With “tens of thousands” of Lightroom catalogs synched to their service, they sampled a random 3,000 of those to come up with the average size of a Lightroom catalog. And in the end, they were actually quite surprised by the results.
The first surprise is that the Lightroom catalogs weren’t as large as they had assumed:
While the average Lightroom catalog size is 15,888 photos, the median number of photos in a Lightroom catalog is 5,095. (A smaller number of very large catalog moves the average up.)
It seems that users seem to prefer a number of smaller catalogs over one massive database, and so some 21% of the catalogs synchronized to the service actually contain less than 500 photos a piece. Only 2% of synchronized catalogs contain over 75,000.
They go on to speculate the reasoning behind these numbers, specifically noting a survey from The Digital Photography School showing a 10% increase in Lightroom users over the past year (bringing the total up to 42% use in post-processing tools).
With a great deal of photographers switching in just the last year, one possible cause for the lower-than-expected median and average numbers is that new users simply started out with a fresh catalog (or catalogs), rather than importing their previous archive of photographs, keeping the numbers smaller.
Of course, Mosaic makes sure to give some disclaimers, noting this data may be slightly skewed. For one, their service is aimed at a more “‘professional’ photography audience,” making this “average” less accurate among the consumers. For another, these stats were calculated on a “per Lightroom catalog” basis, so they don’t necessarily represent the total number of shots photographers have in their archive, which is likely much larger.
Overall, the data is interesting to look through and even more interesting to compare to your own. What do your numbers look like compared to this? Do you prefer smaller or large catalogs? Why? Let us know in the comments down below.
Image credits: Charts provided by Mosaic