Luminar 4 Dead End

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    Mathias Calabotta

    Who is your target group? Do you know this? If not serious photographers, who is going to buy your software? Professionals want to categorize and store their photos in a tidy way for later use, regardless how easy the edits are. I do not need Luminar AI for Instagram photos. I need it as a strong RAW editor and archivation software. Photographers may use Luminar AI to fasten their edits and thus generate more income. But photographers need also a strong catalog to have an overview of their work and present it to their customers.

    If not AI, how are you going to replace Luminar 4? If Luminar AI ist just a playtoy, how will you support the professionals group? No clue what your plan is, but you are going to loose ground against competitors by cutting important functionality for the professionals out there.

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    Lance Ransom

    I honestly expected Skylum to respond to my original post indicating there was a long term commitment to the Luminar product line, that is, there would be a Luminar 5 that continued an orientation towards professionals and prosumers.

    I do not understand who the target customer is for Luminar AI.  Based on what I have seen from their site and their responses to threads in the forum, I know it isn't me.  On some level, I appreciate how honest they have been, but the new offering does not meet my needs or interests.  On the other hand, I could easily draft a set of User Stories for improvements and bug fixes to Luminar 4.

    In truth, I am not certain who exactly is the target for Luminar AI, because I do not know those users.  I know professionals, prosumers, bloggers, and point and shooters.  The blogger and point and shooters that I know do not use desktop software for their workflow, as everything is from their mobile device and cloud oriented. (even when they shoot from a separate camera, which is less and less)  Without library management, you are not going to attract professionals or prosumers.  So who is the buyer of Luminar AI?

    I will certainly not recommend Luminar 4 as I have done in the past.  I know some of my recommendations resulted in Luminar licenses.  That is truly unfortunate because I think Skylum has interesting technology at their core.

    In closing I will say this.  Photography for me is a deeply satisfying hobby.  I enjoy it immensely.  It brings me great pleasure to capture my moments with people and places.  For those of you that rely on photography for a living and are facing this Luminar 4 dead end, you have my sincere sympathies.

     

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    Matt Orth

    You can keep using your Catalog in Luminar 4.

    Until you do an OS upgrade, or get a new camera, or it just stops working one day and is no longer supported. 

    Luminar AI's library itself will be more 'light-weight'. For instance, Luminar AI will not have color labels and ratings in the Library, because the main idea of the product is to edit, do it fast and share the results with the world, without storing and categorizing them in the library

    Wow.  You’ve just admitted that AI is NOT for the serious photographer, and that AI is meant for basically throw away pictures.  Without storing and categorizing them?  Do any of you people know the first thing about photography or what photographers do?  Never mind, that was a rhetorical question, we know the answer is no. 

    That quote should be emblazoned on every ad and in every paid-off affiliate’s gushing review of the product.  It tells us exactly what AI is and who it’s for.

    Luminar AI's library itself will be more 'light-weight'. For instance, Luminar AI will not have color labels and ratings in the Library, because the main idea of the product is to edit, do it fast and share the results with the world, without storing and categorizing them in the library.

     

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    Mustafa M

    > But photographers need also a strong catalog to have an overview of their work and present it to their customers.

     

    Bingo. I honestly don't understand what Skylum is doing with Luminar 4 and Luminar AI. Luminar 4 is now a dead end, and we are supposed to upgrade to Luminar AI, which won't offer a cataloging database. Honestly, I'm fed up with this. Come forth and be honest. Your page on Luminar 4 makes no mention that it is now a dead product line and to direct sales to Luminar AI. I struggle to understand why Luminar is now a dead product.  

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    Lance Ransom

    Hello Helga Egilsdottir,

    I want to let you know that I specifically chose examples where companies introduced new products, not upgrades, and the new products offered different editing workflows. (and they happen to be photo editing products)  Still the companies took the time to ensure their customers could migrate.

    It is a question of making the customer a priority.  If the Skylum Product Managers stipulated migration from Luminar 4 to Luminar AI, I have confidence it would have been done to some degree.

    I can even write a basic User Story for you: "As a photographer with a large library in Lunimar 4, I want to import the information contained in my library from Luminar 4 into Luminar AI, including Shortcuts, Albums, Folders, Flags, Ratings, and Labels, so that I do not have to repeat the classification and organization work that I have already done in my photo library."

    I understand it would not bring along my edits, but at least I would not be in a space where I have to start from scratch on organizing my photo library, again.

    I am not suggesting a bidirectional updates between the products, I am suggesting a one time import of the library data.

     

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    Christian Poulton

    I wholeheartedly agree with your statement Jeff. I am in exactly the same boat as yourself and am now looking at alternatives.

    The deal breaker for me was the library and now that we have had statements from Luminar that the library should only be used as a temporary, work in progress scratch disk, I’m out of here. This deeply worries me and I have no faith in storing all of my images in something that the software developers consider a temporary workspace.

    The AI side of things didn’t bother me too much - I didn’t really use that functionality, however Luminar have missed a trick here. Just consider how useful AI would be in helping to organise a true DAM with help on key wording, ratings, tags, location, facial recognition, etc. This would have been a true game changer but instead they have gone for the one click apply a filter and post to social media market which is a mistake.

    I came from Apple Aperture and have been searching for a replacement for a long time, sadly  I still haven’t found it.

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    Gal Steinberg

    Completly agree @Lance Ransom

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    Jeff Kipfmueller

    Kudos to Lance Ransom for starting this thread and I 100% agree with his sentiments. I purchased Lightroom 4 for the long-term, believing that the history of multiple versions of Luminar was a strong indicator that the Luminar line would be developed, updated and supported for years to come (and would offer an upgrade path to Luminar 5, 6 and more). Of course, upgrading to a new generation of Luminar, e.g., Luminar 5, would also mean an upgrade fee, and revenue for Skylum; I would have been happy to pay that for years to come. However, like others, I have zero interest or need in a “quick-fix”, AI, click and let the program decide what my photo should look like. Nope, I do not know any photographers (professional or amateur) that want this (a la Photo Lemur mentioned earlier in this thread). And, all photographers need a way to catalog and organize photos (I have more than 350K photos at the moment). So, if Skylum has chosen to put all of its eggs in one basket, and abandon the existing Luminar line — and target newbie photogs who have no need to “catalog and organize” or edit their photos in a meaningful and individual manner — then, I’m out. The “easy” solution would have been to continue with two separate product lines: Luminar 4, 5, etc. AND Luminar AI. Then you’d actually be increasing your customer base, rather than LOSING your existing customer base (all your Luminar 4 customers who feel like they got shafted). I cannot figure out WHY such a decision would be made. It doesn’t make sense and I’m actively looking for a replacement for Luminar 4 — which I liked, but did not love, especially the processing speed of exporting photos. I am willing to pay real money to a company that will meet my needs — Luminar AI does not do so. Good luck, Skylum, but I have very little optimism for a company that would treat its customers this way. 

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    Member23

    Completely agree with this thread, I had just purchased Luminar 4 couple weeks ago, and discovered all this hodgepodge between 4 vs AI, etc. My main goals were to get a strong replacement for Lightroom (having the catalog management).

     

    I will be requesting refund for Luminar 4 and continuing my search for photo editing software with good catalog management. 

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    jeff cohen

    If you look st skylums history,first as macphun and now skylum leaving customers in the luch is really nothing news.
    from snapheal,intensify etc thru the CK versions,then luminar and luminar flex skylum has shown time and again that they are not a long term solution.
    I for one wont be buying another skylum product

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    Matthieu Kopp

    hello all,

    we are currently working on adding Luminar AI compatibility to our migration tool: Avalanche for Luminar. In the process, we are looking at our options to migrate Luminar 4 catalogs to Luminar AI but I am rather confident that this can be done as we understand both catalog formats rather well. I thought I'd mention it here because there are some passionate discussions on the migration topic and ... we happen to offer rather cool savings on Avalanche for the next week or so. Feedback on what we do is always welcome.

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    Jeff Kipfmueller

    I’m with you, Christian. I think Skylum made a pretty big splash with Luminar 4’s sky replacement. Wonderful, fantastic and well implemented. However, that “splash” has now been lessened significantly due to other photo editing programs including that feature, most notably Photoshop’s 1-click sky replacement feature. If that becomes commonplace in other programs, and it will, one of the biggest draws for Skylum’s software (be it Luminar 4 or Luminar AI) isn’t that big of a draw any more. From an economics perspective, Skylum needs to RETAIN its existing customer database and INCREASE it with new customers. Moving to Luminar AI will potentially add some customers who want a simple, quick editing solution, but ending Luminar 4 will definitely reduce the number of customers who want a more interactive, in-depth photo editing experience. IF Skylum is going to rethink its roadmap, it needs to do so quickly before all of the Luminar 4 users go out and purchase competitor products. 

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    Lance Ransom

    I have gone through my stages of grief and simply moved on to another product.  The last update of Luminar 4 put me in a place where I cannot even launch Luminar 4 without it immediately crashing.

    I do a lot of travel landscape photography and end up with a lot of blown out skies.  The killer feature for me in Luminar 4 was how quickly I could bring back blown out skies.  What took a few seconds in Luminar 4 is a more "complicated" or time consuming process in other photography apps.  Yes, Luminar 4 could make the sky affected if you got too aggressive with the slider, but I could easily find a happy place with most photos very quickly.

    On the other hand, I am finding different speedups and features in my new app, so I guess it is just a tradeoff.  If I could find a way to speedup addressing blown out skies in my new software, I would actually say I am in a much better place, as the software is clearly more mature in almost every way.

    Since, my photography is about capturing the places I have been and the people in my life, the output of my new app is actually much better for my needs.  While the result may not be as dramatic than a Luminar output, it is much more realistic and life like.  When I look at a picture, I want it to transport me back to that moment when I pressed the shutter button, what I meant to capture, rather than looking at a photo that feels more like a fairytale.

     

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    M L

    Hi y'all,

    I fully agree with what have been said earlier. I really feel frustrated, because I moved from LR to Luminar 4…was going through a time where the performance was close to unusable for bigger edit sessions or even professional edits. Then the update was coming which gave a performance boost and I regained some trust in Skylum that they can fix things. Now for a longer time I haven't received any update...the performance is still not as good as I would like to see it to fully enjoy the software. And then comes Luminar AI and it just feels like...don't expect any major update, especially not in the near future. I will think about an alternative although I really like the support of Sky enhancer and Face AI for example...and here I really mean support. I don't want to let the software decide on how the image should look like. I enjoy editing photos and AI solutions are supporting me here and there but Luminar AI is not attractive to me (and alot of others I know). If Luminar 4 would be a finished/performant software one could argue that it's time for such a step and we keep running Luminar 4 for a longer time, but like this it feels pretty wrong and bad for the customers who just purchased Luminar for a bit of money.

    With such a history - even if Luminar AI would be interesting for me - I would probably not buy it, because I would fear a deja vu one year later. It's not about hating around...but please first do the homework and then think about the next steps.

    A disappointment Luminar user who will think about a photo processing tool alternative again.

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    Lance Ransom

    I too was a long time Aperture user and was quite disappointed when Apple end-of-lifed the product.  I tried Apple Photos, but it did not meet my needs.  I then migrated to Lightroom CC, which I honestly liked.  I actually do not mind subscriptions.  In fact, I do not mind the subscription model for the exact reason we are contributing to this thread.  The benefit of a subscription is that a company must provide ongoing support or they will lose their subscription dollars, since they do not get all of your money upfront.  The problem I have with all Adobe products is that I shoot with a Fuji camera.  My daughter's hair just invites the dreaded worm issue that Adobe has with processing RAW Fuji files and she is one of my primary subjects!  Yes, the Enhance Photos feature does solve the problem, but it takes a long time to process each photo and more than doubles the storage, making it not feasible for me.

    Over the holidays I trialed ON1 Photo Raw and I got really decent results with it.  I was able to do everything I need with the program.  What I really liked about Luminar 4 was how easy it is to bring back a blown out sky, although it can easily become a bit artificial looking.  What amounts to tweaking a slider in Luminar 4 takes minutes of editing in ON1.

    At this point, I really do not have a choice, but to migrate away from Luminar 4.  With the latest Big Sur update, I went from not being able to edit my photos in Luminar 4 to it to crashing on every launch.  It is completely unusable now.  There is clearly a bug in Luminar 4, because I trialed a number of photography apps over the last few weeks and none of them had an issue accessing my photos.

    I did not even get one year of use from Luminar 4 before it became completely unusable for me.

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    Donald Wyllie

    I signed on today to find out if there were any updates to L 4 in the works. Nothing, we are all supposed to swill over to Luminar AI. A program aimed at the raw beginner, not photographers with even a slight interest in developing 'darkroom' skills.

    Now I haven't even opened Luminar for months and have gone back to Lightroom 6.  I have to convert my images to .dngs and the hassle is worth it. It surprises me that a program which hasn't been updated for years still does a better job than  the bait and switch Luminar products.

    Psst! Anybody want to take a bet on when Luminar 4 gets an update to fix some of its basic problems? Instead of waiting for updates I just started using Lightroom 6 with Topaz Sharpen. A slow but effective workflow.

    So long Luminar and your increasingly desperate emails.

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    Londinense

    ML:

    Anthony Morganti recently produced a free PDF comparing all the major LR alternatives. Worth a look if you can't decide. All have free trials, so I am sure you will find one that works for you. I left LR a year ago and have no regrets: I won't says which alternative I picked as they all have their advocates.

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    Matthieu Kopp

    FYI: https://cyme.io/migrating-your-catalogs-from-luminar-4-to-luminar-ai/

    We are finishing up and should release soon.

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    Helga Rowles

    Hi Lance,
    I'm sorry to hear that you've encountered issues after the update.
    Please reach us at http://skylum.com/support, and we will do our best to sort this out.

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    M L

    Cool, thank you. I will have a look at it.

    #edit: I have used Lightroom 6 today after a longer time and the performance difference is just incredible...I can browse through the images in LR6 one after the other and the export is also significantly faster. Perhaps I just go back to that one and use Luminar 4 only for a few shots. Let's see...

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    Helga Hufflepuff

    Hello Lance Ransom,

    I'm very sorry to hear that we did not meet your expectations and I appreciate you sharing your honest feedback. 

    I wanted to let you know that LuminarAI is considered to be a brand new product with new editing workflow. Since it is not deemed as an upgrade for previous Luminar versions, we did not offer a migration process. Indeed, Luminar 4 is going to be supported for another year (we are going to release new versions of it) and we will make sure to address the bugs and fix them, so the app can be used further. 

    Nevertheless, there is always space for improvement and we will take your feedback into account. Thank you again for taking time to bring this up to our attention. I hope you decide to give us another chance in future.

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    Kate Williams

    Hi Lance,

    Please mind that Luminar AI is a photo editor whose main aim is delivering stunning edits in little time.

    It's true that due to Luminar AI's new core engine as well as numerous changes under-the-hood (including the switch from layers to a local adjustment tool), it is not possible to migrate the catalogs efficiently and preserve. Also, due to that, the results obtained with your Luminar 4 tools could look a bit different in Luminar AI if we were to migrate the catalogs. 

    With Luminar AI, our focus is on creating the edits that stand out and on the workflow without clutter. Luminar AI's library itself will be more 'light-weight'. For instance, Luminar AI will not have color labels and ratings in the Library, because the main idea of the product is to edit, do it fast and share the results with the world, without storing and categorizing them in the library. 

    You can keep using your Catalog in Luminar 4, and use Luminar AI for quick yet gorgeous edits. 

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