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Difference Between Apple Aperture and iPhoto

Apple Aperture vs iPhoto

iPhoto and Aperture are two software from Apple for dealing with photos. The main difference between them is that iPhoto is free while Aperture costs $80 on the Mac store. Well, technically iPhoto is part of the iLife suite, which costs roughly the same as aperture. But, the iLife suite is included with every new purchase of a Mac. So unless you have a very old Mac, you already got iPhoto. So, given that you probably have iPhoto already, we should look at what is there to gain in upgrading to Aperture.

There is a huge gap in image editing capabilities when you jump from iPhoto to Aperture. iPhoto is suited for simple organization and adjustment of images like contrast, saturation, and the like. On the other hand, Aperture can actually edit how certain areas of the image look. Even in organizing, Aperture is still superior over iPhoto. One example feature that you would have in aperture is stacking. Aperture automatically stacks together images that are taken within a short period of each other. A good use of these is when you take continuous shots of a moving object.

There is also a difference between the two when it comes to how edits are implemented to the original photo. Aperture is able to do non-destructive editing. This is where the edits done are kept on record and are only rendered when needed. The entire process is easily reversible and the original image is not changed in any way. iPhoto is able to simulate non-destructive editing but it is actually destructive. It simulates the feature by creating a back-up of the original photo then applying the edits. More edits mean more copies of the same photo. This is very wasteful of drive space.

Lastly, the two photo editing software also handles RAW files differently. Aperture handles RAW files natively and they can be processed just like any other file type. This is not the case with iPhoto because even though it can import RAW files, the file is automatically converted to JPEG. So, rather than working with a RAW file, you are actually working on a JPEG file.


1. iPhoto is part of iLife while Aperture costs $80
2. iPhoto is aimed towards ordinary users while Aperture is for more advanced users
3. Aperture does non-destructive editing while iPhoto simulates it
4. Aperture handles raw images while iPhoto automatically converts it to JPG

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