Photographers seeking Lightroom alternatives who want an inexpensive app that they can purchase outright rather than subscribe to have had an option from Skylum for some time. The company’s Luminar software was lacking one crucial aspect that made it non-viable as a total Lightroom replacement, however, and that’s integrated Digital Asset Management.

Skylum has just released Luminar 3, the follow-up to Luminar 2018, which includes a new “Library” function to help you navigate your files directly from the program. The previous version required importing images either individually or for batch processing, but now you can view thumbnails of your photos and populate folders into the Library module, which will be organized into a file structure without changing their location on the disk.

Other new features that will look very familiar to the Lightroom-initiated are the ability to sync settings between photos in the library and add star ratings and color labels. 

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Luminar is geared toward hobbyists and aims to keep a photo workflow simple. If you (or someone you know) aren’t much of a technical type but still want to process your photos artistically, rather than trusting your camera to make your vision a reality, Luminar could be worth a look. It can be quite heavy-handed with some settings, but thankfully, there is a slider to reduce the filter effect.

Those who have already purchased Luminar 2018 can update now for free to gain the new Library feature, and you can try before you buy if you are considering the program. Visit Skylum’s site to try, buy, or learn more about Luminar 3.