Some time has passed since the acquisition of the legendary Nik Collection by DxO Labs, transforming it into what is now known as the Nik Collection by DxO which we have already had the opportunity to talk about HERE. It’s not really a secret that I’ve been considering for years this suite of Lightroom and Photoshop plug-ins a real post-production Swiss knife and that it’s been part of my post-production workflow for the same time. That’s why today I welcome the arrival of Nik Collection 3 by DxO with great pleasure. In this review we’re going to see the main innovations introduced.
As always and regardless of the improvements and innovations introduced that we will see in a moment, my applause goes to DxO Labs for maintaining continuity in the graphic interface and the basic philosophy of the original Nik Collection. For those like me who use this suite from the first versions (I remind you that I started using it in about 2010, and it already existed in other forms since 2006) it’s a really fundamental point, because it means being able to work quietly without having to adapt your workflow. In fact, however, under the hood the improvements introduced and optimizations have been many, and for this I really thank all the developers who spent days and nights on code optimization and working on new algorithms.
What’s new in Nik Collection 3 by DxO
In addition to a significant number of bug fixes and maintaining perfect compatibility with Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom (yes, if it crashes while you use it it’s because the old Google version is no longer compatible…), there are three main new features introduced:
- Selective Tool
- Non-destructive workflow
- Perspective Efex
Let’s see them together one by one.
The Selective Tool in Nik Collection 3 by DxO is basically the plug-in launch interface within Photoshop. Already available in the previous version, it has been completely renewed, including also a Message Center that allows in just one click to access to some very useful and interesting didactical material.
Apart from this, the Selective Tool is very convenient because it allows us to quickly open any plug-in of the Nik Collection 3 by DxO without passing through other selection interfaces and it allows us to automatically load the settings we saved previously, further speeding up our post-production workflow. This is not my specific case, but this is particularly useful when we have to edit almost simultaneously many different images, maybe to create a panorama.
Last but not least, the Selective Tool is compatible with all HiDPI screens, so in fact it’s also nice to be seen.
I think it’s my favorite novelty. As you know, in previous versions of Nik Collection by DxO, once you made and saved the adjustments inside a specific plug-in, there was no going back. On Adobe Photoshop you had to cancel the layer, while on Adobe Lightroom the generated Tiff was simply to be trashed.
Thanks to the new non-destructive workflow, in Nik Collection 3 by DxO we can go back on our decisions and reopen the file, finding every adjustment we did before.
Personally I find it really useful because for me post-production is a process that requires careful evaluations that I necessarily do over several days to see my image always with “fresh eyes”. Thanks to this new function I can now go back on my decisions, going selectively to correct the adjustments made. Being an avid user of Nik Collection by DxO on Adobe Lightroom, this new function is even more useful as it compensates (at least partially) the lack of levels management in Lightroom.
Another novelty contained in Nik Collection 3 by DxO is the new Perspective Efex plugin. As the name suggests, thanks to Perspective Efex we will be able to make geometric corrections to our images with absolute precision, at a much higher level than what we can do in Adobe Lightroom for example. Perspective Efex also allows you to take advantage of the optical libraries of DxO Labs, and therefore it will be possible with a simple click to correct even the optical imperfections of our lenses.
For those interested, there is also the possibility to create miniature effects with the simulation of a tilt-shift lens.
Nik Collection 3 by DxO consolidates the potential of what I believe to be the best plug-in suite on the market by introducing new useful tools that represent a further step forward. Nik Collection 3 by DxO can be downloaded as a free trial prior to purchase from HERE, and no doubt there is no better opportunity than the release of this new version to try it if you haven’t done it yet.