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

Posted by John Nack at 7:42 PM on September 21, 2009
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