Verdict: 5 stars Analog Efex Pro 3 is a new and revamped version of the analog effects plug-in in the DxO Nik Collection. It goes way beyond most analog photography tools, offering not just film styles, grain effects and borders, but creative vignetting, bokeh, lens blur, lens distortion, double-exposures, motion blur and more to simulate a huge variety of ‘old camera’ looks. There are other good vintage/analog tools out there, but none that go as far as Analog Efex Pro, and version 3, introduced with Nik Collection 5, is streamlined, updated and even better.
'Bokeh' is a Japanese word that describes the particular visual quality of out of focus areas on a picture. Bokeh fans will wax lyrical about the background rendering of certain lenses, while sceptics will wonder what all the fuss is about. It all depends on how sensitive you are to the nuances of images.
So although 'bokeh' is technically about how out-of-focus areas look, the word has been hijacked somewhat to mean anything that's out of focus – so there are image effect plug-ins like Analog Efex Pro, for example, that offer a 'bokeh' filter for making backgrounds blurred and concentrating attention on the main subject.
There's nothing wrong with that and it's a perfectly valid digital technique that can make a photo really effective. Really, it's a depth of field effect rather than 'bokeh', but the word seems to have stuck now so many people think it means the same thing.
How to get started with Analog Efex Pro
Analog Efex Pro is one of the plug-ins in the Nik Collection. It works as a plug in with Lightroom Classic and Photoshop but it can also work as a standalone program or as an external editor with all sorts of other programs like Capture One, Exposure X and more. It’s designed to recreate the […]
6 tips for getting an authentic analog film effect
Modern cameras can reproduce the world with utter, clinical accuracy. The trouble is, it turns out that’s not what we wanted after all. A lot of the time, what we actually want is the faded, distressed, imperfect look of analog photography. So here are six top tips for getting that analog film effect ‘look’ with […]
How to use the Nik Collection Analog Efex Pro Camera Kit
Analog Efex Pro is part of the DxO Nik Collection, the set of plug-ins for Photoshop, Elements and Lightroom Classic that DxO took over from Google. I rate this as the best set of plug-ins ever made, and practically a must-have for digital image-editing fans. It’s a tool for simulating the look of old films […]