May 6, 2024

Nik Collection 7

Just launched - A new version of the Nik Software suite

The Nik Collection is a suite of seven plugins that can be used with Photoshop, Lightroom Classic, DxO Photolab, Affinity Photo and many more editing tools. If you are new to the Nik suite, it started in 2004 when a company called Nik Software created Colour Efex. In 2012, Google purchased the company, and development of the software stagnated for five years until the current owners, DxO, purchased the Nik Collection. They issued the Nik Collection by DxO in 2018, and since then, there have been annual updates to the suite, culminating in today, when DxO has announced the first full DxO version of the Nik Collection.

What is the Nik Collection?

So, what are the seven plugins? Nik Color Efex enhances colours in images with various filters and pre-sets that can make pictures ping. Silver Efex was how I got into the Nik Collection, and I think it is still the best tool for converting colour images to monochrome. Analog Efex makes your nice, clean digital photos look like they were taken on a film camera from the past. There’s a whole range of film types as well as effects such as scratches and light leaks. HDR Efex is a highly controllable tool for generating High Dynamic Range Images. Nik Dfine allows the removal of noise from images while retaining details. As its name suggests, Nik Sharpener is used at the end of the editing process to optimise images for display on a screen or printing. Finally, Nik Viveza enhances tone and colour.

Regular users of the Nik Collection will notice that one tool is missing. Nik Perspective, a straightening tool, has been dropped from the Collection. The guys at DxO monitor which tools are used the most, and they found that hardly anyone was using the perspective tool. If you are one of the few users and you have it in Nik Collection 6, then it will continue to work while you upgrade the rest of the tools to the latest version.

So, let me walk you through the changes in Nik Collection 7. The Nik Collection uses UPoint technology to decide where edits are applied. Essentially, you selected a colour in an image, extended a circle around that point, and any changes were applied to similar colours within the boundary of that circle. It worked well, but you could end up with many points in a complex edit. The first two changes have helped to move the UPoint technology forward.

Eliptical tool

The introduction of an elliptical tool has allowed much greater flexibility in selecting areas to apply changes. As you can see here, we can create the traditional circular shape and then drag it from the top or bottom to make more accurate selections far more efficiently. Once the selection is made, we can apply changes to the image using the colour picker and change that very specific colour range.

That’s a helpful tool that will speed up the editing process for many photographers who regularly use the DxO Collection. However, not all edits lie within the boundaries of circles or ellipses.

Polygonal Tool

That brings us to our second improvement. The Polygonal tool means that you can now create irregular shapes. As you can see here, it’s simple to create a shape that selects the tram in this image, isolating it from similar colours in the buildings. We can then apply a colour change to just the tram and nothing else. This is a nice, quick, and easy way for product photographers to change colours.

Luminosity Masking

Next up is the introduction of Luminosity Masks. Instead of selecting areas of an image by colour, this new development allows the selection of areas with similar brightness. Landscape photographers will often enhance their images using Luminosity masking in Photoshop. It can be a pretty complicated process, but this tool makes it easy to make selections and changes without creating several layers.

Plug-in Switcher

One of the Nik Collection issues in the past has been using multiple tools in one edit. Let’s say some changes were needed in Colour Efex first; then, you wanted to change the image to make it look like it was taken on film. Now, you can switch between the different tools in the collection without returning to the host editing program. It’s one journey from, say, Lightroom into Color Efex, a quick switch to Analog Efex and then the changes from both tools are applied back into Lightroom. For Photoshop users, it is even better. Each different tool used in the Nik Collection will create a separate layer. If you would prefer not to see one of the changes later on, it’s a simple matter of switching off that layer. This will save disk space for photographers who switch between Nik Collection tools.

Quick Export

I like the next improvement. When making changes to an image, you’ll often be undecided about which of two or three looks best. Now, you can take a snapshot with the Quick Save button of each different edit and have individual copies. Again, for product photographers, this could be useful to output variations to allow clients to decide which they prefer the best.

Filter & Preset Management

All the tools in the Nik Collection use filters and presets in the left sidebar. You can also create your own filters. However, after a while, that sidebar can get pretty packed. So, the next change is the addition of a global search across all the filters in a tool. You can also create your categories of filters inside the sidebar – think of this as your own personal group of regularly used filters in one place.  I can see wedding photographers saving time with this change as they no longer need to search for regularly used filters.

Extended HSL

The next change is another way to apply a global change across an image with an extended HSL selection. By adjusting the vibrancy slider in the right panel, we can make accurate selections that can be applied to change colours.

Nik Viveza in Color Efex

The Viveza tool and Colour Efex do very similar jobs. So, the final change introduced is that all the tools available in Viveza are also available as filters inside Colour Efex. White balance adjustments, detail extractor improvements, and more can be applied without switching between tools.

The new Nik Collection 7 is available from today, 6 May 2024 from at If you already have Nik Collection five or six, then upgrading will cost £79 (or €89/$89). If this is your first time buying the Nik Collection or you have a much older version, it will cost you £145 or €159/$159.

What do I think?

As a Lightroom user, I think some of these new tools are playing catch up. While I can see the ellipses selection being helpful, many of its use cases, such as editing eyes, have been added to Lightroom with very selective masks.  That said, the polygonal tool is far easier than using a brush mask in Lightroom. Equally, the Nik Dfine tool uses noise reduction technology, which is nowhere near as good as the AI reductions used in DxO’s Pure Raw four. I wonder if we might start to see Pure Raw and the Nik Collection starting to come together in the future.

There is definitely a space for the Nik Collection in my workflow, particularly using the Silver Efex tool, which is still the best monochrome converter around. However, now that DxO has completed the conversion of the Nik Collection, it needs to consider how it fits strategically into the other editing tools it offers.

If you have enjoyed this look at the Nik Collection, why not subscribe by clicking on this button here? It will also help me if you can like and share this video so that the YouTube algorithm can do its stuff and allow more people to see my content. If you live near Edinburgh, why not take a look at my workshops at

My name is Rich Dyson from Edinburgh Photography Workshop. This has been an Americano-sized coffee break photography. See you next time.





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About the author

As well as running Edinburgh Photography Workshop, Rich Dyson is a professional photographer. His photographs are regularly used in newspapers such as The Times, Guardian and Daily Telegraph. He also had two solo exhibitions and was featured in a members sponsored exhibition in the Scottish Parliament. You can see and buy his photography at



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