I’m a long-time user of Nik Tools, and the suite of filters and presets has been advancing rapidly since DXO took the software over in 2017. There are tools to create a variety of monochrome looks, perspective corrections, sharpening, HDR renders, analog and film replication effects, color adjustments, noise reduction, and sharpening. Now, DXO is offering version 4.3 with 35 new presets, most useful to landscape photographers.
The update includes:
- “The Seasons”: four presets that evoke the different stages of the year.
- “Tonal Landscapes”: allows users to enhance the soft greens of spring foliage, uncover the glow of golden hour, or reveal the calm blueness of dawn.
- “Landscapes of Yesteryear”: presets designed to infuse images with a refined, antique quality that will take viewers back in time.
- Six “Dramatic Landscapes”: presets new to Nik Silver Efex that will reveal the true character of black and white landscape photographs.
- Six meta-presets: actions that blend filters and settings from multiple Nik Collection plugins for quick application, available for Adobe Photoshop users. Images can be transformed in a single click, perhaps to create the ambiance of those fleeting moments just before dawn or the luxurious glimmer of a lazy summer evening.
Using the New Nik Collection
I gave the update a spin and found the new presets grouped with the appropriate tools. For example, the new “Seasons” presets are in the Color Efex group. The “Autumn” preset gave me increased warmth and changed some of the foliage to red, orange, and yellow hues.
The “Winter” preset gave my images a cooler render, as I would expect.
In the Nik Analog Efex tool, new features include a vintage feel through the six “Landscapes of Yesteryear” presets, designed to infuse images with a refined, antique quality for a nice retro look. There’s a good deal more, and I didn’t try everything.
As I said, I’m been a long-time fan of this plugin set for Photoshop or Lightroom. It also can work within DXO’s own PhotoLab 5 editor.
The Nik Collection has always been highly reliable, and I’m glad to see the increasing number of presets added to Nik’s U Point technology, which can easily adjust specific parts of an image.
Unlike some presets, the Nik Collection adds a new layer but also gives you a good deal of flexibility to adjust the preset to meet your specific creative needs, and you can save your own presets.
I don’t have any negatives on these presets. They are powerful, fully modifiable, and work reliably.
Getting the Nik Collection Version 4.3
Windows and macOS versions are now available for download on the DxO website for a special price of $99.99 instead of $149 and $59.99 instead of $79 for the upgrade until December 31st, 2021.
Photographers who already own Nik Collection 3 by DxO or a previous version can upgrade their software by signing into their customer accounts. A fully functional, one-month trial version of Nik Collection 4.3 is available here.