Luminar Gets Closer to Being a Lightroom Alternative!

November 19th, 2017

Back in March of this year, I pointed out that Luminar was on track to becoming an alternative to Adobe Lightroom.

Last week, an update for Luminar was released (called Luminar 2018) which adds a lot of features to Luminar. Two key features that real estate photographers need are now in Luminar:

  • Manual lens correction
  • Transform (perspective correction)

Another big step forward for Luminar is that it is available for both Mac and PC. However, the functionality is not identical in both versions. Here is a feature comparison that lists Luminar features compared to Lightroom.

As Serge Ramelli illustrates in his comparison YouTube video, Luminar is now very useful if you just use it as an add-on to Lightroom. But I believe that now that it has lens correction, and perspective correction a case could be made that a real estate photographer could get by with only Luminar 2018.

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10 Responses to “Luminar Gets Closer to Being a Lightroom Alternative!”

  • The Adobe Photography bundle costs $20.00 per month. Why would anyone want to “get by” with Luminar?

  • Larry,

    I started using Luminar about 6 months ago when it seemed imminent that the NIK Suite was going to stop working at some point so as I looked for an alternative I found Luminar to replace specifically the Color Efex Pro module. I can’t say that Luminar matches the specific duties of CE but I have found it to be quite useful to a final step in my image workflow. I don’t really look at it as a replacement for LR. Recently, NIK was purchased by DxO so hopefully that suite will continue as well.

    As a working professional it is difficult to change software systems, similar to changing camera systems, there is a huge learning curve and that takes precious time away from being productive etc. If I were to change systems away from LR I would go with the Capture One system, it is far more comprehensive as a RAW editor and catalog at the moment than Luminar.


  • I had high hopes and have been testing it since it’s release. I was hoping that it might allow for better window pulls. So far nothing touches my LR to PS workflow for processing images, especially ones with critical window pulls. No reason to use it over PS. But in 2018 there will be a new release that specifically targets LR functionality. I bought the product so I could test out that capability and hope that it helps in some areas like slow file export.

  • Now if only it would take the Enfuse plugin!

  • Found a working $10 off coupon for Luminar UPTO60DEAL

  • @Mark Russell – The Adobe Photography bundle costs $9.95 a month, not $20.

    Yes, you are right, most successful professional photographers will not give up give up Lightroom and Photoshop for Luminar but there is a big, growing crowd out there that dislike subscription software and this is part of the audience that Luminar is going after.

  • I’ve been waiting for Luminar to evolve a bit more and its happening now. Don’t think its where LR is as far as ability, but it’s getting closer. LR has some nice features but its performance problems are killing me, I can deal with some of the problems but overall I’m tired of fighting with it. This new Classis version is faster loading and downloading files but the editing is crawling. I turned my graphics processor off and that helped a little but its just slowing me down. Ethan is right, changing to another program is a big deal, so I’m using Luminar as a plug-in until I’m ready for a full switch. There are others who are doing more LR work than I am, I wonder how others are dealing with LR.

  • Affinity Photo is another alternative RAW editing software that’s worth checking out for those who don’t want to subscribe to the Adobe Photo Suite. It has most of the functionality of Photoshop including layers but does not have the cataloging capability of LR. It’s only $50 but has a fairly big learning curve. The RAW processing is quite good except for Fuji files which require special processing. Capture One is, in my opinion, the very best RAW processing tool, (including Fuji RAF files), but it is pretty expensive.

    I can see why people are getting upset with the constant Adobe ‘updates’ that sometimes backfire and interrupt workflow. Photographers need a dependable platform that doesn’t drastically change with every programmer’s whim and slowly it seems as though the big “A” may finally get the real competition they need.

  • I have been using AuroraPro, then 2017 and now 2018 that is a quantum leap from even the 2017 that I have been using mainly for exteriors. But now with the 2018, I am using it for interiors as well. It does not create the mottled effect on smooth surfaces like painted walls like it used to. And the halo effect around tree branches is largely eliminated. I am hoping that Luminar 2018 which I pre-bought and have only had a slight groping fling with as yet, will allow me to process those images that don’t really need the HDR processing, thus speeding up my work flow. But since I like the auto lens correction of PS and the ability to correct verticals and horizontals by dragging the corners, I will be using it in its plug in mode, plugged into PS. Not a perfect solution but one that will work since I can switch back and forth.

    I love PS and will never abandon it. I have been using it since it first hit the market with my first Mac the 512k. But there are a lot of features I really like about Luminar that I think will allow me to take an image shot by necessity under less than perfect light and jazz it up a bit. Time will tell.

    But since I don’t use LR and wonder why I can’t just lease PS instead of having to let LR languish unused, I cannot speak to whether it will take its place for all those who cut their photo teeth on LR. Working a completely new piece of software into our workflow can be challenging. But it can be worth it if we ever get the time to gain mastery of the new software.

  • I forgot to add, for those contemplating adding this bit of software and who use a Windows machine, joining the Skylum Support group before you take the plunge will help you get an idea of the problems they are having trying to adapt the smoothly working Mac version to work on the Windows OS:

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