DxO announces Nik Collection 2: 40 new presets, expanded raw editing workflow options & more
posted Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at 8:00 AM EST
The Nik Collection has been through quite a journey over the years. The software plug-in suite has long been a staple of many photographer's editing workflows. After originally being released by Nik Software and undergoing regular updates, the software was purchased by Google and released into the world for free. Unfortunately, Google's priorities shifted and the plugin suite was ignored, rarely updated and then finally left to die. Last year, the Nik Collection and its U Point technology was pulled from its grave by DxO. After squashing numerous bugs and bringing the suite up to modern standards, DxO released the Nik Collection to the world last summer. The Nik U Point technology has also been integrated into DxO's PhotoLab editing software. Today, we have come full circle with the new Nik Collection 2 by DxO, which represents the first major features upgrade to the seven-plugin collection in many years.
There are four primary new features to discuss with the Nik Collection 2. Firstly, there are 40 new "En Vogue" styles/presets, which allow you to create unique images in a single click. These 40 presets are distributed across four plugins: 10 new recipes in Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro and Analog Efex Pro with the final dozen being added to HDR Efex Pro. The "En Vogue" series of presets was created in collaboration with photographer and educator Dan Hughes, who teaches photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology and has worked with Nik Software since its very earliest iterations. Of the plugin suite in general, Hughes says, "The plugin suite has helped promote the art of photography, and the addition of new effects has significantly increased its potential by offering all photographers new creative opportunities."
In total, the Nik Collection 2 includes Color Efex Pro, Viveza, Dfine, Sharpener Pro, Silver Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro and Analog Efex Pro. If you're unfamiliar with these plugins, Color Efex Pro is designed to enhance your color photographs, whereas Silver Efex Pro is a black-and-white conversion plugin offering considerable flexibility during the conversion process. Analog Efex Pro is designed to emulate numerous film photography looks. HDR Efex Pro allows you to process high-dynamic range photographs. Dfine and Sharpener Pro offer noise reduction and sharpening respectively. Finally, Viveza Pro offers U Point local adjustments, including changing brightness, contrast, sharpness, color and much more.
Speaking of U Point, which is available across all Nik plugins, it was also integrated into DxO's PhotoLab software last year and with the Nik Collection 2 by DxO, PhotoLab is also being updated to version 2.3. The third big feature of Nik Collection 2 is that it is now fully integrated into DxO PhotoLab, which allows for a full raw editing workflow using DxO software. DxO PhotoLab 2.3 offers direct access to Nik Collection plugins, meaning users no longer need to work within the Adobe ecosystem to edit their images using the Nik Collection.
The fourth primary feature is aimed at Windows users, who have long lamented the lack of high-resolution display support with the Nik Collection. The Nik Collection 2 by DxO now supports HiDPI monitors within Windows, including an improved user interface and readability. This has already been the case with the macOS version.
All four of these major updates ("En Vogue" presets, DxO PhotoLab integration, freedom from Adobe software and HiDPI support in Windows) were heavily-requested features from users. In total, DxO solicited feedback from over 65,000 users, so the team is definitely committed to finding out what users want from the Nik Collection and then working toward delivering functional, improved software.
Regarding DxO PhotoLab 2.3, which is available as a free upgrade for DxO PhotoLab 2 owners, it offers more than Nik Collection access, it also includes new camera support for the Leica M 10-D and M 10-P; Nikon D3500; Panasonic S1, S1R and LX100 II and Sony A6400 and RX100 VA cameras. Further, Canon EOS RP and Olympus E-M1X files can now be processed. DxO has added more than 500 new optical modules to its library, which brings its total supported camera/lens combinations to 47,5000.
The new Nik Collection 2 is more accessible than ever before, as DxO is now offering DxO PhotoLab 2.3 Essential Edition alongside the Nik Collection at a discounted rate of $99.99 USD (regularly $149.99 USD). The price will return to $149.99 after June 30, 2019, but the bundle will remain. Existing Nik Collection by DxO owners can upgrade for $59.99, a discount of $20. Click here to see the various purchase and download options. Stay tuned to Imaging Resource for an upcoming hands-on review with the Nik Collection 2 by DxO.