Apple Releases Aperture 3 – Retail Price Is $199, Upgrade Costs $99

It’s been almost 2 years to the day when Apple released Aperture 2.0, and this morning the company announced that the third iteration of the photo editing and management software is available. Some of the new features include Faces, Places and Brushes, many of which will be familiar to people using iPhoto ’09.

With the new version, Apple makes it easier for people to step up from iPhoto to Aperture, while still providing professional photographers with a powerful program for editing and managing their libraries. Apple says the new software boasts over 200 new features.

One of those, Faces, works just like in iPhoto, using face recognition technology to find and organize photos by the people in them. You can view faces across your entire photo library or view just the faces that appear in selected projects. In a new view, Aperture 3 displays faces that have been detected but haven’t yet been named.

Places lets you explore photos based on the location they were taken, and like in iPhoto, Places automatically reverse geocodes GPS data into locations.

In Aperture 3, you can assign locations by dragging-and-dropping photos onto a map or by using location information from GPS enabled cameras, tracking devices or iPhone photos.

Aperture 3 also introduces new tools to refine your photos including Brushes for painting image adjustments onto parts of your photo, and Adjustment Presets for applying professional photo effects.

New slideshows let you share your work by weaving together photos, audio, text and HD video.

Apple features six pre-designed themes but also lets you choose your own transitions, background, borders and titles, and add your own soundtrack. You can export your slideshows directly to iTunes to take with you on your iPhone or iPod touch. There’s also a social networking element to the new Aperture, as you can publish photographs to online photo sharing sites like Facebook and Flickr, straight from the software client, in addition to the ability to print photo books.

The Apple Store is currently still down back up – you can get it here as well as in the company’s own retail stores and Authorized Resellers for a suggested retail price of $199. Existing Aperture users can upgrade for a suggested retail price of $99.

A downloadable 30-day trial version is available here. Aperture 3 runs as a 64-bit application on Mac OS X Snow Leopard on Macs with Intel Core 2 Duo processors.