Serenity Caldwell has a great piece at iMore covering everything we can expect from Photos.app when it comes to OS X sometime in the next few months, and I for one am really looking forward to it making an appearance on my MacBook Air.
I'm a keen photographer, shooting with my Canon EOS 600D. I've learned a lot from using it over the past year and I'm really happy with the camera and my ability to shoot good photos with it. I'll likely be aquiring some more lenses this year and getting to grips with them as the next step in my photography education. What I'm not happy with are the editing tools available to me right now.
Currently I use iPhoto for editing my shots. It's not great. Not even close. The app is slow, clunky, terrible at managing photographs on my behalf, and not really powerful enough. I'm caught between a rock and a hard place right now. I can either soldier on with iPhoto, knowing that I'm not getting the best out of my photos, or I can invest a significant amount of time and energy learning how to use a professional photography editing app like Lightroom. The problem with the latter option is that I just don't have the necessary time to invest in learning how to use Lightroom effectively. Added to the fact that I've become increasingly frustrated with iPhoto recently after some really nice photo editing tools on iOS have come to the fore, and I'm left stranded in the middle of two very polar options on my Mac.
I am hoping — and it sure looks likely — that Photos.app will be the much needed solution I crave. In videos of the beta it's clear that the app is quick and snappy, which is an istant plus. More importantly though is the editing tools. With iOS 8 the editing tools bulit into the Photos app became truly powerful, I use them all the time on my iPhone, adjusting the highlights, exposure, colour stauration, etc of all my photos. I can do more with these basic tools on iOS in about 90% of situations than I can do on my Mac with iPhoto, it's crazy to me how much better these silders in iOS 8 are. Coupled with the tools found in the Snapseed app I can do some truly great work with photos on my iPhone and iPad now. This is why I'm so glad to see that Apple is bringing the same slider tools found in iOS over to OS X. I'm also looking forward to another possibility: it's been strongly hinted that Photos may well allow other apps to inegrate with it, in an "extensions-like" way. This would be marvellous. It would allow me to slowly bolt-on extra editing tools at my own pace and learn how to use them one-by-one, this is much less overwhelming a prospect than diving into Lightroom and learning on the fly.
The last huge positive as I see it is the photo management system, which — like the editing tools — mirrors it's iOS counterpart. This is great news for someone like me who just does minimal management of their photos and wants the app to pick up the slack. I'll create collections based on location and albums for my best work, but beyond that I just want the app to handle everything else for me in a relatively decent way. I know from my experience on iOS that this is what I'll get with Photos.app from the collections view.
Ultimately my aim will be to take my expertise to a higer level and learn how to use Lightroom to it's potential. But Photos.app looks like it's going to let me learn to walk before I try learning to run, which I'm very much thankful for.