Apple Aperture 3 Brings a Little Bit of iPhoto to Pro Photos With Faces and Places

It's been a long time coming, but Apple's latest pro photo software, Aperture 3, is here. Apple's claiming over 200 new features, pulling in iPhoto stalwarts like Faces and Places, and new slideshows with HD video.

Faces and Places work just like iPhoto, using face detection and tagging, so you can organize photos by people or by where you took them, though now it uses thumbnails of photos that you can actually drag-and-drop photos onto a map. It's the same Faces engine, but you can restrict face recognition to particular projects, instead of having it scour your whole library. With Places, it works with GPS trackers in a pretty neat way: When you import your tracklog, all you have to do is tell it where the first photo was taken, and then using timestamps, it'll automatically plot the rest.

Also like iPhoto, you can now upload directly to Facebook and Flickr. Since they're heavily targeting the hardcore iPhoto user who now wields a DSLR, not only have they streamlined the interface to make it a more natural transition, when you import your iPhoto library, it preserves all of your image adjustments, events, places and faces.

Brushes brings non-destructive painting effects to Aperture, with 15 Quick Brushes for effects like dodge and burn. You can actually apply or remove any adjustment—like contrast or saturation or curves—using brushes. With its new edge detection tech, you can, for example, boost contrast over the whole image, and then use the brush + edge detection to cleanly wipe the effect off of the sky. Adjustment presets are radically improved too—you can save combos of adjustments, like boosted sharpness and saturation with a cooler white balance, and they can be imported and exported.

One of the new things for pros is that they've rewritten the way the database works, so you can now sync and merge libraries. Which means you can take a self-contained library out on the road, do a bunch of imaging work, and then merge it back to your master library, and it'll sync just the changes you made while you were out.

Perhaps the most interesting bit from the creator standpoint are slideshows that integrate photos, audio, text and HD video that can be exported to iTunes and work with the iPhone and iPod touch, though we'll have to see how powerful it really is.

Apple doesn't mention it, but the thing I'm really hoping they added a lot of? Speed. Speed. Speed. Speed. Especially after using Adobe's Lightroom 3 Beta. Since Aperture 3's fully 64-bit on Snow Leopard, I'm pretty hopeful, actually. The bad news is that's restricted to Intel Macs only, it looks like. It's available today for $200 for the full version, or $100 to upgrade, with a 30-day free trial here.

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Apple Releases Aperture 3

New Features Include Faces, Places & Brushes

CUPERTINO, Calif., Feb. 9 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Apple® today introduced Aperture™ 3, the next major release of its powerful photo editing and management software, with over 200 new features including Faces, Places and Brushes. Building on the innovative Faces and Places features introduced in iPhoto® '09, Aperture 3 makes it even easier and faster to organize large photo libraries. Aperture 3 introduces new tools to refine your photos including Brushes for painting image adjustments onto parts of your photo, and Adjustment Presets for applying professional photo effects with just one click. Stunning new slideshows let you share your work by weaving together photos, audio, text and HD video.

"Millions of people love using iPhoto to organize, edit and share their digital photos," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "Aperture 3 is designed for both professionals who edit and manage massive libraries of photos and iPhoto users who want to take their photos further with easy-to-use tools such as Brushes and Adjustment Presets."

"Aperture 3 gets it right," said National Geographic photographer, Jim Richardson. "The image editing tools are exactly what I have been asking for, they're so easy to use and give me a level of control that I never even thought possible."

"I chose Aperture because it was the most powerful archiving application around, but it's now an unbelievable imaging tool as well," said Bill Frakes, Sports Illustrated staff photographer. "I am beyond impressed with the massive changes made in Aperture 3."

Aperture 3 allows you to organize large photo libraries with even more flexibility using Projects and the new Faces and Places. Faces uses face detection and recognition to find and organize your photos by the people in them. You can view faces across your entire photo library or view just the faces that appear in selected projects. In a new view that speeds up the organization process, Aperture 3 displays faces that have been detected but haven't yet been named. Places lets you explore your photos based on where they were taken, and like in iPhoto, Places automatically reverse geocodes GPS data into user-friendly locations. In Aperture 3, you can assign locations by dragging-and-dropping photos onto a map or by using location information from GPS enabled cameras, tracking devices or your iPhone® photos.

The new Brushes feature allows you to add professional touches to your photos by simply painting effects onto the image. Aperture 3 includes 15 Quick Brushes that perform the most popular tasks like Dodge, Burn, Polarize and Blur, without the complexity of layers or masks. Brushes can automatically detect edges in your images to let you apply or remove effects exactly where you want them. Aperture 3 includes dozens of Adjustment Presets that apply a specific style or look to the entire image with just a click. You can create your own custom presets or explore the techniques of other photographers by importing theirs.

Aperture 3 makes it easy to share your work with stunning slideshows that weave together photos, audio, text and HD video. You can select one of six Apple designed themes or choose your own transitions, background, borders and titles, and even add your own soundtrack. You can export your slideshows directly to iTunes® to take with you on your iPhone or iPod touch®. You can also share photographs as beautiful prints, create custom-designed hardcover books and publish to online photo sharing sites like Facebook and Flickr, right from Aperture 3.

Pricing & Availability

Aperture 3 is available through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $199 (US) and existing Aperture users can upgrade for a suggested retail price of $99 (US). A downloadable 30-day trial version is available at www.apple.com/aperture/trial. Aperture 3 runs as a 64-bit application on Mac OS® X Snow Leopard® on Macs with Intel Core 2 Duo processors. Full system requirements, online tutorials and more information on Aperture 3 can be found at www.apple.com/aperture.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and has entered the mobile phone market with its revolutionary iPhone.

© 2010 Apple Inc. All rights reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, Mac, Mac OS, Macintosh, Aperture, iPhoto, iPhone, iTunes, iPod touch, Apple Store and Snow Leopard are trademarks of Apple. Other company and product names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

[Aperture]