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Whats next, my decision to go for Lightroom after Apple cancelled Aperture.

Hi there!

I’m back in germany after a nice 17 day holiday to ireland.

I did promise to write a big comparison between Capture One, Aperture, Lightroom and some more to make a profound decision about whats follows Aperture as my digital darkroom.

Well, I won’t.

I’ve looked into a lot of articles comparing DXO, Capture One, Aperture and Lightroom and they all made some sense. They all were really tiring to read and in the end I was left with the need to try them out myself. Instead of writing another lengthy comparison, I decided to tell you only why I chose Lightroom 5 in the end.

First thing first: You won’t go any faster than Aperture concerning import, preview and export of images, Period! It has much faster processing speed!

Second thing second: Aperture 3 is the oldest of the bunch and it shows in terms of features.

I needed about two weeks to get comfortable using Lightroom 5, especially as it first seemed to me as if I had my filesystem as a library instead of the stylish integrated Aperture Library. Well, I was wrong. Lightroom shows you a copy of the folders on your hard drive but I interacts with them. You can do smart collections and dumb collections basically the same way as you do in Aperture and what is really great, you can refresh an image of a folder. This is especially useful if you, by accident, told Lightroom not to delete an image but to just remove it from it database. Very easy. The library management on a whole works very well and It’s more about getting used to the presentation of Lightroom than learning new features or missing old ones.

The rating works the same way it does with Aperture and if you constantly saved your metadata to the file in Aperture Lightroom can interpret it and read your ratings and tags. The tags management in Lightroom however is not close to the one in Aperture. It is ok and it works but it isn’t as easy as it is in Aperture just dragging and dropping your keywords. The suggestions don’t give me reasonable suggestions most of the time. There’s room for development here!

It gets even worse if you try to use the print module. I was so used to the fuzz free and straight forward approach in Aperture which worked exactly as it said! With Lightroom 5 I started fiddling around and nearly threw my printer out of the windows after the fifth try still worked out as complete bull....! In the mean time I googled a lot and searched and tried out things and it works as I want it to now but it is miles away from perfect. Trying to change a paper size or incorporating color profiles was... lets say, it was challenging. I haven’t tried the blurb module for printed books yet.

So if the prints are a mess, the tagging is cumbersome and the management is just as good as Aperture but by far not better, why did I choose Lightroom? Well it is the best in these categories compared to the rest of the competition except for Aperture and than there is the develop module.

Lightrooms big strength lies in the tools it gives you to manipulate your images. The most obvious for the first time user is upright. This features just rocks. It straightens the lines in the shots I took with the 16mm f2.4 as well as no other tool I tried. If there is a image it doesn’t work on, you have the complete set of manual adjustments to take care of it. The lens calibration module is just exactly what I was missing from Aperture all the years. What I found out though, is that Aperture seems to do a great job removing purple fringing behind the scenes, where I have to do it manually in Lightroom 5. Little niggle but nothing special.

What I really dig is the black and white feature of Lightroom. I’ve stopped using Silver Efex Pro altogether because of the possibilities of Lightroom! You covert an image to black and white hitting v on your keyboard. After this, the fun starts. You can still manipulate the single color channels by going right into the photo with the selection tool and drag the different color in your image to become lighter or darker. This is a breeze to do!
The rest of the tools are more or less standard. I really like the clarity tool as an added method of introducing contrast and the digital graduated filter sometimes really replaced the screw on.

Sadly the brushes are not as nice and user friendly as they are in Aperture and the spot removal doesn’t work as flawlessly as it did in Aperture.

So far I’m preparing to get accustomed enough with Lightroom 5 to post my first tutorials here.

Stay tuned.