Luminar 4 by Skylum is an excellent photo editing program. While previous versions of the program have received criticism, it appears that Skylum has addressed the issues in Luminar 4. From the outset, it appears to be a comprehensive editing and photo management program.
It is clear that AI technology is one of the main features of Luminar 4. It boasts a wide array of AI tools that are meant to speed up the editing process whilst still delivering high-quality results.
In this review, we look at the different features Luminar 4 has to offer. We also compare it to the top photo editing programs like Lightroom 2020 and ON1 Photo RAW 2020.
First, let’s look at the basic features and what you can actually do with Luminar 4. This is a program that offers full RAW editing, and basic file management.
Compared to previous versions, the file management system is improved. It has a full library view mode which shows photos in different folders in a brilliant tiled thumbnail effect. Luminar 4 also has the following features:
- Full RAW editing
- Various AI tools
- Basic file management
- Multiple preset effects
- Retouching tools
- Full layer editing
- Batch processing tools
In terms of basic features and utility, it is right up there with the best photo editing software. You can edit photos in fine detail as well as create artistic edits using the preset filters. If you work with large volumes of photos, you can manage them effectively.
Compared to some other editing programs like ON1 Photo RAW 2020, Luminar 4 has excellent performance. When using this program, it runs smoothly and there is no noticeable delay. All aspects of the software appear to work quickly, including the various AI tools. The following are the system requirements for this program:
- OS: Windows 7, or MacOS 10.12
- Graphics: Open GL 3.3. or later
- Processor: Intel Core i5
- Memory: 8GB of RAM
- HDD: 10GB of free space
These requirements are not too strict. The RAM requirements may be a little higher than what you can find in most basic computers. However, 8GB is certainly not powerful. Most computers for editing or design work will have 24GB+ of RAM.
Regardless, it is not a particularly power-hungry program. When compared to ON1 Photo RAW 2020 which is known for its performance issues, Luminar 4 works like a dream.
Even when managing large RAW files, the editing process is still smooth. Furthermore, the library view works seamlessly. If you have a large folder full of images, the preview thumbnails will still load quickly.
Luminar 4 is a highly usable program. This is largely due to the fantastic array of AI tools. These AI tools include:
- Details enhancer
- Remove noise
- Landscape enhancer
- Smart contrast
- AI enhance
- AI structure
- AI sky replacement
These tools effectively offer one-click functionality. Instead of using multiple sliders as you would need to in Lightroom, you can simply use these single AI-enhanced tools. It makes the editing process extremely simple.
Our favorite is the AI enhance tool. This brilliant tool analyzes your images and chooses the best editing parameters. Simply drag the slider and an overall enhancement is applied. Using this tool, you can quickly transform RAW images into finished photos that really pop.
Another cool tool is the AI sky replacement. Using this tool, you can replace the sky in your photos with a completely different look. Luminar 4 automatically creates a mask and “cuts-out” the sky. You can then choose from a range of different sky presets or important your own sky files.
But it doesn’t stop there. The AI tool also alters the temperate and lighting of the photo to match the sky. This gives amazing creativity and allows you to transform images like never before.
For utility and usability, Luminar 4 is one of the best options available. It offers a seamless editing experience that puts efficiency first.
Luminar 4 vs. Lightroom 2020
When comparing photo editing software, we mainly use Lightroom 2020 as the benchmark. It is the industry standard and known for its excellent quality. So how does Luminar shape up to this editing behemoth? We have created a simple comparison table below:
|Luminar 4||Lightroom 2020|
|Full RAW Editing||Yes||Yes|
|Support for Cameras||Yes||Yes|
|Social Media Sharing||Yes||Yes|
From this table, there is not much difference. However, we must look at individual features and usability to gain a true picture.
Concerning basic editing, there is virtually no difference. Both Lightroom 2020, and Luminar 4 have an extensive range of editing tools. You can change parameters like contrast, temperature, and exposure easily.
But what about file management? Again, both programs have extensive file management options. We would give Lightroom 2020 the advantage in this area, however. It feels like Luminar 4 is still finding its way in terms of file management. It does not quite offer the flexibility and depth that Lightroom does.
Ease of use is also important. Lightroom is as difficult or easy as you want to make it. We do not feel this is a program suitable for beginners. For basic, no-fuss editing, Lightroom CC could be a better choice. Luminar 4, on the other hand, makes editing simple. This is enabled via the myriad of excellent AI one-click tools.
Finally, both programs perform well. When using either program we have experienced no noticeable performance issues which is a huge plus. To conclude, we would suggest Luminar 4 for beginners and Lightroom 2020 for professionals or those who want more control and depth.
Luminar 4 Takes AI Technology to the Next Level
We still feel that Lightroom 2020 is the best photo editing program available, though Luminar 4 is a top contender too. Whilst it may not provide the control and advanced tools that Lightroom does, it still allows you to create fantastic photo edits.
In addition to this, we love the AI tools. If you want to make quick edits with minimal effort, Luminar 4 is the best choice available. The AI tools like AI contrast and AI sky enhance make the editing process so simple. You can transform whole folders of images with minimal time and effort.