Luminar is taking a pretty strange route round the solar system, but the latest version of this clever image-editor is really picking up speed.
Indeed its publisher Skylum says it’s now three times faster than it was before, comes with new professional features and has over 300 other improvements.
The speed increase is welcome, because although Luminar’s powerful portfolio of filters, workspaces and layers has made it a very versatile and effective tool, it did suffer from a bit of slow-down with more complex processes.
Luminar’s RAW conversions have also been improved in a number of important respects, including the introduction of automatic lens correction profiles. Lens corrections are now becoming a must-have tool for quality-conscious photographers so it’s great to see them appearing here too.
Update: Luminar 3 review
Skylum has improved Luminar’s RAW conversions generally, with better initial exposure rendition, more closely matching the camera’s own output, cleaner gradations of tone with less noise, fewer edge halos with an improved Defringe feature and a new Auto Chromatic Aberration removal option. It also adds RAW support for new cameras as well as improved conversions for existing models.
Luminar ‘Jupiter’ also recognises DNG Camera Profiles, or DCPs. These are the profiles you find in Lightroom and Adobe Camera Raw for changing the way RAW images are rendered – Adobe has recently announced a major update which adds a whole new set of profiles and moves them out of their old slot in the Camera Calibration tab and puts them right up front in the Basic tab.
It’s the same in Luminar ‘Jupiter’, except that this time the Profile menus is in the RAW Develop panel. It didn’t offer the in-camera picture profiles for our Fujifilm X-T20 RAW files but it did have a full set for our Nikon D5600 RAW files. These profiles are a fast and effective way to get your RAW files looking exactly as the camera maker intended, giving you less work to do with manual adjustments.
Luminar started out as a Mac-only product, back when Skylum Software was called MacPhun, but now of course it’s available in a Windows version too. This hasn’t quite yet achieved full feature parity with the Mac version, but Luminar ‘Jupiter’ for Windows does come with a number of important enhancements to close the gap.
These include a new batch processing workflow, a Free Transform tool for easy layer scaling and positioning, flipping and rotating, and improved cloning with the ability to modify the softness, opacity and size of the brush.
The zooming performance has also been ‘accelerated’, with sharper results when zoomed in past 100%, and a cleaner ‘fit to screen’ preview – and with a full-screen option too.
The Luminar Jupiter update is available now. If you don’t get an automatic prompt when you launch the software, open the Luminar 2018 menu and choose Check for Updates.
We’ve figured it out, by the way. Luminar has started from the outer planets and is working its way back to Earth…