Lightroom 3: First impressions from an Aperture user

I am still trying to deny the fact that I am about to switch away from an Apple product. Not that all Apple software are the best (would I go for Pages instead of Word?) or that Apple does a good job at maintaining them (read the iWeb sad story).

I already spoke of the reasons why I am looking at switching. Namely, support by a wider community (for example the great book by David duChemin about his LR workflow) and, ironically, the little support for the iPad and workflow integration (read my story on a mobile version of Aperture).

So, first thoughts?

The Good (in no particular order):

  • User Interface: I am a sucker for industrial looking UI. I like it when it is square, solid looking;
  • Noise Reduction: built-in, provides for a cleaner workflow;
  • Lens correction: again built-in (and new since I had not yet bought any Aperture plug-in for this);
  • Plug-ins galore: need I say more;
  • Histogram: I like how the color histogram shows highlights and shadows.

The Bad (in no particular order):

  • Album publication to iPad: I have yet to set this up, but first Google searches point to workarounds rather than clean publication methods;
  • Facebook posting: This one has its good and bad sides; the bad side being that you can’t just select your pics and hit a button (as in Aperture) , the good being that it is way more powerful;
  • Library management: I am still not sure if Lightroom’s Collections are as powerful as Aperture’s Projects and Albums;
  • Price: Compared to Aperture at $79 in the AppStore or even its original price of $149, $300 is steep (that is unless you have access to the education pricing).

The Ugly: Still trying to find it 😉

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20 Responses to Lightroom 3: First impressions from an Aperture user

  1. I prefer how Aperture handles noise during the RAW decode and seldom want any more noise reduction than that. If I do want more noise reduction I would want it to be selective which LR doesn’t offer either, so with both programs you will need a third party app.

  2. James Eaton says:

    I’m just starting to use Aperture after using Lightroom since it was first in beta, so I really can’t say which I like better; Lightroom is natural to me, Aperture isn’t.
    But on the issue of publishing to Facebook: I don’t quite understand the issue. You select pictures, direct them to Facebook, click Publish and you’re done.

  3. maximegousse says:


    The thing with the Facebook publish feature of LR is the following.

    In Aperture, you select your pictures, click on the FB button, name your album and voilà!

    In LR you first must set-up a publishing service, then select your pic and drag them onto the publishing service. It’s like you have to know which pics to which album before you decide to post.

    Just my 2¢.

    However, I think that LR is more powerful by giving you many publishing options and by allowing you to update (republish) pictures that you might have edited after their initial publication.


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  5. Hub says:

    Other notable misses from LR. Might not matter to you:
    -timezone: All my camera are set to GMT. At import time I set the picture time to Local (of the picture)
    -geolocalisation: Aperture supports it well, including mapping to the GPS tracks. (Places)

    Things that are superior in LR:
    -metadata UI: I can set the metadata to multiple images in one shot
    -the keywording UI is so much better. Combined with the possibility to set metadata to more than one image at the time
    -Automatic XMP sidecar
    -LR Flickr support sounds superior to me. The one in Aperture is… ^%(*&@#

    Personally I think that the “support from a wider community” is irrelevant. The specific features are much more. And I dream of a best of both kind of app.

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