Apple Aperture 3

Operating requirements: Mac OS X 10.7.5 or later

Aperture is more of a Lightroom alternative than a Photoshop CS6 alternative, and if you’re a Mac user it might be just what you need. Aperture blends advanced features such as RAW processing, manual retouching, custom-printing elements, and tagging/organization tools with novice-friendly options such as facial recognition, geotagging, and one-click filters. Unlike Lightroom, Aperture does not offer built-in lens-distortion correction out of the box, but there are several Aperture plugins available on Apple’s site that offer that and many other features.

Earlier versions of Aperture were notoriously system-intensive, requiring a lot of processing power to run, but Aperture 3 is much improved. At $80 it’s hard to find much to complain about.

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