My Review of Luminar Neo version 1.16
Luminar Neo is full of amazing AI features that not only speed up your editing but utterly transform the results you can now achieve. The combination of the sublime Expansion packs and AI tools have to make this one of the best all round editing platforms out there right now.
With its user-friendly interface and advanced editing tools, it seriously helps us photographers bring our creative vision to life. From it’s AI-powered enhancements to customizable presets, Luminar Neo provides a seamless editing experience that is sure to elevate your photography.
In this Luminar Neo Review, we will be diving into it’s key features and their benefits, giving you an in-depth look at what makes Neo a standout choice for every photographer.
I have this review broken into sections, so please do feel free to skip through to the relevant section for you, now if you want to kick back and drink a cup of coffee and read the whole thing then that’s excellent also. If you have any questions then please do feel free to reach out to me to ask any questions you might have.
Luminar Neo Price
At the time of writing this Review Neo is available as both a Lifetime purchase or as a subscription package, all along I would have said the outright purchase option is the one to go for but with the rapid advances in AI technology and given how quickly editing software changes today I have swung back to the subscription model as I feel it just offers far better value for money in the long term.
Luminar Neo lifetime purchase
The once off Lifetime price is €269.-
Please note this does not include any future Neo Extensions and any new upgrades are not included also.
The Neo Pro package costs €14.95 on a month by month basis or yearly it’s €109.- but this gives you any future upgrades and all the extensions listed below are included also for that price.
The nice people over at Skylum have given me a discount code for this Luminar Neo review which will save you even more money again. This discount code also works on the special offers listed below.
Get a Free Gift with your purchase
If you are going to purchase Neo then don’t miss out on my free gift hack, it takes a second and you will get a completely free gift from Skylum included in your purchase.
Simply go the the Skylum website and proceed to purchase whichever package you are interested in and then just before you go to the checkout section pretend to exit the page by moving your mouse towards the top of the screen and a pop up will appear, this is where Skylum will give you a free gift if you continue your purchase.
So fingers crossed you saved some money with my review promo code and now you got a free gift too, how cool is that 🙂
I should mention here that if you purchase Neo via my discount code or via any link in this review I might get a slight commission for approved sales, it costs you nothing to use my link or code in fact you save money… I use this commission to keep this website running and to write reviews like this one. It also helps to pay for a tree to be planted.
Luminar Pros and Conns
- Luminar Neo has to be one of the best all round editors that’s equally at home editing landscapes, wildlife photography and portrait photography.
- Its AI technology and applications are second to none, with a stunning array editing apps built into one platform
- The inbuilt catalogue facility is great for helping to organise and store your images.
- The Price has to be one of the serious advantages to Neo as for what you get it’s excellent value for money.
- It can be resource hungry so make sure to check your editing machine is up to spec (nearly all editing apps are resource hungry these days though).
- It’s not free (there is a free trial option).
The Features List.
One of the things that truly I love about Luminar Neo is that it’s absolutely riddled with cool features, it has you covered, no matter what you need to do with your photography editing Neo has the feature for you.
It’s every bit as good as editing landscapes shots as it is at editing portraits or wildlife images or sports etc… As a person that does both Landscape Photography and portraiture the few features I absolutely love are the golden hour slider for Landscapes as this just adds that extra kiss of sunset light to your images and for portraits the skin smoothing and Face AI controls and just mind blowing, heck even the body shape AI tool is wonderful for some of those very unflattering camera angle shots.
So, let’s have a look at most of the the basic editing features first and then go onto the AI features…
Starting from the top down we have the Cropping tool, this lets you not only crop your shot in a bit tighter if you want to but it also gives you the option of changing the apsect ratio of your images, to give you that look or feel you were going for.
You have all the usual slider controls then for your Exposure, Shadows, Highlights, Whites, Blacks, Saturation, Vibrancy, sharpness etc… like you would have in most of the standard editing software, if you want to know more about the standard feature then please do check out my walk through tutorial video further up the page as it covers all these controls in a lot more detail.
Accent AI Provides basic image editing adjustments like Exposure, shdows, highlights, tone, contrast, colour details etc all with just a single slider control. This can be really handy for providing a good base for your edit which you can of course perfect form there manually if you want.
You have a master slider control for Accent AI so you can of course adjust the intensity of the edit that’s add to your shot.
Sky Replacement has always been a huge feature for Luminar software and it just keeps getting better and better as this software develops. It takes literally seconds now to swap out a sky, you get a good few skies to choose from and of course you can add your own skies for this or you can buy more from the market place if you want a wider selection of replacement skies to choose from.
You can position them both horizontally and vertically and you also have scene relighting controls which will help to add the correct toning or light to your photograph to match the sky.
So sky replacement is again mind blowingly good.
Sky Enhancer AI this slider really helps make your skys pop with a bit more contrast, vibrancy and texture. This is done with just a single slider so you can of course fine tune the AI edit in seconds.
Portrait Background Removal AI This will crazily help make your bog standard kit lens that came with your camera look like a top of the range portrait lens, it is all again adjustable via sliders and in seconds you can make that background as blurred as you want it which will add a lot more focus and attention to your subject. This amazing AI tool helps everyone get that professional shallow depth of feel look in their shots.
ReLight AI with some kind of turbo charged witchcraft ReLight AI addS a 3d depth map to your image so you can adjust the lighting in your shot according to the percieved depth in the photograph. Thats just crazy isn’t it? How is that even possible? So if you want to adjust the background or foreground lighting in a shot that easily done now. I know crazy right….
Face AI adjust the lighting on a person faces in seconds with Face AI to give your shot a completely different look or to highlight the face by adding more light to it to help it pop more in the shot.
Skin AI remove blemishes and shine from your portraits and adjust the smoothness of skin in seconds. This was something I had a completely different application for but now it can be done in Luminar Neo saving me €99.- a year on that subscription.
Body AI ideal for those awkward camera angles or poses, this AI tool helps slim the proportions back to normal and there is even an Abdomen slider in there. This tool really is very handy for the odd shot but it should also be noted that it can be prone to abuse by people also to give overly flattering shots.
Atmosphere adds mist and Fog to your shots again via its 3d depth mapping so the results are very realisitc and this effect alone will save you tons of time if this is something you are inclined to do from time to time.
Mood adds different looks to your shots in meer seconds by adding different LUT’s to you photographs, again you can choose what look you want or buy even more from the Luminar Market place and don’t forget my discount code can also save you money there.
There are of course loads more features and too many to list here but if you have a look at my Luminar Neo Review and tutorail video below where I run you through nearly everyone of them and also how to use them.
The extensions available for Neo today are…
Noiseless AI removes noise from your photographs. So if you are inclined to shoot at higher ISO’s Noiseless AI could very well be your new friend as it’s gonna seriously help Luminanace and Chromanance noise from your photographs agin in only seconds. There are a few options to choose from here again depending on the severity of the noise in your shot.
Upscale AI enlarges or upscales your images for you. Let’s say you have a drone shot or an old photograph or even a shot you had to crop heavily then don’t worry Upscale AI will be able to enlarge that photograph for you so you can still get a nice large print from it. That’s an incredibly handy tool to have in your photography tool kit.
SuperSharp AI removes blur in your photographs, now this blur can be motion blur or just simply a shot that’s not properly in focus. Pop it into SuperSharp AI and just watch it do its magic and sharpen that photo right up for you. The results I have gotten from SuperSharp AI have range from incredible to fairly impressive, now it’s not a miracle worker but if the shot can be recovered then Supersharp AI is gonna do its best for you.
HDR Merge makes it so easy to stack exposure bracketed photographs into a single high dynamic range or HDR shot. Just pop the shots in and watch it do it’s magic.
Focus Stacking automates focus stacking in Luminar Neo with stunning results. If you are big into Focus Stacking for Landscape or Macro work then this tool is so easy to use. Even on my very first attempt I managed to stack over 60 photographs of a flower in to a single shot with spectacular results.
BackGround Removal AI remove the background in your shot in seconds and replace it with a more suitable one. This again is an incredible bit of technology that not only transforms your portraits but kind of transports them to a whole new dimension.
Panorama Stitching can stitch together several shots into one seemlessly panoramic photograph. This is an incredibly useful tool and the result you can get from it are just stunning.
Magic Light AI add star bursts and that little bit of magic to your images. Yes, it really automatically adds start bursts to any light in it dectects in your photograph and gives this really nice finishing touches to your shots.
Neon and Glow is one of the latest additions and as you may have guessed it can be used to add a glow or neon effect to your photographs. This is a super cool and fun effect to play around with and I for one can see this as being a very handy facility to have for YouTube thumbnails that really pop…
Studio Light AI creates some really cool lighting effects for portraits, you have several different effects to choose from and again it only takes second to apply them.
GenErase gives you a very easy way to just paint over an element you don’t want in an image and Generase will not just clone it out but create what it feels should be in the photograph after analysing the photograph, so it can replace distracting elements in your images in seconds.
GenSwap this extension gives you the power to swap out elemnts in your photograph through the power of AI. For example you take a photo of a model and they are wearing a red skirt, you can change that red skirt into a pair of blue jeans if you want. Or you take a bphoto on the beach and think wouldn’t it be cool to put a surfer on thos waves… This technology is developing rapidly and in ways it’s still experimental so the results can be mixed at times but that’s only going to get better.
New Extensions coming soon
SceneExpand will widen your original composition with the AI creating the extra width to your image like magic.
SceneSwap will let you effortlessly replace foregrounds backgrounds or even clothing through its powerful AI algorithm.
Water Enhancer will add colour and vibrancy to the water based elements in your photograph, trasnsforming say a brown muddy river to a nice aquatic toned river.
Ease of use.
Like any other photography editing software out there Luminar Neo will take you a few minutes to figure it out but once you do it is very intuitive. Its user interface is very friendly and after just 10 minutes of using it for the first time I felt right at home. The sliders are responsive and you see the effect immediately so there is little to no lag, it’s all clearly labelled and laid out in a very easy to understand way.
So it has to be a massive thumbs up from me for its ease of use, well done Skylum yet again.
So, it’s easy to use , has loads of features and tools but how does it stack up costwise?
Value for money.
When you look at what you get in Neo (at the time of writing this review) and then compare it to Topaz Labs Photo AI and the 4 apps you get there…
Gigiapixel AI (Upscale AI works in the same way)
Sharpen AI (Supersharp AI works again in the same way)
DeNoise AI (Noiseless AI is the Luminar version)
Photo AI which is basically the three apps above packed into one app that nearly works as well as the individual apps.
This costs €150 to buy and then costs €99 a year after that for updates.
If you buy Neo for two years right now it costs just €119 in total for the two years (and you get 10% off that price also) so it’s a lot cheaper and it also includes a full editing application and so much more.
That really goes to show what amazing value for money Luminar Neo is right now.
Luminar Neo Review Conclusion
As you may have guessed I am a big fan of Luminar Neo and I think companies like Skylum are really helping to not only push photography editing forward but they are at the cutting edge of AI technology. Some of their advances over the last few years are truly ground breaking and they just don’t seem to be slowing down at all.
For me Luminar Neo is a must have for my editing workflow and I am a big fan, in saying all that some of you might remeber when it was originally launched I did point out a few reasons why I didn’t like the software but since then these issues have not only been addressed but completely solved so good on you Skylum.
Thanks again for reading my Luminar Neo review and if you still have some coffee left then you are either a fast reader or you must have skipped a few parts either way well done you 🙂
Mind yourself and see you out there,
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