I am getting ready to purchase a Mac computer, and I take a lot of pictures. I need a good photo editing program, and I am not familiar with Mac software. i have looked into iLife and Aperture, but I’m not really sure what I should buy. Any suggestions?
It really depends entirely on what you need to do with the programs. Aperture is a great program, but it’s not the same type of program as say Adobe’s Photoshop.
Aperture and Lightroom (adobe’s answer to aperture) are programs that sort your files, convert them to other formats and do general things for quick photo fixes. You can get really into the editing with these programs if you spend time doing it.
Adobe’s suite of software is expensive and powerful. A lot of people will tell you it’s simply the best, and yah it’s powerful and absolutely great, but it isn’t everyone’s answer to photo editing and manipulation. I use Corel Painter 9.5 and Elements 4.0 (yah it’s an old version, but it was free). Corel Painter is an illustration program, and Elements is a very basic version of Adobes photoshop. Between those two programs and aperture, I can pretty much do everything I really need. The average user doesn’t need Adobe’s CS, but if you have the money and know you’ll need all of it’s capabilities down the road, go for it. Before you do that though, be sure you check out a few other great programs (good bang for the buck). Corel’s Paint Shop Pro, Essentials 7.0 (pretty sure that’s the current version). The two of those programs will run you way less money, and are almost as capable as Adobe.
To save you another question if you go with Adobe’s CS4, don’t bother with extended unless you really need the high end extreme stuff like 3d rendering? Photoshop CS4 is cheaper and does have all the stuff most people need.
Anywho, check out the macforums, you’ll find a lot of good info there. Do searches for things like "workflow" "aperture or lightroom" "do i need adobe CS" etc
Filed Under: Mac FAQ