© 2020 by David Sornberger | Port Perry, Canada | info@davidsornberger.com

Luminar 4 Review

Revolutionary tools and AI technologies in Luminar 4 bring new heights to photo editing.


There has been much talk about Skylum's upcoming version of Luminar 4, which will be released on November 18, 2019. Whether you’re picking up a camera for the first time or a seasoned pro, you should definitely keep reading. I was fortunate to have an early beta release of Luminar 4 and I have pushed it to its limits. Overall, I found the new features, particularly sky replacement and the new AI Portrait tools particularly spectacular. Simply put, Luminar 4 provides the easiest and most precise way to do sky replacements. I am also impressed with the portrait tools that work more quickly than even apps that are dedicated to portrait retouching.

an upgrade.

(Image credit: Skylum)

Is Luminar 4 an upgrade to Luminar 3?


No, Luminar 4 is its own stand-alone software. This is a completely new version in Skylum's Luminar series. It is not a free upgrade to Luminar 3 but you already own Luminar 3, you are able to switch to Luminar 4 at a discounted price.

"It is almost a Version 1 for us", admits CEO Alex Tsepo.

Users of other photo editing software will be happy to know that Luminar 4 will work not only as a stand-alone app, but as as a plug-in for Photoshop CC, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements and Apple Photos. Luminar 3 was a stand-alone program and Flex was Skylum's plug-in solution.


What You Get


Skylum's goal for Luminar 4 was to completely change the way photographers approach photo editing. Luminar 4 is a natural and logical evolution from Luminar 3. For example, version 3 offered some AI feartures like the Accent AI filter and AI Sky replacement. Luminar 4 goes way beyond these tools.

The new software offers a range of powerful tools that utilize extensive machine-learning and a new streamlined interface to make photo editing more accessible than ever before.



A Refreshed Interface


The language used in Luminar 4 has changed. Filters are now called “tools”. They have been organized into six tabs, making it easy for users to locate and understand what they do:

  • Tools: Basic tools to work with, including Crop, Transform and Erase.

  • Essentials: Everything necessary for basic Color and Tone Correction.

  • Creative: Photo processing tools that allow photographers to take their photos to the next level, including AI Sky Replacement.

  • Portrait: Tools oriented for processing portraits, including AI Skin Enhancer and Portrait Enhancer.

  • Pro: Sophisticated tools for professional photo processing.

  • Deprecated: Tools left for compatibility of presets that have been created within earlier versions of Luminar. These tools are no longer relevant due to new technologies in Luminar 4 and will be removed in future versions.

Luminar 4 comes with some general interface improvements such as enlarged fonts, increased spacing between elements to improve readability, increased availability of basic functional elements, enlarged sliders and better-optimized contrast of interface elements.


Sky Replacement


The days of spending a lot of time manually creating a complicated mask to replace skies in an image are over thanks to Skylum’s new AI Sky Replacement tool.

Using the power of artificial intelligence, the AI Sky Replacement filter automatically analyzes an image, identifies where the sky begins and ends, then seamlessly replaces the sky to create a realistic look.


AI Skin Enhancer and Portrait Enhancer


AI Skin Enhancer and Portrait Enhancer will enable photographers to further develop and improve their portraits. These tools use machine learning to speed up the process, but contain detailed controls for even the most demanding photo editor.


Previously, photographers would have to spend time selectively editing their photographs, manually adjusting various tools through selections and masking.


With Luminar 4, these tedious tools are a thing of the past. Not only can photographers take advantage of the time savings through Luminar 4’s AI Skin Enhancer and Portrait Enhancer tools, they can also sync the adjustments across multiple photos. The technology will adapt itself to each photograph, automatically fine-tuning the style of adjustments chosen by the photographer, making it work for each photo.


What is AI Skin Enhancer?


Thanks to the AI technology, faces and skin are automatically detected throughout a photo. AI Skin Enhancer allows photographers to automatically remove various skin imperfections like acne, freckles and moles, in addition to smoothing the skin. At the same time, skin pores and other small details like hair and eyelashes are preserved.



“Being able to enhance portraits is a skillset that our customers have been asking for,” said Alex Tsepko, CEO of Skylum. “AI Skin Enhancer will provide automated skin retouching, removing things like blemishes helping to smooth the skin, while Portrait Enhancer will bring customizable tools to help create professional portraits like never before. A photographer can unlock the beauty of an image in seconds, which means there’s no reason to not get the best from every photo.”

Gone are the days of manually highlighting skin and face areas with tedious selections and masks. With AI Skin Enhancer, a person’s skin is retouched automatically, but you retain complete control over the strength of the improvement.


Perfect for studio beauty shots or events like weddings, AI Skin Enhancer will help bring your creative vision to the forefront. Photographers can deliver a professional look in mere seconds that your portrait’s subject will never forget.


What is Portrait Enhancer?


Portrait Enhancer is a collection of tools that help improve the photo of any person in a natural, yet pleasing way. These tools are brand new to Luminar 4 making it now possible to highlight and improve primary features of a person’s face.


This tool includes adjustments for eight areas:

  1. Face-aware Lighting: Adjust lighting for a face that doesn’t impact the rest of the scene. Get the emulation of a flash or reflector aimed at a face.

  2. Eye Improvement: Enhance and make a person’s eyes more expressive and sharp as well as whiten pupils.

  3. Dark Circle Removal: Easily remove dark circles or shadows below the eye.

  4. Red Eye: Fix red eye problems caused by flash.

  5. Face Contouring: Make the face thinner, achieving more attractive results in your portrait.

  6. Eye Enlargement: Is your portrait subject not fully awake yet? Squinting in bright light? Bring their eyes to life by gently increasing the size of their eyes.

  7. Eyebrows: Thicken and darken brows for stronger framing of the eyes.

  8. Lips and Teeth Enhancement: Bring more colour and depth to a person’s lips, and take advantage of teeth whitening tools.

With Portrait Enhancer, you can achieve a professional-looking portrait and make facial features more expressive with just a few sliders. There’s no need for selections or masks, AI technology instantly targets the right areas. Plus built-in presets easily adapt to each portrait making this tool the perfect balance of speed and precision.



Luminar 4 Special Offer


As part of a limited time launch promotion, Skylum Luminar 4 is available for pre-order at a saving of over 20%.


For users wishing to upgrade from an existing copy of Luminar 3, you can also benefit from a great discount.


Click here to check the latest Luminar 4 sale .