Alongside Aperture 3, Apple also updated its software for handling a range of raw photo formats this week with support for two out of three of Panasonic's Micro Four Thirds compact cameras and some other models.
That latter fact led to complaints and some possible workarounds on Apple's forums. Another way around missing raw support is to use Adobe's DNG Converter, which often supports new raw formats sooner, to decode the proprietary formats. Aperture can import and edit DNG files.
Raw files taken directly from camera image sensors offer higher quality and flexibility than JPEGs, but they also require processing in software to produce photos that are more conveniently viewed or shared with others. Apple's update requires Mac OS X 10.5 or 10.6 and works with Aperture 3 and iPhoto 09.
Also supported in the Apple update is Canon's newer high-end S90 compact, its Panasonic DMC-LX3 and Leica D-Lux 4 competitors introduced in 2008, and two formats from Canon SLRs, sraw and mraw, that produce smaller, lower-resolution files.
The full list of Apple-supported raw formats is available on Apple's support site. For a full list of Aperture-related downloads and Apple support updates, be sure to check Topher Kessler's run-down at MacFixIt.