Price When Reviewed: 300
Pros: Fast integrated workflow for viewing, sorting and enhancing digital images, including integrated RAW conversions. Clever stacks sorting, and excellent print tools.
Cons: Pricey, demands top-powered Macs, no Windows version, slow imports, no offline tracking, noisy shadows when adjusting underexposed RAW images.
The huge attention and adulation given to Apple Aperture even before it shipped proves that Steve Jobs’ salesmanship is still fully operational. Aperture is a very fast image workflow utility that lets you preview, sort, tag, and adjust digital images in a systematic way.
Its main function is speedy opening and processing of RAW-format image files from digital cameras, though it also works with scans and other image types. Adjustments are made non-destructively, so the original master images remain unaltered on your disk, but Aperture writes a database to keep track of how each file should be handled when they’re opened. This allows you to alter your editing or produce another version later.
You can import, sort, search, and view files, alter colour balance, white point, colour temperature, brightness, contrast, sharpness, noise reduction, crop, rotation and size. There’s a red-eye fixing tool and a tool to blur out small defects.