Apple Finally Releases Aperture 3

A month ago I vented about Aperture 2’s stagnation, and many of you rallied along with me. Well everyone can stow their torches and pitchforks — Aperture 3 has finally been released today by Apple (s aapl). With over 200 new features, the latest version of Apple’s professional photo processing and organization software should have something to please everyone.

The fairly obvious improvements like Faces, Places and 64-bit architecture (for Snow Leopard users with Core 2 Duo Processors) are there, of course. But there are so many cool new features — I won’t touch on all of them here — I had to mention a few.

  • Backup on Import Smart & necessary!
    Automatically back up your master images to a second drive during import, freeing you from the need to perform a separate, manual backup.
  • Color Labels
    Apply up to eight different color-coded labels to images to organize and group them. Add a custom name for each color label in Aperture preferences. Simple keyboard shortcuts allow you to apply labels using the keyboard.
  • Fast Library Switching
    Close one Aperture library and open another on the fly by selecting the desired library from the Switch to Library submenu — no need to quit and restart Aperture.
  • Focus Points
    Hover over the Focus Points button in the Camera Info pane to see the focus points used by your camera to autofocus the image. You can also click the button to turn the display of focus points on or off.
  • Nondestructive Brushes YES!!!!
    Make nondestructive image enhancements to specific areas of any photo using new adjustment brushes. Use brush strokes to modify — brush in or brush away — most of the standard image adjustments available in the Adjustments inspector. You can control the size, softness, and strength of each brush with intuitive sliders.
  • Create Multiple Instances of Adjustments
    Apply multiple adjustments of a single type to different parts of an image by creating multiple adjustment bricks for each adjustment. For example, set one Levels adjustment to create the perfect sky. Then add another Levels adjustment brick to selectively perfect skin tones. To add a new instance of an adjustment, choose the Add New option from the Action pop-up menu in each adjustment brick.
  • Support for GPS Track Logs
    In Aperture, you can easily assign locations to photos by importing the track log from a GPS receiver. Then simply drag photos onto the track to have Aperture sync the photos to the location data in the track log. You can also reset the time zone of the track in Aperture.

So yeah, that’s maybe more than a few features I listed, but believe me, there’s plenty to get excited about with Aperture 3. Try it out for free for 30 days, and then if you’re upgrading, pay $99, or $199 for a new user license. (If you’re thinking about picking Aperture up, check out the new ‘in-action’ videos of it here.) We can breathe easy, folks — it looks like our day has finally come.