Camera gear website Shotkit has run a survey of 657 photographers to find out what software they use, and Lightroom is by far the most popular option, with 58% of the vote. Equally interesting are the reasons why users don’t choose Lightroom, and what they use instead.
The survey respondents were 67% amateurs and 33% professionals, which may have a part to play in some of the outcomes and opinions.
Why photographers use Lightroom
These are the findings of the Shotkit photo editing software survey:
- 58% of photographers use Lightroom
- This is mainly because it has all the editing features they need
- Another reason is its ease of use
Lightroom’s dominance perhaps shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, though there’s no mention of the Lightroom/Lightroom Classic split, and I would guess that the desktop Classic version that’s the most popular.
Read more: Lightroom vs Lightroom Classic
Why photographers don’t use Lightroom
- The most common reason is that they don’t want to pay a subscription, though it has to be said that many software vendors are now headed in that direction and the total cost of ownership can be a lot lower.
- The second most common reason is that it doesn’t provide all the tools they need, which makes sense for layered composites and effects.
Read more: Subscriptions vs single fee software
The three most popular Lightroom alternatives
This is slightly more complicated because it includes software photographers use as well as Lightroom and instead of.
- Photoshop is the most popular tool for use alongside Lightroom
- Luminar is second, which surprises me, though Skylum’s marketing has been pretty relentless.
- Capture One is the most popular Lightroom alternative, and in third spot as an additional program, which is again odd since there is so much crossover with Lightroom, but then it is especially effective for a commercial/studio workflow.
- Other programs like Affinity Photo, ON1 Photo RAW and DxO PhotoLab are well down the list with single-figure percentages.
To see the full set of results, analysis and graphics, check out the full Shotkit photo editing survey.