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Luminar 2018 Jupiter review update

  |   Articles and reviews, Image Editing, MacPhun, Review, Skylum, Software update   |   1 Comment

Luminar Jupiter update review

Some of the improvements in Luminar 2018

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Luminar 2018 has been updated by Skylum.

The improvements are described in more detail in the Luminar update announcement, for Mac and Windows PC

Keith has had a quick look at two major improvements, the lens corrections and its speed.

There is a lot more about Luminar in Keith’s original Luminar 2018 review

If you already have Luminar 2018, then the update is free. Skylum have a number of Jupiter Offers available for update and purchase

We have a code northlightimages10 – that will usually get you a 10% discount on current MacPhun/Skylum offers.

Keith’s City Light set of Luminar presets for black and white conversions/effects are available for download.

Luminar Jupiter

We’ve reviews of all Skylum software – see the Skylum category in the dropdown list to the right.

Updates for Luminar 2018

The most obvious change is indeed just how fast images open, and are ready for editing.

Given the disparity of machines you’re likely to be using, absolute times are a bit pointless. I will say that on my oldish (2010) Mac Pro, 50MP RAW files from my Canon 5Ds were ready to look at in around 5 seconds, with some processing going on in the background for another 10 seconds of so.

Fast enough for the lag not to be annoying. I can’t compare to Lightroom, since I don’t use it, but a bit slower than ACR on my copy of Photoshop CS6 and bit faster than DxO PhotoLab.

This image of a nearby woods was taken when I was testing the TS-E50mm F2.8L Macro tilt shift lens [click to enlarge]

Luminar Jupiter trees

The split view is showing a fairly strong auto adjustment. It’s more than I’d perhaps want, but the default settings and most presets seem to have been mildly tweaked to give a lot more ‘reasonable’ first goes at adjustment.

An auto-smart-adjust setting.

auto smart


There are plenty of them…

lots of presets

My (free) City Light set of presets work just fine for Black and White conversions [click to enlarge].

city light presets

RAW file processing

As well as my current 5Ds images, I tried several of my Canon 1Ds files from a trip to the Pacific Northwest back in 2004.
Several of the sunset shots have been elements of my critical testing for RAW converters over the years.

The handling of blown highlights and cloud shadow detail really push RAW software.

pacific sunset

Cape Kiwanda Sunset, Oregon [click to enlarge]

I’d need to do a lot of testing to be sure, but I’m minded to think that Luminar’s processing is distinctly improved in its handling of fine detail.

That said, for the ultimate in processing if I’m making a giant print, I’m willing to wait for the much slower processing of DxO PhotoLab.

In some ways this isn’t a fair comparison, since DxO have worked for years on RAW processing and lens corrections – it’s software I use for one-off large images for print, where the myriad of sliders and adjustments really do matter.

For ‘day to day image’ processing Luminar passes my quality criteria – it simply isn’t a product aimed at the large fine-art print market (then again, neither is Lightroom in my opinion).

Lens adjustments

Distinctly improved, but from my POV I don’t want fully auto anything for stuff like this, and if it is ‘auto’ then I want to be able to turn it down, rather than the simple on/off settings provided.

auto lens

Lens distortions are what Luminar thinks they are, so do need checking. Don’t get me wrong, it worked well with some of my Canon lenses, but it can be fooled.

The Canon TS-E50mm is almost without chromatic aberration – that is unless you tick the CA option, which introduces it…

Luminar can now work with colour profiles, as well as the existing ones it’s pulled from my copy of Photoshop.


These are the sorts of profiles I’d make using my X-Rite ColorChecker Passport.

To me this shows that the developers of Luminar are really serious about making RAW processing a lot more capable.

I’m not complaining, just noting that Adobe and DxO have had years to work on this, so Skylum are doing well.

Similarly with the lens transforms – they work.


It might be nice to see more auto levelling/straightening, but once again, there are only so many developers working on the software ;-)

Some conclusions

Luminar keeps getting better – any complaints I might have are getting increasingly picky and relevant to fewer and fewer potential users.

The image catalogue functionality will be arriving later this year. Whilst there are now batch processing options this feels in the ‘under development’ category.

I’ll finish with what are the ‘improvements’ listed in the product announcement

Don’t forget, there is a free trial available if you’d like to give it a go on your own photos.

We’ve reviews of all Skylum/Macphun software – see the Skylum category in the dropdown list in the side column.

New Features

The key changes for Luminar 2018 1.2.0:


  • Faster RAW opening;
  • Faster image editing and adjusting;
  • Faster image export;
  • DCP Profiles support; (aka DNG profiles)
  • Automatic Lens Correction (fix Lens Distortion, remove Chromatic Aberration and Defringe);
  • Enhanced image quality on image view – most of the demosaic and green equilibration issues have been fixed;
  • Large number of stability fixes;
  • UI and UX improvements;
  • Localisations updated (German, Japanese, Chinese & more).


  • Super fast image editing and adjusting;
  • Faster image export;
  • Batch processing feature;
  • Free transform image feature;
  • Flip/Rotate image feature;
  • Automatic Lens Correction (fix Lens Distortion, remove Chromatic Aberration and Defringe)
  • Big number of stability fixes;
  • UI and UX improvements;
  • Localisations updated;
  • Added ability to change localisation language in the application main menu;
  • Fixes with color profiles on export/in plugin mode;
  • Preview mode feature added (F hotkey);
  • Enhanced image quality on image view – fixed most of demosaic and green equilibration.

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  • Vittorio Sergi Cucinelli | Aug 2, 2019 at 12:02 pm

    nice review, I find myself in the same exact position.
    I was expecting some of the much rumored asset management but ehy, I can live by for the moment.
    I do have to say that the most annoying (non) feature in Luminar is the inability to preview mask directly on the image.
    and maybe some tweaking to masks, especially luminosity masks, would be more than welcome.

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