It’s been quite a while since Skylum announced Luminar Neo, its brand new editing software. And now, it’s finally out and ready for you to install and use.
You may wonder what it is, what it does, and who is it for. How does it compare with Luminar AI and Luminar 4? Stay with me, I’m going to tell you more in this article.
Ivan Kutanin, the CEO of Skylum, says that there is a fine line between the photo you took and the photo you imagined. “In Luminar Neo, we’ve built an editor to help you create the photo you imagined.” As you could have probably assumed, Luminar NEO is AI-driven, just like the rest of Skylum’s software. Some of the unique AI technologies that it brings to the market are Relight AI, Powerline Removal, and Dust Spot Removal.
Relight AI: as the name suggests, this tool allows you to relight your scene. It creates a precise 3D depth map of your image and lets you fix the light in different types of scenes:
- Independently adjusting lighting and color warmth for far and near objects across the scene.
- Help easily fix portraits where the foreground subject is underexposed.
Remove Dust Spots: this tool automatically identifies and seamlessly removes small artifacts like dust spots. It should be super-helpful if your sensor is not squeaky clean, or perhaps if you want to fix old film photos you digitized.
Remove Power Lines: Here’s my favorite. This tool automatically identifies and removes power lines from landscape and cityscape photos. I couldn’t wait to try it, so I downloaded a free trial (more on that later). And it really does a nice job. I did need to do a bit of a touch-up to remove the Christmas lights, but I did everything in Luminar NEO and I was very pleased with its speed and accuracy.
Other than the AI-powered features, Luminar Neo also allows you to use layers, similar to Photoshop. You can also apply presets to your photos, or create your own by saving the adjustments you made.
Features coming soon
There are two new features that are coming soon, with the first update to Luminar NEO. They include Portrait Background Removal AI and Mask AI.
Portrait Background Removal AI: this tool cleanly isolates subjects and removes backgrounds with a single click. But if you’re not happy with the selection, you can refine the edges before removing the background.
Mask AI: when opening an image, Luminar Neo identifies many items, like the skies, bridges and flowers. Artists can select and use several of these elements to generate precise masks.
Connecting Luminar NEO to your phone
Another novelty that comes with Luminar NEO is Luminar Share. It’s an app that connects your phone to Luminar NEO on your computer and lets you transfer photos between them. Once connected, you can find and edit your mobile photos directly in Luminar Neo, or see your Luminar Neo edits on your phone in real-time.
Luminar NEO vs. Luminar AI and Luminar 4
So, what’s the difference between Luminar NEO, Luminar AI, and Luminar 4? Well, in short, Luminar NEO is closer to Photoshop, and Luminar AI is closer to Lightroom, so to speak. Luminar NEO is focused on editing single images and creating artworks. On the other hand, Luminar AI is made more for batch editing, like Lightroom. As for Luminar 4 – you can still use it, but sadly, Skylum doesn’t plan to update it any longer. I wrote a bit more about it here, so you can get a clearer idea of how it all works now.
Luminar Neo starts shipping today, 17 February 2022. As I mentioned, you will get Relight AI, Presets, Layers, and other new tools. Note that Portrait Background Removal AI and Mask AI are planned for the first free update to Luminar Neo, scheduled for release in the spring of 2022.
You can get Luminar Neo as a standalone application in the App Store for macOS and the Microsoft Store for Windows. You can also use it as a plugin for Lightroom Classic and Photoshop and as an extension for Apple Photos. The price of Luminar NEO is €79, or you can get it in a bundle with Luminar AI for €108. You’ll find the offers on Skylum’s website, where you can choose the one that fits your needs.