nik collection

Nik Collection, a package of seven photography tools, is now completely free. Previously, Google sold the plugins for a steep $149.

Google acquired Nik Collection with the 2012 purchase of Nik Software, the German company that is better known for the Snapseed apps for Android and iOS. While Snapseed is a simple, but powerful tool for regular users to modify images on mobile, Nik Collection is geared towards professionals and enthusiasts. The suite sold for $500 before Google acquired it, and it later went down to $150. Now the package is free for everyone.

Nik Collection comprises plug-ins for Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, and Aperture, and is available for Windows and Mac:

  • Analog Efex Pro – Explore the look and feel of classic cameras, films, and lenses.
  • Silver Efex Pro – Master the art of black-and-white photography with darkroom-inspired controls.
  • HDR Efex Pro – From natural to artistic, explore the full potential of HDR photography.
  • Dfine – Improve your images with noise reduction tailored to your camera.
  • Color Efex Pro – A comprehensive set of filters for color correction, retouching, and creative effects.
  • Viveza – Selectively adjust the color and tonality of your images without complicated masks or selections.
  • Sharpener Pro – Bring out hidden details consistently with the professional’s choice for image sharpening.

Note that, these are plugins, not standalone tools, so you will need the programs listed above in order to use them. If you bought Nik Collection since January 1, 2016, you will automatically receive a refund over the following days.

Google said it would continue to focus on developing its mobile photo apps, Google Photos and Snapseed. With its focus on advanced desktop users, Nik Collection was clearly outside of Google’s wheelhouse. The suite hasn’t received any updates in the past three years, and today’s announcement has made it clear that none will follow.

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As for Snapseed, the app is still in active development: version 2.0 arrived in April 2015, and the app just picked up a bunch of new features last month.