The Luminar 3 photo editor a real alternative to lightroom

The Luminar 3 photo editor a real alternative to lightroom

Luminar 3 is the third version of a photo editor that has been growing from least to lowest. A tool that wants to be considered as a real option compared to the popular Adobe Lightroom or Capture One. That is, to be a professional photo editor.

For over a month I’ve been using it to retouch my images and I think it may be interesting to share everything I’ve learned. From the positives to those where it still needs to improve. So you can assess whether it could be one of those alternatives to Adobe applications on Mac.

Luminar 3, user interface

The first thing to comment on and know about is the application interface. Here we have nothing really new in front of other similar editors. The most positive thing is that you are halfway between a basic option like Photos for Mac and Capture One.

This allows you to have a user interface that is simple to understand by any of us just by a few minutes. And in a single main window you can access different views that will go from a viewer with all your photos or the different workspaces for editing.

-Custom workspaces make it easy to edit according to the type of photography-

Custom workspaces are nothing new and many other applications include them. Noveles users may find it somewhat complex but when we understand that the purpose is to make the job easier depending on the type of editing that we are going to do the thing changes.

Being able to have a space dedicated to, for example, product photography, portrait, architecture or landscape is an interesting option because it allows us to have those tools that we will really use more by hand. Reducing editing times because you don’t have to make as many trips through the interface.

Otherwise the user interface of Luminar 3 is well thought out. Some UI/UX expert might find you some better aspects, but after a short period of adaptation, working with the application is convenient. Access to tools, dashboards, and other options is fairly easy to memorize. Resulting in an uncomplex interface.

The Five Pillars of Luminar 3

Previous versions of Luminar lacked certain tools and features that are now incorporated. These novelties can be considered as the pillars of a photo editor that aspires to a lot. As much as aspiring to conquer advanced users or with a professional profile.

-Creating catalogs, quick accesses, synchronizing effects and improving performance are some of the reasons why Luminar 3-

Of all the new ones, the five pillars of Luminar 3 are for me the following:


  1. Creating catalogs is something that users of all kinds demand in a photo editor. Luminreiting that does it and very well. It is based on the synchronization of the folder that you indicate. That way, any changes you make inside will be reflected no matter what from the app itself or from Finder. And this for those who like to sort by folders their photos is very attractive.
  2. Continuing with the catalog, the shortcuts that are automatically generated to locate photos by year, added recently or recently edited are very useful. Allowing you to get the benefits of other apps comfortably and without sacrificing the organization you have chosen.
  3. Layer editing of settings. It is not exclusive to Luminar but personally it is very practical. You create the layers you need and in each one of them you make the adjustment you want. So you can turn them on or off depending on what you decide at any given time. Allowing you to have multiple editions of the same image or greater control in case you want to make any future changes.
  4. Looks are the filters that we can see in any photo editor. With a fairly comprehensive and comprehensive serial catalog available, they are useful for quick edits. You can also create your own or install the ones created by other users. However, some packages of these filters may be paid for.
  5. Effect Synchronization is a feature that allows you to quickly copy the retouching made to an image and copy them to the ones you select, from one to the number you want. To do this, just retouch an image and then select all the ones you want to have the same retouch. You give Command-Shift-S and you’re done.

Along with the rest of the tools that allow the editing of photos with total freedom, advanced settings such as the control of lens distortion, transformation options, noise removal, curves, cloning and stamping or erasing make Luminar 3 can be considered Along with the rest of the tools that allow the editing of photos with total freedom, advanced settings such as the control of lens distortion, transformation options, noise removal, curves, cloning and stamping or erasing make Luminar 3 can be considered as an editor for all kinds of user profiles. as an editor for all kinds of user profiles.

Luminar 3 allows even less expert users to get more out of their photos with tools like the enhanced skies. Functionality that gives the option to enhance the skies that usually, by the way they expose the cameras and their dynamic range, are not always easy to take out in their maximum splendor. With this setting you can recover the blue without affecting the rest of the image quickly and without creating masks, just by swiping a controller that goes from 0 to 100 and the help of AI.

Then, for slightly more advanced users, we have the ability to apply LUTs -files that modify the color table. with this, for example, we can apply the well-known Orange and Teal effect. That said, be careful that this LUT thing ends up hooking up and dragging you into a parallel universe of editing.

And finally, although it may be a little contradictory, Luminar 3 can be installed as a plugin for Photoshop or even Lightroom among other apps, to have an application to quickly edit any RAW file.

The future of Luminar

Using Adobe Lightroom, as with the rest of the apps in the suite, is the same as betting on the winning horse. The Adobe editor will be able to have its most and minus but it is almost a standard and together with Capture One the number one option of many users.

In my case, knowing the implications, I decided long ago not to rely on Adobe and its current subscription system. That’s why I’m interested in knowing all these kinds of alternatives that are coming. Luminar was an application that I knew, I liked but did not convince enough to make the leap. With its third version, things change.

Luminar 3 is a very good application. Its new tools, its improved performance, something important when it comes to working with RAW files; or their ability to catalog all our photos without having to change our organizational structure have convinced me.

-Luminar 3 is a very powerful editor to reveal RAW files quickly that also offers interesting options to professional users-

He’s missing things, it’s true. Being able to switch vision between JPG or RAW files for faster and more agile work depending on the team we are using to edit, tools to migrate from other apps or demonstrate real value to those AI-based decisions that it claims to offer would be necessary to establish it as a real choice for very professional profiles. But looking at what has allowed me and allows other users i would consider it if you are looking for a more advanced photo editor to your current option.

If not, then don’t get complicated by «getting» Lightroom or thinking about whether it’s compensating to pay the 69 euros luminar 3. Because with Photos for Mac we may have more than enough tools to edit the photos you take. If it’s not something you end up doing directly on your smartphone and then sharing on networks. By the way, Luminar 3 is also available for Windows.


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