Aperture 3 — Looking back at 2013 and forward to 2014
2013 may not have brought us a version-number release of Aperture, but it did bring us a significant number of updates, fixes and newly supported cameras, plus a slew of new or updated plug-ins, add-ons and ancillary tools for our photo processing goodness — and of course some new training material! Here’s a list of goodness I’ve put together, although I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few things. Add to the list in the comments, and Happy New Year to all!
Aperture 3 updates
Aperture itself received four updates in 2013, including versions 3.4.4, 3.4.5, 3.5 and 3.5.1 in April, June, October and November, respectively. Needless to say, 3.5 was the biggest release and the one that added new features, including iCloud Photo Sharing, Places updated for Apple Maps, iOS 7 filter support, and SmugMug support (which I finally recently did a Live Training on). Apple also updated the Aperture SDK to version 3.4 in June.
Camera RAW updates
RAW support saw many more updates; nine of them in fact. These were versions 4.04, 4.05, 4.06, 4.07, 4.08, 4.09, 5.0 (included in the Aperture 3.5 release, although I don’t believe it added any new camera support), 5.01 and 5.02. These releases added support for the following cameras:
- EOS 70D
- EOS Rebel SL1 / 100D / Kiss X7
- EOS Rebel T5i / 700D / Kiss X7i
- EOS-1D C
- PowerShot G16
- PowerShot S120
- D-Lux 6
- M Monochrom
- V-Lux 4
- 1 J3
- 1 S1
- COOLPIX A
- COOLPIX P330
- COOLPIX P7800
- OM-D E-M1
- PEN E-P5
- PEN Lite E-PL6
- LUMIX DMC-G6
- LUMIX DMC-GF6
- LUMIX DMC-GX7
- LUMIX DMC-LF1
- K-5 II
- K-5 IIs
- Alpha 7
- Alpha 7R
- Alpha ILCE-3000
- Alpha NEX-3N
- Alpha NEX-5T
- Alpha SLT-A58
- Cyber-shot DSC-RX1
- Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 II
- Cyber-shot DSC-RX1R
I didn’t release a lot of new training this year—shockingly little, in retrospect, however there wasn’t much new to train on! Here’s what was released on ApertureExpert, Lynda.com, and other places, by ApertureExpert as well as other trainers. I’m sure there’s more that I missed; please be sure to list it in the comments.
- ApertureExpert Live Training 024 and 025 (so much for every other week, but to be fair, I pretty well finished up with Aperture 3 in 2012!)
- “Aperture 3.3/3.4 New Features Workshop” video by ApertureExpert (recorded in 2012, and released early 2013)
- “Artist in Action” video, which includes Aperture in the workflow
- “Enhancing Product Photography with Aperture” video by Derrick Story
- “Portrait Retouching with Aperture” video by Derrick Story
- “Mastering Apple Aperture” book by Thomas Fitzgerald (the link goes to a review, and there are product links at the end)
Apps and plug-ins
Now for third party apps and plug-ins. This is where I’ll miss many things, but here’s at least the ones that were mentioned on the site in 2013.
- Aperture Inspector was upgraded to version 1.5
- JPEGmini reviewed as a tool to reduce your Aperture library size
- Nik Software Collection by Google saw several updates
- Catapult and Lightzone both got write-ups on how to use them with Aperture
- MacPhun released Snapheal Pro and Intensify Pro, and put them into a bundle as well
- onOne Software released Perfect Photo Suite 8
This site of course saw a massive upgrade that took over half a year to develop, and still has a laundry list of features to add, but it’s up and running and I’m thrilled with it—I hope you are too! On the site were a total of 109 new posts in 2013, and the forums now include over 6,800 topics and over 13,000 posts.
What’s next? Of course we all expect a major Aperture release in 2014, worthy of a full version number designation. The 2013 Aperture 3.5 release was a pretty minor update as far as features goes, and in 2012 we got Aperture 3.3 which had quite a few new features, a new look, and many under the hood changes. Obviously we are far, far overdue for something really big. And unfortunately for Apple, the longer we wait, the bigger of a release we as users are going to expect. No matter what it does, some users will be disappointed. We’ve already lost many users to Lightroom, and there are constant discussions on the topic in the forums here and on Google+, but I maintain that those who wait will be rewarded.
My current belief — and this is in no way based on any factual information — is that what we’re waiting for is significant in the scope of the Pages, Keynote and Numbers (iWork) updates we saw in 2013. Those apps were completely rewritten from the ground up, and for a specific reason—for complete feature parity with their iOS counterparts. My understanding is that the iOS and OS X versions now share a command code base. What if Aperture is undergoing the same change? I don’t foresee a total Aperture clone on iOS, but it would require a completely new version of Aperture to be able to take everything done in iPhoto on iOS (or even a smaller Aperture on iOS) and move that to Aperture with zero capability loss. Imagine a workflow where you can ingest on an iPad, do much of your work there, then copy (or just open an iCloud shared Library) on the desktop and continue where you left off, just like you can with Pages, Keynote and Numbers today. Maybe even open the Library again on iOS, perhaps not having every feature you do on the desktop, but not losing an changes made on the desktop version. Personally I love iPhoto on iOS. It’s a fantastic app with great features, and once you learn the gestures, it can be very quick to use. If every tool there mirrored a tool in Aperture, and I could start a project in iPhoto on iOS and finish it in Aperture on the desktop, I’d love that.
Given the time we’ve waited for a major Aperture update, that’s what I think is going on. Again, I have no factual information to base this on; it’s just my sentiment after seeing what happened with iWork, and seeing how long this has taken. Hopefully, 2014 will reveal all.