Tom Hogarty updates the what pros use for raw file conversion comparison. Both Lightroom and Aperture increase their share, Lightroom leaping 50% on 2007 and Aperture a respectable 36%. Among Mac users only, Aperture’s share is static though, indicating the overall increase is due to people shifting to the Mac.

Of course, using one of the newer generation tools doesn’t mean you don’t use Photoshop as well, and there’s only a small drop there. These stats, though don’t reflect how much people are using each application, and wouldn’t it be interesting if one could gather similar stats which reflected time spent working with each program, or even the numbers or proportion of images? You’d have to expect Photoshop usage would be impacted much more. So, just after the release of CS4, I’m sure a lot of people are wondering CS4: What’s in it for Photographers?.

One CS4 feature I really like is content aware scaling. It’s a thing of genius, letting you squeeze an image into a layout, squashing the image areas with less detail and yet protecting those where there is important detail. I’ve slightly overdone this example, but you can see how the car is barely affected by compressing the image into a more square format. The feature’s very easy to use, and perhaps some would find it hard to imagine when they would use it, but for others it’s going to be a very popular feature indeed.

The picture’s from Sunday’s London Brighton Veteran Car Run. Taken at 7am on a dark, wet November morning, it was shot on the Nikon D700, handheld, and with the ISO set to Auto. In this case, ISO 1800 gave me 1/200 second at f7.1 – I’ve plenty of usable images at ISO 3200 too.