Luminar 5 and Luminar’s Future Direction

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    Tim Stahmer

    I have been a Skylum/Macphun customer since 2008, starting with Snapheal. Currently my account lists 15 programs, most of which I no longer use and which probably won't function with the most recent MacOS anyway. I couldn't tell you how much I spent on all of it.

    Over the time since I first bought in, the company has "changed direction" several times, abandoning products with no warning and little concern for those of us using them. Even if I was interested in this new direction, which is rather vague at this point, I can't trust the company to fulfill their promises (again, vague) and continue down that path. Based on their history, in a couple of years they will likely find a new, new direction, abandon the current products, and announce the next big thing, coming soon. Rinse, repeat.

    I too am off the Luminar bus.

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    Antonio Alonso Dominguez

    Another one here. I do really appreciate the honesty that their CEO put in his post, but depicts a company without any realy product vision, other than the "AI" gimmick.

    I started with Luminar 2018, then L3, moved to L4 and a few months ago moved to Capture One and that's were I am now not missing Luminar or Lightroom. With each version of Luminar I was getting into, I wasn't fully clear for me that it would be tool I was looking for, but I had hope. However, after several years it's been proven their direction as a company seems quite erratic, which in a way explains how buggy their software has become.

    I gave up on Skylum, first they don't seem interested on doing the product I needed anymore, and second I feel fooled by their marketing strategy and I don't trust what they say anymore will be the same they say 6 months down the line. I could live with some bugs as long as the direction was clear, we could see how they get addressed and the product had contuity guaranteed in the long run. That is not the case with Skylum, so I'm off.

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    Roger S

    I have to agree with Matt and the other post's here.
    I have been a loyal Luminar user from version 1 taking a chance on what seemed live a value sweet spot. My recollection of at least 3 upgrade cycles pre-launch included the marketing angle of "built from the ground up" and "it's not an upgrade but rather a new product". This is all fine and good but each time Luminar ended up just a refined version of exactly the same premise and end goal! So looking at the Objective Of Luminar AI, I suspect it will catalog and edit your images. How you get there may be different but from my experience this seems more of a pivot or knee jerk reaction to ai being the latest trend. It may in fact be easier and better but Im not convinced Skylum can launch this "new product" bug free and with enough advantage to drag us on on another journey of overpromise under deliver.

    Im as curious as I am sceptical. With Luminar 4 they were equally excited and the general reaction with the results  was just "fair" with plenty of healthy criticism of what it could have been.

    I truly considered Skipping 4 as my good friend did seems like he saved himself a year of Skylum getting 4 working properly only for it to be set aside for the new flavour. After all Luminar ai is likely to be what we all thought 4 was going to be. So do I feel a bit foolish for jumping in? Sadly I do.

    To address the Company direction. From my perspective they are constantly changing what the goal of Luminar is. It once was an alternative to Lightroom and seems it no longer is? It seems like it was once a powerful daw and less cost than competitors but in reality upgrading each year to keep up is 10$ a month if you amortize the upgrade cost of today. Sadly I believe Skylum will eventually jin the ranks of subscriptions.

    Predictions! Looking into the crystal ball I see Skylum launching a new version of Luminar in 2022. It will have a new name a new direction and a new cost and will not be an upgrade but "a totally new product"

    Yet it will catalog and edit your photos.

    Roger

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    Cris FERE

    You're not really but really not serious, you lied to us at the release of Luminar by announcing a keyword manager worthy of the name! What's next?

    You let us down to target only the general public, I don't congratulate you and I'm not going to encourage my professional colleagues or students towards your productions anymore.

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    Brett Cornford

    I too had put my hope and money over several years and many promises from Skylum into the hope that Luminar would be the Lightroom replacement we were all looking for. Alas yet again a new product and no further development of Luminar as we know it. Very disappointing. I'm getting off the bus and looking for another alternative.

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    Ralf Rosemeyer

    funny, first the game Luminar 2018/3, then on 4 now on 5 / AI.
    Funny how people still let themselves be fooled and pay ...
    My promised things from the first version 2018 and later 3 are not available to this day and it still does not work without crashes.
    Finally wake up and stop buying ...
    I've been out a long time and often read here with ... really pathetic ... I'm just happy that I have already advised many against buying it

    ugh should be ashamed of skylum

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    Roger S

    To Ralf. I can totally relate to the frustration with Skylum's constantly changing mission statement for Luminar through the versions. It has always been an eyebrow raising affair when it is called a "totally new product" when in reality despite the back end changes it has the same purpose and end goal as always. I was angry at first too saying the same things as you but I will wait to judge the final product. While It to me is an upgrade not mater what they call it, If I ask my self "would I appreciate these features more if they called it an upgrade"? Not really and I suppose that said upgrade would not be free.So I caved knowing I can refund if I dont feel it is worth it.

    What stings is my trust and commitment to this small company that had heart for many years now feels just as corporate and cold as the companies they try to differentiate from. This may be reaching but it is how it sometimes feels regardless of the truth.

    Skylum, regardless of direction or mission has some loyalty to win back in my view. They need to convince me they are unified and committed to a single goal and not so fickle to jump away from past promises as soon as a breakthrough arrives.

    So I hope they do fulfill those promises with L4 updates and then finally rest with whatever ai becomes.

    Roger

     

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    Ron Lamb

    WOW..  Just saw the black friday and glad read this thread.   Building a new PC and still looking for a LR replacement.  I thought  Luminar would be it.  Guess all the promises of DAM features was tossed in the can.    Well looks like I will be spending 2021 looking for a LR replacement.   Don't need another photo editor right now.  Need something to manage my photos with tools to make them better.   AI is cool.  Just then the end all. 

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    Brett Cornford

    After the major let down from the promises from Skylum of proper DAM support in Luminar, I have done much searching and I have settled on Adobe Bridge to manage my photo library.

    Adobe Bridge is free to use and has most of the features you need to manage your photo's including editing Metadata etc.

    I am then free to use whatever photo editor I want, so I will be using Affinity Photo going forward and I will keep using Luminar 4 for as long as it keeps working, which I assume probably won't be for long since I plan to upgrade to a new Mac in 2021. I'm assuming there will be no support for Apple Silicon for Luminar 4 so it will be the end of the road Luminar 4.

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    Dennis Helmar

    As a professional photographer I am not interested in two products from your company that do basically the same thing. I currently use Lightroom Photoshop and Capture One. If you start watering down your products like this it will be a negative for your company. Luminar 4 is very good and getting better but not there yet, please make up your mind. 

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    Henry Seiden

    So what does everyone actually like? ON1, Capture One, LR, Affinity? Something else? I'm in somewhat of a quandary about photo editing. Luminar 4 seems to work much better for me than my old ON1 2019 Raw. 

    Gave up on DAM Asset managers use on ANY 'editor' product. Settled on the reliable and very versatile Photo Mechanic 6, which has been outstanding as a metadata editor and ingest tool. Easy versatile and trouble-free. Gotten out of a one app fits-all-uses mentality. I liked NONE of the editors as a DAM solution (metadata/ingest/asset file manager). 

    So now I use PM6 to manage the assets, manage metadata and ingest.

    I'm in the Affinity world for cross-over apps Photo, Designer, Publisher for all my editing needs. The trio seems to work for me.

    On a tertiary level for special effects and treatments I'm left with Luminar. or  the OG version of ON1 RAW 2019 which barely lives on for images.

    I'm thinking about a video editor but no decisions yet. 

    LR/PS makes me a bit sick. 

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    Antonio Alonso Dominguez

    I pretty happy with Capture One as a DAM and RAW editor and Affinity Photo as a raster editor. I recently added the ON1 plugins to my pack, which work like a charm from either of those platforms and I think are a good complement when wanting special effects.

    For me the bigger issue with L5 was not just the fact that they got rid of one of the features I was after (the actual DAM), but also the fact that Skylum doesn't seem to know how to commit to a product, so I won't commit to their products either.

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    Ron Lamb

    I now this will not happen, but I have to say I feel a bit short changed and not valued. I don't know if I would jump over to Luminar AI if given a huge discount or even a free path based on how quickly Luminar 4 died.  The road map was a bait and switch as far as I am concerned.

    Perhaps long term this is a good move for skylum at the cost of losing some retention which is always costly to replace.   I have moved on,  gotten a DAM for my new windows machine.   I will use Luminar4 sparingly and not as a DAM, just as a plug in.   

    I personally liked Skylum's focus.. I don't know like how quickly L4 became less useful in my world and definitely left me with a bad taste in my mouth.   Irony for DAM, I am back using a product that I used 15 years ago (ACDSEE) and for editing I use am using a combination of tools (Affinity, ACDSEE, and L4).  Definitely less of L4 as I don't want to waste upping my skills on a dead product. 

    Guess my only saving grace is that I did not invest as much as a lot of people that are frustrated.  My move from LR is complete.  I am a hobbyist and I am happy with where I am.   Would welcome Skylum doing the right thing, but not surprised by their direction.   Too many companies take the short sided approach.    

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    John Woltman

    I started using Luminar 2018, upgraded to 4.  The performance has always been bad, even on a brand new Windows computer with 32GB RAM and SSD. It was never, ever a lightroom alternative because it was missing so many features.

    But it had great features! I really like all the smart/AI stuff, it was fun.  But a couple months ago I switched to ACDSee and Affinity.  I'm definitely off the Skylum train.

    The program has been billed as "Cheap Lightroom" for a long time, and that's what I paid for.  I never got it.

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