Last week, the folks over at Skylum (previously known as MacPhun) released a major update to Luminar, their premier photo editing software. The new release contains some massive improvements that you are going to love! Plus, if you already own Luminar 2018, this new version is completely free.
If you haven’t tried Luminar yet, now is a great time. Pick up a free trial version of Luminar here.
Below is a video demonstration showing what’s new in the latest release of Luminar:
Here’s what’s new in the latest release:
1. Windows Version Catches Up with Mac!
I know this is going to make a lot of people out there extremely happy. Luminar 2018 was the first version of the software that was available for the Windows platform, but it was missing a handful of features that were in the Mac version. Now Windows users have access to the following:
- Transform tool
- Rotate and flip
- Batch processing
- Masking controls
- Preview mode “F”
Check out the official version comparison chart that shows the versions are almost identical.
There are also quite a few stability and user interface fixes for the Windows version.
2. Massive Speed Boost
Every aspect of photo editing is dramatically faster now. From opening RAW files, to adjusting sliders to exporting, there is a huge difference in the time it takes to do things. No more tapping fingers waiting for RAW files to open and moving sliders is extremely responsive.
In my relatively unscientific test using my 2015 iMac 3.1 GHz with 16 GB of Ram, I found that opening a RAW file in the previous version took around 10 seconds. In the new version that is down to 4 seconds.
Here is the official chart showing the speed improvements on a Mac (click to view it larger):
And here is the chart showing the speed improvements on a PC (click to view it larger):
3. New Features in the RAW Develop Module
In addition to general improvements in RAW conversion for better exposure calculation, smooth colour transitions, and fewer halos in high contrast zones, there are a couple of new features.
Automatic Chromatic Aberration Removal
In the previous version there was a slider to remove chromatic aberration, but you had to eyeball it and figure out the right level for yourself. Now there is a simple to use checkbox that makes chromatic aberration removal automatic.
Automatic Lens Distortion Correction
Similarly, there used to be a slider for distortion correction. Well, there still is a slider. But now there is also a checkbox so Luminar can use the lens information in your meta data to automatically apply lens distortion correction.
4. Digital Camera Profiles
If you are a Lightroom user, you might be familiar with the “Profiles” drop down box in the “Camera Calibration” panel of the develop module. It’s different for every camera, but it contains settings like “Adobe Standard”, “Camera Landscape”, “Camera Portrait”, etc. Now, those camera profiles are available in Luminar! This is currently available in the Mac version only.
The Bottom Line
For me, the big deal about this release is in the speed boost which makes the whole editing experience snappier and allows me to get more done in less time. Windows users get the addition benefit of the features they were previously missing.
As far as the update to the RAW develop module and digital camera profiles, I probably wont use those because in my workflow I do all of my RAW processing in Lightroom. But I can see how this would make a big difference to anyone who isn’t using Lightroom or who just prefers to do all their photo editing in one place.
How to Update
If you already own Luminar 2018, here is how you update to get the new version for free:
- On a Mac, go to Luminar 2018 > Check for updates.
- On a PC, go to Help > Check for updates.
Ready to try Luminar?
Pick up a free trial version of Luminar here.
Get all the details and purchase Luminar here.
Remember to use the discount code MCKINNELL to get $10 off. That brings the price down to only $59.
Special Bonus Offers
From April 12 – 29th, you will get these awesome bonuses when you purchase Luminar:
The Complete Landscape Photography Guide ebook from Photzy (worth $50) – An outstanding guide written by professional photographer and writer Kent DuFault. This ebook has something for everyone, with 237 pages packed full of information and assignments that will transform your landscape photography.
Aerial Photography & Video with Matt Granger (worth $79) – World-renowned photographer, Matt Granger will share planning, shooting and editing aerial stills and video. Matt will also demonstrate editing with Luminar 2018 on his still aerial images..
Photography Tutorial by Daniel Kordan (worth $29) – Extensive tutorial with a full workflow demonstration by expert landscape photographer Daniel Kordan. This tutorial includes shooting and post-processing images in Luminar 2018.
119 Dramatic & Romantic Sky overlays (worth $29) – This is an amazing addition to your photo editing workflow, and will help give boring skies that ‘wow!’ factor.
Splitsville Presets By Brian Matiash (worth $15) – Add a professional polish to your images with these cool presets.
This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase, I will earn a commission at no cost to you. Read my disclosure.
Carolyn Van Calcar says
Hi Anne – I purchased Luminar from you in Dec 2017. I was excited when I received notice of the big new update. I tried downloading it until I got the message, “Open GL 3.3 & later is required for this application to run. Try updating your graphics drivers”. I have no idea what that means or what I should do. I did find a notice that I go back to the previous version which I tried, but the installation cancelled before it was finished. I did read on their website they are working on the problem. Since I have no idea when that will happen, is there something I can do in the meantime so I can use Luminar.
Thank you for any help you can offer. Carolyn Van Calcar
PS – We are leaving next week for 4 months for Alaska on our boat ( this will be our 18th year we have made this trip) and would like to have Luminar up and running before we leave.
Anne McKinnell says
Hi Carolyn, Sorry you’re having trouble with the Luminar update. You should contact their support team and they will help you sort it out. You can email them here: firstname.lastname@example.org
I did a quick search on your problem and found someone else who had the same problem and figured out how to fix it. The steps are detailed here. Maybe it is something you could try and see if it works for you too. It all depends on what your setup is though. It looks like this guy had dual graphics processors and maybe you don’t. But you could follow the steps and see if you get the same option in step 3 where you can choose the preferred graphics processor.
Here’s the link: https://community.skylum.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/360004004191-Fixed-my-OpenGL-3-3-needed-problem-?page=1
I hope that helps!
I envy your 4 month boat trip to Alaska!!! That’s something I really hope to be able to do one day.