Discover what the internet is saying about Skylum.

Skylum Review

Yay or nay?

Upgraded Reviews scanned the web to find out what real users are saying about Skylum.

See the highlights below and decide for yourself!

Pros and Cons

Table of contents

✅ Pros

One time payment gives you a perpetual license.
Review Pros
The beauty of Luminar’s Creative Filters is that you can apply them on RAW images without leaving the program and without the need to rasterize the RAW images.
One-off fee (no subscription).
It can also serve as a third-party plug-in to Photoshop, Lightroom and Photos.
If you’re looking for a traditional photo editor with all the usual tools that behave in all the usual ways, you’ll find them all here.
There are lots of Looks presets for one-click editing and slider adjusting.
Another great feature is the ability to have multiple catalogs and an easy way to back them up too.
AI sliders can work impressively well.
It offers a wide range of creative options.
AI augmented sky allows you to inject objects into your sky rather than swapping it out entirely.
It includes plug-in version.
You can improve your portrait shots with one click.
None-destructive editing means you can always go back.
AI sky replacement tool is good.
The AI tools in Luminar 4 are very useful, useable, and effective.
It gives excellent output.
Luminar offers useful layer-based editing.
Smart contrast in Luminar 4 takes away that worry by applying contrast with more intention.
Luminar does have its own cataloging function.
If you have a face in your photo, the AI skin enhancer and portrait enhancers are going to change your life.
The Luminar editing interface is incredibly easy to work with.
Redesigned GUI is fast to use and well organized.
Over 60 presets are offered.
It offers a smart use of layers.
ery good level of control is offered.
It offers good automatic photo fixes.
Preview slider is also available.
The AI Portrait Enhancer is equally impressive.
Artificial intelligence quick fixes enhance most photos.
Luminar offers one-click features for quick edits.
Plug-in versions are available.
A simple and effective option for replacing skies is available.
You can create an Adjustment Layer as well as an Image Layer.
Cataloging makes things much easier.
Layers and brushes all work well, along with things I use in Lightroom like clarity and dehaze.
You can use Luminar 4 as a standalone program or as a plug-in for Photoshop and Lightroom.
Luminar 4 allows you to quickly make cinematic looking color adjustments with the new Color Styles LUT mapping tool.
Local adjustments are allowed with brush and gradients.
Frequent feature updates are available.
Lots of filters are available.
Skylum Luminar 4 allows you to replace a sky in just about any photo with a single click.
Full set of raw processing tools are available.
In Luminar, you can add transparency masks individually to any editing panel.
Unlike with a sharpening tool, AI structure does not introduce any noise, halos, or artefacts into the shot.
Luminar sports a clear, slick-looking, dark gray interface with modern, flat icons.
Advanced masking with brushes, radial, gradient, and even luminosity masks are possible.
It is great for landscape and portrait photography.
After adding your photos to your Catalog, Luminar 3 has some great shortcuts to find them.
It is great for beginners.
It is easy to learn for photo enthusiasts and hobbyists.
Amazing AI abilities for sky replacement and portrait editing. Breathtaking, really.
It comes with powerful AI tools.
Super quick editing shortcuts are offered.
It works as a plug-in for Adobe products, as well as Apple Photos and the late, lamented Aperture.
Browsing your photos in thumbnail view is extremely fast as well.
It offers non-destructive editing.
Adding photos to your Catalog is extremely fast.
Sky replacement tool is excellent.
Skylum offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can feel confident in your purchase.
I was impressed by how customisable it felt.
It has friendly, intuitive interface.
It comes integrated image catalog.
Luminar 3 can now keep your photos organized with its new Library addition.
The AI Sky Replacement tool is exceptionally good at identifying and masking skies and then seamlessly blending in a new one.
It offers good use of AI.
I like trying something different with Sun Rays.
You can now publish photos from Luminar directly to your SmugMug account.

❌ Cons

There is drastic interface change from v3.
No specific, selectable lens profiles are available.
‘Looks’ lack subtlety.
There is no face recognition or keyword tagging.
Another minor annoyance is that you can only size your thumbnails in Small, Medium, Large, and Largest sizes.
Exporting options are still limited.
Some operations are slow.
AI arguably not that important for target audience.
It is still a bit slow at times.
There is lLag time on certain processes.
There is no video support.
A lens correction library would be really useful.
There is no way to cull images.
Whenever you bring a RAW file over to Edit, the Lens Distortion is automatically applied and there is no way to disable this from happening.
Clone stamping is difficult to use.
There is no way to create export presets. You have to specify export settings for every export.
As of this current release, Luminar does not yet save files in the proprietary .lmnr file format.
There is overcooked presets issue.
The program can be a bit slow.
There are no water reflections in AI Sky Replacement.
There is no use of a library.
Lightroom’s DAM still beats Luminar’s Library.
There are no automatic lens corrections.
It is slow at developing images.
The Preset Module (recently presets were renamed as Looks) is primitive.

Final Say

Read the summaries of what reviewers think about Skylum below.

Review Summaries
There are some really good things to like here such as adjustment syncing and super fast importing, but there are some very important features currently missing that are required basics in today’s image cataloging programs.
Luminar 4 is an unusual and constantly evolving program. Increasingly, it’s specialising in altered, enhanced and augmented reality effects – and these are exceptionally effective.
Luminar 4 would be a brilliant investment for any photographer from beginner to pro. But landscape and portrait photographers stand to gain the most from the awesome AI tools. If you’re looking to escape the Adobe subscription model or buying your first image editing program, Luminar 4 is the ideal option to go for.
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.
Skylum’s image processor exploits artificial intelligence to deliver fantastic results, just as long as your computer can run it sensibly. Andy Westlake takes a closer look
Luminar offers fantastic one-click editing, along with powerful AI options. Whereas Lightroom features superior image organizational features and complex editing tools. So which is better, Luminar vs Lightroom? In the end, the choice is yours!
Luminar 4 is the second generation of the program since the introduction of the digital asset management (DAM). The AI tools in Luminar 4 are very useful, useable, and effective. In Luminar, you can add transparency masks individually to any editing panel. However the Library Module lacks some fundamental features like a search functionality based on image metadata, keywording, watermarking, etc.
Luminar 4 has some brilliant AI tricks up its sleeve with one-click improvements, a brilliant sky replacement tool and some good portrait enhancing features. Plus, the user interface is clean, modern and easy to use/organise. It is a bit different to versions of Luminar we’ve seen previously so those who are upgrading might need some time to adjust but other than that, it’s a brilliant piece of photo editing software for those wanting a quick way to edit photos.
Luminar 3 is an outstanding prosumer editing alternative for people seeking abundant automation and creative options for a wide range of photos. Despite its many professional features, Luminar is easy to learn and use and lets you create stunning photos.
If you’re on the fence, I would say that it’s a bargain. There’s no subscription fee, and with an affordable one-off price (retailing at €89) you can’t go wrong. Once you’ve bought it, you own Luminar 4 forever. The “usual” photo-editors feel monotonous and old compared to Luminar 4 – and Skylum has breathed some necessary life into the photo-editing process.
This photo editing software offers effective automatic enhancement and some unique filters and adjustment tools. It still lacks some capabilities found in competitors, though, such as import options and focus effects (think bokeh).
I found Luminar 4 to be a big step forward for Luminar, and I expect it’s going to be a major hit with photographers at all levels of experience. It won’t replace the Adobe suite yet, but Luminar 4 can do some things Photoshop and Lightroom can’t do, nor can any third party plug ins. For many, that makes it a must-buy.
Luminar is closer to Photoshop than other image editors. This is due to the single window interface without modules. You also work on one image at a time. The major plus with this is that Skylum can be more creative with their workflow and interface.
If you’ve been looking for an alternative to Lightroom or other editing programs, Luminar 4 is a worthy option. It has everything you need plus a little more just for fun.

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