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Skylum Luminar Neo to arrive “this winter” and will not replace Luminar AI

Skylum Luminar Neo
(Image credit: Skylum)

Skylum has just announced that a new Luminar Neo product will be launched “this winter”, but has already launched early-bird pricing and a pre-order scheme that gets you Luminar AI now and Luminar Neo when it arrives.

Details are scant right now and there aren’t even any screenshots, so we guess that development is at a pretty early stage, but Skylum says it is pitching Luminar Neo at more advanced creators: “As the latest member of the Luminar family, we designed Luminar Neo to allow artists to take on more challenging image creation work and achieve results which often seem unattainable.”

Like Luminar AI and Luminar 4 before it, Luminar Neo will leverage Skylum’s ground-breaking AI imaging technology to offer previously unattainable (or difficult) image effects and a much simpler route towards creative images for users who don’t want to get bogged down in sliders and technicalities.

Our understanding is that Luminar Neo will be a more advanced addition to the Luminar family and not a replacement for Luminar AI, though things change pretty fast at Skylum, and until more is known about Neo it's going to be pretty tough for potential buyers to figure out which to go for.

Luminar Neo is promising automatic dust spot removal. (Image credit: Skylum)

Automatic background replacement for portraits looks pretty clever too. (Image credit: Skylum)

Luminar Neo details

Key features in Luminar Neo will include:

• New relighting options, via depth analysis and subject recognition

• Blemish and object removal, including automatic sensor spot removal 

• Background replacement for portraits – we’ve already seen the Portrait Bokeh feature in Luminar AI

• Round-trip mobile image management – potentially the biggest news of all – via a new companion mobile app. This is one feature sorely missing from the current Luminar line-up and an essential element for the kind of audience Luminar appears to be aimed at.

Luminar Neo will also have ‘AI-driven compositing’, so it will see a return to the image layers dropped from Luminar AI. Skylum says an all-new processing engine will offer much faster performance, which will be welcome because Luminar AI is certainly not the fastest photo editor we’ve used.

So far we have no actual screenshots from Luminar Neo, just a set of presentation slides, so we assume the software is still at a pretty early stage. (Image credit: Skylum)

Skylum Luminar Neo pricing and availability

There’s no definite launch date for Skylum Luminar Neo and as yet no real indication of what the interface might look like or how it will work, so in the words of camera makers, this is probably more of a development announcement than a product launch. We’ll bring more news on Luminar Neo when we have it.

Read more:

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Skylum Luminar AI review
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Rod Lawton

Rod is the Group Reviews editor for Digital Camera World and across Future's entire photography portfolio, with decades of experience with cameras of all kinds. Previously he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more.