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Nik Collection 3 By DxO Review

The Nik Collection 3 by DxO updates a popular suite of photo editing plug-ins but do the improvements and new additions to the software warrant the upgrade? Let's find out.


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Quick Verdict

The Nik Collection 3 by DxO is still a great plugin that gives photographers, of all levels, a simple and effective way to enhance photos and express their creativity. The addition of new tools and interface improvements are always welcome as is the still included U Point technology and the fact that it can be used with a wide variety of photo editing software, including Lightroom and Photoshop. 

Price-wise, it's no more expensive than the last upgrade but those who purchased version 2 will have to pay an upgrade fee of £69 to get the extra effects and improved UI so some may choose to just stick with the version they're currently using, especially those who just use the Nik Collection for the Silver Efex plug-in. 

Overall, Nik Collection 3 is easy to use, has plenty to offer and it certainly makes the application of looks/filters an easy process. Plus, more importantly, the plugins can make your photos look great. 

+ Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Improved UI
  • Non-destructive workflow in Lightroom Classic 
  • Useful (new) perspective plugin
  • No subscription 
  • All of the useful features still where you expect them

- Cons

  • Price (some will argue there are plenty of free apps available)
  • Would have been nice to see even more new features (from an upgrade perspective)

 

The Nik Collection of plugins has had an upgrade, bringing us version 3 of the popular group of plugins which are compatible with Adobe, as well as DxO software.

Nik Collection 3 by DxO features a new Nik Selective Tool, the suite's plugin launcher for Adobe Photoshop, new quick edit tools, 8 plugins (1 new), non-destructive workflow for Adobe Lightroom Classic users and a Message Centre that lets Nik Collection users stay informed about new upcoming features and access new online resources. Plus, you get all of the improved plug-ins and useful tools, such as the U Point local adjustment, that were introduced in previous releases. 

For those simply interested in the cost of Nik Collection 3 by DxO, it has a special launch price of £86.99 instead of £125. For those who are upgrading from Nik Collection 2, the special launch price is £49.99 instead of £69. Bother offers are available until 30 June 2020. Photographers who already own Nik Collection 2 By DxO or a previous version can upgrade their software by signing into their customer accounts. 

Nik Collection 3 by DxO Features

 

The Nik Collection 3 by DxO now consists of 8 plugins with the new one being Perspective Efex which can be used to correct leading lines, shape distortion, fish-eye distortion and horizon correction. It also has an option for creating 'miniature effect' photos where a shallow depth of field is applied so the scene in the shot is turned into a toy-like town. As with all of the other plug-ins, automation is combined with manual tools so you can tweak and perfect your shots. 

The other plugins include the very popular Silver Efex Pro 2 which converts colour images into monochrome shots that recreate the look of film and many people actually purchase Nik Collection just for this plugin. The other 6 plugins featured in the collection are Dfine 2, Viveza 2, Sharpener Pro 3, Color Efex Pro 4, HDR Efex Pro 2 and Analog Efex Pro 2. 

Here's a recap of what the other plugins do: 

  • 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 3 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 and quite a few of the upgrades have been applied to make the workflow of those who use Adobe's software faster and even more creative. 

We'll be focusing on the new additions to the software so if you want to learn more about what Nik Collection by DxO offers as a whole, have a read of our previous review or take a look at our news section

 

So What's New?

 

Perspective Efex Plugin

Perspective Efex is the new Nik Collection By DxO plugin dedicated to geometric corrections. You can fix horizons, correct distortion and more. Plus, you can also use the plugin more creatively to turn images into miniature model-like scenes 

 

Nik Selective Tool For Adobe Photoshop

The Nik Selective Tool serves as a dashboard for the Nik Collection plugins in Adobe Photoshop. It's presented as a palette and it allows you to export the image you are editing to the plugin of your choice. There's also a 'favourites' list you can select a filter or preset from should you have tools you use more often than others. 

To make the tool even easier to use, it's had a redesign to include an icon for each plugin as well as a simple description of what they do to help you identify each option more quickly. There's also a 'mini mode' which just shows the icon for each plugin to help unclutter the workspace. 

 

 

Quick Retouching

As well as providing information on what each plugin can be used for, the Nil Selective Tool palette redesign now also features buttons you can click to apply quick retouches and edits, speeding up your workflow as a result. We'll go into more detail on these options further into the review. 

 

Non-Destructive Workflow In Lightroom Classic

With Nik Collection 3 By DxO, users can now edit their images as many times as they would like, while still keeping the editing settings used during their previous session, when working with Lightroom Classic - something which wasn't available previously.

 

Message Center

The new Message Center in Nik Collection 3 By DxO is available from the Nik Selective Tool and it's a quick way for photographers to access product news, special offers and educational content. 


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Comments


jacomes Plus
5 25 10 Portugal
4 Jun 2020 12:34PM
The new module Perspective Efex looks like DxO viewpoint under another name. As I use DxO Photolab 3 rather than Lightroom (my Lightroom has become slow and unstable) allong with Viewpoint and Nik Collection 2 there seems for me little or nothing to gain from this upgrade.

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10 Jun 2020 3:32PM
Nice but shame some of the modules still don't scale properly on 4K monitors.

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