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Aiming For Lightroom Users, Luminar 2018 Brings New Features, User Interface, Now For Windows

By Holly Roa on November 1st 2017

With Adobe confusing their user base with oddly chosen, ominous sounding name changes and eyebrow-raising new products, more and more former Lightroom users are looking beyond the old industry standard in search of something different. The monopoly once enjoyed by Adobe is rapidly fading as competitors release programs which utilize a familiar interface and photographers are flocking to the alternatives. 

Fresh on the scene today for preorder is Lightroom competitor, Luminar 2018 by Macphun, soon to be known as Skylum Software. Luminar 2018 is an entirely reworked update to Macphun’s prior Luminar app.

The old app was Mac-only, and one of the most important changes with Luminar 2018 is it is now available for both Mac and Windows users. Also found in the update are a new and improved user interface, new filters, and improvements on old filters.

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Also forthcoming on an unspecified date in 2018 is a new Digital Asset Management feature that will take the Lightroom competition angle up a notch.

Lightroom’s cataloging feature is one of the reasons some photographers still cling to it, though they know other options may better suit their needs. By integrating Digital Asset Management, Luminar 2018 will potentially seize even more of the market share of folks looking for a Lightroom alternative.

If Luminar 2018 has piqued your interest, now is a good time to act as there is currently a pre-order discount available now through November 16th on upgrades as well as new accounts plus bonuses. Updates are currently $39, Windows beta tester upgrades are $49, and for first-time users, the price is $59.

You can check out the full press release below:

 

The new Luminar 2018 takes on Adobe Lightroom

 New Luminar 2018 delivers a breakthrough photo editing experience for photographers on Mac & Windows with new filters, tools, non-destructive editing, major speed boosts, and a digital asset management platform that will arrive in 2018.

 San Diego, CA – November 1, 2017 — Macphun, the California-based software developer today announced Luminar 2018. New users will be able to purchase Luminar 2018 for $59, and current users of Luminar may upgrade at a special price of $39. Preorders start November 1 at www.macphun.com/luminar.

Luminar 2018 offers everything a modern photographer needs for photo editing, including new filters powered by artificial intelligence, major speed improvements, a dedicated RAW develop module and a forthcoming in 2018 digital asset management platform. Users will also benefit from the new intelligent Sun Rays filter, LUT support, and real-time noise removal. With adaptive workspaces that match styles of shooting, Luminar adapts to deliver a complete experience that avoids clutter and complexity.

Luminar 2018 has been re-built from the ground up for dramatic performance boosts. Existing filters deliver richer colors and depth in less time. A brand new streamlined user interface speeds up working with presets, filters, and masks. With full support of pro options like layers, masks, and blending modes, complex repairs and photo composites can be easily accomplished.

And, importantly, Luminar works on both Mac- and Windows-based desktop computers*.

“We’ve taken the time to listen to photographers, and what they want is performance and quality.  The less time photographers have to spend in front of computers, the more time they have for taking pictures,” said Alex Tsepko, CEO of Macphun.  “Our mission is to get Luminar streamlined with just the tools and controls photographers need. The goal is simple: enable the best-looking images with the least amount of effort.”

Luminar offers a new RAW Engine that can handle high-quality images faster.  Plus, it’s easy to solve image problems caused by camera lenses with Lens Correction features that resolve vignette, distortion, and color aberrations. If the photo has unwanted perspective problems, a new Transform tool can quickly solve them.

Instead of stuffing menus with boring effects and old technology, Luminar only puts in filters that photographers want and need. Luminar offers more than 40 filters to correct color, sharpen details, and release creativity. New filters include the ability to enhance color with Brilliance, selectively lighten or darken specific areas of an image with Dodge & Burn, as well as the ability to change the lighting in a photo with Sun Rays.

Want a whole new way to stylize images? Try the new Lookup Table adjustments, known as LUTs**. Creative color, perfect black and white conversions, and even digital films stocks are just a click away. Lightroom users who rely on custom presets created for Lightroom can also easily convert those presets into LUTs (with a free 3rd party tool) and use them inside of Luminar 2018.

While Luminar is a full featured stand-alone application, users may also choose to install and run it as a plug-in for Photoshop and Lightroom, or as an extension to Apple Photos. On October 2017, Luminar was awarded with the Lucie Technical Awards for Best Software Plugin.

Luminar 2018 will become available in November 2017, and in 2018 a free update will provide a new image-browser / digital asset manager to help photographers manage their image libraries.

Photographers will be able to sort, rate, organize, and backup their photos at great speed. The new digital asset management platform in Luminar will work without subscription and will work with any storage (cloud or local). It will also bring a number of unique features, that the current Lightroom library can’t boast.

* Workspaces, Clone & Stamp, blend modes for layers, luminosity masking, flip and rotate, as well as some other tools and features will be available in the Mac version at launch, and arrive in the PC version with free updates by the end of the year.

** Look-Up Table (LUT) – is mathematically precise way of taking specific RGB image values form a source image – and modifying them to new RGB values by changing the hue, saturation and brightness values of that source image. LUTs are used creatively to impose a specific ‘Look’ on a source image.

Availability:

Pre-order for Luminar 2018 will run from November 1 until November 16.

Pre-order customers will receive a special price and value-add bonuses such as:

  • A pack of signature presets & textures from a Pro photographer Nicolesy (Nicole S. Young).
  • An exclusive pack of LUTs.
  • 1-year Power plan from Smugmug ($72 value). For new accounts only

 Pricing:

Mixed-computer households can share the same product key for Mac and PC which can be activated on five devices.

  • Current users of Luminar may upgrade at a special pre­-order price of $39
  • Users of Luminar beta for Windows may upgrade at a special pre­-order price of $49
  • New users can purchase Luminar at a special pre-­order price of $59

The retail price for Luminar 2018 after November 16 will be:

  • $49 upgrade for current Luminar users
  • $69 for new users

The digital asset management platform will arrive in 2018 as the free update for all the users of Luminar 2018.

About Macphun

Macphun announced a name change and will become Skylum. The name change will be happening gradually, the company will continue using Macphun name this year, and early in 2018, will completely switch to Skylum.

Macphun is a California-based photo software developer with the mission to make complex photo editing simple and user-friendly. Thanks to its innovative approach and high-end proprietary technologies, Macphun products have won dozens of various awards, including “Best of the Year” awards by Apple for five straight years. Luminar was awarded “Best Imaging Software 2017” honors by TIPA and with the Lucie Technical Awards for Best Software Plugin in October 2017.

To learn more about Macphun, please visit macphun.com

About

Seattle based photographer with a side of videography, specializing in work involving animals, but basically a Jill of all trades.
Instagram: @HJRphotos

5 Comments

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  1. Fielding Smith

    I’ll be really impressed if I can import my SLRlounge lightroom presets over.  That sold me on the upgrade pre-order.  Now we just to wait for the release, the DAM next year, pray for a good mobile app to transfer photos from the field/travel, and see where NIKsoftware goes with it’s new owners.

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  2. Michael Turk

    Thank you Holly for your interesting article.

    I have been using the standard Lightroom/Photoshop CC monthly subscription package for several years now but, having retired I do not want to pay an increased monthly price.  Your article on “Luminar” was interesting, and I have already been looking into it via the beta program and also investigating a couple of additional apps that might replace lightroom/photoshop:  “Topaz Studio”, Serif’s “Affinity Photo” and OnOne’s “Photo Raw”. 

    I mention these because I am having a hard time deciding which of these four products to switch to if I decide to discontinue my Adobe subscription.

    In addition – and this is the killer – I have not been able to find (yet) a way to access my already-edited-in-lightroom raw files from these alternative products without having to re-edit them in the new product.

    I also discovered that neither Luminar, Studio or Affinity would run with any usable speed on anything larger than a medium-sized jpg (let alone a 20MB raw file on my grossly underpowered netbook.

    I would be interested in some sort of comparison between these four products.

    Micahel

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    • Sean Munzlinger

      Hi Michael!  Ive found that Affinity photo has replaced photoshop for me completely.    Its true as you’ve stated that these programs do take advantage of newer CPU and GPU technology but I’m in agreement with you that hopefully one of these new programs can offer some decent competition to Lightroom.  Im using On1 photo now and hoping I can use it for my workflow.  The interface makes more sense but my experience with it has revealed that it’s raw processing is not as robust as Lightroom’ yet.  time will tell.

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    • Dave Lyons

      Affinity Photo got an update today with some freebies as well. Another interesting option is acdc’s new make version thats in beta, I got an email today from them were it’ll only be like $40 to beta users when it ships and looks decent.

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