW images into "keepers" for conversion in the RAW processor format of choice.



    I did a family portrait this week and shoot 66 frames to get one "money shot" (the image that was eventually printed). My workflow for this work is to load the shots into iPhoto on site to let the customer view the pictures and agree on which one they like and want printed. The actual process of producing that print is either done in Photoshop, or directly by the printer from the CF card.



    Imaging trying to use Photoshop to let the customer pick a shot! Aperture will be a key product for many professional photographers, especially those like event photographers who typically shoot hundreds of shots in one shoot.



    Workflow advantages will drive this program's popularity, getting RAW right will make Aperture a must have application for any serious photographer or agency. It's going to sell thousands of quad Powermacs.
  • Reply 16 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    It was incomplete. You are right.

    ...

    It seems to me that both reviews are saying about the same thing.



    Each one emphasizes their own concerns.





    Well I completely disagree with that (I'll address your other point in another reply).



    Yes, both reviews say that raw conversion stinks in many cases. No quibble about that.



    Ars' review stops dead there. No more info about the rest of the program. How can that be "about the same thing" when creativepro.com covers so much more of what Aperture does (and criticized many parts of that, too)?



    I don't understand. How can a review of 25% of a program's capabilities be compared to a review of 90%+ of a program's capabilities.



    They weren't even in the same ballpark.
  • Reply 17 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    The other question that remains is how older photo's still in the database, but given initial corrections will fare when the conversions are adjusted by Apple.



    Since they are applied every time you open an image, will they be different?



    This is a BIG question. If I correct an image based upon older conversions, and do a workaround to a quality problem such as noise, what will happen if they change that noise correction later on? Will I have to re-do the image all over again? This is a problem with the approach they have taken.



    So far, Apple has not commented upon this. They should let us know what will happen, and somehow detect previously corrected images and allow the old corrections to be re-applied when opening them again after the newer converters (or any other improvements to the corrections are made). Then give us the option to apply a correction to an uncorrected version, in addition, if we so wish.



    Do you agree?




    Yes, I definitely agree that this can be an issue. It will be interesting to see how Apple deals (or doesn't deal) with it. It will also be interesting to see how much of a real world effect there will be. It could be big, it could be small. Looks like we'll find out with 10.4.4.
  • Reply 18 of 65
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,585member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bikertwin

    Well I completely disagree with that (I'll address your other point in another reply).



    Yes, both reviews say that raw conversion stinks in many cases. No quibble about that.



    Ars' review stops dead there. No more info about the rest of the program. How can that be "about the same thing" when creativepro.com covers so much more of what Aperture does (and criticized many parts of that, too)?



    I don't understand. How can a review of 25% of a program's capabilities be compared to a review of 90%+ of a program's capabilities.



    They weren't even in the same ballpark.




    He updated his review. The second part reviews the workflow, among other things.



    I'm refering to both parts. I thought you knew about that.



    http://arstechnica.com/reviews/apps/...e-followup.ars
  • Reply 19 of 65
    Quote:

    Originally posted by melgross

    He updated his review. The second part reviews the workflow, among other things.



    I'm refering to both parts. I thought you knew about that.



    http://arstechnica.com/reviews/apps/...e-followup.ars




    So you're saying that you think part 1 & part 2 of Ars' review is anywhere near as comprehensive as the creativepro.com review?



    Are you reading the creativepro.com review that I'm thinking of?



    http://www.creativepro.com/story/review/23756.html
  • Reply 20 of 65
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,585member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by bikertwin

    So you're saying that you think part 1 & part 2 of Ars' review is anywhere near as comprehensive as the creativepro.com review?



    Are you reading the creativepro.com review that I'm thinking of?



    http://www.creativepro.com/story/review/23756.html




    If you're refering to the one long page review that you posted, then yes.



    Ars' review is fairly comprehensive, if both parts are taken. Why wouldn't you think so?
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