Aperture vs. Lightroom

Stephen Hackett has a history of Apple’s photo management application Aperture.

No doubt the program struggled to shake its early reputation. The performance woes and underwhelming feature set in the first version tainted people’s opinions in a way that was hard for Apple to shake.

I have no doubt that this is the case. But I also know that by the time version 3 rolled around, Aperture felt fast in use. Once the import and preview generation cycle had completed, the triage of a large run of shots was invariably snappy. Picking selects, discarding the remainder, tweaking RAW processing and filing images into destination folders was plain fast.

Fast to the point where I need to spend some quality time with Lightroom on my work iMac, trying to work out why its Library mode feels so darn clunky even though I’m running it on vastly superior hardware. It’s partly the weird semi-skeuomorphic display which wants to mimic 35mm slides, complete with their massive surrounds, and hence shows me bizarrely few images even on a 5K display. But it’s also the lag in flicking from one image to the next, which wasn’t a problem I had with Aperture. Even worse is scrolling through the library. How come my phone can handle scrolling through 20,000 images smoothly, but Lightroom can’t?

Perhaps I need to investigate Lightroom CC again. Is it possible to stop the newer app from uploading everything to Adobe’s cloud, yet? Because apart from ‘not being able to justify the inherent data security risk’, that seemed to have promise.

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