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Aperture is Dead. Long Live Photos!

PhotoJoseph's picture
June 27, 2014 - 9:00pm

I received an official call from Apple PR this morning about the future of Aperture. My phone, twitter and Messages have been ringing off the hook since the announcement was publicly made. But I wanted to take some time to really think this through before shouting from the rooftops. So here we go.

On the surface, it doesn't seem like good news, but there's a lot more to this than a few lines of text. First, the official words.

“With the introduction of the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library, enabling you to safely store all of your photos in iCloud and access them from anywhere, there will be no new development of Aperture. When Photos for OS X ships next year, users will be able to migrate their existing Aperture libraries to Photos for OS X.” — Apple, Inc.

In short, Aperture as we know it is dead. So let's take a step back and figure out what this really means, because obviously photography is far from unimportant to Apple. There are more questions than answers now than ever before, and I'll try to come up with all the right questions and all my best answers. Call this interpretation, speculation, or clairvoyance — but here's how I'm reading into this.

Why? Why Photos 1 and not Aperture 4?

Before we can look to the future, let's look at the past. Aperture itself has been around since 2005; nearly a decade. And of course it started being written well before that, so we are talking about 10+ year old code. The cloud, the iPhone, and pocket sized digital cameras that surpass the quality of film not only didn't exist, but were barely a twinkle in Steve Jobs' or any technologist's eye. Aperture is a photo editing and management tool written for users used to an old school workflow. Go on a shoot. Sit down to edit. Share when you're done. But that's not the world we live in anymore. Today we want to shoot, share immediately with a cool effect, edit on an iPad, sit down at your 4k display and get serious, pick up the iPad and show off what you've done, mix, repeat. We want our devices, our libraries, our experience integrated and seamless. This simply can not happen with Aperture as it is today.

This is a case of evolution vs revolution. Apple could continue to evolve Aperture, and to be honest I wish they had—in 2011, 2012, 2013. But now it's too late. Now it's time to focus on the future. The next generation of photos architecture. The revolution. We saw this in the WWDC 2014 keynote. We saw Photos in iCloud. We saw seamless integration between an iOS device and the desktop. We saw a glimpse of features that clearly couldn't exist in Aperture. We saw the future.

Everything could be based on PhotoKit. It is now for iOS, but that same thing could happen in OS X. That would mean seamless integration between iOS and OS X, and unheard of third party developer access. We saw the new raw processing engine with lens correction and phenomenal noise reduction, for example, in WWDC sessions. All the groundwork is in place for an amazing experience.

For those of you who edit video, you'll remember the transition from Final Cut Pro to Final Cut Pro X. It sucked. Big time. And frankly, Apple handled the PR of that poorly. Major features were missing, the software was buggy as hell, and yet Apple told the Pro market that it was time to move. After some serious backlash they relented, and re-relesed Final Cut Pro 7 for the existing users, so they could wait for FCP X to mature. And mature it has. Today, Final Cut Pro X is an amazing piece of software. Apple isn't making that mistake with Aperture. But it doesn't change the fact that it's time to move on.

For a happier look at the migration path, look at iWork — Pages, Keynote and Numbers. Great apps that were developed long before iOS, and once iOS came out, new versions of those apps showed up there. Lots of feature parity, lots of feature disparity. The more the iOS versions advanced, the more inferior the OS X versions felt. Until finally, Apple threw away the old apps, and released all new versions that were based on the same new code. At first, all the features of the old iWork weren't there. But Apple worked relentlessly and continued to update the software (free updates, by the way) and today those apps are fantastic. And more to the point, they are virtually identical across platforms (except for font support. Don't get me started on font support). 

Now, it's the third time for this to happen. To your photos. And it has begun.

Will version 1 have all the features of Aperture 3?

Very unlikely. Apple has stated that users will be able to migrate their existing libraries. They have also stated that there will be at least one maintenance release to ensure that Aperture is fully compatible with OS X Yosemite. Put those together, and it tell us that just because you can migrate, doesn't necessarily mean that you should. Since they say that you can however, that has to mean that any existing effects and metadata will be intact. I just wouldn't necessarily expect to be able to edit them in version 1. As evolves however, at some point you should have all the same features — and of course a ton of new ones.

When should I migrate to Photos?

It's too soon to tell that now, but I'd wager that iPhoto and beginner Aperture users will be able to migrate immediately, while more advanced Aperture users may want to wait for another version or two. Since Aperture will continue to be supported at minimum for OS X Yosemite, personally I think version 1 will be fun to play with, and probably start a new library with. Maybe not for pro work, but I'll use it where I can. The integration between iOS and OS X will be too sweet to ignore. And as long as it has the “open in editor” feature, I can always use Photoshop and plug-ins for anything Photos can't do. Then as progresses, once the legacy Aperture is no longer needed, I'd migrate my entire library. It'll take time, but it won't stop me from doing my job. And I think it'll be worth the wait.

I'm a pro—I don't need iOS iCloud iPad iShare

No? That's OK, I still enjoy shooting film, too. But for the rest of the world that has gone digital, this is happening. You may not be posting your client shoots to Instagram, but your clients are getting more demanding. Wanting on-site reviews. Remote reviews! Fast turnaround to their never-ending change requests. High resolution images delivered to prepress and small ones for their Facebook page. All these iFeatures will come in handy. 

What if OS X was more like iOS from a developer standpoint?

OK, now let's have some fun. Think about your iPhone or iPad for a minute. You shoot or import or download a photo, and where does it go? To the Photos app. That' a super simple app today, but we already know that's changing. OK.

Now, think about all the other third party photo apps on your iPhone. Where do they get their photos from? Photos app. Where do they put them when you're done editing them? Photos app. Some have their own storage as well, but thats only for one reason — to maintain non-destructive edit-ability. Even iPhoto for iOS works that way.

Now, look at iOS 8. We already know that iOS 8 elevates third party apps to the same level as Apple apps. They can access the same library in the same way that native apps can. So that whole “store it in your own app” issue should go away.

What does that mean? Simply put, that Photos is a single storage location for all your pictures, regardless of what app you choose to edit them with. Pretty cool, right?

Now for the big reveal.

Consider the possibilities

Extrapolate that to OS X. What if OS X worked the same way? What if Photos for OS X was built on PhotoKit, and what if PhotoKit was integrated into the OS itself. What if third party apps on OS X could access your photo library the same way that iOS apps can (and will be able to in iOS 8)?

Suddenly you have an ecosystem where the library is the hub. No more one-time, stuck-with-it-forever decision if you should use Aperture or Lightroom or Bridge or anything else. stores your photos and allows some level of editing. Future Nik plugins apps access that same library. Future Lightroom accesses the same Library (!!). Future Photo Mechanic. MacPhun, onOne, Alien Skin… name your app, name your plugin. In this utopian future, all apps have the same access to all photos. PhotoKit could make that possible.

Now that's cool. All this on a photo library based in the cloud.

1TB isn't enough for me

We saw in WWDC that Apple will have pricing plans for iCloud up to 1TB, which we've already observed isn't enough. But that's an easy problem to solve. So don't worry about that. I think by the time you're ready to move your entire 5TB Aperture library to Photos, there will be an iCloud option available to you.

Sounds great, but eff this, I'm outta here!

Undoubtedly Apple will lose some users to Lightroom. That's inevitable, and I'm not going to say “they'll be back!”. But they probably will :-) As before, for most of us diehard Aperture users, we've added plugins or other apps to enhance the Aperture experience to do everything Lightroom does, and more. There's no reason for that to change. At least now, finally, we can see the future, and we don't need a crystal ball to do it. 

What does this mean for

Well, a name change at minimum :-) Any suggestions? I'm serious… I looked at but it's owned and is being held anonymously. I'm open to suggestions, because the future of this site will be awesome. I will be able to write about not only a single app and it's plugins, but any OS X or iOS app that connects to the Photos architecture. I smell growth.

Now, go make some photos

We can chat and comment and speculate and pontificate endlessly about this, but at the end of the day, if you're not out shooting, none of this matters. So stop reading, and go make some pretty pictures. And dream big about the future. Because it's coming, and it'll be awesome.


I've responded to the many comments here in a new post, “Comment Follow-up on the Demise of Aperture”. Please read that before commenting here. Thanks!

Official Apple image of Photos on OS X YosemiteOfficial Apple image of Photos on OS X Yosemite
Apple Aperture Apple Photos for macOS

We’ll have to agree to disagree. When the cessation of Aperture was announced they also announced that Aperture libraries could be migrated to Photos, clearly defining that as the path for Aperture users. Sadly that’s a pathetic alternative and the move to Capture One has already been made.


Counterpoint.  Apple also announced, back in 2014, a collaboration with Adobe to migrate Aperture libraries to Lightroom.  That was an undeniable indicator that they were exiting the pro-photo software business. 


And IIRC that was well after Apple declared Aperture gone and was at the prompting of Adobe. As I said, we’ll just have to agree to disagree.

Apple never did say anything about collaborating with Adobe on Lightroom migration. This was fake news from TechCrunch which later got corrected. Besides of that - for many people Aperture was never a “professional” software which clearly shows one thing: nobody has a real understanding on what a “professional software” actually should be. If you read the arguments about Capture One here and there - counting up “show stoppers” - you can wait for it being called a software not being “professional”. To me the whole “professional” point is moot. I know professional Photographers who just work out of the Finder and with nearly no post processing. The one point were professionality is important to me is a professional attitude of getting things done. I use the tools and the equipment that are available and can fulfill the Job. Can a professional photographer deliver professional work using “Photos”? That’s not for me to decide.

Apple would not say anything about collaboration, they are known for their adherence to secrecy. Collaboration or not, Adobe introduced a migration tool circa October 2014. But it makes no difference to the fact that fair warning was given from Apple and is still being given. Aperture will not last forever. Sorry but change is the nature of the software business. Perhaps that is particularly hard for you. Im sorry if that is the case. I’m not arguing change is good or bad, change can be any combination, but like it or not things change over time. Change happens. And that’s what happened with Aperture. Times changed.

I don’t disagree with the various perspectives on the Photos situation. I can see how Apple is being shortsighted with current Aperture users and causing bitterness among the most loyal base in the industry. I can also see why they might have wanted to start with a new code base if it really is resulting in huge performance gains. 

What I’m having difficulty seeing is Apple’s plan here. They obviously have the know how and resources to attack the photo DAM market, pioneering the field. They did the same for video, and it too recently underwent a huge shift with Final Cut. Why wouldn’t they have approached Photos the same way? 

I guess I’m in the optimistic crowd thinking that they’ll eventually come out with a “Photos Pro” version and the current one will be for mainstream consumers. This is based entirely on conjecture, but also based on the coding videos I’ve seen on the backend of Photos (both iOS and OS X). It might not be exactly what you’re expecting, and it might not be directly from Apple, but I assume that someone will fill in the gap if there is this much angst. Always happens if there’s an identified market opportunity.

That’s an easy one - because they got burned really bad from so called “professionals” all over the world about FCPX which has some really groundbreaking and cool concepts and a very powerful UI. Why should they invest in making an “Aperture X” - bringing professional DAM and photo editing into the future, when the outcome will just be hordes of dumb ass naysayers? If here are two roads and both lead into nowhere country - why take the one that costs more development time? To me - all those bullshit articles about Apple forgetting “professionals” and how bad e.g. FCPX or how bad the new Mac Pro looks - they can have an influence: It makes the work of those Apple software designers difficult, who still believe in the principle to bring professional power to the masses. They will lose their battle out of the simple fact, that such products don’t really get accepted - to the contrary they provoke critique. The same counts for Photos: no Photos is not a replacement for Aperture. It isn’t a replacement for iPhoto either. It is what it was on iOS - just more powerful and on the Mac and in the Web too. I repeat - this never should have been Aperture - even if it clearly got some DNA from it. This a system component - more - it is THE system component to organize your photograpy on Apple devices. Why? Because you can take photos with them and you will put photos on them for those cases where you need them. Photos will naturally get more powerful and it naturally will get more integrated with services, devices and other Apps. It will be convenient and just be there. Naturally.

 Jochen, with respect, you’ve got it backwards.

It was (and is) Pros who were burned by Apple, not the other way around. Apple let FCP7 languish for years and in its place released a totally unusable product that was quickly nicknamed iMovie Pro

It was an absolute fiasco. In the ‘update’ Apple ripped out indispensable features and gave no indication when or if they would be added back. We’re not talking about small things, we’re talking mission-critical stuff that professionals relied on to do their jobs.

Your characterization of media pros as “dumb ass naysayers” is as inaccurate and insulting a comment as I’ve ever heard here, and shows that you cannot possibly be aware of the events surrounding the debacle.

With no forewarning Apple stopped selling FCP7 - meaning nobody invested in the software could even add seats to complete their current projects, AND in what could only be described as an act of pure sadism Apple did not produce a tool to allow FCP7 projects to be opened in FCPX. To add insult to injury pros found out that iMovie projects opened with ease. Final Cut went from industry leader to industry joke overnight. 

If you had 10 years of investment in Canon bodies and lenses and they decided to remove the ability for their next cameras to shoot RAW, or changed the barrel design so the new cameras would not accept your current glass you and every other shooter would be livid.  Well, that’s exactly what Apple did.

Most pros moved on to Premiere or Avid, leaving photographers like myself and advanced amateurs to enjoy the new features of FCPX. For me as a guy looking to cut wedding videos it’s fantastic, but for almost anyone with over 2 years in the industry FCPX was (and still is) a non-starter. Don’t get me wrong I love FCPX - it is indeed groundbreaking, but Apple’s incompetence and arrogance has insured that it will remain a niche product for some time to come. 

Now here we are with Aperture. Thanks to Apple I now have to put up with the craptastic garbage that is Lightroom or blow another $300 on Capture One and have to spend time learning that instead of earning money.

Photos is a passable app, but nothing more. Quite honestly, passable is all it needs to be for the masses. 

@neil Thanks for your reply - I actually know what happened very well and I stay by the point that there were a huge amount of completely non constructive and distasteful bashing from many commenters - even some calling themselves working professionals - which they may be… or not. It is true that there were quite (!) a few issues around the release date. This is what happens when a software vendor develops such a complex software with only a selected set of working professionals and no extensive public beta phase. Calling it “unusable” is more than a stretch tough and just boils down to another boring “but my workflow is setup this way and feature XY is indispensable for my work”. Some of those indispensable features turned out being not that indispensable and some others got delivered in one of the fast pacing releases afterwards. They just should call such releases public betas. Besides of that - they first stopped selling FCP7 but this got taken back later - just for the simple reason that there still were studios and working pros who had to stay with FCP7 for a while and who need the possibility to license the software. People do err - it’s how we manage such happenings that decide if we are professional - or not. A good, working professional is someone who identifies an issue and constructively reports on it to help finding a solution. This happened a lot after the release and it was important to get FCPX further on its road. Another very valid decision is, that FCPX was and maybe even today is not the right tool for a job - if staying with FCP7 is a short term solution - that’s ok. If switching to Avid, Premiere and so on is a solution - well absolutely ok. There are others - who do not constructively raise issues but just like to spend their whole time filling out websites comment sections with endless rants about Apple, Adobe, Microsoft or whatever topic currently is en vogue to rant on. If you find it insulting to call those internet trolls “dumb ass naysayers” - so be it. Feel free to do that and congratulations for being a much more tolerant and sympathic guy than I tend to be in such flame wars. – Jochen

Well I agree with Neil, it was the users who got burned. Apple have a tendency to let Apps wither on the vine despite the pleas from users to revitalise them. They draw users in with the promise of ‘insanely great’ only to change their mind and leave entrenched users standing at the edge of a cliff.

Working professionals have better things to do with their time than spend it trying to follow the holy grail of Apple’s next marketing flurry. I’m not surprised Apple got criticised for what happened with iMovie (remember they even had to make the old iMovie available again as everybody hated the new one), FCP and now Aperture. They deserved what they got.

Tim Cook is taking their mountain of money to mean they can do anything to anybody. It’s never a good scenario when bean counters start controlling an innovation business. Apple’s already had their Sculley moment, I’m not sure it needs another one.

I actually deleted far more inflammatory statements from my reply Jochen, but I had made a New Year’s Resolution to be less confrontational in forums such as this. :D

It is so easy to get wound up about this stuff, but it’s not worth fighting about. However, I happen to know pros who were left high and dry by the botched FCPX release, and believe me, they’re not as charitable as I am.

On the subject of Aperture, I’m absolutely incensed that Apple also threw pro photographers to the (Adobe) wolves for no reason other than laziness. I’m angry to the point where I will not ever buy another new Mac, and here’s why:

Thanks to Apple’s indolence Adobe has been free to inflict its rancid and greedy ‘Creative Cloud’ tactic on pros. most of whom have no choice but to fall in line.

Make no mistake, CC is designed to benefit Adobe, NOT PROS. Its purpose is to lock customers in and lock competitors out. 
This is worse than bad, it’s a creative catastrophe.
Once customers are locked into a never ending “app lease” situation, Adobe has little reason to innovate. Their Photoshop Touch app for example, is pure garbage, but who cares? Competition is stifled as competing companies face the near-impossible task of convincing pros to buy new software AND continue paying for Adobe’s rent-ware or be locked out of their image libraries. 

Everyone is losing except Adobe, and we can set the blame for this sorry state of affairs squarely on the shoulders of Apple
Failing to keep Aperture up to date was bad enough. Canceling it altogether was a crime. But the most damage was done with Final Cut Pro X. 
Apple was the last big threat to Adobe’s total dominance, and it’s too late to do anything about it but post angry forums comments.

Well I thank that about sums it up!

One nit, yes it’s a hassle moving from Aperture to other but ther are some good softwares out there to chose from. That’s a good thing. Take your time and try a few of them. Let us know what you end up with.

There will never be a Photos Pro. Apple have set the agenda for professional apps and trust amongst professionals is lost. No working pro in their right mind would ever trust Apple again, no matter how glossy the marketing. It’s clearly a niche they have decided to forego in preference to the consumer.

Tragically in this post Jobsian era they have left behind excellence and innovation  in favour of average and bland. The new Apple is the antithesis of the Apple I grew up with. These are sad times for the creatives who were always the heart and soul of Apple’s customer base..

Excuse this ramble.

If it’s a given that Apple is mostly a service (iCloud, etc) and hardware company then it would make sense to encourage third party software for their hardware. They are, it seems, capable of making a Pro version of an Apple version of Photoshop/Lightroom but if that would discourage the likes of companies like Adobe and PhaseOne in writing competitive software then I would suspect the lack of a diversified Photo software base would diminish  the market for Apple hardware. On the other hand the a average iPhone photographer who would not benefit from Photoshop *would* benefit from a good Photos app bundled into the Apple ecosystem. 

Oh, and whoever said “The macbook pro has become completely unjustifiable to anyone but a status seeker” is wrong, plain and simple. 



I joined this thread at the beginning and have only recently checked in after several months’ absence. I see there’s still a lot of angst over the decision Apple made to deprecate Aperture to a cloud centric utility. In the mean time, I tried going back to C1Pro, which I’d used for years from v.1 through 4 before switching to Aperture at 1.5. I’m now comfortable with LR5 even with some of the DAM deficiencies, (wasn’t that fun to read?!) and have spent the time and energy it takes to become familiar with the power user features. I work with a fair number of well known professionals from every continent; some were Aperture users, most LR users, many C1P users, and a few DXO users. They all seem to get their work done and it all looks amazing, even from those who’ve never moved past Adobe Bridge/PS.

The perspective I have toward all these companies is that basically, they are selling licenses, not software. I don’t own the software (except for any I’ve written myself) nor do I really get much of a say in whether they want to continue to license the software or modify the license in the future. In a way, I’m sort of a tenant and the building owner may decide to no longer maintain the building, but replace it with an entirely different building that may or may not suit my needs. It’s nice if they give me some notice and even nicer if I get to see what the new place will offer compared to what I’m currently using, but it’s at their prerogative.

Consequently, I should not be surprised if some are quite upset and others feel cool about it and find a range of attitudes from hatred to thankfulness depending on the person’s own expectations and experience with the owner. Frankly, it’s shouldn’t take a lot of effort to be understanding of a range of emotions and simply be a good listener and offer, when asked, what advice or help we’ve found useful in our own situation that might be of help to them as well.

In the topic at hand, for most pros I know, it’s not really a matter of ‘the king is dead, long live the (new) king’ because we’re not in a totalitarian software state where we MUST submit to the replacement. We have options and so most pros I know personally began the process of migrating to other ways of managing photos months ago and a few are not in any hurry. I think we’re a little curious about Photos and whether it could have a place in our photo management or sharing. I’m not sure yet. I can manage most of my sharing needs through Lightroom’s services so I will have to do some actual testing to see how Photos could be part of referenced photos workflow system. Not seeing an auto-import feature like iTunes has or Lightroom has, makes me think it’s useful days are still in the future for someone like me.

So, if you are one of the angry ones, I understand why is perfectly rational to feel that way and there’s really nothing I can tell you that will make the pain go away quickly. And for those who aren’t affected as negatively, I am happy for you and please be understanding of your fellow photographers who don’t find the experience as easy to swallow and may even feel anger toward Apple and her employees who have shaped a decision that has made their lives more difficult at present. For some users, they’re going to feel like their right arm was amputated and for others, it’s an inconvenient sprain that will heal in a short time. It is what it is. Help each other deal with it and listen with as much empathy as one can muster.

I appreciate the empathy, I’m stuck between using Lightroom or paying $300 to Phase One and relearning another app.

I think the main reason for people’s angst is that there is no apparent reason for Apple to deliberately drop the ball here. None. 

It boils down to a question of trust, and Apple has lost mine.

I may sound melodramatic here but Apple now has embarked on a glorious new path with Health Kit to help doctors and researchers better serve their patients. Cool, right? Sure. But in 2 year’s time will Cook lose interest and move on to something that helps Apple’s bottom line more? History says yes, he will, he’s a numbers guy, but when he does it’ll be more than a few film editors and photographers that’ll be left high and dry….

“I think we’re a little curious about Photos and whether it could have a place in our photo management or sharing.”

I learned of an App called Photostream2folder from another photographer. Reportedly it will download new images from photo stream to a folder on the main computer where they can be imported up by other programs. The process can be automated by referencing the folder as a smart album.  Apparently there are key words, etc that can be utilized to organize the process.  I have not personally used it but the concept sounds useful to me.

I have no vested interest here, just information on something that might be worth looking into. 

So many people comparing this to FCPX, just so… many…
So little people actually trying to understand how software development works, just so… little….

I know it’s annoying (for me, too!) that Aperture gets discontinued and replaced with a software that doesn’t match my needs.
Still, the sense of entitlement one can sense here is baffling. 

It’s annoying as hell, but the fact the most of us here work with software doesn’t mean we are entitled to life long support for the software we use.
Our workflows are NOT meant to be protected forever.

So many people tossing around the word “professional” like it means something: it does not. Your (our) needs as “professionals” are no more important than everyone else’s.

Is Photos a replacement for Aperture? NOPE
Should we trust Apple with our <video, photo, audio> libraries in the future? YES, as long as the current software fits your needs.

Capture One could get discontinued tomorrow just as well.
Lightroom could be just as well get axed

Software is extremely fluid, it’s been this way since the beginning of times. Nobody is a fan of change, but get over it. You think the other apps you can use are going to last forever? Think twice.

The term professional is not a mystery Marco. It means something. In context here it simply means someone who earns their living with their camera. Only an amateur would put that word in quotes as if we’re using some form of meaningless code. 100% of my income is derived from wedding and other photography. That does not make me special, but it does make me a professional

Nobody here has a ”sense of entitlement” my friend, we’re simply asking why Apple has decided again to abandon customers that relied on them. 

It’s called Trust. Why is Office the de facto standard for all businesses world-wide? Because Micros**t, bad as they are, at least understands that people who rely on their software trust them not to make changes that cause unnecessary upheaval. Same goes for Adobe. No software lasts forever, but Photoshop is 25 years old and M$ Word is 32 years old. I’d be willing to bet money that both will be still around 10 years from now and perhaps beyond. 

I buy Canon cameras because they have built a track record of trust within the photography community. I use Photoshop and Lightroom not because I like it, but because I know that in 5 years Adobe will not drop them for no apparent reason, as Apple has done repeatedly. For reasons known only to themselves, Apple continues to screw customers with bizarre and inexplicable decisions, such as with the iWork fiasco. People with years worth of files suddenly upgraded to the new ‘13 version of Pages only to find it breaks or won’t open their ‘09 documents. If M$ did this there’d be lynchings. For Apple it’s just par for the course.

Software is not “extremely fluid” at all(what does that even mean?!) It needs a level of consistency or it’s a crap shoot. 

Should we trust Apple? If you’re an amateur, sure, but pros? Not a chance. I can trust them to keep Calendar and Contacts consistent, and I think my email is pretty safe, but for my professional life, no way. 

And by the way, it’s think again, not “think twice”. :D

(English is not my mother tongue, I apologize for any mistake (: )

I’m a “professional” then, too. So what?
Aperture still works just as much FCP7 still does. What has changed from yesterday? From one year ago?
We “professionals” have had all the time to make a switch to something that fits our needs more.
And I would argue that no “professional” in his right mind should jump on board on day one to any major rewrite on any software they depend on 100%, no matter how good it looks. That’s why I said that most people don’t even try to understand how to cope with software development cycles q:

But then again, you call it abandonment (and yet do not feel entitled in any way, curiously enough).
If you got “abandoned”, is that from… What?
Being nursed?
Being supported? Your app of choice still works.

It’s this continuous choice of very specific terms that makes me feel you feel entitled.
Microsoft got relegated in limbo a thousand times for their unwillingness to change, to the point they’re the software industry joke; but weird choice saying Adobe doesn’t change anything, when in this same thread we’ve read from a dozen people that they made a terrible choice in changing their pricing plan turning their software in legalized ransomware.
Doesn’t that qualify as a change? A big one?
I’m not touching any Adobe product with a 30 feet pole for that reason, and I bought photoshop cs2 at the time. Hell it is a big change.

I agree that they choose to make their typical major upgrades a pain in the ass, but meh.
I like them for having the balls to do whatever they think is the best even if it upsets any subset of users.

Fcpx is way better for “pros”
Photos Is way better for “amateurs”

I’m with you Marco. How can people complain about Apple leaving people in the lurch with FCPX?? I suppose Ford left the Pony Express “in the lurch” when they started mass producing automobiles. What would they do with all their horses now that people were delivering mail in cars? What would they do with all that hay? At least Apple gave video makers something better in FCPX. Any analogy here doesn’t hold any water. And by the way I use FCPX and I love it. Renders faster than anything else I’ve used.

What Apple has made obvious is that everything about the company is revolving more around the iPhone. The iPhone is the big money maker. It’s propelled the company to stratospheric heights. But I don’t understand why they felt compelled to kill off a perfectly good desktop software.

The new OSX Yosemite is further evidence of the “iPhonization” of Apple. All the new icons are flat, just like the iPhone. We’ve got notifications like the iPhone. Eventually the desktop will pretty much just be an extension of the iPhone, at least that’s what I’m predicting.

Still, I can’t help but to think Apple pulled a Microsoft-like brain fart here by feeling like they had to dump the baby out with the bath water with their Photos App. They could still keep Aperture around and kicking with small updates here and there. It’s still a very usable and powerful editing and management tool.

Tell the truth, all Apple has to do is add batch photo editing to their Photos App and they just might get some Pro’s to sign on. That’s the one feature I need because I don’t just take a couple pictures, I take hundreds and hundreds. I don’t like sitting there editing each and every single one.

I’m surprised at the lack of love DxO Optics Pro gets. Everyone talks about Capture One and Lightroom as if these are your only options. You guys know there’s other softwares out there right?

You are strangely arguing two positions. First you state you don’t understand people complaining about the FCPX fiasco then you go on to complain that Apple abandoned Aperture prematurely, threw the baby out with the bath water, etc, you even used the M word. Thats strong critique.

You can’t have it both ways. So pick a side Mimosay.

I don’t understand your comment.

My beef was with some other commenters here who were trying to say Apple screwed up with the new FCPX. They didn’t. They made it better and they are going to continue with it. Whether or not people have purchased the new FCPX I won’t get into, the simple fact is, movie makers have a better option if they want it.

My second point was my beef with Apple. They screwed up because they could easily continue to update Aperture instead of killing it off. Pro photographers, don’t have a better option here. Nobody here seems happy with Adobe’s Lightroom and Capture One is expensive and not as user friendly.

I definitely agree with your second point, Mimosay. I'm not a video guy, but my Aperture library is 100,00+ images. I really don't understand why Apple couldn't have introduced Photos for the iPhone shooters and continued to develop Aperture. I've moved on to LR and am really happy with some things (lens correction on import, the math underlying the Develop Module) and really unhappy with others (the whole DAM-pun intended-Module system where I have to go back to the library to apply a keyword after converting to B/W). The subscription model doesn't bother me, as it does others. But, as an Apple user for 25+ years, it makes me sad to see the iOSification of everything. I love my iPhone and iPad, but I want my Mac to do the heavy lifting.

Have you ever cared about how software gets developed, even in big companies? It must seem strange to hear, but even Apple has to focus its development efforts. They have a limited number of developers that they can put to work on photo management software, so they need to evaluate if continuing to develop a niche software as Aperture was is worth the investment. It probably wasn’t.

I'm not sure what caring about how software is developed means. I have an IQ in 3 digits, so I know that economics dictates corporate decisions. That doesn't mean that I can't lament the demise of a piece of software or feel abandoned. Neither one of us knows how much capital it would have taken Apple to continue to develop Aperture. What we do know is that Apple, should they have so chosen, was capable of easily absorbing some small loss for the benefit of having a well-regarded software program in their “Pro” category. Apple rolled out Aperture and put it front and center as emblamatic of how important photography and serious photographers were to them. Until it wasn't. 


I think Apple puts their effort into things that they like. There are so many industries Apple could dominate but don’t. Gaming is one. More people buy and play games on iPhone than any other platform, yet their Game Center is a joke.

If Apple wanted to add a gaming app to the Apple TV and make it into a console they could dominate the gaming industry in short order. If Apple wanted to dominate the home electronics industry I’m confident they could do it. I look at the success of products like Nest, Hue, digital door locks and the like. What’s stopping Apple from going headlong into this industry and making every piece of furniture in our home a part of iOS?

Apple could single handedly put Sonos out of business if they would fix Airplay to actually work and gave people the ability to play individual songs in different rooms. Apple could single handedly put Nikon and Canon out of business if they could create a lens that could compete with Canon’s L series. They’ve already taken the budget point and shoot market.

Nikon and Canon have completely dropped the ball on innovation. I can create a time lapse video in 1080P on my iPhone and share it with my friends in one minute. Try that on your $1,000 DSLR. This type of functionality should be built into every camera made today. It could have been, had the camera industry been paying attention and adding functionality as it came along. 

All the innovations in photography are being made by Apple. Their 2-tone flash was a stroke of genius. Why someone didn’t think to put a warm AND cool tone into the flash is beyond me. 

Bringing this back to Aperture, I think Apple just decided it was an industry they didn’t care for. And so their energies are going to something else. They seem to be singularly focused on certain products. It’s a pity that the pro photographer is no longer one of them.

I agree with many of your arguments here. In one point I really differ though: you (and many others too) always speak about “Apple” as if it was a single being. It is by far more complicated than that. Regarding to Aperture: I’m quite certain, that those people (call them managers if you want) who decided to stop Aperture development now, may never be friends of the idea of a “pro level” photography tool from the begin on. Those who fought for this within the company finally lost their project against them. There may have been a time, when arguing for Aperture was easier - it was a program to bring professional level photography DAM and editing in a package that was relatively easy to learn and use. There were times when Aperture was called “iPhoto Pro” and it was seen as the natural step upwards. I think a lot of the stuff that the Aperture fans within Apple found cool is now in Photos - this doesn’t change the fact, that Photos is a very different product with a very different purpose. I still think, that Photos will be much cooler and much more useful even to photographers with more demands - but it is nothing that is guaranteed and I don’t think it will happen out of a strategy to especially target “pro photographers”. There just is one thing that is important to recognize - many features and many products that come out from a company like Apple are not the result of a single coherent “mind” but more the result of - in part - competing forces and politics.

One more thing. You might love FCPX, my friend who edits his own video loves it too. That’s two of you. But virtually nobody in the postproduction business is using it today. Because of the way Apple handled that update, Apple lost that entire business to their competition. See Neil2112’s (nice handle!) post if your curious as to why. And postproduction is big money. That was a huge F___ up on Apples part no matter how good the software is now.

That’s more telling of the current state of the video industry than Apple’s problem with delivering innovation.

I work in the video industry and pretty much everybody who talks trash about FCPX never used the damn thing or even cared to understand how does it work. 

I’ll state this again: nobody (except nerds) cares about how software works and is developed, while they should.

Also: both the video and the photo industry are extremely slow changing industries from a technical viewpoint. Standards manage to float for years, maybe decades, everything has been made the same way since like, forever. This makes them extremely change-adverse fields but also less dependent on updates.

I still have colleagues that edit with fcp7, I will have colleagues that will still use Aperture 7 years from now ( : 


“I work in the video industry and pretty much everybody who talks trash about FCPX never used the damn thing or even cared to understand how does it work. “

Exactly.  They don’t care to spend the time to understand it. Why should they?

Time is money.   Apples approach to the new development cost the customers time and nobody want’s to deal with that.  Apple was arrogant, and behaving like a high maintenance girlfriend, “but I’m worth the trouble”.   The customers said “no, you not” and voted with their feet.  

Apple did screw_up because while the product might be better now, they lost the target market to the competition in the process of creating the better product.  Losing big customers over an upgrade is a screwup.  They didn’t have to lose that business during the upgrade process, but they did.  Neil’s post above provides some insight about the reasons why.  


Actually Apple didn't screw up - out of the simple reason that for any grumpy old “big customer” they got a thousand small customers back. FCPX is a powerful software and if someone doesn't find the time to check the State of the Art… Well… There is a name for that: Dinosaur. ;)

Actually Jochen, the FCPX debacle was one of the defining moments in NLE history. Anyone with even a passing interest who missed it must have been living under a rock.

I use FCPX, and I love it, but I’m completely alone. Our media team went straight to Premiere and left me looking like the dinosaur. Apple may have the last laugh, who knows, but not today.

That’s sad Neil! But at least you can use a program that makes NLE more fun than any of the others.

Business exist to generate revenue. That “grumpy old big customer(s)” was generating revenue many times greater to what the many small customers generate now.  It is a classic case of winning the battle and losing the war (revenue loss). 

jd7000, I wonder how you can be so certain about that. Can you point me at the revenue loss you mean? I mean - Apple sold licenses and they sell licenses. It doesn’t make a difference if 1000000 licenses are from 1000 big customers with 1000 licenses or 1000000 one man shows. FCPX got cheaper and it got easier to learn while staying powerful. Look at Lightroom - its revenue will certainly be mainly from enthusiasts and only to a very small account to working professionals. Is that bad? No - it’s not. It’s good for Adobe because it is easier to stay on project budget. If I search for Final Cut Pro X in German Amazon I quickly find up to 10 books about it. I cannot remember any day I could say that about Aperture and be certain - I did look because I was writing a Book at the time Apple announced the cease of development. Look at Capture One - PhaseOne did a big deal with Sony to give away the Express Version for free and offer the Pro Version for under 30$ which is much more than some small rebate. From then to now Capture One got the No.1 RAW converter for Sony users for the simple point that it is cheap not even accounting for any technical merits it may have in comparison to other solutions. This can and perhaps will lead to an increase of the customer base certainly will put some money into PhaseOne’s pockets to invest in further development. What do I want to say: there is a difference in “having success within a particular niche” and having success as a software vendor. Google can give away software and at the same time it is a success for them. You cannot just look at your personal surroundings and - from that - draw the conclusion that a software like FCPX is a loss of revenue or an outright failure. As much as I like Aperture - here in Germany it never had a really good stand. There where only a few books. Writing articles about it was difficult. Germany is a country with a lot of Apple haters. I think, that in part this comes from the fact that typical Apple commercials or marketing stuff doesn’t fit very well with the grumpy German mentality. ;)

The only thing Apple lost is that their “made with fcpx” portfolio is going to be lacking of big budget productions for a some time… That’s it.

I’ve skipped the last week of messages as the discussion has meandered off track and it doesn’t really matter what anyone thinks, what’s happened has happened. This will be my last post here as I’m unsubscribing. Good luck with whatever you folks choose to do. I’m on Capture One Pro now and am happy enough.

Farewell Aperture and this list…

Looks like El Capitan might be the end of Aperture. Some people saying it works, but with some glitches. I’m looking at DxO since I don’t feel like dropping $300 on Capture One and am not enthralled with the clunkiness that is known as Lightroom. 

I’m really impressed with what I’ve seen thus far. I think the algorithms employed with DxO are more sophisticated than Aperture and the results are potentially stunning.

DxO seems tailored for people like me, who want a competent raw editor but aren’t professionals for whom speed is of the essence.

I love the feature set in DxO. I wish Aperture would allow me to draw a line across the horizon to establish a level pic. The level of control and detail is far more than anything I need, but it’s nice to have.

On the other hand, I must give DxO a big fat “F” for speed. I may as well be using an Atom processor. The last time I saw a photo editor move this slow was back in the 1980’s when I was using my 4Ghz Intel processor.

The user interface isn’t exactly the best either, but it’s usable. The batch editing is world’s faster than Aperture which is nice. I’ll have to do my first set of edits before making the plunge, but I’m very encouraged by what I’ve seen so far.

Hi Mimosay,


I evaluated several replacements for Aperture last June (2014) but DxO wasn’t one of them.  I do think that at some point Aperture won’t work under the newer OS, is that El Capitan?  If so that will make life more difficult for the remaining Aperture users who want to upgrade.  There are those who never want to upgrade and they can keep using  Aperture.  But having moved on I still feel that Aperture was the best darn DAM program and probably still is. RIP.  

Looking closer at Photos, it’s not so bad a replacement for iPhoto. I’m using Photos to store my iPhone photos and share with family members. 

You mentioned that LR was clunky but you also said DxO was slow. I personally do not have any speed complaints with LR.

I have found that LR is similar in some ways to Aperture, and was not hard to learn.  With the CreativeCloud (CC) package I get Photoshop too, I used to use PS Elements before 2005 when Aperture 1.0 came. I couldn’t afford Photoshop back then, so getting Photoshop with LR was a big plus for me. I believe that getting Photoshop is the real value of the CC package.

Not trying to sell you on Adobe I’m just saying the CC with LR and Photoshop is pretty good value.  

Take your time and be sure to demo the different systems,  most have 30 day trials. Be sure to try some Aperture_Test_Lib conversions.  Best of luck with whatever you decide. 

Wait until Capture One goes on sale. It does. Meanwhile, take it for a spin if you haven’t already. They have a generous evaluation period, and it gets you on their list for their periodic sales. I was blown away by the ease of use after years of struggling to make Aperture do what Apple kept advertising that it could. It boils down to a question of whether you want to enjoy what you’re doing when you’re editing your work. We’ve all worked with images long enough to understand that a session can be rich and rewarding or frustrating. Capture One made a big difference for me.

The first time I used Capture One, I was angry at Apple for days.

Yes it does then they introduce a new version and you have to pay to get it. That was my experience.

But they have a superb rendering engine.

I wonder if Dr Peterwise (LOL) could cast a spell on Apple and get Aperture X released.


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