Gadgets & Gizmos

ONE OF THE best set of Photoshop plug-ins ever devised is the Nik Collection. Comprising seven key components, Nik has a way of processing your files that is distinctively different to any standard way of working with them in Photoshop.

While what Nik does is possible within Photoshop, it makes what can be a series of quite complicated and precise processing steps much more accessible for the average photographer. While the originators of Nik software were undoubtedly delighted when their suite of plug-ins was purchased by Google, there was a genuine fear in the photography community that Google would simply bury them, never to be upgraded. Not that we could complain because Google eventually made the entire suite completely free! But that was the problem. What would happen if Photoshop changed its code and Nik was no longer compatible? What if it were the operating system that changed, something that’s inevitable?

This isn’t the first time that marvellous software was at risk of financial oblivion – the old Live Picture, touted by many as superior to Photoshop in so many ways, was purchased by Motorola (we believe) and has simply disappeared from the market. What would happen to Nik?

Well, the good people at Google have sold Nik to the good people at DXO, a company that is an interesting amalgam of software and website. And while Nik Software is no longer free (there’s an introductory offer of what appears to be US $49.99), this is not an unreasonable price and at least the future of the Nik Collection is more secure.

So, what’s in the Nik Collection? Analog Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro (essential for black and white workers), Color Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro, Viveza and Dfine. Check it all out at

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