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Luminar 2018 Review

Skylum recently bought out Macphun's software and has promoted Luminar to center stage in the photo editing arena. We found that the editing tools are limited and basic compared with others we've tested, especially given the price.

Our Verdict

This software lacks many of the advanced tools you'll find in other photo editing programs, but the basic tools it does offer are powerful. We'd be more inclined to like Luminar if it didn't cost so much for such a small toolset.

For

  • The editing tools are easy to use.

Against

  • There is no photo organizing system.
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Skylum recently bought out Macphun's software and has promoted Luminar to center stage in the photo editing arena. We found that the editing tools are limited and basic compared with others we've tested, especially given the price. However, the software is easy to use and the tools it offers are reliable and efficient.

Skylum sells Luminar 2018 for $69.00, which is rather expensive given the limitations of the software. We couldn't find it for sale anywhere else so your only option is to purchase from the manufacturer. There is a 14-day free trial period if you'd like to test the software out.

The interface is clean and organized, making it easy to navigate and locate specific tools. You'll be able to do basic editing with the red eye remover, crop, and cloning tools. This software works with layers, unlike ACDSee for Mac, allowing our testers to select specific layers and manipulate them individually without damaging the original photo. We also found background removal tools and layer masks for making adjustments.

Should any of your photos have lens distortion problems, there are tools to help you fix them. Luminar gives you 67 preset filters, which isn't the most we've seen, but is definitely a decent number to choose from. There is no HDR guide and no panorama tool in this software. Additionally, you cannot add text, vector graphics or use touchup tools.

We liked the Compare tool, which allows you to slide a bar from one side of your image to the other to see what your photo looked like before and after a change was made. It will help you decide if you are pleased with the edits you've made.

The batch processing tool allows you to make changes to large numbers of photos at once, perfect for when you upload photos from your recent family vacation to edit. There is no photo organizing system, which means no rating system, no color labels and no ability to add keyword tags to images. However, the software does allow you to view each photo's EXIF metadata so you can keep track of your camera settings.

We were able to import RAW, JPEG, TIFF, PSD and PNG files during testing, the most common image file types. When your photos are ready to share, the software allows you to post directly to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or Smugmug. You can also send photos to family and friends by sending emails directly within the program. If you want, Luminar also lets you save your photos to a CD to give to family members and friends.
Luminar 2018 works beautifully with the tools it offers, however, it doesn't offer as many editing tools as other programs we tested, or photo organizing tools either - which makes the high price tag unwarranted. We recommend purchasing another program, like Adobe Photoshop Elements, that provides more tools and an organizing system if you're going to pay this much. Still, this is a decent program that offers basic editing tools and is capable for simple editing jobs.