I’m back using Lightroom 3

I have now tested quite a lot Aperture 3 to see if I would start to use instead of LR3. I have been using LR for years now, and now and then tried to solve out if Aperture may replace LR in my workflow. The main reason for not using Aperture has been the fact it is quite slow in my rig as compared to LR. There are also many other reasons which hindered the use of Aperture:

– I like keywording much more in LR. It is a smooth process and does not require much time. I do keywording about in half time in LR in comparison to Aperture.

– Adjustment brushes and graduated filter. You can make multiple adjustments in one brushing with LR. That is not possible in Aperture (and there is no graduated filter at all). This speeds up working so much. If you are using these tools a lot LR is a clear winner.

– Lens correction tool. Just wonderful in LR and missing from Aperture. No more arguments needed.

– Noise reduction. Lightroom has a very effective NR built in. In Aperture there is a need for a plug-in if you shoot high-ISO shots.

– Lightroom is very much faster almost in every area. Aperture is faster only in importing the photos. And my LR library is many times bigger than my Aperture library. There may be even bigger speed difference with same sized libraries.

– Some plug-ins I am using regularly, like Viveza 2 and Silver Efex Pro, work much smoother and faster with LR. E.g. to open these plug-ins may take very long time in Aperture (even tens of seconds).

Those are the main things why I am still choosing Lightroom for my RAW converter. I like Aprture’s UI more but I am very used to cycle LR’s Library and Develop modules by using keyboard shortcuts so that’s not a big deal for me.


  1. Of course, if you had a more powerful computer at least one of your issues with Aperture (speed) might disappear. However, even with that, you’ve listed many other things that don’t rely directly on speed and so, it looks like you’d stick with LR even with a new computer.

    This has been my conclusion too but I’m not happy about it. I have a love/hate relationship with LR’s UI and I’m no fan of Adobe either. Just going through an upgrade at their site is a terrible experience. I wonder if they’ll ever put LR in the app store? That would make upgrades a heck of a lot nicer.

  2. my friend, i will send you a list of questions about this soon. i really appreciate this information, not having played with lr or aperture myself. our photography class begins next week, i’m very excited.

  3. He makes my point: Aperture has a standard Mac user interface, Lightroom doesn’t and those differences make Aperture easier to use for those familiar with the Mac.

    The question remains, are Lightroom’s superior tools worth putting up with it’s crappy UI for?

  4. Well, familiarity can help useability. Apple pushed hard for this when they built the very first Mac and it’s first OS and it worked: there was consistency across the frew applications and in the system from day 1 on the Mac. The only exceptions were Microsoft and Adobe applications and this is why I’ve avoided them from 1984/5 until my current use of LR which still annoys the hell out of me.

    The sooner I get LR off my computer the better. If iPhoto had better tools I’d just use it.

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