04 Contrast and saturation
I do think Lightroom’s default conversions look quite flat, and the more I compare its images with those produced by other RAW converters, the more I feel it introduces a slight red cast too.
The differences between these two images are quite subtle, but I think the Aperture version (left) has stronger contrast in the dark tones, better saturation and cleaner, more natural colours.
05 Detail rendition 2
Up close, the detail looks almost identical. If you look closely, though, it becomes apparent that the Lightroom version, right, is very slightly crisper. Aperture, though, is delivering slightly better contrast and saturation.
06 White balance
I’ve found it hard to fault the white balance rendition of any of these RAW converters where I’ve used the ‘As Shot’ setting. Here, the software uses the settings embedded by the camera. If you start making adjustments manually, significant differences start to appear – but that’s a whole topic in itself, and I’ll save that for another post.
I’m a bit disappointed by Lightroom’s overall rendition here, though. The picture lacks contrast and saturation compared to the Aperture version, and that rich twilight sky has come out very flat.