PhotoshopNews.com
Feb 22, 2008

CNET Aperture/Lightroom Poll Skewed?

PSN posted a story earlier today noting that CNET has posted a poll about Poll: Which is better, Aperture or Lightroom?

Well, so far the poll results as of 5:45PM Central have Apple’s Aperture out ahead by a whopping 63.4% to Lightroom’s 36.6%. Could it be that people are really that more impressed with Aperture than Lightroom?

I suppose it could be…but since this is the season of politics and polls, I though I would look into this a little bit.

While the poll story had been placed at the top of the CNET Top Technology news headlines banner on and off during the day, it seems that Apple’s www.apple.com/startpage/ has had the story about the poll up ALL day.
poll-story.png

So, am I saying that Apple has intentionally skewed the results of the poll by placing this poll story on their startpage? Not at all.

But it does make one wonder if the current poll results are really an accurate representation of general CNET viewers or the opinions of a lot of Mac users who found out about the story directly from Apple’s startpage. Could it be that Apple users, who we all know are, shall we say, passionate, may have been inclined to vote along party lines? Since Aperture is not available for Windows (and Lightroom is), could it be that only Apple users would really have an informed opinion?

As a resident of Chicago (you do know that our nickname; “The Windy City” refers to Chicago politics, not our weather, right), I’m pretty sure that “Polls” are really only a representation of the views of those polled and who those people may be can always be “adjusted” by outside factors. Just ask Hillary and the recent Wisconsin polls that showed her much closer to Obama than the election results showed.

So, in the old Chicago political tradition, maybe Lightroom users need to vote early, and vote often!

:~)

19 Responses to “CNET Aperture/Lightroom Poll Skewed?”

  1. jerryrock Says:

    Could it be that your viewpoint is skewed? There are many dedicated Aperture users who feel that Lightroom was produced as a reaction to Apple’s Aperture, and is still not a finished product. With features like dual monitor support, independent tethering, and accurate print previews, one could make the argument that Aperture 2.0 is the better program.

  2. Jeff Schewe Says:

    >There are many dedicated Aperture users who feel that Lightroom was produced as a reaction to Apple’s Aperture

    Well, you are welcome to your opinion, but the FACTS would kinda conflict…Lightroom (AKA Shadowland) was actually started by Adobe a few months before Aperture…you can read about the Shadowlonad/Lightroom Development story HERE. So, what came first wasn’t Aperture…it was released first…but first isn’t always best, ya know?

    I won’t disagree that Aperture 2.0 added a lot of new (for Aperture) and important functionality…but if you go through the 101 new features of Aperture 2.0, you will find that Aperture, on many of those “new” features actually only added parity with Lightroom 1.3.x.

    But, the question remains, was the poll skewed by Apple’s posting on their startpage?

    :~)

  3. johnbeardy Says:

    And see http://apertureprofessional.com/showthread.php?t=12347 urging “OK, AUPN readers, please make your voices heard.”

    No doubt they’ll all have swallowed the Ap2 vs LR article
    http://apertureprofessional.com/showthread.php?t=12178 that’s so accurate that I’m going to demand LR has hierarchical keywording, print sharpening, shadow and highlight control, shadow and highlight clipping, and something as lame as lift and stamp instead of Auto Sync.

    The thing is, if Lightroom users were encouraged to post to this gerrymandered poll, then they’d all be dismissed as card-carrying PC users or Adobe shills.

  4. mikeearly Says:

    Well, we will probably have a pretty good handle on the TOTAL number of Aperture users once this poll is wrapped up …. well actually the total number of Aperture users uplifted by say a factor of 25% to handle the number of “hey, I can vote again and again”.

    Actually, I am quite happy to see Aperture add the new features and get closer to parity with LR as I am convinced that competition makes things better for all of us. But I do hate to see such an unscientific and sloppy poll that is going to produce results that are going to generate all kinds of claims and counter-claims and drive the list-groups crazy — oh wait, maybe that is not such a bad thing either…… there are few individual in those groups that will love this and it always nice to feed them occasionally …….

  5. Andrew Rodney Says:

    >There are many dedicated Aperture users who feel that Lightroom was produced as a reaction to Apple’s Aperture, and is still not a finished product.

    They’d be wrong if you understand the actual history of Lightroom (shadowland).

    As to not being a finished product, neither is Photoshop and its nearly 20 years old. Or any other piece of software currently shipping!

  6. jerryrock Says:

    “They’d be wrong if you understand the actual history of Lightroom (shadowland).”

    What about the history of the development of Aperture? Surely it did not suddenly appear over night in 2005.

    I get it……… you freelance for Adobe, you are on the Photoshop World tour. You have an allegiance to Adobe and feel the need to defend Lightroom as well you should.

    The fact is, Aperture was released over a year before Lightroom and has quite a few loyal followers.

    Jerry Skrocki

  7. marcdaniels Says:

    I don’t know anybody who trusts anything that comes from the pages of CNET.

  8. Jeff Schewe Says:

    >What about the history of the development of Aperture? Surely it did not suddenly appear over night in 2005.

    Aperture was started about March of 2003…I had talked with the marketing guy that was doing the product marketing research.

    >I get it……… you freelance for Adobe, you are on the Photoshop World tour. You have an allegiance to Adobe and feel the need to defend Lightroom as well you should.

    Nope, you DON’T get it…I also have an allegiance to Apple as well as Adobe. I’m a former member of the Apple Customer Advisory Board and have worked with Apple closely over the years. In fact, the 4th ram slot in the original G4 was called the Schewe Slot because i was able to convince the developers that people working in Photoshop needed a gig + in ram.

    >The fact is, Aperture was released over a year before Lightroom and has quite a few loyal followers.

    I never disputed that…did I?

    :~)

  9. jerryrock Says:

    I was actually responding to Andrew Rodney’s comment.

    But now that you mention it, Jeff you actually helped develop Lightroom and had no part of Aperture. I think that would make you a tad bit biased.

    dooode

  10. johnbeardy Says:

    This comment is rather funny
    http://www.news.com/5208-13580_3-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=35432&messageID=381323&start=0

  11. Kevin Gallagher Says:

    I’m a PC user, so no experience with Aperture, other than seeing it work at PhotoPlus Expo a couple of times. I tried lightroom but still found myself going back into PS most of the time to put the finishing touches on a shot (with the intent to print it). I’m also not a working pro like some here so perhaps my lesser volume of shots and not being under deadline is a factor. So far the combination of shooting RAW + JPEG in camera and using Thumbs+ for culling sorting etc. has worked OK.

  12. rdonson Says:

    To quote Bill Murray from the movie “Meatballs”

    “It just doesn’t matter. It just doesn’t matter.”

  13. Eric Says:

    I don’t think it’s skewed simply because of Apple’s website listing it. I think it might be in part because 2.0 was just released. I was an early adopter of Aperture, but switched to Lightroom because of the portability of metadata between Lightroom and Bridge/Photoshop and Extensis Portfolio. But Aperture 2.0 fixed that. And when I added up what Aperture does that beats lightroom, I think I’m switching back.

    For my work, Aperture and Lightroom are not the only tools I can use. I end up doing large numbers of color corrections in Bridge. Not Lightroom or Aperture. I narrow down my photo choices with those apps. And they do a good job when I’m in the field. But when I come back from India with 14,000 images, even after I do my 3* edit, there are thousands of photos to color correct before I put them in Portfolio. Bridge is the tool for me, using the techniques I learned from Bruce Fraser’s book “Real World Camera Raw.” Neither Aperture nor Lightroom let me color correct so many photos so quickly.

    So for me, the jury is still out which program might eventually replace Bridge, if ever. But I think maybe Lightroom fans were thinking they were so far ahead that such a thing as this poll has to be called into question simply because of assumptions they’ve formed. Well, as Gomer Pyle told Sergeant Carter, “Surprise, surprise.” Aperture ain’t dead.

  14. Warren Kneis Says:

    I’ve been a committed user of Lightroom (and Apple hardware) from the beginning and am currently trying out the latest version of Aperture. While I like what I see, so far in this new version, I’m not about to switch YET. Adobe hasn’t “spoken” with their second iteration of Lightroom (hopefully they will soon) and until they do I believe it would be premature to change horses at just because Apple beat them to the market. Lightroom still has a tremendous amount of power/advantages.

  15. DESwartz Says:

    They are both useful and still evolving; just be happy to have access to each and stop this Canon v. Nikon-like argument. Neither program is perfect, each will push the other toward becoming the ideal (for the moment) program.

  16. stshank Says:

    As the author of the blog and poll in question, I thought I’d share a couple thoughts. Jeff asks:

    “Could it be that Apple users, who we all know are, shall we say, passionate, may have been inclined to vote along party lines?”

    I think the answer is that it’s highly likely. Apple, on their own initiative, posted links to the poll not just to http://www.apple.com/startpage/ but also somewhat earlier to http://www.apple.com/hotnews/

    In response to the “phony poll” Talkback posting in the commentary section below the poll itself, to which user rdonson referred above, I offered the following response ealier today:

    http://www.news.com/5208-13580_3-0.html?forumID=1&threadID=35432&messageID=381872

    In short, the poll isn’t an Apple ad, and we don’t claim that the poll is a statistically valid representation of the true views of the overall market. I’d thought most folks who saw an online poll open to all comers guessed by now that it’s not something on which anyone should base their product decisions, marketing plans, or self-esteem.

    I encourage people to contact me directly when they have questions about this sort of thing. My e-mail address, stephen.shankland@cnet.com, is in the “About Underexposed” biography section on the right side of the page.

  17. jlk3536-2 Says:

    Aperture vs Lightroom? This was a dilemma for me especially since I use Macs 90-95% of the time.I have tried Aperture twice as a demo and found it to be an overgrown iPhoto or what iPhoto should have been in the first place! I dislike iPhoto so much that I never use it on my computer. instead, I have been using Photo Mechanic almost exclusively.
    Low and behold,I just won Lightroom in a raffle at a Mac user groups meeting! The first thing that I noticed is that the program will run on both Macs and PC’s. I run Photoshop on my iMac in both OS X and PC (Win 2000 pro,The best of Windows OS’s ever). I admit that I have only had the program for 10days but it does a lot of things right and will probably displace PhotoMechanic for the first time in 5 years! John.

  18. genesedn Says:

    I’ve tried both.

    I prefer Aperture’s interface; I find Lightroom’s seperate module’s cumbersome. I also prefer Aperture 2.0′s raw decoding engine (at least in terms of how it handles my Pentax files).

    I prefer everything else about Lightroom: the “develop” tools (especially cropping and rotating), the speed (Aperture is still a dog, albeit a faster dog), presets, exporting, the excellent breadth of features in general (e.g. Aperture’s cropping tool only has a rule of thirds overlay, whereas Lightroom has several, including the golden spiral, golden ratio, architectural, etc.).

    I’d love to switch to Aperture (the interface is that great), but Lightroom still does more of what I need it to do; and it does it faster.

  19. genesedn Says:

    The other thing going for Aperture is the price…Lightroom really is overpriced in my opinion, at least relative to Aperture.

    Then again, Lightroom is still leaps and bounds faster than Aperture on my last generation iMac and Macbook Pro (and more stable).

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