DxO announces Nik Collection 5 with updated Color Efex and Analog Efex plug-ins
posted Wednesday, June 15, 2022 at 9:00 AM EDT
DxO has announced the latest major release of its Nik Collection plug-in suite, Nik Collection 5. The new release includes major upgrades to Nik Color Efex and Analog Efex, including improved local adjustment technology and a better overall user experience.
Before diving into what's new in the Nik Collection 5, let's give a brief overview of what the Nik Collection is. It's a collection of eight plug-ins that can be used as standalone applications or as plug-ins with numerous host applications, including DxO PhotoLab, Adobe Lightroom Classic or Adobe Photoshop.
The Nik Collection was originally developed by Nik software, hence its name, before eventually being bought by Google. The plug-ins were supported by Google for a bit, but then development halted and longtime users, such as myself, were left without regular updates and bug fixes, let alone meaningful improvements. Then DxO purchased the Nik Collection from Google, plus the U-Point technology that underpins the plug-ins. Since then, compatibility has been improved, bug fixes have been released, and we've gotten genuine, feature-rich updates to the popular plug-in suite.
The U-Point technology is a critical part of the Nik Collection experience, and it's since been incorporated into DxO's other software, such as its full all-in-one photo editor, DxO PhotoLab. U-Point tech allows you to perform straightforward yet powerful local adjustments using customizable control points and sliders attached to each point. You can copy and paste points, group them, rename them and more.
Getting to the new aspects of Nik Collection 5, two of the eight plug-ins, Color Efex and Analog Efex, are all-new and have been redesigned from the ground up. They have received the treatment as Viveza, and Silver Efex received last year as part of the Nik Collection 4. This means that the plug-ins include new and improved user interfaces that are much more modern and easier to work with, plus improved U-Point implementation with better performance and more powerful local adjustments.
The improved U-Point technology includes two color selectivity sliders, Luminance and Chrominance. By editing these sliders, you can adjust how a selected control point affects the pixels within its radius, depending upon sensitivity to color and brightness. The new sliders allow you to make much more precise – or general – adjustments, and even make it possible to utilize what are essentially radial filters.
Beyond getting new UIs and improved control points, Color Efex and Analog Efex include new ways to edit your images. Color Efex includes 29 new authentic color film grains built in DxO's labs, plus a new ClearView filter, much like was previously introduced in PhotoLab. The ClearView filter lets you greatly reduce haze, mist and fog in your photos and bring out more detail. In total, Color Efex has more than 50 filters, all of which can be customized and saved as new presets and recipes.
Perspective Efex has also been updated, although it doesn't include the same new UI and control point sliders as Color Efex and Analog Efex. Perspective Efex includes support for 20 new cameras and 40 new lenses, including Bayer and X-Trans sensors from Fujifilm and many popular Fujifilm X-Series lenses.
In total, Nik Collection 5 includes four fully updated plug-ins, Color Efex (new), Analog Efex (new), Silver Efex (updated last year) and Viveza (updated last year). The other four plug-ins are Dfine, Perspective Efex, HDR Efex and Sharpener.
Nik Collection 5 is available now for $149 for new users and $79 as an upgrade for existing customers. Further, as a fantastic bonus, Nik Collection 5 comes with DxO PhotoLab 5 (Essential Edition). This means you get a full raw editor plus the plug-in suite for one price. If you want to upgrade to the Elite edition of PhotoLab 5, special upgrade pricing will be available. For more information about DxO's software offerings, including the new version of Nik Collection, visit DxO.