Let’s Talk About Luminar 2018… Because Its AWESOME!

Regular blog readers might remember me talking about Macphun’s excellent Aurora HDR and Luminar software over the past year or so, and I’ll tell you right now that you’re going to be hearing a lot more about Luminar from this point onwards. Luminar 2018 will be launched on November 16th (pre-order), but I’ve had a copy for a few weeks now and it has me very excited.

To start with, PC users can rejoice because Luminar 2018 will be available on both the Mac and the PC, and with it Macphun will be changing their name to Skylum Software – makes much more sense.

If you’re not familiar with Luminar, the quick version is that it’s a little bit like a mashup of Lightroom and Photoshop. It has the editing options, presets and RAW processing of Lightroom, but it also has layers, layer masking and blend modes like Photoshop. What it doesn’t have at the moment is any asset management, but Macphun have confirmed that this will be added in 2018 and it will be a free upgrade for anyone using Luminar 2018.

With this new Luminar 2018 update, there’s a massive jump in performance from the previous version, and for me this is a tipping point. Luminar Neptune was awesome, and I’d use it on occasion when I wanted to do something a little different, but it wasn’t all that fast. Luminar 2018 (Super Nova) is much faster, and now I find myself using it WAY more. In fact, pretty much all the images I’ve finished in the last couple of weeks have been done in Luminar.

This new release adds a ton of new features too, such as the ability to load LUTs, correct lens distortion and aberrations, and even add realistic sun flares to your images with just a few clicks. (see my new tutorial below)

Luminar 2018 is in the pre-order phase right now until November 16th. If you pre-order, you can lock in a lower price, and of course you’ll get a free upgrade next year when Luminar gets updated to include full folder and image management features.

Price (USD): Pre-order(Nov 1st to Nov 16th)

  • Current users of Luminar may upgrade at a special pre-order price of $39
  • New users can purchase Luminar at a special preorder price of $59

Pre-Order Bonuses:

  • A Pack of signature presets and textures fro pro photography Nicolesy
  • An Exclusive pack of LUTs
  • 1-year Power plan from SmugMug ($72 value). For new accounts only

Retail price (after November 15th)

  • $49 for current Luminar users
  • $69 for new users
  • Free trial available

My first Luminar 2018 Tutorial

Press Release from Macphun

The new Luminar 2018 takes on Adobe Lightroom

New Luminar 2018 delivers a breakthrough photo editing experience for photographers on Mac & Windows with new filters, tools, non-destructive editing, major speed boosts, and a digital asset management platform that will arrive in 2018.

San Diego, CA – November 1, 2017 — Macphun, the California-based software developer today announced Luminar 2018. New users will be able to purchase Luminar 2018 for $59, and current users of Luminar may upgrade at a special price of $39. Preorders start November 1 at www.macphun.com/luminar .

Luminar 2018 offers everything a modern photographer needs for photo editing, including new filters powered by artificial intelligence, major speed improvements, a dedicated RAW develop module and a forthcoming in 2018 digital asset management platform . Users will also benefit from the new intelligent Sun Rays filter, LUT support, and real-time noise removal. With adaptive workspaces that match styles of shooting, Luminar adapts to deliver a complete experience that avoids clutter and complexity.

Luminar 2018 has been re-built from the ground up for dramatic performance boosts. Existing filters deliver richer colors and depth in less time. A brand new streamlined user interface speeds up working with presets, filters, and masks. With full support of pro options like layers, masks, and blending modes, complex repairs and photo composites can be easily accomplished.

And, importantly, Luminar works on both Mac and Windows-based desktop computers*.

“We’ve taken the time to listen to photographers, and what they want is performance and quality. The less time photographers have to spend in front of computers, the more time they have for taking pictures,” said Alex Tsepko, CEO of Macphun . “Our mission is to get Luminar streamlined with just the tools and controls photographers need. The goal is simple: enable the best-looking images with the least amount of effort.”

Luminar offers a new RAW Engine that can handle high-quality images faster . Plus, it’s easy to solve image problems caused by camera lenses with Lens Correction features that resolve vignette, distortion, and color aberrations. If the photo has unwanted perspective problems, a new Transform tool can quickly solve them.

Instead of stuffing menus with boring effects and old technology, Luminar only puts in filters that photographers want and need. Luminar offers more than 40 filters to correct color, sharpen details, and release creativity. New filters include the ability to enhance color with Brilliance, selectively lighten or darken specific areas of an image with Dodge & Burn, as well as the ability to change the lighting in a photo with Sun Rays.

Want a whole new way to stylize images? Try the new Lookup Table adjustments, known as LUTs** . Creative color, perfect black and white conversions, and even digital films stocks are just a click away. Lightroom users who rely on custom presets created for Lightroom can also easily convert those presets into LUTs (with a free 3rd party tool) and use them inside of Luminar 2018.

Luminar 2018 will become available in November 2017, and in 2018 a free update will provide a new image browser/digital asset manager to help photographers manage their image libraries.

Photographers will be able to sort, rate, organize, and backup their photos at great speed. The new digital asset management platform in Luminar will work without subscription and will work with any storage (cloud or local). It will also bring a number of unique features, that the current Lightroom library can’t boast.

* Workspaces, Clone & Stamp, blend modes for layers, luminosity masking, flip and rotate, as well as some other tools and features will be available in the Mac version at launch, and arrive in the PC version with free updates by the end of the year.

** Look-Up Table (LUT) – is mathematically precise way of taking specific RGB image values form a source image – and modifying them to new RGB values by changing the hue, saturation and brightness values of that source image. LUTs are used creatively to impose a specific ‘Look’ on a source image.


Pre-order for Luminar 2018 will run from November 1 until November 16. Pre-order customers will receive a special price and value-add bonuses such as:

  •  A pack of signature presets & textures from a Pro photographer Nicolesy.
  •  An exclusive pack of LUTs.
  • 1-year Power plan from SmugMug ($72 value). For new accounts onlyPricing:Mixed-computer households can share the same product key for Mac and PC which can be activated on five devices.Current users of Luminar may upgrade at a special pre -order price of $39 New users can purchase Luminar at a special pre order price of $59The retail price for Luminar 2018 after November 16 will be: $49 upgrade for current Luminar HDR users
    $69 for new users

The digital asset management platform will arrive in 2018 as the free update for all the users of Luminar 2018.

Photo of author

Dan Carr

Founder of Shutter Muse, full time photographer and creative educator. Dan lives in the Canadian Yukon, but his wanderlust often sends him in search of images all around the world to meet the needs of clients and readers alike.

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