The new Macphun Luminar photo editing software is now available

Luminar, the new all-in-one photo editor, is now shipping. Luminar has an interface "built around the idea that every photographer is different, and therefore their photo editing needs are different too". Users can choose from pre-built user interface configurations that match their editing style and needs, or create their own. A free trial is available here.

See also how Luminar compares to Aperture and Lightroom on this page.

Additional information after the break:


  • Retail Price: $69
  • Launch Price for Macphun Users: $49
  • Launch Price for New User Price:  $59

Luminar Key Features

  • Adaptive User Interface
    • Multiple Modes: From basic to advanced
    • One-click switch between modes
    • Change modes anytime
  • All-in-one photo editing tool set
    • Includes essential editing tools for different photography styles
    • Live editing, live processing, live previews
    • Non-destructive editing
    • Works as a standalone app or plug-in
    • RAW converter & processor
    • History Panel

Your questions about Luminar answered:

Is Luminar an alternative to Aperture?

Luminar introduces a wide selection of more powerful and adaptive photo editing tools to fit in with the skills and needs of any type of photographer, alongside an innovation in photo editing software - workspaces, which act as personal digital darkrooms. Currently, Luminar does not have photo asset management features similar to Aperture, but users can plug into Aperture and match up Luminar’s superior editing tools with Aperture’s file library. With updates expected in early 2017, Luminar will soon replace any other photo editor that you currently use.

See how Luminar compares to Aperture and Lightroom.

How does Luminar complement Aurora HDR?

Aurora’s advanced HDR capability and Luminar’s extensive photo-editing options can be seamlessly combined. Aurora is unbeatable for creating stunning HDR images, and Luminar takes mastering these images to the next level with the introduction of even more editing tools including; filter masking on a single layer, a transform tool, an eraser brush for spot and object removal, and clone & stamp capability. From those small extra tweaks to dramatic edits such as sky replacement, Luminar is the ideal tool to finalise Aurora HDR creations.

Find out more about Luminar’s relationship with Aurora.

Does Luminar complement Creative Kit?

Creative Kit is a collection of plug-ins dedicated to specific tasks, whereas Luminar is a universal all-in-one photo editor. Luminar is a combination of the best bits of Creative Kit, all-new capabilities and innovative tools, and a brand new user interface.

Find out more about using Creative Kit and Luminar in your editing workflow here.

Does Luminar support batch processing?

Soon! The current version of Luminar does not have built-in batch processing, but this feature will be introduced in the December update, and will be available for free for all current users of Luminar.

Will there be a Windows version of Luminar?

Currently all Macphun software is Mac-only. However, Macphun have started working on the Windows version of Luminar. The plan is to make Luminar for Windows available late Spring 2017.

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  • Spy Black

    Releasing a RAW editor without an image browser and cataloging capabilities is quite lame. It also has stacked processes that you can’t separate, so they’re essentially locked presets. Probably decent for a casual user, but pretty frustrating if you were trying to use this professionally.

    • dredlew

      As they mention, the cataloging feature is coming soon. Obviously they want to get this out as soon as possible as the competition is heating up in this space; AlienSkin Exposure2 having been released recently and ON1 Photo RAW imminently to be released. Affinity is also working on a cataloging app to go with their RAW processor from Affinity Photo.

      Not sure what you’re referring to with “stacked processes”. You mean “Workspace”? Those are suggestions of filters for a given type of image, which you may use or not (“Clear”). If you do use one, you can remove/add filters to make it custom to whatever you need. Nothing is locked, it’s as flexible as C1’s palettes. Also, the presets that they do provide are all customizable.

      However, what I thought was lame are the demo videos on their site, terrible examples and edits. One would think you’d want to show off the product with some amazing results. Absolutely zero effort went into this. Wasted opportunity.

      • Spy Black

        What’s the point of deliberately releasing an unfinished product? That’s not how you keep up with the Jone’s.

        Stacked processes are processes that are applied simultaneously that you have no individual control over. Fir instance, as Adam Ottke over at Fstoppers point out in his review on the program, if you increase exposure in the shadows, it also modifies saturation and sharpness.

        These are essentially built-in presets that you can’t alter. Now these may actually work well for certain types of images and workflows, and some may find this handy, especially those who are not photographically savvy. However the fact that you can’t override them is problematic if you are.

        Overall this just strikes me as a consumer product, trying to look like a professional one.

        • dredlew

          Releasing a partially featured product is not a new concept and makes sense if you want to get a foot in the door before the potential customer’s money gets spent on the competition. Very common and apparently it works, otherwise it wouldn’t be done that way.

          As for “stacked processes”, I really wouldn’t call it that, nor presets in that context. Maybe combined algorithms. Also nothing new, other products just call them “smart” algorithms. Often in connection with Saturation/Vibrance/Contrast where it enhances some colors but not others, like skin tones. That’s happening both in LR and C1 to varying degrees. You either like them or not, nothing you can change on how “smart” the algorithm is. I don’t see that this is any different with Luminar. It’s a choice they have made on how an algorithm should apply. Same as all the others. You either like the look or not and would have to go with something else instead. This does not make it any less professional. The UI in fact feels actually much more professional than either ON1 Photo or AlienSkin’s Exposure. At the end of the day though, what really determines whether something is professional or not is whether you make money with it. And there is no doubt this application will serve a lot of professional’s needs.

          Testing a couple shots myself in Luminar, I did not see anything particularly off. I did like the look of the rendering, however it could be faster. You don’t see the changes happen in real time, there’s always a slight blur going on until you let go of the slider and sometimes even takes a few seconds to catch up. These might be teething problems and could improve as the software matures but as a 1.0 version, it’s a good start IMHO.

          • Spy Black

            “Often in connection with Saturation/Vibrance/Contrast where it enhances “some colors but not others, like skin tones. That’s happening both in LR and C1 to varying degrees.”

            …except in those apps you still have individual control of settings. Here you don’t.

            “At the end of the day though, what really determines whether something is professional or not is whether you make money with it.

            No, that simply implies that you’re professional, regardless of what you use. 😉 I still find a RAW editor without an image browser and cataloging capabilities pretty lacking, and I’ll simply use tools that fully work out of the box. I don’t care what they promise down the road.

          • dredlew

            I think we can go on and on about this but as I said, you have as much or little control about chosen algorithms in the other apps as you have in Luminar. The saturation slider in C1 is supposed to be “smart” and achieve the same effect as the vibrance slider in LR. Well, it does not and there’s nothing you can do about it. You have to tone down/up colors by other means. Clarity/structure sliders also work differently in those apps, especially in how they affect color.

            Again, it all comes down to whether you like the algorithm they chose and whether you can compensate for your personal preferences with other tools to give you the look you’re going for.

            No one forces you to use the software but I also think you have a misunderstanding of what it actually is. At this point it is less of a RAW editor but more of a photo editor, which you can already use as a plugin or external editor with your current RAW editor of choice. Once they add a cataloging system, you can choose to fully replace your current workflow, or not.

            In any case, you should care what they release down the road as it could make your workflow easier/better. A concept that applies to literally every other software out there as well. Not sure what the gripe is here with Luminar in particular. It’ll get there, give it some time.

    • Zenettii

      Own it, been using it, trying hard to not give up on it. But compared to affinity this just feels like a child’s toy. The really funny part is that the UI is perfect for the new Microsoft surface studio and other touch screen devices, yet they went and released on Apple Mac OS only. That was dumb.

  • Sakaphoto Graphics

    I suspect that once they integrate it with Apple’s Photos application, it will be more useful to the casual user, especially since there is a version in the Mac App Store now.

    I’ve used a few of the Macphun apps and they’re useful in getting to a solution quickly but not really for serious work.

    I’m trying the software now, and every time I CMD-Z to undo, it crashes. I’m surprised that they didn’t see that in testing. Using Apple’s file selector is a headache to get to each file.

  • MarkLivesInLA

    Can anybody comment on the sky library that comes with it? Are they good sky images? I’m interested in the product primarily for this as it seems a good price for that alone.

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