I’ve been a long time Aperture user and have been pretty happy with the ability of the software to manage extensive libraries, tag and rate images, natively edit raw files, apply selective adjustments to images etc. The only glitch in an otherwise strong editing system is the apparently haphazard integration with Photoshop and other 3rd party applications. Given that Photoshop is a mainstay for many photographers wanting to push the editing envelope and work with the compositing capability of layers, selections, masks and modes you would think that tightening this sort of integration would be a priority, but this appears not to be the case.
After my experiences with Aperture 3 and the delivery of the software through the App Store, I was literally forced, for the first time, to take a closer look at Lightroom 3. I had plenty of experience with Lightroom 2, primarily because I use it in my teaching work. I didn’t find anything outside the ordinary with LR2, it seemed to be pretty much on par with Aperture, very similar functionality but with tighter integration with the rest of the Adobe suite. Then along comes Lightroom 3 and Adobe have done their homework. This is impressive.
In Lightroom 3 I like the improved graduated filters and the editing dialogue that nearly replicates the RAW editor in Photoshop, there’s maybe a little more finesse there than in Aperture. The spot removal tool seems to hold it’s own against the healing tool in Photoshop and the Retouch tool in Aperture, although the clone source selection process can get a little clumsy in close quarters and begins to lag when you hit about 15+ corrections. I had some files shot in RAW with an f163 pinhole cap on a Canon EOS 50D. These images were covered in marks that were the result of dust on the cameras CMOS sensor. At standard apertures up to f22 these would not normally be visible.
I worked on some of the files in both Aperture 3 and Lightroom 3. Aperture 3 handled these as well as the healing tool in Photoshop. You can see the results on the Aperture vs Lightroom page’. I’m looking at how to improve working with the ‘spot removal’ tool in LR3 and will post some results soon.
to be cont….
Meanwhile see what the experts have to say at these great sites.