Hints & Tips

LUMINAR 3

George Theodore, December 30, 2018

Right off the bat, I’d say this is a dynamite photo editor. With the Library module added you can keep your files organized any way you want. You can create albums, apply ratings, sync adjustments and all adjustments are non-destructive. The edit module gives you more adjustments (they’re called “filters”) than you’ll probably ever need. The presets (called “looks”) are pretty good and they’re adjustable; too much of a certain look – just dial it back. I found nothing lacking in editing. Well done Skylum.

As to the Library, library does not mean database. There’s no keywording. So, if you use the full power of Lightroom’s relational database, you won’t find it here. You can’t do a search of all your sunset files. Now, that’s not necessarily bad news because I have found relatively few photographers use this feature anyhow even though they use Lightroom. So, if you don’t use keywords to find images, keep reading.

There’s no color management; no “Print Module”, no proofing; no paper profiles. If you try File/Print, you’re presented with a simple dialog box that merely wants to know if you’re printing glossy or matte. So, you’re using the printer to manage color. I use Epson’s 3880 and when I choose Matte paper in the printer dialog box, the media type shows “Glossy” and visa-versa - very confusing (maybe they rushed to market a little too soon?). If you have a stand-alone Photoshop, you can export and use Photoshop to print. If all this doesn’t mean anything to you, if you don’t print in-house, no problem. 

You can’t see file names in grid view and the film strip of your photos is on the left and pretty narrow and non-adjustable. The “Info” module consists only of file name, camera, lens, exposure settings and histogram. That’s it. No keywords (as mentioned earlier), IPTC, xmp, geo-tagging, captions, etc.

Skylum has provided a roadmap for upcoming changes and updates and among them is keywording. I don’t see anything about printing/color management however and that, alone, makes it a non-starter for me. 

All that said, there’s a lot of really good things happening here. If your need for organizing is relatively simple and your main need is for editing and you don’t print in-house, then go get it. From a pricing standpoint, you can’t beat its $69 price – no subscription. And, as I said earlier, the edit module is super. Finally, I’m cheering for them. If they do follow through with keywording and captioning and then, down the road, add color management, we’ll have a viable competitor for Lightroom and Adobe needs that.