If you decided to replace Adobe products, you might tackle the question of Luminar vs Affinity.
Luminar is a professional photo editor that allows you to perform non-distractive RAW image editing in a convenient way.
Affinity Photo is very similar to Photoshop when it comes to image enhancement.
Which software is better? I used each program for common tasks I do every day and described their advantages and disadvantages in detail.
+ RAW files editing. Luminar has an accurate and fast RAW Develop Engine. It can work with files in the digital negative format (DNG) as well as RAW images from all major camera brands. What makes Luminar stand out is the improved dynamic range.
+ AI Sky Replacement. This tool completely removes the sky in the image and replaces it with the more appealing one. Luminar includes a wide selection of sky replacement options, but a great feature is the ability to upload the sky. Each detail, such as complicated borders between sky and tree (or any other subject) is filled in a realistic way.
+ AI Skin & Portrait Enhancer. This tool allows you to improve portrait photos by moving a single slider. Just choose the Skin Defects Removal tool and adjust the slider to your preference to instantly remove all skin blemishes.
It’s really cool how easily you can get rid of various skin flaws like acne and moles to enhance your photos. It is worth mentioning that Luminar can remove only certain blemishes while leaving necessary elements like freckles intact.
+ Layered editing. The ability to edit in layers allows you to create more complex adjustments. Here, you can use Adjustment Layer and Image Layer to take your shot from average to fantastic. This means that it is possible to merge images together using layer masks and adjusting opacity.
+ Luminar Looks. While comparing Affinity Photo vs Luminar, I can’t but mention the awesome effects of the Skylum product. Luminar comes with 70+ free Looks (so-called presets), which can help you significantly enhance your photos and achieve a coherent look in your works. Moreover, they are real time-savers. You can choose the desired filter from 7 categories designed for different photography styles. Besides, it is possible to adjust the intensity of the effect with a slider.
- Can be a bit slow. Due to numerous AI tools, the program may slow down while you are using several tools simultaneously. Also, I have noticed some temporary slowdowns while importing a large number of RAW files.
- Exporting options are still limited. Comparing Luminar vs Affinity, I should mention that Serif software is a step above in terms of files exporting. Affinity Photo offers the best options for exporting images. It is possible to create and save export presets. Thus, you can save time, for example, if you need to send many images to your clients. With Luminar 4, image exporting is more time-consuming.
+ Local Editing Capabilities. Affinity Photo has powerful local editing capabilities with incredible sub-pixel precision. Unlimited adjustment layers, gradients, masks, blend modes, this is just a glimpse of what this software can offer to a user. These advanced tools allow you to significantly ramp up your photo editing game. In addition, Affinity Photo includes an array of brushes for you to highlight every essential detail in your images.
+ Photoshop-like Interface. If it comes to a user interface, Affinity Photo resembles Adobe Photoshop. The UI is stylish and uncluttered which allows you to focus on your document rather than the program’s layout. You can customize the necessary UI elements according to your taste. This is especially helpful if you want to optimize your workflow.
+ Affinity Photo for iPad. Affinity Photo kicks some extra points in Affinity vs Luminar battle due to the availability of a mobile version. Being created for iPad, it includes the majority of image editing features found in the desktop version. With Affinity Photo for iPad, you can transform your device into an on-screen drawing tablet.
+ Drawing & Painting. Affinity Photo comes with a complete set of brushes that can be used for digital painting. Serif has collaborated with digital painting experts DAUB to pack the program with a few collections of these amazing tools, and they turned out to be pretty interesting. Besides, the developer designed an impressive vector drawing toolkit for those, who want to create illustrations with vectors and masks.
+ Tone Mapping. This feature resembles an HDR tool allowing you to work with 32-bit HDR photos merged from multiple bracketed images or create an HDR effect from a single photo. It may seem a bit time-consuming to load the Tone Mapping persona. Nevertheless, you can quickly achieve amazing results even if you are working with a single photo.
- Complicated RAW processing. It often takes a long time to make even minor changes. I tested Affinity on a rather powerful computer. However, quick slider adjustments may slow down the software before the changes are made, especially when I tweaked several settings.
- Improper work of automatic lens correction profiles. Due to some kind of issue with the user interface, I couldn’t preview/disable corrections or they weren’t properly applied.
- Working with masks may seem complicated. Unfortunately, gradient masks and brush masks don’t work together. Moreover, you can’t use a brush to modify a gradient mask. Imagine you want to enhance the sky by highlighting interesting details, but there is an object in the foreground intersecting with the horizon. In this case, it is impossible to apply the gradient mask or remove it from the masked area.
You can install and use Luminar on up to five PCs and different operating systems. Also, Skylum often has sales and discounts, so there are chances that you can purchase software at a good price. Although Luminar is more expensive than Affinity, it includes an array of powerful features that justifies its price.
Affinity Photo is more affordable if we talk about Luminar vs Affinity in terms of pricing. It is possible to install software on up to two PCs for commercial use, or up to five PCs for the home environment (non-commercial use). It is worth mentioning that it is necessary to buy Affinity separately for each operating system.
Affinity Photo and Luminar are both powerful and feature-rich photo editors. They include advanced features that allow you to take your photography game to a whole new level.
Affinity Photo is a great option if you need something similar to Photoshop at a lower price. You will get great color grading features as well as incredible retouching and drawing tools.
Luminar offers a large number of tools for fast and almost automated image editing. I would say that Luminar is an excellent Lightroom alternative with more advanced retouching capabilities.
Luminar 4 allows you to streamline the process of photo editing by using Looks. They will help you make a photo color correction so that you don’t need to make any additional adjustments.
It may be rather challenging to edit cityscape photographs. Images taken under bright light require highlights adjustments, while dark urban pictures can be nicely improved by matte shadows and soft shade. These Looks will help you enhance your pictures just in one click.
This set is suitable for almost any photography genre. Just select one of the Looks you like and apply it to the picture to make it more appealing.
These awesome filters are perfect for adding a special vibe to your vacation shots. Try them for your travel, landscape, portrait or beach pictures and be ready to be blown away by the awesome result.