Apple debuts Aperture 2, slashes price

On Tuesday, nearly a year and a half after the company first broke into the professional photography market with its editing suite, a new version was released.

Apple says about 100 new features are included in this latest release, as well as performance enhancements and a new image processing engine. Additionally, it has dropped the price by $100 to $199.

The company is likely hoping to expand the reach of Aperture beyond the professional market. Competitor Adobe offers its Lightroom product for $299, so the move could be seen as a shot across the bow in expanding its market share.

Cupertino certainly has a long way to go if recent market share data is any indication. Among professionals it only holds a 6.5 percent market share, while Lightroom holds a 23.6 percent share.

A new user interface has been developed for this release, which adds new keyboard shortcuts and a tabbed inspector panel. Some organizational features have been borrowed from iPhoto, including an Events-like viewer to quickly scan through projects.

Performance enhancements allow for quick navigation through images in a library, and images can be exported in the background to allow for simultaneous work on several projects.

More on the new version's feature set can be found on the Aperture website. The software is available immediately through Apple and its network of retailers.

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