Software Envy

So last week, for some reason, the internet and photographers were all abuzz about Lightroom 4. And being used to choosing a product that doesn't get updated often, or get's killed off completely (HP TouchPad anyone?) there was a certain amount of new software envy. This envy kept building the more online forums of Aperture users complained about not just there not being a new Aperture version but not a peep about when or if a new version was coming. I know, secrecy from Apple? That's crazy. For me it culminated in a blog posting made by some professional photographer and Aperture trainer Scott Bourne who very publicly and dramatically proclaimed to be about to switch from Aperture to Lightroom 4 "and never turning back". My first thought? "Dude, who cares?" Apparently a lot of people did and it got picked up by a bunch of blogs. I was also lamenting the lack of any new Aperture version, and in a 13 minute window of weakness I downloaded the Lightroom 4 trial from Adobe.

I should point out right from the beginning this isn't a comparison between the two programs. The amount of time I've spent in Lightroom can be counted in minutes using both hands. From the opening screen it was apparent to me I was going to have to re-learn how to do things, and that tempered my desire to switch. See I've taken a year or so to really get a workflow that I'm happy with on Aperture, and to figure out how to use Aperture and I was really looking forward to another year of trying to do it. But then I thought that since Lightroom is better I should just learn it and do it. But how is it better? Some say the RAW conversion engine in LR is better than Aperture. Chances are this is probably true, and looking at a few of the images I imported into LR seems to confirm this. Is it jaw droppingly better? No. So then I started thinking about what was wrong with Aperture 3? Facebook and Flickr sync aren't exactly great, but I post on Flickr as an after thought, and FB isn't really my main social network. And after a year plus of working with Aperture I've learned to work around its quirks.

And that's when it hit me, Aperture works for me, and what I wish it would do (post directly to Google Plus, sync with Picasa) no other software suite does currently. Sure, I wish it would sync to Facebook and keep the albums in the order I put them in on Aperture, but in the end I don't care that much about Facebook. People will see it. A recent update took care of an annoyance regarding a color cast on photos that was easily taken off. As Aperture stands right now it meets and exceeds my needs. So why did I want LR? Probably because it was new and shiny and lots of people were talking about how new and shiny it was on the web. There are plenty of good things about LR, but not enough for me to jump ship... yet.

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