With Lightroom looming on the horizon, we’re going to see more and more comparison articles pitting Aperture head-to-head with Adobe’s offering. Lightroom certainly has some very nice features, but it currently lacks one enabling technology that gives Aperture an advantage for some users. Thanks to Aperture’s AppleScript support, Apple has been able to quickly add two important features for high-end shooters.
The first of these was tethered shooting, which Apple managed to have ready by the time that Aperture 1.0 shipped. Then, late last year, they added the ability to import images from up to 8 card readers simultaneously. You won’t find this feature built-in to Aperture, but you can add it through the Aperture Card Importer a free download available from Apple’s web site.
Why would you want to import from multiple card readers? If you’re a heavy shooter working on a deadline, the ability to import from multiple readers means you can plug up to eight cards into your Mac, and then leave your computer unattended while all of the cards are emptied into Aperture. So, for example, if you’ve had a long day of shooting and have gotten in late with a lot of full cards, but need to deliver images by noon the next day, you can hook up a bunch of card readers, start Aperture downloading them, and go to bed while your images transfer. What would normally require a lot of babysitting can be accomplished while you snore away in the other room. When you come back in the morning, refreshed from a good night’s sleep, your images will be securely stored in an Apeture project, ready for editing.
For this to work, you’ll need to have multiple card readers. In my experience, the best way to go is with the Lexar Professional Compact Flash Reader. Available with USB 2 or Firewire interfaces, these devices are speedy, sturdy, and have multiple ports, meaning you can easily daisy-chain them together.
The Aperture Card Importer is a great addition for busy shooters, and one that Lightroom currently lacks. Even if you don’t need it, it’s a great example of the extensibility that Aperture has thanks to its AppleScript support, something that should only improve as the application matures.