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aperture_box.jpg Apple Introduces Aperture
By Mike Pasini, The Imaging Resource
(Wednesday, October 19, 2005 - 20:18 EDT)

Apple dips into the world of Raw image editing with a new software product engineered to make working with Raw as simple as working with JPEG images.

Apple's $499 Aperture "post production tool" for professional photographers offers an alternative Raw workflow the focuses on tools to compare and select images, edit them non-destructively and color manage them.

Aperture incorporates Image Capture's functionality, allowing you to select images on your camera's flash card before transferring them to your hard disk.

File Management

Using Tiger's Core Image library, it can quickly display and resize images on its virtual light table, so you can simply drag and drop images you want to compare onto the light table, resize them by dragging a handle and reposition them simply by dragging them. And with the loupe, you can scroll over any part of the image for an instant enlargement to inspect detail. In effect, photographers can do on the screen (or two) what they've always done in the studio.

The Virtual Light Table and Loupe

Aperture's Raw image editing palette resembles iPhoto's widget. Exif data for any image is easily accessible. You can compare your edits to the original side by side as you work. And, as with any Raw workflow, the original Raw file is not edited but preserved untouched. But Aperture allows you to simultaneously create and work with several versions of that original image.

Image Editing

Minimum system requirements are 1-GB RAM, a 1.25 GHz G4 processor and Mac OS 10.4 Tiger. Quite a few cameras are supported with optimized support for the Raw formats most dSLRs. Apple expects to ship Aperture in 6-8 weeks.

For details, see the unedited press release below.

Original Source Press Release:

Apple Introduces Aperture

First All-in-One Post Production Tool for Photographers

CUPERTINO, California --October 19, 2005 -- Apple today introduced Aperture, the first all-in-one post production tool that provides everything photographers need after the shoot. Aperture offers an advanced and incredibly fast RAW workflow that makes working with a camera's RAW images as easy as JPEG. Built from the ground up for pros, Aperture features powerful compare and select tools, nondestructive image processing, color managed printing and custom web and book publishing.

"Aperture is to professional photography what Final Cut Pro is to filmmaking," said Rob Schoeben, Apple's vice president of Applications Marketing. "Finally, an innovative post production tool that revolutionizes the pro photo workflow from compare and select to retouching to output."

"Until now, RAW files have taken so long to work with," said Heinz Kluetmeier, renowned sports photographer whose credits include over 100 Sports Illustrated covers. "What amazed me about Aperture is that you can work directly with RAW files, you can loupe and stack them and it's almost instantaneous -- I suspect that I'm going to stop shooting JPEGs. Aperture just blew me away."

Unique compare and select tools in Aperture allow photographers to easily sift through massive photo projects and quickly identify their final selections. Aperture is the first application that automatically groups sequences of photos into easy-to-manage Stacks based on the time interval between exposures. In an industry first, Aperture allows photographers to navigate through entire projects in a full-screen workspace that can be extended to span multiple displays, tiling multiple images side-by-side for a faster, easier compare and select. With Aperture's Loupe magnifying tool, portions of images can be examined in fine detail without having to zoom and pan across large files. In addition, a virtual Light Table provides the ideal canvas for building simple photo layouts, allowing them to be arranged, resized and piled together in a free-form space.

RAW images are maintained natively throughout Aperture without any intermediate conversion process, and can be retouched with stunning results using a suite of adjustment tools designed especially for photographers. Aperture's nondestructive image processing engine never alters a single pixel of original photos so photographers have the power and flexibility to modify or delete changes at any point in the workflow. As Aperture allows users to create multiple versions of a single image without duplicating files, photographers can experiment without risk of overwriting the master image or using up large amounts of hard drive space. Aperture images can also be launched directly into Adobe Photoshop for compositing and layer effects.

Aperture features a complete color-managed pipeline with support for device specific ColorSync profiles and a set of high-quality output tools for photographers to showcase their work. Print options include customizable contact sheets, high-quality local printing and color-managed online prints. Aperture provides a deceptively simple layout environment where photographers can quickly create and order custom professional-caliber books and publish stunning web galleries. Aperture makes it easy to back up an entire library of images with a single click and streamline complex workflows with AppleScript and Automator actions.

Pricing & Availability

Aperture will be available in November through the Apple Store (www.apple.com), Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $499 (US). Full system requirements and more information on Aperture can be found at www.apple.com/aperture

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