Replacing Adobe Lightroom, really ?

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Can a long time user of Lightroom switch to something else of his or her photo processing needs? Why ? Personally, this is a question lingering in my mind for a while. As a paying user of Adobe Lightroom since a long time, I invested a lot of resources in this software and so I became quite good at using it. But there are three things that I really don’t like about Adobe Lightroom.

First: even of recent Mac hardware (2017 iMac with 1 TB SSD, maxed out graphic card), this software is still slow at very basic things. That is unacceptable to me as speed empowers creativity. I suspect the reason behind this is that Mac and Windows versions share a lot of common code base.

Second: the UI doesn’t follow basic macOS visual language. For example, the scroll bars are not Apple’s design but something very ugly. This is just one of many examples.

Third: the UI is too cluttered. Over the years, Adobe added quite a few features to Lightroom. So, it makes the app look bloated quite a bit. I’m not using more than 50% of its features and power.

What if I could use a different app that is simpler in operation, has a great look & feel yet still powerful enough to do useful photo retouching and post processing ? Adobe Lightroom CC, the smaller brother of Lightroom Classic, is not the answer as it is even slower that Lightroom Classic.

Enters Luminar 2018. Currently testing Luminar 2018, version 1.3. I’m currently on a 14 days trial of the application. I’m a big fan of Aurora 2018, an app made by the same developer, as this is what I use to do my HDR processing. Luminar shares most of the UI language which I think is close enough to Apple’s visual language. It doesn’t feel a foreign piece of software on my Mac. And it is quite powerful. The only missing piece so far? An integrated catalog…. but according to the developer, it is coming before the end of 2018. Meanwhile, I’ll keep testing the application and use it in conjonction with Lightroom via the provided plugin.

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