Luminar 4 FREE

Started Dec 24, 2021 | Discussions thread
Glen Barrington
Glen Barrington Forum Pro • Posts: 22,656
The Magic Word "Free" got this

Old ACDSee user curious.

It is an odd, VERY odd piece of software, especially when compared to the ALL-IN-ONE design of ACDSee Ultimate 2022.

  • Sky replacement is very easy to do, though it is a tad "fiddly" when trying to get a natural look and balance the sky with the rest of the photo. BUT, it can be done, and that is a plus.
  • It's extremely slow to boot and build the DB. Exporting is INCREDIBLY slow.
  • Even when using the far superior ACDSee database, a round trip to/from Luminar results in the Luminar DB recording the image there as well as in the ACDSee DB.
  • Round Trips to Luminar from ACDSee aren't always successful. sometimes it works, sometimes not. I wonder if the point above has something to do with that.
  • The Luminar DB is primitive and can only search by name, date, or file extension. not really suitable for managing an image DB of more than a couple of thousand files.
  • When looking up "Installing Plugins" in the Luminar User's file, I was surprised to learn there is no way to use Topaz or Nik plugins with it. What Luminar means by "Installing Plugins" is that you can use Luminar as a plugin with other tools.
  • Noise control and luminosity control aren't that great. Especially when compared to ACDSee's Noise control and Light EQ. And at this point, ACDSee's native noise control is now just starting to get competent after being down where Luminar 4 is now. That, to me, is why Luminar needs to be able to use noise control plugins.
  • Resizing doesn't seem possible in L4. At least I can't find it.
  • Just about any time I cancel an action, it cancels the edit completely and returns it to ACDSee . . . most of the time. It always quits L4 and usually returns to ACDSee.

In Summary:

With the possible exception of sky replacement, an ACDSee Ultimate user with software at least 4 years old has no real reason to use L4. Everything L4 can do, ACDSee can do better, faster, and more reliably. Plus, I can use 3rd party plugins with ACDSee Ultimate.

In this particular case, I think this comparison is fair since the points listed above, pretty much apply to EVERY version of ACDSee Ultimate since it's original release.

Is easy sky replacement enough of a reason for me to keep L4? I don't know. I mean it WAS free, so I have no sunk cost in L4 that I need to rationalize. But so far, I haven't felt a strong need to replace the sky all that often in my photos.

I'm not all that impressed with L4, certainly not enough to try out more recent versions. So I'd appreciate it if those who have more recent versions would tell me if some of the above points have been addressed.

FYI, I think Topaz Studio 2 is a better, more reliable product, if this sort of non-complete editor/plugin appeals to you.  And it doesn't duplicate your host software's database efforts.

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Olympus OM-D E-M10 II Olympus E-M5 III Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm 1:4.0-5.6 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Olympus Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm 1:4.0-5.6 +11 more
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