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Difference Between Apple Aperture and Adobe Photoshop

Apple Aperture vs Adobe Photoshop

There are many options when it comes to image editing, but none are as famous as Adobe’s Photoshop. Apple also has its own image editing software for their Macs, it’s known as Aperture. In order to come up with an accurate list of differences between the two, we must start from the very basic. Photoshop is simply the more powerful image editing software between the two. Photoshop has a comprehensive tool set, like layers, which allows for much greater flexibility in editing photos. Although Aperture can store layers, it cannot work with them. The long-standing reputation of Photoshop is also correlated to the number of people who have done plug-ins. Photoshop plug-ins can automate a variety of tasks that range from the simple to the complicated. Automation of these tasks provides ease for common and repetitive tasks; especially when you need to process a whole collection of photos. Aperture does have its own collection of plug-ins but it does not compare to what you can use on Photoshop. Many of these plug-ins were created by Apple themselves in the hopes of attracting more plug-in creators.

What Aperture lacks in image editing capabilities, it makes-up for with its ability to catalog and organize photos. Organizing is essential when working with a lot of photographs. You can simply dump the contents of your camera into Aperture and you quickly browse through the images to pick out the great shots or to fine-tune others. Aperture also has the ability to work with videos. You can quickly splice together your photos and create videos in Aperture, with background audio and transitions, without having to resort to other applications.

As always, Aperture is only available on the Mac and not on any other operating system like Windows. Photoshop is available on both, so you are not limited to a single platform. The main drawback of Photoshop is its price as it comes with a full suite of imaging software, which you may or may not use. The current price of Photoshop is over $699 while an upgrade from a previous version costs $199. In comparison, Apple’s Aperture is available at the Mac store for a mere $80.


1. Photoshop is a more powerful image editing tool than Aperture
2. Photoshop has more powerful plugins than Aperture
3. Aperture is better suited for organizing photos than Photoshop
4. Aperture is able to work with video while Photoshop doesn’t
5. Aperture is only on the Mac while Photoshop is available for both Mac and Windows
6. Aperture costs considerably less than Photoshop

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1 Comment

  1. Thanks for posting this. I’ve used Photoshop for a long time, but wanted something a little less involved for minor photo editing. Plus, with thousands of images, I really needed something a little more powerful than iPhoto. The Aperture is working pretty well for that. I downloaded it directly from the Apple App Store, so there wasn’t even a box or disc.

    I am running Aperture 3 on an iMac. Here’s the blog post about Aperture:


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