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Aperture 3.3 Software Update Ready to Download

Thomas Boyd's picture
June 11, 2012 - 8:35pm

When booting up Aperture 3.3 for the first time it prompts you to update iPhoto as well. When you do the App Store appears.

If you launch 3.2 library it will upgrade the library.

Aperture 3.3 is ready to install via the Software Update.

Aperture 3.3 is ready to download through the Software Update feature in MacOS X.

Here’s what it says:

What’s New in Aperture 3.3

  • New unified photo library for both iPhoto (v 9.3 or later) and Aperture; no import/export required; Faces, Places, slideshows, albums and web sharing work across both applications

  • Support for AVCHD video has been added

  • Aperture now lets you use camera-generated previews for faster browsing of RAW files immediately after import

  • Highlights & Shadows tool has been updated to deliver higher-quality results and work with extended range data

  • A new Auto Enhance button has been added to the Adjustments panel

  • White Balance tool now includes Skin Tone and Natural Gray modes to simplify color balance

  • Auto button has been added to the White Balance tool for one-click color balancing

  • Set Desktop command has been added to Share menu so you can set a desktop background from within Aperture

  • A new Manual option allows you to drag and drop projects to customize sort order in the Projects view

  • New preference allows you to set the background brightness of the full screen browser

  • Facebook, Flickr, and MobileMe albums are now displayed as thumbnails in the main window when accounts are selected in the source list

  • Minor terminology changes, including “Original” instead of “Master” and “Info” instead of “Metadata”

  • Source list includes a new “Recent” section, showing Last Import and recently-viewed projects

  • Raw Fine Tuning is no longer displayed in the Adjustments panel by default

  • Faces can now be named by dragging them from the Unnamed Faces browser to existing snapshots on the corkboard

  • The Faces corkboard now includes a menu that allows you to set the order of face snapshots

  • Newly designed monochrome source list and toolbar icons

  • Addresses numerous issues related to overall performance and stability

The update is recommended for all users of Aperture 3.

Apple Aperture
Thomas Boyd

Some useful changes there - especially the dumping of the somewhat archaic Master and metadata terms! Also some (for me at least) less useful ones such as Faces which I would not be bothered if it were to be deleted altogether.

Suggests to me we may see a merging of iPhoto and Aperture into one app at some point in the middle distance though.

Also, RAW support for the Fuji X-Pro 1 please!!

Two items just strike me completely unnecessary (and even annoying):

- Minor terminology changes, including “Original” instead of “Master” and “Info” instead of “Metadata”

- Newly designed monochrome source list and toolbar icons

And, I thought it already did this one:
- Aperture now lets you use camera-generated previews for faster browsing of RAW files immediately after import

Things I am happy about. Aperture was referenced in the presentation and is updated for the Retina Display on the day of launch. I would not however call this a major release.

Things that have me concerned. Unified libraries. It looks to me as if they are setting up a merging of photo applications. This might be a good thing, but might also mean a cap on “pro” features. Time will tell.

Nice to see some enhancements and a 3.3 release. I had hoped when they said “major” release that we might see an Aperture 4. All of the features added though were aimed at novice users. In fact the Shadows/Highlights slider loses features. I haven’t seen the results yet which are suppose to be superior. Hopefully this is just the start of things to come.

Oh and another thing is still no Fuji X-Pro 1 support. All in all a mixed bag, some good some OK

I’m a little bummed that we didn’t see a revamped noise reduction feature - this might be the area that has me throwing sidelong glances over in Lightroom’s direction. Noise Ninja is great and all, but I’d love it if there was better NR natively without having to load a plugin.

Another thing - my iPhoto library is a *mess*. It sounds tempting, but I don’t think I’ll be using that Unified Library just yet.

As I am not a fan of iPhoto I am not sure about the merging of Aperture and iPhoto. I think I will hold off on the update until I hear more about it.


I think by “unified library”, they mean unified library structure - so either program can open either library. I don’t think it means it will merge your libraries together unless you specifically ask it to do that. I just downloaded & upgraded my main Aperture database. It did not touch my other Aperture databases or any of my iPhoto databases.

First glance - the interface has modified icons - and they’re all gray - no more colored folders & projects.

I’m excited! And I’m seriously considering getting a new MBP

I think the unified photo library feature is interesting! I wonder how it will work with the Vault? And maybe I’ll test iPhoto more…
The one thing that I KNOW it will be great for is sharing projects. I normally take most of our family photos on vacations and use Aperture, but my dad still uses iPhoto, as does my sister. So this will simplify my life. :)

Aperture has been pretty buggy on mountain lion, so I’m hoping this fixes things

Oh, and new upgrades to H&S tool for expanded raw data? Finally!

Remember this a minor update. This is not Aperture 4. I think it could legitimately be called 3.5 instead of 3.3 but the best is yet to come.

I’m not sure it’s solid logic to say that the unified library is some kind of move to abandon Aperture. If they were going to do that, would they continue to add features and improve Aperture?

I just updated to 3.3. It took a few minutes to complete. Now it seems to be processing the nearly 25,000 images in my Library. Could not figure out why the Processing ball was still spinning until I checked the Activity. I assume the upgrade has to reprocess all the images. Looks like it is generating previews. My Library is on an external Firewire 800 hard drive so maybe the process will go fairly fast.

The update isn’t showing up for me. No itunes update either.

UPDATE: I have to have OS X Lion to install Aperture 3.3

Disappointingly, nothing in my software update (in Canada here). Really want to get my hands on this update!

I’m really really disappointed there was no major upgrade. I’ve used Aperture now for 3 years but the lack of a decent upgrade for well over 2 years now means I’ll be trialing Lightroom this week. I do’t like the sound of the LR interface compared to Aperture, but it seems Adobe is pumping a lot more R&D money into Lightroom than Apple is into Aperture and the gap is starting to be telling.

SC, all,

This may not look like a major update, but it is. The foundational change that had to go into making a unified library, as well as the effort that went into the Retina graphics, tells us that Aperture is here for the long haul. I will post more thoughts on this after I’ve played with it a bit, but this is one obvious fact to me: The unified library means it’s easier for users to migrate from iPhoto to Aperture, meaning that Apple will continue to make a significant difference between the two apps, and this make it extremely easy for users to migrate from iPhoto to Aperture. This is the way it should have been from day one.

— Have you signed up for the mailing list?

So, if you want to specifically merge libraries you must do that manually. I only have an Aperture library - so I didn’t try that. However, my current Aperture library (after updating) opens great in iPhoto. It’s worth noting that only one app can be accessing the same library at once. This is the same way iTunes has worked in the past, so it’s not too surprising.

A unified library could also be a way to get people to upgrade to Aperture more easily. I mean, if Apple abandonded Aperture they wouldn’t be expecting pro users to go back to iPhoto… Also, we probably wouldn’t get this update.

I’m not sure what’s new about import previews, but your camera must generate ones that are at least 1000px wide.

So far–I’m not a fan of losing color in my icons. That was a HUGE help to being able to find where I was in the library tab. It’s only been 10 ish minutes, but really… I don’t like the changes in iTunes or the Finder, but I have lived with them. I do keep my toolbar hidden, so those don’t bother me since I don’t use them, but otherwise, I like color. I mean, I like B&W photos too, but Aperture lets me have both versions of photos very easily, so I’d like it to do the same with its icons. ;)

The H&S brick does seem to be very improved, but it also seems to be missing its advanced options… I’m mixed about it. However, if it works well–I think I’ll be ok.

Aperture 3 now works a little bit better with 10.8, though I’d like to see much better integration still, but this is a relatively minor update from a raw features standpoint. :)

(otherwise, I agree - it’s a pretty darn big change and a lot of work for the Aperture team themselves!)

This feels like a dumbing down and an excuse to not bother with an update to Aperture 4 for another six months or more. Disappointing.

My thoughts on the updates:

- Unified photo library with iPhoto.
Most (‘pro’) Aperture users don’t even bother with iPhoto; only really useful for upgraders, hardly a highlight new feature.

- Support for AVCHD video has been added.

- Use camera-generated previews.
This is better late than never frankly.

- Highlights & Shadows tool has been updated.
Appreciated but incremental improvement is the minumum I expect.

- New Auto Enhance button.
Auto meh.

- White Balance tool now includes Skin Tone and Natural Gray.
May be handy but I use the eyedropper and more often my own judgement. Brushability will be handy in some specific situations.

- Auto button has been added to the White Balance tool for one-click color balancing.
Auto meh.

- Set Desktop command.
Ha; whatever.

- Drag and drop projects to customize sort order.
Never noticed any need for this.

- New preference allows you to set the background brightness of the full screen browser.
One word: ‘calibration’!

- Facebook, Flickr, and MobileMe albums are now displayed as thumbnails.

- Minor terminology changes, including “Original” instead of “Master” and “Info” instead of “Metadata”
If you don’t know (or can’t be bothered to learn from the excellent articles here for example) what Master and Metadata mean then go back to iPhoto.

- Source list includes a new “Recent” section, showing Last Import and recently-viewed projects.
Meh; for those with anterograde amnesia.

- Raw Fine Tuning is no longer displayed in the Adjustments panel by default.
Why?! Not only does this mean I’ll have to turn this back on again it also means knew users won’t be introduced to, understand or investigate the concept of standardised Raw adjustments that are applied to their files by the software and how this can be altered and that different programs can do this differently.

- Faces can now be named by dragging them from the Unnamed Faces browser to existing snapshots on the corkboard.
Faces shmaces; nothing more than a system slow down device.

- The Faces corkboard now includes a menu that allows you to set the order of face snapshots.
Mega meh.

- Newly designed monochrome source list and toolbar icons. -
Good; this needed improvement. Still not a patch on Nik Silver Efex though I suspect.

- Addresses numerous issues related to overall performance and stability.
and there are numerous.

Just updated:
Adjustments = Add Adjustments
Presets = Effects
I can live with easy terminology changes, no biggie. However, what’s annoying is that they switched the positions of the menues.

Previous Version
“Presets” Menu | “Adjustments” Menu | “Gear” icon menu

Newest Version
“Add Adjustment” Menu | “Effects” Menu | “Auto Enhance” icon button

I don’t mind changes but little switches like this are just annoying. I’m sure most of the changes are for the better, but that’s the first one that I’ve caught.

Sorry for the second posting ( I posted this comment in the “Reaction to Updated Aperture ” Post), but this topics seemed to be the better place to post.

Have not played with the update too much yet. It is still processing the thumbs as we speak. I have noticed a few changes though.

1 - Right (control) clicking on a photo now has a “Share” menu option to quickly share images.
2 - In the prefs, Under Import, you have the option to switch from the new RAW embedded previews back to the standard previews.
3 - The font that lists the areas in the library (Projects, Web, Albums, etc.) seems a bit bigger and also to be a dif font.
4- The Vignette adjustments seems to also “Devignette” as well now. You can slide the slider into the negatives to lighten the vignette.
5 - The straighten tool no longer confins you the crop. When you straighten it will rotate the image to correspond. Feels like a mix of the old way and the newer update we had a while back.
6- Revert to original is now a button below the adjustment bricks.
7 - Right clicking the histogram lets you change the view.

I’m seeing a lot of other little GUI tweaks, but those are the bigger things I have noticed so for.

The one area we may be overlooking with the “unified” libraries is that it may now be easier to carry over work from iPhoto on iOS devices … which could mean we may not see Aperture for mobile devices … just a thought …

Well, this was ..interesting.. ??

After the update I can not launch Aperture at all, it tells me to use iPhoto. And iPhoto claims it cannot update my library for some reason.

So instead of checking out whats new I’m stuck in iPhoto, which I never use. And that does not work..

It looks like I’ll loose some time here, usually things work smooth…

To follow up my problem: it was easy really. iPhoto has the same ability to rebuild the library as aperture, so after a quick rebuild I was back to where I left of.

I actually helped me a bit, because I thought something was seriously wrong and did a complete fix of all my hard-drives as well. So not only does everything work perfect now, the machine has become quite a bit faster as well.

So my user-tip of the week is to boot from the emergency partition on your drive and do a full repair of the disk using disktools.

I toughed I had a use case for the unified database and iPhoto.
But it seems not to work.

Today I have multiple Aperture libraries. One for the family-photo’s and several others for photo’s I have taken for other people/organizations.

Now when you want to use a photo, there is a possibility to browse in your Aperture lib. But this is the current lib. So I had to open Aperture often to make the wanted lib (mostly Family) active and close Aperture. Then you use the option to browse for the wanted photo in your Aperture lib. (Examples are Email or in your address book to assign a photo to a contact…).

Same was true for Itunes sync with any IOS device. If you sync an Aperture lib, then this was always the active lib. So if the last lib you worked on in Aperture was not your family lib, then all photo’s from iPhone/iPad would get erased….

So I now set iPhoto to the Aperture Family-library. Hoping that with iTunes and the other applications I could now select iPhoto as source for the photo’s and keep this one always on the Family-lib and not longer use Aperture there. But I now get the message that I first need to open iPhoto before I can use it. So somehow it looks asif this technique cannot be used when iPhoto is not using a lib in the default location.

Maybe I must test if this works when an aperture-lib is located in the expected default images folder.

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