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2024 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C8 Interior Review: Cabin Fever

There’s a reason why Chevrolet revealed the 2023 C8 Corvette Stingray during the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing. The new mid-engine Corvette is one small step for Chevy, and one giant leap for the American-built sports car industry. It sounds like I’m exaggerating – maybe even like I’m a star-struck fan – but having had the chance to get up close and personal with the 2023 Corvette I’m pretty convinced it’ll create a huge tsunami in the world of high-performance cars.

And let me tell you, the shock factor is real; whether you hate it or love it, it’s very real. Besides having the engine in the most unusual place for a Corvette, the interior is simply a giant leap from the tacky cabin of previous-generation cars.

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so I’ll personally reserve my judgment on the exterior style of the C8 (for now). Depending on what angle you look at it, the C8 does bear a striking resemblance to an updated version of the Ferrari 360 Modena. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but at the same time, I can’t blame purists if the design takes a while to settle in.

Until the collected automotive journalists get the opportunity to drive the new Stingray, we’ll take the time here to examine the really impressive interior design and overall build quality. With a base price of around $60,000, the new Corvette C8 offers unbelievable value. Previous generations of the Corvette were cheap for a reason: you get an engine, two seats, and that’s basically it. The body panels are mostly plastic, the switches were dated and flimsy, and the cabin appointments are sub-par at most. The interior was always the biggest letdown of any Corvette and is thus the reason why Chevy took its sweet time in making its new interior extra premium and doubly special.

I’m not alone in getting enthusiastic about the new Stingray’s marked interior upgrade: Tristan Murphy, the lead interior designer of the C8 Corvette, told me he’s particularly excited about the overall execution inside the cabin as well. “For the interior, we really wanted something that delivers on the exotic promise of a mid-engine sports car,” Murphy said. “So we did this extremely driver-focused interior that is very three-dimensional and doesn’t feel like anything else in the market.”

Everything that your hands can touch or feel inside the C8 Corvette is covered in a premium-feeling material. “We wanted to treat everything inside the car like luggage or wrapped goods,” continues Murphy. “We made sure that everything single thing you touch is either leather-wrapped, suede-wrapped, carbon-fiber or aluminum. Even the simple door pull and you can look at that and nothing you touch is bare plastic. Everything is premium.”

You can choose from six interior color themes including Sky Cool Gray, Jet Black, Morello Red, Two-tone Blue, Adrenaline Red, and Natural/Natural Dipped. But the new interior hues are not the primary reason for the premium execution in the new C8 Corvette’s cabin. Even the buttons, switchgear, and shifter have a well-made and luxurious feel.

As I said, the new 2023 Corvette C8 Stingray is unlike any Corvette in history. Without a long, powerful, and protruding hood in the front, the cabin is designed to be kept as low as possible to improve visibility and driving feel. Everything inside the jet fighter-inspired cockpit is pared down, including the passenger air vents.

All the primary controls are oriented towards the driver. Interestingly enough, Chevrolet says the air vents are the slimmest ever in any production car. Stepping inside, the cabin is clearly divided into two, but Chevrolet wanted it to be even cozier inside than a McLaren or Porsche. Proof of this is the strip of buttons for the HVAC system. It is designed for two things: to serve as a divider between the driver and passenger, and to display the shared controls. As with a fighter jet, there’s redundancy, so the HVAC controls are also integrated into the touchscreen.

Also, surprising is the amount of space inside. The driver’s side has a snug feel, which is partly exacerbated by the wraparound dashboard design. Still, I’m 6’2″ and I felt fine inside the C8. For a tall person, leg room’s typically the commodity most in-demand, so by moving the engine from the front the first thing you’ll notice is plenty of footwell space. Headroom and shoulder space follows suit, and I even had enough space to adjust the front seats. It doesn’t feel like interior room and comfort was compromised during the development of the new C8 Corvette. In fact, this car feels like – dare I say it – a supercar grand tourer in a niche all its own. Move over Aston Martin DBS Superleggera, there’s a new love in my life.

I then spent even more time with Alexis Reusch, Infotainment Program Manager for the new Corvette. Before uttering a single word about the infotainment system, though, Rush made a point of demonstrating the 14-speaker Bose Performance Series audio system available in the car. It turned out to be a good decision.

“It’s the perfect audio system for a car like this,” Rush finally said. The sound is both powerful and clean, courtesy of strategically-located speakers around the cabin, and I suspect it’s one of those features that, when would-be owners test out the car, they’ll quickly be checking off the options list.

Rush also discussed the views available in the expansive 12-inch instrument cluster. The display changes color and graphics depending on the selected drive mode; you can also customize the windows in each mode, so you can have all the information you need in front of you at all times. “We put ourselves in the customer’s hands, and we gave them everything they wanted in terms of customization and user-friendliness,” added Rush.

The infotainment system also includes the PDR or Performance Data Recorder. Besides the usual G-force and tire pressure readings, the PDR records high-resolution video using the front camera. And, before I forget, the C8 Corvette comes with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The standard audio system is a 10-speaker Bose system that also sounds like business.

The 2023 Chevrolet Corvette is ticking all the right boxes and pushing the right buttons. It shatters your expectations of what a $60,000 supercar should look and feel like. At the risk of causing a riot among the Supra and Porsche fans, I’m going to step out on a limb and say that the new Stingray starts to make the new Toyota Supra and Porsche Cayman 718 look a little overpriced. Adding salt to the wound, neither Toyota nor Porsche offer you that mid-mounted V8.

Fans and critics demanded it, and Chevrolet delivered: the 2023 Corvette C8’s interior is finally something to write home about. All that’s left is to conduct a proper track day and a road trip to see how the new placement of the engine, along with all the premium touches, hold up to the rudiments of everyday wear and tear – and if the smile stays on my face.

You're reading 2024 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray C8 Interior Review: Cabin Fever

2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible First

2014 Corvette Stingray Convertible First-Drive

How do you reinvent an icon? The Corvette Stingray C7 brings the coveted Chevrolet into its seventh generation, facing perhaps its most challenging competition yet as engines get more powerful, electronics more finessed, and styling more aggressive. Chevrolet’s decision to still aim for that all-American bargain price tag versus the German alternatives is ambitious too, even when you splash out a little extra on the eye-catching Stingray convertible we’ve had the keys to.

The Corvette Stingray is an icon, certainly, but icons aren’t necessarily perfect, and the old convertible was good example of that. It looked the part, but shortcomings in torsional rigidity and underwhelming cabin quality in comparison to rivals from BMW, Mercedes, and other marques left it playing catch-up.

There’s no way you could describe the 2014 Stingray as backward. For a start, there’s that achingly sharp exterior design, with sharp crease lines, deep gouges out of the bodywork, jewel-like lamps, and aggressively proportioned arches and hips with a sharply pinched-in waist. It’s low and sinuous, and looks particularly good if you’re standing over it (or, better, looking down on it) when the design manages to be both reassuringly familiar and strikingly modern. 

Our key concern about the drop-top had been body flex, but Chevrolet had got there before us and fixed it. Unlike the sometimes-wobbly C6, the seventh-gen car is effectively identical to its coupe sibling bar the simple soft hood. GM’s designers specifically crafted an all-aluminum structure clad in carbon fiber and composite body panels that would be all but equally rigid whether it had a hard top or otherwise, considering not only the aesthetic of lopping off metal but the practicalities too. 

As for the hood itself, Chevrolet stuck with fabric rather than opting for metal: it’s lighter, easier to store without consuming all the convertible’s trunk space, and there’s a little soft-top heritage to be considered, too. While it’s fully electric it’s also lightweight – around 60 pounds, Chevrolet says – despite having a proper glass rear window and extra insulation sandwiched between the layers. It’ll disappear in 21 seconds, including while you’re driving at up to 30mph, and you can trigger it from the key fob too. 

Chevrolet’s reinvention continues inside, and the C7 cabin puts serious distance between it and the underwhelming interiors that came before it. Driver and passenger are each accommodated in their own curvaceous bubble, with the instrumentation cowl flowing down from the binnacle, around the center stack controls – hugging them in toward the driver in the process – and evolves into a grab-handle to echo the handle on the passenger side door. 

Corvettes haven’t shied from molding before, of course, but what makes this 2014 Stingray different is the quality of each of the components. Gone is the oversized wheel, plasticky leather, unpleasantly hard dash plastics, and general lack of inspiration. In its place is a cabin that finally competes with the best of the German brands, Porsche included.

The seats – either the standard set or the $2,495 Competition Sport upgrades – are leather-clad and power adjustable, supportive where you need them to be, but still comfortable enough that we climbed out of the car after extended drives without feeling like we needed a massage. The wheel, smaller and more tactile than in previous cars, is electrically adjustable too, and through it you spy the new 8-inch driver information screen which can be notched through various different layouts ranging from retro, to minimal, to near-data-overload. 

Best of all, it’s all wrapped up in authentic materials, not plastic trying to make do: real carbon fiber, real aluminum, real leather. It makes a legitimate difference when you reach out and touch the dashboard, or grab a handle, and your fingers are telling you the same as your eyes. More than impressive when you consider the $56,995 starting price for the LT1 Stingray convertible.

That gets you the 6.2L V8 VVT DI with Chevrolet’s seven-speed manual gearbox, all new for 2014 and pushing out 450 HP and 450 lb-ft of torque. It’s not only the most powerful standard Corvette engine ever, the company says, but the most efficient; if you’re relying on the Stingray convertible as your daily driver, then you’ll probably be interested in the 17 mpg city and 29 mpg highway estimates too. 

Chevrolet pairs the 6.2L with a mixture of electronic and mechanical magic. For a start there’s 50/50 weight balance, with the engineers juggling different materials to keep front and rear leveled up, and all four wheels get disc brakes with four-channel ABS and tire pressure monitoring. The clutch is firm – there’s a six-speed auto with paddle shifters if you’d prefer – but not out of keeping with the character of the car, and the electric power steering is nicely weighted and suits the smaller wheel well. 

The result is a monster, in all the best ways. Of course it’s fast in a straight line – Chevrolet says the Z51 variant will do 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds and run a quarter-mile in 12 seconds – and the 6.2L engine does an excellent, addictive job of pressing you back into the leather buckets while the Brembo brakes haul you in with alacrity. However, it’s also fast when faced with corners, the low center of gravity, precise steering, and grippy tires making it a case of simply pointing the Stingray where you want to go and then hurtling there.

Feedback through the wheel and the pedals is as communicative and clean as you’d hope, and the 18/19 standard wheels front/rear (19/20 on the Z51) soak up bumps while at the same time reminding you they’re there, leaving you informed but not bruised. We had the chance to test the optional Magnetic Ride Control suspension, a $1,975 add-on, which further broadens the Stingray’s road-manners, taking it from super smooth long-distance tourer down to aggressive track-car and everything in-between.

It’s no small achievement when you consider how far the C7 needed to come from its predecessors in order to claim that. Design, build quality, performance, chassis, brakes, and refinement: nothing has been left untouched for the new car. That the 2014 Corvette Stingray does it while still costing under $60,000 is, frankly, incredible. It’s the car Chevrolet needed, and the car we hoped they’d make, and this all-American icon just keeps getting better.

Galaxy C8 Firmware Download And Expected Oreo Update Release

Arriving as model no. SM-C710(x), the Galaxy C8 has a firmware available for the China region, as the compatible model no. for this firmware is SM-C7100. The ‘0’ (zero) at the end stands for China. That the firmware for Chinese Galaxy C8 is first to hit the web isn’t very surprising, because Samsung has released the earlier handsets in C-series as an exclusive to China for first few months.

We expect the firmware for the Galaxy C8 meant for Europe and Asia — model no. SM-C710F —  to arrive soon too, as this model has been appearing in the rumor pipeline a lot too.

We have the Galaxy C8 firmware available for you to download below, but be sure to check this page again for all software update news on Galaxy C8, along with the fast download link and changelog for each and every major software update.

Android 7.1.1 comes pre-installed on the Galaxy C8, but an update to Android 8.0 Oreo OS is one the cards for sure too. Even though Samsung is yet to make it official, we are sure we would see the Oreo update for Galaxy C8 sometime in Q2 2023.

Here’s a list of all devices with expected release date on which Oreo is expected.

‘When will my device get Android Oreo update‘

Samsung’s C series is applauded for many reasons, and one of them is premium build quality and pretty decent spec-sheet that is on offer. Now, with the Galaxy C8, that is possibly set for release on September 7, you also have the dual-camera apart from the solid spec-sheet and build quality to go for.

Android also enjoys a solid custom ROM development community, thanks to which many Android devices of old times are alive again, up and running the latest OS, Android 8.0. Big thanks for that goes to LineageOS 15 ROM, which is based on Android 8.0 and is now available for devices like OnePlus 2, Redmi 3S, Redmi 2, Moto G3, Nexus 4, Nexus 6, etc. Isn’t that amazing? BTW, check out our LineageOS 15 device list page here, which lists all Android phones and tablets we expect the Android 8.0 LineageOS 15 ROM to arrive on.

Because the LineageOS ROM (version 14.1) was of late released for the Galaxy C9 Pro too, we think there is a good chance that Galaxy C8 would see a LineageOS 15 ROM of its own too. And if that happens, it might get the Android 8.0 update unofficially via the custom ROM even before Samsung prepares one.

Read: Galaxy J5 Oreo update news and expected release date

Galaxy C8 Model Launch OS Current OS Oreo update

China SM-C7100 Android 7.1.1 Android 7.1.1 (Q2 2023)

Europe/Asia SM-C710F Android 7.1.1 Android 7.1.1 (Q2 2023)

We are expecting Samsung to release the Galaxy C8 Oreo update OTA by Q2 2023. However, before that happens, we expect Samsung to release monthly security patches for the Galaxy C8, which shall bring the latest fixes for security issues.

International Galaxy C8 (SM-C710F/G/H/i)

Android 8.0: Release expected in Q2 2023

Firmware and software version not available at the moment.

Galaxy C8 China model (SM-C7100)

Android 8.0: Release expected in Q2 2023

Date Firmware Download Android OS Changelog

05 Sep 2023 C7100ZCU1AQHA Android 7.1.1 Initial release with August 2023 security patch

‘Samsung Galaxy S8 Oreo update news and expected release date‘

Galaxy C8 firmware download

Well, check out the model no. of your Galaxy C8 first, and then download the latest firmware available in the table above for your exact model no. Next, install the downloaded firmware using our Odin Samsung firmware installation guide here.

Verizon Business Internet Review 2023

Early Termination Credit

If you’re looking to switch to Verizon from your previous provider, you may be charged an early termination fee if your contract hasn’t yet expired. Fortunately, Verizon offers an early termination credit of up to $1,500 toward those fees, one of the most generous credits we found in our review. Material, utility and other costs to set up and operate an onsite facility can be expensive, so this feature is especially helpful when budgets are tight. You may need to show proof that your previous provider’s contract did end via an early termination fee to qualify for the credit.

Business Phone Plan Savings

Verizon is primarily known for their phone plans, and you can bundle some of these with your internet service. Business customers can cash in on savings by purchasing an unlimited business phone plan along with their business internet plan. Those who do can save up to $80 per month, a small amount that adds up over time and can be invested back into your business.

Phone plans available for bundling include those that support light mobile users and in-store phone lines for customer service. Although online communication is increasingly important for businesses, many customers still prefer to communicate via phone, so we liked that Verizon’s bundles make maintaining this option cost-effective and easy.

Choosing a business phone system can be difficult, so we’ve created a buyer’s guide on choosing a business phone system that could help both new and existing business customers.

Hassle-Free Equipment

If you’ve ever plugged a cord into an outlet, you’ll find Verizon’s router or gateway installation a breeze. Whether purchased separately or included in select business internet plans, Verizon’s internet equipment is simple to install and can get your business up and running within minutes. Verizon also offers expert installation if you prefer to have a professional install your equipment, but the straightforward setup means even a staff member can have your location connected in a matter of minutes.

Complete Business Bundle

Maybe your business needs more than just internet and phone service. It’s possible you’ll need to communicate via web conferencing, or perhaps you need security tools to protect your connection from cyberthreats. Whatever the case, Verizon’s Complete Business Bundle has you covered.

The Complete Business Bundle is an affordable and convenient way to get your business up and running on multiple devices in a pinch. In addition to Verizon’s easy-to-install 4G LTE Business Internet and 24/7 tech support, business customers who purchase the bundle also receive a One Talk desk phone that can ring multiple devices for easy communication with customers. We found this bundle takes the heavy-lifting work off of customers who want all of their internet needs taken care of in one simple and secure solution.

Verizon Business Internet Cost

Verizon Business Internet offers three different internet types, each with its own set of plans. The plans and prices are as follows:

5G Business Internet 100 Mbps: $69 per month

5G Business Internet 200 Mbps: $99 per month

5G Business Internet 400 Mbps: $199 per month

Fios Business Internet 200/200 Mbps: $69 per month

Fios Business Internet 500/500 Mbps: $129 per month

Fios Business Internet 940/880 Mbps: $249 per month

LTE Business Internet 10 Mbps: $69 per month

LTE Business Internet 25 Mbps: $99 per month

LTE Business Internet 50 Mbps: $199 per month

Fios Business Internet and LTE Wireless Internet plans come with a price guarantee for one to three years, depending on which plan you choose, as well as a 30-day satisfaction guarantee. Verizon also offers assistance in saving money or providing credit toward purchases. Customers can save up to $80 per month when pairing their 5G Business Internet plan with a Business Unlimited smartphone plan. Also, If you are switching from a previous internet provider, Verizon can offer up to $1,500 in credit to help cover early termination fees.

Verizon Business Internet Setup

New Verizon Business Internet customers have the option of choosing between self-setup and professional installation, with the exception of the highest level 5G Business Internet plan, which requires professional installation. Regardless of which option you choose, all setups include a router or gateway provided by Verizon or any 5G compatible equipment. We found the self-installation setup to be straightforward, requiring a few simple plug-in connections to connect your location to the internet in minutes.

Verizon Business Internet Customer Service

Verizon Business Internet offers a variety of ways to contact customer service. You can reach their sales team by phone as either an individual business customer or as part of a public sector. Representatives are available Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET. You can also request a call to have a specialist help you figure out the right plan for your business. For Verizon Fios business customers who have questions regarding equipment, a 24/7 support phone number is available.

Verizon Business Internet Drawbacks

Verizon Business Internet only works with Verizon-specific equipment. You will need to purchase or rent a Verizon router or gateway. Any other equipment you may have purchased in the past won’t be compatible. Rentals start at $15 per month, or you can buy the equipment for a one-time cost of $299.99. If you sign up for the 5G Business Internet plan, make sure your own internet equipment is 5G-compatible.

If you compare phone plans to business internet plans, mobile features outdo business internet by a landslide. Note that if you have a small onsite business that just needs the internet to run basic business-critical tasks, you may not need to worry about this as much. However, if you need on-the-go communication or connection for your business operations, you’ll need to include phone lines with your plans for an additional charge.

Verizon’s internet speeds only go up to 400 Mbps, while other service providers we reviewed offer plans that exceed 1 Gbps. If you’re looking for faster internet speeds, consider our review of Spectrum Business Internet.

Methodology

When considering business internet providers for review, we kept in mind some of the features that business owners would need to get their business going. Part of that process included extensive research, participating in provider calls, and finally deciding on a best-pick case for each of the vendors. We considered factors such as installation times, internet speeds, business phone services, and internet availability. For brick-and-mortar businesses, we chose Verizon as the ideal business internet provider.

Verizon Business Internet FAQ Do I have to purchase a phone plan with my 5G Business Internet plan?

No. Business internet plans and business phone plans can be purchased separately. However, there may be some savings or offers if you purchase them both together.

How much is the Verizon Fios router or gateway?

The Verizon Fios router or gateway can be rented for $15 per month or purchased for a one-time price of $299.99.

Does Verizon offer discounts for small business owners?

Small business owners can save on Verizon Business Internet by bundling it with either VoIP phone services or certain Business Unlimited mobile plans.

Overall Value

We recommend Verizon Business Internet for …

Brick-and-mortar businesses.

Business in need of phone service.

Businesses that are 5G ready.

We do not recommend Verizon Business Internet for …

Tech startups.

Businesses that need more than 400 Mbps speed.

Skylum Luminar 4 Review 2023

Luminar 4 Review- Is It Worth It?

In this Skylum Luminar 4 review, I want to break down everything you need to know about the program and why it’s such a powerful photo editing tool. If you’ve been looking for an alternative to Lightroom, this may just be your answer.

For a number of years, Adobe has dominated the market of photo editing software. Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are used by millions of photographers worldwide making them a tough platform to compete with. After Adobe switched to subscription-based services, it made a lot of photographers question if it was worth the monthly price. Luckily, with Skylum Luminar 4 you can get a professional level editing software, at a one-time price of just $89.

Now if you’re like me, you might have taken one look at the price and thought

“What’s wrong with it? Why is it so cheap?”

After being a dedicated Adobe user for years, I felt uneasy about the thought of trying another platform. Surely none can be as good!

Or so I thought…

After getting my hands on the latest version of Skylum Luminar 4 (Version 4.3.0), I realized this may be the perfect all in one photo editor for beginners and professionals alike.

What Is Skylum Luminar 4?

Luminar 4 from Skylum is a photo editing program that uses AI-technology to streamle image editing adjustments and makes complicated techniques more achievable. The program can be used as a stand-alone image library and editing software, or be used as a plugin alongside Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop. 

This program offers every tool a photographer could look for in an editing software, with a little extra for good measure. Alongside the typical exposure and color adjustments you’ve grown to expect, Skylum Luminar 4 takes it one step further with additional ‘creative’ adjustments.

The New And Improved Features In Luminar 4

Whether you’re completely new to Luminar or are currently using Luminar 3, here are some notable additions and upgrades in Skylum Luminar 4 you’ll want to hear about.

#1. Improved Edit Module

Luminar 4 got a significant facelift with a complete overhaul of the edit module. In previous versions of the program, the edit module was broken up into ‘filters’. Each filter had its own settings layout with tools that may prove more useful depending on the look you were going for. You could create a custom edit module if necessary.

I found this layout to be cumbersome and frustrating. I like having all the tools I want in one place without the need to make a custom menu layout. The old edit module frankly felt like a waste of time.

Luckily, Luminar 4 completely resolves every issue I had and has changed the name of ‘filters’ to ‘tools’. Now all of your adjustments can be found between 6 individual tabs along the right side of the edit window.

Here’s what’s inside each tab listed from top to bottom:

Layers: Where you can find all your layers and additional adjustments you have created.

Canvas: Where you can access the crop, erase, clone stamp, and lens correction adjustments.

Essentials: Home to all the exposure, color, and sharpening adjustments you need.

Creative: Where additional AI tools are found for extra creative looks such as sky replacements or sun rays.

Portrait: All the tools you need to edit a portrait such as AI skin smoothing, portrait enhancers, and Orton effects.

Professional: Additional color and exposure adjustments to further refine your image.

I find these tabs feel more natural and easy to understand in my workflow. Especially for those completely new to the program, this is a huge improvement.

#2. AI Sky Replacement

Realistic sky replacements were previously reserved for those who were extremely proficient in Photoshop. What was once meticulously cutting out, blending, and masking has been replaced by a single button and slider.

One would think that automatic sky replacements surely can’t be that good. The truth is, you likely wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Luminars AI sky replacement and the work of a professional retoucher. It’s incredible at how well it can mask around small edges and blend into your image seamlessly. With AI technology, sky replacements become possible for all ability levels.

What I appreciate most of all is that fact you can make further adjustments manually. If something isn’t looking quite right, you can adjust the spacing between edges, the position of the sky, or even the color!

I truly believe the AI sky replacement tool alone is reason enough to purchase Luminar 4. It saves you more time, reduces frustration, and does an incredibly good job. If you haven’t already, I’d highly suggest downloading a free trial to see it for yourself!

In addition to the AI Sky Replacement feature, Skylum has added a new AI Augmented Sky feature. This tool allows you to add additional elements into your images and easily blend them with a few sliders. If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at composites, this tool makes it easier than ever!

#3. AI Skin Enhancer & Portrait Enhancer

Luminar 4 just got a whole lot better for those portrait photographers among us. If you have a face in your photo, the AI skin enhancer and portrait enhancers are going to change your life.

Before this new update to Luminar, retouching skin could be challenging to a lot of photographers, especially beginners. What was once a complicated series of steps within Photoshop, has been replaced (yet again) by just a few handy sliders.

Although each of these AI featured tools fall under the same umbrella, they serve slightly different purposed. Let’s discuss each on individually to give you a better idea of how they operate.

– AI Skin Enhancer

The skin enhancer in Luminar 4 is where you can smooth your subject’s skin and reduce shine. In other photo editing programs, this process would be known as ‘frequency separation’. Frequency separation requires a series of layers, and adjustments to create this smoothed skin effect. Before now, it has been almost like a right of passage for beginner editors to learn the process. The AI skin enhancer throws all that out the window and makes frequency separation easy and accessible for all.

The other handy slider found within the AI skin enhancer tool of Luminar is called ‘shine removal’. Shine removal helps to level out any hot spots on your subject’s face caused by oily skin. Toning down shiny skin is always something you’ve needed to do when retouching a portrait. Now it just got easier with the help of a single slider. No layer masks, adjustment layers, or smart filters required.

Upon using these features, I was really impressed with how well certain problem areas were taken care of. The AI technology has no problem recognizing the skin and making the adjustments from there. I was even further impressed with the fact it had no trouble recognizing the difference between skin and hair. Without any masking or brush adjustments, you can smooth skin even when surrounded by hair.

– AI Portrait Enhancer

The AI portrait enhancer in Luminar 4 takes things a little bit further. This tool allows you to really refine your portraits like never before. From AI eye enhancements, face slimming adjustments, eyebrow improvements, and teeth whitening, this tool has it all.

With the help of AI technology, Luminar is able to recognize the areas of your photo that you want to adjust. Whether it’s the size of the subject’s face, the whiteness of their teeth, the color of their lips, and more. This AI portrait enhancer makes it easier than ever to make adjustments you may have never even considered before.

I’ve said it a dozen times already, but I’ll say it again. The capabilities of the AI technology is more than I could have ever expected. It helps you to make quick adjustments that were once tedious and time-consuming. Everything you need as a portrait editor is right here within the AI skin and portrait enhancers. Don’t believe me? Download the free trial of Luminar 4 and see for yourself.

#4. LUT Mapping

LUTs (Look Up Tables) are extremely useful to add certain color adjustments to an image. Unlike a preset, a LUT only applies color values onto your photo. Luminar 4 allows you to quickly make cinematic looking color adjustments with the new Color Styles LUT mapping tool.

What’s useful about the LUTs in Luminar 4 is that they offer so many options built into the program. Just by going through some of the built-in LUTs, you’ll likely find something that suits your fancy. If you’re looking for something more specific, you can import your own LUTs into the program.

#5. Smart Contrast

In other photo editing programs, editing contrast has to be used in moderation. If you go too crazy, you can crush the whites and blacks of your image and lose detail. Smart contrast in Luminar 4 takes away that worry by applying contrast with more intention.

Rather than applying an even contrast across your entire image, smart contrast is more selective with its adjustments. It won’t add so much contrast that you lose details in the far reaches of your blacks and whites.

After using this tool for myself, I found it to offer a more realistic look than that of a standard contrast slider. It was less ‘aggressive’ with the contrast while still adding the right amount to enhance the image. I found that the smart contrast slider gave a more true to the eye feel that avoids an over-edited appearance.

Although a small addition to Luminar 4, I believe it’s a worthy and highly useful addition to take note of.

#6. AI Structure

The AI structure serves a very similar purpose to the clarity and texture adjustments found in other editing programs. AI structure allows you to enhance the details of your photo and make things come to life. It’s a great tool to draw more attention to areas of the image or add more overall drama.

Alongside enhancing clarity, it can be also be used to add a soft glow to the image. Overall it’s a useful creative addition to add more style to your photos.

The beauty of AI technology is that it applies different strengths across the image. Depending on the amount of details and contrast in an area, you’ll notice how the AI structure will target it differently. The AI technology in Luminar 4 helps to make adjustments blend into your image a lot better than before.

#7. Luminar Looks

No photo editing software would be complete without the help of some presets… or should I say ‘looks’. Luminar Looks are essentially a series of premade presets included in the program. Unlike the LUT mapping that only includes color adjustments, looks can hold additional information like cropping, sharpening, exposure effects, and so on. Looks can offer a great starting ground to build your edit from when you first import your image.

There is a wide array of looks that come with Luminar 4 suitable for all genres of photography. From landscape, lifestyle, portrait, aerial and more, Luminar Looks offers a ton of great options to begin building your edit.

A useful feature about Luminar Looks is that you can favorite the looks you use often. That way you can find all your favorites in a single easy to access folder. If you aren’t super keen about the built-in Looks, you can create your own! After you’ve made the adjustments you’d like, simply press ‘save new look’ and save it for future use!

Luminar Looks allow you to make quick edits to your photos, in a nicely packaged menu bar that can be accessed at any time.

In the most recent 4.3.0 Luminar update, you can now hover over the different looks to see the result. This is a big improvement since you used to have to actually select the different looks before you could see them.

Ultimately Luminar Looks are a great way to speed up your edit, or help you get some base adjustments towards a more specific creative, customized result.

#8 Seamless Editing Between Luminar & Lightroom 

If you’re already in with the Adobe Creative Cloud (like me), then getting a whole new editing software might not make sense. However, Luminar 4 now can be used as a plugin directly from Lightroom. Working as an external editor, you can take a photo from Lightroom to Luminar and back again without any issues.

Here’s how it works:

While you’re editing a photo, you may like to make your base adjustments in Lightroom. Especially if you’re more comfortable with that program, it can save you a lot of time. However, once you want to retouch skin, replace skies, or add additional elements into your photos, that’s where Luminar can shine.

From here you’ll have the option to edit the original image, or transfer over the Lightroom adjustments. That way you can continue to build off the edits you’ve made in Lightroom.

Once you’re done with your Luminar adjustments, you can save your photo and it will go directly back into Lightroom! Similar to working with other external editors from Lightroom, your new file will be saved directly beside the original in your catalog.

#9 New Search Options

A previous issue with the past version of Luminar is that it was difficult to navigate the images in your library. In the new 4.3.0 update, there is a convenient search bar to sort through all your imported images.

For example, if you wanted to find images taken during a certain month, you could search for them within the library module of Luminar. From there the results would be filtered to only show you the images matching your query.

As you start to import more and more images into Luminar, the search bar makes it easy to keep track of things.

Now keep in mind these are just the NEW features of Luminar 4 and its recent updates. I’m not even talking about all the other incredible tools this program has to offer. Right now you can get lifetime access to Skylum Luminar 4 for just $89.

Skylum was also kind enough to offer readers of my blog an exclusive discount on Luminar 4. Just use discount code BRNWILLS at checkout to save $10 off your purchase!

Download Your Free Trial Of Luminar 4

New Improvements In Luminar 4 Compared To Luminar 3 #1. Stability And Performance

In Luminar 4, they’ve made a few notable improvements over Luminar 3 in terms of performance. Here are a few ways Luminar 4 has stepped up the game from earlier versions:

Increased speed and efficiency due to improvements in the ML cache system. This makes it easier for the program to work with your computer’s processor.

Better performance and accuracy with the sky enhancer, eraser, and lens & geometry tools.

Reduced fringing left behind when using the transform or lens distortion tool with some images.

Shine removal technology to eliminate bright or oily spots on your subject’s skin.

Third-party plugins such as Aurora HDR, DxO Nik Collection, and Topaz Labs are now supported. (PC Only)

Slim Face 2.0 technology for more accurate adjustments with the AI Portrait Enhancer.

Alongside this, there have been improvements to prevent crashing when backing up files or catalogs. With that said, Luminar 4 still takes up a fair amount of processing power. It’s worth taking a look at your computer specs to ensure the program will run smoothly on your machine.

Mac System Requirements As Suggested By Skylum:

Processor Intel 64-bit Core 2 Duo or better

Mac from early 2010 or newer

Memory 8 Gb RAM or more

macOS High Sierra 10.13.1, Sierra 10.12.6, El Capitan 10.11.5, Yosemite 10.10.5

Hard disk 2 GB free space, SSD for best performance

Display 1280×768 size or better

PC System Requirements As Suggested By Skylum:

Open GL 3.3 or later compatible Graphics Cards

Processor Intel Core i5 or better

Memory 8 Gb RAM or more

Operating System Windows 7 (only 64-bit OS), Windows 8.1 (only 64-bit OS), Windows 10 (only 64-bit OS)

Hard disk 2 Gb free space, SSD for best performance

Display 1280×768 size or better

In the Luminar 4.3.0 update, they have made significant improvements to the speed that RAW files can be worked with. On less powerful computers you can expect RAW photos to open 8x faster, while on more capable machines you’ll notice them to open 3x faster according to Skylum.

Better yet, they’ve made the program far more reactive by reducing the lag while making adjustments. Previously there was a slight delay between moving a slider and seeing adjustments. Now it’s almost instant thanks to their speed enhancements.

The same thing goes for switching between different modules in the program.

#2. Denoise Filter

#3. Adjustable Gradient Filter

The Adjustable Gradient filter has been updated and placed within the ‘professional’ tab of Luminar 4. This filter still operates largely the same as in Luminar 3, but now with the addition of editing the mask directly in the tool panel.

The Adjustable Gradient Filter puts a twist on the regular gradient filters found in other programs. Rather than gradient that’s only adjustable from one side, the Adjustable Gradient Filter in Luminar lets you do both. With a single gradient filter, you can make adjustments to both sides of the gradient at once. This is extremely handy if you wanted to brighten the sky and darkening the foreground for example. Making that adjustment would commonly take 2 gradient filters in Lightroom but now takes 1 in Luminar 4.

#4.Golden Hour Filter

Improvements have been made to the golden hour filter in the latest version of Luminar. Found within the ‘Landscape Enhancer’ tool under the essentials tab, the golden hour filter makes any sunset photo come to life. In short, it boosts the red and yellow values in your image to give a more sunset-colored tone. Coupled with the Dehaze and Foliage Enhancer, your sunset photography just got a whole lot better.

#5. Direct Sharing From Luminar 4 To 500px 

From the export menu of Luminar 4, there is not an option to export directly to 500px. This saves a ton of time when it comes time to share your masterpieces with the world.

In the export menu, you can set the title, description, keywords, and hashtags for your post before adding it to 500px. You can even set the privacy setting for private or public sharing, while even marking NSFW content if need be.

For Mac users, your photos EXIF data will be sent directly to 500px when exporting from Luminar 4. Meanwhile, PC users have the option of whether or not they want to send it via a checkbox. Sorry to break it to you like this, Mac users.

Lightroom vs. Luminar 4

If you’ve been in the photography world for a while, there’s a pretty strong chance you currently use Lightroom to edit your images. Lightroom has long been the choice program in the photo industry, so how does Luminar 4 stack up?

The Comparison

In terms of actual photo editing, you won’t notice much of a difference between Lightroom and Luminar. Luminar 4 includes all of the same features you know from Lightroom, except maybe a little better. With the help of AI technology, Luminar 4 streamlines certain tools compared to Lightroom. Furthermore, Luminar takes things even further and includes tools that were once reserved for Photoshop.

When it comes to photo editing, I would go as far as saying Luminar offers slightly more diversity than Lightroom. Rather than needing to go back and forth between Lightroom and Photoshop, Luminar 4 offers most of what you need in one program.

Now with that said, I don’t see myself giving up on Lightroom completely. Currently, Lightroom has a preferable culling and sorting method compared to Luminar. I personally find it easier to deal with hundreds (or thousands) of photos through Lightrooms catalogs and folder systems. Luminar is slightly different in the sense that your photos are organized on the back end. This means you work out the folders as they are on your computer. There isn’t any further organization within the program.

Both Lightroom and Luminar are capable or rating, flagging or rejecting. Luminar even allows you to add tags/keywords to your photos similar to Lightroom. This can make certain photos easier to find when you’re working in bulk.

Additionally, you are not able to easily edit image metadata in Luminar 4. There is mention of this update coming later in 2023 but we will have to see how it plays out. That’s a pretty big issue for a lot of photographers out there, including myself.

Which Program Is Better?

Lightroom comes in at a minimum price of $9.99/month which equals out to $120 per year. Luminar on the other hand only costs $89 and you have it for life. No reoccurring fees to think about again!

For hobbyists or photographers new to the business, reoccurring fees become an annoying pain you can’t get rid of. In that sense, I think Luminar 4 is a preferable option. At a better price point, it’s a one time purchase and you’re set for life. If you’re on the fence, it’s absolutely worth getting the free trial of Luminar 4.

Personally, I find a ton of value in using Lightroom and Luminar together. They can work seamlessly together allowing you to get the best of both worlds. I have been a Lightroom user for years and I struggle to give up certain aspects of the program. With that said, the AI tools of Luminar save me heaps of times that I used to waste in Photoshop. I won’t be giving up on Lightroom anytime soon, but Luminar 4 has become an integral part of my workflow. If anything, Luminar has seriously cut down the amount of time I spend in Photoshop.

How Much Does Luminar 4 Cost?

The cost of Luminar 4 will vary depending on if you’ve already purchased an earlier version of Luminar.

New Luminar Customer:  $89 USD

Upgrading From Luminar 3: $69 USD

Additionally, Skylum offers a 30-day money-back guarantee so you can feel confident in your purchase. If you decide you don’t like the program after you’ve bought it, send Skylum an email within 30 days and you’ll get everything back. 

If you want to save yourself a little cash, I have a sweet discount just for readers of my blog. Just use the code BRNWILLS to get $10 off at checkout!

Try Skylum Luminar 4 For Free

Is Skylum Luminar 4 Worth It?

So the big question that remains is whether or not Luminar 4 is actually worth your attention. Luminar first got on my radar upon their initial launch and I didn’t have much of an interest in the program. It initially felt clunky, awkward, and I didn’t enjoy using it compared to Lightroom or Photoshop. With each passing update, I’ve seen the significant improvements they’ve made towards a more streamlined and enhanced user experience. Since Luminar 4 released, I started to incorporate this program into my own photo editing. It has become a useful addition to my editing workflow by speeding up previously tedious tasks. Particularly after the latest Luminar 4.2 update, this program is turning into a force to be reckoned with.

Luminar 4 is absolutely worth every cent you pay. Its capabilities are unparalleled and the AI technology in this program completely changes the game. Whether you’re completely new to photo editing or have been at it for years, you’ll enjoy Luminar 4 all the same. It allows you to get more creative in less time with streamlined sliders and non-destructive editing. This program is so incredibly versatile and (most importantly) fun!

To get yourself started, be sure to Download The Free trial Of Luminar 4 to try it for yourself. There’s zero commitment while unlocking all the best features found within the program. After your free trial is up, be sure to save yourself $10 using code BRNWILLS at checkout!

Conclusion

If you know someone who’s been looking into purchasing Luminar, make sure to share this review with them!

Happy Editing!

-Brendan

Disclaimer: The links used in this article are affiliate links. By using these links or discount codes, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Using these links helps me to create more free tutorials and reviews like this one on the site. I do not review products I do not believe in or find beneficial. This review is an honest representation of how I feel about Luminar 4 and has in no way been manipulated by Skylum.

Oticon Hearing Aids Review 2023

Bringing you closer to the sound of life could not be more apt for the Oticon hearing aids! Oticon emphasizes the beautiful sounds of life that you should hear and not miss them.

Oticon Product Range

Oticon in-the-ear- hearing aid comes in three varieties depending on the degree of hearing impairment.

Oticon Own

Oticon More

Oticon Xceed

Oticon Own

It is for mild-to-moderate hearing loss. It is for total discreetness, superior sound quality, and optimal comfort crafted for you. It offers a truly personalized and customized hearing experience.

Oticon’s Own customized hearing aid fits perfectly to the shape of your ear to complement your lifestyle. You can opt for any of the five styles and colors of the Oticon Own hearing aid that perfectly matches your preference.

The hearing aid is invisible IIC for 9 out of 10 ears, offering total discreetness. Oticon customizes and tailors it for a perfect fit into your ear for all-day superior comfort. It is a brain-friendly in-the-ear hearing aid that blends in so that you stand out first.

Oticon Own bran-friendly Hearing Aid

Oticon Own helps you stay connected with no additional hearing support and face the world confidently. The brain plays a crucial role in decoding sound collected by your ear. The brain hearing technology makes the in-the-ear Oticon Own uniquely designed to provide more access to sound.

It promotes the natural way for the brain to decode sound. Oticon Own offers customized listening to process every sound the way your brain wants to. It helps you stay connected to a conversation and listen to the sound you love.

Experience real-life Listening

The in-the-ear Oticon Own deploys Deep Neutral Network (DNN), and the Oticon Own technology provides access to more sound by reducing listening effort. DNN is trained on 12 million real-life sounds to give more information to your brain to make sense of the sounds you will hear.

It helps you in a complex listening environment, such as a restaurant, office, concert, or market. Oticon will help you select what you want to hear and thus reduce your listening effort. The brain spends less time on sound and does other essential activities.

Listen to What Matters Most

Stay connected by listening to what matters to you the most, such as your friends, family, or colleagues. Oticon Own seamlessly connects to the device to help you manage your day confidently.

Oticon Own Features

Connect to iPhone and iPad devices with two-way hands-free and enjoy direct streaming for these devices.

Enjoy direct streaming with select Android smartphones

Use Oticon adapters to stream sound directly from your TV

Discreet control over your Oticon Own hearing aid from your fingertips with the Oticon ON app

Oticon ConnectClip helps connect compatible Bluetooth devices to stream sound seamlessly

Oticon More

This one is for moderate-to-severe hearing loss. It offers superior sound quality. You can choose multiple styles and features to suit your demeanor. It comes with a charger, adding convenience to your life.

Support the Brain with Sound Decoding

While your ear is a collecting organ that collects sounds indiscriminately and sends them to your brain, it is your brain that deciphers and discriminates sound. Oticon crafted the Oticon More hearing aid to support the listening ability of the brain. It is important to note that even mild and untreated hearing loss can trigger dementia at twice as high a risk.

Make more Sense of Sound

Oticon More hearing aid can mitigate the risk by supporting your brain. BrainHearing technology revolutionizes hearing by giving the brain more relevant information to define sounds. It helps the brain to make more sense of sound. It helps you with a better understanding of speeches, less effort, and the ability to remember more. It takes good care of your brain and you.

Advantages of Using Oticon More

The brain gets 30% more sound

15% increase in understanding of speech

30% reduction in listening effort in the long run

Do Not Miss Any Sound in Life

The flagship technology, the BrainHearing, takes health care to new heights. It comes with the Deep Neutral Network (DNN) embedded chip, the first time in a hearing aid. We have already spoken about DNN in the earlier sections.

Oticon More Features

Oticon trained DNN with 12 million sounds from real life

It understands all kinds of sounds to help your brain

Oticon More understands the sound as your brain will understand

A better understanding of speech to stay active in conversations

Less effort to understand and a higher ability to remember more

Helps understands sound in noisy places

2-way hands-free communication with iPhone and iPad

Seamless streaming directly from select smartphones

Offer a variety of styles and colors (8 colors) to choose from to complement your style

Increase Your Connection Possibilities

To maximize the full potential of Oticon More, connect it with the devices you use daily.

Oticon Own Features

Connect to iPhone and iPad devices with two-way hands-free and enjoy direct streaming from these devices.

Enjoy direct streaming with select Android smartphones

Use Oticon adapters to stream sound directly from your TV

Discreet control over your Oticon Own hearing aid from your fingertips with the Oticon ON app

ConnectClip helps connect compatible Bluetooth devices to stream sound seamlessly

Connect seamlessly to Edumic, teachers or speakers, tablets, microphone systems, computers, and more.

Oticon Xceed

It is one of the most potent hearing aid; the company claims to be the most powerful in the world of hearing aids. It is for acute hearing issues. Oticon More is for severe-to-profound hearing loss. Oticon claims it to be the world’s most potent hearing aid. It boasts of Oticon flagship Oticon BrainHearing technology. This one offers you more access to speech than ever before.

Manage Feedback Sounding Like a Whistle or Static Noise

Other hearing aids try to cut the sound by lowering or turning down the volume. This method of cutting noise compromises your ability to understand speeches effectively and increases your effort to listen to the sound. Oticon Xceed uses the OpenSoundOptimizer to reduce feedback like a whistle or static noise from a close sound.

With Oticon Xceed, you can hear and enjoy the sound with the highest clarity. You can listen to stable speech signals all-day with no worry about whistling.

Oticon Xceed Features

It includes all the features of Oticon Own and Oticon More described in the previous sections, such as More confidence and freedom, fewer whistling, staying connected to all conversations of your friends, family, and colleagues, helping the brain to make more sense of sound with BrainHearing technology.

Improved sound clarity

Reduction in your effort to listen to sounds

Uplift your ability to short-term recall

Scans your surroundings faster, 100 times per second

Conclusion

With Oticon, you can stay sharp in the real world. Own an Oticon Own, Oticon More, or an Oticon Xceed that suits your preference. It comes in 2 styles and seven colors. You can match your skin tone and hair color by choosing the right color for the Oticon in-the-ear hearing aid.

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