If you are a serious photographer, and use a mac computer for your photo editing needs, chances are that you are familiar with Apple’s Aperture photo editor. This was Apple’s professional grade RAW photo editor that was discontinued back in 2014. This was sad news for many mac users, as they relied on Aperture’s excellent feature set and photo organization prowess for their day to day photo editing.
However, there are very good alternatives to Apple’s Aperture that can be used on mac systems. Some of these are even better than Aperture, providing ease of use and advanced photo editing tools at a very low price.
Let’s get the obvious alternative out of the way first. Adobe Lightoom has been on the RAW photo editing scene for a very long time, and for good reason. It is one of the best RAW processors available that is both easy to use and fairly intuitive. Upon opening the program, you are greeted with a series of sliders that can be adjusted to tweak your photo’s exposure, contrast, highlights, noise, sharpening, white balance, and much more. You can use the selective adjustment tools to make changes to certain parts of the image too. Overall, Lightroom is definitely one of the easiest programs to recommend as a direct alternative to Aperture.
If you don’t want to pay the monthly subscription fee for Lightroom, the affordable Luminar is a great choice. It comes in a very easy to use package, bringing advanced editing tools to mac users. You can adjust the white balance, colors, exposure, and many more aspects of your image in a very short amount of time. It also lets you make selective adjustments so you can tweak specific portions of your photo to your liking.
Other than these editing tools, Luminar also has many presets that are easy to use and alter. You can work in layers as well, so using multiple presets and textures to get a unique look for your photos is a breeze.
Capture One Pro
If Lightroom isn’t your thing, then Capture One Pro might just be. It is a direct competitor to Adobe’s software and can be bought for a one-time fee which makes it a better choice for many users. Capture One is known for its great jpeg compression, and many users report that an image imported directly into Capture One showcases better quality than when imported into Lightroom.
Capture One lets you do everything Lightroom does, so it is a matter of personal preference which of these you want to use more.
When Aperture and iPhoto were discontinued, Apple created a new software by the name of Photos. This contains features of both Aperture and iPhoto, but still cannot compete with the programs mentioned above. However, for people who used Aperture for basic photo editing and RAW conversions, then Photos should not be underestimated. It has an intuitive design, and can fulfill the needs of beginner and advanced photographers alike. It has RAW editing capabilities as well, so it might be a good replacement for mac users who want something free.