Apple to Replace Aperture and iPhoto with new Photos app

I woke to the news this morning that Apple is ceasing development of Aperture and iPhoto, and that both will be replaced in OS X Yosemite with the new Photos app and iCloud Photo Library. As a long time Aperture user I have mixed feelings about this, most especially as the functionality to be offered by the Photos app is currently completely unknown. That said, in recent times I've struggled to find time for my photography hobby, and I'm lucky to launch Aperture a couple of times per month.

It will be interesting to see what happens, but from today's announcements it is clear that the current of Aperture will continue to be supported on Yosemite, so I'll have time to assess the Photos app before deciding whether I move to it or need to consider Adobe Lightroom (which I've never used).

As a photography enthusiast (i.e. neither a pro nor particularly advanced amateur), I'm hoping the Photos app will provide the functionality from Aperture that I currently use, as the idea of an iCloud Library that lets me add, edit and use photos from my computer, iPad or iPhone, especially when travelling, sound great. Just as long as the new paradigm isn't about iDevice photos only, at the expense of photos from my DSLR.

Eye-Fi mobi

As a hopeful amateur photographer enthusiast, and technology enthusiast, I've been frustrated in the past that when I've been out with my camera there hasn't been a convenient way to do anything with my photos. Instead, those big RAW images have sat on my camera until I got home to my computer to process them in Aperture (or occasionally back to my laptop when I've been travelling). Even with the iPad I've never done much on-the-go processing of my photos. I bought the camera connection kit, but discovered after buying it the RAW files my camera produces are too big for it to process, and the idea of shooting in RAW+JPEG appeals not at all—who needs the headache of managing two copies of every photo!

Well, I've just picked up a new gadget that looks like it may solve this problem for me, the Eye-Fi mobi SD card:


The Eye-Fi mobi is a Class 10 SD card that comes in 8 and 16GB capacities, that also manages to miraculously contain a wi-fi base station and enough smarts to transmit your photos. When paired with the companion smartphone app, the card will magically transmit photos to the phone, or an iPad, for editing, publishing or whatever else you may want to do with them.

Eye-Fi cards have been around for a while now, but I've never previously had much of a look. My understanding of previous cards was that you needed to be within range of a wireless access point for them to function, and then they were designed to upload photos to the cloud. The mobi however lets the phone and the card talk directly, without the user needing to go near any wi-fi settings.

The limitation that it only uploads JPEGs, for me, is also a feature. As I noted above, the RAW images from my camera are too big to edit on my iPhone/iPad. And I'll ultimately want to process these on my computer, where all my masters are stored. Instead, the photos I want to have on my phone will be specific selections that I may want to share immediately. To achieve this I use a feature of my Canon 60D that lets me process selected RAW images to JPEG in the camera. So, if I want to transfer a particular photo to my phone, I process it to JPEG in the camera and then just that image transfers to my phone, leaving the RAW intact on the camera, and not requiring me to shoot RAW+JPEG to access the images at all, which would also clutter my phone up with a copy of every JPEG.

In the brief testing I've done at home the connection process was simple and trouble free. This setup feels like it's absolutely perfect for my workflow, and will allow me to capture and share quality images when I'm out, instead of forcing me to rely on my smartphone, which may not be a great camera in a particular circumstance.

The test I suppose will be how much I use it in practice.