Photography has a whole lot to do with photo editing at times. Your camera can only do so much to help you create the kind of image you want, and you need the help of professional photo editors to squeeze out that last bit of detail from your photos or turn them into something completely different with your creativity.
Two of the most talked about image editor these days are Lightroom and Luminar, and both for opposite reasons. Lightroom has been around for a very long time and has thus become one of the most common names in the world of RAW photo editing. Luminar, on the other hand, is the new kid on the block that has given software like Lightroom a run for their money. Let’s take a look at what both have to offer so you can decide which one is better for your needs.
The Best Features of Lightroom
1. Image Quality:
There is no doubt about the excellent image quality that Lightroom offers some of the best image quality for your RAW photos. Having been around for so long, Lightroom has had many years to perfect its editing and compression algorithm to give the users what they want out of their images.
2. Lots of Tools:
From exposure control to selective adjustments, Lightroom has it all. It offers full manual control over your RAW files as well as presets that can be used in a matter of minutes for quick results.
3. Cataloguing System:
Lightroom, other than being a top of the line photo editor, is also known for its photo cataloguing methods. It can save multiple catalogues for you, saving each adjustment you have made to your photos so you can come back and make more edits much more easily than with other editors.
4. Relationship with Photoshop:
Lightroom is Photoshop’s direct sibling. It comes from the same makers, and is fully compatible with it as such. What this means is that Lightroom users can edit their RAW files and export them directly into Photoshop where they can open them as layers if needed to make even more edits.
The Best Features of Luminar
1. Ease of Use
Not to say that Lightroom is too difficult to use, but Luminar boasts a much user-friendlier interface. The software employs the use of sliders for making most of the adjustments, making it a simple tool to use for newcomers to the photo editing world as well. It is not a difficult software to master as a result, making it a great choice for those who are not comfortable with complicated-looking tools and controls.
One of the best things about Luminar is its Workspaces feature. What it allows you to do is create your own set of tools that you mostly use with certain types of images. So if you use mostly saturation, exposure, and white balance controls for landscape shots, you can remove all other controls from your Landscape Workspace for a clutter-free operation.
Boasting over 50 presets, ranging from subtle to artistic, Luminar is great for those who are new to photo editing. But the presets are not just for making quick edits. Advanced users can dive into detailed editing after using these presets as a starting point. The software also allows users to work in Layers, so they can mix and match different presets and textures to get they want from their images.
If you don’t like to pay money every month for using Lightroom and would rather pay once, then Luminar is a clear winner. It comes in at only $69, which is much more affordable than paying $9.99 every month for Lightroom. And when you factor in the intuitive interface, and the fact that the software has almost all the pro editing features that Lightroom does, and Luminar grabs an easy win.
If you want something that has an established reputation for being an excellent RAW editor, and use Photoshop anyway, then Lightroom is a good choice. But if you are new to photo editing and would like something you can use with ease right now and won’t have to change once you develop yourself as a photographer, Luminar is a great choice.