Luminar photo app gets AI smarts and serious speed bump

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Macphun
Luminar 2018 is available for pre-order through Nov. 16.
Photo: Macphun

The software company that’s taken the Macphun out of its name continues to add power to its digital imaging software.

Macphun, which will become Skylum Software next year, rolled out Luminar 2018 for Mac and PC Wednesday for pre-order.

Luminar 2018 is more than an update of its all-in-one photo editing software, which Macphun introduced last year. Developers and designers rebuilt the app for faster performance and various filters powered by artificial intelligence.

Macphun was a Mac-only software developer in its first seven years with more than 20 million downloads of its imaging programs. The name change was inevitable when it announced earlier this year that it would make Luminar and Aurora HDR available to photographers who work on PCs.

Macphun
Enhance an image with a single click.
Photo: Macphun

Retooling the Mac-centric mission poises the company to compete more directly with industry leader, Adobe, makers of Photoshop and Lightroom.

CEO Alex Tsepko said last week that “Luminar is not yet an Adobe alternative, and will work hard to make it better.”

Besides speed and AI assistance, Luminar 2018 will include a new, faster RAW engine, a lens correction tool to resolve vignetting of corners, distortion and color aberrations.

The app will also include stackable layers with brushes, more than 100 one-click presets, some 40 AI-driven enhancement filters, a history panel with multiple undoes, noise reduction and easy object removal.

Later in 2018, Luminar will add a digital asset manager will support Lightroom catalogs.

Macphun
Macphun will add a digital asset management feature to Luminar next year that will work with Lightroom catalogs.
Photo: Macphun

“The less time photographers to spend in front of the computers, the more time they have taking pictures,” Tsepko said in a news release announcing the update. “The goal is simple: enable the best-looking images with the least amount of effort.”

Pre-order pricing for Luminar 2018 with a $10 discount runs through Nov. 16. Current users will pay $39 ($49 for beta users of the PC version) and $59 for photographers new to Luminar.