Luminance Review
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Luminance Review

Our Review by Chris Nitz on September 9th, 2011
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar ::
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Luminance is looking to make photo editing fast, simple, and enjoyable for any user. There is something here for novices or seasoned photographic veterans.

Developer: Subsplash, Inc.
Price: $0.99
Version: 1.1.1
App Reviewed on: iPad

iPad Integration Rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar
Re-use Value Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

The one thing the App Store does not lack for is photo editing apps. Everyone from Adobe to programmers locked up in a closet have now kicked out this type of app, and some are even free. So to stand out in this sea of apps, it is going to take something spectacular to draw in new users. Luminance is close to being that shining star app, yet some flaws keep it from guiding users to the light.

Let's start with the good points, and that is ease of use. Just about any user that picks up this app will be able to adjust photos in a mater of seconds. The UI contains very little to get in the way, yet provides enough to allow easy navigation to critical areas like importing, adjusting, and sharing completed work.

Getting to completed work is a mater of just a few taps. Import the photo from the Library, choose an already made preset or stack on just the necessary adjustments, save, and you are done. The presets contain a wide variety of items ranging from black and white conversions to full on 1970s retro goodness. The presets may even be manipulated under the adjustment tab for fine tuning. Everything happens with its own slider, so those minute changes are quickly accessible. Finally everything that happens when the app is opened is stored in history. This makes it extremely nice to go back to any point in the editing process and start over. These touches all amount to an app that is clean, quick, and simple to use.

While the UI and basic adjustments make this an easy to use app, there are a few items that keep it from being a must own app. First, there is no easy way to make a preset and then save it to the list of presets at the bottom. This would go a long way from having to load a photo, copy the edits made to that photo, and then past said edits to multiple photos. Another issue is that there is no direct import from the camera connection kit available. Granted this is a minor problem, it still adds steps to the overall workflow, and for those photographers that are light on time, this further hurts the usefulness of the app.

Overall, the UI and speed make this app great, but the downfalls put some kinks in the final polish. If these issues are resolved in a future patch, this will be one of the cheapest, and most useful editing apps to grace the iPad in recent months. Users that just need something that is handles basic photo manipulation tasks, and won't cost more than a value meal at McDonald's, this is that app. However, those that seek more power for a dollar or two more, a simple search will yield some better choices.


iPhone Screenshots

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iPad Screenshots

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