Apple released Aperture 3 the other day with some impressive new features (Mac OS X only).
Apple Aperture is a photography workflow application similar to Adobe Lightroom. Aperture was actually initially released before Lightroom and the two have been competing since Lightroom was released soon after.
One which caught my attention was the multi-media video integration. With more cameras these days having the ability to make HD Videos it’s a nice feature keeping a standard/similar workflow for both photos and videos. I believe Aperture allows you to import the clips, move through the video, make multimedia slideshows and exports to video editing applications.
Aperture 3 also gained “face and place” features. Facial detection and recognition is a feature released in Apple’s consumer product iPhoto this past year and now has been included in Aperture. Aperture also now tightly supports geo-tags and geo-mapping of photos to locations.
A big improvement for Photographers on the go is the ability to sync/merge multiple libraries. Say your out shooting at a location and load the photos in a temporary Aperture library on your laptop. When returning home Aperture can easily merge this temporary library into the main one saving all data and edits. Aperture can syncs multiple libraries keep them updated and virtually the same.
Aperture 3 also has gained a new Brushes feature for retouching photos in a completely non-destructive manner.
At one time I used Aperture to manage my photographic process but ended up switching to Adobe Lightroom because I felt it offered a better workflow. With the release of Aperture 3 Apple has caught up with Lightroom 2 and pulled ahead with some new features. We’ll have to see how the final release of Lightroom 3 stacks up to this new challenge.
There is a free trial of Aperture 3 available for download.
Which ever product you may use, improvements of either Aperture or Lightroom is a benefit for all as it provides strong motivation for continual improvement of the whole product line.