After more than a year of promising a digital asset manager (DAM) in Luminar, Skylum is about to release Luminar 3 with Libraries, an update that starts the application on the road to the DAM, but isn’t quite there yet. I write about what you can expect in Luminar 3 when it’s released on December 18 and what’s still to come in a new article for DPReview: First look: Skylum Luminar 3 adds support for photo libraries, Digital Asset Manager to follow.
People are going to be disappointed, I’m sure, but I also want to make the point that having your photo library integrated into the same environment where you edit your photos is a Big Deal. As a longtime Lightroom user, the convenience of being able to browse and rate my images, and then immediately be able to edit them without fussing with opening files from the Finder, making edits, saving the edited file (and where to put it), and otherwise doing file management when what I want to focus on is editing. So even though Luminar 3 is arriving with just the bare bones of a DAM, I think people who choose to put their photos into it will find themselves much more likely to use and edit with Luminar (particularly photographers who don’t like Adobe’s subscription payment model).
This is also another reminder that software is hard, and it’s not a trivial thing to just bolt a DAM onto a photo editor. Skylum has been talking and hyping this feature for a long while, and they’re just barely meeting their 2018 ship date with a limited implementation. I’m not trying to make excuses for them, but other companies who have tackled this task have also run into difficulties and delays (Affinity Photo, for example, has been talking up a DAM longer than Skylum, I think).
If you own Luminar 2018, you get the Luminar 3 update for free, and any updates throughout 2019 are also going to be free as Skylum builds up the DAM. If you don’t yet own Luminar 2018, it’s available now for $59 until December 18, and then $69 after that date.
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