luminar neo vs photoshop comparison
Photo and Video Editing Software » Comparisons » Luminar Neo vs Photoshop: Which is better for photo editing?

Luminar Neo vs Photoshop: Which is better for photo editing?

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No matter if you are a beginner or professional photo editor, you’ll need to edit your photos.

So, investing in professional photo editing software makes sense if you want to save your budget and time. In this Luminar Neo vs Photoshop comparison, I’ll share the main differences and similarities between the two photo editing apps while also providing my personal experience.

The verdict: Photoshop wins in terms of high-end editing and wider capabilities, while Luminar Neo is a better choice for simplicity and lower price.

Luminar Neo vs Photoshop: Overview

Luminar NeoAdobe Photoshop
Best ForHobbyists, beginners, everyday photographersProfessional photographers, graphic designers
Editing ApproachAI-powered, single-click edits for simplicityExtensive, precise editing tools for professionals
File ManagementEasy to organize photos within the photo editor using catalogsVia Adobe Bridge
Pricing$6.63-$14.95/month or
$269 for lifetime purchase
From $9.99/month
Free Trial7 days7 days

Main Differences

Here are the key distinctions between Luminar Neo and Adobe Photoshop:

Editing Approach

Luminar Neo: Makes it easy to organize and edit large amounts of photos. It leverages artificial intelligence for quick and impressive single-click edits. It’s an excellent photo editor if you prioritize simplicity and speed.

Adobe Photoshop: Best suited for editing one image at a time. It is popular for its extensive and precise editing capabilities, serving professionals who demand advanced tools for in-depth image manipulation.


Luminar Neo: Expect a user-friendly interface designed to simplify the photo editing process, making it accessible to beginners and hobbyists.

Adobe Photoshop: Provides a comprehensive toolset, including masking, retouching, and compositing features, delivering unparalleled control and precision, ideal for professionals.


Luminar Neo: Offers subscription plans ranging from $9.08 to $14.95 per month. The best thing about Luminar Neo is that you can purchase a lifetime license for $269.

Adobe Photoshop: Operates on a subscription model through Adobe Creative Cloud, providing ongoing access to Adobe’s creative suite, starting at $9.99/month.

Editing Speed

Luminar Neo: Features fast single-click edits powered by AI, offering instant improvements to photos with just one click.

Adobe Photoshop: Allows for complex image edits, making it a preferred choice if you require extensive adjustments and photo manipulations. However, it takes time to edit images in Photoshop.

File Management

Luminar Neo: Offers great file management using catalog and offers batch editing.

Adobe Photoshop: Does not have image catalogs and is intended for editing a single photo at a time. On the other side, Adobe offers Adobe Bridge, which is very easy-to-use software for file organization and management. Like Luminar Neo, Photoshop offers batch editing, however, it’s more complicated to use.

Photo Editing Capabilities

With Luminar Neo you will be getting 2 main things: simplicity and efficiency. It boasts powerful AI tools that can make complex edits with just a single click. For photographers seeking quick results without spending a lot of time on manual adjustments, Luminar Neo offers an appealing solution.

luminar neo editing

Luminar Neo includes a pack of different extensions, which makes it easy to do single-click edits powered by AI. These edits can significantly enhance the overall look and feel of your photos, including sharpening, upscaling, noise reduction, HDR merging, and many more.

While these AI tools are powerful, I have experienced slow loading times, particularly when working with high-resolution images.

For a deeper dive into this software, check out our Luminar Neo review.

Adobe Photoshop, on the other hand, is mostly used for precise editing. It’s the go-to choice for professional photographers and graphic designers who require advanced tools for in-depth image manipulation. Photoshop’s extensive toolset allows for complex adjustments, masking, retouching, and compositing.

generative fill remove background content aware fill

Recently Photoshop presented its Generative Fill features, which offer powerful AI-based editing as well.

Winner: Photoshop

File Organization & Batch Editing

Efficient file organization is crucial for any photographer or designer.

In terms of file organization, Luminar Neo is more similar to Lightroom than Photoshop. It allows quick organizing of your files using Catalog which will definitely save you time.

luminar neo catalog

Photoshop, on the other hand, is intended for editing one image at a time. If you are more of an Adobe person, you should consider using Adobe Bridge as an additional software for file management.

Both Luminar Neo and Photoshop offer batch editing as well.

Presets vs Actions

Luminar Neo makes it easy to edit large amounts of images using presets, while in Photoshop you have to create actions. Actions are similar to presets, however, more work and knowledge are needed to create and automate them.

Winner: Luminar Neo


Price is a significant factor when choosing photo editing software. Luminar Neo offers both a lifetime purchase option at $269 and subscription plans ranging from $6.63 to $14.95 per month. The subscription plans come with access to extensions and future updates.

Moreover, Luminar Neo offers a 7-day free trial which allows you to try all features risk-free.

In contrast, Photoshop operates on a subscription model through Adobe Creative Cloud. You can subscribe to Photoshop as part of the Adobe Photography Plan, which includes Photoshop and Lightroom, starting at $9.99/month. Also, you have the option to go for Adobe Creative Cloud all apps plan to get access to all Adobe’s apps.

The choice between the two ultimately depends on your budget and long-term commitment. Luminar Neo’s one-time purchase option may be appealing to those looking for a cost-effective solution, while Photoshop’s subscription model provides ongoing access to a comprehensive suite of Adobe’s creative tools.

In conclusion, the choice between Luminar Neo and Photoshop depends on your specific needs and priorities.

Winner: Luminar Neo

Luminar Neo as a Plugin for Photoshop

Yes, you read that right. There is no need to choose between the two. Instead, you can use Luminar Neo as a plugin for Photoshop.

Using Luminar Neo as a plugin for Photoshop is a great option for those who want to continue using Photoshop but additionally want to use Luminar Neo features, such as replacing background or sky, relighting images, placing sunrays, enhancing details, and much more just with a few easy clicks.

Winner: Both

Luminar Neo vs Photoshop: The Bottom Line

Overall, Photoshop is better for graphic designers and high-end retouchers, while Luminar Neo is a better choice for everyday photographers who want quick and easy edits.

If you are looking for simple edits, AI features, and budget-friendly pricing, then Luminar Neo should be your pick.

If budget isn’t an issue and you need professional-grade editing capabilities, and an extensive toolset, Adobe Photoshop sounds like a good fit.

Your choice between the two should align with your specific editing goals, skill level, and budget considerations.

Happy editing!

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