$150 NIK Collection Software Gone FREE For Everybody

ShadowNik Collection Gone Free

As of March 24th, NIK Software, the photography editing suite that received quite the love from photographers is free to download for everybody. The $150 price tag is history now. The users that purchased in 2016 (and some time before that) will receive a full refund upon contacting Google Customer Support.

It all started back in September 2012 when Google acquired San Diego based NIK Software company. Back then the company had 3 products: free Snapseed mobile and desktop apps plus NIK collection that was priced at $500 for suit or $100 for each component. The astonishing price didn't stop photographers to buy it, as it offered unparalleled enhancement features for images.

After Google bought the company, they decided to ditch the free Snapseed desktop application (which was in essence a lite NIK Collection version). That caused anger among many fans, but they kept the mobile Snapseed app and lowered price for NIK Collection to just $150. The idea, according to the Google+ product manager, "to get [the tools] out to more and more people”. Additionally, the same enhancement algorithms were implemented in Google+ photo processing.

However, today Google has gone even further on their path of making great tools available to everyone and dropped the price of this professional and easy to use software to complete zero. There are rumors pointing out that Google has dropped the price to zero because they will stop further development of the suite. This is based on the fact that NIK Software hasn't received updates for quite a while now. It remains for us to see if the great photo suite is coming to an end or not.

Now let us see what does NIK Collection suit consists of?

Well, there are 5 standalone applications that can also be used as plugins for Lightroom, Photoshop and Aperture. 

Analog Efex Pro – in essence this a photographic film look simulator, that is intended to make your photos moody and full of charm.

Silver Efex Pro – advanced Black and White conversion tool with many “darkroom-inspired” control options.

HDR Efex Pro – software piece for creating and combining together several exposure to make an HDR output image.

Viveza – it’s a tool for selective adjustment on local colors with emphasis on ease of use, as it doesn’t require extensive knowledge of masking and isn’t complicated to use.

Dfine –  probably among the best noise reduction tool on the market. It does an amazing job, even if set in full automatic mode. If you need the manual controls, they are there for you.

Before Dfine

After Dfine

Sharpener Pro – this is where the magic happens. It brings out the details in your picture. You probably didn't even know that those details were there in the first place. The cool thing about it is that the artifacts, noise, and halo effects are minimal for such a powerful sharpener.

Color Efex Pro – would probably be the most important part of the suite. It is responsible for the general looks of the picture. The enhancements are probably one of the best, or even on par with the best options out there (Lightroom per se). It gives you the ability to tweak local and tonal contrasts, enhance the mid and quarter tone contrasts without affecting shadows and highlights. The best part is that it is controlled by few simple intuitive sliders.

Before Color Efex Pro

After Color Efex Pro

You can download NIK Collection here.

Minimum systems requirements:


  • Mac® OS X 10.7.5 through 10.10
  • Adobe Photoshop CS4 (CS5 for HDR Efex Pro 2) through CC 2015
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 through 13 (apart from HDR Efex Pro 2, which is not compatible with Photoshop Elements)
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 through 6/CC
  • Apple® Aperture® 3.1 or later


  • Windows Vista®, Windows 7, Windows 8
  • Adobe Photoshop CS4 through CC 2015
  • Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 through 13 (apart from HDR Efex Pro 2, which is not compatible with Photoshop Elements)
  • Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 3 through 6/CC

GPU Compatibility: NVIDIA GeForce 8 Series, GeForce 9 Series, GeForce 100 Series, GeForce 200 Series, GeForce 300 Series, GeForce 400 Series, GeForce 500 Series, ATI Radeon HD2000 Series, Radeon HD3000 Series, Radeon HD4000 Series, Radeon HD5000 Series, Radeon HD6000 Series.

If no compatible card is available, GPU acceleration will be disabled and the CPU will be used.


About the Author

Denis ProtopopovLandscape, lifestyle and product photographer for the past 3 yearsView all posts by Denis Protopopov →

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