Since Thursday, Luminar Neo is finally available. There were already a lot of rumors around on social media as well as a lot of complaints because of the huge delay. This time I got a review copy again. So, I was able to have a look at it. I’m tagging this as an advertisement, because of setting affiliate links.
First, the GUI looks very familiar when comparing it to the previous versions since Luminar 4. But, under the hood, a lot of progress was made to teach the AI editing photos according to Skylum. As a long-time follower, you know, I’m not a fan of AI editing photos. But, I have to admit, the results are great. You don’t have to rely completely on the AI, you still have the option to adjust the edits done by the AI or level how strong the AI should influence the final image.
According to Skylum, the Luminar Engine was built from the ground up to help creatives do more. Using artificial intelligence to analyzes your photos
unlock new, AI-driven editing possibilities:
RelightAI builds a precise 3D Depth Map of the 2D image to provide quick, targeted control of scene lighting, allowing artists to independently adjust lighting and color warmth for far and near objects across the scene and help easily fix portraits where the foreground subject is underexposed.
RelightAI isolates problem areas for correction, leaving the rest of the image untouched. Combine RelightAI with other scene-aware tools and photographers can precisely adjust the lighting of any photo.
Remove Dust Spots — Automatically identify and seamlessly remove small artifacts, like dust spots, from every photo with the help of AI.
Remove Power Lines — Uses AI to automatically identify and effortlessly remove power lines from landscape photographs to create a pristine image free from clutter.
Layers — Combine different images into unique compositions and include new elements from built-in overlays and object libraries.
Presets — Instant style changes designed by professional photographers of every stripe. Or, build and save your own unique looks for reuse on future shoots.
Luminar Neo is significantly faster than LuminarAI for complex photo editing tasks. Driven by the new Luminar engine, artists can now enjoy the following performance gains.
Luminar Neo ships from February 17th, 2022 with RelightAI, Presets, Layers, and other powerful new tools. Portrait Background RemovalAI and MaskAI are planned for the first free update to Luminar Neo, scheduled for release in the spring of 2022.
Luminar Neo is available as a stand-alone application in the App Store for macOS and the Microsoft Store for Windows as well as a plugin for Lightroom Classic and Photoshop and as an extension for Apple Photos.
To learn more about Luminar Neo and sign up for updates, visit
For demonstration purposes, I picked one of my images taken last year in Namibia. It’s taken in RAW format. In the lower-left corner, you can see, what the camera saved and the photo viewer brings up. In the upper left corner, you can see, what level of details is still in the image. The brightness control is turned to the maximum. In the final image, we still have the ambiance of the scene, but we have all structures in the dark parts. I’m quite surprised, at how well Luminar Neo developed the image and coped with the quite hard light conditions to preserve details as well as the ambiance. Btw. it can also handle ProRes DNGs from iPhone 13 Pro 😲.
You can click on the image to enlarge it. The bending in the sky is due to the JPG compression level. In case, you want to try Luminar Neo on your own images, head over to Skylum and get your own copy. As always, you get a 30-days money back guarantee.
I also tried a couple of the other AI features and was extremely surprised by how well they worked, especially the power line removal tool was extremely helpful. Below, you can see the crop assistant in action. Surprisingly the assistant had no other advice for cropping the image than to confirm my composition.
But, another issue still exists. There’s still the necessity to work with the catalog. Even when using the edit single photo option, you can only export the final edit and not a workfile like in Luminar 2018 and earlier.