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Author Topic: Aperture and LR -- DNG q's and running both  (Read 7061 times)
frankgindc
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« on: March 03, 2008, 10:01:27 AM »

I've awaiting delivery of a new MacBook Pro and, although I've been using LR (and iView), I plan to at least test Aperture 2.0 for the free thirty day trial and see how it compares to LR.   That said, I'm looking for tips on the best way to run the two programs side by side on the same referenced library....at least for a couple of months.   I want to give them both a test run on my full library -- which is only about 40GB of images.

Anyway, this might be an obvious case where going to DNG format would make sense, b/c both Aperture and LR would be able to read and understand their adjustments even if the files get moved.    Or it might make sense to keep them in RAW and use xmp files.

So, I welcome any tips or cautions folks might have.   And I have a couple of specific questions:

1.  I know that Aperture now "supports DNG" but is that the same as the full DNG support that is discussed in the Dam Book? -- I'm wondering only because Aperture's literature seems to be concerned mostly with using DNG for non supported raw files. 

2.  Would both LR and A2 be able to read and write to the xmp files associated with an image?

3.  Is there anyway to telll from looking at a DNG file (metadata or other) which programs have embedded editing instructions into it -- or must you check it by calling up the DNG file in the particular program?   For example, could you call up a DNG file in iView/EM and see an indication of whether the file contained editing instructions for both LR and Aperture or just one or the other?   Seems like it would be great if the DNG carried a tag or generated an automatic keyword that could be read by other programs and would say whether the program had editing instructions embedded in it for program x and program y or not.

Also, re: DNG more generally, once a DNG is created would two RAW converters that read the DNG/RAW data now be essentially working with the same data and similar interpretations of it, so that the conversions would tend to be more alike than if the two programs were accessing the camera RAW data directly?   I hope this makes sense, but I guess I'm seeing the DNG as a standarized translation of the RAW, so that any secondary conversions from it would be starting from a much more similar base and, hence, there might be less variation between programs.  I guess the analogy would be converting a text from Farsi into French and from there translating the French into English and Spanish.  I would think that the two English and Spanish translations would be closer than if you translated them directly from the Farsi into English and Spanish.   Or my understanding of how this works could be completely off base.....

Anyhoo, any advice or insights would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
Frank
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2008, 03:26:06 PM »

Frank,
I'll be testing this out soon. In general, I'd say that you will be on the bleeding edge f you try and use these programs in conjunction. It will likely take a fair amount of testing to figure out what works and what does not.
Perter
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frankgindc
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« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2008, 10:52:06 AM »

Peter,
Well, as I like to say "If I ain't bleedin' on it, it ain't an edge."   But, since I'm still waiting on my MPB (shippled from Shanghai this morning) I'll need to torture myself by contemplathing this type of thing for the next two days.

Meantime, I hear what you're saying.   I'm not looking to run them side by side long term -- or to keep metadata totally synced, but I feel that I'll need to put the full library into each to really test them out.  If nothing else, I'm doing a multi-day shoot next week (music conference) where I'm going to do the ole baptism by fire with Aperture.   And will probably experiment with DNG a bit as well.

Frank

p.s.  Is there anyway to tell from looking at a DNG, what metadate it contains and what converter instructions might reside within?

p.p.s. BTW, Aperture just released a 2.0.1 maintenance update yesterday...good to see that happen so soon.
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peterkrogh
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« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2008, 12:25:52 PM »

Frank,
There's nothing out there that I'm aware of that will read all XMP that might be inside a DNG (apart from Bridge, which will show all the XMP metadata in a file, if you go to the Advanced Metadata panel).

 That would be useful, wouldn't it?  Im betting that Hert makes the first piece of software that will do this in some kind of reasonably accessible way.

There are a lot of pieces scattered over the floor, just waiting for someone to pick up and make use of.  A lot of this gets even more interesting with the next version of the DNG spec, which is much more friendly to non-Adobe software, and includes tools that assume that DNGs will be touched by multiple applications over time.

Peter
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2008, 12:28:05 PM »

Frank

I've had Aperture 2 since day 1 and have put lots of DNGs through it - mostly from cameras it supports but some from those Apple fails to support. Ap2 now reads metadata that is embedded in a DNG, but it still won't write it back to the original, while Lightroom will both read and write metadata to your original DNGs. For raw files, Ap2 is the same as 1.5 as it fails to read xmp sidecars, but will (Export > Masters) create them to accompany a *copy* of the raw file or *copy* of the DNG - ie it won't write sidecars back to your originals. All Aperture adjustments are stored in the database, while Lightroom adds them to the metadata too. So overall Ap2 is only marginally better than 1.5 in its handling of DNG metadata, and you can't do roundtrip read/write metadata to DNGs because of these shortfalls in Aperture 2. In general, it's still easier to abandon Aperture and take your metadata with you, but it's marginally easier for DNG users to get their metadata in, and as awkward to get it out. unless you appreciate all this detail, side by side use is impractical.

A second big issue is that you cannot reliably verify the contents of your physical folders. Unlike iView of Lightroom, you do not see your Finder folders in Aperture. Instead files go into "projects" or virtual sets which abstract or hide (choose your spin) the real folder locations. Now, it is *possible* to import a folder tree and, at that moment, you will see your folder structure reflected in the import project's subfolders. However, if you then move those files in Finder, Aperture will still know where the files are, but they still show up in the project subfolders that were created upon import. Equally, if in Aperture you move files to another project, your Finder folders don't update. I'm a little surprised that they didn't copy Lightroom here, but I guess they think the more you believe in Apple the less worried you'll be....

Another thing I thought they would fix is Lift and Stamp. If you want to make similar adjustments to a number of files, you have to adjust one, then lift those adjustments and stamp them to the other selected image. You have the same silly two step in Lightroom, in the Sync button, but those extra steps add up to a lot of time. It's light years faster using Lightroom in Auto Sync mode where adjustments automatically apply to all the images you've selected. Too many people waste their effort on pixel peeping individual images and pronouncing on one's "superior" conversion quality - but with this class of product, you've also got to think about getting multiple pictures into the zone, ready for print / web etc. Auto Sync means you can finish more pictures to your final quality standards in a significantly shorter time.

Oh, call it a maintenance update and it's good. Shush - we don't do bug fixes...

John
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braver
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2008, 03:33:43 AM »

John -- an extremely impressive comparison.  Please add any new findings to this thread as I'm now shooting the URL to anyone who asks about Aperture vs. Lightroom!

Also -- with the LR 2 beta out, how does *that* fit in this comparison?

Cheers,
Alexy
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johnbeardy
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2008, 04:25:35 AM »

Well, I wanted to highlight key differences in DAM and efficiency of working, so I would only add local adjustments. They are now included in both programs but in Lightroom they are included as adjustment metadata that works in a non-destructive mode and is backed up as xmp, while in Aperture they are exported tif files which can be adjusted by an external program that's called a plug in to make it sound more like part of Aperture itself. One assumes local adjustments are going to be part of our normal workflow, the other that it's the exception. One's ambitious and true to the underlying concept of such programs - the other's a stop gap which, depending on one's bias, you can characterize as letting a thousand flowers bloom or as abandoning the fort.

Two other url's are worth noting - see my reaction to Ian Wood's comparison, which I feel has more omissions than a piece of good Emmenthal - and I didn't even mention LR's superb Adjustment Painter ("targeted adjustment tool" sounds too much like a Pentagon euphemism).

John
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Ian Wood
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« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2008, 05:14:12 AM »

Two other url's are worth noting - see my reaction to Ian Wood's comparison, which I feel has more omissions than a piece of good Emmenthal

It would have been nice if you'd actually told me about your reaction article, or at least posted a link in the comments to the original post...

Ian
« Last Edit: May 26, 2008, 05:26:21 AM by Ian Wood » Logged
johnbeardy
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« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2008, 05:27:45 AM »

Well, I don't think so - it would only appear to some as a way to divert traffic to my own Pravda. I comment equally directly on my blog on many other posts.

John
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Ian Wood
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« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2008, 05:40:19 AM »

it would only appear to some as a way to divert traffic to my own Pravda

Fair enough...

Ian
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