Skylum Luminar Neo Review
Here’s a quick and fun review of Luminar Neo! You can use the code TREY10 to get $10 off the yearly or lifetime plans. For those of you who are existing Aurora HDR users, that entitles you to grab the HDR extension for Neo with special pricing, depending on the version you have and for some of you that might even mean free! Just be sure to sign up for Neo with the same email you used to register Aurora HDR to get access to the best pricing. 🙂
Before we begin, here’s a few images I’ve produced with Neo to get you in the mood…
Why Luminar Neo?
I’ve used Neo exclusively for the last three months as I slowly decouple myself from Lightroom! I had grown so accustomed to LR and their way of doing things that I was always a bit lazy about switching to a new tool. But now I am glad I am using Neo all the time!
I think it’s important for artists to always try new tools. It keeps the brain very plastic and, counterintuitively, I am sure after decades of experience that it is important to stay “uncomfortable” and always try new things. I think there is something in the ever-changing brain that needs this discomfort. It shakes things up. It makes you look at things in a new way. It makes you experiment with new aspects of post-processing that may never have occurred to you before.
In addition to that, it’s been a few years now since the latest version my collaboration with Skylum, Aurora HDR, was released. There was limited functionality between previous Luminar and Auroras in the past but now HDR available as a add-on/extension in Luminar Neo so it’s a much more rounded experience with support for all the latest cameras, etc all added in.
What do I like best about Neo? I simply love the wild array of tools.
You can do, hrmmm, probably 20x more things in Neo than you can in Lightroom. This can also be a bit scary via the old paralysis-by-analysis paradigm, but this is a situation I quite like!
You can do anything you can do in Lightroom, but the flow may be a bit different. Well, let me qualify that. You can do any of the “Edits” you can do in LR. Neo currently lacks the same sort of Library management of LR. Well, that’s not entirely true either. They just have a different system that is based on your existing file infrastructure on your hard drive. I don’t even know if I’m explaining that right. You can indeed organize your photos into galleries, favorites, and the like, but it simply maintains the library in a different way. I have not figured out a “smooth” way to integrate non Lightroom images with my last 10+ years of LR library management. I don’t really want to think about that, so I’ll just use the avoidant nature of my personality and figure that out another day.
One negative? I just can’t figure out. It exports SO slow. For example, I just exported 12 images that were processed in Neo (these are 48 megapixel Sony images) – and it took about 30 minutes on my M1 Max based Mac. I can’t figure out why it is so slow. I’ll ask Skylum now and update this if we can figure it out!
So, this review is mostly via screenshots! Scroll down and read each caption to get a quick look at some of the coolest features of Neo!
I’ll add more soon! Enjoy!
The End. For Now… remember, if Luminar Neo tickles your fancy you can grab it here and use the code TREY10 for a discount on the annual and lifetime subs.