Luminar Neo is Skylum’s flagship image editing software for Windows and macOS.
As editing software is an essential component in any photo editor’s toolkit, the question often arises: Which is better — Luminar Neo or Photoshop?
Table of Contents
Luminar Neo vs Adobe Photoshop
The best of both worlds
First of all, let’s clear up the biggest misconception about Luminar Neo.
While Luminar Neo is best known as a standalone image editor, it can also serve as a plugin for Photoshop. This means you don’t have to choose between the two; in fact, they can complement each other, just like how Lightroom Neo works with Lightroom.
With an image layer selected in Photoshop, go to Filter > Skylum Software > Luminar Neo to open up Luminar Neo as a plugin.
Once you’ve made your changes in Luminar Neo, hit Apply, and it will return the edited image to Photoshop, where you can continue working with it. If Photoshop is an integral part of your editing workflow, Luminar Neo can still form an important part of your creative process.
However, there are several compelling reasons why many photographers believe Luminar Neo is better than Photoshop for their photo editing workflow.
Designed for photographers
While Photoshop offers a robust set of editing tools, they are not created only with photographers in mind. Photoshop is a universal tool for all digital creators, including designers, photographers, and illustrators.
Luminar Neo is a non-destructive photo editor built with photographers in mind, and it features an intuitive workflow that photographers love.
It presents many of the most common image editing processes as one-click solutions or sliders that can be adjusted to the user’s taste and eliminate the time and complexity required to achieve a similar look using Photoshop alone.
When you’ve made adjustments to an image that you really like, you can save this recipe as a Preset to use again later.
There is no limit to how many Presets you can create within Luminar Neo.
When you save your adjustments as a Preset, the next time you edit an image, you can apply those adjustments with a single click.
You can even purchase Luminar Presets to emulate the signature editing styles of professional photographers.
Luminar Neo features its own catalog system, meaning you can organize and edit your images in one standalone program.
You can also select multiple images from the same set for batch processing.
For example, you can apply the same Luminar Preset to an entire folder to save yourself from editing each image individually.
AI tools to make editing easier
Luminar Neo’s incredible AI tools make image editing a breeze.
Remove dust spots and power lines
No matter how diligent you are as a photographer, changing lenses will eventually lead to specks of dust inside the camera body.
These appear on your images as spots, particularly when capturing images with a narrow aperture. Luminar Neo offers a one-click solution that detects and removes these spots for you.
The technology even extends to automatically removing power lines and other overhead cables — a big time-saver for landscape and real estate photography.
The clone tool in Luminar is the ideal solution for removing unwanted objects in photos.
Powerful portrait editing tools
Luminar Neo offers a selection of fast and accurate portrait editing tools.
Face AI. Selectively targets the subject’s face, even in side-on portraits. You can add light to the subject’s face, recolor and enhance the eyes and mouth, and even slim the face if you wish.
Skin AI. Fixes blemishes, removes shine, and smooths the texture of your subject’s skin.
Body AI. Offers two sliders to shape the torso and abdomen in full body portraits.
Portrait Bokeh AI. Automatically detects your subjects in a portrait image and applies a bokeh to the background. You retain control over the strength and depth of the effect.
Skylum were the pioneers of AI sky replacement back in 2019 — a revolutionary and time-saving tool that has since been imitated by other image editors, including Photoshop!
This spirit of innovation continues with the latest additions to Luminar Neo’s feature set.
Luminar Neo can automatically create object masks with a single click. The engine distinguishes among people, skies, buildings, vehicles, water, plants, mountains, and ground (both artificial and natural) with the click of a button.
This tool creates a depth map of your image, allowing you to selectively lighten or darken the background and foreground. You can combine Relight AI with an AI Mask for greater refinement.
If you use Photoshop and you don’t intend to change your established workflow, consider using Luminar Neo as a plugin. Neo’s powerful AI tools and Presets will save you time and help you produce portfolio-quality work faster.
On the other hand, if you’re a photographer looking for an all-in-one solution to organize and edit your images, Luminar Neo as a standalone product could be just what you’re looking for.
Luminar Neo is now available for Windows and macOS at Skylum.com.