Andy Bell Photography

Luminar 3 – With Libraries. First looks

Luminar 3 With Libraries was released recently and I’ve been playing with it for a while. Here’s my first impressions:

The Good

The Bad

To be honest, I was expecting more from Luminar. This update has been a long, long time coming and it offers little more than a basic browser. I have experience with both using and writing Digital Asset Management software. I wrote PFS Manager (which received an 87% rating in Amateur Photographer magazine) and PFS Image Darkroom. I didn’t have a team of developers. It was just me. And my software was faster and had more features.

The Browser

Here is a screen shot of Luminar’s browser and also Photo Ninja’s and Exposure X4’s:

Luminar’s Browser
Photo Ninja’s Browser
Exposure X4’s browser

Photo Ninja’s browser is lightening fast and Exposure 3’s browser is no slouch either.


Luminar is a very good RAW processor, but it is not the best in class. I would rank Photo Ninja as better, followed by DXO Photo Lab 2. Luminar’s browser is nowhere near as good as Exposure X4’s and Photo Ninja’s is also better.

Hopefully Skylum will enhance the browser over the coming months. Their published roadmap  addresses some of its shortcomings. At the moment it is worth the price, but only as an investment for the future. But this is a highly competitive market and to compete you have to offer something compelling…

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