ArticleReviewsLuminar Neo review 2023: the new AI-powered photo editor

Luminar Neo review 2023: the new AI-powered photo editor

Luminar Neo is a new AI-driven photo editor that offers a wide range of features to help you edit your photos like a pro.


User Interface
Usage options


Luminar Neo is a powerful photo editing program that uses AI to make the editing process faster and easier. It has a wide range of features, such as tools for changing colors, contrast, and brightness, as well as tools for removing objects, improving portraits, and making artistic effects.

Skylum’s Luminar NEO is an important piece of photo editing software. The great people at Skylum created the Luminar NEO, which has AI at its core. And they have changed the way photo editing will always be done. Skylum Luminar Neo was made because people wanted a photo app that would use AI a lot to improve and enhance your digital photos. It has a simple, easy-to-use interface, and it keeps the sky replacement and a large set of filters and editing tools from the company’s old Luminar app.

About Luminar Neo

It also has support for layers and a collection of textures and overlays. Unique AI adjustment tools and filters, as well as the fact that you can install it as a plug-in for the more complete Photoshop and Lightroom apps, make it a worthy addition to any photographer’s software toolkit. Since I last looked, Skylum has been releasing a steady stream of what it calls “extensions.”

The newest extensions are Upscale AI, Supersharp AI, Focus Stacking, Background Removal AI, Noiseless AI, and HDR Merge. I like that not everyone has to install a lot of features they might not use. The company keeps making changes to the program’s user interface and how well it works.

What is Luminar Neo?

Skylum’s Luminar NEO is a program for editing photos that is powered by AI. Skylum says that NEO is not going to replace their last product, which was called Luminar AI. But NEO aims to fix some of the problems that Luminar AI users had. Skylum is using AI to make the process of editing photos faster and easier. Power line and Sky Replacement AI tools have made tasks that used to be hard and take a lot of time easy to do with just one click. There are things like a Relight AI and dozens of presets that make it easy to make changes to portraits. Skylum’s new software is called Luminar NEO. And it hasn’t taken its final shape yet.

Luminar Neo review

But each update adds another piece to the puzzle. They are adding new tools to Luminar NEO to make it a big step up from their other software. We thought the AI tools in Luminar AI were great. But, like many others, we had problems with how well things worked. The AI tools in Luminar NEO are the same, but the new high-speed core engine makes the program run faster and better. Luminar NEO is not just another version of Luminar. We’re glad that Skylum is going in a different direction with NEO by adding the Layer and Mask AI tools. This makes NEO more useful and takes it in the direction of Adobe Photoshop.

Luminar Neo: Pricing

Luminar Neo is available as a Windows Store app and an App Store app for Mac. I prefer desktop apps to be available in app stores because they are easier to update and install on multiple computers and are tested for security and functionality. You can get your money back within 30 days. DxO PhotoLab costs $219, CyberLink PhotoDirector is $99, and Capture One costs $299. Lightroom costs $9.99 per month, and you have to keep paying for it as long as you want to use it.

Luminar Neo Key Features Table

AI Sky ReplacementReplaces the sky in your photo with a new one, using artificial intelligence to blend the new sky seamlessly into your image.
AI Portrait EnhancerImproves the appearance of your portraits, automatically correcting skin tones, removing blemishes, and adding definition to eyes and lips.
AI Structure EnhancerEnhances the details in your photo, making it look sharper and more vibrant.
AI Color HarmonyImproves the overall color balance of your photo, making it look more natural and pleasing to the eye.
AI Noise ReductionReduces noise in your photo, making it look cleaner and more professional.
AI Composition AssistantHelps you improve the composition of your photo, suggesting changes to the crop, perspective, and other elements.
LayersAllows you to create multiple layers of edits, so you can experiment and fine-tune your results.
MasksAllows you to selectively apply edits to specific areas of your photo.
PresetsProvides a variety of pre-made edits that you can apply to your photos with a single click.
ExtensionsAdd additional features and functionality to Luminar Neo.
Import and ExportSupports a wide range of image formats, including JPEG, PNG, TIFF, and RAW.
TutorialsProvides a variety of tutorials to help you learn how to use Luminar Neo.
SupportOffers 24/7 support to help you with any problems you may encounter.
PriceCheck Price and Deals

What’s new in the updated Luminar Neo?

Since Luminar Neo came out in February 2022, I’ve been using it, and it’s been great to see how often Skylum has been putting out updates. In one of the most recent updates, “Studio Light,” a great new portrait feature that lets you copy lighting effects, was added. They also added a “Blur Tool” that lets you make different creative effects. This has changed the way I edit. In the last update, they talked about some important issues. They added the much-needed ability to undo and redo changes.

They also made the RAW Develop and Mask AI tools much faster and fixed a few annoying bugs. It’s clear that Skylum wants to make the user experience better. What’s especially exciting is how the core editing tools keep getting better and better. They’ve added a histogram, a dodge and burn tool, a clone tool, and even AI-powered background removal for portraits. Since they switched to a “modular” framework, it has become much easier to make big changes to the core features.

This has made the software more dynamic and responsive. Recently, they have also added a number of “Extensions” that work well with the main editing software and add a lot of tools. This fits perfectly with Skylum’s plan for Luminar Neo, which is to make a complete, all-in-one platform that meets all of a photographer’s creative needs. It’s been interesting to see how they have changed, and I can’t wait to see what they have planned for the future.

Luminar Neo: System Requirements

FeatureMinimum requirements MacMinimum requirements Windows
Mac ModelMacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro, Mac mini, early 2010 and newerN/A
ProcessorCPU Intel Core i5CPU Intel Core i5 or better, AMD Ryzen 5
OS versionmacOS 10.14.610 version 1909 (only 64-bit OS)
RAMMemory 8 GB RAM (16+ GB RAM is recommended)Memory 8 GB RAM (16+ GB RAM is recommended)
Disk spaceHard disk 10 GB free space; SSDHard disk 10 GB free space; SSD
Display1280×768 size1280×768 size
GraphicsN/AOpen GL 3.3 or later compatible graphics card

Who Is Luminar NEO For?

The AI tools in Luminar NEO are very good. And the new overlays make the program more appealing to a wide range of people. Luminar NEO is great for all kinds of photographers, from beginners to experts. The AI templates and modes are ideal for people who make content for social media. With Luminar NEO, it’s easy to turn boring photos into ones that fool algorithms. The AI tools in Luminar NEO are good enough to be used for high-end photo editing. Fashion and editorial photography are great places to use the Relight AI and portrait tools.

Luminar Neo review

Professional photographers will be able to get their photos ready for publication with the help of Luminar NEO. The AI Clean-Up tool is one of the best parts. You can get rid of dust spots and power lines from your photos with Luminar NEO. Since the tool is AI, all you have to do is click your mouse a few times. By getting rid of these boring tasks, NEO can save both time and money for photographers. If you read this, you might think that you should just stick with Luminar AI.

But NEO goes into the world of image editing in a creative way. Skylum is trying to get a piece of this pie, which is mostly made up of Photoshop. And the Mask and Layer tools let a whole new group of people use NEO. Like Luminar AI, NEO is for photographers and editors who take their work seriously. The tools that use AI speed up the editing process without lowering the quality. With the new editing tools, more digital artists are joining Skylum.

Luminar Neo: Free Trial

Now, when it comes to editing software for photos, I always tell people not to take my word for it. There are a few simple reasons why you should download the trial version and try it out for yourself before you buy it…

  • We all have different computers that run at different speeds.
  • There are many different ways we edit, and some are much more complicated than others.
  • Even more important, we use different cameras with different file sizes and resolutions.

Luminar Neo: Installation and Set Up

After I downloaded and ran the Luminar Neo installer, I could choose to install it as a plug-in for Photoshop and Lightroom Classic, since I already had a subscription to Adobe’s photo editing software. In Luminar Neo, I couldn’t install third-party plugins like Topaz Gigapixel for enlargements, but in Luminar AI, I could. I really hope that this feature will be added in a future update.

When I compared Luminar Neo to other photo editors, I saw that it used about the same amount of space on my Mac’s hard drive, about 2.84GB. After the installation was done and I created a Skylum account, I got a QR code that let me install the Luminar Share app on my phone. I’ll learn more about the app later, but I wouldn’t have too high of hopes for it because it doesn’t do much.

Luminar Neo: User Interface

I found that Luminar Neo’s interface was very easy to understand and use. There are three parts to the main editing window: the Library, the Develop, and the Effects panels. You can look through your photos and choose which ones you want to edit in the Library panel. You can change the exposure, contrast, color, and other things about your photos in the Develop panel.

In the Effects panel, you can add filters and effects to your photos that make them look more interesting. I liked how Luminar Neo put all of its tools and features together. Everything is easy to find and has a clear label. I also liked that there were a lot of shortcuts for the keyboard, which made it easier to work quickly. I thought that Luminar Neo’s user interface was a big step up from the last version of the software. It’s much easier to use and faster, and it lets you make beautiful photos with just a few clicks.

Luminar Neo: Importing and Browsing Images

Luminar Neo makes it easy to import photos, which is a nice change from how hard it was for me to use Lightroom at first. You can quickly add images to your Luminar catalog by clicking the “Add Photos” button and choosing a folder or group of images from your hard drive. The speed at which this happens is really impressive. My 2021 MacBook M1 with 32GB RAM handled it like a champ, and my wife’s 2020 MacBook Air with 16GB RAM did just as well. The only catch is that your photos have to be somewhere else besides Neo, or else they will be marked as “missing.”

Luminar Neo review

This means you can’t import directly from your camera‘s memory card unless you’re willing to leave the card in the reader the whole time you’re editing or move the pictures to your hard drive first. To be clear, Neo will show any changes or deletions you make to your photos on your hard drive. But if you delete an image in Luminar Neo, it goes to a folder called “Luminar Trash,” but the original image outside of Neo stays the same.

Luminar Neo works differently than Lightroom, which makes copies of imported images in a separate catalog. It’s important to know that even though you can import photos from external hard drives or network-attached storage (NAS), Neo can’t access them once these devices are disconnected. So, Luminar Neo might not be the best choice for professional photographers who need to be able to move photos directly from an SD card to editing software.

Luminar Neo: Features and AI-Powered Tools

Luminar Neo has AI-powered tools like Sky Replacement AI, Portrait Bokeh AI, and Relight AI, as well as others like Power Line Removal AI, which makes it easy to get rid of power lines in photos. These tools use AI to accurately find and isolate parts of a photo so that precise local changes can be made. This lets users focus on the creative parts of editing instead of working hard on manual adjustments. The AI-powered features in Luminar Neo not only save time, but also help users get results that look like they were done by a professional with little work. These tools make it easier and faster to do complex editing tasks, so you can focus on your creativity instead of working hard to make changes by hand.

RAW File Editing

The ability to work with RAW files isn’t a big deal. They should be in any software for professionals. But photographers who have never used Skylum products before should know about it. You don’t have to worry about RAW files because NEO can handle them. RAW files can now be searched for in the main catalog. When you click the “Showing” button at the top of the window, you can choose “RAW.” If you click this, NEO will sort your library so that only your RAW images are shown.

Essentials Slider Editing Modules

There are a few standard slider editing modules in Luminar, just like in Lightroon. These include exposure, smart contrast, highlights, shadows, and color sliders, which give you precise control over your images. The best thing about Luminar is how these sliders are both easy to use and powerful. They are good for both new photographers who want quick improvements and experienced photographers who want more control. Each slider can have a big effect on an image, giving you the freedom to create the perfect style and mood. Always try different things with the editing sliders in Luminar.

Sky Replacement AI

I’ve been using Luminar Neo for a few months, and the Sky Replacement AI tool really impresses me. It’s one of the best tools I’ve ever used to change the sky, and it’s very easy to use. To use the Sky Replacement AI tool, just open your photo in Luminar Neo and click on the “Sky Replacement AI” button. This will open a panel where you can look through a library of pre-made skies. You can also upload your own skies or use your camera to take a new picture. Once you choose a sky, Luminar Neo will automatically blend it into your photo. Then you can change the position, size, and transparency of the sky to get the look you want.

I’ve used the Sky Replacement AI tool to change the sky in a number of photos, and the results have always been good. The tool is very accurate and does a great job of blending the sky into the photo. I also like how easy it is to use the tool. Even if you don’t know much about Photoshop, you can still get great results with the Sky Replacement AI tool. I’m really happy with Luminar Neo’s Sky Replacement AI tool as a whole. It’s one of the best tools I’ve ever used to change the sky, and it’s very easy to use. I really think you should check out Luminar Neo if you want to improve the skies in your photos.

Power Line Removal AI

I just started using Luminar Neo, and the Power Line Removal AI tool really stands out to me. I’ve used it to get rid of power lines in a few of my landscape photos, and it’s worked really well. It’s easy to use the tool. You just have to choose the power lines in your photo, and the AI will do the rest. The tool needs a few seconds to process the image, but it does so very quickly most of the time. Also, the results are great. The AI does a good job of getting rid of the power lines without leaving anything behind.

The only bad thing about this tool is that it can’t get rid of power lines that are in front of the subject of your photo. But this isn’t a big deal for most landscape photos. I’m very happy with Luminar Neo’s Power Line Removal AI tool as a whole. It’s a quick and easy way to get rid of power lines in your photos, and the results are usually very good. If you’re looking for a way to make your landscape photos better, this tool is a great choice.

Portrait Bokeh AI

I just started using Luminar Neo, and the Portrait Bokeh AI tool really stands out to me. It’s a powerful tool that uses AI to give your portraits beautiful bokeh effects on its own. I’ve used it on a few different photos, and every time I look at the results, I’m amazed. It’s easy to use the Portrait Bokeh AI tool. Just click on the tool and drag it over the part of the photo where you want the bokeh to be. The tool will automatically blur the background and make a bokeh effect that looks smooth and creamy. I’ve found that the Portrait Bokeh AI tool works best with photos that have a shallow depth of field.

This means that the subject of the photo should be sharp and the background should be blurry. You can use the tool to make your picture have a shallow depth of field if it doesn’t already have one. There are also a number of settings you can change in the Portrait Bokeh AI tool to make the effect look just right. You can change how big and round the bokeh is, how soft the edges are, and how much it blurs. I’ve found that the Portrait Bokeh AI tool is a great way to give my portraits a touch of drama and style. It’s a fast and simple way to make beautiful bokeh effects that would be hard to do by hand.

Relight AI

Relight AI is one of Luminar Neo’s most powerful AI tools. It can make the lighting in your photos look more natural and balanced by adjusting it automatically. I’ve used Relight AI on many different photos, and every time I’ve been happy with the results. I recently used Relight AI to make a photo of a sunset look better. The first picture was too bright and the foreground was too dark. Relight AI was able to change the exposure and shadows automatically, making the photo look much better and more balanced.

Luminar Neo review

I’ve also used Relight AI to make pictures of people look better. In one picture, the person was lit from behind, so their face was in the shade. Relight AI was able to automatically brighten the face of the subject, making the photo look much better. Relight AI is a tool that is very easy to use. Just click on the Relight AI tool and drag it over the parts of the photo you want to change. AI will take care of the rest. I would highly recommend Relight AI to anyone who wants to make their photos’ lighting better. It is a strong tool that can make amazing things happen.

Face AI

Some of the best tools I’ve ever used are in Luminar Neo. They are very simple to use, but the results can be stunning. I’ve used them to make my portraits look better in terms of skin tone, brightness, and clarity, and the results have always been natural and pleasing. Skin AI is one of my favorite Face AI tools. This tool can be used to make skin smoother, get rid of spots, and even make teeth whiter. It works very well, but it’s not too obvious, so your portraits will still look natural.

The Eye AI is another great tool in Face AI. This tool can be used to make your eyes look bigger and brighter, and it can also get rid of red eyes. It’s great for making your portraits look more awake and alert. Also, the Face AI tools in Luminar Neo can be used in many different ways. You can use them to make portraits of people of any age and skin tone look better. I have used them to make portraits of myself, my family, and my friends, and the results have always been great.

Clone Tool

With the Clone tool, you can copy parts of an image without having to re-import it or copy and paste. It’s a very useful tool that saves you a lot of time when you’re editing. You start by setting your source. This is where you want to start cloning from in the image. You choose what you want to have copied. In the command box, you can change how big, soft, and strong the brush is. Then you can start making copies of the picture.

Click where you want the clone to show up and paint over the area with your cursor. The source cursor stays on the image and moves in the same way as you do. This lets you see what you are cloning as you go along. The result is a copy that is the same as the original. And you can make impressive effects by changing how soft or strong the sound is. It’s another advanced editing tool that puts Luminar NEO in the top tier of photo editing software.

Presets Tab

You’ll either like or dislike the Presets tab. As the name suggests, there are a lot of settings that let you change your photos with just one click. Luminar Neo will automatically look at what’s in your photo and offer you a set of presets that were made just for it. This makes it easier to choose from the many options. Obviously, if you don’t want to take this offer, you can keep looking through all of the preset categories. When you buy the program, you get a basic set of presets. Then you can add to it (almost forever).

If you click on the button that says “Get More Presets,” you’ll be taken to the Skylum online store. You can buy Presets that fit your tastes based on the type of music you like. I found 17 different packages in the Wildlife section alone. For instance, Marina Cano, a well-known photographer, created one of them. Most of the time, these packages cost $19. Do you think it’s a cheap trick and a bit of a cheat to use presets that someone else made? Yes, you could look at it that way. But I thought they were interesting, even though I would never use one-click editing to change my photos.

This is because each preset is not a black box you can’t see into. On the other hand, Choose the preset that you’re interested in, and then go to the Edit tab in Luminar. Then, on the Edits tab, you can see all the steps that went into making a certain look. Not only will you see what tools were used, but you will also see how much they were changed. You can change these changes more if you want to. Because of this, I think presets are a great way to teach, even if you don’t like editing with just one click.


With the most recent updates, Luminar NEO’s layers have become much better. The masking AI tools and the extra features really make them stand out, and for me, that makes them a standout feature. This is different from what I was used to seeing in their other products. It’s pretty cool that they can now compete with Adobe Photoshop in the field of image editing. When I first clicked on the Layers option on the left side of the Luminar NEO interface, I saw a long list of layers. By adding these to my photos, I’ve been able to create effects that are almost like presets.

Sparkle, light leak, and flares are all options for layers, and each adds its own unique touch. It felt great to see the results in my photos. The most interesting thing to me was how the Layers tool has become more than just a set of filters. It now gives users the ability to make composites and add more things to their images. I remember one time when I took a picture of a normal landscape and added hot air balloons to it to make it more interesting. If you chose a PNG file of a balloon, it was easy.

It was easy to upload it to NEO and change how transparent it was. I used the brush tool to get rid of the white parts that didn’t belong and make sure it went well with the final image. Changing the size of the layer was easy; all I had to do was click and drag the corners to get it just right. Putting it in place in relation to the lower layer was just as easy. After adding the two balloons, I decided to add a little film grain to make the picture look more real.

The last step was to change the lighting to enhance the effect of the golden hour. I chose one of the stock layers from the NEO collection, a light leak layer with 65% opacity, to add a vintage feel. The final product had the appearance of an old film photograph that the sun had gently faded, giving it a nostalgic feel. This experience really showed me how powerful and flexible Luminar NEO’s Layers tool is, and it changed the way I edit photos.

Panorama Stitching extension

The Panorama Stitching add-on works well with the way Luminar Neo works. Just add your original images, whether they are raw or JPG stills or even video clips, to your catalog. Then, look for the Panorama Stitching module in the right-hand tab of the catalog. It’s in the same place as other extensions like HDR Merge. It’s as easy as dragging and dropping your pictures onto the extension and clicking “Start.”

Once you’re in the Panorama Stitching interface, it’s easy to make a final panorama image by following the steps. The interface will then take you back to your Luminar Neo catalog. From there, you can bring the resulting panoramic image into the Edit module to make more changes to the color, dynamic range, etc.

Luminar AI Extensions

If you really like Luminar Neo and want to take the AI features to the next level, you can buy some of their extensions for a reasonable price. You can buy these extras after you buy Luminar Neo, and they’re pretty cool. HDR merge is for more than one image. It lets you combine several high-dynamic-range images to get more detail in the highlights and shadows. Noiseless AI is a great tool for getting rid of noise.

It does a better job than Lightroom’s standard slider, but we think Topaz DeNoise is better overall. Upscale AI can take a low-resolution image and fill in the missing pixels to make it a high-res shot. Supersharp AI makes the edges of an image sharper, and it can also take a photo with unwanted small motion blur and fix the problem digitally. And Magic Light AI looks for a light source in the picture, like a street light, and adds flares that look like they came from there.

Portrait Background Removal AI

I’ve been using Luminar Neo for a few months now, and the Portrait Background Removal AI really impresses me. It’s one of the best tools I’ve ever used to remove the background from a portrait. It is very simple to use, and the results are very good. To use Portrait Background Removal AI, you just need to choose the tool and then paint over the part of the background you want to get rid of. The AI will then automatically get rid of the background and put a neutral color there instead.

Then, you can fine-tune the results by changing how the AI works. I have used the Portrait Background Removal AI on a number of portraits, and I have been very happy with the results. Even in scenes with a lot going on, the AI has been able to remove the background in a good way. It has also been able to keep the subject’s hair and clothing details. As a professional photographer, I edit all of my portraits with Luminar Neo. The Portrait Background Removal AI is one of my favorite tools, and I use it on almost every portrait I edit. It is a great way to make portraits quickly and easily that look like they were done by a pro.

Luminar Neo: Photo Organization

Even if you don’t care about the fact that you can’t import photos from temporary devices or places, you have to admire how easy it is to manage photos in Luminar Neo. On the left side of the screen, the ‘Catalog’ module has 5 places that change automatically based on what you do:

  • All Photos
  • Single Image Edits
  • Recently Added
  • Recently Edited
  • Trash

When you move your mouse over each title, it tells you how many images are in that section. The “Recently Added” and “Recently Edited” sections have drop-down menus that show when the actions were done. Under this, the ‘Folders’ level holds any folder from your hard drive that you add to Luminar Neo. Lastly, there are “Albums,” which work like Lightroom’s “Collections” and let you put together groups of images that are already in your Neo catalog. You can add multiple photos to an album or make a new one by selecting them all and right-clicking to see the options. You can’t just drag and drop photos into the Albums panel to make new albums, which is strange.

Luminar Neo: Pros and Cons


  • Flexible workflow
  • Powerful AI engine
  • Reasonable price
  • Beginner friendly
  • Discounts for Skylum software users
  • 24/7 service support


  • Slow response time (initially)

Final Words

Luminar Neo is a powerful photo editing program that uses AI to make the editing process faster and easier. It has a wide range of features, such as tools for changing colors, contrast, and brightness, as well as tools for removing objects, improving portraits, and making artistic effects. I’ve been using Luminar Neo for a few months, and I’m very happy with what it can do. The AI tools are especially impressive, and you can use them to improve the quality of your photos quickly and easily.

For example, the Sky Replacement tool can automatically replace the sky in your photo with one of thousands of other skies. The Portrait Enhancer tool can automatically make the skin smoother, get rid of blemishes, and make the eyes look brighter. Also, Luminar Neo is very easy to use. The interface is clean and simple to use, and the controls are easy to understand.

Even though I’m not a professional photographer, I was able to learn how to use the software quickly and easily. I’m very happy with Luminar Neo as a whole. It is powerful photo editing software that is easy to use and can help you improve the quality of your photos. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for new software to edit photos.

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John Brister
John Brister
Meet John Brister, the prolific content writer renowned for his perceptive comparison articles on Bollyinside. Specializing in topics ranging from TVs to headphones and other accessories, John's knack for breaking down intricate details into reader-friendly insights has garnered him a dedicated following. Beyond his literary pursuits, John is an avid swimmer and equally passionate about tracking, often exploring new trails and routes, feeding his sense of adventure.


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Luminar Neo is a powerful photo editing program that uses AI to make the editing process faster and easier. It has a wide range of features, such as tools for changing colors, contrast, and brightness, as well as tools for removing objects, improving portraits, and making artistic effects.Luminar Neo review 2023: the new AI-powered photo editor