Saturday, February 27, 2010

Aperture 3, after a few weeks

Aperture 3, a blessing and a curse?

I said that I would be posting more comments on Aperture 3 as time went on, so this post is part of that process. There have been some major improvements in Aperture 3 that I like, but there are some bugs in the app that frustrate me to no end, at the same time. Like many other users I have suffered from the memory leak in Aperture, which only got worse in Aperture 3, which I think can be tied to its 64bit'ness, as it brings my system with 4GBs of RAM to its knees. A few days ago Apple released an update to Aperture 3 (version 3.0.1), which was said to have addressed that very issue, but upon carrying out a few tasks, I had the same problem again. The apparent trigger of the memory leak is the heavy use of some brushes. I mostly encounter the problem when I am using the doge and burn brushes, which is too bad because I rather like using the built in tools rather than the external plug-in that I used with Aperture 2. I hope Apple is continuing to try and address this issue.

Another bug in Aperture 3 that bugs me is that I am constantly having to reprocess RAW files, which Aperture says were processed by an earlier version of Aperture, which is ridiculous, because I imported the files in question, with Aperture 3! Sounds like a lot of bad new doesn't it? On the surface there are some problems that would make Aperture 3 unusable by some pros who rely on features like doge and burn. Now there may be some Mac Pro users with 16GB of RAM that are having no trouble at all, but the same cannot be said for those of us with lowly MacBook Pros. 

The news is not all bad though, the rest of the app seems fine, and the addition of features like places is nice for geotagging images, which is great since I do not have a GPS for my D300. I turned off faces within a few hours of starting to use Aperture 3, it just wastes CPU time. There have been improvements in noise reduction, which was welcome, although that may well be linked to Camera RAW update 3 (3.1 released this week). I hope that Apple continues to work on noise reduction, as it seems that the Lightroom 3 beta has superior noise reduction. I love the ability to switch Libraries on the fly, no longer do you need to close and restart Aperture to switch Libraries! There must have been some improvements in file compression, because the Library sizes are also a little bit smaller. Anything that makes the backup processes easier is good new in my books, so the size reduction was a more than welcome change. 

One of the other changes in Aperture 3 that I like is the ability to better fine tune your adjustments with a press of the arrows in the inspector menu. The presets are also a welcome addition, although I have only used them a few times. Over time I think I may start using presets more often, but right now I tend to only apply them during the upload part of my workflow. So in spite of the issues that I see in Aperture 3, I'm going to stick with it. That being said, if the issues I talked about are not fixed in the long/short term (6 months) I will be less than pleased. 

I'll post more thoughts on Aperture as updates come out. I'm aiming to post a basic overview/review of the app in a few months time, whether these issues are addressed by that time or not.