Eagerly expected, this morning Apple finally posted it’s Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Update 3.5 in Software Update with RAW conversion for the new Nikon D7000. This makes this camera’s NEF files accessible to Aperture, iPhoto and all other Apple programs that use image files. As Aperture is my preferred image management and manipulation tool, I was enthusiastic about this long waited-for update. The workflow improvements were obvious right away. Imports from the SD cards are faster and Aperture neatly stacks matching NEF and JPEG files.
I had been using a variety of RAW conversion programs on the D7000 NEF files up until now, the last one being Capture One Pro 6. So, a comparison on a recent file is in order. In the following two screenshots, the Aperture RAW conversion is on the left side, the Capture One Pro 6 conversion (to 16-bit TIFF) on the right. As always, all images are clickable for full size.
This comparison speaks for itself, but let me paraphrase: Apple’s RAW conversion is cleaner, has less noise and more detail. Colors, of course, are a matter of taste.
I’ll be using an exclusive Aperture workflow from now on.