Just yesterday, Skylum launched four new upgrades – known as “extensions” – for Luminar Neo: Background Removal AI, Upscale AI, Supersharp AI, and Focus Stacking.
The new extensions are designed to provide impressive bonus features without disrupting Luminar Neo’s core functionality. Background Removal AI, for instance, allows users to swap out backdrops while leaving the subject untouched, and while this won’t appeal to many serious photographers, it’s an easy way for content creators to spice up otherwise bland images.
Upscale AI promises high-end image enlargement, useful for post-processing prior to cropping and/or printing. According to Skylum, the extension “enhances image resolution in a natural way” and is capable of “upscal[ing]…up to 6X.” And Supersharp AI intelligently sharpens files plagued by motion blur (though it’s unclear whether the extension can also improve images affected by lens softness or camera shake).
Finally, the Focus Stacking extension is capable of combining dozens of focus-bracketed images into a single, deep-depth-of-field file. While I haven’t had an opportunity to test out its capabilities, it’s the most pedestrian extension of the bunch – other comprehensive editing programs, such as Photoshop CC, Affinity Photo, and ON1 Photo RAW, also offer focus-stacking tools – though it should certainly come in handy for macro and landscape photographers.
Luminar Neo already boasted two extensions prior to this update (Noiseless AI and HDR Merge), so the release of four additional extensions puts the total up to six. And Skylum plans to ship (or at least announce) one additional extension before the year is out, which is currently listed as “coming in December.”
Unfortunately, while the extensions will undoubtedly impress many – even most – photographers, they are not included in the standard Luminar Neo package. Instead, to gain access to the new extensions, you have two options:
- Pay for a Pro membership, which costs $119 per month and offers access to “all and current extensions” in addition to the core Luminar Neo software
- Buy the 2022 Extensions Pack, which costs $299 and won’t contain any extensions added after December 2022
If you plan to rely heavily on Luminar Neo for post-processing, the extension pack may be worth the (steep) price, especially if you plan to print, focus stack, or blend your images. But if you’re a casual photographer, the more basic Neo package will likely be enough.
Now over to you:
What do you think of the Luminar Neo extensions? Will you buy the Extension Pack? Why or why not? Share your thoughts in the comments below!