Apple launches Aperture 3, adding 200-plus new features

Apple has updated Aperture, its photo editing and management software, promising to make it easier and faster to organise large photo libraries. Apple's creative photography software is often compared to Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom, currently available as a version 3 beta.

Aperture 3 comes with over 200 new features claims Apple including Faces, Places -- both first introduced in iPhoto ’09 and Brushes.

Aperture 3 displays faces that have been detected but haven’t yet been named. Places lets you explore your photos based on where they were taken, and like in iPhoto, Places automatically reverse geocodes GPS data into user-friendly locations. In Aperture 3, you can assign locations by dragging-and-dropping photos onto a map or by using location information from GPS enabled cameras, tracking devices or your iPhone photos.

Faces uses face detection and recognition to find and organise your photos by the people in them. You can view faces across your entire photo library or view just the faces that appear in selected projects says Apple.

Aperture 3 introduces new tools to refine photos including Brushes for painting image adjustments onto parts of your photo, and Adjustment Presets for applying professional photo effects, which Apple insists requires just one click.

The new Brushes feature allows you to add professional touches to your photos by painting effects onto the image. Aperture 3 includes 15 Quick Brushes that perform the most popular tasks like Dodge, Burn, Polarise and Blur, without the complexity of layers or masks promises Apple.

Brushes can automatically detect edges in your images to let you apply or remove effects exactly where you want them. Aperture 3 includes dozens of Adjustment Presets that apply a specific style or look to the entire image, again with a single click. You can create your own custom presets or explore the techniques from other photographers via importing settings.

New slideshows let you share your work by weaving together photos, audio, text and HD video.

With slideshows you can select one of six Apple designed themes or choose your own transitions, background, borders and titles, and add your own soundtrack.

Aperture 3 lets you export your slideshows directly to iTune to take with you on your iPhone or iPod touch. You can also share photographs as prints, create custom-designed hardcover books and publish to online photo sharing sites like Facebook and Flickr from within Aperture 3.

Aperture 3 runs as a 64-bit application on Mac OS X Snow Leopard on Macs with Intel Core 2 Duo processors. Aperture 3 does not support PowerPC based Macs.

The software supports camera RAW, JPEG, GIF, TIFF, PNG, PDF, PSD2, .ARW, .CR2, .CRW, .MOS, .NEF, .RAF, .RAW, .SRW, .TIF, .OLY, .FFF, .3FR, and .DNG1 files.

Aperture 3 costs £169, while existing Aperture users can upgrade for £79. Prices include VAT.

A downloadable 30-day trial version is also available from

More information including full system requirements can be found at

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