updated 09:40 am EST, Mon February 27, 2006
Apple shows Aperture 1.1
Apple this week at the PMA trade show in Orlando unveiled a significant update to Aperture, its professional photo editing program. Aperture 1.1 is due in March with may user-requested features--including native Intel support--and will be free to version 1.0 users, according to pdnonline. Aperture 1.1 will include updates RAW image processing, new RAW tools, signficant speed improvements RGB display, and improved support for Photoshop files. The update will be made available when Apple updates its suite of Pro applications, according to the report. "Changes to this version revolve first around the issue of raw processing.... Apple was able to massively enhance their raw processing engine, providing a level of raw quality they feel is equal to or superior to other systems. While they acknowledge that some users might prefer the default conversion of other systems, they've gone out of their way to bring new power to raw processing."
The report says that Aperture 1.1 provides new algorithms for basic raw processing and also adds several new raw tools: Boost adjusts the contrast curve of an image, while a new sharpening tool affects just the raw processing and is independent from overall sharpening tools. Apple also added Chromatic Blur, which softens the chromatic aberrations often found in raw images and added tools for Auto Noise Compression to help compensate for sensor noise.
"This last feature is most impressive, as it looks at not only the profile of the camera being used, but looks at the camera settings. An image that has been shot at ISO 1600 for 2 seconds would get more noise reduction than a shorter exposure time image or lower ISO shot," according to pdnonline.
Apple will provide tools to selectively update older images with the new RAW processing or allow users to leave older images untouched. Aperture 1.1 will will also offer improved support for Photoshop files, allowing users to import and export layered Photoshop PSD files--although the application flattens all images after applying any effects. Version 1.1 also brings DPI controls for image export, allowing photographers to create export presets for any image size and resolution.
pdnonline also reports that Apple has included a new tethered workflow solution for both Canon and Nikon cameras, allowing users to seamless import and process files from a connected camera. "In our demos, Apple staff attached a 1Ds Mark II to a Quad G5, opened Canon's pro software, and then ran an applet to tell Aperture what folder was set to receive the tethered files. From then on, images captured with the camera were auto-imported to the program. The company says that it's working on even greater tethered support in future versions."