Big news for the professional and enthusiast photographers out there: Google is making the entirety of Nik Software’s photo editing suite completely free.
It’s a big deal – Nik Software has been around for about two decades, and its film-like filters and other editing tools are some of the most popular among professional photographers, along with VSCO or Alien Skin’s Exposure.
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Nik says the price drop is a result of Google’s continued focus on its Photos app; Google is probably more interested in promoting its tools and software than any potential immediate revenue from it. Google had previously dropped the suite’s price from $499 to $149 after acquiring Nik – which also makes Snapseed, a popular mobile editing app – almost exactly three years ago.
The full suite includes seven tools, which can work as standalone software or as plugins for popular apps like Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop:
- Analog Efex Pro – Imitates old school film photography
- Color Efect Pro – Image filters for color correction, retouching, and creative effects
- Silver Efex pro – Probably Nik’s best-known tool, it creates black-and-white photos with a variety of presets and controls
- Viveza – Adjusts the color and tone of your images without masks or selections
- HDR Efex Pro – Creates and edits HDR images
- Sharpener Pro – Advanced sharpening tools, useful for large prints
- Dfine – A great noise-reduction tool
It’s a powerful collection of tools, and now that it’s free, it’s hard no to recommend you give it a go. One last neat tidbit – if you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, Google will provide you with a full refund.