La Vita è Bella


I tried to migrate from Aperture to Lightroom but rolled back

UPDATE: with Aperture 4 Beta released with geotag support, I finally migrated to Lightroom (4), and will buy it on Day 1!

I bought my first "RAW camera" at the end of 2009, and found that iPhoto is not enough for me. So I purchased Apple Aperture 3 at February 2010, almost immediately after it's released. One reason is that I was used to iPhoto and Aperture carried on most of the things, another reason is that Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 is on its way but still about half year away at that time.

I'm just an amateur photographer, snap some photos for my life record and show them on Flickr. I don't sell my photos for life (but will be glad if you're interested :P). So I don't need something extremely professional to process my photos. Generally I just use the "Auto Enhance" in Aperture to tune my photos, and custom white balance sometimes. I rarely use other tunes in Aperture. So generally I'm happy with Aperture.

But there're still something drive me crazy, like the slowness, and some bugs. I was upset about some of the bugs, so serious considered to migrate to Lightroom. I downloaded Lightroom trial and borrowed a USB HD to move my photos (~80GB) from Aperture library into Lightroom, and seriously used it for a couple of days.

But, there's always a "but", Lightroom is not perfect and there're still something I don't like. And I found out that the "bugs" drive me crazy is actually something wrong with my Mac, not Aperture. So I finally decided to cool down and not to invest another $150 on Lightroom, and keep on Aperture, at least for now.

Here're some of my comparisons.

What Lightroom did great?

First I'd like to talk about some of Lightroom's advantages, and of course, they are Aperture's disadvantages:

  • Speed. It's hard to believe that Adobe, a company famous of making hell slow softwares, can make a software much much faster than Apple on Mac, Apple's own platform. But they did it. Before using Aperture, I will generally quit Chrome and Thunderbird and almost every opened software to make it a little bit faster, but it's still not comparable to Lightroom. Lightroom looks like light speed in front of Aperture. It's a real shame of Apple, serious.
  • Tune Quality. For the quality of the one click tune (Aperture's "Auto Enhance" and Lightroom's ... sorry I forgot its name), Lightroom is slightly better than Aperture. Plus there're some easy tasks in Lightroom, e.g. reduce noise dots, which will take a lot of complicated steps to be done in Aperture. But well, the difference is slight, and Aperture's quality is acceptable.

What Aperture did great?

There're still something Aperture did better than Lightroom. Most of them are just useless to professionals, but they are good for amateurs:

  • Geotag. I agree that the Face feature in Aperture is useless, even to most of the amateurs. But the Place feature is important. It's 21st century now, the ability to organize photos by the place they're taken is a great and important addition, and Aperture made geotag easy. Yes there're Jeffrey's plugins to bring geotag feature to Lightroom, but they are just not native. You have to use Jeffrey's export plugins to get geotags preserved while uploading to Flickr, Lightroom itself have totally no idea about the geotags. And with all due respect, the plugins are not actually free. If you don't "donate", you can only handle 10 photos each time. That meas a lot of additional invest to Aperture, and kidnapped by a 3rd party developer.
  • Integrated to Mac. This is not important at all, but the built-in mosaic pictures screensaver is so awesome. I just love it. It requires photos in iPhoto or Aperture library, a lot of photos. So migrating to Lightroom means that I need to find another screensaver.

Between speed and geotag, I chose geotag. But I do hope Apple can match Lightroom's speed, or Adobe can add native geotag support to Lightroom. I just hate Aperture's slowness, and Lightroom's lack of geotag support. For now, I can only suffer the slow.

15:01:42 by fishy - Permanent Link

May the Force be with you. RAmen