Apologies to those of you not in Australia, Austria and Canada but Skylum are testing out their release mechanism by giving users in these countries access to Luminar 3 before the official release date.
My email was timed at 18:21 and by 18:35 I had installed Luminar 3 and indexed the folders that I had already earmarked for testing Luminar, and comparison with other software. Most of these files are Raw files.
Having tried a few things out for half an hour I am finding it is fast and stable. My existing 2018 presets and workspaces were migrated behind the scenes.
It looks as though gallery view of images uses the build-in previews, but using space bar to switch to large, single image view initially shows the built-in preview but then switches to the converted RAW image. So it seems to be giving the best of both worlds in that one can do a fast check and cull using the previews and then a more detailed check using the actual Raw image for second cull before full processing. I now saving of recent Raw conversions for speedy reuse?
The one area that does worry me is the accumulation of .State files. I can see that they are being kept to provide Luminar's history function, which is something that is not provided in other applications like Capture One, On1, DxO etc. But as Matt Suess pointed out they could start to accumulated and I can't see a way to clean up history that is no longer needed. That will be my first bug report!
I accept that this first release of Luminar 3 does not contain many of the features that would be expected of a full DAM such as metadata management and searching but given that I tend to take a set of photos and then process them soon after I have taken them I can live with the date based first release.
Having spent my working life supporting computer systems in a university and dealt with many applications over the yearI get the feeling that Skylum have learnt from the mistakes of the past year. They seem to be walking before they try running in laying the foundations of the DAM in terms of indexing images and their adjustments, and trying to keep Mac and Windows versions more in step, though without a Windows system I can only go on the couple of YouTube videos that I have seen that use Windows systems.
Once the foundations are in place then adding metadata management, searching, smart albums etc should be relatively straight forward, giving an acceptable DAM. Then they can look at extending the editing functionality with better masking, additional filters etc.
If you are a Mac user and have the CK apps and Photoshop installed the plugins are not installed but I have managed to add them from Photoshop and they do still seem to work under the latest version of MacOs.
I am looking forward to carrying out a more in-depth investigation over the next few days aiming to compare it to other applications like On1.
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