A random Weblog

Aperture 2 goes to Aperture 3 (sorta)
February 14, 2010, 1:49 pm
Filed under: Media, Photography | Tags: , , ,

A recent Twitter post summed things up when the writer said, “Apple Aperture is like your dead-beat dad who shows up late on Christmas day. But he has EVERY present you ever wanted.”

There’s some truth in this because Apple are kind of slow at releasing updates – and they struggle to keep up with RAW formats for new cameras – much to the frustration of many a new camera owner.

I had decided that failing anything new from Apple, I would switch to Lightroom 3 when it come out of Beta in April. Aperture 3 therefore surprised with it’s “200 new features” so Apple delivered, and big time. This is really quite an impressive upgrade.

Sadly actual upgrade process was incredibly painful – there is some suspicion on web forums that there’s a memory leak – and as a result there are many posts about the amount of time it takes to complete an upgrade (and the fact that computer resources are so heavily drawn on that the computer is useless for many hours). Hopefully a fix will come soon, but if you persevere with the upgrade and cycle through a series of re-starts, things seem to come right. And that’s when all is forgiven (new users probably won’t have this upgrade hurdle of importing and converting their old files)

It’s clear that Apple have been listening – and while this is still not quite the DAM manager I’d like it to be, it’s much improved on many fronts.

While Aperture was down for me, I used Lightroom 2 to finish a project I was working on. Granted it is a while since I used LR, but it proved to me just how much more I prefer Aperture. Lightroom’s “module” based approach is frustrating – chopping and changing my workflow to suit the software is not how I want things to work. Also, the cluttered interface was annoying – urgh, you have to click so many things to get the panels out of the way. By contrast, Apertures F key (for full-screen) is sweet, and now on A3 you simply hold the shift key while making your Adjustment and 99% of the HUD vanishes (it just keeps the slider you are using). This is very cool.

There are many great new features in Aperture 3 – thanks Apple (and perhaps thanks to Adobe too, as some of the new ideas appear to have been inspired by Lightroom). It’s a pity the upgrade path is so onerous, and that updates to the RAW engine seem to take so long to be released, but all in all this is an outstanding application.


Hmm maybe I spoke to soon. Things slowed down again – had to crash out of an export session that A2 would have done easily (seemed the CPU creep thing was happening again). And brushes, woah those things are slow and clunky on me.

Oh well, I await a fix – am sure they’re working on it at Apple land. Just hope it’s soon as this is frustrating (and damaging for them too)


Well it is a week later as I write this and I have just had A3 crash three or four times in a row as I try to work on a clients shoot. I guess the fine print says I can’t sue for lost income and time, but professional quality this is not. C’mon, where’s some info on patch/fix please???


A major patch came out today (taking Version 3 to 3.0.1), about two weeks after my problems started. I think this is a good fast response from Apple – hopefully it addresses the issues, I’ll give it a good workout over coming days…


MUCH improved in many area (thanks!), but Faces is frozen and won’t re-start (after initially working for about 10 minutes), brushes still too clunky to be of any use, random crashes continue – and there are other “issues.” As twitter message said, “Aperture 3 was Alpha and 3.0.1 was Beta” – so hopefully we get a release candidate soon…


Another patch duly applied – this time to Apple Pro Apps (to address a “memory leakage”) so hopefully the cumulative effect of these fixes is helping. I still find the bushes too slow to be useful, and faces has given up on me – but the main features I relied on with Aperture 2 seem to be going OK. So far anyway.


A patch that upgrades Aperture to 3.0.2 came out today.  According to Apple’s release notes it appears to address quite a list of bugs – and even adds a new feature (iPad support).  So, kudos to Apple for continuing to address their screw-up’s – they’re making an effort to get this right and I imagine there will be more of these yet.  Shame it wasn’t right when it shipped – but they’ll learn from it and someone will be updating their resume I guess.  Meantime, I’m running Faces again overnight to see how it performs this time around…

Later: Well after two nights and all-day in between, Aperture picked six more faces out. As a result, I’ve once again disabled this feature


After downloading an OS (non-Aperture) update I decided to re-activate Faces.  Woah, looks like all that processing the other night did something.  It seems to have located most faces, and correctly named a decent chunk too.  OK, so this is progress.   The only footnote to add is that I am testing this feature on a small library – hate to think how long it might have taken on my main Aperture library, but hey Faces is finally starting to make me smile.


3 Comments so far
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How about exportspeed. I updated fram 2 to 3 and my exportspeed for RAW-files (15Mpx) to full size JPG went from 5-10 seconds to 5-10 minutes. I`ve upgraded to 3.0.3 and this problem has not been fixed as far as I can see. I am seriously considering going back to A2 until I hear that this is fixed.

Comment by André Hildre

My exports are OK. Used to be slow but are now back to normal. Shutting down the app sometimes takes ages though. I understand your frustration, but not sure a return to A2 will be easy on the same machine?

Comment by zeofoto

It should work – i’ve been using AP3 and AP2 side-by-side on my machine ever since AP3 came out. Still not ready to go with AP3 full-time, though – even after the update to 3.0.3. AP3’s just so much worse than AP2 at doing the basic functionality that I really use, that all the extra stuff like brushes (great feature in principle!) is just no compensation AT ALL.

Comment by KMG

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