October 22, 2023

Lightroom 2024 brings this amazing new panel called Point Color and it’s really good. Today I’ll show you everything you need to know to master it.

Lightroom Point Color Secrets. Is it better than Capture One?

You can add spot color instantly within pre-made masks like Elegance Speed Masks. Also download my free film presets to play with the advanced color and see how it works beside balanced use of HSL sliders.

Use Point COlor when you need precision.

Much like the advanced color in Capture One. Lightroom point color lets you go beyond the HSL basic color sliders. Select a color spot and you’re in.

Don’t stop using HSL because the sliders we’ve been using for years are clean and you rarely get the artifacts or problems that can come from more precise selection and maks.

That sais point color seems to naturally work flawlessly. Only turn the range down as needed to avoid hard lines and don’t be afraid to use the advanced adjustments.

In the end, point color is not to replace HSL sliders but to give you more control when you need it including in masks like we’re doing here in the video.

Another level of masking.

The only real choice you have to make in point color is to decide whether to use it in global development settings, that is the selection you create based on color and tone will affect everything in the photo like here in the water of Thors Well.

Or do you want to be more specific? Then just ass your point color within a mask brush on, a portrait mask, AI background. You can use it anywhere and it works the same.

Now you may spend some time making these settings and I can’t find a practical way to copy the point color swatches you made into a mask from the main development, This would be useful. What we can do is add various mixes into presets which you’ll see in future updates of my preset packs.

Lightroom Point Color VS Capture One Advanced Color?

Objectively speaking yes I believe point color wins this battle. But they are both powerful and will achieve the same goal.

Lightroom Spot color is more visual, how more ways to adjust settings, and has a 3rd dimension in direct luminosity control in the selection that Capture One lacks.

Some will argue that because Cap[ture also has a skin panel it’s better. But in truth, the skin panel is more limited because it’s still just an advanced color selection.

Yes, capture one does shave have from uniformity sliders in the Skin panel, but the selection is not that precise. Lightroom on the other hand can make an instant subject mask and you can use point color to define the tone and balance of that color on the subject ONLY.

In the end, use what works for you/ Lightroom seems to have leaped ahead once again on one of the few features that Capture One still had as an advantage. Not capturing one is really only looking at a lead in tethering.

We’ll see more in our annual review of Lightroom VS Capture One in 2024 when both apps have new versions and Phase One has a chance to do something big.

Gavin Seim

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October 14, 2023

2024 may be a year of reckoning for Phase One. But there’s no doubt Lightroom took this feature from their playbook after many years. What we do know is C1 just lost an edge with the new Lightroom Spot Color tool and I’ll show you how to use it today.

Lightroom Spot Color was only a Capture One feature before.

Play with Lightroom Spot Color. Grab the Free Filmist presets and play with spot color to enhance details. Also, check out the new Amber Presets pack as it does deep things with color and is a good example of the power of this.

Lens Blur is also cool, but do you need it like Lightroom Spot Color?

The new lens blur feature works pretty well and will doubtless get better. But do we need a mobile-style bokeh in Lightroom?

I can see this being good for enhancing existing bokeh. I would personally avoid it in images that have no bokeh as in our phones it does make mistakes. Unlike the new Lightroom Spot Color which is the game changer, lens blur in LR 24 is just a nice feature.

Blurs have long been limited in Lightroom and don’t really exist in Capture One. I think I’ll find myself using this as a general blut tool more than a bokeh tool. Sadly I don’t see a way to use this in presets thus far.

lightrooms new lens blur tool

Don’t use Lightroom Spot color on everything.

As I explain in the video you don’t need to open this feature up with every color. Most times I apply a preset from Filmist or Amber and it’s formulated just fine. Stay tuned to my channel because I I’ll be making more videos about when and where this tool is amazing.

What this does allow is fine-tuning if you feel a color is just not quite right. It also allows deeper and easier fine-tuning when creating presets so you can be sure I will be implementing it in future updates to mine.

Advanced Color in Capture One is really good, but the visual manner in which Lightroom Spot Color works lets you select colors and see the output and I might like that better. We’ll compare the two in the 2024 LR vs C1 review soon.

Lightroom spot color with visualize
Here I used Amber presets but selected just the dark oranges to adjust them to my liking. By activating the Visualize range you can see only the selected color much like in Capture one.

Using this tool in Lightroom masks is even better.

Ai Masks are amazing in Lightroom and many of you use my Elegance Speed Mask presets to apply them in fast groups. But until now we have had no HSL-style controls in masks and I have always had to find clunky workaround when making presets.

You can bet you’ll be seeing updates to my Ai presets that take advantage of LIghtroom Spot color in specific details. I can say from much experience that it will empower our masking to a new level like me you’ve probably been wanting this for a long time.

Using Lightroom spot color in an Ai mask to balance the color of a blue sky
The power of Lightroom Spot color with a mask is evident. I’ll show you this example in the video.

It will be interesting to see what competition from the likes of Affinity, Capture One and others will bring and we will all benefit from it.

Make sure you sub the Pro Photography Podcast because we will be talking more about all of this.

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May 10, 2023

Everyone is saying Ai these days. It’s the marketing gimmick. But Adobe is showing that when they say Ai, they mean tools that are actually smart. Like the Ai masks from last year made even better in 2023.

But what about Lightroom’s new Ai Noise reduction?

In today’s video I’ll show you how to use it and give it punishing comparison tests. Lightroom already beat Capture One in my Lightroom vs Capture one Noise and Worms testing. But for photos you need something extra on. This new button is more amazing than I expected. I’ll show you in the video below.

You can get the new Street’ist presets I mentioned in todays video. And you can also download the Free Filmist presets pack to see the grain technique in action. They work perfect to finish up after Ai noise reduction.

At this point we have to start asking how much noise even matters.

The early days if digital left us with lots of noise and artifacts that recent Noise tools and better sensors have mostly brought it up to the detail level that we had in film.

With the improvement this year from Ai noise tools like this, you have to ask how much ISO and noise even matters. You can clean it up so well it’s almost too clean, and adding in a little organic grain like I do in most of my edits is more important than ever.

Old RAw file with ultra high noise corrected by Lightroom Ai

Even on this old 5D MK2 file at ISO 25000, Lightrooms Ai noise using the settings I show in the video completely transformed it like no noise tool I’ve ever used.

ON this S21 Ultra RAW file there was not much noise but the Lightroom Ai Noise process still improved the detail in a way that amazing me. I’ll show you the side by side in the video.

This is the start of big changes in how we edit.

I predict that very soon these Ai editing tools will nor be long processing steps but just part of the system like any other slider. They will keep getting better and as photographer we need to focus on the value of using them but also keeping photos real.

In the end I think this tool is game changing and I hope we see more Ai tool’s make make our real images better rather than a focus on Ai tools making photos that are not real photos.\

Gavin Seim

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April 20, 2023

Fuji Worms are considered a bane of Fuji shooters. Eating files alive like massive Sandworms rising from the dusts of Dune! But they also can invade your other cameras. Not just Fuji.

But do you really need Capture One to save you from Fuji Worms?

Does Capture One eliminate their Fuji worms better than Lightroom? Because yes even your Sony or Nikon can get worms. So who can save you from the end of photography as we know it. I’ll show you how in the video.

Also try my Film presets to get your own same process testing in LR and C1/ PS, Remember that my Filmist and Silver black and white packs both have noise and grain presets to make killing Fuji Worms easy. Try them out.

“Fuji” Worms actually occur in most Cameras.

And even in this years Lightroom VS Capture One 23 full review video I did one or two tests, with Lighting even pulling ahead. So in today’s video we’ll do a definitive and fair test.

And yes worms show up on other files too. It depends on the ISO, sharpening, sensor and more. I’ll show you a Sony file that also has worms and they are solved in the same way.

But as you see in the video, worms are a rather small issue and while both apps work well. You have no real advantage in worms or noise by using Lightroom. In fact on some images Lightroom seems to remove the noise better than Capture one, leaving us with a natural grain like structure.

ISO 10000 from an X100V compared in Lightroom and Capture one with basic noise reduction and no grain.

De-Worming is Easy on Fuji and other cameras.

I did this test a few years back and even then there was not much difference from Lightroom VS Capture One, despite grand claims to the opposite all over Fuji forums. This year I’ll test files all edited the same and we’ll try noise and grain tools a a definitive comparison.

The truth is all this worm stuff goes away when you add a little grain. So except on the most extreme and over-sharpened photos, worms are unlikely to be a problem even on older Fuji camera that have the Xtrans1 sensor like the Xpro1.

In the past Lightroom did struggle in noise and artifacts, but that was years ago. Just remember to add some noise reduction in LR to get the same result as C1 because it’s not default. Or just use a preset like the ones I make for you.

ISO 2500 file from a Fuji XE-3 LR vs C1 basic noise reduction no Grain.

Then whats all the Fuji Worms Hype about?

Really that’s about it. It’s not a big deal anymore? It’s now mostly just fanboy marketing for Capture One. The idea that you need to pay more for an editing software to get good results. That’s not the case in this situation at least.

In the end choose the software that works best for your style and that inspired you to shoot and edit creatively. That’s what this is all about.

You can feel safe and happy being safe from Fuji worms. You win, worms lose. The End.

Gavin Seim

In this ISO 3200 image from an X100V I added a little grain and basic noise reduction in both for an organic feel.
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March 10, 2023

I made a comparison of Luminar Neo vs Lightroom vs Capture One with no affiliate links, sponsors or brand bias.

Lightroom and Capture One are the big dogs in 2023. Watch my annual review here. But what about Lightroom vs Luminar Neo, it Capture One vs Luminar Neo? Today we find out!

Luminar gets advertised as the easy editor. But most reviews are affiliate or even sponsored videos. We need smaller devs and competition, so I don’t want to ignore them. Today we’ll compare Lightroom Vs Luminar Neo and even bit of Capture One in a real world test.

My video (watch on my channel here) + a Free Luminar Preset below.

Download my Free Luminar Neo preset I made for the video. Also use my Filmist LUTS in Luminar Neo as LUTS work amazing in Neo. Download the Filmist free pack and the very least and give it try.

I admit, comparing Lightroom vs Luminar Neo surprised me!

Both in that Luminar Neo does a lot of things, but also I expected more. I feels like Skylum has been focusing on fun features that advertise, rather than refining the app and making it pro tuned. With things like UNDO not even working as of March 2023 (v1.7) this app is not ready to be a photographers daily driver.

In general Luminar Neo gives a broad suite of editing tools for RAW files. It actually has more tools than Lightroom, even if some are a bit gimmicky, many are quite useful.

Luminar is trying to bridge the gap between photoshop and Lightroom. And to a point, it does that with fun add on’s, AI tools and some basic layer control. But it’s still nothing close when it comes to the layer based editing to Photoshop or even Affinity Photos. This like LR and C1 is is a RAW style editor first.

How well does Luminar Neo vs Lightroom Process your files.

Overall it’s honestly good. Masks are clean, selections are nice if a bit slow. AI seems to work more of less Ai-like.

BUT as I showed in the video and below, Luminar falls apart in more difficult shadow and highlight situations. Instead of giving a smooth roll-off in clipping, it bands. Something Lightroom used to suffer from, but these days is maybe even a bit ahead of Capture One.

Raw processing quality of Luminar Neo vs Lightroom vs Capture One
Look at the sun. My tough test RAW file shows that Luminar Neo is far behind Lightroom and Capture One is detailed processing. In this case I( used just Shadow and Highlight on the RAW file. Click to open larger view.

Is it worth using Luminar Neo vs Capture One vs Lightroom?

Not exactly. Neo is a powerful tool but it’s just as expensive and Lightroom and Photoshop Combined. So while it might be easier to learn and get started (for sure it’s easier than Photoshop) it’s also far more limited, has lower quality Raw processing and it’s lacking a lot of basic pro grade features.

Skylum is treating Luminar more like a mobile app than a serious pro photography tool. It’s many tools are in disconnect with interface problems, lack on expandability and they try to sell extras and instead of fixing slow or buggy features.

While importing is fast, even basic tools like resetting a photo, cropping and exporting are slow and drag when compared to Lightroom and Capture One in general. But the results of the many tools do work well.

Lightroom vs Luminar Neo comparison. NEO Ai raw edit
Before and after with the Summer preset I made for Luminar Neo (download fee under the video). It makes more advanced edits like skin smoothing and portrait details a slightly more one stop shop. A little more than Lightroom but still less than Photoshop.

Is Luminar really the easy Photo Editor?

That’s how Luminar Neo vs Lightroom. is promoted. The easy, cheaper one click editor. In a sense it’s easy. The learning curve seems straight forward and it can do some things you would normally need Photoshop for.

On a learning scale of 1-10, I would rate Luminar a 4, Lightroom a 5, Capture one a 6 and Photoshop an 8 in it’s learning curve.

While this won’t replace Lightroom, Capture One, Photoshop or Affinity for pros, you will get a lot of tools and if you’re looking for a new app to play with, Luminar Neo offers a lot in one package but it’s more expensive than both LR and PS, combined!.

That said the problems and inability to do simple things any pro app should do make things not so easy of you operate by those standards. Here’s looking at you UNDO, come on Skylum.

You can do a lot here from replacing skies (do very many of us do that) to great portrait edits. It’s just important to separate marketing from realty and then decide what you like best. Luminar Neo vs Lightroom.

A decent jack of all trades is Luminar Neo vs Lightroom

I hope with feedback like this, Skylum can raise the bar and make Luminar a real contender against Lightroom and Capture One. Because we need contenders.

I’m still rooting for it and will give the Skylum team a chance to listen and take action. I want to be clear in all of this. It’s a good app. But when comparing to top pro apps we can’t pull any punches and we have to compare apples to apples, dollars to dollars.

In the battle Lightroom vs Luminar Neo this year, Lightroom + Photoshop gives you more bang for less buck. But Neo has a lot of potential and I really hope that by 2024 the scales start tipping.

Tell me your thoughts in the comments. Will you use Luminar Neo, or stick with Lightroom / Capture One in 2023 — Gavin Seim

Lightroom VS Neo test 2023
In the Luminar Neo Vs Lightroom battle, you’ll find both to be powerful editors. But don’t expect the same level of RAW quality in tough scenes like this one or the same level of Ui refinement that you’ll find in Lightroom or even Capture One. As Neo grows it has a lot of potencial and it will be exciting to see what they can do if they listen to the pro market.

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