The all new photo editor. Everything you need to make perfect photos in less time. Make stunning photos that leave everyone speechless. The most innovative photo editor is now available for Mac and PC. Right off the bat get amazing images with an improved Raw engine. Remove flaws with Lens Correction and Transform tool. Stylize and enhance with intelligent filters, lookup tables, and presets. Organize photos with the new digital asset management module. And impress everyone with your stunning photography. New intelligent filters: enhance, perfect, inspire. Rather than stuff your menu full of gimmicky sliders, we streamline our photo editing filters, so you get great results with minimal effort. These new non-destructive filters are handcrafted to help you solve tough photo editing problems and create beautiful photos.
The AI Sky Replacement tool is the most spectacular example. It doesn’t just identify the sky in an outdoor scene, it selects all the tiny fiddly bits between branches and around trees, the edges of buildings and rooftops, hillsides and mountains – and it ‘recognises’ all these bits of sky without even a single mouse click. It goes way further than regular auto-selection tools, even eliminating edge halos, edge artefacts and transitions, sidestepping all that tedious and precise selecting, feathering, edge shifting, edge masking and all the other exhausting paraphernalia of regular sky replacement techniques.
And then Luminar’s AI Sky Replacement tool goes a step further by offering a library of replacement skies to drop into your pictures (or you can select and load one of your own).
This is not all that Luminar does. It’s not just a photo-enhancer but a powerful image editing tool in the classic sense, offering not just regular tone, color and cropping tools, but geometric corrections, raw processing, image layers and masking… and a whole range of creative effects.
These adjustments and effects can be applied manually using Luminar 4’s four newly-streamlined workspaces, or via single-click ‘Looks’ with preset combinations of of filters and effects. These are a great way to get ideas for effects to apply to your photos, and you’ll soon build a list of favorites – and you can of course create and add your own.
We also have to talk about Luminar’s integrated image browsing and cataloguing tools. These are fast and effective, and while they’re not as sophisticated as Lightroom’s, for example, they’re probably enough for casual users.
Luminar also offers Lightroom-style non-destructive editing, so that even after you’ve closed an image or even quit the software, you can go back later and change or remove any of your settings.
This has become a standard way of working for many programs, not just Lightroom, such as Exposure X5, ON1 Photo RAW 2020 and Capture One Pro. Luminar 4 misses a couple of key features, however, that the others have. First, it doesn’t yet offer ‘virtual copies’ (we’re told they’re on the roadmap), so you can’t create different versions of a picture with different ‘looks’.
Second, with non-destructive photo editors like these, you need to ‘export’ a processed image if you want to publish it or share it – and Luminar doesn’t offer the option to export an image straight back to the folder where the original is stored – you have to navigate to the export folder you want manually. It sounds a small point, but it does make the export process more tiresome than it should be.
The ability to use Luminar as a plug-in is welcome. Very often you might want to use Lightroom for your organizing and processing and just switch to Luminar for its creative effects – similarly, you might use Photoshop for layers and retouching and use Luminar at the end to add a specific ‘look’.
Luminar can also edit single images that are not currently imported into its library, but it goes about this in a rather odd way – you can drag single images on to the app icon to open them, but they are automatically imported into a special album and your editing changes are still stored non-destructively within the Library. So really, you are still importing these images for editing, and with no option to save a single image as a bespoke Luminar file, the old Luminar file format for single re-editable images seems to have gone.