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Skylum Luminar 4 $67/one time

  • Desktop
  • Free Trial
  • Mac

Skylum Luminar 4 is one of the best AI-based photo editors of the new generation. The modern technologies make Luminar a so-called “smart” editor able to identify different types of images and edit them accordingly. This tool is great for all genres of photography, including portrait, travel, landscape, art, and more. Even though it is advanced, it doesn’t require special skills.

Skylum Luminar 4 Capacities

Luminar allows you to replace the background, add objects, beautify portraits, add sunrays, change the sky, and more. Due to the content-aware AI technology, the tool detects areas that could be improved and changed only them – without changing the rest. AI provides dozens of selective adjustments and does the routine editing job for you.

System Requirements

Mac
Mac Model Early 2010 or newer
MacOS 10.12 or higher
RAM 8 GB or more
Disk space 10 GB free space
Windows
Graphics Open GL 3.3 or later compatible
Processor Intel Core i5 or better
OS Windows 7 or higher (only x64-bit OS)
RAM 8 GB or more
Disk space 10 GB free space

Skylum Luminar 4 Pros & Cons

Advantage

AI (Artificial Intelligence) Sky Replacement replaces beautiful skies in a few clicks.

Non-destructive editing lets you come back and continue editing.

Unified image catalog keeps everything organized.

Being a plug-in version, it, along with other software, produces excellent results.

No Subscription. 30 Days Money Back.

Disadvantage

The interface changed drastically compared to the last version.

There is a lack of subtlety in the “Looks” feature.

Still, there is the absence of virtual copies.

Skylum Luminar 4 Review

With excellence in creativity and AI enhancements, Luminar 4 has something for everyone. However, it is much more different than the previous version.

Our Verdict

If you are a first-time user of Luminar 4, you’ll be mesmerized by its fresh and modern interface. Features like trouble-free image organization, advanced portrait enhancement tools, and mind-blowing AI Sky Replacement will make you a fan of this software.

If you are using (or have used) Luminar 3 and now shifting to Luminar 4, its new interface and dramatic improvements in features will amaze you. People using it for a long time are glad to be a part of its journey.

What We Like

  • AI (Artificial Intelligence) Sky Replacement replaces beautiful skies in a few clicks
  • Non-destructive editing lets you come back and continue editing
  • Unified image catalog keeps everything organized
  • Being a plug-in version, it, along with other software, produces excellent results

What We Don’t Like

  • The interface changed drastically compared to the last version.
  • There is a lack of subtlety in the “Looks” feature
  • Still, there is the absence of virtual copies

Luminar4 is gaining a lot of attention because Skylum is persistently innovating and bringing new changes to it. The latest version of Luminar is full of surprises. Most like the latest developments, whereas some need time to get used to them.

The surprise (and controversy to some) Luminar4 brings is the remarkable streamlining of the new interface. If you are using Luminar for the first time, you’ll feel great and get impressed. But you won’t feel the same if you have used its previous versions as well. The existing users of Luminar often wonder about the disappearance of their favorite features.

If you have been working on its old version, you’ll miss features, like workspaces and match & mix filters. Many features are condensed, consolidated, and streamlined in this new version. You may miss the building-block methodology but will also realize that the new version has made things clearer.

Perfection Through AI (Artificial Intelligence)

However, the focus of Skylum is to help you get the most from advanced AI technologies. Luminar4 comes with the AI Structure feature, AI Sky Replacement tool, and several tools to enhance portraits. These are new inclusions to its existing AI (Artificial Technology) offerings. AI technology in Luminar4 recognizes different types of objects present in images and applies suitable enhancements to them.

Not Less Than the Best

When you search for the best photo editing software, you’ll find Luminar is amongst the toppers. Today, photo editing is no longer limited to some conventional tools such as Photoshop. There are many new and advanced tools to edit your photos in the best way, and Luminar is one of them. Another good thing with alternatives to old photo editors is that almost all are cheaper than their rivals, and some are even free. Well, using the best free photo editors for limited use is not a bad idea, but spending some money to benefit from an advanced commercial photo editor is better.

Do you like food photography? Luminar4 comes with 1-click Food Image Enhancer Looks.

Features That Make Luminar 4 Special

Let’s explore some of the features that make Luminar4 better than many other photo editors:

  • AI Sky Replacement

If you want to know about the most impressive tool present in the Skylum Luminar4, it’ll be AI Sky Replacement. It not only identifies the sky but also selects even the smallest details. It doesn’t leave any patches between trees, branches, hillsides, mountains, and edges of rooftops and buildings. And the best thing is that it does all this without any mouse click from the user. Traditional auto-selection tools disappoint when it comes to eliminating edge artifacts, edge halos, and transitions. However, Luminar4 excels in selecting, edge masking edge shifting, feathering, and all other tedious things done while replacing the sky.

This tool from Skylum has a lot to offer. For example, it features a library full of replacement skies. You can use them in your pictures. If you have a sky image on your computer, it allows using that as well.

Only a few mouse clicks were required to transform the bright sky into a dramatic sunset. Luminar4 made sure that colors and overall exposure also changes. If you do not believe in this technical achievement, think again.

  • Great Editing

It is just a glimpse of what Luminar4 can do. This software is excellent not only at enhancing photos but in editing them as well. In other words, it features cropping, toning, and coloring tools and allows raw processing, geometric corrections, masking, and layering. Yes, several creative effects as well.

You can either apply these effects and adjustments manually through the latest streamlined workspaces of Luminar4 or one-click “Looks” having preset combinations of effects and filters. Different features and tools in this image editor present you with a better way to apply creativity/ ideas to photos. Doing so will also build your favorites list automatically. Of course, you can create and modify your list of favorite features.

  • Image Browsing and Cataloging

It is almost impossible to avoid the tools for cataloging and integrated image browsing. They are efficient and bring fast results. Some Lightroom users may not find these features of Luminar4 sophisticated, but they are enough if you’re a casual user.

Luminar4’s cataloging tools, integrated browser, and non-destructive editing amplify your experience. It misses advanced options such as smart albums, search tools, and virtual copies. However, it allows you to “virtually” assemble the images and store them in different folders.

  • Non-Destructive Editing

The non-destructive editing in Luminar4 is much like what Lightroom provides. It means, even after quitting the software or removing the image, you can come back later and remove or change your settings.

Nowadays, not only Lightroom but most programs work like this. For example, Capture One Pro, ON 1 Photo RAW 2020, and Exposure X5. You’ll find some significant features present in other photo editors are missing in Luminar4. One of them is the unavailability of ‘virtual copies’ (you might see it in new updates). In Luminar4, you are not allowed to create an image’s different versions having different looks.

After working on a non-destructive photo editing software, you must ‘export’ the processed photo if you wish to share or publish it. However, Luminar4 doesn’t allow users to export photos directly to their original location, and it is the second missing feature. If you want, navigate manually to the export folder. This point might be sounding small but makes the whole process to export more tiresome.

In non-destructive image editors, you must export a processed image if you want it to be used by other users and programs. Unfortunately, Luminar4 misses the feature to export the processed images back to their original location. It requires manual navigation towards it.

  • Use as A Plug-in

Luminar4 can also be used as a plug-in. You’ll realize the usefulness of this feature when you organize and process images in Lightroom and move to Luminar to add creative effects. Similarly, you can use Photoshop for retouching and layers and add a particular “Look” to your image using Luminar.

If there is a single image not imported to the library, Luminar4 will edit it also. However, the process is a bit odd. You can open a single image by dragging it to the app icon. When you do so, it gets automatically imported to a unique album, and whatever editing changes you do get non-destructively stored in the library. Yes, the old option to save an editable image as a Luminar file is gone.

Results

So, does AI Sky Replacement brings efficient results? Well, you won’t get 100% flawless results every time, but Luminar4 produces extraordinary results often. If you used to replace the sky in Photoshop, then Luminar’s AI Sky Replacement will impress you a lot. Precision, subtlety, and control of regular masks and layers are not a mandatory requirement all the time. For all other times, remember there is Luminar4.

Here are two before & after examples that reveal the effectiveness of Luminar’s Sky Replacement tool. These amazing transformations are the results of just a few clicks.

  • AI Structure Tool

The AI Structure tool produces less obvious results. Extra ‘structure’ added to images benefit them in several ways. For example, the localized contrast effect enhances the edges of objects. It also makes soft-looking details and texture crunchy, more dynamic. But there is no need for applying such levels of structure enhancements to images. In most cases, faces and people are left out. AI Structure tool makes sure it recognizes faces and people and keeps them out.

The results of the AI Structure tool are not that obvious. However, it increases the edge contrast (structure) wherever necessary. Of course, by leaving the subtle textures and faces alone.

  • Tools to Enhance Skin and Portrait

In Luminar4, the tools to enhance skin and portrait are also impressive. If you expect Luminar4 to produce precise results like those by software using specialized face-sculpting techniques, it won’t. But what it does to smoothen the skin and enhance features like eyes and lips is also quite impressive.

Most photographers will vote in favor of portrait enhancement. However, the effectiveness of AI Sky Replacement surprises them the most. Changing the looks of a scene in Luminar4 is quite simple. It is almost effortless to turn the daylight shots into convincing and spectacular starscapes.

Today is the age of content creators and influencers. As programs like Luminar4 can bring remarkable changes to a scene, reality can be tweaked easily. Journalists know that the use of fake images can be problematic for them, so they avoid it. But digital and social media marketers are not called out often, especially when the manipulated images are so impressive. They immediately get attention and are believed as true.

There’s single image editing feature in Luminar4. It allows you to edit images like you used to edit in the previous versions. The individual images get imported to a folder in its library. It then employs non-destructive changes to it. Now, Luminar doesn’t create separate edited files in its format.

Latest Updates

Skylum has been regular in updating and adding new features to Luminar. The first launch of this program was at the end of 2019. Since then, the developers have provided many version updates free of cost.

The newest feature added in Luminar 4.1 was AI Sky Replacement. There was also a new tool – Atmospheric Haze. It allows adding haze to scenes so that the images with newly added skies look more realistic than before. It is most effective when there are clear blue skies in the scenes. It makes sure that skies match with the foreground’s brightness.

The next version (Luminar 4.2) had an AI Augmented Sky tool. It can add different objects to the skies, such as the moon, planets, birds, etc. There were new portrait tools as well in this version. They made removing extra shine and toning down the skin hotspots easier. The face slimming feature was also improved to allow users to adjust the complete face instead of the lower portion.

Luminar 4.3.2 is the latest version, and it comes with an improved search. Users are now allowed to locate the image’s name, date, folder, or extension.

Final Verdict

Luminar4 has many brilliant features, especially the AI Sky Replacement. It has certain weak areas also, like the catalog features, that sometimes make things difficult to understand. All users of Luminar3 upgrading to Luminar4 will feel like working on a completely different image editing software.

The Luminar Flex plug-in is also integrated into Luminar4. All non-experts who are creatively ambitious can get the desired results from it. Earlier it was compared to Lightroom, which many experts believe is not a fair comparison. You can compare it with Photoshop Elements 2020.

“Looks” presets in Luminar4 are not always subtle. The results they present are inferior to what its rivals, like ON 1 Photo RAW 2020 or Exposure X5, provide.

If you are looking for an old-school type photo editor, go for Photoshop Elements. If not, go for Luminar4 because it is a new image editor with many exciting features.

Are you still wondering who all should go for it? If you are a photoshop pro and do every bit of image editing in Photoshop, Luminar4 is not for you. It is best for new photographers who like exploring and developing their creativity. It is for everyone fed up with masks and sliders to transform images. Whether to like it or not depends upon user preferences, but you can give it a try. After all, the price of this software is also quite affordable.

Lastly, this software is suitable for new and ambitious photographers, but most of them do not keep sitting in front of computer screens. As they are mostly roaming, the mobile version of Luminar is a must.

Skylum Luminar 4 Video

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