Macphun / Skylum: Luminar 2018 with new features

Luminar Download Windows PC, Mac OS

The software developer Macphun, who will change its name to Skylum in early 2018, officially released the new version of its professional photo editing software "Luminar" yesterday: luminary 2018. The download of the full version or the upgrade for the previous version is available on the Macphun website ready. In addition to the Apple Mac, you can also use a Windows PC to use the software. In the following I would like to show you a few details and features of Luminar 2018 - maybe the App for professional photo editing, exactly the alternative to Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop that you were looking for ;)

Luminar 2018 from Macphun / Skylum offers professional photo editing. The extensive software for photographers is available for download for Apple Mac and Windows PC.
Luminar 2018 from Macphun / Skylum offers professional photo editing. The extensive software for photographers is available for download for Apple Mac and Windows PC.

Luminar 2018 with artificial intelligence

Under the slogan "Everything you need to create perfect photos in no time.“Macphun (soon to be Skylum) already shows on the page linked above what the photo editing software can do. For a single price of 69 EUR or as an upgrade of your previous version, you get an individually adaptable program in which you can set up controls, filters, effects and more and use them intuitively.

The new version of the Luminar app is available for both systems. Features, compatibilities and system requirements can be found here!
The new version of the Luminar app is available for both systems. Features, compatibilities and system requirements can be found here!

A total of 40 photo filters are included, which should neither be gimmicks nor cheesy. According to the developer, the filters in Luminar 2018 are tools for photographers to get more depth, details and color out of the photos. AI is helpful here, analyzing images and making smart adjustments. You can try it out on the product page.

Test the settings of Luminar 2018 for free

Handling different RAW formats, layer editing and blending modes, marker tools and lens correction, adjustable presets and plugin support, unlimited undo editing steps and much more is part of Luminar 2018. Several settings, filters, sliders and other features can be accessed directly on the Website of Macphun free in Browser try it on very nice photos. You can access the Luminar 2018 free trial here: Click, click, click.

system requirements

If you are thinking of downloading the Adobe alternative and saying goodbye to the subscription program for Photoshop, Lightroom and Co., then you might be interested in the system requirements. Because photo editing is no walk in the park for the computer, especially with large pictures and RAW files. Here I have summarized the Luminar 2018 system requirements for the Apple Mac with macOS and PCs with Windows:

MacOS Windows on PC or Mac
Operating system macOS High Sierra, Sierra 10.12.6, OS X El Capitan 10.11.5, Yosemite 10.10.5 Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
processor (CPU) Intel 64-bit Core 2 Duo or better Intel Core i3 or better
Random Access Memory (RAM) 4GB or more 4GB or more
Hard disk space (preferably on SSD) 2GB (better more) 2GB (better more)
screen resolution 1.280 x 768 pixels or more 1.280 x 768 pixels or more
Additional Can be used on MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro, Mac mini Graphics card with DirectX 10 or higher, mouse or similar as input device


The versions of Luminar 2018 in German, English and Japanese are currently available for use. In the future, translations for the following languages ​​will be added: Dutch, French, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, simplified Chinese and Spanish. But what interests you more is the compatibility of Luminar 2018 with different image formats for photos and RAW recordings. I have also summarized these for you:

RAW formats

  • CR2 (Canon)
  • NEF (Nikon)
  • ORF (Olympus)
  • RAF (Fuji)
  • ERF (Epson)
  • ARW (Sony)
  • RW2 (Panasonic)
  • PEF (Pentax)
  • DNG (digital negative)
  • GPR (GoPro)
  • And more

Raster formats

  • JPG
  • TFF (8Bit and 16Bit)
  • PNG
  • PSD
  • GIF

Supported color settings

  • Melissa RGB (as with Adobe Lightroom)
  • sRGB
  • Adobe RGB
  • ProPhotoRGB

Is it worth buying or upgrading?

What I've seen of the program so far is quite impressive. Compared to its predecessor, there are also some new features and improvements - including LUT mapping, sunbeam filters, matting filters, lens correction, noise reduction, etc. Individual settings as well as the further development of interface and performance make Luminar 2018 for Mac and Windows PC quite interesting .

Added to this is the attractive price that comes with the Affinity Photo Offers for Mac and iPad can keep up. We cannot yet offer you a test here in the blog - but it is being planned. Then you will learn more about handling, usability and added value for photographic services. But we can also turn the tables by you downloads the software and then in a comment (see below) write how you like Luminar 2018: D


With Luminar 2018, Macphun, soon to be Skylum, is taking on the rival Adobe and its Lightroom and Photoshop programs. In addition, Adobe settings, color structures and plugins can (partially) be adopted. For a comparatively small price of 69 EUR you can download a professional app for photo editing for Mac and PC. That's not too much money to want to download for Christmas;)

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45 Responses to "Macphun / Skylum: Luminar 2018 with new features"

  1. Hello, I bought Luminar and I'm a little disappointed. The program runs very slowly. The translations into German are not particularly great. When saving a finished image, the computer very often crashes. These are my first impressions.
    The computer has enough power and easily meets all requirements. I also work with DxO and also with lightroom.
    Joseph Woltering

    1. Hello, Josef! Thanks for the comment. Did you run Luminar 2017 or 2018? And on the Mac or on Windows? I would be interested in that in order to narrow down the problems a bit. LG! Jens

  2. Luminar 2018 is still very immature, at least on Windows. Although my camera is one of the supported ones, RAW files are imported as TIFF 16bit and the RAW Develop filter is not available, only the limited Develop filter. So you cannot adjust the white balance using presets (daylight, shade, cloudy etc.) or with the pipette. If the first step in image processing does not work, the program is useless for the time being.

    1. Hello Thomas! Thanks for your assessment. I will soon take a look at the program on my Mac. I've installed everything from Photoshop to Lightroom to Photolemur and I'm curious to see how it fares. I have various software from MacPhun and have not had a single software problem so far. Maybe they are new to the Windows market and you have to give them a little more time until the new version runs smoothly. Do you still have the 2017 Luminar or 2018? LG! Jens

    2. If you open the RAW images directly in Luminar, the images will also be opened as such. If you pass them from Lightroom, you can pass them either as raw or with Lightroom adjustments as tif .. then it is like yours. So you have to pay attention to how you open them. As raw or as tif.

  3. I bought Luminar for PC in 2018. As a Lightroom user, I got used to it quickly and I really like the program as a useful addition. BUT: It is completely immature. The long loading, I have a very fast SSD, still takes over 20 seconds. Photoshop compared to 3 seconds. Furthermore, this would not be a problem, you can currently do something else.
    However, the fact that it often crashes during processing after 20 minutes on a photo and the work is completely gone is unacceptable. I have to mention that I have a very well-maintained Windows 7 system. (32 GB RAM Intel Core 7) and crashes hardly know and I use a number of graphics programs.
    In general, it is also nice that the program can be called up as a filter by Lightroom or Photoshop. Very good. Only, the call still works, but after processing and returning the image to the original program, all of the processing that has just been done has disappeared. Without comment. I also submitted a ticket and received an answer that it would take some time to process due to the more than 7000 tickets. Why do you think there will be so many tickets?
    I really like the program, but with the best of intentions I cannot recommend the current status.

    1. Hi John,

      thank you for the detailed comment with your experiences from the test of Luminar 2018! One can only hope that Macphun / Skylum will take on the criticism and user concerns and roll out a corresponding update soon.

      Best regards

    2. Hi Johann! It sounds to me that the Windows version is still in beta. The Mac version is already over a year old and has received an update with Luminar 2018. I think it's stable. But I'll check it out in the next few days. In any case, thank you for your assessment. LG! Jens

  4. Hello, I didn't buy a Luminar 2017, but the 2018 version with the € 10 discount until mid-November. I was influenced by the impressive presentation of the features and some test reports ☺. I am mainly concerned with filters that I still use in Color Efex Pro 4 today, such as Tonal Contrast, Glamor Glow, etc., which should be in Luminar. Since I no longer use LR 5.7 because of the poor implementation of skin tones (also with camera profiles), my workflow with basic adjustments in Capture NX-D via CS5 and the Nik Google Collection has been a bit complicated. From Luminar 2018 I expect that I can do (almost) everything in one program again. I'll give Luminar more time, but I would like to start serious image processing in it soon.

    1. Hello Thomas! You're deeply involved in RAW. I also have Lightroom, but I mostly mess around with landscape photography. Rarely with skin tones ... but your assessment is certainly all the more interesting for other photographers! I keep my fingers crossed for you that Luminar will soon be working on a professional level!

  5. Hello
    I bought the Luminar2018 program yesterday and am very disappointed, I did not manage to install the software, Windows 7 64bit, made several attempts, also tried the test version, how can that be, I received the link by mail and it cannot be installed.
    Who can help me, if that's not possible, I want my money back.
    Thank you for the effort.

      1. Hello Sir Apfelot

        I've already written to support, but honestly, what should I expect from this help?

        We've got your email and we'll do our best to reply as soon as possible.

        Since 80% of support questions are the same, here's the link to the most common Luminar 2018 questions & answers:

        Also, you're welcome to DOWNLOAD Luminar 2018 here:

        If your question is not there, we are really sorry.

        As promised - we'll do the best we can to reply ASAP

        Have a great day
        The Skylum Support Team

        I have already applied for reimbursement at PayPal, I don't want to worry any more with this software, unbelievable after unpacking and opening with administrator rights nothing works anymore.
        Then I'll stay with Lightroom, maybe the software has a bug and the developers are working flat out on it.
        At least now I don't want to know anything more about Luminar, I'm completely served.
        Thank you for your quick response.
        I wish you a happy first advent.

        1. Have a nice first Advent to you and all of you! It really sounds like the Windows version is still in beta. The Mac users obviously complain much less here. Probably because the software was originally developed for the Mac or the development team is more at home on macOS. As a Windows user, however, you can expect the software to work flawlessly. Unfortunately, they tend to scare away the early adopters, who are especially important with such software, where you want to convince changers of Lightroom. It's a shame that something unfinished is being delivered here. :-(

  6. I also treated myself to the Luminar 2018.

    Since my installation on 16.111.2016/2/XNUMX there have already been XNUMX updates that have not yet improved the stability or speed.

    What I miss or haven't found about the program is the quick option of being able to perform the white balance on a white area of ​​the image with one click.
    The help pages and searches on the net do not deliver satisfactory results either.

    Such an essential function should be ESSENTLY delivered later!

    I also miss a retouching option (stamp), which is even provided by the fairly simple program “Snapseed” (which can be found under the “Repair” tab).

    The developers still have a lot of improvement work to do here.

  7. It is a cheek to see in what state Macphun sells the Windows version. No manual white balance, and the masking tools (brush, radial gradient, etc.) show no effect or then an incomprehensible one. In addition, opening a RAW file on my (admittedly old computer) takes 1 - 2 minutes. I was tempted to buy because of the filters that (should) correspond to those that I use most often from Nik Color Efex Pro 4. As a Nikon photographer, I do the RAW conversion using Capture NX 2 or Capture NX-D. From Luminar 2018 I would have expected a less complex workflow in just one program. I can get over the USD 59.00 and wait until Luminar 2018 is ready for Windows.

    1. Yes, these are things that shouldn't have happened. Still, I wouldn't write off Luminar right away. As you say. Compared to Lightroom, the purchase price is a joke and I think you have to give the software a few more updates until it is in the condition in which it should have been delivered. If you are short of money, you should perhaps wait a few more weeks before investing.

  8. Update to my first test on November 22.11nd.
    After the second update, it looks a lot better for me and I can work with it.
    It is now stable for me, which was a basic requirement to be able to use it at all. The program can now also be called up as a plug-in filter by Photoshop and Lightroom and also correctly returns the results to the respective program. Positive: The support has increased in this regard. also reported and responded to my questions, so none of those automatic bots hated before me that send standardized answers crap. Unfortunately, there is still a bug that now and then shows different colors in Luminar than in Photoshop / Lightroom. When this is so and why I was still able to find out. After quitting Luminar, either as a single or after starting Photoshop, an error message is still displayed, but this only seems to be a pseudo error with no effect. The startup and loading speed has improved tremendously. First version approx. 20 seconds, current version 5 seconds.


    1. Hello Johann! Well, that's a silver lining. : D I think the support will only answer the first request with an automatic email, because they are just being filled with requests (partly self-inflicted). But the only way I know about MacPhun is that you get good support. So maybe hold out the current dry spell and then maybe this part is something sensible. LG! Jens

  9. You could at least install the program.
    No message from support yet.
    More than disappointing, because the 69 euros are too good for me, I'm curious how long it will take until I get my money back.
    Even if it should improve significantly, I don't want it any more as a matter of principle, because Macphun is left alone as a customer.

  10. I asked for a refund and got it promised. Finally, support writes “we will be happy to see you as our customer again once Luminar for Windows overcomes its early stage issues.” There is probably no more euphemistic description for the launch of a pre-beta version. ☺

  11. I don't find the simple function: "Rotate the image 90 degrees right or left" in this very professional image editing program. With the existing alignment tool, this is only possible to a limited extent and is uncomfortable. So a toolbar with the simplest tools for handling would be appropriate if you don't always want to change the program. I use Nikon RAW formats horizontally and horizontally, just as they are generally downloaded from the camera, and I am generally satisfied with the actual image content editing - only a few important tools are missing from the program platform on the Luminar 2018 desktop. Or am I too stupid to find them ? On the other hand, a German text for the program and manual would be ideal for general users. The price of the program is ok.

    1. Hello Anton! Simply turning should really not be rocket science ... but unfortunately I cannot say whether there is an easy way or not. But I can hardly imagine that there is no key combination for 90 ° / 270 ° rotation. LG!

    2. Hello Anton,

      on Mac you can rotate the image left with CMD + [ and right with CMD + ]. In addition, this should be possible in the menu (menu bar) under “Image” / “Image”. If you're using the Windows version, there should be a similar menu item or shortcuts there. (Note: I don't use the app myself, I googled the information.)

      Here is a small collection of links for reading:
      Rotate Image in Luminar
      Luminar short cuts
      Luminar 2018 Windows User Manual (PDF)

      Good luck!

      Best regards

  12. Hello Sir Apfelot,

    I banned the latest Lightroom version from my MAC 27 “Retina with 5 K because files could not be found again and again and I bought Luminar in 2018.
    The workflow of the fuji x pro 2 with a RAW development in Luminar runs flawlessly, very satisfied with the program. Can also be easily operated by a 70-year-old due to the clarity of the program.


    1. Hello Ingo!

      I am happy to read that someone is happy with the program too! :)
      Since you also have a Mac, I'll assume that most of those who have trouble with Luminar have an immature Windows version of the software at their start. I'm looking forward to testing it, but I won't get to it before Christmas.



  13. It goes on……

    Updates to my wish-list are obviously in the works.

    Today I got the following answer:

    Hi Stefan,
    Thank you for reaching out. We are deeply sorry for all the inconveniences and for the delay in our reply.
    Please kindly note, that White Balance feature and Clone & Stamp tool are present in Mac OS version, and these are also set to be implemented in Luminar 2018 for Windows as parts of free future updates.
    Also, we have already scheduled two major updates with the following features to be added for Windows version of Luminar 2018:
    Mid December update:

    • Clone & Stamp tool
    • Sharpen on export
    • Adobe RGB wide color profile support
    • ProPhoto wide color profile support
    • Feather & density for masking brush
    • Native format saving

    Mid January update:

    • batch processing
    • Transform tool
    • Rotate & Flip tool
    • Merge layers & stamped layers
    • Export to editing apps, including Photoshop
    • We sincerely hope that you could stay tuned for the above and other useful features to make Luminar 2018 more proficient for your workflow.
      Please let us know if there is anything at all we should also hear about or if we can be of any further assistance!
      Macphun support team

    So it can be assumed that the problem-afflicted Luminar will still get a grown-up and professional face in 2018.

    I will continue to report if, how and when a "next stage" will be reached.

    Best Regards


    1. Hello Stefan! Thanks for the interim report. That gives hope. :) It's nice to hear that it's your turn. I am happy if you post updates here! LG! Jens

  14. Sodele ...

    The next update has just arrived in the house or on the computer.

    I am slowly getting the feeling that there is an unchecked endeavor to remedy all the grievances as quickly as possible.

    * The loading of the pictures feels a little faster.
    * New save/export options: “sRGB”, “Adobe RGB” and “Pro Photo RGB”
    * Stamp AND erase has been added and works with some setting options.

    Let's wait and see whether my other criticized points are successfully implemented. There is still the essential important topic “white balance” in the room.

    I'll keep you informed.

    Best Regards


    1. Hi Stefan! The functions like stamping and erasing and that sort of thing must have already been in the drawer. You can't just program it in and publish it in between. No matter how you do it: Great that so much is happening! I hope that's just as good with the Windows version.
      And thanks to you for the updates!
      Best wishes! Jens

  15. I can't install the update, it always starts the same way, repair or uninstall and then update available again, download, install ......
    I'm really annoyed.

    1. Have you completely uninstalled it and then downloaded it again (manually)? That should actually work. Otherwise ask their support. They sure help ...

  16. I happened upon a video tutorial on Ligthtzone, a (free) RAW converter that I've known for a long time, but haven't used much. I definitely do without Luminar and prefer to invest the time in the diverse possibilities of Lightzone. With a little routine you can achieve many effects as I would have expected from Luminar, but of course also pure RAW processing.

  17. My third update to the Windows version.
    The start speed has now improved enormously and is now in the single-digit range for me, comparable to Photoshop or other programs. The processing speed of the individual functions has also increased noticeably. The loading speed of photos is slightly better, but still a long way from other programs.

    What is annoying, however, is that some old errors have returned or new ones have been added.
    With a lot of text ads, mainly with the filters, the texts are now cut off and can only be guessed at. Much of what is in the program area, which also says “add filter”, I can only guess. I work with a resolution of 2560 x 1440. So this is even more incomprehensible, since there would be enough space. The fonts are simply scaled up too large and then no longer fit in the space provided. No, it's not due to my Windows settings, because it works with all programs I use without exception. Normally, this error occurs in the opposite way, i.e. the fonts in programs become smaller and smaller with higher monitor resolutions. The opposite is the case here.

    Even in the image save/export window, the name of the file cannot be read and I have to scroll the cursor to either end of the field to be able to piece together all the information. This looks like the rookie mistakes in Windows and Windows programs 30 years ago. The window for saving itself is extremely annoying and inappropriately programmed or, sorry but that's what it looks like, "cobbled together". As if it had nothing to do with the program itself. Was that allowed to be programmed by an apprentice? ;-) It's no exaggeration to describe this as unprofessional.
    Furthermore, some plugin errors of the first version have returned. When the program is used as a Photoshop filter, protected layers are now overwritten when they are returned and the wrong colors are sometimes still displayed when the plugin is called, which makes editing useless.
    I've almost gotten used to the annoying error message displayed every time the program is closed normally, also as a filter. ("Luminar 2018 has stopped working. A program prevented the program from running properly. Close the program")

    It looks like the program is being worked on intensively, but there is still a lot to do. Some things look like rushed decisions without testing the consequences to the end. With the use of professional test management, some errors would probably not slip through. Unfortunately, I have to blame the manufacturer for that.

    Nevertheless, I still like the program very much thanks to the very good functions. I use it every day, meanwhile try to get around the errors as far as possible and hope for further consistently tested improvements.


    1. The Windows version is a "botch" and should never have been launched like this. Macphun quickly refunded the purchase price. Maybe I'll take a look at the program again in a year, but for the next I'll stick with Capture NX2 and Nik Collection or, as I said above, try out Lightzone in depth.

  18. I just downloaded the trial version of Luminae 2018 (for Windows 7).
    In the download —- Liminar 2018 Setup clicked—- you want to run this file—–
    perform angled.

    Skylum installed. Finisch pressed, Installation: successfully installed.

    Luminar 2018 is unfortunately nowhere to be found !!!!

    I have never experienced anything like this with any of the image editing programs I have installed.


    1. Hello Helmut! Surely Windows has a “search” function. Doesn't it eject anything when you search for "Skylum" or "Lumiar"? LG! Jens

  19. Hi Jens,
    I find the comments very interesting. We are complaining about a program that costs around 70 euros and we all know that it is not yet fully developed. Other programs have e.g. Some significant weaknesses, acdsee as an example, which has significant problems on the mac. We should give manufacturers the chance to make improvements so that the top dogs like Lightroom do not expand their market dominance. From around 30 years of business consulting in the SAP area, I know enough errors in the current standard programs. I would also like to refer to the Airbus a400m, or the recall programs of our automobile manufacturers. Weak points in all areas are unfortunately normal these days.

    It will remain until soon
    Ingo Reinhardt

    1. Hello Ingo! I think you're right. I'm rather positively surprised with the rate at which the MacPhun team is installing the corrections and improvements in Luminar. Johann writes on a weekly basis how things are developing and becoming more positive. Of course, I also booked Lightroom professionally, but when Luminar has ironed out the teething problems in 3-6 months, it should be of particular interest to people for whom 20-70 EUR (depending on which Adobe CC package you book) a month " hurt. And that shouldn't be few.

      LG! Jens

  20. Hi Jens,

    the “search” under Windows was negative!
    I downloaded the RAW converter Lightzone as a test, ok

    The Luminar 2018 program piqued my curiosity as soon as it was installed
    okay, I'll buy it myself too.


  21. Hello everybody! I have just received an email from Macphun that Luminar 18.12.2018 2018 was released on Monday (December 1.1.0, XNUMX). This update contains bug fixes, performance improvements, new features, and more camera support (for Win and Mac).

    In detail, according to the mail, the following points are:

    Luminar 2018 version 1.1.0 for MAC:

    • Improved compatibility with OS X 10.10, 10.11 support
    • The image Histogram updates in real time
    • Performance and RAM usage improvements.
    • When editing press Cmd + L / Ctr + L to quickly access the Filters list
    • Better noise detection in raw files and fixing it on photo opening
    • DNG file support is improved for easier editing
    • Even more raw formats can be edited natively with the RAW Develop filter
    • Improved compatibility with Lightroom and Photoshop plugins
    • Better batch processing
    • Improved native files
    • Native files can be shared between Mac and Windows users
    • Any LUT can now be stored to a preset with no need to link to the original .cube file
    • Photos can now be exported to SmugMug for online sharing
    • The Sharpen on Export filter is also improved for crisper images
    • Better masking controls

    Luminar 2018 version 1.1.0 for Windows:

    • Luminar can now launch more quickly.
    • Faster editing performance and better RAM usage.
    • Native document feature added
    • Native files can be shared between Mac and Windows users.
    • Clone & Stamp tool released: remove objects and blemishes with ease.
    • Any LUT can now be stored to a preset with no need to link to the original .cube file.
    • Export to the Adobe RGB wide color profile or the ProPhoto RGB color space.
    • More export control (including Sharpen on Export)
    • Better masking controls.
    • Even more raw formats can be edited natively with RAW Develop filter.
    • All filters support advanced blending mode options.

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