A plug for a plug-in – the Nik Collection by DxO
I rarely if ever review software or camera equipment. Personally I like to think I am more interested in the end result, the final image or print, than I am in the tools I have used to get there. However that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the importance or value to me of the products and gear I am fortunate enough to own.
Predominately I am a black and white worker with only occasional colour lapses. Integral to my work flow is a plug in for Photoshop and Lightroom called Silver Efex Pro. I paid for the software a number of years ago when it could be purchsed as a stand alone product (I still have the original CD!) and have enjoyed using the software ever since. I would miss it greatly if it was no longer available.
The vast majority of you will be familiar with this excellent software and may well be using it as part of your post processing. You will also be aware that it now forms part of the Nik Collection by DxO who purchased the software from Google. For quite a while you could download the complete suite of 7 plug- ins for free from Google but concerns were raised when they announced that it would no longer be supported. Subsequently there was a sense of relief when the Nik software was acquired from Google by DxO in October 2017.
Following the acquisition DxO assured the photographic community that they would develop the compatibility of the software so that it would work alongside the current versions of Photoshop and Lightroom as well as the latest operating systems for both Mac and Windows users. They have now relaunched the product and the cost in the UK is £59.
This is excellent news but it is against the backdrop of DxO filing for bankruptcy as recently as April of this year. I don’t know the details, but I have read they restructured the business as well as developing the software. Hopefully these moves will mean the company can survive in the short/medium term and look forward to a bright future.
Silver Efex Pro is essential to my work flow. I have no doubt there are other plug ins but for mono workers I don’t believe there is one as good as Silver Efex. For this reason I would like to see it supported, developed and updated. However no company can survive if they don’t make money. Something worth having is rarely free. Many photographers now pay a licence fee to Adobe for their use of Photoshop and Lightroom, to benefit from regular updates. I do so myself and I am happy to pay a reasonable price for the Nik software which will hopefully secure its longevity.
A few days ago I decided I would pay for a new subscription and download the latest version. I did take advantage of a discounted price which is no longer available but in my opinion even at £59 the suite of plug ins represents excellent value for money. If you are a regular user of Silver Efex or any of the Nik plug ins, you might like to consider whether or not you would like to see the software developed and supported. If so do give consideration to supporting DxO and buy the fully licensed version. The download itself was very straightforward and whilst I haven’t noticed any specific changes the software looks and performs just as well as it did before.
I for one hope that DxO thrives so that I can continue using an excellent product and make images and prints that I like to share with my followers.
If you agree with my sentiments then do share this entry with your readers. Thank you.
The link to the DxO Nik Collection can be found here.
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