Verdict: 5 stars The Nik Collection is an evergreen plug-in suite that’s as fresh, varied and exciting now as when it was first launched a decade ago. The new Perspective Efex plug-in is a major bonus and the new ‘non-destructive workflow’ is rather clever.
DxO Nik Collection
With the launch of the DxO Nik Collection 3, the Collection now consists of eight different plug-ins, including four of the best creative tools for photographers you can buy today. Silver Efex Pro is still unrivalled for its black and white photography effects, Color Efex Pro has a dazzling array of photographic effects, Analog Efex Pro is superb at evoking classic analog film and darkroom effects and HDR Efex Pro makes HDR merging and editing easy enough for anyone to get great results straight out of the box. The new plug in, Perspective Efex, corrects perspective distortion and more.
Since DxO acquired the Nik Collection from Google it has updated the software to work better with current operating systems, added new presets and film simulations and now – in by far the biggest update yet – added a new plug-in, a new non-destructive workflow and a new way of working with the Nik Collection […]
Welcome to the fourth and final part of this mini-series on Google’s brand new film and camera simulation plug-in, Analog Efex Pro. It joins the existing plug-ins in the Nik Collection, now owned and distributed by DxO. Note: Following many requests, I’m republishing this article with the download link restored but the content unchanged. This […]
Usually, HDR images are pretty obvious. The technique is part of the ‘look’. But it’s also possible to use HDR to enhance regular images to add depth and drama, but winding the effect back just a little so that it’s no longer center stage. So for this shot I used DxO PhotoLab and HDR Efex […]
Verdict: 3 stars Sharpener Pro’s output sharpening tools are a reminder that images need to be optimised to look their best on different printers, and at different sizes. However, its ‘capture sharpening’ tools feel like they’re just a little too late in the workflow, when most of us would apply sharpening during RAW processing, or in the ‘host’ application used to launch Sharpener Pro.
Verdict: 2.5 stars Dfine feels like an old-fashioned solution to a problem that has changed. There are now many ways of controlling noise in-camera or in RAW software, and the real issue these days is not just finding a tool that can do it well, but doing it at the right point in your workflow.
Verdict: 3.5 stars Viveza is a great tool for making fast and effective adjustments to colour images, but it now feels a bit redundant. The Nik Collection’s other creative plug-ins come with equally powerful control point corrections of their own, as does DxO PhotoLab Essential, the Nik Collection’s new ‘host’ program.
Verdict: 4 stars HDR Efex Pro 2 manages to make HDR relatively easy, and it produces ‘good’ HDR which is dynamic, rich and exciting. It still wraps it up in a bit too much jargon, but it does produce a good variety of ready-made HDR presets so that you don’t have to get caught up in the manual adjustments if you don’t want to.
Verdict: 5 stars . Colour Efex Pro initially looks a little dated, but dig deeper and you’ll find its best filters are very useful indeed and the ability to combine filters into Recipes dramatically expands its potential.
Verdict: 5 stars For fans of black and white photography, Silver Efex Pro is just superb. It recreates the depth, intensity and ’soul’ of black and white in a way few other tools approach.