Since writing this post, both Luminar 4 and Luminar AI have been replaced with Luminar Neo. For this reason, I no longer recommend Luminar 4 or AI and you download Luminar Neo instead. If you would like to know more, you’re welcome to read my Luminar Neo Review.
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Table of Contents
- Luminar 4 vs Luminar AI Price
- Luminar AI vs Luminar 4: Interface
- Luminar AI vs Luminar 4 Features
- Luminar AI vs Luminar 4: Performance
Luminar 4 vs Luminar AI Price
Normally, the price difference between Luminar 4 and Luminar AI is pretty minimal. But thanks to a 25% discount, Luminar 4 is a genuine bargain.
Luminar AI vs Luminar 4: Interface
The difference between Luminar 4 and Luminar AI’s interface is minimalist. For instance, Luminar AI’s File menu remains out of sight until you right-click the Luminar logo. And whilst Luminar 4 features a large histogram, Luminar AI’s is much smaller and disabled by default.
Luminar AI has also reduced the number of tool-tabs from Luminar 4’s six tabs to four by removing the Canvas and Layers tabs.
Whilst the tools from Luminar 4’s Canvas tab live on under Luminar AI’s essential tab, Luminar 4’s Layer-based editing has been dropped from Luminar AI entirely.
By stripping Luminar AI’s front-of-house of minor functionality and burying it deeper into the program, Skylum Software has succeeded in creating a simpler interface. Subjectively, I prefer Luminar 4’s interface. However, it really comes down to layers. If layer-based photo editing is important to you, buy Luminar 4.
Luminar AI vs Luminar 4 Features
Whilst Luminar 4 features instant processing via Looks, Luminar AI has Templates.
In Luminar 4, Looks provides an effective, one-click route to pleasing images. However, Luminar AI’s templates take things further by integrating advanced features such as AI Sky Replacement. As a result, you may not feel the need to make your own adjustments at all.
Furthermore, Luminar AI features some new tools not found in Luminar 4. For instance, AI crop is a surprisingly effective auto-cropping tool. And thanks to Luminar AI’s Body AI, it takes seconds to shed pounds off your subject’s figure.
As previously mentioned, Luminar AI lacks Luminar 4’s layer-based editing. However, if you are more casual in your photo editing, you may prefer Luminar AI’s new tools over layers anyway.
Otherwise, the difference between Luminar AI and Luminar 4 is minor. Both have access to Skylum’s box-office features such as AI Sky Replacement, Light Rays, and Portrait Enhancers.
However, the mark 2 version of Luminar AI now adds reflections to Sky Replacement for more impressive results.
Luminar AI vs Luminar 4: Performance
Although Luminar 4 is a decent performer, Luminar AI is just a little bit faster. Unfortunately, the real story is how they both struggle in the same places.
For instance, both suffer lag as you move from editing one image to another. And whilst Luminar 4’s erase brush suffered substantial latency, Luminar AI’s remains slow and doesn’t always work.
But on the whole, both are responsive and immediate and for the most part, you’ll rarely wait on either.
When I originally wrote this piece, Skylum Software stated neither Luminar replaced the other since both catered for different audiences. But in my opinion, Luminar AI felt like a new take on Luminar 4.
Since then, Luminar AI has been updated twice whilst Luminar 4 has now been replaced by Luminar Neo. In fact, I am pretty sure you can no longer buy Luminar 4 and even if you could – you shouldn’t.
To conclude, Luminar 4 was a very nice product that has been made irrelevant by an ever-improving Luminar AI and a brand new successor in Luminar Neo.
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