Skylum's Luminar 2018 taking on Lightroom

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Software developer Skylum (formerly Macphun) have announced their newest photo editing software - Luminar 2018.

Luminar 2018 promises to offer 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. Luminar works on both Mac and Windows-based desktop computers. 

The 2018 version of Luminar has been rebuilt from the ground up, and promises considerable performance boosts. A brand new streamlined user interface speeds up working with presets, filters, and masks, and there's a full selection of 'pro options' like layers, masks, and blending modes, meaning complex repairs and photo composites are now possible.

“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, and like Lightroom there's lens correction features that resolve vignette, distortion, and color aberrations. There's also a Transform tool that works like Adobe's warp tool for straightening lines.

Luminar will offer 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.

While Luminar is a full featured stand-alone application, it can also be un as a plug-in for Photoshop and Lightroom, or as an extension to Apple Photos. 

Luminar 2018 is available for preorder now, and in 2018 a free update is promised that will provide a new image-browser / digital asset manager to help photographers manage their image libraries. This will work without subscription and will work with any storage (cloud or local). It will also bring a number of unique features, that, according to Skylum, the current Lightroom library can’t boast. 

You can see some before and after shots of Luminar in action below:


Pre-order for Luminar 2018 runs 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


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. 

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