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Apple introduces 64-bit Aperture 3 with Faces and Places

Apple on Tuesday released the next major update to its photo editing and management software, with Aperture 3 sporting over 200 new features, including Faces, Places and Brushes for $199 new, or $99 to upgrade.

Expanding on the Faces and Places features first introduced in iPhoto '09, Aperture 3 is said to make it easier and faster for users to organize large photo libraries. An exhaustive list of the many new features is available on Apple's Web site.

"Millions of people love using iPhoto to organize, edit and share their digital photos," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "Aperture 3 is designed for both professionals who edit and manage massive libraries of photos and iPhoto users who want to take their photos further with easy-to-use tools such as Brushes and Adjustment Presets."

Aperture 3 introduces new tools to refine photos, including Brushes for painting image adjustments onto parts of a photo, and Adjustment Presets for applying professional photo effects with just one click. New slideshows let users share their work by weaving together photos, audio, text and HD video.

"Aperture 3 gets it right," said National Geographic photographer, Jim Richardson. "The image editing tools are exactly what I have been asking for, they're so easy to use and give me a level of control that I never even thought possible."

The new software carries a suggested retail price of $199, while the upgrade price runs $99. A 30-day trial is also available. Aperture 3 runs as a 64-bit application on Mac OS X Snow Leopard on Macs with Intel Core 2 Duo processors.

"I chose Aperture because it was the most powerful archiving application around, but it's now an unbelievable imaging tool as well," said Bill Frakes, Sports Illustrated staff photographer. "I am beyond impressed with the massive changes made in Aperture 3."

The latest version allows users to organize large photo libraries with even more flexibility using Projects and the new Faces and Places. Faces uses face detection and recognition to find and organize photos by the people in them. Faces can be viewed across an entire photo library or view just the faces that appear in selected projects. In a new view that speeds up the organization process, Aperture 3 displays faces that have been detected but haven't yet been named.

Aperture 3 1

Places allows users to explore photos based on where they were taken, and like in iPhoto, Places automatically reverse geocodes GPS data into user-friendly locations. In Aperture 3, locations can be assigned by dragging-and-dropping photos onto a map or by using location information from GPS enabled cameras, tracking devices or iPhone photos.

Aperture 3 2

The new Brushes feature allows users to add professional touches to photos by simply painting effects onto the image. Aperture 3 includes 15 Quick Brushes that perform the most popular tasks like Dodge, Burn, Polarize and Blur, without the complexity of layers or masks. Brushes can automatically detect edges in images to allow users to apply or remove effects exactly where they want them. Aperture 3 includes dozens of Adjustment Presets that apply a specific style or look to the entire image with just a click. Custom presets can be created, or explore the techniques of other photographers by importing theirs.

Aperture 3 3

Aperture 3's slideshows allow users to select one of six Apple designed themes or choose your own transitions, background, borders and titles, and even add a custom soundtrack. Slideshows can be exported directly to iTunes to take on the go with an iPhone or iPod touch. Photographs can also be shared as prints, or create custom-designed hardcover books and publish to online photo sharing sites like Facebook and Flickr, right from the application.