Luminar 4

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    Sascha Picchiantano

    Ahh... Aperture.... the mother of all DAMs that ate Lightroom for breakfast. I am missing it so much and my journey has been similar to your's, Wim. 

    I am hoping that Serif (the company that does Affinity Photo) will release a DAM one day that resembles Aperture. Until then, the hunt for a good, jack of all trades DAM continues. 

    And that's certainly not Luminar.

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    Greg Luckett

    I'll second what Martim said. Definitely give it a try.

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    Sascha Picchiantano

    I tried ON1 extensively over the years, including the new 2020. It's just not my cup of tea. I can't really say why. I guess it's the UI that I just don't like. Nitpicking, of course. It's a good piece of software, just not for me. 

     

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    Will Roberts II

    @Andy H
    Exposure X5 has done everything I could want and need it to do except for one thing and that’s image layering. It’s rare that I will need to do it but if/when I have to I will need to use another program. Enter On1 PhotoRaw or Luminar 4.

    I wanted an all-in-one at a reasonable price (sub-$300 to me) but I guess one can’t have it all.

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    Al Martire

    Win and Sascha,

    I echo your sentiments about Aperture. I too am an Aperture refugee and have been in the DAM wilderness since late 2016 when I began the search for a replacement.
    Lightroom, ON1 Photo Raw, Luminar, the list goes on. But not one did it like Aperture.

    Recently I found an ideal solution which you guys might be interested in. Photo Supreme. Version 5 was just released. I trialed the software in June and made a purchase in July.
    It is a true DAM and exceeds Aperture in some respects. On the surface it appears simple but is actually quite powerful. It is available in both a single-user and server edition and the price is reasonable at $129 for the single-user edition.
    It’s not a true RAW processor, but it does have a decent set of RAW processing tools built-in. So you do need to team it with a RAW converter for a more complete workflow. I've used it with Flex, DPP4, ON1 and RAW Power for RAW processing.  The beauty of it is, you can use anything you want for processing and it does not mess with your DAM functions. 
    But as a DAM it really shines and I have been very happy with it so far. The developer is pretty much a one man operation. But he is very responsive (light years beyond Luminar) and runs an active user forum.  For example I recently had an issue/bug with xmp sidecar files.  I posted on the forum searching for other users input.  Before I got a chance to even post a bug report, the developer had seen my post and issued an update within 8 hours of my posting on the forum!  That was awesome!  Good luck with that kind of response from any other developer.  I have not seen it.

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    Will Roberts II

    @Al Martire

    Question for you. How does your workflow happen when using an external DAM with an editor like Luminar or something other in regards to sorting, labeling metadata, etc? Do you leave the editor then go into the DAM and make changes or look through images in the DAM first and make changes/additions then switch to the editor?

    New to the editing process so just trying to get a better idea of how it works vs having the DAM within the editor.

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    Al Martire

    @ Will Roberts.

    You can set any editor (multiple actually) to launch from within the application.  Metadata is stored either in XMP sidecars for RAW files (there is a setting to write directly to the RAW if you choose) or directly in the original file in the case of JPEG.

    So your editor needs to be able to read/write from/to XMP.  Luminar is out, because, as far as I know, it doesn't work with xmp.  All your metadata is locked in the Luminar catalog file.

    Typically after import to the catalog in Photo Supreme (PSu), I rate, assign keywords, enter GPS and other metadata in PSu.  Then if I want to edit with an outside editor I will open the file with my editor of choice and save a JPEG version. If this is done in the same directory or sub-directory as the original RAW file, there is a function within PSu that can scan the directory for versions and import them into your catalog as a Version and "attaching" or associating it with the raw file.

    There are various other options, but that is my simplest workflow.

     

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    Will Roberts II

    @Al Martire

    Thank you for the thorough explanation. I’m still trying to get the hang of the various ways of going about the process. For now I’ve settled on Exposure X5 and then I’ll lean on another editor for image layering.

    Question for you and anyone else: Is retained edit history not important? It’s a desire of mine to be able to look back at various edits I’ve made and have the option to apply them during editing sessions in the future.

    It’s a feature that that not a lot of programs have and I’m wondering if it’s because experienced editors begin to know what edits were done/are needed from looking at an old picture or if it’s because it’s a feature that isn’t that important to the masses.

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    Wim van der Meer

    @Will Roberts II

    I have worked a lot with Photoshop and it has a history of edits you make. So does Luminar. Can be useful, but I personally do not use it very often. In Luminar the history of edits is kept in the Luminar database and the images themselves are not modified.. That is risky as I found out: the database crashed and the Skylum people didn't manage to recover it. It was huge, and all edits were lost. Other programs store the edits in an xmp (or similar) file in the same folder as the original. That's safer I think. 

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    Will Roberts II

    @Wim van der Meer

    It's true that some programs such as Photoshop and Luminar save edits but Luminar only saves them for the current session right? Last time I used the trial it was only for the current session. I'd like to be able to revisit edit history after a session has been completed and the application closed and re-opened.

    I haven't used Photoshop in forever. Does it retain edit history after closing and re-opening the program?

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    Wim van der Meer

    @Will Roberts II

    Luminar retains the edit history over sessions. Also after closing and reopening. Just tested it. But not over crashes :-\. I really like the way Luminar works and I will give v4 a try. But I have my doubts about its stability for large photo collections. Also, its DAM features are very limited. And I am very annoyed that v3 doesn't read Olympus Hires Raw correctly, which they have promised many times they would solve but never did (it worked in the previous version).

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    Will Roberts II

    @Wim van see Meer

    You’re right. Luminar does retain the edit history. I had Luminar mixed up with another program (rested too many trials). The DAM in Luminar and its lack of functionality is want drove to to check out other programs.

    It looks like my editing program setup will be Exposure X5 and Luminar with the bulk of the workflow done in the former and image layering in the latter. Going to wait until Luminar 4 is release before settling on it over On1 PhotoRaw for image layering.

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    Wim van der Meer

    I thought I knew most photo organising and editing programs but thanks to this forum I have learnt about Exposure and PhotoSupreme. Very interesting. I've been looking at Exposure for a couple of weeks now and I like it. I have started to look at PhotoSupreme and it also looks interesting. When Aperture was no longer supported by Apple I started looking for alternatives and the first I've been using a lot was an early ON1 version. Like Sascha I have never been comfortable with ON1's interface, but as others have remarked, this is personal. As I have used Photoshop since its very beginnings (and that is still a powerhouse) I see certain similarities with the things ON1 does, but being used to Photoshop... But frankly, Photoshop, Affinity, Pixelmator and the like have very different aims and functions. The question is how far you want to go in modifying the RAW image you shot. How important is it to stay close to what you photographed. I'm not saying you have to. Using a RAW original and working with it in different ways can be perfectly wonderful. But what I want primarily is a good DAM and a good RAW developer. I don't want layers at that point. I don't want to replace a dull sky by a Ruysdael painting. Not yet. Maybe later. Morphing. Yes I want to straighten some lines. Barrel and cushion correction. Colour correction, to match my totally subjective memory of the reality I photographed. But not changing green to red. No twirling, pinching and bumping. Not yet. Maybe later. Photoshop, pixelmator and others can do all that later. And so much more. Add text, floating objects, curtains. I just know that I cannot go on buying all those programs and paying for their upgrades. I thought I got over GAS, and now this :-(

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    Andy H

    I too have found this thread pretty enlightening.  But as a keen amateur photographer, I can't justify spending $130 - $140 on just a DAM like Photo Supreme or Photo Mechanic - no matter how good they are. ON1 does a terrific job for me and Exposure X5 would also be great. 

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    Wim van der Meer

    @Andy

    Wow, I missed Photo Mechanic. Thanks for pointing me there. I was just looking at their intro movie and they explicitly state it's for pros. I'm not, but I was. Perhaps you are also pointing me into the right direction of combining a cheaper DAM with a specialised editor. ApolloOne (±15$) could be a very good choice. For editing I really like DxO and Luminar. But the problem of upgrades is all around (except for ApolloOne).

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    Shaun Mullins

    Dear Skylum:

    You honestly expect me to pay for Luminar 4 when Luminar 3 that I purchased a year ago remains unusable for photo editing!?!? I'm running a high-end windows machine with advanced graphics, memory, and processor, but it still never works like it should. It is the slowest, buggiest, crashiest software I have ever experienced and I am over it. I waited patiently and installed the updates to find little to no improvement. I've been way too patient. This product is crap and I'm done with your company for good.

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    Andy H

    @Shaun.  

    A lot of us are with you there! I was talking to a photographer friend the other day and we both agreed that our experiences with Luminar 3 were probably the worst of any software we've been using in over a decade of digital photo editing. For me, Skylum are in the second extension of the last chance saloon - I'll give the trial version a go, but Luminar 4 has to be perfect right off the bat for me to even think about buying it.

    Even if it was, I'm still not sure I want to invest any more money in a company that clearly feels it acceptable to not provide a fit-for-purpose product for paying customers before they move on to the next iteration and ask us for even more money. I also get irritated by their army of affiliates who come out of the woodwork around this time of the year and bombard us with "Luminar 4 is going to be the best ever" spiel.  Problem is folks - you said that last year about Luminar 3 and history will judge your credibility on that one!

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    Wim van der Meer

    @Shaun @Andy H

    I already paid for the upgrade :-(, but only because there is a money back guarantee :-\. It does seem unlikely that I will stay with Luminar. In the early days they were promising a lot, actually they suggested it would be THE Aperture replacement. So far that doesn't seem to be on the horizon. And then there too many flaws that are remain unresolved while spearheading towards AI for all, Photolemur+. Very unfortunate, because the editing engine of Luminar and the UI were so extremely promising.

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    Tom Pickering

    @AndyH

    I agree with you, having been on this runnawaytrain since he beginning (and on a PC to make matters worse}, but I have to give Skylum credit for a major change in their strategy with Luminar 4 - they released a beta version into the hands of people posting demonstrations on YouTube.  Seeing is believing, including actual demoson a PC.  This is a big step up for Skylum, despite their horrible track record.

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    Andy H

    @Tom Pickering

    A slight step up I would say. How many of the Luminar 4 demos online have you seen running on the PC version? I can't say that I've seen them all, but a vast majority if not all the ones I've seen look to have been for Mac. We don't know the specs of the machines that they are running in the demos, so for me I won't part with my money until the Luminar 4 is running on my machines and I've given it a good workout.  I'm also very skeptical of what some of the affiliates say and claim, after all they have a vested interest in Skylum selling as many copies of Luminar as possible.

    @Wim van der Meer

    Yes, Skylum do have a money back guarantee, which in fairness is hassle free as I got a refund a while ago on one of their products. Luminar does have some bright spots, it's a shame they are masked by poor basic execution.

    Only a couple of weeks to go and we'll see if Skylum have got their act together!

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    Wim van der Meer

    Hahaha, Tyshawn Cormier developed a program called Retroactive that will make Aperture rise from the grave under Catalina. So are all our worries over then? Well, the truth isn't that they aren't. Aperture development has been abandoned since 2014, and that takes a toll. Still, I would suggest to ALL developers to get Aperture up and running and set their aim right there.

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    Wim van der Meer

    PS: I was born in Utopia, but recently I moved to Realitia, and I now know Aperture will never come back again :-(

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    Wim van der Meer

    PS2: Retroactive works perfectly. Downloaded Aperture from the App store (I had trashed it when Catalina beta came out), ran Retroactive and voilà. Still the best, though it has some handicaps now.

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    mumutuu

    There is another option about DAM, that is Daminion 6.2, which has almost all Lr management functions, including keywords, GPS, maps, filters, search and more. It has a free version and a basic version, both of which are free, the free version can manage 15,000 photos, the basic version can manage 25,000 photos, and if you want to manage more photos, you can only create multiple catalogs.
    There are also two paid versions, the number of photos that can be managed is 75,000 and unlimited.

    But, it only has a Windows version, does not support macOS.

    English is not my mother tongue, I hope that I have already made it clear.

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    Colin Grant

    mumutuu, you made that very clear indeed. Thank you :-)

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    Roger Bolt

    I purchased the Early Bird download for Luminar 4 on 10/13/19 which begs the question; Will be able to download on 11/11/19 or will I have to wait for 11/18/19 to download? Looking forward to plugin setup with Lr Classic. Have enjoyed the tutorials. 

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    Wim van der Meer

    @mumutuu
    I think this is not available for macos.

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    Colin Grant

    It is available for macOS and windows but to get it on the 11th you have to have been in the first 20000 purchasers.

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    Angela Andrieux

    Hi Roger - The early release is for the first 20,000 to pre-order. This promotion sold out in early August so all other pre-orders after that date will receive Luminar 4 on November 18.

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    Roger Bolt

    Thank you for the clarity Angela. At the time of the purchase that wasn't mentioned in the material online. I'm certainly ok with the wait but it looks like marketing hype was used to make early sales and the 20,000 were not mentioned in 10/13 when I purchased the software. At least not on the web pages I found.

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