Aperture vs Lightroom vs Bibble Pro

Finally, I’ve upgraded my Canon 10D.  I recently purchased the Canon 7D with Canon 10-22 lens.  The 7D camera is awesome.  I would like to have purchased the 5D, but the price difference was too high.

My 10D raw conversion workflow is no longer sufficient with my new camera.  So, I set out to determine which popular software can meet my objective:

* Produce the best possible jpg images, with minimal effort, as fast as reasonably possible.

A little web research and I had decided the top 3 software packages for me were:

1.  Aperture 3 (Mac only)
2.  Bibble Pro 5 (Windows, Mac, Linux)
3.  Lightroom 3 (Windows, Mac)

This comparison is not scientific and the results are subjective.  I’m sure I could get better results from all 3 packages with more tweaking.  But, that would defeat my objective of minimal effort.  If I really want to get tweak happy on a single photo, I’d probably use Photoshop anyway.

If you’d like to run your own tests … here are links to my original Canon 7d raw images.

original-girl.cr2
original-noise.cr2

I prefer the skin tone and detail I got from lightroom.  Aperture looked blown out and bibble looked washed out.

Here is the 1:1 pixel detail from each raw converion.  Aperture created extra noise.  Bibble looks too soft.  Lightroom looks best.

Lightroom is the clear winner when it comes to noise reduction.  This photo was shot in low light at 1250 ISO and had plenty of noise.  Lightroom makes the image look as if I had shot at 100 ISO!  Bibble’s noise ninja did a good job, but has fewer controls.  Aperture didn’t improve noise much at all.

Conclusion:

For me, Lightroom definitely produces the best images with minimal effort. When speed is most important and your willing to sacrifice some image quality, Bibble is the fastest by a wide margin. Aperture can produce great results, but I think it takes too much tweaking and the interface feels slowest.

Comments

  1. Denis
    September 3rd, 2010 at 06:52 | #1

    Some more sharpening for B?

  2. Zaph
    September 3rd, 2010 at 08:28 | #2

    “But, that would defeat my objective of minimal effort”

    Not at all, I think you are looking at that the wrong way. They all have some from of settable presets that you can have it apply by default to your images, without a heck of a lot of time to setup. Bibble for example, add some sharpening, save that as the camera default, and every other image you import has that sharpening automatically added. Aperture has the same too.

  3. September 3rd, 2010 at 09:48 | #3

    Agreed. My analysis was basic and meant to help me decide which package I would prefer to use. I still stand by my opinion that lightroom produces the best results of the 3 with equivalent effort.

  4. destupat
    November 6th, 2010 at 17:44 | #4

    Bibble is better than Lightroom, the settings are finer, image output cleared. About Aperture, I don’t know.
    Lightroom is easier to use but bibble has better algorythms and noise ninja seems to be the best noise reduction stuff, which is included in bibble pro.

  5. November 6th, 2010 at 18:17 | #5

    That’s interesting. I’ve used bibble for many years as my main raw converter for my canon 10d images. When I got the 7D, I thought it was a good time to review alternatives to bibble. I just wanted to share my conclusions here (see above). Everyone’s needs are different and I think all 3 packages are excellent with subtle advantages and disadvantages.

    I’ll have to disagree on the noise reduction though. In my test (click beer bottle image above) Lightroom was much better than Bibble’s noise ninja.

  6. celusnak
    November 18th, 2010 at 06:52 | #6

    Alan – thanks for turning me on to Lightroom 3. I’ve used 2.5 in the past and had dismissed it – mainly because of the noise reduction. Was able to salvage some crazy noisy images with 3.

  7. Steve Jacobson
    December 11th, 2010 at 21:13 | #7

    If you want a no-brainer raw converter for your camera, use DXO Optics Pro Standard:

    http://www.dxo.com

    I have been using it for years, and it makes life simple. You basically give it a directory where your raw images are stored, select those images with an image correction preset (you can use the standard ones, or make up your own), select what type of output you want, and then let it run. It will use all cores in your machine until all the raw files have been converted. It knows what lens and camera you are using, and makes the appropriate corrections to the output. Check it out.

    I have no connection with them. Just a happy customer.

  8. Steve Jacobson
    December 11th, 2010 at 21:15 | #8

    I forgot to mention, the image correction presets can do noise reduction as well as all sorts of other image corrections.

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