PDN, Apple work on Aperture improvements|
(Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 10:26 EST)
The Photo District News Online website, perhaps better known as "PDN Online", published a news article that caught our attention yesterday.
PDN was one of a number of sites to review Apple's Aperture, a product which has been greeted with both applause and some criticism of RAW image conversion quality. Both Apple and PDN suggest that some of this hails from a misunderstanding, with users comparing non-adjusted Aperture images to auto-adjusted images from Adobe's Camera Raw. Regardless, though, Apple has taken what should be a major step towards ensuring that its image quality is up to scratch.
PDN and Apple are soliciting examples of images that Aperture users feel are not converted as well in Apple's software as in competing programs, to allow Apple the opportunity to analyse and improve its performance. Users are requested to upload their unmodified RAW image, along with 16-bit TIFF versions from both Aperture and the RAW decoder of their choice, using the default settings (and with Auto adjustments turned off). Apple states that the images will be used only for testing and evaluation, and that they will not be "distributed to the public, used in any marketing capacity whatsoever, or included in public demos."
Apple is also soliciting notes or commentary from users as to Aperture's conversion of the images, such as what strengths or weaknesses they've found, and which specific areas of the images they'd like the company to examine. On top of this, Apple also requests information on the camera, computer and software used to create the converted images that users provide them with.
This really sounds like a great opportunity for Apple Aperture users to help ensure the product offers the best possible RAW conversion. If you've got an image whose RAW conversion you haven't been satisfied with in Aperture (and you've double-checked you're not using any Auto adjustments in your other converters), we highly recommend visiting Photo District News and following their suggestions for how to provide the requested information to Apple.