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With all things being equal (same photos in catalog), Lightroom opens to useable in 7 seconds and Luminar takes well over a minute. Almost two. My concern was lessened when I started browsing directories and found many had only partially built previews. The program is chugging away at about 9% CPU and using about 1.8GB of memory as I type this, so I'm going to leave it open the rest of the day while I'm out and about and let it finish. My hope is that this is a one-time thing and moving items around in Lightroom won't trigger a long re-scan whenever I switch over to Luminar. 

 

Ten minutes later update:

Several directories are greyed out and contain only blanks placeholders and badly pixelated previews. I guess I'll wander off and see what happens.

 

Dave

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Not quite there yet. After deleting the apparently corrupted catalog (DO NOT CLOSE THE PROGRAM UNTIL THE DIRECTORY IS FULLY PROCESSED WHILE SETTING UP!), I was able to see the thumbnails for every folder I checked. But...

 

There is apparently no way to turn off showing files in sub-directories like you can in Lightroom. This isn't a deal-breaker since a small alteration in workflow would render this moot. Still, it seems like an oversight.

 

Navigation seems fumbly but that is purely a matter of getting used to where stuff is. I mention it only because the interface is simple and straightforward. The fumbling will likely pass quickly. If I actually counted this as a minus, I would have to take back all my criticism of reviewers that complained about Sony menus after using another brand for ten years. If you can't get used to new stuff, don't buy new stuff. Right? 

😉 

 

Closing the program after validating the catalog and re-opening took the same two+ minutes. Opening the program prior to processing the new catalog as about a three second process, so I'm pretty sure it is related to catalog size.

 

The initial view of a folder stumbles a bit until all the thumbnails pop up and if you try to zoom in before the thumbnails finish, you will wait.

 

Sometimes, zooming in does not re-resolve but simply zooms on the lower res preview. It remains that way until you exit the folder and re enter. Once it took an exit from the program to clear it up. 100% zoom in Lightroom on top, Luminar on the bottom. 

 

p3242964607-5.jpg

 

The general benefit of non-destructive edits highlights one of my personal reasons for not making the big change to full-time Luminar. The fact that my thousands of non-destructive corrections and enhancements made in Lightroom are in Lightroom. My Luminar folders are filled with fresh virginal images waiting for me to add my creative and critical touches. The fresh images are not a plus in this case. An "Import adjustments from Lightroom" button would go a long ways towards selling the change to Adobe users.

 

Destructive pixel level editing, a la Photoshop, is still a gap, though the quick object removal is pretty effective and is non-destructive as well.

 

Note: I just closed the program and re-opened again...two+ minutes. I can now safely speculate that this is catalog size related. I will revisit this if there is some background sorcery still happening and it speeds up later.

 

For a first try, I have to say that the package is really rather nice. Its overall feature set is Spartan compared to the Adobe products, but this may be a plus for those with a moderate image collection who simply want to adjust exposure, add some spark, straighten a horizon or crop for a frame size. The presets are varied and the amount you apply is variable with single slider control. If you want to tweak some more or create your own preset, there are a lot of filters and functions to play with. 

 

Skylum has stated their intention to keep adding features as rapidly as possible and the first release feels like a good foundation to build on. Is it a replacement for the Adobe Photographer's plan (PS & LR)? No. At least not for me. To its credit it doesn't really feel like a first try but more of a lower-featured alternative. Some of the functions and the overall simplicity bode well for the future. The first update will likely be addressing speed with large catalogs since I can already hear the screams from prolific burst shooters with 1.5M 50MB RAW images and a bad case of deleteophobia.

 

Bottom line for folks new to managing digital images: Good program that is worth the money if you can live with some growing pains.

 

Bottom line for Adobe users:  Nope. Not yet. Probably worth checking it out after a few updates.

 

I'll update as I dig in deeper.

 

 

Dave

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Thanks Dave for your continuing efforts in reviewing Luminar.  I use the Adobe Photography plan and admittedly use PS on less than 1% of the photos that I choose to edit.  I live in Lightroom Classic, which does almost everything that I need, but I probably also use less than 50% of what Lightroom can do.  It's still worth $10 a month to me.  Adobe has brainwashed me into thinking that subscriptions are the way to go, so long as they don't start jacking up the price.  Hopefully, Luminar and others will offer enough competition to keep Adobe honest.  Competition is good.

 

One of the things that the $10 buys, and that I've enjoyed, is the mobile version of Lightroom CC.  I've found myself in situations many times where I did not have my SLR but did have my iPhone (e.g. business trips).  It's nice shooting in RAW and having similar editing features on my phone.  I also have (and like) ProCamera on my phone but prefer Lightroom CC because it gives me good camera control AND editing.  I can easily edit and share/post right from my phone.  I can also then download these images from the Adobe Cloud for additional editing on my computer if desired.  Has there been any discussion of Luminar integrating with mobile devices?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/24/2018 at 9:34 AM, bobmacliberty said:

Has there been any discussion of Luminar integrating with mobile devices?

 

There was a small mention during the early ramp-up to Luminar jumping to the Windows platform but nothing firm as yet. They have a few hurdles to clear before wading into that swamp. I have been trying to do some more comparisons but the 2-3 minute catalog load time when opened and sometimes 30-40 seconds to render a large preview of a 24MP file in the editor has limited my interaction with it.

 

The $10/month Adobe subscription is still the deal for me but I haven't lost hope. I would guess that Skylum isn't really directly targeting high-volume Pros as yet or even slightly obsessive "enthusiasts" with very large collections. On smaller catalogs, it seems to work well and is very effective with its AI driven smart correcting. I don't regret spending the time or money on the Skylum software (bought Aurora and Photolemur as well) since they seem quite serious in their intent to provide a workable alternative to the current market leaders. 

 

Time will tell. They just need to work on using less of mine while loading and viewing.

 

Dave

 

 

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3 hours ago, pierces said:

 

 I don't regret spending the time or money on the Skylum software (bought Aurora and Photolemur as well) since they seem quite serious in their intent to provide a workable alternative to the current market leaders. 

 

Thanks Dave:

Appreciate all the time you spent criticing Luminar.

Sometime ago, you had mentioned Photolemur and I downloaded it and been using it mostly in batchloading files.

 

Thanks again

3 hours ago, pierces said:

 

 

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  • 3 months later...

Just an final update.

 

After a few months of occasionally trying to integrate Luminar into my workflow, it has become clear that it is just not going to work for me. Were I to switch to Luminar, I would have to re-edit many thousands of images processed in Lightroom's non-destructive editor. The alternative would be to export all my images to a new set of folders with the changes applied and store the originals somewhere. Not a practical plan. The other issue is the painful slowness of the catalog. I'm sure it is due to the number of images I have in the catalog but 2-3 minutes to load on startup vs. 12 seconds for Lightroom is just not acceptable. The editor is faster now, so there may be some hope for the catalog someday. 

 

On the other hand, if someone is just starting a catalog and getting into post-processing their images to make them better, Luminar is a good place to look. The interface for using their very capable AI enhancer (soon to be updated to v2) is simple, intuitive and the results are very good on all but the most egregious exposure errors. The extensive library of free and for-pay "looks" to add punch to images, process to B&W or make some other visible statement add to the appeal and are just as easy to use. I like it well enough that I will be transferring my copy to the PC I'm giving to my daughter's family so the budding photographer over there can be introduced to the concept of workflow and editing.

 

Back to Lightroom. 

 

It looks like Skylum is listening to people like myself who have posted our plusses and minuses to their feedback forum and has introduced Luminar Flex which installs as a plugin for Photoshop, Lightroom, Photos for Mac OS and Photoshop Elements. It offers the same features as the full product but is invoked from the plugin menu from within the supported programs. They say it will be supported as a separate product going forward which seems to indicate that they expect it to diverge from the full product in some way. Maybe this will eliminate the "install as a plug-in" option in the full product and let the developers concentrate on improving  the features specific to each segment. Anyway, this looks like a good way for me to get access to some of the remarkably good features in Luminar without having to spend two years re-editing the 150K+ images in my catalog.


But that's a subject of another thread.... 😉

 

 

Dave

 

 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, pierces said:

Just an final update.

 

After a few months of occasionally trying to integrate Luminar into my workflow, it has become clear that it is just not going to work for me. Were I to switch to Luminar, I would have to re-edit many thousands of images processed in Lightroom's non-destructive editor. The alternative would be to export all my images to a new set of folders with the changes applied and store the originals somewhere. Not a practical plan. The other issue is the painful slowness of the catalog. I'm sure it is due to the number of images I have in the catalog but 2-3 minutes to load on startup vs. 12 seconds for Lightroom is just not acceptable. The editor is faster now, so there may be some hope for the catalog someday. 

 

On the other hand, if someone is just starting a catalog and getting into post-processing their images to make them better, Luminar is a good place to look. The interface for using their very capable AI enhancer (soon to be updated to v2) is simple, intuitive and the results are very good on all but the most egregious exposure errors. The extensive library of free and for-pay "looks" to add punch to images, process to B&W or make some other visible statement add to the appeal and are just as easy to use. I like it well enough that I will be transferring my copy to the PC I'm giving to my daughter's family so the budding photographer over there can be introduced to the concept of workflow and editing.

 

Back to Lightroom. 

 

It looks like Skylum is listening to people like myself who have posted our plusses and minuses to their feedback forum and has introduced Luminar Flex which installs as a plugin for Photoshop, Lightroom, Photos for Mac OS and Photoshop Elements. It offers the same features as the full product but is invoked from the plugin menu from within the supported programs. They say it will be supported as a separate product going forward which seems to indicate that they expect it to diverge from the full product in some way. Maybe this will eliminate the "install as a plug-in" option in the full product and let the developers concentrate on improving  the features specific to each segment. Anyway, this looks like a good way for me to get access to some of the remarkably good features in Luminar without having to spend two years re-editing the 150K+ images in my catalog.


But that's a subject of another thread.... 😉

 

 

Dave

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Dave for your critique.

 

I noticed that I use their Photolemur quite a bit - it is one of the filters in my Photoshop.

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Ok. I know I said "Final". The thing is, Skylum seems to really be trying to make a dent in the Adobe hegemony.

 

Version 3.1 was just released and I loaded it to see what they had done. The new "human aware" Accent AI 2.0 is supposed to be way smarter but my interest was a mention of a database improvement. As a database guy for many years, my guess at the cause of Luminar's miserable performance with large catalogs was a poorly optimized database. It looks like I may have been right. As I was installing, there was a pause with a message calling for a database migration and the "ok" button launched a quiet process that ended with a launch that was easily less than half of what it took previously. The orphaned deleted folders that I had previously been unable to remove in the Luminar interface immediately began to disappear from the folder tree and within a minute of so, the tree looked correct and the new folders added since the last round of testing were there and had all the proper images in them. Individual images load to full view a bit faster, especially with the 24MP RAW Sony .ARW files. The creation of the effect preview thumbnails at the bottom of the interface is still a little pokey, but not painful like before.

 

The time-price of total conversion (re-editing 150K images) from Lightroom to Luminar is still too high for me to make the leap but my recommendation for people starting to seriously organize and post-process their images is now mostly based on whether they are planning on serious image alteration and touch up that would require a pixel-level editor like Photoshop. If that's the case, the $10/mo. Adobe Photographer's plan that includes Lightroom and Photoshop is still the best bang-for-the-buck when you consider the maturity, update cycle and overall power of the two applications. If someone intends to straighten, crop, enhance (even significant or artistic enhancements) and do common retouching, Luminar 3 offers a very compelling package for a fairly low initial cost. Eventually, they will have to charge for some major upgrade (financial reality) but so far they have been offering some pretty significant improvements to a solid product at no extra charge. I suppose that for a budget "Photographer's Plan", one could use Luminar and buy something like PS Elements to do pixel-level editing. Elements is pretty powerful and wouldn't necessarily need to be updated with every release if the new version doesn't have a compelling new feature. I guess that even in post-processing options, it's a great time to be a photographer!

 

Maybe this won't be the last post on this or maybe it will. Skylum is certainly doing their best to keep my interest in their product alive.

 

Dave

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I've been putting off migrating from Aperture to some currently maintained system. I'm looking more for a 'digital asset manager' than a 'raw converter' or image editor. 

 

I'll need to spend some time with multiple systems before I settle on _something_. [Capture One; DigiKam; Mylio; ON1; Raw Power; Darktable....] 

 

I really want an 'Aperture 4' - but will need to settle for something much less polished.

I'm looking for a reasonable subset of AP3 image management including

  • nested keywords
  • ratings
  • smart albums
  • geo location
  • nondestructive editing
  • external editor 'round trip' [for the rare cases where I do pixel level editing - the modified image should be linked to the unchanged master]

I would like software in active development - but I would like to avoid 'subscription' pricing.

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10 hours ago, TheOldBear said:

I've been putting off migrating from Aperture to some currently maintained system. I'm looking more for a 'digital asset manager' than a 'raw converter' or image editor. 

 

I'll need to spend some time with multiple systems before I settle on _something_. [Capture One; DigiKam; Mylio; ON1; Raw Power; Darktable....] 

 

I really want an 'Aperture 4' - but will need to settle for something much less polished.

I'm looking for a reasonable subset of AP3 image management including

  • nested keywords
  • ratings
  • smart albums
  • geo location
  • nondestructive editing
  • external editor 'round trip' [for the rare cases where I do pixel level editing - the modified image should be linked to the unchanged master]

I would like software in active development - but I would like to avoid 'subscription' pricing.

 

You may want to step up the migration. It looks like Aperture will no longer work beyond the current Mac IS version.

https://www.dpreview.com/news/5576621302/apple-aperture-will-no-longer-work-after-macos-mojave

 

 

Dave

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7 hours ago, tommui987 said:

 

Comments on Adobe raising price to $20.00 a month?

 

You can still sign up for the $10/mo. Plan, but only by calling support. I received a survey a few weeks ago that asked how much Adobe online storage I used. It looks like they are floating the new pricing to see what the response is. If it goes to $20 with the mandatory storage, I may look at that Luminar/Elements combo I mentioned earlier.

 

Dave

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  • 1 month later...

Saw this free course from Matt Kloskowski a few days ago for those that are thinking about changing from Adobe to some other product. He covers most of the mainstream products and his thoughts with regard to Luminar mirror my own experience.

 

https://mattk.com/product/switch-from-adobe/

 

BTW, I saw that the $10/month plan is back on adobe the web site, no need to call support.

 

Paul

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Luminar 3.1.1 update says it is focused on speed.

 

Guess what? It seems there is truth there. At least 50% faster loading the catalog and my SWAG is about 100% faster loading previews.

 

I may actually start using it more once the new computer is built and my planned workflow alterations are in effect. If they would add a right-click link to an external editor for heavy fixes, it would erase almost all my initial misgivings about Luminar as a primary editing tool.

 

These guys are listening and seem to be serious about putting on the big boy pants.

 

Dave

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have used Luminar 2018, Luminar 3 and Luminar 3.1.1 (latest). The 2018 version was no good. But, once they added the Library feature, things are looking better and a wide customisation options for photo editing. The speed of operation is also improving with every release. But still they need to work on some parts. My review with Luminar Before and After images here: Luminar 3.1.1 Review with Before and After Images

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, another version will be out this fall. Available to currently licensed users for a special upgrade price.

 

https://skylum.com/luminar-l4?clickid=2-hXO2QKPU62ysW10dXUu0Z5UklTYEU2Iyhm3E0&irpid=60087&utm_content=TEXT_LINK&utm_source=Amonsul VOF&utm_campaign=mediapartner_cpa&utm_medium=cpa&aclid=&platform=IR

 

New features, better stuff. More money.

 

Folks who abhor subscriptions need to realize that annual paid upgrades are subscriptions. Sort of. 🙂

 

Still, it is a good product and they seem to be pushing hard to improve. I can't fault them for charging for a major upgrade.

 

 

Dave

 

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  • 2 months later...

Luminar 4 is due out shortly with a lot of new features. AI Sky Replacer, AI Portrait Enhancer, etc.

 

Feature page: https://skylum.com/luminar-l4?utm_expid=.dUOCDh-YSFqtvDmdMieJhQ.0&utm_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fskylum.com%2Fluminar

 

It is a full number upgrade and is therefore a purchase. For those of you who own v.3 and didn't pre-order the upgrade back in August, this is the last day to get the version 4 and a package of instant "looks" filters for $59 ($69 if you don't already own v.3). The price of Luminar alone will go up to $89 tomorrow.

 

The speed and some of the other issues have been addressed in later v.3 releases and unless you are a die-hard Lightroom user with a billion or so non-destructively edited images in your library that you would have to re-edit or export with changes (yeah, ranting a little), Luminar is a friendly and rather powerful program and I'm interested to see what magic they have added in v.4. 

 

I guess we'll know in a couple of weeks. I'll post a feature update when it drops and re-evaluate my Lightroom position at the same time.

 

 

Dave

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7 hours ago, pierces said:

Luminar 4 is due out shortly with a lot of new features. AI Sky Replacer, AI Portrait Enhancer, etc.

 

I guess we'll know in a couple of weeks. I'll post a feature update when it drops and re-evaluate my Lightroom position at the same time.

 

Dave

 

 Dave: Waiting for your report!

 

My son and I just came back from s B2B cruise  and took (too) many pictures.

Photographs were takenin both jpeg and AWR and my son took his in jpeg and rw2 files.

Separating the "RAW-like" files, I ran the jpegs through Luminar(-3) Flex batch program.

I was very impressed and so I am waiting for the Luminar4 to see what that program will do.

 

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
6 hours ago, havoc315 said:

Not a fan of Luminar 4 for portraits but it definitely has some value for landscapes. The sky replacement definitely feels like cheating:

 

I am doing some construction around the house and am using both power saws and occasionally hand saws. I am not sure, but I don't think that the wise fellow who designed the Ryoba pull saw would think the battery-powered circular saw was cheating. 

 

Sky replacer is a tool. Tools make stuff easier. Necessity may be the mother of invention but Lazy is its daddy!

 

🙂

 

Dave

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