Difference Between Apple Aperture and iPhoto (With Table)

There are so many photo editing software in the market these days. Choosing the right one for your needs is very important. How good the photo will look after editing will depend on the quality of the software and the features it has. It is desirable to have the best tools, with the best features, especially when it comes to something like photography.

Apple aperture vs iPhoto

The main difference between Apple Aperture and iPhoto is that iPhoto is free software, that comes pre-installed with a MAC and is included in the purchase already. Whereas, Apple aperture is a paid software that you can purchase from the Apple store if you wish to have a more elite editing experience.

Apple Aperture is a photo editing software designed by Apple. It is an upgrade over Apple’s other editing software, the iPhoto. Being an improved and upgraded software, it has many different features that the regular software doesn’t have, which makes it more sophisticated to use and also makes the editing experience a bit better.

iPhoto is the ubiquitous photo editing software provided by Apple, which is virtually present in all the new-gen MACs. Unless you have a very old MAC, chances are you have iPhoto already installed in your device from the company. It is a part of the Apple iLife suite, which is a package that includes iPhoto among other applications.

Comparison Table Between Apple aperture and iPhoto

ParameterApple apertureiPhoto
DefinitionApple aperture is a paid software that provides powerful tools and features for photo editingiPhoto is free software that comes pre-installed on MAC devices
Editing CapabilitiesApple aperture is a professional software and as such it has many more features than other such softwareiPhoto is a basic software and it allows the user to perform basic photo editing
Non-destructive editingThis feature is exclusive only to Apple apertureThis feature is not present in iPhoto
RAW editingApple aperture can process RAW files as is, without the need for conversioniPhoto cannot process RAW files directly and the files are converted to JPEG by default
UsesIt is used by many professional and studio artists for editing tasksIt is basic software and thus it is seldom used in big-budget projects

What is Apple aperture?

Apple aperture is a paid software developed by Apple and is one of the most powerful editing software currently in the market. It is a professional-level editing software and as such, it has many features over the regular software which allows for a more sophisticated and streamlined editing experience.

It is widely used in the professional photography and editing industry. Being highly capable, there are many things that an artist can d using this software, which otherwise would not be possible on the regular software.

One of the features that Apple aperture is known for is the ability to edit photos non-destructively. What this means is that the photo can be edited without making any changes to the original file.

The changes are only made when the rendering has to be created. Thus, if the user is not satisfied with the edits made, they can just cancel all the edits and start anew on the original file.

Apple aperture is also able to process RAW files directly, eliminating the need for any file conversion. This is a powerful feature, as often when RAW files are converted, the file loses quality.

All these features make Apple aperture a very powerful photo editing tool, with many great features and a giant edge over other such applications.

What is iPhoto?

iPhoto is the most basic photo editing software offered by Apple. It is free software and it comes pre-installed with the MAC.

iPhoto is a part of the iLife suite offered by Apple. This is a software package that includes many editing and content creation applications and it comes pre-installed with the purchase of the MAC device.

Hence there is no extra charge on the iPhoto application, as it is included in the purchase. It is a very basic photo editing software, and it can be used for performing basic editing tasks.

 It is very limited in editing capabilities as compared to the other elite applications. One can perform organizational and adjustments tasks using this software.

 Adjusting the saturation, changing the contrast and brightness, redefining the size, and making other such editing changes are some of the features provided in this software.

The software also requires file conversion when working with RAW photos. The software is unable to make changes to RAW photos directly and thus a file conversion to JPEG is required before editing. This conversion is done by default by the software.

Being limited in editing capabilities, iPhoto is not used extensively in professional environments.

Main Differences Between Apple aperture and iPhoto

  1. Apple aperture is a paid software which has to be purchased separately from the Apple store. iPhoto is a free software and it is included on the purchase of a MAC device.
  2. Apple aperture is powerful software, with many features and tools for photo editing. iPhoto is a basic software and is very limited in its photo editing capabilities.
  3. Apple aperture is capable of non-destructive photo editing which is a very powerful tool and is exclusive to the software. iPhoto does not have non-destructive photo editing capabilities.
  4. iPhoto is very basic when ir comes to the edits that can be made. It is not used in professional environments. Apple aperture is extensively used in professional environments.
  5. Apple aperture can edit RAW photos directly, without the need for file conversion. iPhoto cannot edit RAW files directly and the files have to be converted before editing.


The capability of editing software depends on the features offered. Software with more features is more capable and thus is used more sought after by professionals.

Both Apple Aperture and iPhoto are editing software offered by Apple. iPhoto is free software and is installed on all Apple devices.

Apple aperture on the other hand has to be purchased separately from the Apple store and thus is not included in the purchase of a MAC device.

Both the software are poles apart when it comes to the actual editing capabilities. Apple aperture is a professional tool and thus has many powerful features over iPhoto.

iPhoto is a basic editing tool and thus only basic changes can be made using this software. Depending on the need, choosing the correct software is very important as the level of photo editing varies vastly when using either of the software.


  1. https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/mono/10.4324/9780080926810/apple-aperture-2-ken-mcmahon-nik-rawlinson
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=DvlRKXRlOvcC&oi=fnd&pg=PR6&dq=iPhoto&ots=Rp5F7c-FlS&sig=I_2zNnJiuaiZVeGRXec1b4MwWnI
  3. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4302-0519-7_11
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