Luminar Neo vs Lightroom

luminar neo vs lightroom review

A Battle of the Titans: Luminar Neo vs Lightroom – Which Software Reigns Supreme?

In the realm of photography editing software, there are two editing platforms that standout these days: Luminar Neo and Lightroom. Both have an impressive array of features and powerful capabilities, these titans stand tall, ready to cater to the needs of both amateur and professional photographers. But in this battle of giants, which software reigns supreme?

Luminar Neo, known for its cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology, offers a seamless editing experience, allowing users to effortlessly enhance their photos with just a few clicks. Meanwhile, Lightroom, Adobe’s renowned software, has long been hailed as the industry standard for photographers, offering a comprehensive suite of tools for organizing, enhancing, and sharing images.

Photographers around the world regularly debate which of these editing platforms should grace their workflows, they grapple with questions of user-friendliness, performance, and editing capabilities. Does Luminar Neo’s advanced AI outweigh Lightroom’s extensive range of features? Will Lightroom’s established reputation continue to set it apart from the competition?

Join me as I dive deep into the world of Luminar Neo vs Lightroom, exploring their strengths, weaknesses, and everything in between. Hang on tight as we uncover which software ultimately reigns supreme in this epic battle of the titans.

You can also read my full Luminar Neo review here if you want.

luminar neo vs lightroom review
Luminar Neo vs Lightroom

Key features of Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo is known for its cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology, offering a seamless editing experience that allows users to effortlessly enhance their photos with just a few clicks. Its AI-powered tools,

Luminar Neo’s AI tools…

  • Accent AI this enhances your shadows, highlights contrast and more in a single slider.
  • Sky Enhancer AI enhances detail colours and contrast in your sky with just a single slider.
  • Structure AI with a singler slider you can again inteligently add structure in in seconds.
  • Crop AI through AI and machine learning this feature will suggest the best crop for your photograph
  • Relight AI adds amazing lighting effects to your background via AI 3D depth mapping to help balance your overall lighting.
  • Atmosphere AI this adds specific effects again to your image via Luminar Neos 3D depth mapping
  • Portrait Bokeh AI this adds background blur to your portrait shots to create a beautiful shallow depth of field.
  • Face AI you can adjust the lighting on just the face, slim the face and there are several controls for the eyes and mouth also.
  • Skin AI you can adjust the Skin smoothing, shine removal and use Blemish Removal AI also.
  • Body AI for those unflattering camera angles you can adjust the body shape and there is even an abdomen slider.

While this is not an AI feature I personally find the “Landscape” section to be fantastic. The dehaze tool is in there which is now common place in all editing applications but below that we have a “Golden Hour” and “Foliage Enhancer”, as you can imagine the Golden Hour sliders add a beautifully soft golden hour colour tone to your image which really does work. The Foliage enhancer then is great for getting those greens more vibrant in your image. 

Another standout feature of Luminar Neo is its advanced masking capabilities. With the AI Masking tool, users can easily select and refine complex areas of their images, such as hair or intricate objects, with precision and accuracy. This level of control allows for seamless blending of effects and adjustments, giving photographers more creative freedom.

Furthermore, Luminar Neo offers a wide range of creative tools, including presets, filters, and textures, to add unique artistic touches to photos. The software also boasts a powerful layering system, enabling users to combine multiple adjustments and effects for advanced editing techniques.

VIP I didn’t include the expansion packs in the Luminar Neo feature list, the reason being is these are included wioth the susbcription model but they are another purchase if you are buying Luminar Neo outright.

The Expansion packs are what truly make Lightroom look incredibly old fashioned and outdated.

Luminar Neo Expansion Packs…

  • Noiseless AI
  • Upscale AI
  • SuperSharp AI
  • Focus Stacking
  • Background Removal AI
  • HDR Merge
  • Magic Light AI
  • Panoramic Stitching
  • Studio Light AI

All of these applications are truly amazing at what they do but combined then with Luminar Neo and for less than the price of Adobe Lightroom is this Luminar Neo vs Lightroom review already over? Let’s have a look at Lightrooms awesome features now.

luminar neo vs lightroom review

Key features of Lightroom

Lightroom, Adobe’s renowned photography editing software, has long been hailed as the industry standard for photographers. It offers a comprehensive suite of tools for organizing, enhancing, and sharing images. One of Lightroom’s key features is its non-destructive editing, meaning that the original image file remains untouched while all adjustments are saved separately. This allows photographers to experiment with different edits and easily revert back to the original image if needed.

Lightrooms AI features

DeNoise AI is the only real AI based feature in Lightroom and it does a fantastic job at removing noise in your photographs. Leaving them super clean and noise free even at high ISO’s.

Lightroom has an amazing brush tool with an Auto masking facility also, if you have ever used this tool then you know exactly how good it is and how much of a time saver it can be.

Another strength of Lightroom is its robust cataloging system. Users can organize their photos using keywords, ratings, and flags, making it easy to search, sort, and filter images. Lightroom’s organizational capabilities are particularly useful for photographers who work with large volumes of images and need to quickly find specific photos.

In terms of editing, Lightroom offers a wide range of tools and adjustments, including exposure, color, and tone controls. Its powerful Develop module allows for precise adjustments to be made to individual elements of an image, such as shadows, highlights, and white balance. I should adde these controls are also in Luminar Neo which I may not of mentioned above. Lightroom also provides a variety of presets and profiles, enabling users to apply specific looks or styles to their photos with just a single click.

I think it’s clear to see for most people here that in the feature department the Luminar Neo vs Lightroom debate is non existent as Neo is clearly the massive winner here with an abundance of features and controls for all photographers.

Where Lightroom has always won out though was for its reliability and its rock solid build quality but Skylum have really concetrated on their software now too and that gap has closed in completely.

Pricing and subscription models

Pricing and subscription models are important factors to consider when choosing between Luminar Neo vs Lightroom. Luminar Neo offers a one-time purchase option, allowing users to own the software outright without any recurring fees. This can be particularly appealing for photographers who prefer a one-time investment and do not want to commit to a subscription-based model.

Skylum also have a subscription model which is called the “Pro Plan” this gives you not only the Luminar Neo complete editing platform but also all the extensions mentioned above. 

This also gives you all the latest software updates and new additions for Neo and its extensions. This is at the time of writing this review is cheaper than the Adobe Lightroom photography plan and considering the added extensions in Neo it’s making it the better option for most people. 

Lightroom is a part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription, which provides access to a wide range of Adobe’s creative software. The subscription model offers regular updates and new features, ensuring that users always have access to the latest enhancements.

The Team over at Skylum software have given me a Luminar Neo Promo Code to save you money on your purchase, so thank you Skylum for that.

Special Offers

New Users

Pro Two Year Subscription $119.- (instead of $179.-) that's roughly $108.- for the two years after my discount code is applied, this is the package that I advise people go for.

Existing User

All Existing Pro Plan subscribers will get the new features as soon as they are available.

Don't forget my Luminar Neo Discount code gives you a further 10% off these special offers.

30% off Luminar Neo Promo code
Luminar Neo Review
Luminar Neo Promotional Code
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To get my 10% off code simply copy it and enter my Luminar Neo Discount Code at checkout and you can also get a free special gift worth €25.-, to get the free gift offer click the show code button and before you purchase pretend to leave the page and you will be offered a free gift 🙂 Show Less

Get your Luminar Neo free trial today!

I should also mention if you purchase Luminar Neo via my discount code link above I might get a slight commission on qualifing sales, I use this commission to help pay for a tree to be planted and also to help pay for the upkeep of this website but hey you also save a nice bit of money.

User interface comparison

When it comes to user interface and Luminar Neo VS Lightroom there is not a lot to choose between them They both have distinct approaches though. Luminar Neo embraces a sleek and modern interface, with a customizable workspace that allows users to arrange the panels and tools according to their preferences. The software’s intuitive layout and user-friendly design make it easy for photographers to navigate through the various editing options.

On the other hand, Lightroom follows a more traditional layout, with a panel-based interface that may appear more familiar to users who have already worked with Adobe software. Lightroom’s interface is easy to use aswell though.

There isn’t too much of a difference here between Luminar Neo vs Lightroom but I will say for a person new to both softwares Luminar Neo looks easier to use and is more straight forward but there isn’t that much in it.

Editing capabilities comparison

In terms of editing capabilities, both Luminar Neo vs Lightroom they offer a wide range of tools and adjustments to enhance photos.

Regarding basic editing there is very little to choose between the two of these platforms, they both work well and perform basic edits fairly easily, it’s only when you get too more adavnced functions that you see a serious difference.

Luminar Neo’s AI-powered tools provide automatic enhancements with impressive results, making it a great option for photographers who want quick and easy editing. The software’s advanced masking capabilities also make it easier to selectively apply adjustments to specific areas of an image.

Relight AI, Atmosphere AI, Portrait Bokeh AI and the other Portrait enhancements built into Luminar Neo set it apart from Lightroom, then you also have the extra expansion packs listed that propel it far above Lightroom.

Workflow efficiency comparison

When it comes to workflow efficiency, Luminar Neo and Lightroom have their own strengths and weaknesses. Luminar Neo’s AI-enhanced editing tools streamline the editing process, making it faster and more intuitive. With just a few clicks, users can achieve stunning results without spending much time on manual adjustments. Additionally, Luminar Neo’s layering system and non-destructive editing capabilities contribute to a flexible and efficient workflow.

Lightroom, on the other hand, excels in its organizational capabilities, making it easier for photographers to manage and find their images. Its cataloging system, combined with powerful search and filtering options, allows photographers to quickly locate specific photos, even in large collections. Lightroom’s efficient workflow is further enhanced by its ability to sync edits across multiple devices, ensuring a seamless editing experience.

User reviews and satisfaction ratings

To gauge the satisfaction of users, it’s important to consider user reviews and ratings for both Luminar Neo and Lightroom. Luminar Neo has received positive feedback for its intuitive interface, powerful AI tools, and impressive editing capabilities.

Users appreciate the software’s ease of use and the time-saving features it offers. However, some users have mentioned it being “Buggy” and have had occasional performance issues and there is a learning curve when first using the software.

Lightroom has long been a favorite among photographers, with many praising its extensive editing capabilities, organizational features, and seamless integration with other Adobe software.

Users appreciate the software’s reliability, versatility, and the constant updates and improvements provided by Adobe. However, some users have expressed frustration with the subscription-based model and occasional performance issues.

Pros and cons of Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo Pros:

    • Cutting-edge AI technology for automatic enhancements
    • Advanced masking capabilities for precise selections
    • Wide range of creative tools and layering system
    • One-time purchase option

Luminar Neo Cons:

  • Occasional performance issues
  • Learning curve for new users
  • Limited organizational features compared to Lightroom

Pros and cons of Lightroom

Lightroom Pros:

    • Industry-standard software for photographers
    • Non-destructive editing workflow
    • Robust cataloging system for efficient organization
    • Seamless integration with other Adobe software

Lightroom Cons:

  • Subscription-based model may require recurring payments
  • Occasional performance issues
  • Steeper learning curve for beginners

Conclusion: Choosing the right software for your needs

In the battle between Luminar Neo vs Lightroom, both software options offer impressive features and capabilities. Luminar Neo’s AI-powered tools and advanced masking capabilities make it a great choice for photographers who want quick and effortless editing. On the other hand, Lightroom’s comprehensive set of editing tools, non-destructive workflow, and robust cataloging system set it apart as the industry standard.

When making a decision, it’s important to consider your specific needs and preferences. If you value AI-powered enhancements and a sleek interface, Luminar Neo may be the right choice for you. On the other hand, if you prioritize extensive editing capabilities, organizational features, and seamless integration with other Adobe software, Lightroom may be the better option.

Ultimately, the choice between Luminar Neo vs Lightroom comes down to personal preference and the specific requirements of your photography workflow. Both software have their strengths and weaknesses, but they are powerful tools that can elevate your photos to new heights. Whether you choose Luminar Neo or Lightroom, you can be confident in your ability to create stunning images that captivate and inspire.

See you out there,


Luminar Neo vs Lightroom : Which software reigns supreme?

Two of the photography editing giants go head to head in this Luminar Neo vs Lightroom review, in this battle of giants, which software reigns supreme?

Editor's Rating: