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Apple Aperture or Adobe Lightroom: which is better for post processing RAW photos?

I want to begin photography as an hobby and I thought to start with the right foot and take my photos in raw: is a good choice for a beginner? I have a new MacBook with Retina display, so a powerful laptop with a very good screen. What is the best program to processing raw images? Lightroom? Or Aperture (by Apple) is a good choice for a beginner (it is not so expansive!)? It is a professional program?


4 Answers 4


I use Lightroom, but that is because I like the integration with other adobe products. It is really easy to open a photo in Lightroom in Photoshop from light room and then send the updated file back. I have considered switching to Aperture, but I felt like the time to move my photo library and learn a new system wasn't worth it.

That being said, from what I've read about Aperture it is a high quality application. I think the decision between the two will come down to very minor personal preferences similar to choosing Nikon or Cannon. It will come down to how you plan to use either app.

Adobe is releasing a retina update for Lightroom 4 to improve its use on the MBP Retina.

my 2cents

  • I never used an Adobe program like Photoshop or Illustrator... So I don't need the integration between Adobe products and the same interface. If Aperture is a professional software, I will buy it! Thanks. Ps: It will surly work with my future camera (maybe Canon EOS 650D) or I have to pay attention on this?
    – user11587
    Sep 13, 2012 at 15:34
  • You can use Photoshop with Aperture. You set up PS as an "external editor", and then when you have an image selected, you can select "edit in external editor". That will create a new PS file inside the library, next to the original. You decide yourself which bit-depth and color space to use when creating a PS version of the photo.
    – Pete
    Sep 14, 2012 at 6:57

To add to what CyberKnoy08 said,

If yo ever used any other Adobe program, I suggest you to get the Lightroom, ofc their price is much different but you'll be in a similar environment.

Both programs will do the job and both are used by professionals and also beginners.

  • If Aperture is a good and professional software, I will buy it! Thanks. It will surly work with my future camera (maybe Canon EOS 650D) or I have to pay attention on this?
    – user11587
    Sep 13, 2012 at 15:35
  • If you mean raw compatibility, yes, it works with 650D, also both Adobe and Apple will provide you with updates which includes support for new cameras. apple.com/aperture/specs/raw.html
    – Omne
    Sep 13, 2012 at 15:40

Aperture is a great program, used by many pros. And it supports new cameras fairly quickly. I expect that Apple will (or may have already) made the port for the Retina display, after all its an Apple MacBook Pro.

Aperture is really inexpensive when you buy it from the Apple AppStore.

Some professionals, for example the famously grumpy Scott Bourne, have decided that Aperture is no longer their favorite package, even though they have used it for years, and have written books, given lectures, etc. See http://photofocus.com/2012/07/20/aperture-v-lightroom-built-in-noise-reduction/


Apple Aperture does support Retina display. A version of Lightroom supporting Retina is on its way. So in the end you should choose whichever application you like the best.

I would suggest that you download demos of both applications and try them out for yourselves.