SKYLUM LUMINAR 3 review

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Version: 3
Developer: Skylum Inc.
Website: https://skylum.com/luminar

 

ABOUT SKYLUM

 

SKYLUM (Macphun,early 2018 they’ll completely switched to SKYLUM) a San Diego, USA based software company, is famous for its outstanding photo editing software products. Their latest software application Luminar 3, has been upgraded to a new product supporting numerous improvements and the all waited for Libraries addition.
Luminar Neptune 2017 was launched 15th June 2017 and Luminar 2018 launched 16 November 2017 which makes it a real quick update. This review will discover and disclose wether the Luminar 3 upgrade is a true improvement over Luminar 2018.
Luminar 3 is for professionals as well as enthousiasts. SKYLUM has a great reputation for their outstanding products and aim to listen to their clients and implement their wishes in new product versions.

 

INTERFACE & WHATS NEW

Luminar 3’s interface has a great intuitive layout and all filters show a ‘pre-view’ of the actual filters capability and use. All is absolutely nicely placed on the interface and your most used filters can be set as preferred by clicking the little star at the bottom. A full list of possible filters is present in the interface, there’s really nothing left out ! This filter collection should be enough for any user to create the best final master-picture. You also have the ability to create your own preset when you save your image editing settings with   right bottom selection !

Click image for large view !

 

Luminar versions 3’s main improvement over the last version, is the addition of Luminar Libraries. Luminar Libraries offers a full integrated photo database readily available from the same interface. You can now compose your own picture database and edit your images. If you want to edit your image just double click on the image to enlarge it and choose ‘Edit’ from the right sidebars-menu.

The left ‘ Film-strip ‘, can be set to active or hide from the top menu’s interface !

 

 

There’s one more thing. Luminar 3 also offers layers and masks, so that you can not only combine effects and filters selectively in different parts of the picture, but even combine different images. It doesn’t just support simple adjustment layers, but image layers too! Luminar 3 has again evolved and sets itself at the top in this price-range!  Photoshop will have some bonuses but also has a huge price ticket and needs a lot of training. Luminar 3 however, is easy to use for beginners but also professionals benefit from its range of (new)-filters and adjustments.

 

 

 

 

Luminar version 3, offers a re-engineered proprietary RAW engine ( comp. Luminar 2017 ) which can handle high-quality images faster. Filters include the ability to enhance Color with Brilliance, selective lighten or darken area’s with Dodge & Burn as well the addition of a new Sun-Rays filter. Apart from speed, the core of the update are three new features ( AI Sky Enhancement, AI Filter & Libraries ) available in both the Windows and MacOS versions of Luminar 3.

They are: automatic lens correction controls and an improved Raw conversion engine that’s said to yield better exposure calculation, cleaner gradients, minimized chromatic aberrations and more robust camera compatibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LUT’s
Lookup Table Adjustments, known as LUT’S. Creative color, perfect black and white conversions and even digital films stocks are just a click away. Lightroom users can convert their custom Lightroom presets into LUT’s with a free tool. There are a number of tools around, you may try this https://generator.iwltbap.com


First of all what is a LUT and what are its typical uses?

LUT means “Look Up Table.” It’s helpful to think of it like a math problem: R= S+L
“R” being your result or what you want to attain.
“S” being your source or what you start with.
“L” being your LUT or the difference needed to make up between your source and your desired outcome.

In all cases of LUT use, the LUT is the means to make up the difference between source and result.((All cases assume the colorist (or you) is grading through a correctly calibrated monitor for evaluation and finishing. LUTs in no way replace proper calibration or color correction. They only assist in the process.)) It’s never the result by itself. How does this play out? I’ll layout a couple probably over-simplified examples:

 

Color Correction

A very common example is printing your final film to…real, actual film. Print film came in a variety of flavors and styles. Each style had different nuances in color. The film lab would have all that nuance information or be able to send you a print test to work with. That would be your final result. The colorist grades a picture on his calibrated monitor but if he were to send that to print, it could come out looking far different due to the nuances of the physical film.

So in our math analogy, his graded film is “S” and his film print is “R.” He then uses the information from the film lab or on his own, creates and applies the LUT or the “L” to get him from his graded film to the print and to have it look as intended after it’s on the physical film. After applying the LUT, his graded film may look awful on his monitor, but will come out correct on the film print.  ( source http://nofilmschool.com/2011/05/what-is-a-look-up-table-lut-anyway)

 

PRESETS

Luminar 3’s Interface has a very good and intuitive layout, as all filters show a pre-view of the actual filters capability and use. All is absolutely nicely placed in the interface and your most used filters can be set as preferred by clicking the little star at the bottom.
A full list of possible filters is present in the interface, there’s really nothing left out ! This filter collection should be enough for any user to create the best final master-picture.


Luminar 3, is equipped with a collection of preset effects organised into categories, and you can download more from the Skylum website. 
Each preset is a combination of filters and adjustments to create a particular ‘look and feel’. You can browse the presets via a horizontal panel at the bottom of the screen and take a look at the filters and adjustments used in the tools panel on the right and modify them if you need to – or save your own adjusted custom preset.

 

 

 

There’s one more thing. Luminar 3, also offers layers and masks, so that you can not only combine effects and filters selectively in different parts of the picture, but even combine different images. It doesn’t just support simple adjustment layers, but image layers too! Luminar 3 has again evolved and sets itself at the top in this price-range !  Photoshop will have some bonuses but also has a huge price ticket and needs a lot of training. Luminar 3 however is easy to use for beginners but also professionals benefit from its range of (new)-filters and adjustments.

 

HISTORY & UNDO STEPS

Like Luminar 2018 we find these useful tools in the Tool-bar of Luminar 3’s interface.

The three buttons control the Undo/Redo commands as well as let you view an image’s History. These three buttons give you complete control over reverting to an earlier state of an image.

  • Undo – The Undo Button (left arrow) cancels the last action (for example, changing the slider).
  • Redo – The Redo Button (right arrow) returns the last undo function.
  • History Panel – The History panel will quickly become an essential part of your workflow. It’s here that Luminar 3 keeps a list of what you have done to the image since you opened it. These are multiple undos and an easy way to go back in time. 
Simply click on an early History State to revert the photo to that stage of editing. History states are also saved with an image when you store it in the native Luminar (.mnr) file format. This allows for a nondestructive editing workflow and let’s you revert to an earlier version of the image. Location is your Edit Tab , Clock icon , took me some time to find it really !


 

LAYERS

Layers are a powerful way to “build up” your images, with different enhancements and use of blending modes on each layer. Using layers, you can apply corrections or enhancements on different layers, and experiment until you achieve exactly the look you’d like for your image.

 

 

DENOISE & NEW FILTERS

This tool is useful as it allows you to slightly blur an image to reduce the amount of noise and any image artifacts. The tool is similar to our Noiseless application and offers easy to use presets to control the strength. When you switch to the Denoise tool, Luminar zooms the image to 200% magnification to make it easier to see any noise or artifacts. Use the Amount slider to refine the results.

Also available: impressive filters to stylise, tone, and enhance your photos, including Sun Rays, Dodge & Burn, LUT Mapping, Hue Shift, Brilliance, and a cool new Matte Look.

 

NEW PRESETS FREE

Find a number of great presets here: https://macphun.com/luminar/new-presets?
product=luminar_2018_main_mac_welcomescreen_presets&c_url=2

 

NEW AI SKY ENHANCEMENT 

This filter was created for photographers who would rather focus on creating photos and have neither the time nor inclination to spend hours correcting their images.

By moving a single slider you can add depth, definition, and detail to the sky without exposing unwanted artifacts or affecting any other aspect of the image.

No one wants boring skies in their photos, and restoring and improving the sky is one of the most important parts of creating a masterpiece. We’ve done our best to make this process as simple as it can be. The new AI Sky Enhancer creates no halos, automatically detects the edges of the sky, and recognizes the sky even inside other objects such as bridges.

 

 

 

SOME EXAMPLES

 

Examples of my own, just to show the editing capabilities of Luminar and AI Sky Enhancement. It’s a bit over the top in terms of colouring, but it will show you how capable Luminar is in transforming rather dull image into a
full detailed revealing image. Colouring is to your liking and taste.

 

 

 


WHEN YOU RUN INTO CRASHES 

When installing this new version of Luminar 3 (or when it crashes), you should do the following:

  1. Delete the previous version of the app itself (ONLY when installing a new version!)
  2. Go to Pictures -> Luminar Catalog and delete this folder

OUR COUPON to USE and save another $10  !!!

When buying use code MACSOFTREVIEW for a great discount!!

 

VERDICT

So is this the great improvement (again) we’ve all been waiting for ? Well my opinion is Yes, it is now more mature and includes the long awaited Libraries and more tools & filters then ever before. The improved RAW engine is not only much faster but also delivers less noise and better color. The included Artificial Intelligence Sky Enhancement ( Nov. 2018 ) and Accent AI Filter, Libraries complement this great application.
LUT’s support is a long awaited addition for Adobe Lightroom users, enabling them to import/convert their Lightroom Presets for use in Luminar 3.
Overall Luminar 3 is much faster and handles all changes in a great clean interface. The AI’s, sun-rays filter and real-time noise removal sets it at the top of its competitors.  The addition of Libraries, makes this the application to beat for the competition in this price range. The best gift for yourself or any friend. Its stunning, its easy to learn, it takes photo-editing to a new level.

 

$ 69.00

 


 

2 Replies to “SKYLUM LUMINAR 3 review”

  1. Your experience might have been good but you should check the forums at Skylum many others are having a very bad experience, they call in the DAM unusable, startup time of the program takes minutes, it is slow, etc. Too many problems to name them all. I can’t say if this is a problem with every computer but, the Mac and PC forums have many of the same complaints. For now, I am definitely staying with Luminar 2018. You may want to consider taking down this article or at least amend it to reality. If I had purchased the software based on this review, I would be quite upset at the author.

    1. As in most cases, one should first do a ‘try version’ prior to a purchase, if in doubt about compatibility or issues found on the internet. We face no problems with this release but can not make sure if others do!

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