DxO has released a major upgrade to the Nik Collection today. As a long time user of the Nik Collection product suite, I’m excited to see some new additions and updates to their products. I was given a reviewer code to download the update and give it a spin.
What’s new and updated
Nik Collection 3 by DxO includes eight plugins for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, DxO PhotoLab and more. There are almost 200 effects and filters including retouching tools.
Nik Collection 3 still uses the company’s exclusive U-Point technology, allowing users to make local adjustments to specific areas of an image. They have redesigned the Nik Selective Tool for Adobe Photoshop users, added a new nondestructive workflow for Adobe Lightroom Classic users and added an eighth plugin that will help with geometric corrections.
Nik Selective Tool
I have to say I was a little confused by the name of this tool until I read further. Being that there is a selection tool in Adobe Photoshop, I assumed this was what they meant and that it worked with that Photoshop tool somehow.
However, the Nik Collection 3 Selective Tool is fully integrated with Photoshop and serves as a dashboard for the entire suite. It allows you to export the image you are editing to the plugin of your choice.
Selecting a filter or preset directly from your favorites is also possible. The redesign includes an icon for each plug in as well as a description of each to help you see what each option does more quickly. The Nik Selective Tool has been simplified and gives you quick access to each editing feature. It makes navigation between Photoshop and the Nik Collection suite easier to see.
You can quickly apply retouches in the plug in of your choice by reapplying the last preset used (excluding Perspective Efex) using the Last Edit feature. This will reapply the last actions used without having to relaunch the plug in interface. You can now also access your favorite presets for Silver Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro and Color Efex Pro.
This is one of the issues many users of the Nik Collection had. Once you had edited an image in one of the Nik plugins that was it, you could not continue editing once you closed out of your session within the Nik plugin. Now, with Nik Collection 3, you are able to edit your images as many times as you’d like.
The nondestructive workflow is simple to use. Once you’ve exported your image to the plugin, just click the “Save and allow to resume editing” box. This gives you access to all of your edits and you can restart an editing session in the standalone mode in the same plug in as well. This nondestructive mode can also be activated for use with DxO PhotoLab, Serif Affinity Photo or ON1 Photo RAW.
As an architecture photographer, I have to say I’m most excited about this new addition to the Nik Collection 3. Perspective Efex is dedicated to geometric corrections. You have the option of using control points or the auto function to straighten your cityscape and architectural images.
It also removes barrel, pincushion and fisheye distortion. Perspective Efex is the only plugin on the market that will correct distortions to the people located along the edges of your wide-angle shots without distorting their bodies and shapes.
In this image of London architecture, I chose File > Edit In > Perspective Efex. Then I just clicked on the Auto Perspective function to see how it would do. It looked pretty good to me. I would likely play around more with the 8-points option to get it just a little more perfect, but the auto function does a great job.
Creatively, Perspective Efex offers a miniature, tilt-shift effect in just one click. It gives you a choice of two blur gradients that you can adjust in multiple ways to create the tilt-shift effect you want.
Don’t forget the original plugins
Color Efex Pro includes 55 filters and 20 recipes to use. These can all be customized and tweaked in an almost infinite number of ways. Silver Efex Pro has 48 presets and an exclusive range of filters and effects. Analog Efex comes with 90 tools and effects that give you the looks of classic cameras, lenses and films. Effects such as blur, bokeh, light leaks, vignetting and striping are also included. HDR Efex Pro covers the range from realistic to artistic using it’s advanced tone algorithms, multi-image/single image features and flare-reduction methods.
Dfine and Viveza are still part of the collection. Dfine is a great noise-reducing product, while Viveza is great for creating multiple local adjustments to colors, shades, tones and vibrancy. Sharpener Pro is still one of the most effective tools out there for improving sharpness.
I used all the Nik Collection 3 products (other than spot removal and cropping) for the lead image in this article. Specifically, I used Sharpener Pro for sharpening, Dfine to reduce the noise (as I shot that at ISO 2000), Perspective Efex to straighten, Silver Efex Pro 2 with the full dynamic range smooth preset for the final edit.
Price, availability & compatibility
Nik Collection 3 can be used as a plug in with Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, Photoshop Elements, DxO PhotoLab, Serif Affinity Photo, ON1 Photo RAW and any photo editing software that has a third-party export menu or Adobe Photoshop plugin compatibility.
Nik Collection 3 is available now for purchase on the DxO site, with special launch pricing of $99.99.