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Aperture vs. OnOne: Who Will Get My Money?

The September announcements from Apple came and went with no mention of Aperture ... but I expected that. My bet is we'll hear something in October with the release of Mavericks OS X and the refresh of the Mac lineup. Will there be a new release of Aperture? What will be in the next release of Aperture?

To the first question, I think there will be. Apple has posted several jobs in the photo arena over the last few months. A patent recently surfaced from Apple for touch-screen photo editing (think Aperture on iPad). And with the Mac refresh, notably the redesigned MacPro, Apple needs to give pros the application upgrades to go with these systems.

As for what will be in the release? We've all got our wish list. I'd love to see layers. I want native lift & stamp for brush masks (when my script becomes obsolete, I'll be a happy guy). I want lens correction. And umpteen other things. I fully expect there'll be some HDR-type-thing in the next Aperture.

Meanwhile, OnOne started their marketing juggernaut around Perfect Photo Suite 8, coming in November. I have the 7.5 suite and I really like it. The major draw for me is Perfect Layers and Perfect Effects. Layers ... 'nuff said, I use it all the time. Never having owned Photoshop, the more Perfect Layers matures, the less I need to consider subscribing. Effect ... being able to selectively paint in/out effects, not just individual adjustments, is a real boon. I rarely use effects in Aperture because multiple effects don't combine well. And it is very nice the folks at OnOne treat Aperture as a first class citizen.

I've read quite a bit about Suite 8. The magic eraser looks very nice. The update to the masking bug interface is Ok, but not a major draw. Similar story for the rearrangement of the effects - yes, it's nice to reduce the number of effects needed in the side pane, but no major change to the end result of my photos. And I could care less about the new Enhance module - I have Aperture for that. What I haven't heard about in Suite 8 is an auto-align layers function in Perfect Layers. That's something I really want.

But .... my gut tells me there's an Aperture waiting in the wings. And that it'll be a very good upgrade (it better be Apple!). I am also expecting some (most? all?) of the feature I turn to OnOne for today will be natively available in Aperture tomorrow.

So right now, my wallet remains closed. The Suite 8 eraser isn't enough for me to plunk down my upgrade money yet. I want to see what the next Aperture brings. Who knows ... it might just satisfy all my needs.