Meanwhile, Apple is going to put all their energy into a single photo system, instead of trying to do some schizophrenic split between iPhoto/Aperture - I expect to see a pretty excellent system out of it.
Perhaps it's because I don't work commercial or event photography, but the reality is that most of what I use Aperture for these days could probably be done with a slightly beefier iPhoto - which is pretty much what Photos is going to become.
Photostream, as of about 3-4 months ago, has also gotten reliable enough that I never have to worry about any picture that I've taken being on my Laptop. Unlike the early days (months, year?) when it was pretty much a crapshoot as to whether your pictures would move from your iPhone to PhotoStream and then to your laptop - It Just Works now.
So, good news all around.
That said, there's a potential twist here. Apple's upcoming Photos app can go one of two directions: Apple could, as everyone seems to be assuming, go the consumer-focused route and stay out of Lightroom's market. On the other hand, Photos could pack all of Aperture's pro features and more behind an "advanced mode" UI. Suddenly, Lightroom isn't just competing with an Apple product, they're competing with free.
I think they've already done that, a few months ago.
I myself have forked for the PS + Lightroom subscription -- and I hate subscriptions --, and the reason was, that, if I am not mistaken, you can't use the Lightroom app for iPad without the subscription.
I just had this burn me when I got a new camera (Panasonic GH4) and I couldn't import a thing. Even worse is that I was on a road trip and didn't have a way to install the software that came with the camera (also terrible, but I took photos at Yellowstone and badly wanted to see them). As of the last week an update came out and now I'm good to go, but if you want to remain on an old version of Lightroom it can indeed be tricky.
None of the other programs you mentioned are anywhere close to Lightroom. For example, while RawTherapee can technically open images from my new camera, it displays them incorrectly. They're not even the right size and I don't want to talk about color.
Similarly, look at many current System Preferences panels in Mac OS X. The basic stuff most users need is up front, and the rest is hidden behind an "Advanced..." button.
I conclude that having an advanced mode, or various enhanced features accessed in different ways from the standard UI, is not inimical to Apple's approach or UI philosophy.
There has been some bugs since Mavericks came out that still hasn't been fixed, mostly related to multiple monitors. That was an indication that it was going to be dropped.
It's fairly reliable but it's showing it's age right now.
You mileage may vary in your desire to see your tools evolve, but I much prefer radical evolution, otherwise we'd still be cutting film on slightly upgraded Steenbecks and Moviolas.
Letting people buy LR makes them feel comfortable about never losing access to their own raw material. The savvy approach is to let them have this much, charge them to do interesting things with it, and let them keep the final output in a place that remains entirely theirs.
As of 10.1 I don't think anybody thinks it's any kind of bad program anymore.
Initially it was mostly people not understanding that a "rewrite from scratch" is inevitably going to lose some of their features, but will provide a better foundation for future stuff. Plus, some professional users think that the rules of software development don't apply to them, and that some features they used in 2002 should continue to exist in 2014, because "we're pro". And Apple discontinuing fcp 7 prematurely didn't help with that either.
If it does, that will be great.
The screenshot in the linked article is quite high res (no idea where they got that one, though). You can see what’s in there: http://tctechcrunch2011.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/photosfo...
So, that’s quite extensive (definitely compared to iPhoto), but it doesn’t seem like they are going for Aperture levels of possible adjustments. But maybe they are, that interface could be hiding things.
So I'm hopeful that Lightroom and the rest of the CC apps will continue to improve considerably because of culture rather than purely the goad of competition.
I hope you are right though and that they do improve based on culture - but if lightroom is the only major option for a digital darkroom and photo management, and most of their customers are paying monthly anyway, I don't see them pushing new innovations.
I don't think the monthly model discourages innovation -- as a product person, more people using the new product is more motivating for the organization, not less.
Well, "more people/more motivation" wasn't exactly the case with Quark. Or with lots of enterprise software companies having their customers by the balls.
I think the key distinction, which is common in Quark of old and Adobe's subscription model, is "having the customers by the balls".
And the problem I'm reffering to with Quark was not the "Who cares about OS X anyway". It was about arrogant and complacent company, not caring about its customers in general, even in the platforms it did support.
I'd call it the opposite of complacency. I work heavily in most of their products (the entire Adobe suite), and the amount of features they are releasing and the speed at which they are doing it, is amazing given their size.
If you focus on one product (like lightroom, which is a minor product at best) then sure, it doesn't look like much, but take a look at Edge, InDesign, Flash, etc, and there is a lot of improvements taking place.
How are they not caring?
Yes, but it's also the opening stage of this. They would risk a backlash if they started their CC-only period as complacent. After all CS6 still works atm.
A few years down the road though?
After all Quark was also innovating and caring at first.
This includes a ton of new features, as well as the release of Lightroom mobile, web and sync services.
I for one would like to see a OSX-only photo editing suite. If it's anything like Pixelmator (no UI/UX compromises for the sake of cross-platform, insanely fast hardware-accelerated-everything) it'd be a real treat.
Beyond the obvious editing features you've got colorspace handling issues that most image editors don't bother with (Pixelmator actually handles this fairly well already), the need for a very robust plugin system, non-destructive editing, cataloging features (including image stacks), and a huge amount of largely unnoticed work that goes into simply keeping up with RAW formats for new cameras as well as profiles (for automatic CA/distortion fixing) for new camera/lens combinations.
Could this be largely mitigated by only working with DNG files and letting Adobe handle the conversion? Their RAW->DNG converter is free after all.
It is hard to describe how valuable that workflow simplicity is but it is a real thing; if I had to RAW process and edit all my photos using DPP (Canon's RAW editor, for my 70D), or Sony's RAW editor (for my A7) or even RawTherapee (an open source RAW processor that actually does a good job of supporting lots of RAW formats), I could do so, but yet I pay Adobe $10 a month to give me a really nice workflow for all of this.
It certainly wouldn't be impossible for a Pixelmator-like competitor to emerge for Lightroom, it'd just be a lot of work for a small team; perhaps more work than it would seem at first blush since there's a lot of complexity hiding behind a relatively simple UI there.
In other words, raw (as opposed to linear) DNG is basically a container format for sensor data and related metadata. So even assuming Adobe's DNG converter perfectly supports your camera, you still need code to handle its underlying sensor data format (your Bayer demosaicing code won't be much help in processing data from, e.g., a Foveon sensor) and whatever mandatory image correction it requires (e.g., many cameras and lenses rely on software correction driven by camera- or lens-supplied metadata, and will yield heavily distorted images if this correction is skipped).
In other words, until camera development stagnates, raw processing is a moving target by its very nature.
With that said, AFAIK, Aperture uses public OS X APIs for raw support, so potential Aperture replacements on OS X can get up-to-date raw support "for free". Given that Photos will support camera raw, this announcement gives me no reason to believe Apple won't continue to add support for new cameras in future OS X updates. Which is not to say Apple will support as many cameras as Adobe, of course — I'm pretty sure they already don't — or that support for new high-end (think $20K+ medium-format, not Nikon DSLR) camera support will decline now that no first-party professional software requires it.
I think (generally speaking, for most people) that Linear DNG using the Adobe DNG conversion method asked about is probably sufficient, if inconvenient. Most people I know who shoot RAW do it for the high-bit-precision dynamic range and white balance adjustment capability, both of which Linear DNG preserves.
But there are very valid reasons not to want to settle for partial-baked DNGs. Personally I was converting my CR2s to DNGs at Lightroom import for a couple of years (since DNGs compress and take up much less disk space) but regretted that when Canon's DPP DLO got really useful and I was unable to easily get those DNGs back into DPP as RAW.
Now I'm a big fan of saving the actual camera RAW file as the 'digital negative' even if that means the files are bigger and the format is more likely to be 'obsolete' in the future (there will always be older versions of Adobe DNG converter and dcraw to use if that is ever a real issue for me).
Photo editing is bitmap editing, and Pixelmator is well positioned to implement the non-destructive property.
By virtue of being OSX-only, they can abstract out the trickiness of RAW conversion (something Adobe must heavily invest in by virtue of being cross-platform), and rely on Apple's very good implementations instead. (side note: Apple is sometimes faster to implement RAW demosaicing support than Adobe itself).
This simplifies the problem to purely that of bitmap editing. It's important to note that unlike Lightroom, Pixelmator is already hardware accelerated from top to bottom, this allows real-time rendering of the entire edit stack on top of the unaltered original data, potentially giving us much more responsive feedback as users (sliding a slider and having it respond with much less lag than Lightroom, for example).
- Feature/Adjustments parity with Aperture
- Migration of 100% edits/metadata from Aperture/iPhoto
- Photos Extensions on Mac
The third will be really exciting. It's already going to be awesome to have VSCOcam connected to the Photos library without having to create duplicate images; this on Mac will be terrific as well.
I am looking forward to moving off Lightroom! Seems very far out for Apple though.
(can't tell if you're sarcastic, thought maybe not)
I do think/hope it will be different. I feel like there are more signs pointing to "Photos" app as being superior to Aperture/iPhoto (which, yes, are totally the same thing really now) and Lightroom.
I've recently seen a few articles about startups/business ideas in the mobile/consumer photo space pointing at the problem of users not having enough storage space for photos. I guess? My perception and personal experience has been that users don't have enough ability to sort/filter the photos they already take. Digital/phone photography has allowed users to be voracious photographers...without a corresponding increase in being able to handle the information overload...it's already hard enough to pick the best photo among 5 - 10 takes, but a cognitive-chore to search through a flat-folder collection of thousands of photos with nothing more than a vague recollection of the photo's date...a wedding photographer once told me that by far, the best marketing tool he has is to produce a physical album of 50-100 photos, rather than just a PhotoDVD of thousands of photos. Theoretically, that DVD can be reproduced and sent around, and many more photos included for the client's enjoyment...but realistically, clients (and their relatives) don't find browsing through photo volumes on their OS default viewer to be engaging. Brevity in editing is important, but also, visitors to a client's living room can directly see and touch the physical photo album (and see who produced it), and that in itself is an effective marketing tool.
I guess this is a long way of saying that whatever the state of Aperture was, I hope Apple makes some innovations in photo sorting/filtering, rather than just trying to provide tools to beautify photos. I'd argue that Instagram's killer feature is how it limits the user's ability to hoard photos...once you take a photo, you are pushed into publishing it...the photo filter is a way to make you feel less self-conscious about it. After taking 100 photos with Instagram, you have 100 photos to show off in a nice web album. If you take 100 photos with just your standard phone camera app, you have 100 photos waiting to be uploaded/downloaded to iCloud into a standard file system.
I think that's fair. Presumably facial and other pattern recognition, together with the increasing prevalence of geo-encoding, will improve this to a certain degree. But I know that I'm not nearly as good as I wish I were at entering metadata into Lightroom today--and I'm probably better than most.
The one saving grace is that I do publish a subset of photos to Flickr through the jfriedl Flickr plug-in which has, as sort of a side effect, the characteristic of creating a sort of album of my better photos.
Having the security and knowledge that 500GB of your precious photos are stored off-site multi-redundancy, blah blah, vs your own hard drives definitely seems worth it to me.
I mean, one flood and kiss 500GB of photos gone. That would be a very sad thing indeed.
Agree entirely. T'was an idiot company I worked for at the time that stored their backups in the basement of the World Trade Centre. Yes that worked out well...
I think photos will be even simpler than iPhoto. Or maybe simpler in many ways, more features in others. Hopefully it will be nice and lightweight. OS X needs that. Both iPhoto and Aperture were sluggish and their whole interface was just so heavy handed and complex.
If you compare iMovie and iPhoto '09 to the latest ones it's a downgrade from every angle. Even GarageBand lost features, you could use plugins before.
I'm afraid they will "transition" users to Photos in the sense they will let you import your Aperture library, and that's it. The app will have 50% of the editing features, because that's what happens everytime a company promises a new version written from the ground-up.
When you're doing a ground-up rewrite, it makes sense to get the basics working first.
And you do that in alpha phases. You don't replace working software with inferior, incomplete software.
At least, that's what is supposed to happen. I have no idea why people think it's reasonable to downgrade users to a new version that has fewer features and expect the users to use the new, inferior version while waiting for the equivalent features to be restored. I would say that it's greed, the desire to sell new software at lower development costs for more profit, but since the FOSS community has been one of the worst offenders in this regard (KDE 4, GNOME 3), I guess it's not that simple. Maybe some other factors are laziness, irresponsibility, and lack of pride in craftsmanship.
It is odd, though, in that releasing a gimped product to be improved later seems counter to Apple's whole design ethos. (The "back of a dresser" parable of Steve's comes to mind).
Just to clarify, this is not the case: you can still use Audio Units as always.
I'm kinda bummed, I have been a pretty happy Aperture user for a while even though I know most people use Lightroom. Not exactly sure what I'm going to do now.
Now I will try Darktable on OSX.
Thankfully, I resisted the urge.
Hopefully the implementation is fairly seamless.
Capture One Pro
Various ACDSee apps
Paint Shop Pro
The more time I spend on web sites with voting, the more I think upvoting should be the only option.