Luminar 4 Review

Luminar 4 has been making the news quite a bit, and Skylum Software’s constant innovation means every major version upgrade brings surprises, innovations and perhaps a bit of controversy – and Luminar 4 has all three. 

The surprise (and perhaps the controversy) is the dramatically streamlined new interface. If you’ve never used Luminar before it’s great; if you’re an existing user who’s upgrading, you might wonder where all your favorite stuff went. 

Remember the mix and match filters and workspaces in the old Luminar? Gone. The filters have been consolidated, condensed and streamlined, the workspaces have been locked down to just four. It’s certainly brought in some clarity, but the old Luminar’s unique building-block approach is no more. Aw.

But Skylum would much rather people focus on its new AI technologies, notably its AI Sky Replacement tool, AI Structure feature and new portrait enhancement tools. These join its existing Accent AI 2.0 auto image enhancement option and AI Sky Enhancer. What they all have in common is AI (Artificial Intelligence) technology that can recognise different objects in a scene and apply the right kind of enhancement to each.

Luminar certainly ranks amongst the best photo editing software you can get right now, and we are in a time when image editing tools are heading in all sorts of different and exciting directions – and the old tools like Photoshop are no longer the only way to edit your photos. Luminar and other Photoshop rivals aren’t expensive, either, so while there are a few free alternatives, and some of the best free photo editors aren’t bad, it’s definitely worth digging into your pocket for a proper commercial product.

If you’re coming to Luminar 4 for the first time, you’ll be impressed by its fresh, modern interface, its easy image organization, one-click ‘Looks’, nice portrait enhancement tools and jaw-dropping AI Sky Replacement feature. If you’re an existing Luminar 3 (or earlier) user, however, you’re more likely to be floored by the new interface and another dramatic shift in direction. For long-term users, Luminar is proving a bit of a roller-coaster ride.

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