Does anyone have experience with Apple's Aperture software? How does it compare to Photoshop and Elements? I'm a digital beginner, so go easy on me.
A complete review of testing and using Apple's Aperture was in the May issue of Shutterbug. Since doing that initial review I have continued to use, now the upgraded version 1.5 with great satisfaction. the quality of conversion of Raw digital camera files is excellent and the customizable organization of input files is convenient and efficient..
Got to: http://www.shutterbug.net/equipmentreviews/software_computers/0506apple/index.html
Thanks for the link. What little I understood sounds impressive. Keeping in mind that I'm new to all this digital mumbo-jumbo and I'm not a computer geek, would you recommend Aperture, or Elements? I found a real good deal on Aperture, but is it a good deal for me?
BTW, my computer is an eMac.
Elements (or Photoshop) is much more mainstream and you can find support for it anywhere. Besides, even if you purchase Aperture, you'll still need Elements to do the actual image editing.
You are dead wrong!
Although I do use Photoshop CS2, I have to say it's one of the most inelegant masses of code I've ever wrestled with. Moreover, most of what I use it for regularly (layers, levels, curves, touchups) can be done with many other programs, and its approach to the raw files I use (Olympus Raw Files - ORF) is lousy (a previous set of postings) so I use Olympus software for that. (I've tried a bunch of other things in CS2 of course.)
I've bought an ungodly number of books on Photoshop and while most have some good ideas, not one approaches the systematic quality of the old QUE (and other) books in the days of such DOS products as Lotus 1-2-3. There seems to be somethings of an Adobe industry with a lot of people who've put a large sunk cost into their products. However, that's what it is: a sunk cost, and as always one should not make decisions going forward on that basis. It reminds me a bit of the dominance of MS products like Excel and Word. Just because they dominate sure doesn't mean they were the best.
I'll be buying Aperture over the holidays as only then will I have time to switch to a Mac I recently bought. Can't be worse.
To a great extent I agree with your perspective. However, for a serious digital photographer Aperture does offer an elegant and in some ways efficient solution to dealing with Raw DC files, but for many enthusiasts it could be more streamlined. It was designed and intended to serve what professionals have to do, and who often have needs to do things many individual enthusiasts don't share. In other words there is a lot in Aperture that an enthusiast may not find an advantage in using.
For ultimate simple efficiency working with digital camera Raw I actually find Lasersoft SilverFast DC combined with Print Tao is in some ways a more efficient approach.
But we are all different as individuals, and what works well for one person may not for another. Personally if I can do something another way, not having to launch Photoshop CS2 is a definite preference, its like driving an 18 wheel rig to do the job a pickup could handle.
OK, so should I buy Aperture, or Elements?
I may be dead wrong because Aperture has some editing tools, but spending $59 with no limit to the amount of available support vs. spending $300 for a non standard interface is a no brainer. There are toms of usergroups or forums that support Photoshop and Elements, including Adobe's own forums. Plus, most scanners and some digital cameras come with an older version of Elements for free.
Photography magazines review only the latest of everything, though in cases like image editing, any version of Elements that supports camera RAW can be used to do basic editing.
I know you can download a trial version of Elements and you can probably do the same with Aperture. At that point you can make your own decisions.
We seem to have one for (Brooks) and one against (Berman). Maybe I can get a concensus if I pose the question thusly: Which editing/processing software is easiest for a digital newby to learn on?
Going back and re-reading your original post, I noticed that you mentioned you are using an eMac, and the eMac is not recommended for support for using Aperture. It would probably run, if your eMac was fully loaded with the maximum RAM it will accept, but somewhat slowly slowly. So, you may want to cross Aperture off your list.
In addition, although Aperture is easy to learn and use to edit digital camera image files, it is intended for use by professional photographers, so much that it offers in functionality may not be of much value to a "newbie" as you call yourself, just beginning in digital photography.
I think Aperture is better. I especially like how well it fixes shadow problems. I think Apple is way ahead of its competitors in the design of software to interface with their hardware. On day, we will see the genius of Apple.
Aperture 2 was announced last week, and a review copy was just delivered for me to try out - so more later.