Apple Aperture is Officially Dead

Today is another sad day, because Apple announced that it will no longer continue development of its Aperture software, which many photographers still rely on for their day to day photo management and editing. Too bad, because this basically gives Adobe monopoly with its Lightroom software. Yes, there are some other tools on the market such as ACDSee Pro, Phase One Capture One Pro and a few others, but none of them come to close to what Lightroom offers in terms of features, photo catalog management and up to date RAW file support. Aperture has not seen any major updates since October of 2013 and has not received support for the latest cameras that were announced this year, with only a small minor updates. Many of us saw this coming, but none were expecting the death of Aperture so soon.

Apple Aperture

Apparently, Apple is planning to combine Photos app and iCloud Photo Library and allow existing Aperture users to migrate their catalogs to the Photos app. Similar to Aperture, iPhoto will also be discontinued. The Photos app will allow photographers to perform searching, storing and editing of images, but the advanced RAW editing functionality and support for the most recent cameras most likely will not be there.

If you are still using Aperture to post-process your images, you might want to consider moving to another platform like Lightroom, as you will no longer receive any software updates. In fact, apparently Apple is currently working with Adobe to create a transitionary workflow to help users to move to Lightroom. Although there is a cloud version of Lightroom in Adobe’s latest offering that combines Photoshop and Lightroom for $9.99 per month, you can buy a retail box version of Lightroom for $135.89 from B&H Photo Video. If you are intimidated by the cloud offering, Adobe said that they have no plans to move Lightroom to the cloud in the future.


  1. 1) Ernesto Quintero
    June 27, 2014 at 4:58 pm


  2. 2) Paolo
    June 27, 2014 at 4:58 pm

    OH MY GOODNESS, ARE YOU SERIOUS!!! To date Aperture is all i use to edit my photo’s for my business. I have never been able to afford Photo shop, being a home business, and don’t know much about it. Is Lightroom the same as photoshop? If i get the version for $135.89 is that all i need, or is it an update?
    What should i do at this point? (i am editing a family shoot with Aperture at this very moment when your email came through!)

    • June 27, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      Paolo, the version that is provided here is a full boxed version, it is not an upgrade, so it is all you need.

      It is no rush, but I would advise to move away from Aperture to Lightroom. You might need to reimport your photos and create a new catalog in Lightroom though, as I believe there is no way to simply convert an Aperture catalog to Lightroom one.

      • 2.1.1) Phil
        June 29, 2014 at 8:49 am

        Moving away from Aperture, yes, but not necessarily now. Aperture will be fully supported on OS X 10.10 and in 2015 will be released with support for Aperture libraries. There really is no need to rush, as you say!

    • 2.2) Shane
      June 27, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      If you know anyone who is a student, you can get the student/teacher version for $79. This version is identical to the regular version (except for the cost). I used my daughter’s grade school email address to purchase mine.

      • 2.2.1) Paolo
        June 27, 2014 at 6:39 pm

        Thanks Shane. My son is in home school and likes to help me edit. I can prob. work that out for him. Can you CLONE things like you can with aperture? (in retouching)

        • Richard D
          June 27, 2014 at 6:59 pm

          Hi, Paolo.

          I have never used Aperture, but I know people who do, including a professional photographer. He says that he prefers Aperture, but he also says that Lightroom has slightly better tools. I’m not quite sure what he thinks is better in LR, but from what I gather, he prefers Aperture because of its user interface. In other words, I think he prefers Aperture possibly because that’s what he started out with and is used to. But he has told me that both are pretty much the same…..Aperture does a few things LR doesn’t, and LR does a few things Aperture does not.

          Lightroom, which I have used since it came out, does have a cloning tool. I’m not sure to what extent you clone things, but I use it a lot to remove things out of an image. These include sensor dust spots, birds and airplanes in the sky, and things like this. I still am using version 4.4 on my desktop; the latest version, v5, has a better, upgraded cloning tool, but I have only used it on my laptop and have not used it too much. Version 5 does not work with Vista, which is what I have on my desktop. It does work with Windows 7 (and 8), which is what is on my laptop.

        • Edison
          June 27, 2014 at 7:03 pm

          Lightroom is different from photoshop-more like Aperture. It has a powerful searching and organising engine, and edits using sliders, just like Aperture. While lightroom is similar to Camera Raw+Bridge, the searching is better, and you can create preset in lightroom to speed up the processing. You can also batch process your image in lightroom-just like Aperture. Photoshop gives you full control of everything like compositing and thorough manipulation. But if you think Aperture is good, Lightroom is something very similar.

          Used Aperture for a long time till I have to use photoshop–cant believe this….

    • 2.3) Pierre
      June 29, 2014 at 6:11 am


      About your question about the difference between Photoshop and Lightroom, I would say that programs like Photoshop or Pixelmator are pixel manipulation software, and Lightroom or Capture One are digital darkrooms. In other words, Photoshop is an image designing tool and Lightroom a photography workflow tool.

  3. 3) jd7000
    June 27, 2014 at 5:12 pm

    “Apple is currently working with Adobe to create a transitionary workflow”. Is this really the case? It was reported on another site as a mistake that had got posted on one of the early press releases.

    However Adobe is most definitely fully supportive of Aperture users transitioning to LR.

    I have been using Aperture since 1.0 and I am saddened that Apple has abandoned their only Pro-Photography app. and the photographers who use it.

    • 3.1) Phil
      June 29, 2014 at 8:50 am

      No this is not the case!

  4. 4) Wil Taubert
    June 27, 2014 at 5:37 pm

    As you point out Nasim, it’s been apparent for a while that Apple relegated Aperture to abandonware. The last significant upgrade, v3 was also the last to incorporate category-leading features. Seeing the writing on the wall, I migrated to Lightroom. So glad I did. Tim Cook is no Steve Jobs. That’s becoming more obvious with every product announcement.

  5. 5) Will D.
    June 27, 2014 at 7:03 pm

    This is very disappointing though not totally surprising. For the uninitiated, what are the benefits of LR via a boxed version versus the cloud (aside from the price)?

    Thanks for all the great work, Nasim!

  6. 6) sirius
    June 27, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    Aren’t we getting ahead of ourselves. What i understand by this news is that apple is killing aperture and iphoto for a unique app (photos). From the preview images that i see all over the internet of Yosemite app photos most of the functions of editing in aperture are there.
    I can see all the Exposure, brigness, noise … dials in the preview.

    tread carefully with this news.
    And this is not news directly from apple so think with care before moving your photos to another software.

    sorry the english

  7. Profile photo of Stephen 7) Stephen
    June 27, 2014 at 8:05 pm


    I’m a long time Lightroom user, but recently I downloaded a demo of Capture One Pro 7. I must say the difference was remarkable. COP is light years better as a raw processor than L’Room. Admittedly it is a steeper learning curve, and it’s naming system is quirky and proprietary, but once you get past that and begin to understand how it works, it is a joy to use. My images straight out COP were more pleasing.
    I don’t mean to turn this into a this s’ware V that s’ware thing but you mention in the article that Aperture’s death means an Adobe monopoly. I disagree with that part.

    • Profile photo of Kevin Kennedy 7.1) Kevin Kennedy
      June 28, 2014 at 8:51 am

      I totally agree- I think the RAW conversion is very poor in Lightroom and it’s flaws are easily seen when comparing images processed in Capture One Pro 7 and /or Iridient Developer and Aperture itself is also better. Who’s to say the RAW conversion in the new Apple Photo APP won’t be as good or better than Aperture ???

    • 7.2) Richard
      June 29, 2014 at 2:36 am

      Test driving Capture One 7 Pro these days here as we speak – for editing NEF files it almost surpasses Capture NX2 in some areas plus it’s got all DAM functionality people need.

      End of Aperture is not end of support of pro photographers, it’s a restart of a photographer’s workflow in 21st century….and yes, it will hurt now a bit, but in the long run watch everyone scramble to follow, as usual ;)

  8. 8) RD Walton
    June 27, 2014 at 8:29 pm

    Won’t miss ya!

  9. 9) Marsha Henderson
    June 27, 2014 at 8:45 pm

    So, iPhotos is also going away???? It is currently my default for loading photos to my computer. Sounds like I should switch to making LR the default?

    • 9.1) MartinG
      June 27, 2014 at 9:33 pm

      No. I think you will find new tools in the Apple OS for managing photos will combine and improve the filing, handling and editing of images.
      I have both Aperture and Lightroom. Both have good features and I use both. I am spending much more time in LR now because of the lack of development of Aperture. I find the interface on Aperture less cramped (tabs on one side – or a floating pallet if you prefer). It leaves more space for the image itself. Lightroom has a more cluttered and less consistent user interface. Now Aperture has gone perhaps they (Adobe) can review the interface without being accused of copying.
      If you’ve never used Aperture you probably won’t notice or care if the interface works is just very good rather than excellent. Once Adobe refines and simplifies it and creates more space for the image and previews (LR 7?) you will find it easier.

  10. Profile photo of Bish 10) Bish
    June 27, 2014 at 9:43 pm

    Aperture and my hatred for the then current version of Photoshop is what lead to my conversion from a PC to an iMac in 2008, a move I’ve never regretted until now. I bought LR 4 and was unimpressed. Photoshop is perhaps the least intuitive software ever to “make it” commercially IMHO. I do not like the idea of leasing software at all so I am at a loss. This is a revolting development. Stinks out loud!

    • Profile photo of Bish 10.1) Bish
      July 5, 2014 at 12:05 pm

      It’s official. I still hate LR. I cannot figure out how to upload photos from LR5 to my SmugMug account without using the dreaded Creative Cloud (something I refuse to do).

  11. 11) Scott
    June 27, 2014 at 10:52 pm

    Words cannot express my disgust with Apple today if this is true. I’ve tried Lightroom with each release and I HATE it with a passion. I’ve been using Aperture since it’s early days and I still believe the current version is much, much better than what is offered by Lightroom. The user interface is the primary reason I’ve stayed with it. Now I’ve got nearly 60 TB of edited Aperture libraries that have no clear path of conversion without completely re-editing. An impossible task at this point. I have no desire to migrate my libraries to a “toy” consumer program built into the OS. I’ve been an evangelistic supporter of Apple since the 80’s, but if this is how Apple proposes to “support” their professional users, it may be my last purchase of a Mac. I mean, why should I? What’s my incentive? I may just end up starting over in the PC world with CaptureOne. It seems they value professional users.

    A very unhappy, possibly former Mac user!

    • 11.1) Paolo
      June 27, 2014 at 11:58 pm

      I do agree with you Scott, to a point. I think Apple has been letting a lot of us down lately. Seems like it’s all about money and control lately. At this point I’m still a Mac user for 2 reasons: 1) I’ve been told by die-hard PC users that Mac has better graphics, and if your a photographer it’s best for that. And 2) it’s been so long since i used a PC i don’t remember how! Hope this all works out somehow so I don’t have to switch again! (went to Mac & Nikon (formerly PC & Caanon) 6 years ago after my house and studio burned to the ground and took all my camera’s and computers with it!)

    • 11.2) Andrew
      June 28, 2014 at 1:21 am

      60TB? !!! You mean GB, right?

      • 11.2.1) Andrew
        June 28, 2014 at 1:24 am

        Or does that include the images themselves as well as the library?

        • Scott
          June 28, 2014 at 6:37 am

          Near 60 TB of images with a library file size (edit data) near 1 TB.

  12. 12) Richy
    June 28, 2014 at 12:23 am

    Wow, I almost moved to Mac so I could use aperture last year!

    I used to be against Adobes cloud due to the sheer number of apps I didnt need and the high cost. Since they released the photography bundle however, it works out very well particularly if you like to keep your software up to date as its cheaper than buying them outright. Theres quite a few free apps out there through, if you google “lightroom alternative” you will probably find several useful programs.

    To be honest though this is why I stick with Adobe, yes their software is expensive but the risk of them shutting down and forcing you to move to another program is pretty remote as its pretty much their bread and butter.

    • 12.1) David Thompson
      June 28, 2014 at 12:50 am

      The latest Adobe offering for photographers is not expensive.
      For $9.99 US (£8.78 including VAT UK) per month you get to use both Lightroom and Photoshop and all updates included.
      Many people spend more than that on magazines a month.

      I have held off until now from moving to the monthly subscription approach but at these prices it is worth it for me so I have joined.

  13. 13) TomM
    June 28, 2014 at 12:58 am

    There is a lot that is unknown about what the Photos application Apple is working on will be, what it will be capable of, and if any migration to another software is necessary. I suspect that for 95% of users, it will do everything they needed from Aperture, and then more as Apple moves to a new paradigm of photo management.

    The folks over at have a pretty good interpretation, as does Panic is misplaced angst this early in development.

    • 13.1) Pam
      June 28, 2014 at 9:56 am

      I have plug-ins specific to Aperture only, such as the NIK bundle and VSCO app. These adjuncts were expensive, but now are essential to my workflow. I’m hoping I won’t have to purchase them again, but if LR is the only avenue, I”ll have to. Bummer.

      I am disheartened by this news. Even though I keep a current version of LR, and took a 5 day LR training program at a nearby college, Aperture is my go-to editing program. I finished Apple’s pro training on-line classes for Aperture (from Peachpit), and find it to be much more user friendly than LR—in many ways too numerous to list.

      This is very very bad news indeed!

      • Profile photo of Kevin Kennedy 13.1.1) Kevin Kennedy
        June 28, 2014 at 10:02 am


        LR is definitely not the only avenue- Capture One Pro 7 is IMHO the best.

        Your Nik Software should work as Stand Alone Apps as well as Plug Ins.

        • Pam
          June 28, 2014 at 10:07 am

          Good to know there’s a silver lining….I’ll check it out. Thanks!

  14. 14) 14KVN
    June 28, 2014 at 1:35 am

    I’ve not seen the Apple announcement ( where is it ?) but the Trailer for the new OS seems full of software for Photography so I agree with the wait & see comments. Like some above have tried and do not like LR especially the RAW conversion which I think is very poor in comparison with Aperture and others especially Capture One Pro. Also I would not be surprised to see LR going to the Cloud system only leaving Elements as their more basic stand alone system. I am not prepared to pay £ 100 + p.a. for such a system which I don’t like.!
    Agree Aperture does not have 1 or 2 items which LR has but this is easily fixed with Plug Ins like DXO View Point and Nik Software.

  15. 15) Roger Boeken
    June 28, 2014 at 3:13 am

    Use Darktable ! it is completely free .

  16. 16) Eric Bowles
    June 28, 2014 at 5:37 am

    The big impact of this is on workflow. Unless Apple and Adobe work out a migration tool, the edits made in Aperture will not be seen in LR unless you export the edited file as a TIFF or PSD.

    I agree with Nasim’s comments – you need a really good reason to choose a program other than LR when it is effectively the industry standard. Adobe has done a nice job expanding their market and focusing on photographers. LR continues to improve and is being used by a very high proportion of intermediate and advanced photographers.

    You’ll be able to continue to use Aperture for a while. But it will not be updated for new cameras – and more importantly – new operating systems. If you get a new computer – you may have a problem.

    This decision follows a similar decision by Nikon to drop Capture NX2 support.

  17. 17) JDubya3
    June 28, 2014 at 7:45 am

    Kinda saw this coming when LR4 came out and Apple did not come out with Aperture 4. So I made a preemptive move and switched to LR4 and have been using ever since. I do like it a little better than Aperture, but the clone stamp tool really sucks. Never really understood how those stupid circles work. I hear it’s better in LR5 and much better in PS. Saving up now to get CS6, if I can still find a copy. I know the cloud is $9.99/month, but after thy got hacked last year, I’m not feeling to comfortable giving them my CC info.

  18. Profile photo of Kevin Kennedy 18) Kevin Kennedy
    June 28, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Nasim – IMHO your header is very misleading & seems to be an attempt to push your readers to Lightroom. APERTURE IS NOT DEAD- at least not yet – it is still supported by OS 10.9 and will be by OS 10.10 due out later this year. Yes it will be replaced by a new App for Photo’s .

    The Text from Apple states that existing Aperture Libraries will be able to be migrated to the new APP and can be stored on iCloud as well.

    There is a very good explanation of all this in the latest Newsletter for

    IMO DON”T give up on Aperture yet and wait for developments

  19. 19) Cameron Davidson
    June 28, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Capture One is a very strong alternative to LR. It offers superior processing with much more control over color, lens cast corrections and skin tones plus it now includes a catalog. Don’t think LR is the only option because it is not. I’ve used C1 since version 2.7. I tried LR several times – no thank you. Phase offers a sixty day trial.

  20. 20) alvonsius
    June 28, 2014 at 10:15 am

    Maybe you all should give Darktable ( or RawTherapee ( a try … They’re free but powerful enough for everyday usage, and with continuous development to date … One minus point is the lack support of Fuji’s X-Trans sensor based camera (but hey, may be someday haha) …

    I know, I know, I’ve never been with Aperture before … I’m just a poor guy with no mac and cash haha .. but hey, Darktable and RawTherapee just work for me ^^

  21. 21) Janice
    June 28, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    I downloaded apature 2 days ago …….do you think apple will refund ?

  22. 22) Pierre
    June 29, 2014 at 5:51 am

    Like some other posters, I think Nasim is too pessimistic when he says that Lightroom is the only way to go for professional work.

    IMHO, Capture One is as powerful as Lightroom. I find colour, contrast and sharpening management better in Capture One, which tends to lead to an overall better image quality. Tethered shooting is another strength of the program, its main weaknesses being masking management, plug-in architecture and sluggishness.

  23. 23) Phil
    June 29, 2014 at 8:45 am


    Just to clarify a few issues in this context.

    1. RAW processing is part of OSX and not Aperture, no one said Apple would stop adding support for new cameras!

    2. Apple demonstrated new photo frameworks for iOS 8 and OSX Yosemite at WWDC 2014 that offer new features like lens correction, advanced noise reduction etc. Together with a new extension/plugin API this will be a robust foundation for a modern photo infrastructure on both iOS and OSX.

    Now whether Photos will be an option for serious photographers or just a toy, no one knows yet…

    • 23.1) Edison
      June 29, 2014 at 9:34 am

      That’s the problem. “Whether the replacement from  can work for photographers or not”. That is not a favourable attitude to this market, of which people rely on the product to earn and work. Customers welcome a surprise of features, not whether there will be an upcoming product.

      And if the coming Photos App is that good, Apple should not give this reply. When people get used to a standard workflow and file organisation, they are not easily coming back…

      From the WWDC 2014, I can only see the 5 categories of enhancements from his demo. It seems to me more like iPhoto than Aperture X. Maybe the final product will be better, but the chance of a complete set of tools is not promising, like blending mode, tablet pressure level full support, an more robust retouch function, multiple external editing software links (with apt file type), Shortcut sync, graduated filter….more and more, and yah, lens correction as you mentioned. People aren’t anticipating something like photoshop, but at least the app needs to get better than discontinued Aperture to be said as a thorough toolbox for darkroom enhancement now. Don’t get me wrong. Aperture organisation is great and it’s a joy to use it.

  24. 24) Pam Cook
    July 5, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Many thanks to Kevin Kennedy for telling us about Capture One Pro 7. I have been researching it, watching UTube tutorials—of which there are many—and seriously considering switching to this amazing program. Then today, Nasim’s post describing 4th of July photography deals had the Capture One Pro 7 listed as being $150 off at B&H. Wow!! Great timing, and a great opportunity!

  25. 25) Rex Anderson
    July 17, 2014 at 4:21 am

    Thankfully I tried Capture One Pro about a month ago, so I had already left the bed before Apple’s other shoe dropped.

    When I finished my very first editing session with C1, two feelings emerged: real delight at what I had accomplished both qualitatively and quantitatively in a relatively short time, and anger at Apple when I realized I had been conned into believing I was working with the best program available for the job.

    For me, C1 is a no-brainer. The photo editing software is superior in every way to anything I’ve used. Their tutorials are excellent, their attitude toward customers is refreshing, and their dedication to their craft is obvious from the first glimpse of their website.
    Gone is my hot laptop, my stalled editing sessions, and the vague feeling that I’m a chump.
    The anger at Apple’s con job hasn’t left me. I will never again trust my creative output to Apple’s software.

  26. 26) cherebergere
    July 17, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    What about Aperture Print Books? I make books in aperture on a regular basis. Will that stop too?

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