I am a happy bunny this morning because I have just learned that the Nik Collection of filters will be saved by DxO.
The Nik Collection of filters is probably the best known and used set of filters by photographers since it was first created. Initially, it was priced at $500 for the set and even at this price, it was well worth the investment. In March 2015, Google, who now owned Nik Software, dropped the price of the complete set to $150 and millions of photographers snapped them up. Then, on March 2016, Google announced that the full collection of Nik Filters would be free. This caused me concern.
I wasn’t concerned because the filters were free after I had spent money on them, rather I was concerned that Google giving away such a prestigious set of filters could mean that Google was no longer interested in maintaining them. I have an article on this site that I wrote at the time. Anyway, my concerns were realised in May of this year when Google did finally announce that it was no longer developing the Nik Collection of filters. This was a massive, if not predictable, letdown for me and many other photographers.
I certainly rely on the Nik Collection to add speed and consistency to my workflow. The full set of filters, which act as plugins for both Photoshop and Lightroom, include:
- Analog Efex Pro 2;
- Color Efex Pro 4;
- Dfine 2;
- Viveza 2, and the outstanding;
- Silver Efex Pro 2.
It is the loss of Silver Efex Pro 2 that was causing me the most concern. To date, I have never found any software package that can produce black and white conversions that are as good as those created by Silver Efex Pro 2.
Yesterday, the Nik Collection of filters has been rescued from the threat of history by DxO. Who are DxO? They are a French company that performs extensive scientific testing on camera image sensors and lenses. The information and knowledge that DxO glean from their tests is used to produce one of the best raw processing software packages there is – DxO Optics Pro.
The Nik Collection of filters is now available as a download from the DxO website. Simply enter your email address and download them free of charge. It includes the standalone version as well as the plugin versions for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.
Now that such a respected world-leading imaging company has taken ownership of the Nik Collection of filters, I am hopeful of a great future for these filters, even if they eventually lose their free status.