Did you see the NIK software announcement from Google?
Truth be told, I’ve always wanted to play with and use NIK software but it was never an expense I was willing to part with. Like many of us, funds are limited and I couldn’t justify buying something when I need a new camera body first. When a friend shared with me the news from Google that NIK software was released for free, I was excited. I downloaded it right away and then came across some negative aspects of the free download.
Good news, yes the software is indeed free. It’s the same full program that has been a paid for product for years. In fact, even if you purchased the software anytime in 2016, you will received a refund. Here’s the official statement from Google:
The Nik Collection is comprised of seven desktop plug-ins that provide a powerful range of photo editing capabilities — from filter applications that improve color correction, to retouching and creative effects, to image sharpening that brings out all the hidden details, to the ability to make adjustments to the color and tonality of images.
Starting March 24, 2016, the latest Nik Collection will be freely available to download:
- Analog Efex Pro
- Color Efex Pro
- Silver Efex Pro
- HDR Efex Pro
- Sharpener Pro
If you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will receive a full refund, which we’ll automatically issue back to you in the coming days.
Now the bad news. It is not a supported software for your latest Max OS. There also hasn’t been any developments or updates for the past year. In addition, it is not compatible with Photoshop elements 14. You can read more on the support here: https://support.google.com/nikcollection/answer/3000889
This means, this is a dead software. There will be no more updates and what you download is what you will get. As you update your computers and editing suite systems, the program will eventually not work for you anymore.
Should you still download it? Sure, I did and I’m already enjoying some of the features. I’ve wanted for years to play with Silver Efex. I will probably continue to use it until I no longer can and hopefully have developed my own set of presets or find another program to fill the void.
In the meantime, our friends over at Kelby One created a tutorial on how to use the software. You can find that tutorial here: http://kelbyone.com/course/skelby_nik_collection/
Here’s the direct link on downloading the free software: https://www.google.com/nikcollection/