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#1 rdb images

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Posted 14 October 2017 - 07:33 PM

It is that time of the year when many software companies start releasing new versions of their photo processing programs. I just bought Macphun's Aurora HDR software (new Windows version) and like it a lot. Does anybody have any experience with their Luminar product for Mac? It is soon to be released in a Windows version - now in beta. I am trying out the beta, but would like some input from experienced users. Thanks so much for your help regarding ease of use, range of tools, finished results, stability, etc.

 

Bob



#2 Vinny

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 03:31 PM

How is the Aurora program? They released it unfinished for Windows and after ON1 RAW - I ain't doing that again! :) Someone suggested that I should get it but I already have 3 programs that can do HDR andI don't shoot it too often.

 

Matt Suess has a website that's dedicated to Luminar and ON1. It apparently is totally non destructive and the beta although not finished seems fairly easy to use. So far my only complaint is that it has a second or so lag when I adjust things. I have been watching some videos and it does seem user friendly and easy to use. I recently heard (don't remember where) that they are having issues with it for Windows and that's why it hasn't been released yet - of course that info could be totally false. MAC vs Windows will be hard for anyone to answer stability or performance, Windows machines have so many variables that something could cause the program not to work correctly on a individual's machine; I would imagine you can expect the program to work like Aurora when adjusting settings.



#3 rdb images

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Posted 15 October 2017 - 08:34 PM

The Aurora HDR program has a lot of adjustment tools in it. It is quite complete. They have already issued a .1 release that adds Transform and Lens Correction tools. It has been very stable for me. I don't shoot a lot of brackets, but the few I have taken lately came out nice in Aurora. The HDR tools have a good range to them. It is easy to control yourself from going too far with the HDR look :). My only disappointment is that it does not have a spot removal tool. So, if you need to remove a sensor spot or small distraction, you have to use another program. The only other HDR software I have used is Photomatix. But, only the stripped down version (Essentials), not the full program (Pro.) The Essentials version does not have enough tools in it. I decided to go with the Aurora program over the Photomatix Pro program because it was less expensive during the initial release promotion.

 

Thanks for the info on Matt Suess. I will check out his website. I am continuing to play with Luminar. Haven't formed an opinion about it yet vs. ON1. ON1 now has their 2018 beta version out for free download. Full release scheduled for end of October. Going to start playing with that to see if they have improved memory usage. If not, ON1 is out.

 

Bob



#4 Vinny

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Posted 16 October 2017 - 03:31 PM

I am trialing ON1 2018 now and there are issues. A new beta version is supposed to come out on Wednesday. Take this from someone who really likes the ON1 software - wait until the final release! Unless you like being a beta tester don't bother, of course if you like it and are hoping that they clean up the problems then get it and send in trouble tickets to help them figure it all out. 2018 does have some nice new features though if they can work the bugs out...

 

Have you tried Alien Skin Exposure X3 - I like it a lot but at this point it is missing some things that I feel I want but that is based on how I do things. It is easy to use and just slightly more expensive to purchase then getting ON1 for the first time.

 

I have Topaz Studio - it is OK, could be very good but for me it still needs to evolve somewhat and it is a plug in type program and it could cost some money for all the Topaz plug ins. Studio is free though and if you can build on the plug ins vs buying them right away the cost can be spread out over months. I  am having an issue with it that I am trying to resolve with them but it just may be the way Topaz does things.

 

Luminar does look very promising  - so far the only feature it doesn't have in MAC that I would want is a smart brush. This is based on asking some questions and watching some videos.



#5 Vinny

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 03:03 PM

Bob,

 

In case you didn't get the email, Luminar 2018 is coming out. They haven't released when but will be having a 2 week presale "soon".



#6 rdb images

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Posted 17 October 2017 - 06:46 PM

Hi Vinny,

 

I did see that, thanks. I am pulling my hair out right now. ON1 Photo 2018 (I have the beta version I am testing) does not appear to have fixed the memory leak problem. It just crashed on me towards the end of an edit and I lost all of the work :angry:.  I have sent half a dozen emails to them about this ever since 2017.6 was released (that is when the problem really got bad for me.) I have seen comments from others about this also. I opened Task Manager's Performance tool while working in ON1 and I can see memory usage just keep on increasing as I work until it tops out. One user with 32GB of RAM reported the same phenomenon. I am really bummed about this because I really like the program otherwise. But, I can't live with this performance. I'll try the full release if I can do it without paying for it first.

 

I have been working with Luminar for Windows beta. Seems to hold at about 4-5GB of memory usage throughout. Much better. However, some basic tools seem to be missing. Like clone stamp, eraser, spot removal. These are basic, necessary tools for retouching. I don't know if they will be in the released version. Unless they are there already and I can't find them. Do you know if in Luminar whether it is possible to set up a list of filters and save it as a personal preset? I see a Custom category in the presets panel, but I don't see how to save one. Found how to do this.

 

I have not heard of the Alien program. I will look it up.

 

Thanks for contributing to this thread. We seem to be following a very similar path in looking for a full-featured, reliable program to use!

 

Bob


Just received an email that ON1 has released Beta 2 of RAW 2018. Guess I will download it and flog myself some more :wacko: . Here's hoping.

https://www.on1.com/...-raw-2018-beta/

 

Bob



#7 Vinny

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Posted 18 October 2017 - 07:27 PM

Bob,

 

I downloaded the beta 2 and it still has some issues for me. Sometimes portrait oriented photos show up as landscape oriented, I'm having issues still with HDR; panoramas worked it seems. I believe you have a Windows machine as do I, I never had the memory leaks that were reported and I have just 16 Gb of memory. My machine is about 6 YO and is running an Intel I5-760 processor I wonder if the processor makes a difference. ON1 just sent me a pre release savings email ... I just don't know if I want to commit to them.
 

I think that Luminar has all or most of the tools you said in it's MAC version so they should either be there upon release or they will come sometimes after. I am a little gun shy about getting a pre release after the ON1 program

I really want an all in one program as I have a few programs on my computer but I find it a pain to go into different programs to do certain things (I don't shoot HDRs and Panoramas all that often) with them. I don't mind if I need a certain tool (I have DXO and it's noise reduction is great) but don't want to bunce between 3 or 4 programs to get a photo looking OK.

 

If you don't mind, please report back on what you think of programs you try. I almost committed to ACDSee but it didn't really grow on me, I felt it was too hard to grasp doing manipulations. I didn't like Exposure X2 at all but X3 is much nicer IMO as it has local adjustments now. One thing it is missing for me is the layer blending modes.

 

Good luck in trying to find that "Holy Grail"  ... hopefully when we find it it will be enjoyable to use.



#8 rdb images

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Posted 01 November 2017 - 02:16 PM

Macphun just announced pre-order is open for Luminar 2018 for Mac and Windows. $49 for beta users. $59 for new users. Available November 16. At just $49 I am going to pick it up and try the full release version. The Windows beta was ok, but very limited tool availability.

 

I also ordered the ON1 RAW 2018 upgrade (releasing end of next week) to see if they have improved memory management in the full release version. The betas were not behaving. As I have said, I like the ON1 product a lot, but this will be the last chance. If the memory usage problem doesn't go away for me I am done and hopefully the Luminar product will work out. I have no problem with Macphun's Aurora HDR software. Just needs a couple more tools IMO (spot removal and clone stamp) so it is not necessary to go to another program to remove distractions. BTW, Macphun is changing their name next year to Skylum since they are no longer Mac centric.

 

Looks like November may be decision month :wacko:

 

Bob



#9 Vinny

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 06:08 AM

I decided to stick with ON1 and purchased 2018. I was disappointed that Macphun put out only one beta and it was very stripped down. I also see that a few items will be coming soon for Windows and is already in the MAC version. I get they were a MAC software company but I couldn't really use their beta except for playing around and who knows what very soon will be. ON1 has their issues and it seems that the issues are on an individual basis; my problems may not be another's problems .... and some people have no problems at all! What I do like about ON1 is their customer service! They refunded my money 8 months into their Plus Pro membership which I did to get the program and see what the Plus community was about. I stopped using 2017 and started looking into other software out there and I noticed that all the software has issues and the ones I tried did have forums but very little interaction with company people - ON1 is interacting with their customers. I have been posting on a particular FB site and ON1 contacted me and set up a screen share and call to correct my issues. They are still working on them but at least their trying. I guess I'll see what the future brings to the software world ... it seems that more players are in the all in one camp these days.



#10 rdb images

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Posted 03 November 2017 - 11:25 AM

110% agreement with ON1's customer service. They always respond quickly to my inquiries/bug reports. I am really, really hoping the ON1 2018 release works for me as far as the memory usage issue I have goes.

 

Bob



#11 David Pavlich

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Posted 08 November 2017 - 04:08 PM

I was thinking about Aurora, but upgraded from Photomatix Pro 5 to 6.  I also preordered Luminar yesterday.  Looks like a pretty cool addition that will work well with LR.

 

David


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#12 rdb images

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Posted 09 November 2017 - 04:44 PM

ON1 Photo RAW 2018 was released today. I will be putting it through its paces over the next few days. Hoping all goes well.

 

Luminar 2018 is supposed to be released next Thursday. I am looking forward to trying that out.

 

Bob



#13 PeterPP

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 11:31 AM

I'm using Topaz studio and Luminar, but waiting to see what the Digital Assert Manager will be like when they finally add it to Luminar next year before committing to a changeover.
Looking to leave Adobe, been having nothing but GPU crashes in Photoshop cc and strange freezes in Lightroom since they released the latest classic version.
Not very interested in any cloud based editing solution that adobe seems to be heading for, does not sit well with not having access to fast internet for weeks at a time.

Peter
 





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