dslreports logo
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery


how-to block ads

Search Topic:
share rss forum feed


Bedford, OH

Aperture 3 vs. Photoshop Elements 9

I am starting this thread to avoid threadjacking the 10.6.6/App store thread.

Aperture 3 is cheap at the new App Store, $79 instead of the usual $199. I have been considering upgrading from PhotoShop Elements 6, which I typically use for mild photo editing. The current Elements 9 is $79 after a $20 mail-in rebate.

So my question is this: Which would you use if you were a rank amateur at photo retouching skills, like I am? I understand that Aperture 3 is more of a workflow tool and has better organizing tools for pictures, but what made it worth $199 rather than using Photoshop Elements? Elements seems to leave more room for growth as I improve in editing pictures.

All I can tell you is that the photo retouching tools in iPhoto are not enough for what I want.


And before you ask, the App Store has a lot of potential. I'm surprised it took this long for Apple to do something like it.

Buckingham Pa
Buckingham, PA
·Verizon FiOS
I've chosen to stay with Photoshop Elements for my new iMac simply because I am familiar with it and will likely upgrade to the full Photoshop in the future. I don't use the organizational tools, but I have my "routine" for processing photos and see no reason to change it now. I was hoping that iPhoto would satisfy basic needs, but while it does a nice job within its capabilities, it falls far short of even my basic photo editing and retouching requirements.

Berkeley, CA

2 recommendations

reply to neuronbob
Aperture competes with Lightroom, not with Photoshop or Photoshop elements. Aperture and Lightroom are designed to make whole-photo edits to many photographs at a time, whereas photoshop is designed to make small-area edits to one, or a few photos at a time.

A professional photographer who may need to organize several thousand photographs, or make some corrections to a single photograph then apply those corrections to an entire series of images needs a workflow management tool like Aperture.

My workflow is Aperture to quickly view a bunch of photos are correct for white balance, lens vignetting, and lens distortion. I then identify the best candidates and do a few more corrections on them in Aperture, before moving to photoshop to do retouching.

put simply: Aperture is NOT an image editing tool.
Currently using Ubuntu 10.10, Windows 7 and OS X 10.6. To each his own.


Ada, MI
reply to neuronbob
As a rank amateur like yourself, I shoot Nikon and use Capture NX 2 for fixing RAW files then import them into Aperture 3 for organization and other minor details. I find that while I do own a previous version of Elements, I very rarely found a reason why I needed it. As a result, I do not even have it loaded on my Mac anymore and obviously did not upgrade it to the current version. Capture NX 2 and Aperture serve me well enough.

If I did not shoot Nikon, I would probably find that Aperture 3 is more than enough. There are those who would disagree but remember we are rank amateurs and can upgrade as our skills and needs progress.

YMMV but if you can get the results you like and want, then it will work for you!


I agree. I have both Aperture 3 and PSE 9 and use Aperture a lot. If I need to do tricks like add another person to a picture or get the best facial expression from several shots into one shot, then you need one of the photoshop products. But for enhancing a photo, contrast, color, highlights, sharpening, cropping etc, etc, I use Aperture.