Radiant Photo is a new AI app designed to get your pictures in great shape with no retouching or little tweaking.

Just when you thought there were more than enough raw photo editors out there, another one also has some fresh thinking and excellent results. This new editor is called Brilliant photo.

According to the company, when an image is loaded into Radiant Photo, within seconds you’ll see its Radiant version. In most cases, this will be 90% of the edits needed. This is possible because the software uses AI scene detection, smart presets, and advanced algorithms to truly understand the image and its content. It optimizes on a pixel-by-pixel basis to deliver true-to-life color, with the right contrast and detail.

The software’s creators don’t see it as a replacement for Photoshop, Lightroom, or any other app you edit with, but they do see it as a time-saver to get most of your edits done with. using very intelligent AI algorithms. If you don’t like the results, you can edit the image with the tools you’re familiar with with most editors, like highlights, shadows, vibrance, and saturation. There are also firming tools and some that most users won’t see before, like Fidelity, Depth, and Light Diffusion. There are also some AI-based controls for portraiture. Any group of settings you like can be saved as a preset and you can load images in bulk. This can be great for wedding photographers and others with large volumes of images when time is of the essence.

The software was created by professional photographers and they assembled the team to create the software they wanted. The group has about 267 years of experience. They believe that every photographer can benefit from years of innovation and experience.

How it works?

It’s pretty easy and quick. This software is offered for Windows, as well as Intel and Apple Silicon Macs. I’ve had a few days to use the beta, so my comment has the usual beta warnings. This software is still incomplete and will probably work better than this beta version. However, it never crashed, and I had no apparent hiccups. I’m not much of a portrait person, but a landscape photographer, so my testing focuses on that.

This is an image taken with a drone. On the left is the original raw image. On the right is a photo of Radiant Photo. Processing took about three seconds, and I never edited any part of the image.

I still have some work to do in Photoshop or Luminar Neo, increasing shadows, reducing highlights, and I could have done it in the editing controls Radiant Photos provides, but the software got me home. This is impressive.

Below is another drone image from Lone Pine, California at sunset.

Again, you can see an improvement without any tweaking. I took about 75 photos with the drone on this trip. I could have loaded them all in and Radiant Photo would do this kind of work on all of them without making a single adjustment. Or I can make some adjustments to that time of day, save it as a preset, and the software will batch and improve them.

The software automatically determines the type of image you have taken, even underwater images. I gave it a 17-second image of the Milky Way and it immediately identified it as a night landscape and applied sharpening and noise reduction. I think it gave me a really good start in editing this image. Here are the before and after photos, the original raw image on the left, the auto-processed image on the right. Not bad for three seconds of work.

Of course, one can do this manually. This is a photo I took in the mountains of Arizona, with the Radiant Photo version on the right.

I think it’s working fine, and again, it’ll be just one more touch of editing.

I took my original raw image and fed it to the Luminar Neo. You can see it below. I used the AI ​​tap slider, with a very slight sky enhancement tweak. I went to the same place, but of course, it never touched the Radiant Photo version, while I had to make adjustments in Luminar Neo.

I think Radiant Photo has slightly more accurate rock tones, but they’re pretty close in Neo.

For output you can choose PNG, JPEG, 8-bit TIFF or 16-bit TIFF. Of course, the software will keep your original.

Although I do not shoot portraits, here is an example provided by the company. To my eyes, the results seem natural and not too uplifting. It does a good job with shadows, dark circles under the eyes and teeth.

I wonder why there isn’t an option to save the image as a DNG file, since that’s what I love about DXO Pure Raw. DNG in, DNG out. I received a response from Radiant Photo Team Member Florian Schuster:

We’re offering 16-bit TIFF because it’s basically the gold standard when it comes to finished images. Please note that we’re not just changing a few basic raw sliders, but we’re also doing pixel-by-pixel retouching, including portrait retouching. So DNG is not an option, and even in terms of quality it will yield worse quality than TIFF.

I should add that you can load any image into Radiant Photo, even JPEG. It can make some improvements, but it works best with raw images where it has a lot of data to work with.

Who is this software for?

I found it very useful. If you have a lot of images and want to start getting them ready for further editing, I think Radiant Photo will be useful. As I mentioned earlier, it will be a boon for wedding photographers and others returning home from a commercial job with a full bucket of images and wanting to get started.

I’ve never seen Radiant Image make a bad decision when adjusting a raw file. Sometimes there’s not much difference between the original and the Radiant Image edit, but it never spoils the picture and usually it improves color balance and dynamic range.

The ability to further enhance images without switching to another application is a plus, and it can comfortably work with Photoshop or Lightroom Classic as a plugin. Additionally, Corel PaintShop Pro compatibility will be available at launch in September.

What I like

The creators have achieved their goal. It uses AI and makes changes without too much impact. Raw images are almost always improved, and that’s no small feat.

There are plenty of sliders to let you enhance your images even further, and you can save that work as a preset. I don’t think using AI here replaces your creativity. It strengthens it.

What’s missing?

The only way to exit the program is to export the image. Most will do this as a 16-bit TIFF. I’d like to see a way to connect to Photoshop, or Lightroom, or Luminar, or any other raw editor. I know there are plug-ins for Photoshop and Lightroom, but I usually use this as a standalone application.

Keep a bright photo

Radiant Photo will be available for download by September 15, 2022. Customers can already pre-order the software here and get a free pre-order as a bonus for pre-ordering. Plus, there’s a 30-day money-back guarantee, so every customer has 30 days to try things out and decide if they want to continue using Radiant Photo.

Prices for Radiant Photo start at $129 / €139 / £129 for the standalone version or the plug-in version. Customers who want both options, standalone and plug-in, can choose the plan for $159 / €169 / £159.

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