Google Nik Collection

Nik Collection is a plug-in package for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom priced at $150 and can be found here. I first started using the Nik Collection sporadically a year or so ago before Google purchased it.

The plug-ins in the package includes: Analog Efex, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro, and Dfine. I find myself using Silver Efex Pro and HDR Efex Pro more than the others because the custom presets I’ve made in Lightroom meet my needs instead of using the other plug-ins. If you don’t have Lightroom then maybe I could understand using the plug-ins but I would think you would use Lightroom first especially if you’re a photographer.

Analog Efex Pro provides you with filters that recreate the look of classic cameras. Color Efex Pro is simply an enormous set of filters. Silver Efex Pro converts images to black and white and provides a plethora of tools for fine-tuning. Viveza lets you adjust colors and tones quickly. HDR Efex Pro does what it says, makes HDR images and very effectively I might add. Sharpener Pro is self explanatory as well. Dfine is tailored for noise reduction.

The Photoshop toolbar for the plug-in has been the most annoying feature for me. Mainly because It doesn’t match the rest of the color scheme or integrate with the rest of the preexisting Photoshop toolbars. It is easy to find when you start up Photoshop though, that much is for sure. Google clearly did its own thing. Besides that the layout of the plug-ins seem to be well thought out. To edit a photo using a plug-in from Lightroom you can right-click and select edit in. From there you can choose the plug-in you want to edit the image in. You can also access the same menu via the Photo option on the top toolbar. The plug-ins themselves have presets as well for popular looks. The plug-ins all follow the same layout. If there are presets they will be on the left. The image being edited will be in the middle and on the right will be tools for adjustments.

Google allows you to demo the plug-in collection without limiting any functionality. In my opinion, that is extremely useful. Overall the plug-in collection is nice but unless you are specifically shooting HDR or BW on a consistent basis it’s not a huge upgrade from Lightroom.


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