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Have you ever wondered how often you use a particular camera or a lens? Or how often you shoot at certain aperture or ISO settings? Or how many photos you shoot per month or year? Then you’ll find Lightroom Dashboard very interesting.
Lightroom Dashboard is a free web based application that analyzes the data in your Lightroom Classic Catalog, and displays statistics and graphs to help you visualize the result. It was created by Cheyne Wallace, a software engineer and photography enthusiast based in San Francisco.
How to use Lightroom Dashboard
To use it, just visit Lightroom Dashboard and drag a copy (not the original) of your Catalog to the webpage. Lightroom Dashboard takes a few minutes to analyze the data in the Catalog file and then displays its findings.
To protect your privacy your Catalog isn’t uploaded to the website’s server. For large Catalogs (1 GB +) there’s a free Catalog converter tool that extracts the information required by the app and saves it in a smaller file, so your browser doesn’t freeze up.
This is the result when I tried it with my Lightroom Classic Catalog. I set the time period to one year using the options at the top of the screen.
When you click on the Lenses tab the app shows you which lenses, focal lengths and aperture settings you have used the most.
Click the Cameras tab to see which cameras and ISO settings you have used.
Click the Files tab to see which file types are contained in your Catalog.
The Filter button theoretically lets you filter the results according to camera, lens or both. Unfortunately something seems to have gone wrong with this, at least in my case, which means it’s difficult to use.
You can see the problem in the screenshot below. Certain cameras are listed multiple times, giving me lots of boxes to uncheck. If I want to select a specific camera I have to uncheck the All Cameras box and then check the appropriate boxes. It’s not too bad, as long as I don’t try it with my X-T1.
It’s even worse with the lens filters. This screenshot shows all the boxes I would have to check to analyze the use of my 35mm lens.
Practical uses for Lightroom Dashboard
It’s certainly to see which cameras and lenses you use the most, especially if it throws up a surprise. You can also analyze different periods of time to see how much your choice of camera equipment and settings changes. If you use a zoom lens you can see which focal lengths and aperture settings you use the most, which may help you decide whether it’s worth buying a prime lens.
For example, I bought a second-hand X-T2 camera last year. I managed to check all the X-T2 boxes in the Filters to let Lightroom Dashboard analyze my use of this camera.
You can see the screenshots below. I learned that my most used Fujinon lenses are my 23mm and 35mm prime lenses, and that I’ve hardly used my 14mm and 56mm lenses in that time. So perhaps it’s time to dust those lenses off and start using them again!
I would like to see the ability to filter by Collection added. For example, with this feature you could create a Collection containing all the landscapes you’ve taken in the past year to see what lenses and settings you have used.
It’s also a shame that the camera and lenses filters are difficult to use. But despite that, Lightroom Dashboard is still a fun way to analyze the usage of your cameras and lenses.