Aurora HDR 2019 vs. Luminar 3

Aurora HDr does great with bracketed shots and my last post showed it capably handles single photos . . . but, what about Luminar 3 by the same company?

OK, OK, I’m probably burning out my few readers with these comparisons. This will be the last one (for now), I promise.

Anyway, in THIS post I explored what Luminar 3 can do.  Well, “explored” is a bit strong; I processed a few photos with it. But, I got to thinking (a dangerous thing that, I’m told); it seems to me both programs do similar things.

If you had to choose just one, which would you pick? Luminar’s advantage over Aurora is the file handling and catalog function it offers; it’s both an editor and a photo organizer. If you don’t need that (and if you shot bracketed series) Aurora processes photos very capably.

Well, I took the photos from the last post and ran a batch job using Luminar 3; I processed them using their Essentials Module and their AI Enhancer setting. So, here’s a gallery showing the original, the Aurora output, and the Luminar 3 output, in that order.

Not many words in this post . . . just photos.

Remember; both programs allow the tweaking of the processing. What you see here is the default output and only for one canned setting in each program. There are many canned settings in each program and each can be modified at will.

One other thing . . . Luminar 4 is coming out in November and it promises lots of improvements and enhancements. We’ll see.

That’s it. This post has ended . . . except for the stuff below.


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About disperser

Odd guy with odd views living an odd life during odd times.
This entry was posted in Aurora 2019 HDR, HDR, Luminar 3, Photo Post-processing, Photography Stuff, Software and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Aurora HDR 2019 vs. Luminar 3

  1. mvschulze says:

    OK! Two cents worth (maybe $.03): To mostly avoid the effects of different sized images, (as that in itself has a relatively drastic influence,) I’ll just comment on the two sets of images from the cruise sunset. In the first, the Aurora takes the cake. (knowing how much you love cruise-ship pastries, I feel this is an appropriate award!) Nice lighting, color, shading etc. The Luminar image is over exposed at the sun, and overall …lacks the contrast and even sharpness of the Aurora image.
    In the following series, however, I favor the Luminar over the Aurora, BUT I like your original best. Its larger image size partly influences my choice, but I feel its exposure (less) …renders it as best of the three. The Aurora’s distorted color by the sun, seriously detracts from the image.
    If I were to improve on what I see in this first image, (second series, first (original) image,) I would leave the clouds and sky the same, and bring up the exposure a tad in the ocean.

    Thanks for the all the comparisons. M 

    Liked by 1 person

    • disperser says:

      I had originally output the reference set smaller because I hadn’t planned on having them in a gallery so it doesn’t make any difference. So, yes, the size differential affects the impression of the photo.

      I concur with your observations but realize I could have adjusted the output to my liking. Those are canned settings and whatever algorithm the system used can be fooled by the content and dynamic range.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s so much fun to look at the photos…contrast and compare.
    All GREAT photos! But, the Aurora photos seem to jump out…
    BUT, with a few of the photos I like your original photos bestest.
    HUGS and Happy weekend to you and Melisa!


  3. AnnMarie says:

    I mostly prefer the Aurora processing, however, on some I like the Luminar better (the butterfly, Antigua and the church). I like the way Luminar seems to “smooth” the image. A very nice effect.


    • disperser says:

      I will probably settle on a couple of “looks” in each program for different photos. I’m going through a bit of that for a post I’m putting together; Aurora did well for most of the photos, but not all, but I ran it in batch mode and let it do its own thing. Once I set up different “looks”, I can apply them to specific photos.


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