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Can any experienced (Apple) Aperture user tell me whether Aperture has decent support for a RAW+JPEG workflow?

For example, can Aperture:

  1. tag both files at the same time with a single key hit?
  2. while still allowing me to access either of both files should I wish to do so?

Specifically, if I stacked these images together, could I simply rate both of them "1 star" withOUT expanding the stack and manually selecting both of them?

My foremost concern is to be able to rate both files together, mostly to delete unwanted RAW+JPEG files without (unnecessary) steps. I recently found out that this work-flow is not well supported in Lightroom.

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Aperture supports the concept of "RAW + JPEG pairs"; it looks like just one photo in the user interface so tagging is easy. See, e.g., support.apple.com/kb/PH7892?viewlocale=en_US –  Jukka Suomela Jun 7 '13 at 17:01

3 Answers 3

Yes! I'm doing this myself.

The key is to make the right choice during import. One of the import settings is RAW + JPEG Pairs which give you five self-explaining options.

  1. Both (Use JPEG as Original)
  2. Both (RAW as Original)
  3. Both (Separate Originals)
  4. JPEG files only
  5. RAW files only

If you choose one of the first two, you're JPEG+RAW pair will be treated as such by Aperture. You can also pair JPEG and RAW later, more information at Apple's Support pages.

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I don't usually use RAW+JPEG mode, but I can tell you that Aperture has a switch for having delete/rating commands affect everything currently selected, or only the specific item you're highlighting in a set of selected items. I asked a question on that topic here a year ago, and got some nice answers: in Aperture 3, how do I adjust one picture while viewing multiple?

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This is actually a very useful function for saving time and space when used correctly. I personally shoot in JPEG most of the time, but when I'm really concerned about redundancy and/or flexibility in editing after the fact, I'll shoot RAW+JPEG. Here's where the workflow is important:

  1. Import JPEG only - This is much faster, and most often your photos should be within the range (histogram) where you're going to get marginal if any difference by working with a RAW file. I typically will cull using JPEGs exclusively.
  2. Once you've got your picks, look through the photos where you think you'll need access to the RAW file. Images that you've rated high (or have high hopes for) where you've lost shadows or blown highlights are the primary selection here. Flag those images.
  3. Filter your view to only include those flagged images.
  4. Insert the card that still has the RAW images and import all matching RAW files by choosing “Current filter.”

This will only import the selected photos' RAW file match.

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