FREE photo software
NEWS! NIK Software Collection is now free for everyone to download!
What is NIK Collection?
Well its a bunch of very professional plugin apps for photoshop and lightroom to fine tune your images. The apps also work as standalone and can be launched from your desktop and Launchpad.
What does this news mean for photographers?
I think this news has been met with both joy, disappointment and a little bit of anger as well. Joy, because photographers all around the world can now download and enjoy a professional photo editing software for free. Disappointment because this now strongly indicates that google will not be updating the software at all. If they’re willing to give away a product, that previously sold for $150, then there is nothing in it for them to continue to update it. As someone who did purchase it back when NIK was the outright developer and owner of the collection, I am a little disappointed that it won’t continue to be updated. The problem won’t happen overnight, but there will come a time when NIK won’t be compatible with the latest version of Photoshop. This is where the anger part comes into it for users out there.
Google has stated though..
‘If you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will receive a full refund, which we’ll automatically issue back to you’
As of March 24, 2016, the latest Nik Collection will be freely available to download: Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine.
If you don’t own Nik Collection then you should download it and have a play as its got some fantastic filters to go along with sharpening and noise reduction software. I’m constantly using Color Efex PRO 4 for its tonal contrast (can’t seem to get the same effect in other apps) and other great filters.
If you are willing to put in a small amount of money into your software then go with one of the competing companies suites/collections of professional photo editing software like:
On1 is fast becoming the dominant figure when it comes to Photo editing software collections. They took their package to the next level when they introduced ON1 Photo 10 and have just announced a brand new RAW developer to go along with it. Their vision is clear and they are working towards achieving that goal of a complete and powerful end to end hub where the photographer will not have to leave the program and everything can be done in the same place. They also have a bunch of pro photographers giving constant support and tutorials so go check out their stuff by clicking the link below. On1 Photo 10 offers a trial, so why not check it out?
Topaz, you can’t say enough great things about this company. They’ve been adding so many different and unique plugin programs to their lineup that they are fast becoming the option when it comes to variety. It seems like they have an app for everything you can think of and even allow you to download a trial of any of them. It’s the variety that allows you to unleash your creativity in your journey as an artist and a photographer.
Macphun burst on to the scene with a bunch of amazing apps for MAC computers, plus they’re developing them for PC users. Their apps jumped to the top of the charts in the apple store and continue to sell well. Their creative kit 2016 comes with a bunch of extra goodies and has some very smart engineering under the hood. They recently teamed up with renowned photographer trey ratcliff to develop Aurora HDR Pro and it has been a BIG success. Aurora is easily the most advanced HDR program on the market and has made making HDR images in a pro way fun again. Macphun offers trials on all its photo software too, click the links below to see those.
These companies above all seem to be thriving and offer great support for great photography suites. I am a big fan of all of them and use them on all of my photos.
To sum up.. the Nik Collection now being free is a blessing but also a sad reality that one day in the near future we wont be able to use it without the latest Adobe software. But! there are other great options out there from the companies above offering lots of support and constant updates and feedback.