View Full Version : Which Software to buy for Mac?

23-12-2010, 10:52am
Good Morning All,

I have recently moved to a mac laptop. Previously I was using a work computer which had CS3 on it. I could do the basics using this program as I am very new to photography. the mac has iphoto on it but I cant seem to be able to do anything with it. I have a canon 60D and the programs arent very good that come with it.

I would like opinions on what program I should get for my mac. I really only need basic stuff like cropping, editing, resizing etc. I figure I will move up to something better once I have improved my photography skills.

I have read through my of the threads here and will continue to read them as I try and work out which is best for me.


23-12-2010, 11:26am
iPhoto will let you do the basic stuff, just click on the edit icon down in the bottom right of the window. Then you will have three tabs to choose from at the top right of the window. each tab has a range of basic tasks. Other than this Apple sell Aperture, this will do more and works pretty well. You still have the Adobe options. Lightroom is quite good and you can get Photoshop for the mac. Personally I think Lightroom is better for just the photo processing and cataloguing side of things. Photoshop is the way to go if you want to do more editing and painting of the images. Aperture and Lightroom are comparable products that each have their own way of handling the process of cataloguing and processing/editing images. I'm not sure which is better, each seems to work better in different areas than the other. Both have free trial versions, so give them a go and see how they work for you.

23-12-2010, 12:06pm
Thanks Colin,

I just had a play with iphoto a bit more and worked out thanks to you. I might now look at aperture and lightroom and see if they are for me.



23-12-2010, 1:02pm
And there is Photoshop Elements too, which is a scaled down version of Photoshop for those who don't need all the bells and whistles.

27-12-2010, 3:38pm
I use aperture which works well, the only problem is that I cant seem to work out layers....I went and bought a copy of VM Ware fusion, which means you can run windows seperately, I then got a second hand version of XP from the local computer shop ($20) and a copy of CS5 ($100) from the same shop. Seems to work well! (I should add I have an Imac, not a Lappy.

Hope that helps

Big Pix
27-12-2010, 5:42pm
CS5 for $100....... but is it a legal copy ?

27-12-2010, 6:03pm
Check out http://www.pixelmator.com/ (maybe download the trial)... it's not photoshop but it's a lot cheaper and certainly looks very polished and well-integrated with OSX

28-12-2010, 9:31am
I'm running Elements 9 on my new Imac and its all working well, also run topaz adjust as an add on.


28-12-2010, 10:13am
I recently bought CS5 Master Addition for my mac for about $95. I think. That was through a work from home deal my employer has with Data#3. It's always worth checking out if you are eligible for anything like these or even student discounts. I know many people where I work just don't know about our work at home software program.

05-01-2011, 6:26pm
The answer of course, is, it depends!

IPhoto, and I guess you have version 11, is now quite powerful. It is worth spending time to find out everything it can do. Personally, I find the tutorials on the Apple website to be excellent - go here -http://www.apple.com/support/iphoto/. The mini videos are very helpful and can be downloaded for later consumption.

In the past I used to use Photoshop for most of my personal work and, in fact, used to teach it at Certificate II in Multimedia level. However, I now use Aperture and find that it meets most of my needs. Like Lightroom, it is excellent for organising your photographs and is able to handle RAW files very well. In short I find I can do virtually everything I need to do in my workflow, such as straighten pictures, bring more detail into shadows, tone down burnt out areas, produce great slideshows or digital books, etc. Again, visit http://www.apple.com/support/aperture/ for lots of tips. I now find I have to change into Photoshop rarely, e.g. if I really need to use layers, remove things from the background, stitch together a panorama or add text to a photo.

Therefore. You should find iPhoto will do most things well and will satisfy the needs of most people. If you are more demanding, and particularly if you use RAW then it is worth paying for Aperture and you should find this handles your workflow extremely well. If you really want to try tricksy things then you will need Photoshop CS5 as well.

Lightroom is an excellent product but I find my preference for Aperture is partly because it is extremely consistent with the whole Apple experience which just makes life and learning easier. There are also other excellent photo editing programs but I believe Photoshop is so far ahead it's worth paying for. Having said that, Photoshop Elements is excellent value and has the advantage that if you ever find you need to go beyond that and really use 87 different layers then all you have learnt will transfer into the industry standard product.

Now about a bigger screen .....



10-01-2011, 5:56pm
G'Day Graham & Welcome - useful 1st post - maybe post an intro?

Lets see some images in the main CC forums (http://www.ausphotography.net.au/forum/forumdisplay.php?5-.-CONSTRUCTIVE-CRITIQUE-Members-Photos-.) and have fun!
If you want to meet other members then check the Forums / Community / Groups link; also the meet-ups forums!

14-01-2011, 6:31pm
Beware the iphotowocky.
While it is a reasonable package for simple photo editing it has a few pitfalls. It creates a new modified image file for any photos that you modify, even if it is just rotating a photo. This can get disk space intensive unless you are careful. the slideshows on iPhoto are superb though and far far better than anything adobe have done.
I use lightroom for 95% of my editing and it's a pretty powerful program for editing, cropping, rotating and selective area modifications. Couldn't live without it.
I think aperture has closed the gap on lightroom in it's editing ability but I've only had a little play with the previous version which didn't have the selective area modifications.
If I am serious about amslide show I will export jpegs from LR and import them to iPhoto for the slide show magic.

14-01-2011, 10:48pm
With Aperture down to $99 it's pretty hard to go past...

15-01-2011, 2:19pm
I use Aperture 3 and find it very good and easy to use, also have Elements 9 for doing other stuff Eg: pano stitching and layers and find thats about all you need to edit with both programs cost me $270 from memory.

15-01-2011, 10:37pm
i use photoshop element 8 on my mac.. i find that it works very well... i see the 9 is out now... and it's not too expensive?

30-01-2011, 10:38am
I would master iPhoto, then if that tool becomes too limited for your needs try aperture or Lightroom on the free trial to see which tool you prefer. Both are very similar and should do all that you need.

01-02-2011, 3:39pm
have a go with dxo, 30day trial

27-03-2011, 9:47pm
I would defiantly recommend either Lightroom or Aperture. Currently use LR but have used Aperture in the past and both are very good programs.

21-04-2011, 8:00pm
I have Aperture and Lightroom (courtesy of my Leica Digilux 5, thank you. Somehow I feel more simpatico with LR but I can't explain why. I could never get along with iPhoto. Elements 9 works very well, but LR does most of what I need at the moment.

Nikon D700 D200 F100 Nikon 24-120 Nikon (Too heavy) 70-300 2.8/24 2/35 1.8/85 2.8/60 Macro Nikon 35-70 Leica M3 Leica M6 Too much stuff!

26-04-2011, 12:11am
I've been tossing up between Aperture and Lightroom trial versions for the last week and finding it a really hard decision. I think the UI and appearance of Aperture is a lot more pleasant and intuitive. Lightroom has the advantages of correcting lens distortion and exposure masks. Surprisingly, I've found Lightroom to be faster and much more stable on my laptop (1 year old MBP). Aperture crashed at least five times in 2 hours yesterday. If you're paying full price then Aperture through the app store wins hands down on pricing but with the Adobe education pricing its a tight race.

20-02-2016, 6:17pm
photoshop elements does me on the MAC

20-02-2016, 6:48pm
This is an OLD thread.