What do you most miss from Aperture?

I get many emails a day requesting features for upcoming releases, and questions about RAW Power in the context of Aperture.

While RAW Power is not a replacement for Aperture, I do know many customers have or had Aperture and really loved it.

I’m embedding a poll here for people to vote on their favorites.

To be clear, I’m not making any promises. I think it’s valuable for people to see each other’s opinions on this. That said, I’ll start the voting 🙂

If I missed your favorite feature, add that to the comments. If you didn’t use Aperture, but have favorite features in Lightroom or other apps, feel free to chime in as well.

What do you miss most from Aperture (choose up to 5)

View Results

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Comments template here.


  1. Antonio Shalders
    December 1, 2018 at 2:48 am

    Hi Nik !

    Aperture has some very powerful features, like its search engine and tagging system. It’s still a very powerful DAM.
    I also like the color adjustment controls, specially the separate corrections for highlight, midtones and shadows (enhance/tint). Edge sharpen is sometimes extremely useful

  2. Robert Mann
    December 1, 2018 at 11:09 pm

    Thanks for the pol, Nik! Your customer service is definitely grade A.

  3. Jon-Rico Browner
    December 2, 2018 at 6:23 am

    Hey there Nik! Thanks for making RAW Power. I am really impressed with the latest 2.0 edition. As for Aperture.. I still sorely miss the feel and nature of it. One overly loved feature that I still miss is the Projects – Thumbnail view of all your folders and or imports. It really makes for a great snapshot view of what your library has. Another awesome feature is the HUD’s ( Head Up Display) when working in Full Screen. This really gave your image full attention and real estate on view.

  4. regixkn
    December 3, 2018 at 5:22 pm

    Hi, with more than 50.000 images to deal with I need (hierarchical) keywording and search features. The information should be in a catalogue or in sidecar files. Actually the DAM feature is the feature I miss most.

    1. Gregory Zenitsky
      January 10, 2019 at 1:43 am

      Totally agree! The asset management was unmatched, even today.

  5. Timo Lindman
    December 4, 2018 at 8:33 pm

    Maybe this has been suggested before, but for those of us looking for a DAM to replace Aperture, would it be possible, given your understanding of how Aperture stored adjusted photo data, to write a plug in (or whatever) that would import files **and their Aperture adjustments** into, e.g., Lightroom with your RAW power plug in?

    It would be amazing to have those edits again (or not have to bake them into tiff / jpgs). I actually have — probably foolishly — put off migrating to Lightroom because of the old edits issue.

  6. Robert
    December 12, 2018 at 6:32 pm

    Lightroom has a Transform feature with Auto button for initiating correction of keyhole distortion, straightening, levelling horizon, with and without crop. The Auto version does a great job and the manual adjustments: vertical, horizontal, etc. allow for excellent fine tuning.

    Would love to see the same in Raw Power.

  7. Rafael P.
    December 13, 2018 at 11:40 pm

    Hi Nik,

    Aperture is dearly missed. It is amazing that even after 4 years of ceasing it’s development we don’t still have a decent replacement (and hence why most miss it so much).

    The main feature I miss from Aperture is it’s non-modular approach to the workflow. Want to edit a photo in the book? No problem. Want to crop your image while browsing to see if it’s a keeper? No problem. Oh, and the speed! No program can match Aperture’s speed to date (and again, we are talking about a program that has not being developed or optimized for current OS). Browsing is super fast. Adjustments with no lag.

    File management was also fantastic, moving photos/files across drivers was easy.

    Aperture search abilities are still unmatched. It was only a few updates ago that Lightroom allow us to search for folders!

    Anyways, even though RAW power is not designed to replace Aperture, it is a great software. It would be nice to one day have Aperture back. Many thanks to you, Curt, Kirk and Chris.

    1. Nik Bhatt
      December 13, 2018 at 11:50 pm

      Thank you for the kind words. Yes, Aperture was one-of-a-kind and it was a privilege to work on that team — they, too, were one-of-a-kind.

  8. Rafael P.
    December 14, 2018 at 12:12 am

    Hi Nik,

    Aperture is dearly missed. It is amazing that even after 4 years of ceasing its development we don’t still have a decent replacement (and hence why most miss it so much).

    The main feature I miss from Aperture is the non-modular approach to the workflow. Want to edit a photo in the book? No problem. Want to crop your image while browsing to see if it’s a keeper? No problem. Oh, and the speed! No program can match Aperture’s speed to date (and again, we are talking about a program that has not been developed or optimized for current OS). Browsing is super fast. Adjustments with no lag.

    File management was also fantastic, moving photos/files across drivers was easy.

    Aperture search abilities are still unmatched. It was only a few updates ago that Lightroom allows us to search for folders!

    Anyways, even though RAW power is not designed to replace Aperture, it is a great software. It would be nice to one day have Aperture back. Many thanks to you, Curt, Kirk and Chris.

  9. Bob P.
    December 14, 2018 at 3:13 am

    Never had the chance to use Aperture but have used other open source RAW software, Darktable, Lightzone. these 2 have the ability to draw a mask around certain areas to limit how changes affect the entire image. Would it be possible to get something like that in RawPower. Really like your software. Easy to use and great results.

    1. Nik Bhatt
      December 14, 2018 at 4:56 am

      Yes, brushing is coming. Probably in the next major release.

  10. Arjan
    December 18, 2018 at 10:52 am

    Hey Nik,

    Many thanks for RAW Power, really thrilled to see the legacy of Aperture in the form of RAW Power.
    Aperture really still has the best and honest RAW converter (not that BS of behind the hood recovery etc) , really glad you and RAW Power are willing to pick up that great legacy!!

    I like to add one thing to the “missing from Aperture”
    That is; export/edit directly into Photoshop and back again on PS save,
    then being able to compare the original to the PS edit (versioning)

    As a Guy Gowan PS Action user, I would love to being able to make basic RAW file conversion (exposure) then into PS and with versioning to compare in RAW Power.
    Also loved Apertures synchronised move & zoom between multiple files!

    Oh thinking of it, I would love to have an option/checkbox to convert a RAW file without any “auto-whatever” done to it. So a RAW conversion as close as possible as intended by the manufacturer, cq as flat as possible.

    Regards, and keep up the great work!

    1. Nik Bhatt
      December 18, 2018 at 5:33 pm

      Thanks for your comment. I agree, Aperture’s multiple-up view is very powerful, including the synchronized zoom and pan.
      With regards to your basic, flat conversion, you can do this in RAW Power if you want:
      1) Open a RAW into the editor from a camera that you want to do this with
      2) In RAW Processing, move all the sliders (except Black Point) to the left
      3) Save it as a preset, and check the box “Automatically Apply to Images from this Camera”.

      From that point on, when you open a RAW from that camera, it will start out with those settings (i.e., minimally).

  11. Arnd Bronkhorst
    December 19, 2018 at 9:24 am

    Brushing in local adjustments would be the first addition I would love. And an aperture-like interface for the adjustments: “blocks” for each adjustment that can be changed and switched on and off. I really dislike the way this is implemented in Lightroom.

  12. Paul
    December 22, 2018 at 5:49 am

    Its a great app and if this will have proper tagging,keyword, metadata control and a dedicated radial brush , cloning healing tools i would be happy to dump Lightroom Mobile. Which works good but not enough for their terrible support , louzy subscription\cloud storage model. And i like editing in different apps om iOS and this seems be a nice basis for a workflow like that. You should check out the media managment of Pixave. I think Pixave and this App should make a baby.

  13. Steven Slupsky
    December 27, 2018 at 6:02 pm

    Hi Nik,

    Thanks for the survey and I really appreciate the effort you are making to reach out to the Aperture user base. Amazing that there are so many users still using Aperture and somewhat amazing Apple hasn’t completely killed it off with an incompatible OS update.

    There is one item I would like to bring up. The thing I like(d) most about being in the Apple ecosystem for photos was being able to do something with the photos. Whether that was a sending them to my AppleTV, printing them using a printing service, creating a slideshow, creating a calendar, book, etc. Apple continues to, imho, forget why people bought into the eco system in the first place. So we have lost the ability to “output” the efforts of our creativity. I do not want to be limited to look at my photo’s on only my phone which seems to be the direction Apple is going.

    This brings me to your question. What other things might be helpful to the existing and new user base. Slideshows is a big item on my list of things Aperture did extremely well. Heck, I just created another one on Christmas Day to send to family. After slideshows, I like to make a calendar every year, have it professionally printed and gift it to family.

    I always thought Aperture’s slideshow capabilities could have been integrated better with Final Cut Pro X. I think with careful planning all the heavy lifting for effects, transitions, compression, etc. can be taken care of with FCP X. Similarly, integration with Logic Pro for the sound track would be great. What Aperture does so well that FCP X doesn’t is provide a fast way to take a group of photos and just drop them into a slide show and sync them to a sound track and get a great result. FCP X can do it but it is a lot more work. So, if Raw Power could somehow plug into FCP X and provide a mechanism to streamline to creation of slideshows using your photo library, that would be super useful to me. Also, one thing Aperture fell short of was the ability to create your own slideshow templates. Some integration with Motion and FCP X might enable the ability to create templates as well.

    I would be happy to flush this out further with you if this capability is of interest.

    Kind regards,

  14. Pascal
    December 27, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    Hi Nik,
    First, thank you so much for this wonder that is RAW Power. Something I loved on Aperture was the possibility to add multiple Curves (not channels), it was subtle to use but always made a difference, especially for my B&W.
    Thanks again for your great work,

  15. Rob Allen
    December 29, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    Not from Aperture specifically, but I really wish I could edit IPTC title, description, copyright and keywords on the iOS app and have them sync Apple Photos on Mac!

    1. Nik Bhatt
      December 29, 2018 at 4:50 pm

      Yes, Aperture had very good metadata handling. Unfortunately, Apple does not provide a way for 3rd party apps to edit those fields in the Photos library and sync them to Apple Photos. Hopefully, they will add that in the future.

  16. Adam Bryant
    December 31, 2018 at 11:18 am

    I would love to be able to see my smart albums from Photos on iOS. Does Apple provide the API you would need to do this? Why doesn’t Photos do it itself?

  17. Nik Bhatt
    December 31, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    There are a couple of types of smart albums, and support for them varies.

    – Mac-based Smart Albums don’t show up on iOS at all (either in Photos or through the API). I suspect it is because iOS cannot (does not choose to) run the queries that the Mac version of Photos does.

    – Built-in iOS Smart Albums (Favorites, Selfies). These are supported through the API.

    In general, Apple has not updated the API for some time, so features in Photos for iOS (e.g., the ability to search by keywords from the Mac), aren’t provided to 3rd party apps.

  18. Chris Dwyer
    December 31, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Hi Nik

    Please add watermarking of an image with a transparent PNG on iOS. I suppose
    this would involve layering…

    Thanks for the survey

    1. Nik Bhatt
      December 31, 2018 at 9:32 pm

      Watermarking is a high priority. Hopefully in 3.0.

  19. Tom
    January 4, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Still using Aperture as I love the toolset but have kept an eye on RAW Power as an eventual replacement. My main complaint with Aperture is masking, it’s poorly implemented. It would be great if RAW Power could implement both Luminosity and Colour masks similar to Picktorial and Capture One i.e. automated and adjustable. Layers would also be useful but how that would be implemented… ?
    Cheers, Tom.

    1. Nik Bhatt
      January 4, 2019 at 8:14 pm

      I agree, luminosity and color masks are a nice way to do masking (in addition to brushing, etc.). When you say Aperture’s masking is poorly implemented, can you tell me more? Are you referring to the lack of those kind of masks or something else?

      1. Tom
        January 6, 2019 at 11:04 pm

        Hi Nik, it’s great that you’re taking the time to do this!

        Not being able to duplicate masks to use across adjustment bricks* is a continuing annoyance. And being able to invert a mask would be hugely useful!
        Aperture’s “Natural Gray” WB tool is irreplaceable in my workflow and I prefer the Gamma vignette option to all others.

        The new Deepen and Lighten controls are a brilliant addition, I often use a Gamma adjustment to shadows and midtones in Photoshop so that’s a big time-saver 🙂
        *multiple adjustment bricks is the best thing since sliced bread!!

        1. Nik Bhatt
          January 7, 2019 at 2:19 am

          Hi Tom,

          Thanks for letting me know — yes, it’s unfortunate that duplicating masks was never added to the app. I should mention that inverting masks is present in Aperture. To do this, go to the brushing HUD and click on the gear menu. You will find various commands, including different overlay options. One is “Invert”.

          Also, I’m glad you like Deepen and Lighten — they are my go-to sliders now.

          1. Tom
            January 8, 2019 at 12:09 pm

            Oh dear, how have I not seen Invert before?? Probably because I’ve ever needed it… but if you could duplicate the mask, then it comes into its own.
            One last feature request… or two 😉
            1. Multiple White Balance “bricks” so that you can apply Temp & Tint and a Natural Gray adjustment to the same image.
            2. WB control for Shadows / Midtones / Highlights a la Iridient Developer, that’s exceedingly powerful!

            Iridient is a good parallel for RAW Power in many respects, it’s “just” a RAW developer but with a very sophisticated toolset. At the moment I do my initial Colour Toning in Iridient because it’s powerful but simple.

  20. chipbutty
    January 4, 2019 at 2:04 pm

    Great work on RP Nik. I’m enjoying using the trial at the moment.

    I know it wasn’t an Aperture feature but I’d love to see Raw Power have the ability to open LUT files. I have various LUT files and Capture One Pro, Lightroom and Luminar can use them (I’m sure there are more). Great for giving your files a certain look. I think they’re basically custom colour profiles. Any chance we could see this at some point? I have no idea how much work it would entail! Thanks.

    1. Nik Bhatt
      January 4, 2019 at 8:12 pm

      Yes, a LUT feature is certainly possible, and it’s on the list for a future release. I’m in planning / prototyping mode right now for 3.0…

      1. chipbutty
        January 5, 2019 at 11:23 am

        Nik, that’s great. Really impressed with what you’re doing with RP. Capture One Pro 11 is my regular software but I’m always on the look out for something else. As much as I love C1P I really don’t like the way they’re going with upgrade pricing.

  21. Jerry Dean
    January 4, 2019 at 3:06 pm

    I would love to see this added to Raw Power.

    HSL/Color such as Lightroom has.

    Thank you.

    1. Nik Bhatt
      January 4, 2019 at 8:12 pm

      HSL / Color Adjustment is a popular request and is on the list for a future release.

  22. Jerry Dean
    January 4, 2019 at 11:20 pm

    A dehaze filter and a graduated filter would be great!

  23. Rob
    January 5, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    I would love more DAM controls, that could sync with iOS devices (perhaps using iCloud storage).

  24. Ryan Douthit
    January 6, 2019 at 5:47 am

    I’m addition to layers and masking, already mentioned, I’d love to see keystone adjustments added.

    1. Nik Bhatt
      January 6, 2019 at 6:19 am

      RAW Power 2.0 has a perspective adjustment which can correct for keystoning. Have you had a chance to try it?

  25. Jerry Dean
    January 7, 2019 at 12:47 pm

    I would love to have a solo mode where only the active filter is open and the rest collapsed for a cleaner workspace. I love Raw Power and am looking forward to it’s development. It also feels great to support an independent project. Thank you.

    1. Nik Bhatt
      January 7, 2019 at 9:13 pm

      The iOS version works that way (don’t know if you have that also). I’ll put it on my list of customer requests for the future.

  26. David Guberman
    January 7, 2019 at 5:47 pm

    Being outside the Apple ecosystem, I can’t speak to what should be carried over from Aperture. But nor do I see another venue for asking my question.

    Having a Pixel 3, I use Google Photos, which often gets my photographs before my computer. Looking ahead to a Spring trip in Europe, I’d like to be able to use my iPad for some DAM (choosing what to immediately discard, keyword tagging etc.) and development/editing. From the manual and this website, it appears that RAW Power works seamlessly within the Apple ecosystem. How easy is it, if at all, to use it with Google Photos?


    1. Nik Bhatt
      January 7, 2019 at 9:18 pm

      RAW Power for iOS is tightly integrated with the system photo library, so it does not have the ability to access other photo systems. You could work within the iOS photo library on your trip and then export any edited images to Google Photos (though I have not studied how Google Photos connects to Apple Photos). I should mention that RAW Power does not have keyword support (this is not provided by Apple to 3rd party apps).

  27. Bernt
    January 12, 2019 at 3:19 pm

    Aperture is (was) awesome to work with, but since Mojave it behaves almost as sluggish as when it started and the sign is now on the wall to move on…
    Funny that no-one talks about stacks, really heavily rely on it.
    Another feature was being able to copy and paste almost everything, metadata adjustments, image adjustments, even Geolocation!
    If any of this could be realised in RAWPower…
    Looking with very much interest to the further development.

    1. Nik Bhatt
      January 12, 2019 at 7:28 pm

      Stacks are one of those features that people either love or hate / ignore. Stacking adjusted versions is definitely useful to me. The auto-stack feature doesn’t do what it should (it only stacks based on time, which means it’s not good at handling bursts).

  28. Patrick
    January 25, 2019 at 8:24 am

    Je suis très intéressé par Raw Power, d’autant plus qu’il est en français maintenant, car l’anglais est un gros problème pour moi. J’ai essayé la version de démonstration, mais ce qui me manque vraiment, c’est la correction de l’horizon. Il y a une correction de perspective, mais je n’ai rien aperçu pour l’horizon, ou bien j’ai mal vu. Pouvez-vous m’en dire plus à propos de cela, car pour l’instant, pour moi, c’est un frein à l’achat ?
    Bravo pour cette magnifique application déjà très aboutie et très conviviale, et très jolie graphiquement. Et ce n’est pas une usine à gaz, j’ai déjà cela. Une application “esprit Aperture” c’est vraiment parfait.
    Bon courage, cordialement.

    1. Nik Bhatt
      January 25, 2019 at 10:12 pm

      Thank you for the compliments. There is a straighten tool to correct horizons. To use it, enable the Recadrer tool and click the second button. You can draw a line to straighten the horizon.

  29. Marco Borghesi
    January 25, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    I’ll give my opinion to. What I miss of Aperture is Aperture. RAW Power is the perfect solution if you loved Aperture. Unfortunately (as I said in some email to NIK) I can’t yet switch completely to it because I’m missing Brushes and Local Adjustment. Because of it, I’m still on Lightroom CC mobile but if NIK will implement Local Adjustments the same way were on Aperture then I’ll start to change my mind 🙂
    Nik you are doing a great Job (told you in every single email 😀 ) but I think we would never thank you enough for this beautiful app. Of course, there are areas it could improve but the future is bright for RP in my personal opinion considering that is multi-device.
    Great Great Great!
    So For me, the missing things from my vote are:
    •Colour Adjustments
    •Flag, stars, labelling

    Thank you all

  30. Russ Gorman
    March 26, 2019 at 5:42 am

    I’ve loved hearing you on PhotoActive podcast. I still use Aperture as my main software fo photos. I work as a professional and have many thousands of images. I have been also using Affinity photo. I have no Adobe software on my Computer and have no plans to ever have any since they went to subscriptions. Thanks to PhotoActive I have now started using RAWPower and the only thing I find missing is the DAM features from Aperture. I would certainly pay more if DAM were offered as part of RAWPower. As far as Aperture is concerned I found that as my screens have become larger I wish some of the Aperture UI buttons had become larger as well. Thanks for your wonderful software.

    1. Nik Bhatt
      March 26, 2019 at 8:22 pm

      Thanks for the compliment on the podcast; I enjoy chatting with Jeff and Kirk. I get a lot of request for DAM functions in RAW Power. I can’t commit to anything right now, but I hear you!

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