Monday, June 11, 2018

The Nik Collection Returns

There's good news for users of the Nik Collection that was abandoned by Google last year.  The suite has now emerged in an updated form and is once again available after having been acquired by DxO, the niche software graphics firm.  Though DxO itself is currently involved in bankruptcy proceedings that have led it to discontinue the DxO One camera, the company maintains that this is for reorganization purposes only and will not impact the Nik rollout or any other of its software offerings including PhotoLab, the RAW processor formerly known as OpticsPro.  According to an article on the Digital Trends website:
"The Nik Collection is no longer nixed — on Wednesday, June 6, DxO Labs launched the Nik Collection 2018 by DxO, a bug-squashing and compatibility update for the Photoshop and Lightroom plug-ins long favorited by photographers. Several of the Nik features are also migrating into DxO PhotoLab, which also sees an update today as version 1.2 adds U-Point technology for local adjustments. 
"Both updates come as DxO Labs faces bankruptcy and refocuses the company on four software programs while discontinuing the DxO One camera. The company says it expects to leave bankruptcy in a few months after refocusing on the software and reorganizing the company."
The collection now has a new website from which the software can be downloaded.  There's a cost of $69 (49.99 until June 30th), but that's rather modest considering the excellence of the Collection.  It's roughly $80 less than what Google had been charging before giving it up and far less than Nik once charged for the original package.

I've always considered the Nik filters the most useful available for Photoshop (they're also compatible with Lightroom and PS Elements).  In particular, Silver Efex Pro is the best black & white conversion software I've come across.

Since I'm still using PS CS6 I probably won't be upgrading myself until I make the switch to PS CC, but DxO claims a number of improvements have been made including full support for all Adobe CC products as well as the Mac OS X system.  The software also features an auto-update engine.  It does not appear, however, that the Collection can be used as a free-standing software package, meaning that it apparently still exists only in plug-in form.

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