Luminar 4 REVIEW

SKYLUM was so kind to send me their brandnew software Luminar 4, so a huge THANK YOU goes out to them for sponsoring with their software!

If you want to try or buy Luminar 4 use this link:


  • Revolutionary tools and AI technologies in Luminar 4 bring new heights to photo editing. Replace the sky to change the mood of your photo — instantly. Thanks to intelligent algorithms, this challenging task is now automated.
  • Enhance your portraits faster than ever with revolutionary human-aware technology. Get amazingly realistic results on portraits shot outdoors or in a studio. Quickly reveal important parts of each image without spoiling the rest of the photo. This content-aware tool detects areas that could look richer and enhances them.
  • The first thing you will notice in luminar is the looks collection, which is a collection of very nice presets you can use to instantly make your images look better and of course you can also save your own presets.
  • Create realistic light rays. Add a source of sunlight and move it around your image. Watch volumetric sunbeams magically seep between objects such as trees and buildings.
  • AI Accent makes dozens of complex adjustments when you move just one slider. New human-aware technology recognizes people and applies adjustments selectively for ultra-realistic results.

In the light tab you will find the usual standard editing stuff like highlights and shadows and also some advanced settings. The shadow recovery isn´t the most effective i´ve seen though.

But now whats really new in Luminar 4 and what are the killer features?

Ok i will show you….see that boring sky here? Now what if you could replace this sky with something more interesting?

Yes, now in luminar 4 you can replace boring skys with 2 mouse clicks. You get a nice selection of skys bundled with luminar 4, just select the sky you want and booom…look at that, Isn´t that amazing, the sky of this image was changed by the AI – artifical intelligence. No layers, no photoshop, just 2 clicks and you are almost there.

Allmost? Now the AI already does a great job but you should definetly finetune your sky replacement and luminar 4 gives you the tools for that.

So here for example the AI hasn´t detected the very fine lines on the roof oft he ars electronica center, so what we can do in this case is to close the gaps and make it look almost perfect, if it´s still not good enough for you, you can play with the settings more or correct the rest with photoshop. But the main work was done in seconds, which is absolutely amazing.

Now lets choose a sunset and whatch what happens now: the AI does not only replace the sky in seconds, it also relightens the image, so the mood of the image completely changed now.

Now you could argue, this has nothing to do with photography anymore, but this is definetly the future, computational photography will make it´s way into photo editing software and cameras like it has already done using smartphones. I was blown away when i´ve noticed that the AI can also change the lighting of the image and you can also finetune the relighting.

If one oft he skys should be off, you can also reposition it using a slider.

What is also great that Luminar 4 doesen´t limit you with a couple of skys, you can use your own skys too or some skys you have downloaded.

Now what if you could put a sun in the sky? Yep you can do that as well using the AI just place the sun anywhere you want or think it fits well and then adjust the amount and the length of the sunrays.

Wow…skylum only these 2 features are killer, incredible work guys!! You also get a ton of other great and professional photo editing settings, but this review would be far too long to show all of them.

Another very useful and great feature is that you can use luts on your images and the luts that come with luminar 4 are already very nice + you can import your own luts.

Most of the time the sky replacement worked just perfectly, but in this very difficult image i shot with F1.8 the AI completely failed, but to be fair even if you would try to replace the sky in this image manually you would have a very hard time getting it right.

Saying that, if you shoot at F1.8 for example you can still use the sky replacement, because luminar 4 lets you blur the sky like you can see here, so that it fits. It would be great if the AI would recognize that automaticly, but of course the AI can be improved.

But is that all? No luminar 4 is also an amazing tool for editing portraits:

First of all you can use a skin enhancer to remove unwanted stuff from the face and it detects all the unwanted things, but the AI is not quite there yet, it also detected something on hands for example. If that happens, just use a brush and paint your selection where the skin enhancer should do it´s work. Make shure to watch my review video above to see that in action!

Also be very careful if you have a person with a lot of freckles, the AI does remove unwanted stuff but also detects some of the freckles and removes them

But the best portrait feature in my opinion is the AI face light, the AI exactly detects where the face is and lightens the face up, which is amazing and it works great.

You can also change the color oft he lips, and do crazy stuff like changing the eyes and even the complete face, which i really wouldn´t recommend. Make shure not to overdose everything, because it will look artifical.


Luminar 4 is an amazing photo editing tool, the way it uses the AI for sky replacement and portraits is very unique and no other software on the planet gives you that right now. But besides from that is Luminar 4 also a great video editing software which could replace something like lightroom? In my opinion not quite yet, the main problem is the performance, for example if you have imported several RAW images in luminar 4, editing and switching photos gets painfully slow and i also had some crashes while editing my RAW photos. Besides of tthat the latest update kept popping up on my screen although i have already installed it. So there is stilll a lot to improve on the performance side and i also miss features like panorama and HDR. I really hope that all of that will be improved  but nontheless if you are using Luminar 4 as a tool you will definetly be amazed by the things you can do with the AI already!




(10=perfect, 1= don´t buy this)