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FEBRUARY, 2019
Photography
Software Review
Photolemur, the automatic image processing software using artificial intelligence, has been released in version 3 that drastically improves its operation and the quality of photo processing. I recently got my hand on this piece of software and here is a test of the features and performances of Photolemur 3.

Photolemur 3 – A Skylum Software

Last May, Skylum, the publisher of Aurora HDR and Luminar, announced the launch of the Skylum AI Lab, an initiative to develop intelligent photo processing with the ultimate goal of providing a fully automatic retouching solution. At the same time, Photolemur and Skylum joined forces for this. Photolemur 3 is undoubtedly the first concrete result of this collaboration, with an application to come in the next versions of Luminar or Aurora HDR, Skylum’s two flagship programs.

Photolemur 3
To date, Photolemur has edited 57 million photos, saved a total of 17,100 hours of retouching and helped more than 190,000 photographers (source: photolemur.com). Photolemur 3 continues the publisher’s mission: to allow everyone to retouch their photos, even without knowledge of the primary functions of photo editing software.

 

The interface

The interface of Photolemur 3 is straightforward: a single window, no complicated settings, and a before/after slider to discover image processing. All in a very visual way. Photolemur 3 supports RAW, JPEG and TIFF with a size of at least 800×600px. Below this resolution, the editor considers that there is not enough information in the image to be able to analyze it correctly.

Photolemur 3 Interface

Main features

Photolemur, available on Mac and Windows, analyzes the photos submitted to it and offers automatic enhancement based on algorithms and the analysis of vast amounts of photos to perfect your images.

The software can recognize a portrait, a landscape, trees, a drone shot, and apply appropriate settings. Indeed, it can recover details in a clear sky, restore colors, correct an under/overexposed image and increase contrast, etc.

 

New features

New features include the ability to add predefined styles to your images. Apollo, Evolve, Fall, Mono, Noble, and Spirited styles, come from both artificial intelligence and human control. They were selected from 1000 presets created automatically. The best ones have been chosen by an algorithm – does a machine taste good? – And then be proposed to beta testers who helped to select the 6 styles mentioned above.

Honestly, I don’t think this is the most exciting feature of this update, although it does suggest an interesting evolution – the use of personal LUTs combined with automatic retouching for processing RAW images – I don’t really use this feature.

Since version 2.2 Spectrum, it is possible to adjust the intensity of the automatic retouching applied to an image. Indeed, to reduce the effects, an intensity slider is available.

With Photolemur 3, it is also possible to manage and develop a batch of images (up to 200 copies). When opening several photos, you can improve a single picture and then apply the settings to the other images. However, if you prefer using a unique effect on each one, it’s of course possible. After that press export and you’re done!

Photolemur 3 Batch Processing Interface
I find it particularly useful to export everything at once because although the export is quite good and provides advanced settings as files naming, resizing or output formats choice… It’s quite long! Exporting everything in once allows you to go away from your computer while the software works at its pace.

 

Improvements of version 3

With version 3, the editor improved mainly the detection and treatment of faces. Indeed, when working on a portrait, it can automatically improve faces. It will smooth the skin, remove imperfections, whiten teeth, enlarge eyes…

Photolemur 3 Portrait Processing Example
The publisher hasn’t succumbed to the trend of excessive skin touch-ups. Fortunately for us, Photolemur offers a pretty realistic retouching. Among the most common touch-ups, we note the improvement of the eye contour area for a brighter look and the homogenization of skin tones. But the good news is that the engine does not remove any moles, scars or over-smooth the model’s skin.

It is quite qualitative and feels like an experienced retoucher’s job.

 

What place for PhotoLemur in the world of editing softwares?

I’d like to stress that Photolemur is not – in my opinion – a competitor to Lightroom, Luminar and so on. It is aimed above all at an audience that does not retouch its photos but still wants to get a more flattering look. From this perspective, Photolemur offers an ultra-simple approach to a problem for some photographers.

Price and availability of Photolemur 3

Photolemur 3 is available for 35$ (single license). A Family version is also available for 55$ allowing installation on up to 5 machines.

A trial version is also available, and users of previous versions of Photolemur will be able to take advantage of this update for 15$. The software is available as a perpetual license like others Skylum’s software. Yes, you heard well! That’s excellent news in today’s world where we are constantly asked to subscribe to monthly or yearly.

 

Final words on Photolemur 3

The software, boosted by “Machine Learning,” gets with each new version, more and more skills. Photolemur 3’s algorithm seems to have taken a step forward to propose finally convincing retouching. From overall image improvement to local exposure correction the software shines by its ability to get it right!

This major update brings its share of new features, such as the addition of filters, face retouching, and offers a much more natural and realistic retouching than before. I was really surprised by the quality of the AI image developments that Photolemur 3 was able to deliver.

Although you can process JPEG or RAW, the retouching is way better if you are working on a RAW file. Indeed, from an already compressed JPEG, the software works with less data (Read my article “RAW image vs JPEG: Advantages of RAW format?“).

Other improvements include improved performance and stability of the software. With version 3, processing time is reduced, and my main complaint is the exporting time, which I find quite long.

That being said, Photolemur really allows you to give your photos a whole new look, automatically, without stress and without any particular skills. This software will undoubtedly appeal to photo enthusiasts who do not want to spend (too much) time developing their photos (or all their photos).

Ease to use

Retouching Performance

Loading Time

Export Time

Overall Experience Rating

Photolemur Price