Apple Announces High-end Photo Software

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*October 20, 2005 - *Apple Computer, Inc. has announced Aperture, photographic workflow software for Macintosh OS X. Apple notes that the program reads RAW file formats natively, and with "blazing speed." Aperture can show high-resolution previews of RAW files, and inspect portions of images at 100 percent with a "loupe tool," without converting them. Aperture also shows EXIF and metadata natively.

The program allows the range of controls common in good RAW converters, allowing adjustments of white balance, saturation, color, "exposure" and so on, and adds organization and sorting tools, including one based on a light table metaphor, which allows users to create "stacks" of images, just as film photographers do with slides on a real light table. Its metadata system includes categories tailored to photojournalists, stock shooters and wedding photographers.

The program can also be used to create online print orders, print images and contact sheets to local output devices, and create books and online albums.

Based on Apple's presentation, Aperture is not a direct competitor with Adobe Photoshop. Aperture does not appear to provide tools for image compositing – though it can read Photoshop.PSD files, it doesn't handle their layers. Apple's materials tout "seamless integration" with Photoshop.

Go to http://www.apple.com/aperture/ to view Apple's Aperture tour.

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