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Luminar Neo Review

Luminar Neo Review

In this Luminar Neo review, I get hands-on with Skylum Software’s newest AI photo editor since Luminar AI. As their latest product, Luminar Neo is stocked with several exciting features not found in Luminar AI such as Portrait Background Removal AI, Relight AI, and Mask AI.

Luminar Neo will be released in February 2022. However, I have been lucky enough to have a play with an early release. And so far, so good. For your viewing pleasure, I’ve included a few demos of Relight AI and Erase AI below. Jump to Conclusion.

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Table of Contents

  1. What is Luminar Neo
  2. Luminar Neo Release Date
  3. What can Luminar Neo do
    1. Relight AI
    2. Erase Tool
    3. Portrait Background Removal AI
    4. Layer-based photo editing
    5. Mask AI
  4. Luminar Neo vs Luminar AI
  5. How much does Luminar Neo cost
  6. Luminar Neo Discounts
  7. Conclusion
  8. Luminar Neo FAQs

What is Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo is the spiritual successor to Luminar 4 and is set to be released this Winter 2021. Additional features such as Portrait Background Removal AI and Mask AI will arrive in early 2022 as a free update.

With Luminar AI, Skylum Software produced a photo editor suitable for both beginners and experts in a rush. In contrast, Luminar Neo sets its sights on the enthusiast crowd.

For instance, layer-based editing, which was present in Luminar 4 but absent in Luminar AI, makes its return to Luminar Neo. And with tools such as Mask AI and Erase AI, Luminar Neo is well set for selective editing.

Yet none of this is to say Luminar Neo is difficult to use. On the contrary, Luminar Neo’s minimalistic user interface is very similar to that found in Luminar AI. And like Luminar AI, Neo’s tools are orientated towards producing the effect you want with as little fuss as possible.

Overall, Luminar Neo appears to succeed in delivering and simplifying the kind of tricks commonly used by enthusiasts and professionals.

Luminar Neo Release Date

Luminar Neo is scheduled to be released in February 2022. However, you can preorder Luminar Neo now.

What can Luminar Neo do

Luminar Neo features many new tools such as Relight AI, Portrait Background Removal AI, and Layer-based editing. It also includes a rather wonderful erase tool which is demonstrated below. Here are the 5 best features of Luminar Neo

Relight AI

Because Relight AI automatically recognizes your photo’s foreground from its background, you can adjust the brightness and white balance of either without the need to mask. I got hands-on with Relight AI and I am impressed, to say the least.

If you like to shoot portraiture, Relight AI could save you a lot of time. In the video below, I use Relight AI to rebalance a portrait of a subject with an overly bright background.

Overall, I am very impressed with Relight AI. And unlike some of Skylum’s more outrageous (but fun) AI tricks, Relight AI is one I will use a lot.

Erase Tool

I’m just going to get straight to the point. Luminar Neo’s Erase Tool is impressive stuff. In the video below, you will see how I am able to erase both Sealions without leaving a mark.

If annihilating sealions from existence is not your thing, Luminar Neo Erase also has a couple of pre-set features. One removes blemishes caused by dust on your lens and sensor. Whilst the second removes powerlines. Sadly, I found the Powerline removal tool somewhat flakey but perhaps it will get better when Lumianr Neo is officially released.

Portrait Background Removal AI

Luminar Neo features a background removal tool. If this background replacement tool works as well as Sky AI in Luminar AI, then we’re in for a treat.

The sample below was provided by Skylum Software.

If you would like to know more about Luminar Neo’s background removal tool, check out more samples, take a look at Background Replacement with Luminar Neo.

Layer-based photo editing

Luminar 4 had layers but its successor, Luminar AI did not. But guess what, Luminar Neo has layers. If you don’t know, layer-based editors allow you to commit your adjustments to layers that are stacked on top of the original image.

This enables you to preserve your image in its original state and blend different layers to create compound effects not possible with non-layer-based editors such as Luminar AI.

Mask AI

For me, applying masks is one of the most tedious tasks in photo editing. Therefore, I am delighted to hear about Luminar Neo’s automated masking tool called, wait for it, Mask AI.

In one click, Luminar Neo will automatically mask your element-of-interest saving you a whole lot of time in the process. If this works, I’ll be one happy photographer.

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Luminar Neo vs Luminar AI

Luminar Neo is directed towards enthusiasts and professional photo editors and includes features not present in Luminar AI. These include Portrait Background Replace, Mask AI, and Layer-based photo editing.

Luminar Neo

On the other hand, Luminar AI is ideal for beginners or experts in a rush. With its powerful templates, anybody and their dog can enhance a photo with just a few clicks.

Luminar AI

Furthermore, Luminar AI packs its own exclusive features, including the vastly entertaining Sky Replacement AI.

Overall, Luminar AI remains the better option for the masses as it makes editing fun and easy. However, some Luminar AI owners are likely to be quite jealous of Neo’s Relight AI, Erase, and Portrait Background Removal AI.

After a few years of upgrades, it’s possible we will see features exclusive to one, shared with the other. But for now, both Neo and AI have their own merits. If you like to have your cake and eat it, Skylum has been offering heavy discounts when you buy Luminar Neo and Luminar AI as a bundle.

How much does Luminar Neo cost

Luminar Neo costs around US$90. However, there are plenty of deals to be had.

Pre-order Luminar Neo

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Existing Luminar Customers

Luminar Neo + AI Bundle

Luminar Neo Discounts

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Luminar Neo is shaping up very well. Relight AI is supremely able to enhance portraits taken under poor lighting and Erase AI is very impressive indeed.

Skylum Software says Luminar Neo is aimed towards enthusiasts and professionals and this is apparent in its feature set. For instance, we have the return of Layer-based editing, and tools such as Mask AI and Erase offer the kind of selective editing advanced photo editors crave.

Yet, based on my first impressions, Luminar Neo is no more difficult to use than the beginner-orientated Luminar AI. In fact, both share a very similar user interface. Furthermore, Skylum Software has continued its mission to boil down once-complex photo editing processes into just a few clicks.

As a result, Luminar Neo offers an enthusiast/professional-grade feature set that a beginner could use. This is great news for anyone, particularly those of us who spend far too much time selectively enhancing and cleaning our photos to perfection.

As for Luminar AI, it remains an outstanding option that stands on its own two feet. If you are looking for the easiest route towards an edited photo, there’s hardly a better product out there. And even if you are an expert, Luminar AI will save you time and inject a bit of fun into the process.

In some ways, it’s a shame that Luminar Neo and Luminar AI must exist as two separate products as there is a decent amount of overlap. In fact, I expect a few years of updates will close the gap between them like they did with Luminar 4 and Luminar AI.

But until then, sign up to my weekly email for news and discounts on Luminar and other photography products. I’ll also give you a nudge once I’ve tested the full, officially released version of Luminar Neo. Back to Intro

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Pre-order Luminar Neo

Be quick, deals expire November 29, 2021

New Customers

Existing Luminar Customers

Luminar Neo + AI Bundle

Luminar Neo FAQs

Luminar Neo Release Date

The release date for Luminar Neo is this Winter 2021. However, features such as Mask AI and Background Removal AI will arrive as a free update early in 2022. However, you can pre-order Luminar Neo now.

Is Luminar Neo better than Luminar AI

Luminar Neo has several exciting features that are not present in Luminar AI such as Portrait Background Removal AI, Relight AI, and Layer-based photo editing.

Can you get Luminar Neo for Free?

Luminar Neo is yet to be released as is a free trial

Is Luminar Neo Standalone

Yes – it is an independent photo editor for Windows 10

Does Luminar Neo have Layers

Yes. Luminar Neo enables you to edit your photos using layers.

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