Disclaimer: I love Aperture 3 in more ways than I can count so understand that the following is in the context of how nuts it drives me to see something as good as Aperture 3 sullied by this sort of stupid shit, time and time again.
On with the show. As you probably know by now, Aperture and I have been doing battle over silly white balance nonsense since day friggin one. Well at some point in the not too distant past it has broken in yet a new way as well has some strange variations on all of the old ways it has been broken. I swear the guy/gal in charge of WB RAW file stuff at Apple is brain dead - some sort of victim of a strange disease, or a lifetime glue sniffing habit. Who knows but he must be one of Steve's relatives because he desperately needs to be let go but seems to still be on the job since day one. There is no way a different person could be screwing the pooch in such bizarre ways. In fact I can't even imagine how to do some of this on friggin purpose.
First - the new Aperture WB silliness. This one looks like it can affect anyone's workflow and relatively independent of camera make or model. You are going to have to follow closely here even with the provided screen shots.
First let's click on a RAW image with the adjustment inspector showing after freshly starting Aperture… Cool every thing looks fine (sort of - more on this later.)
Next let us click on another image - this one shot specifically for this illustration with a DIFFERENT WB set by myself - on freaking purpose.
WTF - look at the color temp in the WB adjustment brick. It's the same exact number as the last image with a completely different WB. God-friggin-damit, another freaking WB issue, damit, damit, WTF. What the hell is going on here???? Cutting to the chase if you deselect all images so that NOTHING, as in no data, is showing in the adjustment inspector and then click on the last image you get the "right" numbers. Well at least you get different ones that seem to be correlated in the right direction but the numbers themselves make no sense whatsoever. This part is not new, it's something I have yet to ever get anyone at Apple to explain but the kelvin numbers are pretty much chosen at random depending on the RAW file maker and camera model - this one has been driving me forking nuts for years. Nikon is not the only RAW files to act this way in Aperture - far from it.
Now you may think this is no big deal but it is… THOSE COMPLETELY BOGUS NUMBERS that came from the first image you brought up actually stick and make the image WRONG if you activate the WB control. It seems to go back to the original (wrong) numbers for the image file in question if you hit the reset on the control but in any case this is just one more WB bit of bullshit that Apple can't seem to get right - come on how freaking hard can this be?
Moving on to a strange variation of the whacky arbitrary numbers in the WB that Aperture interprets NO MATTER HOW YOU SET YOUR CAMERA - well at least on some cameras like Nikons, and now Panasonics, and more…. This one really sucks and I have only seen it affect the panasonic LX5 and GF1 RW2 files so far. Hold onto your hats now…. Those whacky numbers in the WB that Aperture interpreted (not the ones stuck from a previous image) are NOT the same as the actual WB that the RAW file is processed with. What does this mean? A picture is worth a thousand words…
Here is another….
What you are looking at is dramatically different WB using the SAME WB information that Aperture 3 is telling you came in with the camera. The only thing I did was activate the WB adjustment block as compared to the other image. You can hit the reset button all you want but it will not return it to the way that Aperture 3 displays the image sans adjustment block. WTF? As I said I have tested lots of NEF's and even though the WB numbers are screwy and do not match what you set in camera they do not display differently when you leave them at the imported state and activate the WB adjustment block. So far this happens on the GF1 and LX5 - is this happening to any of your RAW files???