Google has announce that they will no longer offer updates for the popular Nik Collection via a banner on the tool’s website.
A decade ago one of the most popular tools in a photographer’s kit was the Nik collection of seven applications: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. Many award-winning images were created for competition using Nik. JDLab sponsored live workshops where photographers could learn how to use these tools.
Then in 2012, Google acquired Nik Software and dropped the price from $500 to $149. With the huge price drop, most photographers didn’t have a problem with the acquisition. In fact, Nik became even more popular when Google announced in 2016 it would give the software away for free.
In retrospect, we should have seen this coming.
Officially the current Nik Collection is compatible with Mac OSX 10.7 – 10.10 and Windows Vista, 7 & 8. It supports Adobe Photoshop CS4 through CC2015 and Lightroom 3 through 6/CC. Unofficially, the Nik Collection also seems to run fine on Windows 10 too.
According to the Google website:
The Nik Collection is free and compatible with Mac OS X 10.7 through 10.10; Windows Vista, 7, 8; and Adobe Photoshop through CC 2015. We have no plans to update the Collection or add new features over time. Learn more about Nik.
With the popularity of Nik, it will be interesting to see what Google does as newer operating systems come out over time. Will Google “sunset” the software and let it die over time? Will Google sell off the brand to a 3rd party like Adobe or Corel? Will it make the programs open source so they can be used with free tools like GIMP? Or will new tools with more features make Nik an obsolete piece of software like Adobe Pagemaker?
Do you still use Nik tools? Is Nik still relevant? What are your favorite alternatives? Leave your comments below and share them with other photographers.