Is Luminar better than Lightroom?

Skylum has just announced the launch of a major update to its photo-editing software. The new version is called Luminar AI, and will be released later this year! One question we get asked:

“Is Luminar better than Lightroom”?

Obviously, we won’t find out the answer to this until after the release date. But you may have read some of our previous Luminar 4 articles. Our conclusion is that Luminar 4 is definitely in a good position to knock Lightroom from its long-standing number one pedestal.

In this video Skylum showcase the new software.

Photography is about creativity

In the days of the film camera, this was certainly the case. Learning to take good pictures is a skill that takes a lifetime to learn. But, with the advent of DSLR, photography became more technical. Photographers need to understand histograms, white balance, noise and saturation, to name but a few.

We predict that Luminar AI will re-addresses the balance, leaving photographers to focus more on creativity and taking great pictures. Here is what Skylum say:

“Let’s face it — traditional photo editing can be boring and time-consuming. LuminarAI is all about the result, not the process”.


AI Photo Editing

In Luminar 4 we got some pretty cool Artificial Intelligence (AI) editing capabilities. These included AI Enhance, that analysis your image and almost instantly improves the colours, texture and tone. AI Sky Replacement, a phenomenal algorithm that makes sky replacement in any image child play.

“Artificial intelligence is not just a catchphrase. Smart algorithms guide you and recommend the best outcomes when you need it.
But the choice is always yours”.


Portrait Enhancement

Many of the changes in this update of Luminar are aimed at Portrait re-touching. Let’s go through some of the AI features that Luminar AI will offer us:


This function will enable you to make the human body appear lighter or add weight if you want. According to the Skylum team, this will not only be realistic but also allow you to create stunning edits.


This will enable you to create expressive and breathtaking eye enhancements that are natural, and bring the face to life.


Improve faces naturally, enhance lips, teeth; remove unwanted dark circles and more.


Improve faces naturally, enhance lips, teeth; remove unwanted dark circles and more.


This will enable you to enhance the lighting in your images for a more natural and life-like effect.


Finally, we have BokehAI. This effect will emulate the stunning background blur that you get from fast lenses and will make your portraits stand-out.

Landscape Enhancement

Portrait enhancement is not the only change in this next update to Luminar. It looks like the sky landscape enhancements tools are getting a makeover too! With the addition of Atmosphere AI you will be able to add realistic atmospheric effects with 3D depth — fog, mist, haze, steam, drizzle etc.

Luminar AI Atmosphere AI
Luminar AI Atmosphere AI

So, whilst we won’t find out whether Luminar AI is better than Lightroom until later in the year, we do know that Luminar provides the benchmark for the next generation of photographic creative tools.

If you can’t wait for the release of Luminar AI, then head over to our affiliate Skylum for some great deals on the pre-release of Luminar AI as well as Luminar 4.

Here are some other Luminar articles that may be of interest to you:

Luminar Articles

As soon as we find out more on Luminar AI, we will release some more in-detailed how-to guides. In the meantime, if you enjoyed this article, then why not check out some of our other Learn Photography guides.


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