The Aperture 3.0 was launched in the market some time back so one wonders why it is being reviewed now. There was hope that there would be a real time review of lightroom 3 and Aperture 3. However, I was of the view that Lightroom and CS5 applications both would be there in the market at the same time. But, the CS5 applications happen to come out just recently. It now seems that Lightroom 3 should have come out not until June or July. The understanding from the talk around is that it is a good thing that we waited. The reason being Photoshop CS5 has a Adobe Camera RAW6. Since there are going to be auditory reducing improvements that will be incorporated in Lightroom 3. It also gives Apple a bit of leeway to sort out some bugs that are inherent in its release. Therefore, the version that we are reviewing now are 3.0.3.

  1. Mac Pro dual quad-core Nehalem Xeon 2.66 GHz
    • 24GB RAM
    • 120GB OCZ Vertex Turbo SSD system drive with separate HD RAID library disk
    • Geforce GTX 285/Radeon 4870 test scenarios
    • Dual NEC WUXi 2490 Spectraview monitors
    • OS X 10.6.3
  2. MacBook Pro Core2 Duo 2.4GHz 15″ Santa Rosa
    • 4GB RAM
    • 120GB OCZ Vertex SSD
    • NVIDIA Geforce 8600M 256MB
    • OS X 10.6.3 running 32-bit kernel

The Aperture 3 has loads of tweaks and enhancements. There are so many of them that covering them all would be very extensive. Though the new feature page has some additional features such as “Space Bar Playback” however, it is a bit of a stretch to consider it to be a feature. There are lots of individual touches that make this version 3 more comfortable to use. It has a good workspace which can be used for tagging, importing and exporting images. The icons too are finer than the previous version.

It is quite eerie how the version 3 makes the version 2 pathetic. Aperture 2 was using the NeXT icons while in the Aperture 3 the latest version uses OS X ones. Though we do understand why anyone would want more subtle and toned down icons in the image editor, they failed to fill the space in a better manner. In case you find them too blatant or loud command click the oblong digit on the top right hand corner and proton pick a more compact mode that is only text display.

Full screen modes have got far better in the Aperture 3 compared to what was there in the Aperture 2 version. Working with the least amount of clutter in the Aperture 3 makes the hard work minimal. Working with a full screen workspace is far easier on the eye and hand. It totally eliminates the need to run between different modes because of the browser bar at the top of the full screen mode of Aperture 3.

Another upgrade that you will find in the Aperture 3 is the Vanishing HUD. This one technique that enables you to concentrate on the image!