Former Apple guy Chuq Von Rospach writes an interesting article Aperture vs. Lightroom. It is, unfortunately, an easy call… :

… Apple may have been the initial innovator here, but they fumbled it, and Adobe has taken the ball and run with it. It’s the technology leader, and it’s where the innovation is. Aperture? After the initial release, it’s never regained any of its momentum, and releases have always trailed Lightroom in timing and technology. [JDB Not quite true, and Books, Slideshow and smart albums are still superior in Aperture]

My expectation is that it always will at this point. If Apple had a chance to take on Lightroom and become the market and thought leader in this technology segment again, it’s long passed. I think it’s pretty clear Apple’s made the decision not to try; to me, Aperture 3 was a “let’s keep our existing user base happy” upgrade, not a “let’s get back in the game” upgrade.  [JDB More like saying let’s shoehorn in some stuff we already have] And the timing of upgrades (not aggressive) and the push Apple puts on for Aperture (basically, none), is a hint that it’s moved its priorities elsewhere.

I used to tell folks to evaluate both Aperture and Lightroom and choose the one they feel most comfortable with. Now, I tell folks to buy Lightroom. Aperture isn’t headed into “end of life” mode, but Apple has pretty clearly stuffed it into an eddy in a backwater somewhere, and it seems to be just kind of drifting. I don’t see any indication Apple’s going to change that.

Any why would they?

It might make sense if Aperture caused photographers to move to Mac or to buy more / new Apple kit, but that’s not really happening. Apple will ship lots of the new high res “retina” display laptops to photographers regardless of whether they use Aperture or Lightroom, and Aperture’s immediate support for those screens isn’t going to provide an advantage for very long (Adobe will soon support them too). Yesterday’s “big” news of Aperture having a “Unified Library” with iPhoto can equally be spun as Apple “merging” the two products and making Aperture merely a priced version of iPhoto. Of course, it won’t stop people reading the tea leaves from job ads and inferring Apple is still interested in the game, but just why would you invest, for example, in as-good-as-Lightroom lens correction when the only likely ROI might come through a few Aperture sales? You’ve got to ask where lies the financial incentive? But more importantly though – if Apple do simply tread water, where then is the incentive for Adobe to keep driving Lightroom forward?

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