Apple’s new Aperture

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I recently downloaded the Aperture 2 trial from Apple to see what it offers. I’m still exploring, but I absolutely love the concept. I don’t know, maybe Photoshop CS3 has some of these features, but take a look at the White Balance and Color sliders:

Aperture Adjustments

Yeah, you saw it right: when you want to adjust a slider, it shows you what will happen. If you want to cool down a photo, you can see that you do so by dragging the Temp slider to the left, where it’s blue! Same goes for the color palette: you can see how the Hue, Saturation, Luminance and Range sliders will work in the image. You can also click on one of the six colors to selectively adjust them, or use the eye dropper to choose the tones in the image you want to manipulate.

Here’s the full layout:

Aperture Interface

In addition, you get incredible organization options, smart albums, built-in tagging and other metadata features, and, if you use it, tight integration with .Mac.

My biggest complaint with Aperture had been performance-related: the program was running a bit slow on my system. I have a first-generation MacBook, but I’ve upgraded the hard disk to a 200GB, 7,200RMP, 16MB-cache Hitachi rig, and I’ve loved the drive.

I had tried twice to ask about the sluggishness at the Apple store twice: the first time, I couldn’t get anybody’s attention. The second, tonight, was different. A worker approached me after a few minutes, and I explained the situation. I was hoping they could clue me in to a solution before the trial expired, so I could decide whether to buy the software.

The gal wasn’t knowledgeable, so she took the question to an “expert” who said I should either call tech support or schedule an appointment with the Genius Bar.

To me, this seemed like an easy opportunity for them to take five minutes and say “We recommend you upgrade to 2GB of RAM.” Heck, I might have even bought the RAM from them if they’d said something like that – well, if I hadn’t already ordered some from NewEgg.

At any rate, I’ve installed two new RAM modules, and Aperture was zipping right along. I’m going to put it through a few more paces, but I’m leaning toward the $200 purchase (vs. $600 or something like that for Photoshop). If you’re using a Mac, I’d give it a shot. If you need 2GB of RAM, you can ask Apple to install some for you (at an incredibly high mark up) or you can order some from NewEgg. I recommend the insanely valuable Corsair option.