Luminar 4

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    Guy Meacham

    They purchased Photolemur last year and since then the focus has been on a Photolemur type of product.

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    Andy H

    @Wim van der Meer. Good points. Let's not forget that there have been numerous versions of their development roadmap for Luminar, promising certain fixes and functionality and they rarely seem to stick to them. They seem to find it acceptable to modify the roadmap (or change the goal posts) when it dawns on them that they won't meet their own timelines. Perhaps they think we won't notice ;)

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    Anders Svensson

    @Will Roberts II

    Exposure X5 has a History panel that lets you undo as many editing steps as you want. It's a much more stable/robust application than Luminar in my experience, although it does cost a bit more. (X5 was recently released and adds some nice functionality to the X4 I've used for about a year now.)

    I'd be very wary of trusting Luminar to respect your editing history. Updates to Luminar 2018 often changed the visual rendering of edits made in previous versions, so unless you exported an image (eg. to tiff or jpeg) or made sure you only reopened it in the same version of Luminar, the editing history wasn't worth anything. Whether it's still a problem in Luminar 3 I can't say since I was never able to open my Luminar 2018 projects in Luminar 3 and eventually gave up on waiting for Skylum to do anything about it: 9+ months after they said lmnr project functionality would be restored it still hasn't happened that I've seen (I gave up after 6), and none of the answers I received from Skylum about respecting the visual rendering of previous edits indicated that they took the problem seriously.

    The constant changes to Luminar (removing features, changing the way edits are interpreted, how they're ordered, how they're stored, etc) are fine if all you use Luminar for is to edit and export, but not if you want to be able to revisit previous edits with the same visual rendering in a future version of Luminar. There are better alternatives if that's what you're after.

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    Andy H

    @Will Roberts II

    If Luminar 3 runs well on your machine and you are happy with the very basic file management system it has, then it's pretty good solution if you're just getting started.  Some of us however find Luminar 3 to be very slow and crash prone and it lacks or poorly implements some features I consider essential if you want to use it at the core of your editing workflow.

    I use ON1 Photo RAW 2019 as my Lightroom alternative and is at the centre of my workflow for file management and probably 75% of my editing work, it serves me very well in light of Luminar 3's failings with speed, stability, file management and masking. As @Anders has stated, Exposure X5 is also very solid, has a good file management system, has excellent film emulation presets and is more streamlined than many of the others. Both ON1 and Exposure X5 are non-destructive and have a history panel so you can undo your edits. DxO PhotoLab 2 is a solid editor as well. Capture One for me is probably one of the best results wise, but it's very expensive and I found it a pretty steep learning curve.

    Then of course there's Lightroom, which for me became very slow and bloated with a large catalogue of photos. I didn't care much for the subscription model either and hardly used Photoshop. I ditched it last year for ON1 and have never regretted it. I would take issue with @Wim van der Meer and his comment on the ON1 pricing policy. ON1 is no different to Skylum, Exposure (formerly Alien Skin) and some others.  They offer a major paid for update each year, several free "dot" updates over that year, but you don't have to upgrade of you don't want to. Older versions will continue to work fine.

    There are a number of other editors out there that I would consider as "plug-in only" for now. and I would consider Luminar in that frame. Luminar Flex or 2018 are very solid. Topaz Studio 2 is another interesting editor that has some very powerful filters and great for getting really creative.

    In summary if you're looking for a good value editor to do most of your workflow, including file management, then ON1 Photo RAW or Exposure X5 would be my choices. If Luminar 3 runs well on your machine and you're not concerned about some of its significant shortcomings, then that might serve you well. Remember you can stick with Luminar 3 and not have to upgrade to version 4. Perhaps Luminar 4 will surprise us, and in many ways I hope it does; but having been along on the ride with Skylum these past few years, I'm getting an uneasy feeling whether or not it will be anything better than just an occasional plug-in for me, if I use it at all.

    Most of these have 30 day trials, so I'd try as many as you can and hopefully you'll find the one(s) for you.  Having tried all of them myself, I've never found one solution that does everything brilliantly. ON1 is the closest to that from my experience and editing workflow preferences, but I also use Exposure X5 for the film emulation, and the Topaz suite of products and occasionally Luminar 2018/Flex for creative options.

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    Wim van der Meer

    The history is located in the Luminar database, and when that crashes—as was the case with mine after a lot of work—you will be very sad. DxO (and other similar software) has all the modifications in a sidecar. Chances that all the sidecars become corrupt are small, but indeed there is no full history. Still, as others have mentioned, it is not difficult to simply switch off the tools you have activated. By the way, Photoshop and several other image editing programs do have histories.

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    Andy H

    @Will Roberts II

    ON1 Photo RAW 2019 (and the 2020 public beta) does have a history panel, so you can step back in your editing process, however it appears not to save (or embed) that step by step history for it to be available if you close and re-launch. In fact it doesn't when you switch between the Browse and Edit modules either. It does lock in your edit (non-destructively) so when you re-open, you can pick up where you left off, you just won't be able to undo the individual steps that got you to the current version of what you have if you've closed the program. It's not functionality that is critical to me, so I haven't really paid attention to it before - but it's clearly important for you - so ON1 might not be what you want.

    Exposure X5, as you've probably found out already, does this. In fact the more I use X5, the more I like it. It lacks some functionality I need, so it would not suit me as my one and only editing solution, but it's really solid.

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    Member

    I switched to Luminar 3 as an alternative to paying the ongoing £9 per month to Adobe for their Lightroom extortion racket. 

     

    Right from the off Luminar 3 kept crashing mid edit. Fire it up again, work on a few more photos and 'boom' down it goes again. I have a brand new powerful PC which this should not be happening on, my belief is that the issue lies with Luminar, rather than my PC. 

     

    Now we find that we are being funneled down the upgrade path to benefit from more shiny bells and whistles that will work for a while but then go t1ts up unless they sort out the STABILITY of the product.

     

    I'm now looking round for alternatives as my 2 months with Luminar have not been the plain sailing i had hoped for.

     

    Shame

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    Xin Dong

    I would like to know more about the planned new features besides the sky replacement one. I requested two features about lens distortion for Fujifilm Fujinon lenses and easier free transform. Hope to see those features will be implemented.

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    Martial Fournier

    Bonjour,

    Je ne mettrai pas un centime de plus dans luminar 4 tant que luminar 3 Windows n'aura pas atteint le niveau de luminar 3 Mac.

    Il faut d'abord que les faiblesses de luminar 3 soient réglées.

    Pour moi c'est de l'arnaque.

    Cordialement, Martial

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    Michael Anderson

    The website for ordering via an upgrade has a design problem that keeps you in a loop and never send you to the dialog box for payment.   This could not have been tested before it was published.    Not a great start for Luminar 4. 

     

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    Nancy Goodenough

    Will I be able to use my own skies in the new AI Sky Replacement in Luminar 4?

    My and probably most photography club competitions do not allow using "other photographers work" in our entries, so this is useless to me unless I can use my own photographs of skies. Besides being more satisfying.

    Thanks,

    Nancy Goodenough

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    Sascha Picchiantano

    So you are saying that enough people complaining won't help... cute... under which rock have you been living?

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    James Andreas

    With On1 adding CR3 support yesterday, I think I'll just be moving on. 

     

    I'll stick with AirMagic for lazy drone edits, but I'm sort of done with Luminar. 

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    James Moore

    I think we need to end the vitriol and Skylum need to make a gesture here to do just that. Myself and the loyal user community have enjoyed many aspects of Luminar and have paid appropriate sums for the pleasure. We by and large believe in the product (Aurora HDR 2019 is terrific) and others from Skylum. Luminar has become a problem of late with most users struggling to come to terms with the poor performance of Luminar 3. Personally I found it unusable until the latest release and have until then had to revert to Luminar 2018. Having been promised all upgrades until the end of the year I believe it only fair and right for Skylum to reward us paying clients with a brilliant, fully functional, bug-free, fully tested Luminar 4. Forget upgrading L3 and concentrate on getting the latest version out to all of us so we can move on and enjoy this product. 

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    Simon Notley

    I was one of the early responders to this thread and could be construed as a 'complainer'. However, my software is actually working pretty well, could be better but I'm happy with the purchase. What I'm not happy with is the launch of a paid new major version when we were promised all 2019 upgrades for free, it just seems like a really cheap attempt at backtracking on a promise. The Skylum posts here seem to suggest they will update L3 and L4 in parallel for a while but that makes little sense as that would give L3 users no reason to upgrade (unless they really want the AI skies) and split the user base in two, increasing support and dev workload. If they just stop L3 and say 'L4 is now current' prior to end of 2019 then that seems like a broken promise to me. I really don't get the logic here. Some people are saying it's a scam but if so it's not a very good one as new users would have bought L3 anyway and L3 users have little reason to upgrade (and in fact many feel they shouldn't as a matter of principle). Just a massive screw-up from Skylum as far as I can see. If it was a bigger company I'd say it was a classic case of marketing or management pushing for a new release against the better judgement of the tech team, but surely Skylum is too small for that kind of thing?

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    Tom Gilmore

    I use Luminar 3 on my imac and it works perfectly so far. So good with the library that I plan to abandon LR this month after they gave me two months at the old price to entice me to stay at double the monthly cost! I do believe PC users seem to have more issues with crashing and time to upload photos. I seem to be fine on the imac without that much lag time. I do not think we should be paying for 4 version as I can't see any new features.

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    Angela Andrieux

    Hi Nancy,

    In the current version of the beta there is not an option to see all filters at once but I'll be happy to share the suggestion with our developers. However, the new interface does make finding filters a lot easier (and we hope you think so, too).

    As for stacking several instances of HSL, in Luminar 4 you'll need to do each HSL instance on a separate layer. You'll still be able to copy/paste masks between filters and layers.

    Layers will function pretty much the same in Luminar 4. You'll be able to toggle their visibility and re-order them as desired.

    I know change can be frustrating, but after using the beta myself for a few weeks I've gotten used to it and really appreciate the thoughtful design that has been implemented. I hope you (and others in this thread) will give it a chance once it is released. At that time please let us know how it works for you. We can't please everyone, but we do take every piece of feedback we receive into consideration when making changes to the software.

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    Andy H

    @Martim.  It's clear Luminar is becoming Photolemur Plus. This is either because Skylum are intentionally steering Luminar in this direction, or because they still can't get the stability and performance issues sorted and are having to restrict our workflow flexibility to ensure performance. This was hinted at in an earlier post.

    You know, I've got to the point that if Skylum want to head in this direction, then let them. There's other (far superior) software out there that suits my editing workflow much better.

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    Wim van der Meer

    I also, most unfortunately, have to agree with previous posters that Skylum is going the wrong way with Luminar. In the beginning Luminar looked so promising, but since version 3 they are not fixing bugs or improving on weak points. 

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    Will Roberts II

    Relatively new to the photography scene and evaluating editors right now before purchasing. Does anyone know of an editor that lets you undo edits after moving to a new picture and/or closing and re-opening the program. I've looked and haven't found one other than Luminar 3 but I may have missed one or some so please let me know. And is that a feature that anyone cares about or is that just me? Seems like it'd be beneficial after a session of editing to be able to come back at a later date and review/edit as needed or desired.

    I've done a number of trials and so far love Luminar 3 the most for use on my Macs. What worries me though is what I've read about the company and the roadmap forward. I want to make sure that I invest my time in something lasting and worthwhile, no matter the cost, small or large. 

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    Wim van der Meer

    @Will Roberts II

    This is a difficult question to answer. Adobe is a solid company, and their photo handling software Lightroom is used by many pros. A number of smaller companies make very good products; DxO (Photolab), ON1 Raw, Affinity Photo and GraphicConverter are some but there are many more. Skylum's Luminar certainly has a number of advantages over each of these but as you have seen in this forum, it also has disadvantages. And then there is Apple. Its Photos app is steadily improving, but unfortunately doesn't come near to its long abandoned Aperture. In fact, only Lightroom could compete with Aperture. And will these companies and their softwares survive over time? The ones that have survived over time, like Adobe and Apple, seem the more likely to survive in future. But Thomas Cook just expired and Apple abandoned Aperture.So can we really count on the big ones? I've been a fan of Luminar but at present I'm not so sure any more about their roadmap. I don't like the upgrading policy of ON1 (have to pay quite a bit every year for the next version), nor the subscription system of Adobe (expensive). DxO and GraphicConverter also have paid upgrades from time to time, like ON1, but less often. 

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    Andy H

    @Geoffrey Hahn.

    "As far as what you have read about the company, please note that it is a very small number of people who are actually complaining about Luminar 3, some of which seem to have ulterior motives behind their harsh criticism of the application." 

    Wow. At least from my side, there are no ulterior motives behind my comments and criticisms of Skylum and Luminar. If ON1, Exposure or any of the other software companies I'm a customer of performed like Skylum these past few months, I'd be sending off some zingers to them as well. Thankfully they don't and they deliver what they say they will, so I haven't had to.

    From your earlier post, it appears you haven't extensively tried out all the other photo editing alternatives out there. I, like many others I'm sure, actually have. It's a shame you default to "schill" and "ulterior motive" language when all some of us are doing is to compare and contrast our experiences of other software to assist folks who are frustrated with Luminar and Skylum. I don't agree with some of the things that are being said here, for example I don't think Skylum are intentionally "scamming" us - but I do think there are competency and credibility issues for sure.

    I hope Luminar continues to serve you well and you're getting what you need from it. Just understand it isn't for all of us and because of that it doesn't mean you have to be suspicious of our intentions when we make comments that don't align with yours. All the best.

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    Will Roberts II

    @Geoffrey Hahn

    Hello Geoffrey. One would think that the ability to view and undo edits would be a core function within editing software but after trying numerous trials I’ve found that not to be the case.  There a few that let you undo edits during that editing session only and lose them once the application has been closed. Only Luminar 3 and Exposure X5 (to my knowledge) let you undo edits after closing and reopening the editor.

    I really like Luminar 3 and it’s layout. Clean and simple and looks native to the Mac, which makes sense given that’s the platform Macphun originally made products for. I’m hoping that the past doesn’t repeat itself with Luminar as I’d like to get into their ecosystem and not have to switch in the near future. Fingers crossed and thank you for your input!

     

    @Wim van der Meer

    Hello Wim. I’ve checked out all of the products you mentioned aside from GraphicConverter and they all bring something great to the editing table. All solid choices so I’ve had a hard time picking one even with lengthy run of each trial. I think the think the main thing that has me sold on Luminar is its fluidity. Given that its origins are on a Mac it’s super intuitive and functions in a similar way as other Mac apps (native trackpad support and similar keyboard shortcuts mainly). The low(er) price is also a draw as I 1) don’t want to pay a larger sum of money for something upfront that I may not fully enjoy and 2) I don’t like subscription based services at all. Thank you for your input!

     

    @Anders Svensson

    Hello Anders. Thank you for mentioned Exposure X5. The last time I tried them was when they had Exposure X4 and I wasn’t sold on that so I’m installing the trial for Exposure X5 right now. I didn’t know about the visual rendering changes when moving from one version of Luminar to the next. That’s actually shocking and something that I have to consider, especially with my possible purchased being on tail end of the current product (Luminar 3). I know that the reps have said that Luminar 3 will still receive updates while Luminar 4 is out but the possibility of a shortened shelf life after release is a worry.

    Luminar devs: if you’re reading this, please don’t change the visual rendering from Luminar 3 to 4. I might be buying your product and I have a tendency to stick with this for the long haul. Thank you in advance and thank you Anders for your input.

     

    @Andy H

    Hello Andy. I’ve seen the horrible performance marks for Luminar 3 on Windows but I haven’t seen those on my Mac at all. It actually runs super smooth, but that’s without an extensive library of pictures and edits to match. That may change the performance later; hopefully it doesn’t.

    Question for your though. Does ON1 Photo RAW save edits after closing and reopening the editor? The last trial I tried from them was 2019.6 and at that time it did not let me resume edits after reopening the editor. That feature is really high on my list of needs. I just installed Exposure X5 so I’m going to give that a test and see how it goes. Thank you for the mention and you’re input.

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    Anders Svensson

    @Will Roberts II

    Hi Will. I found out about the rendering problem when I noticed that blue skies were overly saturated after a Luminar update, and then I discovered other people complaining about rendering changes. I have no issue with filters behaving differently from release to release on newly edited images, but the rendering of existing edits made in an earlier version of the software just has to be respected. Imagine having to go back and tweak thousands of images after an update has changed the rendering of existing edits, and then potentially having to repeat that after each update. That's why I say Luminar is fine if you just export and move on, but I'd be careful if you expect existing edits to render identically in future versions.

    The answers I received from Skylum when I discussed this with them in mail were all over the map, from this is expected as they improve their filters, to should be fixed in Luminar 3 since they're no longer changing their algorithms, to this is the first they'd heard of the problem, but even not changing algorithms isn't much of a long-term strategy. Lightroom, Exposure and Capture One Pro all have a "process version", and Exposure and Capture One have version-specific sidecar files so that you can easily open your images in a previous version of the program if so desired. Luminar has none of this, and it's the only editor I've used where I've actually seen changes in rendering from update to update. (Adobe until they went subscription, Exposure since X4, Capture One Pro since version 11, and DxO Photolab since version 1 being the others I use. I've tried to like ON1 Photo Raw, but it's been a little too buggy for me the times I've trialed it.)

    Here's another thread from about a year back: https://community.skylum.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360029230631-What-happened-to-the-RAW-converter-

     

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    Wim van der Meer

    I have very similar experiences. It's really unfortunate, because I really like Luminar's interface and possibilities. But I have experienced a couple of problems and Skylum answers very politely that it will be taken care of in the next version, but then it isn't... Such a promising app, but then, if promises don't come through...

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    Anders Svensson

    @Martim

    Yes, Capture One and DxO have virtual copies/variants, but I do miss history when I've made a mess of some adjustments and want to backtrack. Copies are good for planned changes/variations, not so good for unplanned screw-ups. :)

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    Will Roberts II

    Update for everyone who has helped me here: I went with Exposure X5. I really wanted to go with Luminar 3 right now as it is the most aesthetically pleasing but after giving Exposure X5 a true try it was clear that I needed to let go of what I wanted and get what I need.

    If Luminar can add in a true DAM with metadata, keywords, dual adjustable brushes, etc then I may come over later but for now Exposure X5 has my heart.

    I'll see everyone in a few months (fingers crossed) after Luminar 4 has been released and put through its paces.

     

    Regards,

    William

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    Wim van der Meer

    @Will Roberts

    I think you're right. I also have put Exposure X5 through some paces and it has a lot going for it!

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    Andy H

    @Will Roberts II.

    X5 is a very solid choice, glad you've found the best solution for your current needs. I'm waiting for the trial version of Luminar 4 before committing any money, but it looks to me already that the Libraries module will largely be unchanged from Luminar 3 i.e. pretty darned useless. I think Luminar's days are numbered as a genuine alternative to Lightroom.

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    Wim van der Meer

    In reality I was looking for a replacement of Aperture, which I kept using till Catalina set in and it was finally buried. Surely, programs like apple photos, luminar, dxo pl, exposure, acdsee, graphicconverter, on1, apollo and many others have tools that go much further, every one taking its own angle. Unfortunately none of them has the organising capacities of Aperture. It had maps (gps location) and very complete searching and organising. photos and luminar try to make the workflow easy, fast and automated. That has its advantages, but the more manual approach of dxo, graphicconverter and others gives a clearer idea of what you're doing and why. I have all of these programs because none of them do everything I want and I keep buying upgrades. All in all it costs much more than the more costly approaches like capture one and lightroom. i do have lightroom (teachers have a very good price), but its definitely not my favourite. Apple photos has always kept crashing on importing my large photo library.  In the early days of luminar I had high hopes that it could be THE replacement for Aperture, but now I no longer believe that. Most of the mentioned programs focus on developing, modifying, superimposing and repairing photos, with limited organising capacities. What to do? I'm at a loss...

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