Nik Collection, a group of Adobe Photoshop plugins, was originally launched by Nik Software but in September 2012 it was acquired by Google. At the time this was largely thought to be to enable Google to get hold of Snapseed, an excellent mobile image editing app.
Nik Collection continued to be popular, possibly helped by the fact that in early 2016, Google made it free to download. However, in Spring 2017, Google confirmed that it wouldn’t develop the software any further.
Thankfully, in October 2017, DxO, the developer of the widely respected optical correction software now called PhotoLab, announced that it had bought Nik Collection from Google. There then followed a period of stabilisation during which DxO worked on correcting all the compatibility issues and glitches that had arisen during Google’s tenure. More recently, however, DxO has switched to developing Nik Collection further and the latest version, Nik Collection 4 was launched on 2nd June 2021.
Nik Collection 5 is a group of 8 plug-in software packages for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom and DxO PhotoLab (formerly DxO Optics Pro). These packages enable a range of effects to be applied quickly and easily to images, they include Silver Efex Pro, Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Dfine, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro, Viveza and Perspective Efex. dxO has also added its PhotoLab 5 software which uses the company’s detailed analysis of camera and lens flaws to enable automatic corrections. It also has tools for making global and local adjustments manually.
Silver Efex Pro is the most widely known of the plugins and it’s a popular choice of software for converting colour images to black and white. Nik Collection 5 introduces the latest version of Color Efex Pro and Analog Efex Pro, bringing them into line with Silver Efex Pro and Viveza and the upgrades they received with Nik Collection 4.
The plugins can be summarised as:
Silver Efex Pro: for converting images to black and white, this is inspired by traditional darkroom techniques.
Analog Efex Pro: simulates the look of traditional film, cameras and lenses.
Color Efex Pro: a collection of colour correction and creative effect filters, plus retouching controls.
Dfine: noise reduction software.
HDR Efex Pro: High Dynamic Range (HDR) software for single images or a series of images.
Sharpener Pro: image sharpening with the ability to apply localised or global sharpening.
Viveza: local adjustment of colour and tone.
Perspective Efex: This was introduced with Nik Collection 3, it is geometric correction software with distortion correction, horizon straightening and volumetric distortion correction.