Aperture 2 - Technical Specifications

Aperture 2 - Part Numbers
Retail MB284Z/A
Upgrade MB286Z/A
Academic MB285Z/A


Minimum Hardware Requirements

  • One of the following Mac computers:
    • Mac Pro
    • 15- or 17-inch MacBook Pro
    • MacBook
    • Mac mini with an Intel Core Solo or Duo processor
    • iMac with a 1.8 GHz or faster PowerPC G5 or Intel Core Duo processor
    • Power Mac G5 with a 1.6 GHz or faster PowerPC G5 processor
    • 15- or 17-inch PowerBook G4 with a 1.25 GHz or faster PowerPC G4 processor
  • 1 GB of random-access memory (RAM)
  • 2 GB of RAM required for Mac Pro
  • One of the following graphics cards:
    • ATI Radeon X600 Pro, X600 XT, X800 XT Mac Edition, X850 XT, X1600, X1900 XT, 9800 XT, 9800 Pro, 9700 Pro, 9600, 9600 XT, 9600 Pro, 9650, HD 2400 XT, or HD 2600 Pro
    • ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 or 9600
    • ATI Mobility X1600
    • NVIDIA GeForce FX 5200 Ultra, 6600, 6600 LE, 6800 Ultra DDL, 6800 GT DDL, 7300 GT, 7800 GT, or 8600M GT
    • NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500
    • Intel GMA950
  • DVD drive for installation

Minimum Software Requirements

  • Mac OS X v10.4.11 Tiger
  • Mac OS X v10.5.2 Leopard (or later)

Recommended Configuration

  • Mac computer with a 2 GHz or faster Intel Core Duo processor or dual 2 GHz or faster PowerPC G5 processors
  • 2 GB of RAM
  • One of the following graphics cards:
    • ATI Radeon X800 XT Mac Edition, 9800 XT, 9800 Pro, X1900 XT, or X1600
    • NVIDIA GeForce 6800 series or 7800 GT
    • NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500
    • 5 GB of disk space for the application and sample projects

Available Hard Disk Space

Aperture and its associated features require a certain amount of available disk space:

  • 5 GB of disk space for the application and sample projects


  • Import images directly from cameras and storage devices
    • CompactFlash I, CompactFlash II, and Microdrive
    • Memory Stick and Memory Stick Duo
    • Secure Digital, MultiMedia, and SmartMedia cards
    • xD-Picture cards
  • Import from multiple cards simultaneously
  • Drag in files from any volume (preserves Finder folder hierarchy)
  • Browse and import directly from iPhoto library
  • Capture images directly from tethered Nikon and Canon cameras1

File Formats

  • Native RAW import and editing of images from leading digital cameras and camera backs (See RAW support page for model listing.)
    • .ARW, .CR2, .CRW, .MOS, .NEF, .RAF, .RAW, .SRW, .TIF, .OLY, .FFF, .3FR, .DNG2
  • Compatible with all major still image formats

Photo Management

  • Store photographs anywhere: external hard drives, RAID arrays, optical media
  • Import photos into an Aperture-managed library or reference them in place without copying or moving them from their physical locations
  • Use file management tools to consolidate masters, move referenced images, manage offline photographs, and check status (such as online/offline or referenced)
  • Rename master files on disk
  • Use Folder Name Presets to create folders and subfolders automatically when importing or relocating master images
  • Append additional metadata or replace existing metadata entirely during a batch change
  • Work with thousands of projects
  • Locate images quickly with the high-performance database
  • Organize photos in projects and albums
  • Include up to 100,000 master images in a project with as many versions as needed
  • Create albums from any combination of images
  • Combine photos from multiple projects into albums
  • Detect duplicates on import
  • Search using Smart Albums based on metadata queries
  • Archive and back up with one click
  • Back up to multiple drives concurrently
  • Track backup status and location of all images

Image Processing

  • Preserve original images with nondestructive image processing
  • Create alternate versions without using extra disk space
  • Tweak RAW Decode setting using fine-tuning controls:
    • Boost (reduce or increase image contrast)
    • Hue Boost
    • Sharpening
    • Moire
    • Auto Noise Compensation
  • Save individual adjustments as Adjustment Presets and apply them whenever needed
  • Choose the version of the RAW decode on an image-by-image basis to produce the best-quality images
  • Use the Color Meter to sample pixel values in RGB, CMYK, or LAB anywhere in an image; display in HSB (hue, saturation, brightness) or HSL (hue, saturation, luminance)
  • Use Hot and Cold Pixel overlays to show pixels that are out of range
  • Adjust images using photographer’s essential nondestructive editing tools:
    • Exposure
    • Highlight Recovery
    • Black Point
    • Vibrancy
    • Definition
    • Histogram
    • Levels
    • Color
    • Highlights and Shadows
    • Edge Sharpen
    • White Balance
    • Monochrome filter with RGB Channel Mixer
    • Crop
    • Straighten
    • Flip Image
    • Red-eye Correction
    • Noise Reduction
    • Vignette and Devignette
    • Retouch (soft-edged Repair and Clone)
    • Color Monochrome filter
    • Sepia Tone filter
  • Spot and Patch tools
  • Lift and Stamp tool to copy and paste adjustments
  • Stacks to manage alternate versions
  • Seamless Photoshop integration:
    • One-click export directly to Photoshop as PSD or TIFF (8-bit or 16-bit)
    • Native support for flattened or single-layer PSD files3
    • Management of Photoshop-generated image versions
  • Plug-in architecture enables third-party imaging software to work with either TIFF or RAW images directly within Aperture as plug-ins.
  • Dodge & Burn plug-in adds brush-based tools for Dodge (Lighten), Burn (Darken), Contrast, Saturation, Sharpen, and Blur.

Compare and Select Tools

  • Stacks
    • Group sequences of shots
    • Automatically group bursts and bracketed shots
    • Manually stack alternate shots
    • Collapse entire shoots down to selects
  • Full-screen workspace for comparing images
  • Viewing of multiple images side by side
  • Simultaneous zooming of multiple images
  • Quick Preview mode for rapid-fire image browsing
  • Compare mode for selecting shots
  • Digital Loupe tool for magnifying images
  • Digital Light Table for organizing images and creating comp layouts


  • ColorSync color-managed output
  • Onscreen soft proofing
  • Specify size and resolution of exported images
  • Embed ColorSync and ICC profile data during file export
  • Embed IPTC metadata during file export
  • Drag-and-drop JPEG export into Mac OS X applications
  • Export IPTC metadata as XMP sidecar files or embed into master images on export
  • Expert local printing:
    • Images
    • Customizable contact sheets
    • Light Table comps
    • Gamma adjustment
    • Black point compensation
    • Print sharpening with radius control
  • Order color-managed prints online
  • Publish photos to MobileMe Gallery
    • Password-protect MobileMe Gallery
    • Allow downloading of JPEGs or master images
    • Sync published MobileMe Gallery with library automatically
  • Integrated layout and authoring tools for web
  • Integrated layout and authoring tools for books
    • Fully customizable template library
    • High-resolution book printing
  • Create and order professionally printed books
    • Three sizes: small (softcover), medium (softcover), and large (softcover or hardcover)
    • Full-bleed dust jackets and foil-stamped covers (for hardcover only)
    • Layout tools for specifying size, position, and angle of photos on page
  • Built-in Automator workflows to automatically generate JPEG or TIFF images from book pages

User Interface

  • Streamlined interface designed for photographic work
  • Color-neutral user interface palette
  • Adjustable background luminance
  • Customizable window layouts
  • Integrated Projects, Metadata, and Adjustments Inspectors
  • Variable-size thumbnails
  • Heads-up displays, tools, and controls
  • Full Screen mode for single or multiple displays
  • All Projects view for visually skimming contents of projects
  • Default tools in Adjustments Inspector customizable
  • Keyboard-controllable adjustment tools
  • Media Browser in iLife, iWork, and throughout Leopard for access to Aperture library, albums, and Smart Albums across the Mac OS
  • Customizable keyboard shortcuts
  • Built-in iPhoto Browser to access iPhoto images from within Aperture
  • Syncing of albums, Smart Albums, or entire Aperture library to iPod, iPhone, or Apple TV using iTunes
  • Control of slideshows with Apple Remote
  • Export API for access to third-party services via vendor-supplied export plug-ins
  • Gesture support for Multi-Touch trackpads


  • Comprehensive IPTC and EXIF metadata support
  • View, extract, or add any metadata
  • Define custom metadata sets
  • Speed metadata entry by creating Metadata Presets — prefilled IPTC presets from copyright, captions, and other metadata fields
  • Customize display of metadata throughout workflow
  • Add metadata automatically to batches on import
  • Embed IPTC metadata on export of versions or master images
  • Use powerful Query tool for searching, sorting, and sifting
  • Search images based on adjustments applied
  • Adjust time and date to correct timestamps on images
  • Lift and Stamp tool for copying and pasting metadata

  1. Tethering requires compliance with standard protocols that are not supported by all camera models. See "Aperture 2: Tips on tethered shooting" for some guidelines concerning the support of tethered cameras.
  2. DNG files must be generated by the Adobe DNG Converter with the "Convert to Linear Image" option turned off.
  3. Aperture maintains but does not display layer and alpha channel information in PSD files.
Published Date: Sep 30, 2011