Thursday, January 12

iPhoto 6 Quick Impressions

I had a few minutes to play around with iPhoto 6 last night after I finished installing iLife ’06. I didn’t yet have a chance to look at the big changes (photocasting, new books/calendars) but I noticed a few little differences:
  • Scrolling around the library view is a lot faster.
  • The format of the library has changed. Instead of the old year/month/day directory structure, it’s now year/roll. Also, the originals and rendered versions have parallel structures, rather than the old “Originals” folder that used to be in the day folder. This is a step forward because it’s now much easier to pick a set of originals and back it up (very important with 5+ meg RAW photos). This is a step backward because it’s harder to find where to save a JPEG when you use an external editor to process the RAW.
  • There are two new settings for RAW files. You can have RAWs sent to the external editor now, and you can have iPhoto save RAWs that it processes as TIFFs. The former is nice, since in iPhoto 5 you needed to remember to drag-and-drop photos to get the RAW versions into an external editor. I probably won’t use the latter option, as the TIFFs are huge and JPEGs look quite fine for my purposes.
  • The comparison feature is pretty nice in full screen editing, but you need to duplicate a photo in order to compare it with itself.
I’m always most excited about new book templates in each successive version of iPhoto. I’m also looking forward to the supposedly higher-quality printing process. The quality of the image printing in the last book I ordered was slightly disappointing.