Processing software - what?

Okay, I never plan to be a Professional, but I see the value of a software package more powerful than Nikon’s Capture NX-D. I have a Mac, always will - I hate (detest!) microsoft. So, Luminar looks like a good option. Even if I went with the all-encompassing purchase ($170) I would still be only a bit more than a 1-year subscription to PS/LR. Ans the PS/LR would be a yearly expense. Does anyone have experience with Luminar? Will it allow an amateur to post-process to at least 80% of what Pros do with PS/LR? How steep is the learning curve for PS/LR? Same question , if any use, Luminar. A lot of rambling, but Thanks for any suggestions and/or direction you can provide.

I’ve only dabbled with Luminar to see what all the fuss was about, I have to say in the short time I used it I was very impressed with how intuitive it was and how quickly I could get to a decent result. It is a bit limited with no pano stitching or focus stacking. Another one to consider is Affinity Photo which does have these features.

Something else to consider is learning and support. The reality is that almost everyone uses Adobe products, so most of the tutorials you find will be based upon them, and you won’t find much if any support from friends or others on here, so it can be hard to go beyond the basic tutorials they provide.


I evaluated a number of Adobe competitor products over the past 5 to 6 years, and ultimately decided to stay with Adobe due to the mature, robust products, and the high level of informal “support” from the end user base (as mentioned by David).

One thing to consider about the competitor products like OnOne and Luminar. Unlike Adobe, they will sell you a “license”, but their products are still evolving and adding features, which means you have to pay for upgrades to get those nice new features. Research the paid upgrade history of a product before you conclude that a license is “cheaper” than having an Adobe subscription. As you get better at processng you will want access to these new features, and upgrades may end up costing you about the same as the Adobe Plan.

And if you are have invested some significant funds in cameras and lenses, really what’s another $120 per year for the Adobe Photographers Plan? If you are serious about learning processing more indepth, I strongly recommend going with Adobe, there are a million free tutorial videos out to learn from. Same is not true of Luminar.

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years ago, I used Microsoft’s PhotoDraw. It was pretty good for the early 2000’s. I dabbled with Corel, but hated the interface. I have not used anything but Photo Shop since Photo Shop v4. I was caught up in the upgrade license mill, and spent a lot of money on upgrades over the years. The Adobe Photographers Plan that updates through the Adobe Creative Cloud app is a no brainer to me. When it first came out, I balked, like a lot of people did, but within the first year, it paid for itself.

I agree with David and Ed about educational materials and support. While Adobe’s tech support could be better (whose can’t?) the availability of tutorials, and Adobe Help (F1 is your friend) is excellent.