Luminar vs GIMP: Which Software Is Better

If you are looking for a simple and functional program, you need to compare Luminar vs GIMP to select an option that suits your needs best.

Luminar is a powerful photo editing software with many AI-based features that can be used both as a standalone program, Photoshop plugin or built-in macOS media library.

GIMP is a free Photoshop alternative for those who are interested in image manipulation and don’t want to buy Adobe products.

What is Luminar?

luminar logo

Luminar has an intuitive and stylish interface and offers unique editing tools that you can hardly find in other editors. Besides, it’s quite affordable, which is especially helpful for novice photographers. It is an indispensable service for image manipulation.

Luminar 4 is designed with AI tools that will help you create lifelike images. The service is one of the best non-destructive RAW photo editors. It also allows you to edit JPEG content on various devices, like Mac and PC. Its AI features include portrait enhancement tools, one-click “Looks” and sky replacement options.

Luminar is based on Artificial Intelligence (AI), which allows you to perform complex editing easier and faster. It makes Luminar one of the best AI photo editors. You can either completely rely on the program and allow it to edit your photos or fully control the process on your own. The latest version, Luminar 4, can be used as a standalone image editing application for Mac or Windows. Besides, you can use a plugin for Adobe Ps CC, Lightroom, Photoshop Elements and Apple Photos.

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  • luminar interface
  • luminar interface

    Luminar: Pros and Cons

    External editor. Thanks to it, Luminar is considered to be the most convenient and useful tool for users. You can open an image in Luminar 4 directly from Lightroom, Photoshop or Apple Photos. To do it, you just need to right-click on a picture in the Lightroom library and select Edit In > Luminar.

    AI Sky Replacement. Using Luminar, you can replace the sky in the image in one click. You have to click on the button once, choosing one of the sky images in the gallery. Besides, you can upload your own photos. With AI tools, you can replace the sky, adjust the horizon and colors.

    AI Augmented Sky. Comparing Luminar vs GIMP, we found another addition that appeared after the last update. You can hardly find similar tools in other services. Under the Creative tab, you can find the AI Augmented Sky menu.

    AI Augmented Sky offers a huge selection of elements, like birds in flight, the aurora borealis, a full moon, clouds, a space shuttle launch, etc. Users can upload their elements as well, and Luminar will blend them naturally with images of the sky.

    AI Skin Enhancer & Portrait Enhancer. The tool helps you edit portrait photos more quickly. With its help, you can carry out manipulations to enhance portraits. For instance, you can thicken eyebrows, remove blemishes and smoothen the tone of the skin. AI tools help photographers embellish pictures while keeping them realistic.

    Batch Processing. This option is one of the best Luminar tools. Thanks to batch processing, users can edit multiple photos at a time, which significantly saves time.

    It’s perfect for photographers who shoot events, sports competitions, or work with wedding photography and want to edit photos in one style. In Luminar 4, you can use different batch processing options.

    Poor export capabilities. Luminar has only standard export options. It allows you to change the image size, color space, and file format.

    Limited functionality. You can adjust noise levels using brightness and color sliders. Besides, the software doesn't allow you to combine various color sliders to get interesting shades when fixing chromatic aberration issues.

    What is GIMP?

    gimp logo

    GIMP is a free open-source program for editing and designing images. When comparing Luminar versus GIMP, you will notice that the latter is free.

    This program is perfect for photo enhancement, image creation, and custom design projects. Besides, it’s a great photo editing software for beginners.

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    • gimp interface
    • gimp interface

      GIMP: Pros and Cons

      Free program. Each user can use it for free after downloading it from the official site. Another advantage is that you can use it to create your own photo editor.

      Open-source code. GIMP is the best open-source photo editor that allows anyone to create new GIMP plugins. You can add new modules to the program.

      Available for all OS. Compared to Photoshop, which is compatible with Windows and macOS only, GIMP is compatible with any existing OS.

      Various extensions. Though its basic functionality is too limited, you can install the GAP extension, which will help you cope with any task.

      Does not support 16-bit color values. This means that GIMP is not suitable for printing/publication specialists.

      No user support. In most cases, you will have to look for answers to your questions on the forums.

      Luminar vs GIMP: Price

      luminar vs gimp price

      Luminar has a standalone version that costs $79. However, the price does not include further updates, and when a new version comes out, you will have to buy the program again.

      GIMP is completely free of charge. Make sure to download the software directly from the official website.

      Luminar vs GIMP: Who Wins?

      To decide, which program to use, you need to define what you need the editor for. Luminar is a powerful photo editor with many AI-based features, such as fast sky replacement, automated portrait enhancement, an Aurora HDR option that allows you to apply an HDR effect, etc.

      GIMP has many features that are similar to those that can be found in its paid counterparts. However, they are pretty basic, so you can hardly use this software at the professional level. Its color correction and retouching features are noticeably worse than similar options in Photoshop or Lightroom. However, if you need to solve basic tasks, GIMP is a great choice.

      Looks for Editing in Luminar

      luminar looks

      These presets are great for photographers and retouchers who want to optimize their workflow when enhancing their images. With these plugins, you can edit images more quickly than in Lightroom.

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