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Skylum has announced that they plan on releasing a new photo editor called Luminar AI. They have not yet announced a specific launch date, but hint at the release “coming this holiday season”.
Luminar AI preorder is available here. Read on for more details!
“Teaser” video from Skylum:
What is Luminar AI?
There are not a lot of details yet, but according to the September 3, 2020 press release issued by Skylum:
Artificial intelligence is the core of Luminar AI: Compared to traditional image editors, Luminar AI offers a completely different approach. Built from the ground up to leverage artificial intelligence, it simplifies complex tasks and removes boring manual work.I’m not sure I agree that manual work (editing) is necessarily boring, but I guess that’s not the point. The Skylum press release continues:
With Luminar AI, amazing photos are just two clicks away.
Templates are at the very core of the new Luminar AI. The software recognizes the contents of a photo, suggesting the best templates to speed up the editing process. Each template collection helps tell a story. These edits can be applied and refined instantly. While artificial intelligence guides the way, throughout the entire editing process, artists retain complete control over the edits they make, the tools they choose and how they interact with their photos.
My take on this is that Skylum is essentially expanding the artificial intelligence features already available in Luminar 4, and making all the remaining editing features controlled by this system as well.
These two images are provided as a preview of what the interface will look like. They are probably design mockups rather than actual screenshots, but that is just an educated guess.
If Luminar AI is essentially run by artificial intelligence, it begs the question “will I still have manual control”? According to a Luminar affiliate manager, users will still have access to manual adjustments in addition to the effects created by the artificial intelligence.
Is Luminar AI replacing Luminar 4?
In short, yes.
According to a Facebook comment by a Skylum employee, they plan on supporting Luminar 4 with free updates for a year after the release of Luminar AI.
So, using Skylum’s suggested release date this holiday season, they plan on supporting Luminar 4 until the end of 2021.
And of course, like most “outdated” software, it would be reasonable to think that Luminar 4 will be completely usable for many years beyond that. Only time will tell though.
Should I buy Luminar 4 or wait for Luminar AI?
Let’s look at some pros and cons for each option.
Buy Luminar 4
Read our full Luminar 4 review for our take on it.
Pros: Access to fun AI editing right away, support and updates until end of 2021, reasonable price ($57 with Club Swirl membership).
Cons: Not a long term investment.
Wait for Luminar AI
Pros: Might be the future of photo editing, will probably be supported for many years beyond 2021, you won’t spend money on Luminar 4.
Cons: You’ll have to wait until the 2020 holiday season to get started.
The third option: Go all in.
The third option is to get started with some fun AI editing right away, knowing full well that it’s a purchase with a built in expiration date. Considering the price of just $57, that’s not a bad deal for some creative photo editing for years to come. Then, purchase Luminar AI after the release date and think of it as a planned upgrade purchase some time in 2021 (or don’t purchase it).
Pros: You’ll get to edit with AI right away, you can transition to the new software when the time is right for you.
Cons: You’ll have to pay for both versions of Luminar.
Preorder and pricing
Luminar AI is available for preorder now. Here is how it breaks down:
The first 30,000 preorders will receive the early bird pricing: $59 for existing customers who have purchased from Skylum in the past, $69 for new customers.
After the first 30,000 preorders the price will increase to $64 for existing customers, and $74 for new customers.
If you still have unanswered questions or want more information, you can check out the FAQs on Skylum’s website.