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Luminar AI vs Luminar Neo

Skylum, the creators of Aurora HDR and Luminar AI have announced their upcoming product; Luminar Neo. Whilst I have done a post on Neo, and will no doubt do many more I wanted to focus in this post on what i understand the differences between the products to be, as well as their intended audiences as well as the future of (so far as I understand) of Luminar AI.


What is Luminar AI

Luminar AI (as has been mentioned in this blog earlier) is an AI powered photo editing tool. It is built to make it easier for people to focus on getting great results out of their photos without having to worry about the process inbetween.

It contains a number of different AI powered tools, photo templates and other features which all help the user get the best out of their photos without having to worry about how to get to the end result.


What is Luminar Neo?

Luminar Neo takes a different approach, this photo editor is a powerful creative image editor with a rebuilt and more performant underlying engine. It brings across the AI tools from Luminar AI but in addition it also introduces a range of new features.

Some of the existing features are already known, but there are a range of new features being brought into the package including a range of new AI tools (e.g. relighting options, removal of blemishes and distractive elements, powerful background removal) as well as the new underlying engine.

The change of the underlying engine gives the ability to make far more technical edits without a significant performance loss but it also allows far more control over the edits including through the addition of complex layering (including of RAW images).


Who is Luminar AI designed for, and who is Luminar Neo designed for?

Luminar Neo is not an upgrade or update to Luminar AI and that is a fairly important point, they are seperate products who have different intended audiences.

Whilst Luminar AI is designed for people who want to focus on the results, and may be intimidated by photo editing in general, Neo is designed for the opposite end of the spectrum; those who love photo editing and want to make far more complex or technical edits.

Luminar Neo is designed for complex image edits, for those who want to make complex image manipulations and work through multiple layers, complex edits and need far more control than is offered by an image editor that is designed for those who want to focus on the results. Whilst not a photoshop replacement, in some ways you could consider Luminar Neo to be more akin to photoshop, whilst Luminar AI is more akin to lightroom

Skylum provided the following:

“As the latest member of the Luminar family, we designed Luminar Neo to allow artists to take on more challenging image creation work and achieve results which often seem unattainable.” said Dima Sytnik, Co-founder & CPO of Skylum


The future of Luminar AI

Luminar Neo is not a replacement or upgrade to Luminar AI and is not designed to replace Luminar AI so Luminar AI is not going to disappear.

Skylum have said that Luminar AI will continue to be sold, and will continue to be updated (i.e. with fixes or new camera support) however, it should also be noted that Luminar AI is feature complete so it is not anticipated that new features will be added.



Luminar Neo is available for pre-order, Early bird pricing will be available for the first 30,000 customers worldwide to pre-order Luminar Neo. Once these copies are sold, the price will go up. Customers who buy a license during an Early bird stage will be the first ones to receive Luminar Neo. Purchasing is risk free as Skylum are offering a 30 day money back guarantee from the release of the software.

For artists making a new purchase:
$54 for 1-seat license for Luminar Neo 
$59 for 2-seats license for Luminar Neo 

$83 for 1-seat license for Luminar Neo+Luminar AI
$98 for 2-seats license for Luminar Neo+Luminar AI

For artists who own Luminar or Aurora:
$34 for 1-seat license for Luminar Neo 
$49 for 2-seats license for Luminar Neo 

$63 for 1-seat license for Luminar Neo+Luminar AI 
$88 for 2-seats license for Luminar Neo+Luminar AI 


If you want to find more information about Luminar Neo, you can follow the links in this post. To see more of my posts on Luminar Neo you can click here.

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