A Luminar 3 review

robgendreau

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https://www.extremetech.com/computing/281612-luminar-3-gives-lightroom-a-run-for-your-money
[doublepost=1544130433][/doublepost]The inability to deal with standard photo metadata is interesting. Maybe it doesn't have a way to write that to files? or sidecars? Most any other Mac application I know of that does images seems to be able to at least read it though. Maybe the reviewer just missed something; finding stuff without access to exif and IPTC would be kinda awful.
 

MCAsan

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In all the demo on Youtube we are missing info on how Luminar will let us name/rename folders and files. If they want to offer a Lr migration tool next year, it seems to me they need to support the same naming tokens as in Lr Library. To me that is a huge miss in On1 Photo Raw's Browser and migration tool.
 

robgendreau

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I didn't even think of folder or file renaming. I'd assume it will have a "show in Finder" command so one can do that. Files though? I dunno. I suppose one could still use say Graphic Converter with it to fill in the deficiencies.

I can't see them doing a migration tool if they don't even have ways of managing existing exif and IPTC data and sidecars. That stuff is standard to everything not just Lr-managed images. Of course Mylio has managed some of that, both adjustments and standardized metadata, but they're way ahead of Skylum.
 

MCAsan

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You can find on Youtube lots of demo/reviews of Luminar 3 beta released today by Skylum affiliates. I look forward to giving it a spin. Just maybe by the time of the Lr migration tool, this could be a serious alternative to Adobe.
 

fcortese

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Apr 3, 2010
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My concern is that right now it appears to be married to a chronological (year-month-date) system and i really haven't seen any in depth look at the initial offering to determine how to search for photos, etc. Showing all of my 35K of photos at once is not appealing either, but I am very impressed with the speed of uploading of the photos. I did not see any direct import of photos off of a memory card. It appears that you need to import them into a folder elsewhere then point Luminar to where they are. So file renaming, etc would be an important option for me. It is the first version released so I am going to wait and see how this grows over time. The Skylum people have created a very great product with Luminar but I am not quite ready to jump all in right now.
 

MCAsan

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The file folders are indeed based on shoot time. But the Albums, like Lr Collections, can be based on any topic you like. I did notice no "smart albums" in the initial release. At least you can put Albums inside Albums to create de facto Album Sets.
 

MCAsan

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I think you will see a growing trend to use collections/albums instead of keywords. In his recent video on Simplified Lightroom Image Management (SLIM), Scott Kelby is teaching to basically reevaluate keyboarding and use logical collections, collection sets and smart collections instead. He said the two biggest delays his students have are caused by trying to do star rating (5 levels of stars) and by keywording.

To see that training video you would have be a member at Kelby One. But you do get a 2 month membership at KelbyOne if you purchase Luminar 3.
 
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mpfuchs

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I think you will see a growing trend to use collections/albums instead of keywords. In his recent video on Simplified Lightroom Image Management (SLIM), Scott Kelby is teaching to basically reevaluate keyboarding and use logical collections, collection sets and smart collections instead. He said the two biggest delays his students have are caused by trying to do star rating (5 levels of stars) and by keywording.

To see that training video you would have be a member at Kelby One. But you do get a 2 month membership at KelbyOne if you purchase Luminar 3.
I actually did watch that video.
But I only agree with his point to some degree. Everybody uses Keywords for a different reason.
It might be useless for him, but the way my Bird collection is structured, for example, I wouldn't be able to do it a different way. I might have photos with the keywords: Bird, Heron, Great Blue Heron. So I can use the keywords to break it down to whatever level I want.

I might filter for Heron and 3 stars and I know i get some good pictures. (I really only use 2 and 3 stars for my pictures, so It's kinda like pick flags)

Like I said, every use case is different.
 

MCAsan

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I totally disagree with him about having the folder structure and collection structure matching. To me way too much work for that. I keep the folder structure purely by capture date. So much faster doing imports into the file system and running a backup.
 

mpfuchs

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I totally disagree with him about having the folder structure and collection structure matching. To me way too much work for that. I keep the folder structure purely by capture date. So much faster doing imports into the file system and running a backup.
I know, right? That sounded crazy to me as well.
To me that's the whole point of the DAM, who cares what the folder structure looks like.
But it's a lot easier to just create a folder per month and just dump all your pictures in there.

You can always create collections and sets in LR, depending on how you want everything organized.
A lot of times I still know when I took a photo, so I'm fairly confident finding it in the monthly folder structure.
But then again, I don't have a huge library...

Either way, I purchased Luminar a few weeks back in anticipation of DAM, but now I feel like I'll just try it out on the 18. but I probably won't be switching from LR full time yet. The Lightroom Migration Tool would really help with that ;)
 
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robgendreau

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Whaaa? I realize Mr Kelby sells to mostly newbies, and collections/albums are better than folders, but the shame? huh? I've helped lots of folks in my classes and in my club with organization and the single biggest step forward is to forget folders.

Indeed, for those that really really really love their folder hiearchies (and spend hours fretting over which folder to drop mom's birthday pic with Fred into) I find it easier to wean them to keyword hierarchies than collections. I give them the Search Replace Transfer plugin and they move their whole folder hierarchy (1998/mom/Birthday party) into keywords without entering keywords, and they are happy as clams, esp since they realize it's permanent, transferable, standardized, and allows them to use more than one hierarchy (1998/Fred).

And I'd disagree with Kelby, since keywords are coming on fast. Photos auto tags your images, and Adobe does with online images. Only a matter of time before you'll have local image search by keyword without ever entering any keywords manually. Or you'll be synching them. And Kelby might not realize that tons and tons of shooters already use keywords like crazy, in the form of hashtags. That IG kind of tagging is super familiar to anyone half his age.

And BTW, where does the new Luminar store info? proprietary XMP in sidecars? Or do you still have to save to files? I would have thought the DAM/Lr thing would make it behave more like Lr and be a parametric editor, not one like Ps.
 

fcortese

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I totally disagree with him about having the folder structure and collection structure matching. To me way too much work for that. I keep the folder structure purely by capture date. So much faster doing imports into the file system and running a backup.
I agree with you MCAsan. I have been heavily invested in a date based file structure and hierarchy. I briefly thought about changing my folder structure to accommodate Kelby's SLIM system but quickly decided against doing that. My Folders remain in my well established date structure but I have totally changed my Collections to comply with his system and that has workout well for me. I will wait to see how Luminar 3 w/ Libraries progresses and see how the Lr migration tool works and if my now Collection structure in Lr fits into Luminar's Albums.
 

MCAsan

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The first release of the Luminar DAM is only for folks who have previous put stuff in file folders and had no DAM. For folks who are used to using Lr, C1P, PhotoMechanic....etc., this release does not replace what you currently have. Maybe it could by mid next year......maybe.

So in the meantime, download it and enjoy it as an Lr plugin or standalone editor with some good effects. And don't forget to load in the DCP files that are for your camera. I copied the ones from Lr plus the one I made using ColorPassport. With luck those DCP will also be usable in the coming year with On1 Photo Raw.
 
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MCAsan

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Downloaded Luminar 3 this morning and installed it and all the free presets/looks. To me the DAM is very hit and miss. The filmstrip not being resizable is not good, no keywords (I don't use them) is not good, The filmstrip of images and the panel of presets should be swappable. The import capability is very lame without nearly enough tokens/variables available to let you setup a routine that can automatically create and name destination folders and rename imported images. So the DAM right now might be OK for folks just starting with using a DAM.

Of course Luminar makes a good plugin to Lr, Ps, and other apps and does provide some very nice effects filters.
 

BJMRamage

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This seems very limited, even for a first release that was super delayed.


The filmstrip of images and the panel of presets should be swappable.
This is something I noticed and wished to see swapped...but that means using a similar approach and Skylum/Luminar wanted to re-invent the wheel here.
 

MCAsan

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Also the published roadmap for 2019 used to say it was for January-July. Now the same contents are January-December. Unless I misread that, it is not a positive message.
 

Clix Pix

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Since I had purchased Luminar 2018 through the Mac App Store and thus receive all updates through there, I have not yet gotten Luminar 3. Presumably it will show up soon.... I'm not in any great hurry for it, as I am a bit leery of just how it will work out and I do not want to have the program taking control of all my images, so will be selective, especially in the beginning.
 

Clix Pix

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I am assuming (perhaps erroneously) that it will show up in the Mac App Store "Purchased" list and be available as a download (or automatically downloaded if one has things set up that way). ?? I looked at the Mac App Store earlier to see which of my current apps had been automatically updated/downloaded and it was not included, so then I checked my list of purchased apps to see if it might be listed in there. Only found Luminar 2018, which I had purchased back in July, in there. Today is just the first day of release of Luminar 3 so it may be that we won't see anything until later today or possibly even tomorrow.....I am sure that they have worked out a way for those of us who purchased earlier versions of Luminar through the Mac App Store to receive this free update. ???
 

robgendreau

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I admit I have been critical of Luminar and Skylum, and didn't even upgrade to Luminar 2018. And I don't need another DAM unless it was truly groundbreaking.

But I thought I oughta at least demo Luminar 3 to be fair.

And I just kinda don't get what they're trying to do. Calling this a DAM is a stretch...it just shows you your image folders, should you "import" them, and allows albums, star ratings, labels. That's about it. What amazed me is that it can't even display most photo metadata, just a subset of exif. The Finder with a Get Info show you far more, and you can even search for images far far more effectively in the Finder. I thought like some other programs (the Finder) it would at least show and allow searching...but no. And needless to say you therefore can't add captions, location, titles, keywords, etc. You can rename a Finder folder, but not the image files.

In short, anyone with a Mac is still gonna have to rely on other software to find images. Even just browsing folders is tough, as the thumbnails show no info, no time, no filename, nada. I am honestly not sure why they bothered. Folks liked some of the adjustment tools MacPhun/Skylum made, especially with their easy layers setup (I really like Tonality). I think they should have concentrated on that and let others (Lr, Photos, Finder, Bridge, Lyn, Graphic Converter etc) do the DAM thing.
 

OreoCookie

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I have downloaded my free upgrade this morning, and I plan to take it for a spin tonight. But what I am hearing does not sound very encouraging to be honest. I am very skeptical anyway of “photo-centric Finder replacements”.
 

stillcrazyman

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Oct 10, 2014
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I downloaded it last evening and poked around. Not liking the folder list on the right side and a small film strip on the left (not moveable ?). It feels slower than the 2018 version.
And the Up Arrow to go up in a folder list. Not intuitive.
I didn't even bother trying to edit anything.

I'll try it out again when I have time to spend on it. Initial impressions are not good though.
 

fcortese

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Apr 3, 2010
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This is only the initial step into a process. IMO, Skylum wants to set up a DAM system to go with their editing software. It is not anywhere near a full DAM like Lr, etc. I downloaded it and pointed to my Photos album but I do not intend on using it for my DAM but only as a plug in for now like I have done before. There is a lot more functionality that Skylum needs to develop and add and I believe it is their goal to do just that. I think they want to create a non-subscription alternative to Adobe and compete with other non-subscription photography software. For now, it is really only for those who have not been using a DAM-like system or just beginning to organize their photos. Time will tell, so I will wait and watch.