I was going to try to use Apple Aperture 3 for portrait shoots and use Lightroom 3 for large engagements like weddings and events. You can beat Lightroom 3 for speed and workflow. But Aperture 3 has some real nice brushes for skin smoothing, retouching, and blurring that would allow me to aleviate the need to go to Photoshop. I can do some level of smooting and retouching in Lightroom 3, but it isn't as powerful as Aperture 3.
So I did an executive photography shoot in my studio and decided give Aperture 3 the business. I did an in camera white balance with my WhiBal card. I brought the photos into Aperture and did my photo editing. I had about a dozen photos so the the speed and workflow concerns aren't a big deal.
The photos looked pretty good, but there were a few things that I just didn't like. So for comparison purposes I imported the photos into Lightroom. To my surprise the skin tones were more natural with Lightroom. The Aperture skin tones were a little red and the vignette control just didn't give me a dark enough vignette and I wasn't able to control the shape and tone of the vignette as well as Lightroom.
These two pictures don't really show the differences that well. On my screen the differences were more pronounced. The photograph on the left is from Lightroom and the photograph on the right is from Aperture.
I will still use Aperture for my home photographs and video management. I was hoping the Lightroom 3 when it went into production would have better video support. I can't wait for Adobe anymore so I bought Aperture 3 and love the video support and the slideshow feature which allows me to produce great movies that combine stills, video, and music.
The KILLER feature of Lightroom 3 is the Lens Correction feature. I hand hold a lot of group portraits at weddings. I try to get my lines straight in camera, but they always seemed to need to be tweaked in Photoshop. This feature allows me to get nice straight lines and remove all lens distortion, saving me from a lot of round trips to Photoshop. The noise reduction is much better and the overal image quality is much improved over Lightroom 2.