Which Is the Best Photo Editor in 2021

Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored content from any of the advertisers or software company. All details are written based on our personal experiences after testing for many years.

So far there are many so-called best photo editor online nowadays and all of them claims to be the best. So it becomes really tough to which product we trust as it is the concern of spending money.

which is the best photo editor

We have our eyes on the photo editing software from the last 4-5 years and for this long experience, we better understand which photo editing software is best in the present day.

Look, we can never rate any software based on its feature. There are certain other criteria based on which we made our final choice. We have compared pricing, features, ease of usage, User Interface, User Experience, and much more.

So can we reveal the best photo editor of this year?

It is Skylum Luminar 4

Yes, Luminar 4 is considered to be the best photo editing software of this year. It has so many advanced features plus exceptional editing platform that everyone loves.

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So this detail is all about Luminar 4 and its amazing features.

What makes Luminar 4 as our top choice?

You might be wondering, how straightforwardly we said that Skylum Luminar 4 is the best software for photography?

Right?

We had put hours of research in reviewing every basic detail about Luminar 4 and other software in this industry.

Let us take an example,

There is one new technology nowadays called Artificial Intelligence (AI) and most software claims that they use this technology while photo editing.

Since it is new so we made this as the top priority deciding factor of the best photography software.

We have put our test on all major photo editors but to be very honest, there was only one product which really pays off up to our expectations.

Artificial Intelligence is basically a technology which intelligently edits, enhances the photo without any manual workflow.

In the latest edition, AI Sky Replacement tool is added which instantly changes the mood of your photography by changing the Sky as you love.

There are pre-installed skies from which you can choose from or you can replace the sky with your own existing photos. This algorithm of changing skies is so advanced that it smartly match with your photograph.

In the latest update, there are furthermore improvements in Sky Replacement tools. Now you can make a more smooth transition between the original photo and the sky replacement.

Is Portrait Photography Really Worth?

The next amazing feature we found is Portrait Photography.

The trend has changed now when we look back 2-3 years before. Now Portrait photography is an essential tool required in any photo editing software. Either you have to buy separate software for Portrait photo editing you otherwise you must have a knowledge of professional editing.

But thanks to Luminar 4, you neither require any professional knowledge nor any extra software.

It comes with powerful Portrait photo editing tool that keeps your jaw drop. And I am quite sure for this. If you don’t believe me, get the free version now and check it by yourself.

Everything is automatically done, thus, you don’t require any manual selection or masks.

There are multiple smart tools to make your imperfections perfect within seconds.

Again, it is all done using Artificial Intelligence technology. It intelligently adjusts Face light, Red-eye removal, Eye enhancer, Dark circle removal, face slim, eyebrows improvement and much more.

skylum Portrait Photography

It scans the complete picture and detects any defects in your picture and it removes them without altering any other settings.

Now most photographers have always one complaint that most photography editors are used for studios when it comes to Portraits. But now Luminar 4 is ideal for both Studio and Outdoor photography.

With the latest update to the recent version, the newly added tool is Shine Removal from the face. And the importance of this tool is more clearly described by using an example,

luminar shine removal

What next?

This is just the beginning of the Luminar features and a lot more has to come.

You can also check the AI Augmented Sky tool which let you to embed new pictures in the existing one.

This is a super cool feature that we can get on Luminar 4. In one line, if we say about AI Augmented Sky tool,

It makes impossible possible.

AI Augmented Sky tool

Can you check the rocket launcher there? It looks truly original without any artefacts. Similarly, you can add almost anything and scale the size as you require.

Check one more example of embedded images

embed object

Even if you add something extraordinary, it still looks realistic. That’s why we love Luminar 4.

Basic to Pro: All available for Luminar 4

No matters either you are looking for Basic editing of professional editing, it is all done by Luminar 4.

Even if you are looking for professional editing, you can do it by your own at the very first time.

I have experienced it personally.

The next thing we are going to discuss is about object removal. Earlier, Skylum has a separate software for erasing unwanted objects called Snapheal but now it is embedded to Luminar to give you everything at one single place.

Luminar 4 so intelligently build that it removes the unwanted object with absolute precision and control.

We have tested Luminar in different complicated levels of object removal and the results were beyond our imaginations.

It seems to be the original image and impossible to identify the section from where the object has been removed.

luminar object removal

Check out how smartly the boats are removed from the above picture. Similarly, you can remove any object from the image.

What about adding artificial sun rays?

I must say, here nothing looks as artificial. Everything appears as realistic. This is the quality of Luminar 4.

You can add sun rays using Sunrays tool. You can even hide the shadows of the rays behind any object or tree to make it more natural. All you need is to align the source of the rays on different axis with the cursor and give your picture a completely different feel.

Most of the other software in this category offer this feature but the quality difference is huge. There are no impressive results.

What Else there’s in Luminar 4?

Let us be more productive with Luminar to show almost all major features

Detail Enhancer

With the advanced algorithms, Luminar offers Detail Enhancer that let users to selectively sharpen the image to make it crystal clear.

luminar detail enhancer

No matters the size of the pictures you have, you can adjust it all by you own where you need to enhance the details.

Normally all of us don’t have a professional camera and even if it is there, it is hard to make instant changes unless you are a professional photographer. And in the time being most of us left with just a photograph.

But later on, when we see them on the big screens, there is a huge difference what we actually tried to captured and what is there. Detail enhancer realistically works on your picture and enhance every tiny detail you require.

Noise Removal

Noise in the photograph is due to disturbances and the variation of different exposures whether it is from camera variations or others.

Normally when there is a low-light situation, the noise is more due to improper ISO controls.

luminar noise removal

For more details on Noise removal, you can test it on the official website to make points more clear about removing noise from the photograph.

Content-aware AI Structure

Face editing is different from editing a landscape and landscape editing is different from editing any objects in a photograph.

When we apply any filters, editing tools, the whole picture affects and we have no choice left. But the recent version of Luminar 4 is even more intelligent than human techniques of editing.

content aware technology

All thanks to Content-Aware AI Structure that intelligently detects every tiny detail of the photograph and according to the content, it edits the picture.

Smart Contrast

Contrast is contrast but Smart Contrast is far different. If you just increase the contrast of the picture, it becomes unrealistic somewhere but it is not the case with Luminar.

It smartly adjusts the contrast by preserving the colour and details for more realistic results.

smart contrast

If you have a picture combination of landscape, human, sky, and other such thing and when you enable smart contrast, it automatically understands the details and add contrast wherever necessary and independently.

User Experiences with Luminar 4

For better productivity we always need a better workspace. What if you have everything but don’t have a proper workspace?

The workflow definitely affects!

Luminar offers you an amazing space to edit the photograph. Unlike other photo editing software, there is decent editing space, easy navigation to the tools, proper editing layout, and quick filters.

They have a clean, nice dashboard where you can navigate to all the features from Basic to Pro in one single screen.

And the best thing is the Luminar Library. Here you can browse all your collection by creating different albums and folders.

luminar collections

This helps you to easily manage all your pictures at one single page. Earlier, you have to manage them on your system which was really annoying.

Compatibility

Skylum Luminar works for both Windows and MacBook as sooner they are going to launch the iOS app to edit pictures right from your iPhone or iPad.

During the initial release of Luminar 4, there were a minor crashing problem but now everything works fine.

Windows System Requirements

  • Intel Core i5 or later
  • Windows 7 or higher
  • At least 8 GB RAM
  • Require a minimum of 10 GB free storage

Mac System Requirements

  • Early 2010 or newer model
  • macOS 10.12 or higher
  • At least 8 GB RAM
  • Require a minimum of 10 GB free storage

If you meet the above requirements, everything works smoothly.

Available Languages

Currently, there are 11 languages available for Luminar 4 including English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Dutch, Portuguese, and Russian.

luminar languages

Is this a good choice for Professionals?

Of course!

Luminar has a separate column for Professional editing tools, there are professional tools for advanced editing.

Just to keep in mind, Luminar 4 is completely enabled with AI technology, so everything works by itself without any manual operations on the photograph.

Still, for professionals, you can do more creativity with all advanced tools.

I must say, whether you are beginner or expert, Luminar is the best choice to go for. And you can also try it for free using 14-days free trial and also there is a refund policy within a specific time frame.

Finally!

The final thing is about the working of Luminar 4

It works both Standalone and Plugins to Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Photos for macOS.

This is all about Luminar 4. We have provided you with in-depth detail and guide for most of the features that are exclusively available for Luminar users.

The most advanced technology is AI which automatically adjusts everything in your photograph with just one single click.

This tutorial is not completed without talking about HDR (High Dynamic Range) photography.

There are many photographers who specifically choose software for their HDR photography. There are so many HDR photography software available.

In our guide, we have our eyes on HDR photo editing software as well. And for this, we found Skylum Aurora HDR & HDRsoft Photomatix Pro are among best HDR editors.

But, if we have to choose just one, then it is Aurora HDR.

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What is HDR Photography?

High Dynamic Range (HDR) refers to the difference between the light and dark extremes in your image.

When we look at a scene with our eyes, we’re able to perceive the range of contrast within that scene. Our eyes and brain are able to absorb and interpret quite a wide array of details that various light conditions provide. 

Our camera sensors, on the other hand, have trouble capturing the difference of this range.

For this reason, to make the proper balance, we need HDR photography editor.

If you are not known to HDR photography, let us jump bit deeper and check where do we require HDR photography.

In most of the cases, HDR photography is used in landscape photography where there is high rise buildings, clouds, sky with different contrasts.

aurora hdr

Also, HDR photography now becoming more common in real estate to adjust the contrasts of different objects.

On the same side, there is always a question, when not to use HDR photography?

During the movement in the scene and where there are so many colours in one scene.

Why Aurora HDR is the best software for HDR Photography?

Again, we have tested Aurora HDR and its features very precisely and everything is similar to what we have expected.

Skylum Aurora HDR Quantum HDR Engine powered with Artificial Intelligence.

hdr photography

It delivers you the best combination of brackets intelligently and highest quality colour enhancement.

Along with this for instant improvements, there are more than 20+ creative tools available to make your HDR photography a perfect piece. Some of the tools are LUT mapping, polarizing, colour toning, denoising, dodge & burn and more.

Let us talk about some of the features here

Aurora HDR Features

HDR Denoise

It automatically detects the noise in the photograph and reduces it with the best possible quality.

HDR Smart Structure

With the advanced Artificial Intelligence technology, it allows you to get eye-popping depth & details on the image, that is noise-free, halo-free and full of life.

HDR Clarity

Clear is not clear in the case of HDR photography, you have to use the software to bring more clarity and for that Aurora HDR works perfectly. It detects where the clarity is required and gives contrasts to the selective area without touching the whole picture.

There are so many other advanced features available if you get Aurora HDR.

Now when we talk about Pro features for advanced photographers then, Yes, you can all of them in Aurora HDR.

It comes with Layer & Making features that let you do whatever you want with your photograph. You can use layer editing, blending modes, masking, and much more.

Also not to forget, if you have hundreds of image, use Batch Processing to create powerful HDR images in one go.

It also supports RAW Photos from most of the cameras.

Compatibility & Requirements

When it comes to compatibility, Aurora HDR is available for both macOS & Windows PC.

macOS must be 10.11 or higher, minimum 8GB RAM, and 10 GB are HDD.

Windows must be 7 or higher with minimum 8GB RAM and 10 GB free HDD.

If you meet the above requirements, you are ready to grab this masterpiece.

Conclusion

This guide about Which Is the Best Photo Editor is made keeping all factors in mind for both Basic to Professional users. Skylum Luminar is a powerful AI embedded software which has no competitor for today.

For HDR photography you must choose Aurora HDR.

There is also a special deal for Luminar + Aurora HDR bundle as both are from Skylum. You can take advantage of and save maximum.

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If you are not sure about them, just go with the free trial, use it and then buy.

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