September 21, 2009

Lightroom pulls further ahead of Aperture

The past couple of years at this time (see entries for 2007, 2008), independent research company InfoTrends has surveyed professional photographers* about their choices of raw image-processing tools. It’s interesting to check in on how the competition between Adobe Photoshop Lightroom & Apple Aperture is going.

Among photographic pros using the Mac,

  • In 2007 Lightroom was nearly twice as popular as Aperture
  • In 2008 it was nearly three times as popular
  • In 2009 it’s approaching four times as popular

By the numbers:

  2007 2008 2009
Photoshop Camera Raw plug-in 66.5% 62.2% 57.9%



35.9% 37.0%
Aperture 5.5% 7.5% 6.3%
On the Mac platform only:    
Lightroom 26.6% 40.4% 44.4%
Aperture 14.3% 14.6% 12.5%

You might notice some decline in the use of the Camera Raw plug-in inside Photoshop as more pros move to using Lightroom. Let me be clear in noting that Photoshop use among these pros remains in the 90% range, and that the decline applies only to Camera Raw usage. (That makes sense as Lightroom and Camera Raw share the same processing engine, and photographers are, as expected, handling more of their raw processing in Lightroom.)

As always, everyone at Adobe couldn’t be happier about the warm reception pro photographers have given LR, and we’re grateful to the amazing, thriving community that’s grown up around the product. The team has just scratched the surface of Lightroom’s potential, and the future looks great.

[Update: InfoTrends asked that we add additional statistical information to the results provided in the blog post. I should have noted the margins of error, which for all the respondents were +/- 2.5% (2008) and +/- 3.1% (2009) and for Mac users was +/-3.6% (2008) and +/- 4.5% (2009) at a 95% confidence interval. The differences between 2008 and 2009 fall within the margin of error for the sample sizes.]

* 1,045 in North America this year, a sample very similar to that of past years

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Adobe MAX in two weeks; Travel & registration deals available

If you’re tempted to check out Adobe MAX in LA but haven’t yet pulled the trigger, check out the range of discounts available on attendance, transportation, and lodging. MAX is always an incredible show, and we hope to see you there.
Update: I forgot to mention that my fellow PMs will be presenting some great sessions on Photoshop. From the session guides:

  • Join Photoshop Product Manager Bryan O’Neil Hughes in a deep dive into the hidden gems of Photoshop CS4. He’ll also reveal many new technologies released since Photoshop CS4, including the Digital Negative (DNG) Profile Editor for customizing camera profiles, Pixel Bender for creating filters and effects, Configurator for producing custom panels in Photoshop, and enhancements to Adobe Camera Raw. Tuesday, October 6, 2009: 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
  • Join Photoshop Product Manager Zorana Gee as she shares her favorite techniques for working with the incredible Photoshop CS4 Extended 3D features. Learn how to paint directly on 3D models, wrap 2D images around 3D shapes, convert gradient maps to 3D objects, and add depth to layers and text. Monday, October 5, 2009: 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm

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Monday Illustrations: Retro-modern Coke heads

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