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Nik Collection 2 By DxO Review

The Nik Collection 2 by DxO is a suite of seven plugins compatible with Adobe and DxO software that is designed to make photo editing quicker/easier but is the process really as straightforward as DxO says it is?


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Nik Collection 2 Plugins |
 

Quick Verdict

The Nik Collection 2 by DxO is a great plugin that gives photographers, of all levels, a simple way to add creative effects to images without too much effort. Those who are new to photo editing can browse and apply so many looks/effects they'll be spoilt for choice while those with more photo editing experience can apply the same effects but also edit them as they wish to create an image that's perfect for them. Plus, the introduction of U Point technology for RAW editing gives users precise control over specific areas of an image - a tool which you'll probably find yourself using quite frequently. 

We really like the Nik Collection 2 by DxO and with so many people loving filters nowadays, we're sure it's going to be a big hit with new and old fans. 

+ Pros

  • Easy to use
  • U Point technology can be used on RAW files
  • Live previews
  • Better performance on high-resolution monitors
  • Huge selection of presets 
  • No subscription 
  • Plugin or standalone software 
  • Effect saved as a layer when used with PS (none-destructive) 

- Cons

  • Price (some will argue there are plenty of free apps available)
  • Some will purchase for Silver Efex Pro only so the other plugins could be redundant 

 

The Nik Collection has always been a popular group of plugins which are compatible with Adobe, as well as DxO software. To give you a bit of history, Nik software first introduced the Nik Collection then Google bought it from Nik software as they really wanted Snapseed - a photo editing mobile app that's still incredibly popular. In 2016, Google announced that the Nik Collection would be made available as a free download but the software started to play-up, with bugs creeping in, and as Google wasn't developing it any further, it soon became awkward to use. 

However, DxO stepped in to save the day in 2017 when they bought Nikon Collection from Google and since then, DxO has worked hard to fix bugs and to make sure it's compatible with the latest version of Adobe Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom and DxO PhotoLab

Now, in 2019, we have version 2 of the Nik Collection by DxO which introduces more presets and better performance on high-resolution screens. Plus, the Nik Collection 2 by DxO is compatible with DxO PhotoLab 2.3 ESSENTIAL where files from Canon EOS RP and Olympus OM-D E-M1 X cameras are now supported. It has also added more than 500 new optical modules to its library, bringing its total number of camera/lens combinations to 47,500 so your camera/lens, more than likely, is supported which gives you access to optical correction tools.

Before we take a closer look at the features/performance of the Nik Collection 2 by DxO, you may just want to know when it's available and for what price so here are the details: Nik Collection 2 by DxO is available for download on the DxO website for £86.99 instead of £125 (new purchases), and £49.99 instead of £69 for the upgrade until 30 June 2019.

Right, back story complete so let's start the review...


Nik Collection 2 by DxO Features

Color Efex DE |

 

The Nik Collection 2 by DxO consists of 7 plugins and of the 7, Silver Efex Pro 2 is the most widely used/known as it converts colour images into monochrome shots that recreate the look of film. As well as Silver Efex Pro 2 you also get Dfine 2, Viveza 2, Sharpener Pro 3, Color Efex Pro 4, HDR Efex Pro 2 and Analog Efex Pro 2. 

Here's a quick explanation of what each plugin does: 

  • Dfine 2 - noise reduction
  • Viveza 2 - colour/tone adjustments
  • Sharpener Pro 3 - image sharpening
  • Color Efex Pro 4 - colour correction/creative filters you can layer on top of each other to build a 'look'
  • HDR Efex Pro 2 - create HDR images
  • Analog Efex Pro 2 - recreate the look of old camera results 

You can use Nik Collection 2 by DxO as a standalone piece of software but it's actually most useful when combined with Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom or with DxO PhotoLab ESSENTIAL. 

Those who have used the Nik Collection plug-ins will find how they work and the user interface familiar but there are a few new features which we'll be focusing on in our review. 

 

Nik Collection 2
 

So What's New?

42 New Creative Presets
Forty-two presets grouped together in a new “En Vogue” suite, have been added to the Nik Collection’s 156 effects and filters. Ten recipes have been added to Color Efex Pro, ten presets to Silver Efex Pro, 12 presets to HDR Efex Pro, and ten tool combinations to Analog Efex Pro.


High-Resolution Monitor Support
The Nik Collection 2 by DxO now supports high-resolution monitors (HiDPI) with Windows. The Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro, and Analog Efex Pro interfaces were adapted to offer the same visibility as in the macOS version.
 

When Used With DxO PhotoLab (ESSENTIAL version) - Optical Correction & U Point Technology

Users can now apply advanced corrections to treat optical defects, specifically a lack of sharpness, vignetting, chromatic aberrations, and distortion. Plus, with DxO PhotoLab 2 ESSENTIAL Edition, the Nik Collection 2 by DxO lets users apply U Point local adjustment technology to RAW files within a newly designed workflow.

 

Key Features

  • 42 creative presets (198 in total) 
  • Compatible with Adobe PS, LR & Elements as well as DxO PhotoLab 
  • HiDPI support for Windows
  • Optical corrections (when used with DxO Photo Lab ESSENTIAL)
  • RAW U Point Technology (when used with DxO Photo Lab ESSENTIAL)

 


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