The news today from Apple that their pro photo application Aperture is to be discontinued will be a huge disappointment for many pro photographers who rely on this robust library management and post-processing application for their workflows. ...... me included.
Apple has also stated that while they have decided to discontinue Aperture they have no intention of abandoning pros and will continue to develop both Final Cut Pro and Logic. I find this statement rather contradictory ...... "no intention of abandoning pros" and yet they are abandoning pro photographers!!
Included with the reports was a new picture of the OS X Photos application, as seen above. From the picture, it would appear that the application has a "prosumer" layout. The app is also shown with a darker user interface, which is different from the predominantly white app shown off at the Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this month, as shown below.
However what does this mean going forward to the many pro photographers who have committed workflows and numerous Aperture plug-ins?
Questions To Ponder
- For pro photographers using Aperture to manage, catalogue and post-process multi-terabyte photo libraries how can an iCloud based system be practical?
- Can the replacement Photos application come anywhere close to the power of the current Aperture application for image management and post-processing?
- Will the Photos application have the capability to use the current plug-ins which were an integral and
- important part of the Aperture workflow?
- The Aperture application had a powerful book publication facility - will Photos have this facility?
- Will Photos have the ability to retain the non-destructive virtual adjustments of the Aperture files?
AlternativesThe obvious replacement application for many photographers would be Adobe Lightroom .... but there are others which may be worth a serious consideration once you have chosen to totally abandon Aperture and don't want to be drawn into the Adobe Creative Cloud environment:
Phase One Capture One Pro 7
DxO Optics Pro 8
Corel AfterShot pro
For me I am not going to rush into any transition from Aperture. It is being supported through to OSX Yosemite and my workflow on the current Ver 3.5.1 is stable and meets all my requirements right now, so unless I get a new camera that is not supported by Aperture then it should be ok to continue to use on the Apple platform for some time.
However I will be starting to review alternatives and the Phase One Capture One Pro 7 is looking like a favourite at the moment ...... more on this later as I sort through these apps, test them them and weigh up advantages/disadvantages.