Apple Aperture 3.0 Awesomeness

I’m usually a flag waver for artistic vision rather than gear or the tools of our craft, but this calls for an exception: just minutes ago Apple announced the much anticipated Aperture 3.0. And it’s the bomb. I’m lucky enough to have been using it for several months now.

There’s few things I think photographers will want to know about this new release. First, and most importantly, driving this software feels like you’re driving a German sports car. Aperture 3.0 has the power and grace that we’ve come to expect from Apple. Second, it’s got new features for days…

My favorites off the top of my head:

_Brushable, scalable, adjustments. Yep. They nailed it. Full selective controls on every adjustment you want.

_Video. Apple nailed this too. Aperture 3.0 has full multi-media capabilities. That’s right. Finally something that handles all those video files from your HD dSLR. Import, rate, scrub video, trim your clips. Add audio. Make a full-on MOVIE within Aperture or export to Final Cut Pro. Insanely cool. (Update: FYI it supports Nikon D300s files, D3 files, Canon 7d and 5d files, you name it, and a range of audio files from all manufactures as well.)

_Adjustment presets on import. Also seriously cool. Fast. Shoot tethered in your studio and want the photos to look sexy before the model or art director can see the RAW file? No problem. This kicks ass.

_Customizable. I’m a whiner when I can’t configure my software the way I want it. No worries, here. Fully customizable.

_Best little hidden nugget you wouldn’t know?
The skin smoothing feature is absolutely unbelievable. When we need to smooth the skin of a model, it’s usually quite a process. Now it’s so damn easy, I’ll probably even smooth my skin up before I send pictures to my mom.

For the full kahuna, check out Apple’s Aperture page here. Since I’ve been using this software for a while, I’ve got a cameo video at Apple.com that features my Songs For Eating and Drinking series. Check it out if you’ve got time today. And of course, holler at me with questions or comments. I had a blast playing with this stuff, and I’m not shy on opinions.

Aperture is available today for $200 for the full version, or $100 to upgrade, with a 30-day free trial here.

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