Aperture 2: RAW Decode 2.0

I took my favourite RAW decoder torture test image into Aperture 2 last night to see if the claims of improved image quality held up. I think they do, and here is my example.

Firstly, this is the image processed by Aperture 1.5.4 using version 1.1 of their RAW decoder. It's OK, but there's a significant and nasty yellow band around the sun - a hard step transition between highlights and white.

Taking in the Dawn

Aperture RAW Decode 1.1

A while later, I reprocessed this image in Adobe Camera RAW and Photoshop CS3. This gave a much better result in the bright highlights around the sun. This image has a slightly different crop, but only in the shadows.

Taking in the Dawn, 2nd Edition

Adobe Camera RAW

Last night, I reprocessed the image again in Aperture 2 using the RAW 2.0 decoder. I think the results are now practically indistinguishable from ACR. They're possibly even better.

Taking In The Dawn, Aperture 2 edition

Aperture 2, RAW Decode 2.0

So far, I'm very impressed with the new RAW decoder in Aperture 2.