The TNT delivery guy was here and delivered my iLife ‘05 pack which I bought solely because of iPhoto. (Apple refused to give me a student discount for the software, even though I ordered via the net. I’ve heared people don’t get student discounts in Apple’s stores.) I use my Canon Ixus, Canon EOS 20D, HP Scanner and Nikon negativescanner much, so being very annoyed about the sluggish performance of iPhoto 2 but loving its way of interacting with my blog and organising pictures, and hearing good thing about performance on iPhoto 4 and that iPhoto 5 would be better performance wise, I decided to upgrade after they threw in RAW handling (which seems to be a total fake).

First impression: the DVD was filthy. I opened the box, took it out of its envelope, and had to clean it before putting it in my drive. Wow, I’ve never had that happen to me with new software before. Was the packaging done by hand or something? Anyways. iLife takes a whopping 4.7 GB, or 5% of my harddrive. The installation took 45 minutes, the converting of my iPhoto 2 library of 800 photos took 2 hours! (I run a 1Ghz iMac with 1GB ram)

Scrolling is indeed much faster. Not as fast as f-spot, but still fast. Opening a 8 megapixel picture takes 3 seconds, opening a 20 megapixel picture takes 6 seconds. Saving a slightly cropped 20 megapixel picture took 37 seconds! Saving a slightly cropped 8 megapixel image took 8 seconds. Each edit must be saved before proceeding to the next picture, no option to make changes on previews and then batch them together in one go. Meaning I won’t be using iPhoto to edit my 20 megapixel photos that my filmscanner makes.

RAW: (what we’ve all been waiting for) No camera color profiles to load, no spot white balance to set. Just lots and lots of impresise sliders so you can see what it looks like and choose a setting based on that. In other word, it’s no replacement for ufraw (or whatever RAW converting application you use). Even Canon’s bundeled software handles development from RAW images nicer, and I really don’t like that bundled software. So even though I have iPhoto, I still want to keep working on RAW support for f-spot, and you might want to stick with your favourite RAW processing software.

Good thing: getting to continue my work while it does the importing. Bad thing: doing so led to my first iPhoto 5 crash, after under an hour of usage. Wee. ;-) I hope we’ll see Apple updating this one quickly. Bug report sent.

Preferences: why can I not choose Thunderbird as my email program?

So, based on my first impressions, this is my wishlist for Apple to improve iPhoto ‘05:

  • REAL RAW support
  • Batch handling for editing
  • No crashing
  • Faster image handling

Categories: Photography Technology