DxO Introduces the Nik Collection 2, a Powerful Upgrade of the Popular Plug-In Suite for Photoshop

DxO just announced a major upgrade for the popular Nik plug-in suite. Named the Nik Collection 2 and compatible with Photoshop and Lightroom, the additions include 42 new presets, a bundle version of DxO PhotoLab 2.3 Raw format processor and more. We had a chance to try out a pre-release copy of the Nik Collection 2. Take a look at what we cooked up with the software, starting with the image above.

Analog Efex Pro 2, Double Exposure preset combined with image of Forget Me Not flowers also known as Scorpion Grass (who was in charge of naming flowers?). ©Jon Sienkiewicz

Significant Updates and Additions
If you are already a Nik user, or are otherwise familiar with the older versions, here’s what you’re interested in today: a summary of the additions and improvements.

• 42 new “En Vogue” creative presets
• DxO PhotoLab 2.3 Essential Edition included
• Raw compatibility via DxO PhotoLab 2.3 Essential Edition
• No Adobe Required (use with DxO PhotoLab 2.3 Essential Edition)
• High-resolution monitor support for Windows (same as Mac OS)
• Promotional pricing ($59 upgrade, $99 new) available through June 30

The 42 new presets augment the already powerful original set of 156 and were added as follows: Color Efex Pro plug-in has 10 new recipes, Silver Efex Pro gets 10 new presets, there are 12 more presets for HDR Efex Pro and 10 new tool combinations for Analog Efex Pro. See below.

Within each plug-in, the new additions are grouped and identified as “En Vogue” so you can find them more easily.

The other plug-ins in the suite remain essentially the same. But there is an important new addition: DxO PhotoLab 2.3 Essential Edition has become part of the suite. See full pricing information at the bottom of this story.

Nik Define 2 has not changed, but it’s still my favorite noise squasher. Seriously, you can work in situations where you know noise will be an issue and be confident that Define will save your bacon. ©Jon Sienkiewicz

Quick History
If you’re new to Nik, here’s a very compressed history. Nik was started by Nils Kokemohr in 1995. Over time the set of creative plug-ins grew and diversified, and commanded a very high price at retail.

Silver Efex Pro 2 plug-in with Dark Selenium preset from the new En Vogue collection. ©Jon Sienkiewicz

Around September 2012, Nik Software was acquired by Google. Google initially lowered the price and later, in 2016, offered it to consumers for free. Google didn’t do much to improve or support the product. In fact, they put it on a back burner and turned off the gas. Worse yet, they damaged the value perception of the plug-ins by lowering the price to zero.

HDR Efex Pro 2 plug-in with Winter Dream preset from the new En Vogue collection. ©Jon Sienkiewicz

DxO obtained all rights to the collection the following year, and in June of 2018 released a stable version of the product under the DxO brand name. To the delight of the thousands of Nik users worldwide, DxO resuscitated the software and provided the sorely needed customer support. Here is my review of the first version of the Nik Collection by DxO.

Analog Efex Pro 2, Double Exposure preset combined with image modified with Analog Efex Pro 2 Layered Blues recipe from the new En Vogue collection. ©Jon Sienkiewicz

And now DxO has significantly expanded the plug-in suite with more than 40 new creative presets, high-resolution monitor support for Windows (a la Mac OS), Raw file handling capabilities via PhotoLab and a bundle that includes DxO PhotoLab 2.3 Essential Edition. Kudos!

Color Efex Pro 4 with my own custom Cow recipe. No bull. ©Jon Sienkiewicz

Today the Nik suite includes seven separate, powerful applications. They are:

• Color Efex Pro 4
• Silver Efex Pro 2
• HDR Efex Pro 2
• Analog Efex Pro 2
• Viveza 2
• Dfine 2
• Sharpener Pro 3

Color Efex Pro 4 with Super Punch recipe from the new En Vogue collection being changed into a monochrome version in the side-by-side preview window. ©Jon Sienkiewicz

Pricing and Availability
The Nik Collection 2, which operates as plug-ins for either Photoshop or Lightroom, is now available for download from the DxO website for $99. The upgrade price is $59. After June 30, 2019 the prices are expected to increase to $149 for a new install and $79 for the upgrade. Even without DxO PhotoLab 2.3 Essential Edition (which is now included) it’s a bargain considering that you’re getting seven powerful, exciting applications.

Farm road in Pennsylvania Dutch region modified with several presets using Color Efex 4. A major benefit of Nik filters – extremely wide range of possible adjustments allows you to create images that are truly unique even though thousands of other photographers may be using the same preset. In other words, you can heavy-tweak a preset and make it your own. ©Jon Sienkiewicz

Caveat Emptor
If you own and use the older free Google version of Nik, installing the new upgraded package over the old collection will clobber it and demolish your customizations. However, you can easily Export your presets from the old plug-ins and Import them into the new. For more info on how to Export / Import presets, visit the DxO support website.

—Jon Sienkiewicz