Once upon a time somebody complained about how far off Aperture 3's NEF processing was. That was me. Actually I complained about it incessantly since Aperture V1. My very very very first post to the Apple Aperture community forum way way back years ago was about how far off Aperture's RAW decode was in terms of color from that of Nikon's.
Fast forward. I get a brand new Nikon D7000 and no surprise, Aperture 3's color is still way off. The blue's are too cyan, the greens are too yellow, the yellows are too green, etc, etc. Pretty much the same formula that has been NEF processing in Aperture since the dawn of time. Yes the amount they are off, the degree to which they render in terms of saturation and density are again different but they are still the same general recipe.
The gamma and WB have gotten closer to Nikon's with each NEF RAW implementation that Apple has done as new cameras have come down the pipeline but the color was still off. Over the course of a few years I have put some free presets out there for different Nikon camera models that get you closer to an NX2 decode in Aperture but they have not been complete and they were adjusted more or less to my tastes.
This time I decided to get as close as possible to all of the NX2 rendered Nikon Picture Control settings for the D7000. I have been refining them under different lighting conditions and different scenes for the last three weeks. I am on version 4 of my refinements to both the gamma as well as the color. I sat down yesterday to do what would be the final version 5 to be offered to all of you Aperture 3 Nikon shooters that have been living with this and guess what…
Everything changed. The latest greatest update for Aperture 3 and Apple's Camera RAW that came out just a little while ago seemed to have changed everything. WTF? I need more time to investigate this and test it on a few different camera models but for the D7000 the color is as close as it has ever been to the way NX2 decodes NEF RAW files. I swear this is unbelievable. It's still a little different but nowhere near the same degree that it used to be. The typical hue shifts that I have seen in the past and even prior to the last update are nowhere near what they were for the D7000.
In any case - I am re-doing the D7000 presets for all the Picture controls but even without them they are not nearly as ugly as they used to be. Of course I will match gamma and saturation as well in the presets. Hopefully they will be done by the end of the week.
Did anyone else notice this? Am I going mad? What the hell??? I will keep you updated as I continue to investigate this surprising turn of events.