Luminar’s new libraries don’t even need you to manually import images

Skylum Luminar finally has a digital asset management library — and photographers don’t even need to import images. On Thursday, December 6, Skylum opened pre-orders for Luminar 3, an update that brings the long-teased library tools to the RAW photo editor, effectively turning the program into a Lightroom competitor.

Unlike most editing programs with digital asset management (which is just a fancy way for saying they organize your photos), Luminar doesn’t need to import photos — users just select a photo and the folder is automatically added to the photo wall. Images are then automatically organized by capture date, while allowing photographers to make changes to that organization scheme if they wish.

Inside the new Luminar, images can be rated, labeled with a color, and of course viewed and edited with Luminar’s previously existing editing tools, including the recent Accent A.I. slider and A.I. Sky Enhance filter.

While the update focuses on the previously teased Library module, organizing images in Luminar also brings the sync tool, which allows editors to sync edits to multiple images for faster edits when using similar adjustments.

Speed is a major focus of the update — Skylum says the Library module was built after several years of research and optimized for speed and efficiency. “This has been a long-anticipated update as our users were keen on a fast library function that works with their existing folders,” Alex Tsepko, Skylum CEO, said. “We never replicate what’s already on the market, but look for new approaches to make our app as fast and easy to use as possible. And this is only the first of many far-reaching updates, so stay tuned.” 

With today’s announcement, Skylum also published a roadmap of upcoming features for the image editing software. In the first half of 2019, the company plans to add features that will make it easier to work with a RAW and JPEG version of the same image, and will add the option to create virtual copies to apply different edits to the same image, such as when editing both a color and black-and-white version. Planned updates also include an IPTC edit and sync, which will allow photographers to adjust metadata and create metadata presets. A smart search is also planned, along with a tool allowing users to migrate images from Lightroom to Luminar.

Skylum plans to continue a focus on artificial intelligence — within the roadmap are more smart tools, including portrait retouching, architectural edits, object removal, and applying masks.

Luminar 3 is available for pre-order today, December 6, with shipping expected on December 18. As promised, the update is free to users who are already using Luminar 2018. New users can pre-order for $59, which is $10 off the retail price once the software launches. Owners of other Skylum products, including Aurora HDR, Photolemur and older legacy products can upgrade for $49 before December 18.

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