I have had about 9 dozen conversations with Nikon shooters over the past week regarding Aperture 3 and Nikon NEF RAW file rendering. Most of them are extremely frustrated with Apple and Aperture and "CoreImage" - I just wanted to go on record stating my feelings on this.
First of all if you have been reading my posts for more than a week you have probably picked up on my own personal frustration with this situation. Actually frustration is not the word - maybe bewilderment, rage, disdain, hopelessness, anger, despair on and on. Over the last few months I have been taking a "glass is half full point of view" on it and trying to work through it as I have done in the past. Hence screwing with the NEF presets for Aperture 3.
There are a lot of people that feel that NX2 produces sharper, snappier files - I am not on board with this thought process - my personal opinion is overall contrast, definition, and sharpness are idiotically easy to deal with. This is really not the source of my frustration - my amazement is how the hell Apple can possibly get the color so very very very WRONG. If it were a simple fix for the color I would not complain - really. I am not talking about all of the color being skewed one way nor am I talking about saturation. I am talking about the color hue values being so far wrong in seemingly random ways it is impossible to believe that it is not on purpose.
I used to give Apple a pass on this when every other RAW converter out there had similar issues with NEF files. Seems just about everyone including Adobe has cracked the code on this about 2 years ago. Apple is a very very rich company with a ton of cash in reserve - why the hell can't they hire two or three decent engineers and on color expert to fix this once and for all. The funny thing is almost all NEF files have the same exact issues. Five year old cameras have similar issues (just worse) than brand new ones. Brand new ones vary from one model to the next in the specific wrong-ness values. They play with the overall tone curve a little here and a little there - randomly but they seem clueless about the color issue.
So my official position on this is…