Adobe Lightroom or Apple Aperture?

Adobe Lightroom vs. Aperture Lightroom

If you are regular reader here, you may have picked up on the fact that I use Adobe Lightroom almost exclusively as an editor for RAW images.  I’m curious as to how Photography Bay’s readers break down between the two big third-party RAW editing apps – Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture.

Hit the poll below and let us know which you use.

Do you use Lightroom or Aperture?

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Why did you choose the image editor you’re using over the other?  Likewise, if you are using something other than Lightroom or Aperture, what are you using and why?



  1. says

    I chose Aperture before Lightroom existed. Nothing in Lightroom seemed compelling enough to cause a switch. In fact, switching would be a major exercise with thousands of photos, I’d lose edits that are stored in Aperture, and making that change just doesn’t yield sufficient benefits for the work involved.

    Besides, I actually like Aperture better.

  2. says

    I use both. Both are good but there are some differences which make me go both way eg. Though both have spot removal tool lightrooms does a better job At that. But the same tool does a better job of removing stray hair in aperture.

  3. forkboy1965 says

    I went through the process of decision-making about 2-years ago: Lightroom vs. Aperture. I think it was tough call.

    Each seemed to bring something to the table and neither had any glaring faults (at least I didn’t think so).

    In the end my decision was predicated upon two ideas: (1) if in the future I moved back to Windows from my then fairly recent move to Apple I’d be hosed with Aperture, and (2) in the long term I strongly believe Adobe will remain deeply committed to photography software like Lightroom, while I do not feel as strongly regarding Apple’s commitment.

  4. says

    I too use both. For me, LR is a better image editor, Ap is a better DAM. I tend to default to Ap3 over LR3 as I use these more for library management and roundtrip to PS for actual editing, and for me, Ap3 does a better, and more intuitive job at managing my library. I’ve just boiled it down to the way my brain works though as I know many fellow photogs that feel exactly the opposite. I’m just glad we have a choice as the competition breeds innovation. Without either of these (the main two) I feel either would be less than they are and will continue to be.

  5. Matthew Rigdon says

    Before Aperture 3 arrived (literally out of nowhere), I was considering the jump to Lightroom. I wasn’t happy about it. Lightroom drives me nuts. Adobe’s contextual interface is annoying. Even though I’m ranking photos, I’d like to be able to make adjustments without clicking on a mode at the top of the screen. Apple’s interface just works better for me. Everything is available all the time.

    I don’t like Apple’s secrecy and Adobe’s constant public announcements about Lightroom 3 almost swayed me, but when Aperture 3 showed up ( and with video support, something that’s become more important), I figured I could trust Apple to keep pushing forward. They may not tell you what they’re doing, but Apple does work on product.

  6. Sante Castignani says

    I was a very early user of Rawshooter, wich became the engine of Lightroom. As registered user, i got a free copy of LR1 when Adobe launched it, and always been happy till 3.5.
    I use both Win and Mac, but I don’t guess I could ever change :)

  7. says

    I’ve used both, now I exclusively use LR.
    The lack of dependable functionality in Aperture is very frustrating.
    I have an iMac that’s less than a year old with 8 gigs of RAM and an enhanced graphics card, still in full screen mode and zoomed, image processing ranges from sluggish to frozen.
    Perhaps this has something to do with using Aperture to manage images rather than just reference them, but I just don’t have the patience for Aperture’s reluctance to keep working smoothly.
    I broke up my photo library (over two terabytes) into five libraries with no improvement in functionality.
    LR which only references images works flawlessly without hesitation.

  8. says

    I was a Mac freak, so I went for Aperture but I had problems with it blocking my computer on a number of occasions. I tried Lightroom which I liked so much that I switched. It really suits my style and workflow perfectly. I also use it for basic adjustments, plus Nik software plug-ins to take things further (they are GREAT, by the way). Photoshop is the fall back when really complicated things are needed. I still am a Mac freak.

  9. Joe says

    I’ve tried LR3, PSE9, and PaintShop for editing only. With LR3, I felt like I spent all of my time clicking the mouse instead of looking at the image to see why I needed to click. the frustration was too much so I uninstalled it. PSE9 is good for editing and I could work happily with it. PaintShop was just easier to use so that’s where I am. All three applications have the same capabilities to edit images as far as I could see. LR3 and I have a personal conflict, and I could be happy with either PSE or PSP for editing. What I would consider ideal software is an edit only application with NIK plugin capabilities in place of the graphics, video and management functions.