I frequently come across ON1 vs Luminar debates that often end up without any reasonable conclusion. What software is better? How do they differ? The choice mainly depends on your requirements and the results you aspire to achieve.
ON1 RAW is more expensive than its opponent. However, for such a price, you get a huge variety of tools and features. The learning process will require more time, especially if you are a beginner looking for something intuitive.
Luminar 4 is truly a budgetary option, but it has fewer tools for image editing. Still, the program allows performing basic and advanced edits, and is a remarkable sample of user-oriented software.
Remarkable image management. ON1 Photo RAW 2020 boasts wonderful photo management capabilities, allowing users to search for and manage huge packs of pictures in a quick way. You can look for the necessary photos by metadata, date and time. In addition to a regular folder structure, you can group your pictures into catalogs.
Masking. Both ON1 and Luminar support masking, but if you are interested in getting top-shelf masking tools, you surely need to invest in the former program. The software offers you not only the possibility to mask filters with the help of brush and radial/gradient tools, but also features a separate module, called Layers, that is aimed at stacking photos and colors. Another advantage is the support for Luminosity Masking.
Excellent RAW processing. I am absolutely impressed by RAW processing, especially concerning dynamic range, detail capture and color rendering.
Panorama and HDR possibilities. If you download a new edition of the software, you can take advantage of amazing HDR & panorama features.
Improved printing support. The process is really efficient thanks to soft proofing and a correct print module. As for Luminar, the program uses the print support provided by Mac and Windows without additional bells and whistles.
Fast performance. ON1 is very popular among users because of its smooth operation. You can easily move from one menu to another. Switching between numerous photo thumbnails is very fast.
AI Tools. AI-based tools greatly affect ON1 price and are one of the biggest benefits of this program. There you can find AI Auto Tone, which is meant for color and tone correction and AI Match designed for mitigating differences between the shot you see on a camera’s screen and the one on the monitor. Though Luminar is more powerful in this respect, ON1 developers are moving in the right direction.
Portrait editing mode. The newest version of the program comes with an upgraded portrait editing mode. The tools give you precise control over each miniature detail of a portrait, allowing you to achieve a very accurate result. Activate the mode and start enhancing skin, eyes, mouth and other facial features either manually or automatically. You can get rid of blemishes, remove shiny glow, make skin look smoother, etc.
Confusing workflow. You may need to find special ON1 training courses or watch several video tutorials, to grasp how the program functions.
High system requirements. This is another disadvantage of the program that draws away users with outdated computers. They simply can’t use the software, as it requires rather powerful PC configuration, otherwise simple tasks will take quite much time.
Lots of AI tools. The program has over 30% of integrated tools operating on Artificial Intelligence. This involves red-eye effect removal, teeth whitening, filters and more. They allow completing time-consuming tasks in 1 click.
A broad gallery of filters. By default, the software has 70 Signature Looks (similar to presets in Lr), which have been designed by skillful photographers. Of course, you can extend the collection with new filters presented on the Luminar Marketplace. There are many free options.
Functions as a plug-in. Photographers, who are used to organizing/processing their images in Lightroom, can simply switch to Luminar to take advantage of its creative filters, while those valuing Photoshop for advanced retouching and layer support, can resort to Luminar to add final artistic touches to their projects.
Versatile Layer functionality. In this program, you can create both Adjustment and Image Layer, which fantastically expands your creative possibilities. For example, you can place one image over the other and then merge them into once composition, adjusting the opacity and masking. Such a feature allows us to call Luminar a mixture of standard RAW photo editors and image composting programs.
Understandable UI. Luminar 4 has appeared to be very user-oriented, offering fast and simple navigation across the interface. Thus, the learning process has become really enjoyable, while attracting more beginner users to the software. They can intuitively use available tools and achieve nice results.
Customization. There are absolutely no limits when it comes to customizing Luminar. You can remove needless tools, while arranging the necessary ones in such a way that they are easy to find when needed.
Limited Export. Unfortunately, you can’t create an export preset. Every time you export a finished photo, you need to specify the settings.
May get slow. The overall performance is fast. However, the program may start lagging when you move from one RAW file to another. Besides, the culling procedure with RAW photos also makes the software sluggish.
You can get both software, paying only once. There are no monthly fees.
As for the cost, Luminar 4 price is lower ($89). To download ON1 Photo RAW, you need to spend almost $99.99. This isn’t the biggest price tag you can come across while searching for photo editing software for PC, but not many users are ready to spend this sum. All in all, the choice is yours.
If you opt for Luminar, mind that you can also get packs of Looks and Aurora HDR editor along the way.
Luminar has more AI-based tools. There are instruments for sky replacement, skin retouching, auto photo enhancement, and sun ray effects.
Luminar’s AI section is a real finding for newbies, who often feel overwhelmed because of a variety of things to pay attention to while improving pictures. The interface of the program is understandable, well-organized and can be customized to meet your needs.
Luminar also wins in terms of predefined filters and Looks. The moment you open the software, you understand that developers tried to make their product as user-friendly as possible. Naturally, this is an advantage, but the lack of some features can disappoint more experienced users.
ON1 Photo RAW surpasses the competitor if we evaluate their photo management capabilities. Users receive more control over assigning metadata (IPTC, keywords) and related searching/filtering. The masking and retouching tools are also better designed. The RAW processing of this software is unmatched, which makes ON1 an ideal variant for skilled photographers.
Have you got sick and tired of monotonous and long photo editing? Looking for a method to speed up this process? Here are handy tools that will make your dream come true. Download the free filters for Luminar and ON1 Photo RAW and enhance your images without much effort on your part!
Designed for ON1 software, the Moody preset helps accentuate undertones, velvet blacks, intensify contrast and toning. Use it to edit portraits that can benefit from film-inspired color gamut.
The Bright&Airy Luminar Look should be in the toolkit of every modern photographer. This filter makes images airy and vivid thanks to gentle color interplay.
Another filter for ON1 Photo RAW that helps mimic the peculiar cinematic look. Vintage, washed out colors in combination with soft highlights and decreased shadows are perfect for portrait and wedding shots.