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Wow. I want to be a professional photographer. Just so that I have an excuse to get Apple's new Aperture software (AU$699). And of course, a new Power Mac G5 Quad to run it: our new 20" iMac only just meets the minimum specs and certainly not the recommended specs. Oh, and a high-end digital SLR. So, it's really overkill for anything I'd want to do, but I do still like the sound of some of the features:

- Work with RAW images directly.
- Non-destructive image manipulation: create versions without changing the original file.
- Very flexible project management: organise into projects, albums, folders and smart folders, and create full backups on external drives.
- Good EXIF and IPTC support.

*drool* Anyway, must get on with setting up BreezeBrowser on the new machine. :-)

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... I could be very wrong, but I could swear Photoshop CS2 works with RAW and does file versions. Maybe not.

I can do RAW shots on my camera but have never had a go - I should so so, and then run some test prints up in A4 to see how the quality goes.

Interesting thing about Aperture

By the way, there’s no Save command in Aperture. As you make changes, those changes are recorded in a SQL database. (http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/editors/2005/10/aperture/index.php?lsrc=mwrss)

The idea of no "Save" command is a pretty revolutionary concept, but it shows just how much Apple is thinking out of the box. Non-destructive image manipulation is made possible through the use of CoreImage, and Aperture remembers any changes you make to the original RAW image as a series of mathematical manipulations. Thus, the need to save is completely eliminated.

Contrast this to how Photoshop relies on layers and forces users to save files and copies of files and then expect users to somehow keep track of those multiple files. A RAW image that has been tweaked heavily in Aperture will probably be barely only slightly bigger than the original file because Aperture says, "Hmmm, take the 10 MB RAW image, apply this contrast algorithm, resize to 80% of original" - somthing only made practical because CoreImage processes those calculations in real time on the graphics card. It's the photographic equivalent of displaying a scene in Doom 3, except with a rewind button instead of save.

Contrast this with Photoshop. That 10 MB RAW image in Photoshop with a dozen layers will easily balloon to 150 MB because of Photoshop's old school approach to image manipulation.

Sure, Aperture is not a pixel editor, but I think this opens up a whole new way of thinking of how to handle data files. WinFS, an SQL-based filesystem for Windows had a similar idea, but proved too daunting as a general solution. It appears Apple basically took that idea of a universal database-driven filesystem and actually made it work with RAW image data in Aperture.

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