In case you didn't know I am an Apple Aperture zealot. Every single one images that gets near my computer is cataloged in Aperture. I think that's about 300,000 images. I will definitely use it until either it disappears or the unlikely event happens that someone somewhere makes a better tool.
Yes it has it's flaws as the ultimate RAW processor or the ultimate image manipulation tool. It's not. There are better and even far better RAW processors and image adjusters. When it comes to speed and fluidity of sorting through, finding, and metadata-izing your images there is nothing that comes even close. The elegance of Aperture's interface and shear joy ride of getting to your selects. The speed at which you can hit a few keys to make that interface perfectly suitable to the task at hand on anything from two 27" monitors to a MacBook Air is just about as perfect as you can get.
You may also have picked up that I do not live in Aperture. It does front end all of my other tools. For critical work I still use ACR, Photoshop, and NX2 for many good reasons. In many cases they are better tools. If anyone out in Apple-land is listening please take a few of my suggestions to heart for Aperture 4. Please. please?
Forget a bunch of social media, happy, smiley-face, cute little cloud icon crap. Forget it. Here is what a lot of people would die for in Aperture 4, even if they don't know it yet.
- Re-design sharpening completely. The existing tools are useless for anything but rough cuts. Give me output specific sharpening. Build it into export presets.
- Please fix some of the WB wacked-outness that has been around in one form or another since day one. Stop with the excuses that your engineers have handed me (and then been silenced). Everyone else that does RAW has figured this out. Even if you cannot figure it out for every RAW file please figure it out for Nikon. Please.
- Give me really really really really good lens corrections. Make them automatic, make them open so users and more importantly manufacturers can populate those tables. Hmmm like maybe Adobe ACR on day one. Then how about upping the ante and making them as good as NX2 does it for not only Nikon but all brands or at least the manufacturers that wanted to play. Hey Hasselblad/Fuji did it with Adobe and ACR is absolutely on par with Phocus. They did it with color to.
- Make your keyword hierarchy stuff actually useful in the bigger world outside of Aperture. Please. As of right now it's not only useless if you need your keywords to propagate to your exported files in a meaningful way it's worse than that when you combine some of the bizarre nonsense like endless duplication provoked by the slightest and most unpredictable reasons (like a bunch of plug-ins).
- While we are talking about plug-ins, come up with a scheme to make the parameters metadata based so that they can be tweaked after the fact. Like PSD smart objects. Screw it just make Aperture PSD smart object aware - all of your plugin vendors already have the knowhow and code. I never use Aperture plug-ins. I use Photoshop as my ultimate "filter container".
- Give us something really really special to do local adjustments. The brushes are okay I guess - actually they are pretty cumbersome and unsophisticated compared to Photoshop brushes. How about doing a deal with Nik Software and give us built-in control points/Viveza like Nikon Capture NX2…
- Trash the current printing subsystem - make it far more capable and far more reliable across all printer vendors. Why does Aperture still have nutty printing/color issues at this point. It's not the drivers - Photoshop works fine on the same box with the same drivers. It's not just me. It's you Apple.
- Remember the keyword thing above. Same goes for other metadata two. Personally I do not use the finder to sort through photos. Hence I do not give a crap about Aperture color labels showing up in the finder. I do care that they show up in other photo browsing/editing tools - like say Adobe Bridge, Lightroom, Photomechanic, NX2, etc, etc, etc. Please make metadata synchronization a workable reality between Aperture and the rest of the world.
- Extend the book tool to easily support uploading to other print vendors. Give the layout tools a bit more sophistication and capability. Give me an easy to customize layout grid "by the numbers". Make it a little bit less "by eye" and a bit more by the numbers. At least give me the option. Maybe a tiny nudge towards InDesign and away from toy design tool. Yea I know how to sort of make the book tool do what I want it to but it's a bit of a work-around in most cases. Come on - the book tool haven't seen any real love ever.
- Does there have to be a number ten. I am going to cut you guys some slack here and only give you 9 items in my "ten things" list. That will leave a space for you to include either a goofy feature that my mom might find kind cool or something fantastic that I might want but haven't thought of.
Aperture users what are your Aperture 4 fantacies?