Google has done it again. It has added a brand new Analog Efex Pro module to the Google Nik Collection pretty much without telling anyone! Existing Google Nik Collection users should get an automatic update as long as their Internet connection is live and they don’t have any host applications running, or you can download the full suite from the Google Nik Collection website. It’s available as a 30-day trial for new users and should be a free upgrade to those who’ve bought the suite already.

Analog Efex Pro is, as the name suggests, designed to replicated the ‘analog’ look of old films, cameras and darkroom processes. It’s a lot like the Retrolux filter in the Google+ Snapseed tools. These are free to all Google+ users and I’ve covered these already in a three-part Google+ Snapseed mini-series.

So I’m going to start with this casual outdoor portrait to see just what Analog Efex Pro can do.

Analog Efex Pro

The new Analog Efex Pro plug-in covers the same sort of territory, but offers more in-depth controls and follows the same interface design as the existing Google Nik Collection plug-ins. It’s a desktop tool rather than a web app, and you can use it as a plug-in with Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom and Aperture.

01 Choose your camera

Analog Efex Pro

This is the first step. You open this drop-down menu to choose one of four types of camera – I’ve chosen Classic Camera. When you choose the camera type, you can browse through a list of presets in the panel below. This one is called ‘Classic camera 2’, and I like it already.

02 Bokeh control

Analog Efex Pro

This is the Wet Plate 2 preset from the Wet Plate camera type. Each of these presets uses a collection of camera controls in the right sidebar (not shown here), and this preset includes a ‘Bokeh’ (edge blur effect). This uses adjustment gadgets like those you see in Snapseed – you can see the Bokeh gadget in this screenshot.

03 Toy Camera

Analog Efex Pro

This is the Toy Camera 1 preset from the Toy Camera section. What I really like about this is the realistic-looking edge blur – it’s just like the effect you get from a cheap lens.