Luminar 3 Update from Support - UPDATED 1/8/19

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    Anders Svensson

    Re, .lmnr not opening, what do you mean by "We’ll add messages to communicate issues with projects in future updates for Luminar". Not being able to open a previously saved .lmnr is a bug. Isn't this going to be fixed?

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    Anders Svensson

    And how much "later" for the ability to save .lmnr? Not having this completely breaks Luminar 3 for those of us who prefer this Luminar 2018 functionality to a central catalog.

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    Angela Andrieux

    Hi Anders,

    At the moment the main issue with .lmnr files that aren't opening is that those .lmnr files (with a few rare exceptions) were saved without history and resources. When L3 tries to open these files it doesn't show alerts, such as 'resources missing' or something like that, instead it does not nothing. At the moment this is considered normal behavior. We'll be adding more informative alerts in future updates but there's no info yet on the kinds of those alerts or any other related behavior.

    We are hoping to get .lmnr project files into the next update (3.1.0) but can't make any promises quite yet.

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    Anders Svensson

    Hi Angela.

    It can hardly be considered normal behaviour that a .lmnr saved by Luminar 2018 can't be opened with Luminar 3. It's a bug, plain and simple, and an alert that a .lmnr can't be opened because of the way it was saved is no solution.


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    Peter Davies

    It looks like an epic update! I'm really excited! Keep up the hard work. It is appreciated.

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    Steve Ratts

    Thanks for all your hard work! This sounds like it will address a lot of critical issues. Can you please shed some light on when we may expect to see the Lightroom Migration tool?



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    David Rossi

    Right now my only debilitating issue with L3 is performance.  I'm Mac.  I did some individual image tests between L3.1 and L2018 and, while 2018 isn't speedy in any sense of the word, L3.1 is unacceptably slow.

    Will Mac general performance be improved significantly in the February release of L3?

    I appreciate where you folks appear to be going with this software.  Keep it up!


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    Angela Andrieux

    @Steve - I don't have an ETA on the Lightroom Migration tool at the moment but I'll check with our team and see if I can get more info.

    @David - Yes. Performance for both Mac and Windows will be improved in the late January/early February update.

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    Manfred Ram

    What I don't understand is the following:

    If you know the date of the next release, why don't you release more frequent updates in between, to take away some of the frustration that many users are experiencing ?

    Secopndly, you should really consider opening a public-beta -channel, enabling a much wider test platform. The last update (3.1.) has proven to be full of bugs and I really don't know what your beta testers have been doing. It is much easier to call an update "beta" and then go from  there, instead of trying to sell something which is not ready.





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    Bruce Cole

    L3 takes forever to start up on my PC. By contrast, Luminar2018 loads up after 7 seconds (just timed it) and works perfectly. So far I've been waiting over 17 minutes and L3 is still showing the splash screen and the mouse shows as busy if I hover over it. According to Windows 10 task manager it's using 3-5% of my CPU and around 384Mb of my memory as well as writing to the hard disk at around 25 to 30Mb/s, so it's doing something. I tried it the other day and gave up after an hour, tried it later and left PC running for around 3 hours and when I came back it had loaded up. So it looks as if it takes somewhere between 1 hour and 3 hours to load up. I've given up on it. Please give an option to remove the DAM function of the software, I don't want to wait 3 hours to edit a photo, I couldn't care less about libraries etc., I don't want/need that feature, I just want the ability to edit. Thanks.

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    Helena Carter

    Hi Bruce.

    We will release an update meant to target some performance issues at the end of January-beginning of February.

    Meanwhile, you can remove your Luminar 3 Catalog and use it for Quick Edits.

    To remove Luminar Catalog:

    1. Make sure Luminar is closed.
    2. Locate your Luminar Catalog folder. The default location is C:\Users\%username%\Pictures\. If you specified a custom location for your catalog, search your custom location.
    3. Remove the Luminar Catalog folder.

    We do really hope for you patience on this matter. Have a marvelous day!

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    Bruce Cole

    Hi Helena,

    I have followed your instructions and I have now deleted the Luminar Catalog folder (which was 26.7Gb and consisted of 15,574 files in 13,562 folders... in case that's helpful to you). It now starts up after 25 seconds, your solution appears to have worked. Thanks.

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    I can't find about CR3 format.

    Maybe Skylum Team think about CR3 is not important

    Cannon released CR3 almost 1 year ago

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    Moshe Ovadya

    Nondestructive edit workflow by using Photoshop Smart Object no longer works on Luminar 3. It still works perfectly with Luminar 2018 where I can double click on the Smart Filter in Photoshop and go back to exactly where I left off in Luminar 2018. Whereas with L3, with the exact same workflow, you simply go back to the beginning and all your edits are lost. Sorry but the catalog feature is not the primary reason to love Luminar for the still many LR users.

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    Angela Andrieux

    @Joongan Kwon

    CR3 support will be added in an upcoming update. I don't have an ETA at this time, though.

    @Moshe Ovadya - This should be fixed in 3.1.0.

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    Gerard Puglia


    I am having issues. I am using an Imac.

    Many Crashes in the middle of editing photos.

    Hangups, it just sits there and does nothing and have to force it to quite.

    It also looked like Adobe was conflicting with LM3, as Adobe needed to so some updates.

    But at this point I am not using LM3.

    Can you please confirm when the updates will be available?

    Plus when it is working it take a very long time to export a photo.


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    Kirk Osborn

    Hi Gerard,

    We're aware of the performance issues, and we're truly sorry if you encountered them.

    We will release an update meant to target these issues at the beginning of February.

    Stay tuned.

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    Walter Stansbury

    Please don't forget to add support for Nikon Z series cameras in your next update!

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    Leila Evans

    Hi Walter - The support for Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7 cameras will be added in the next update (v.3.0.2)

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    John Newton

     I used to work for a Software hosting company ,currently Luminar 3 is unusable for me, on my iMac ,the issues with mousing ( magic mouse), performance ( slow slow slow) and the weird menu options for only quick edit to open images , the other issues seem endless, i still cant understand how a photo software company can release software with so many bugs, why do you not have testing , have at least one photographer who shows you the issues before you release software, I read that you have many more staff now, please improve, im not buying anymore versions of this and still using 2018 as long as i can as "3" is unusable , its incredibly frustrating grrr

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    Angela Andrieux

    Hi John,

    I'm sorry that Luminar 3 isn't working well for you. Please contact us at and we'll be happy to help.

    Please also note that the next update will address many issues and it will be released very soon.

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    Andy H

    Just an FYI, 3.0.2 update was released in Canada and for me it's made no difference at all.  Luminar takes anywhere between 4 and 15 minutes to load and when it does, it's slow as anything on a pretty high spec iMac. Unusable. Other software such as ON1, DxO, Topaz etc work just fine. Don't get your hopes up folks!

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    John Newton

    I tried to improve things by placing the cat file on an external drive , it did make it faster to load but the overall useage is terrible, we are still on 3.0.1 here in Europe, the support ive had is useless, making no difference,and is ill advised, opening an image direct from the hard drive just doesnt work for me in this version it still loads the whole catalog and many more issues, currenly im using the old version and Affinity photo, its a shame the whole things gone phut.

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    James j

    I joined the support forums just to ask this question.

    I decided to test Luminar via a free trial. I'm really glad I did. I'm on windows 10. The application is basically unusable. Freezing, non responsive, missing things that should be there but arent ... etc. The application is unusable.

    Is there any way to ... not waste my trial until the "performance" issues are solved in presumably 3.1.0 ?

    Let me be clear here - the application isn't usable.

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    Andy H

    I was an early adopter of Luminar when it as first released in late 2016.  It was touted back then as a Lightroom alternative and about 2 1/2 years later we have this - something that's not even close (or usable for some). Skylum clearly have major problems with this release and it strikes me they don't have an answer and keep promising fixes they can't deliver.

    I feel really sorry for their Support Team and even their affiliates who are profusely apologizing for what basically boils down to an inability to provide a product fit for purpose. They have a marketing department that churns out nonsensical videos that state how great 2018 was and how 2019 will be a breakthrough year, when they know full well they've botched this product. I'll settle for a product that works - that will be enough of a breakthrough for me, thanks.

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    Andy H

    Folks.  Thought I'd make you aware of a video that might help - thanks to Leon on another thread in this community.  It's a work around to overcome the Libraries module issue and I have to admit Luminar 3.0.2 is now working pretty well.  Still has the age old Luminar problem of slow RAW rendering speed, but it's usable at least for now.

    UPDATE: after a few minutes of decent performance, I've had numerous crashes and issues.  So it appears to me that 3.0.2 hasn't resolved the Libraries issue or the stability issues either.

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    Lawrence Plomp

    I agree with Andy, I would settle for a program that works.

    I just installed plug-ins for Photoshop, but they aren't there in the filter section of the program as stated.

    You could overlook one such issue as an oops but this program is littered with littered with mistakes.

    Then if you try to use their guides to find workarounds they seem outdated as the tabs in the program don't have the same buttons as they describe.

    I just timed my load time, it took 12 min. and 28 sec. to load.

    I am very disappointed with this whole mess that they sold me, terrible terrible terrible. 


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    Andy H

    @Lawrence - that work around video will at least get you over the long load times. When you do that you can at least get editing in Luminar. After about 10 mins I was pretty happy how it was performing, but since then it's crashed on numerous occasions as I've worked it harder. 

    I've long given up on Luminar being my Lightroom alternative for DAM - even if the Libraries module was working correctly - as it's embarrassingly short of functionality.  I now use ON1 Photo RAW 2019 and for me it out performs Luminar in just about every department. I was still hoping to use Luminar as an occasional editor for more creative edits as I still like some of the tools, but this has pretty much died as Skylum continually fail to deliver.  I've gone back to Topaz Studio (with my older Topaz plug-ins installed) for my creative stuff and have figured out a great workflow between ON1 (as my DAM and primary editor) and Topaz that has pretty much consigned Luminar to the trash.

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    Here's my list of issues & grievances that I have discovered so far:

    • Opens with “All Photos”, instead of last folder
      Possibly a reason why it takes so long to open the library as it tries to load/index potentially tens of thousands of images. Then it tries to scroll all the way down to the image I was last at, instead of skipping the load of "All Photos" and just load the ones from the folder I was last in. Hence, open the folder structure and select that one. It's much faster to load a view/folder with 300 images than it is with 30k images. It's frankly mind boggling to me that the lack of such a basic concept is not caught by Product and QA. This seems to indicate that the responsible staff does not understand how reasonable software is supposed to work. This is scary to me.
      CaptureOne has the same issue when trying to load a folder with tens of thousands of images, the app becomes dog slow. At least they were smart enough to open the last selected folder to avoid the "All Photos" issue.

    • Slow loading of full size images (with and without adjustments)
      As has been mentioned, loading of image previews is slow but excruciatingly so when multiple adjustments are applied. We live in a time where developers now have easy access to close to the "metal" performance as possible with Metal & DirectX. Yet, this application crawls on a MacPro with 64GB RAM and TWO workstation-grade graphics cards with 4GB VRAM. Can anyone explain how a new graphics-focused application that's built from the ground up does not use the best graphics technology available?
      Look at the "RAW Power" application to understand what speed looks like when done right. Developed by one guy.

    • Looks previews too small, should not be at the bottom and only rendered when requested
      Something that always baffles me in most image editors is that stupid film strip at the bottom. The dimension where there is the least screen real estate is the vertical, so how about NOT putting items into the vertical dimension so that the main thing, the image to be edited, can be as large as possible. CaptureOne and Aperture at least allow for placing the filmstrip to either of the horizontal sides. Because options are always good.
      Luminar does have the image thumbnails to the left but the Looks are at the bottom. Aside from the bad position of the Looks and no shortcut to hide them, the previews of the Looks are too small, and they get calculated each time an image is put into Edit mode, even if the Looks panel is hidden. I'm certain that is one of the reasons why full-size image preview is so slow. This needs to stop. Just because I'm looking at an image does not mean I want to apply a Look to it. Maybe I just want to cycle through the images and I don't need Looks for that. Looks need to be made optional and ONLY rendered when requested. So instead of having a vertical blocking filmstrip, Looks should be launched in an overlay view over the main image to take full advantage of the whole screen real estate, so the Looks previews can be bigger. The "Priime" application is a good example of what this should look like in terms of Looks gallery.

    • Thumbnails too small in Edit view
      The thumbnails on the left hand side are too small to really serve as a preview. If the images are very similar, it's hard to make out where I am and what the difference is between the images. The size needs to be bigger, preferably user-controllable. Both Aperture and CaptureOne do this well. When there are such solid examples, how does Luminar mess this up?

    • Scrollbars too narrow
      Not sure whose smart idea it was to make the scrollbar so narrow, one can barely grab it with the mouse. Like why? I get that scrollbars are not a particularly nice design element but it is not supposed to be. It's meant to be purely functional and right now it does a terrible job at that. There are proven User Interface Design Guidelines for a reason. Follow them, don't try to be fancy.

    • No view for comparing multiple images for culling
      Missing such a view, the Library mode does not have large enough preview sizes to determine differences, like focus, etc. between similar looking images. The Edit mode is also terrible for this because as mentioned above, it takes ages to display a preview. So effective culling is pretty much non-existent at the moment. I would say that should have been a core feature of a library based editor. Why did it not make it in and why is it not even on the roadmap? Internationalization, LR migration & AI features are not that important. The basics should be done first, then add convenience features.

    • Open in Aurora exports a converted image, not the RAW. Subsequently crashes Aurora.
      If I "Open In" an image without edits in Aurora, the image is still converted and then opened in Aurora. To take full advantage of Aurora, the image should be a RAW file. This seems to be a bug as it works fine in Apple Photos when an image is opened in Aurora as RAW and the result is saved back into Photos.
      Also, when I do "Open In" Aurora from Luminar, Aurora does open and then tries to load the image but it subsequently crashes. Not sure if that is because my Aurora2019 is the AppStore version and Luminar3 is currently the trial because the AppStore version is still not available.

    • Roadmap item: Automatic Database Backups
      "A new backup is now created every time Luminar launches"
      Please abandon this attempt because it's useless. For one, I have an hourly TimeMachine backup but even that is useless when the DB is only updated once the application launches or closes. After working hours on edits and the application suddenly crashes, all work is lost from that session. Automatic backups need to happen in user-controlled intervals during the session. Of course, it would be nice not have the application crash at all but that seems to be quite a ways off. In the meantime, make sure that at least the work I'm putting into it is protected until the next crash.


    So overall, I see a lot of instances of "let's be different (for the sake of being different)". Frankly, nobody is asking for this. I don't know what kind of "studies" were done to "make it right". There are a number of applications out there today that do things particularly well in some areas, but they lack in others. All we needed was an application that combines the best parts/concepts from the other ones and not force us into a subscription model. That's really it. Yet, here we are with another application that just does a few things well but is a complete mess in the most basic areas. Especially for a new application, the lack of fundamental UI design principles and workflow requirements is puzzling. At the end of the day, this is not anything different, it's as much me-too as all the other ones. Maybe something that Skylum should think about.

    As for the few good parts I've seen so far (there aren't many but credit where credit is due):

    • Obviously, no subscription model
    • Low cost. I would frankly pay a lot more for something that truly works. 
      I had been a CaptureOne user for the past few years and they charge a premium. They've now gone too far by raising the prices again for no apparent gain. CaptureOne is great but it also contains serious flaws that continuously get ignored yet they still want more money. At some point it's enough.
    • Image quality. I really do like the quality I get out of the images and so far, only CaptureOne had the upper hand when it came to quality. However, quality is not everything and it will not make up for an inefficient/broken workflow.
      Aperture never had the best image quality but it was good enough. The workflow tools on the other hand, even after 5 years of discontinuation of development, still beat the pants off any RAW editor in existence today. It's really embarrassing for the industry.


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    Merle Becker

    Andy H.  Can I contact you regarding a few questions regarding your use of ON 1 off this site?  Can send you my email to share some questions.  Merle Becker


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