Verdict: 4.5 stars DxO Nik Collection 4 is the latest version of an evergreen plug-in suite that’s as good today as ever. There are improvements, but the new look for Silver Efex Pro and Viveza put them a little out of step with the rest.
DxO Nik Collection
With the launch of the DxO Nik Collection 3, the Collection now consists of eight different plug-ins, including four of the best creative tools for photographers you can buy today. Silver Efex Pro is still unrivalled for its black and white photography effects, Color Efex Pro has a dazzling array of photographic effects, Analog Efex Pro is superb at evoking classic analog film and darkroom effects and HDR Efex Pro makes HDR merging and editing easy enough for anyone to get great results straight out of the box. The new plug in, Perspective Efex, corrects perspective distortion and more.
Verdict: 3.8 stars Viveza is a great tool for making fast and effective adjustments to colour images, but even with the improvements in version 3 it still feels less useful than the other Nik plug-ins.
Verdict: 4.5 stars For fans of black and white photography, Silver Efex Pro is just superb. Version 3 improves the Control Point masking, but moves the sliders to the sidebar, which isn’t necessarily an improvement.
Choosing the best image editing software is complicated, not just because there are so many alternatives, but because they all do different things. It all depends on what you look for most in your photo editing software. Here are ten programs with ten different approaches.
Almost all the software applications reviewed and described on Life after Photoshop are available as a free trial, and here are the links. I always recommend using the trial version before making your mind up.
The DxO Nik Collection 3 brings non-destructive editing to the Nik plug ins for the first time. This is how it was done, and what you need to know.
Verdict: 5 stars Analog Efex Pro2 goes way beyond most analog photography filters, offering not just film styles, grain effects and borders, but creative vignetting, bokeh, lens blur, lens distortion, double-exposures, motion blur and more.
You can learn a lot from experimenting with manual adjustments and individual filters in a program like Color Efex Pro, but you can learn even more by dismantling a preset to see how its individual parts work together.