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What Is Luminar NEO? | PetaPixel



Luminar Neo is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) powered photo editing software from Skylum that sets out to fix some of the issues its users faced with previous AI tools in an effort to streamline the photo editing process, making it easier and faster for creatives to move on to new projects rather than being stuck behind the computer editing all day.

The recently updated (1.4.2) application brings the software into its next stage of evolution for creatives, giving them the ability to take any existing image and push the boundaries of what is possible with incredible speed and accuracy. In addition to the improved tools that already existed in Luminar NEO, now users can expand on the tool with a series of continuously updated extensions that add tools like HDR merge, AI Noise reduction, background removal, file size upscaling, focus stacking and more.


For those completely new to the application and what it offers, Luminar NEO is an AI-powered image editor for Apple and Windows devices that are designed to simplify the most complex of photo editing tasks (masking, background removal, sky replacement, skin retouching) and make them easy, and most importantly, fast. The big attraction to the application is it provides beginners the opportunity to carry out incredibly complex photo editing tasks that would take large amounts of time to do manually in Adobe Photoshop and turn it into a tool that can be adjusted with just a quick checkbox and slider for “intensity and corrections”. For beginners, this gives them incredible power to play and experiment with their images to create something well beyond their expectations, and for seasoned pros, it gives them the freedom to do the jobs they have done manually in the past much faster and move on to other tasks.

In addition to the built-in artificial intelligence features, Luminar NEO also offers a wide variety of core editing tools that those familiar with RAW processors will feel right at home with, giving users the ability to leverage a combination of powerful AI manipulations, manual adjustments, as well as several included creative presets to alter the overall look of the image. What’s more, Luminar NEO even analyses the image and suggests a variety of presets that can work best with the image in an effort to save time for the editor having to filter through every category and option to find one they like.

Why Use Luminar NEO

At its core, Luminar NEO was built in an effort to speed up an editor’s workflow by starting with a foundation that is coded modularly. This means the application can be updated and optimized separately and far more easily than in the past, also allowing for a more flexible editing process. This allows users to cull their images faster, make fast skin tone and color adjustments (which can be applied in bulk using the catalog tool), leverage more powerful AI tools to completely replace the sky of their images and relight the scenes to match, as well as create auto white balance and tonal adjustments that can return instant results, instead of dealing with a slower, line-by-line slider based editing from image to image in a library.

In addition to this, Luminar NEO can easily remove distracting elements in an image like sensor spots/dust (along with other unwanted items in the background of the image) practically automatically. A process that could take hours previously in other RAW processing tools.

Users can also take advantage of a new mobile app called Luminar Share (available for iPhone and Android devices), that will allow users to easily transfer images between their mobile device and computer(s) where they can be edited in Luminar NEO for much greater creative control and easy sharing for social media and viewing on the move.

Finally, on top of each of the powerful AI-driven tools (Face, Body, Struction, Composition, Sky Replacement, Augmented Sky, Enhancements, and Atmosphere), Luminar NEO has a wide variety of “overall” presets (dozens are included with the app on its own and an extensive selection of additional preset packs are available for purchase in the Luminar Marketplace) that instantly apply broad tonal effects to alter the image look and feel. This even includes skin retouching, reflections, and more. All of which are designed to save the user time when making creative decisions with their images.

The best part is, Luminar NEO can be installed as a plugin for Photoshop and Lightroom Classic, allowing users to load it from their preferred editor/workflow, keeping the editing process as smooth as possible, as well as making it easy for users to keep their libraries/catalogs of images consistent while leveraging the powerful AI tools built into NEO.

Price and Subscription Plans

Luminar NEO is available in a variety of combinations ranging from $79 to $109 per year as part of the subscription plans, or for $119 as a one-time stand alone purchase. Additionally, users can buy the 2022 extensions pack which includes 7 extensions (HDR Merge, Noiseless AI, etc) for $219 for even more creative power.

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