Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Lightroom 4 Released and Aperture 4 MIA

Today Adobe released Lightroom 4, not too long after releasing a public beta to the public in February. The app now has the ability to make books, send photos to social networking sites and a few other tweaks. Adobe is hyping these additions as if they are great new ideas that they came up with to make LR better, but Apple introduced those features into Aperture 2 and 3 over the last 2-4 years! The one bright spot of the update seems to be that the price of LR has been slashed from $299 to $149 USD.

I'm sure LR users will be happy to see the update coming in at a lower cost, because if you are interested in using the RAW files from any of the newer cameras coming to the market (Nikon D4, D800/800E, Canon 1DX, 5D MKIII, Olympus OM-D EM-5) then you will have to update, as Lightroom 3.6 will not support them (v3.6 will no longer receive camera RAW updates). Tactics like that are just one of the reasons I avoid Adobe products (I primarily dislike the workflow of LR), but that is another subject all together. Not saying that Apple doesn't play that game too, since RAW updates are built into the OS, not Aperture itself. If you don't have the latest OS you might not get support of newer cameras. Of course a $29 OS update from Snow Leopard to Lion is still less than $149 for LR 4.

Lightroom 4 Product Page

The release of Lightroom 4 poses the question, where is Aperture 4 or X as some rumors suggested? Generally speaking these two competing photo management apps have been updated every two years, but there are no signs of an update coming to Aperture. Of course Apple rarely gives hints of upcoming software updates, and people were saying the same thing just before Aperture 3 came out. Considering that it took Apple's software people nearly a year to get Aperture 3 running smoothly, I'm not sure that I want to see an update. That being said, it would be nice to see HDR and distortion correction added to aperture.  I cannot think of much else that I'd like to see, and those features can be added via third party plug-ins today.