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New Nik Collection 4 by DxO - New Features Reviewed in Detail

Photo Moment - June 02, 2021

Nik Collection 4 by DxO is a fantastic upgrade, including a complete rewrite of two of the most important filters — Viveza and Silver Efex Pro. With new Color Selectivity control over your U-Points / Control points (allowing you to contract or expand your mask), and the ability to rename control points and save them into presets, it makes them more powerful than ever. New adjustments like highlight, midtown and shadow controls, white balance, and ClearView make their way into some filters, and the new Meta-presets bring creative new one-click looks to your photos. In addition, you can now copy and paste multiple filters from one photo to many others in Lightroom Classic and even load the last edit applied if you forgot to save a preset before exiting the filter!

Get your copy here!



00:00 - Start
01:15 - Opening Nik Collection Selective Tool
01:28 - New Interface Tour
01:58 - How Selective Tool (aka U-Points) Work
03:01 - New Control Points (U-Points) Refinement
04:10 - New Radial Gradient
07:15 - New Renaming Control Points
08:27 - New Save Control Points in Presets
09:51 - New Meta-presets
11:29 - New Selective tones and White Balance Shift in Viveza 3
12:15 - New Copy and Paste Nik filters in Lightroom Classic
15:35 - New Silver Efex Pro 3
15:50 - New ClearView in Silver Efex Pro 3
16:50 - New Film Grain in Silver Efex Pro (from DxO FilmPack)
17:32 - New Apply last Edit (Recall last edit) in Lightroom
18:35 - New and Upgrade Pricing

📄 Full Video Transcript

I've been using Nik Collection for several years since 2014. This was back in the days when Google got it and gave it away for free. A few years later, I found out that DXO now owns the rights to this software. Well, I tried the updated plugin, but there was nothing new then, and the plugin became slower. Since then, I've had the wrong feeling about this "DXO version". And today I was going to install the old collection again, but decided to check YouTube to see if anything new appeared, just in case. And I'm glad I found your video! It turns out that now this plugin has so many useful features that we really lacked before. Thank you. I am using Nick Collection as a plugin in my ACDSee Photo Studio. And though this photo editor has long featured smart masks and unique light equalization technology, the Nik Collection uses a different technology that allows you to create masks automatically, instead of creating complex selections manually and combining with many layers. Oh, you probably remember those times - when the whole photo was stuffed with control points +/ - :D
Totally!! Glad you found the video and the update!
I love the background in your video, is very pleasant and calming for the eyes and it goes perfect with my Windows 11 dark theme.
Haha thanks!
Fantastic. Thanks!
I wish these effects were baked into DXO PhotoLab so there's none of this exporting to TIFF and so on. I'd rather work natively on a DNG
Does Nik work with affinity photo?
So no upgrade on the other tools. That's hardly worth calling it version 4. With every update and upgrade a notification screen pops up and after that my PS crashes and I lost work because of that. This was the case in 2020 and is still the case in 2021. This and other points to improve I mentioned to them. However DxO is not listening to their users and will therefore put themselves outside the market. When they first took over NIK I bought all the upgrades to help to keep the product alive. Now, it's just a waste of money. Too bad, it's a fine product.
Beware of bugs. Lost functionality of several apps in the upgrade, and Nik has yet to assist.
Nik 4.1 has been released to address some initial issues. Go to the HELP menu and select CHECK FOR UPDATES.
Great Video: too bad NIK 4 is a super buggy program and their tech support is horrible. I will wait for NIK 5 and hopefully they will do more then barely update a small portion of the software.
Is this the best film simulation software on the market?
For B&W, absolutely.
excellent tutorial Joseph !
This is the best video I've found about the updates! Thank you very much for the explanation! I've started to update it and copy and paste filters for my pano photos! :)
I upgraded my Nik Collection to 4 last night and really regret it. I also use Capture One as my principal RAW processing system. C1 worked perfectly with Silver Efex before the upgrade, but now it won't return a processed image. I select my RAW file in C1, having carried out my standard processing there, and ask to edit in Silver Efex. The TIFF is generated and it opens in SE. I can see all the preset options, select and test them, make adjustments etc and then, when happy, press APPLY. This process runs, but then the TIFF file showing in C1 remains exactly as it was before I started the process. I never had this problem with the previous version. SE is working with Lightroom, however, it is substantially slower than the previous version. I have also tried using SE with Photoshop but each time I ask Photoshop to run the Silver Efex "filter" I get the message "Could not complete the Silver Efex command because the disk is full". All my disks have over 100GB free space.
Please contact DxO about this. I'm sorry but I can't be their tech support.
Nice presentation. One question: Why does the option "Export -> Nik Collection -> Copy and Apply parameters" doesn't appear in my Lightroom version (most recent version)?
I have no idea… sounds like a question for DxO
Love your video. I updated from Nik Collection 3 to 4 and installed. Not working correctly at all and I do not know how to uninstall and roll back to Nik Collection 3. Not seeing anything in the forums for guidance. Any help you can provide would be appreciated. Or can you direct me to a human at DXO/Nik who can help? Many thanks!
@@photojoseph I was able to uninstall Nik Collection 4 and reinstall Nik Collection 3. I left a message with Tech support and I await their guidance to try Nik Collection 4 again when it is stable.
DxO website has tech support, right at the top of every page on their website. Please reach out to them.
I 'bought' mine from Nik.
New plugins, and at least for the newest ones, it does wipe out your presets. I don't know if they can be saved and restored — something to check on their installation guide.
@@photojoseph will the upgrade just upgrade what I originally have, or will it be a new set of plug-ins and scrub my existing filters. I'm still in OSX Sierra. 10.12.6? Thanks!
Time to upgrade!
I've been testing our the new Silver Efex 4 on my M1 Mac mini. It seems to be slow or lag in updating the screen. I also had to reopen the image a second time because when I applied my edits, returning to LR nothing had changed. Good thing the last edit was saved because I could reapply and finally get the results expected in the LR catalog. I'm using Big Sur 11.4. I'm impressed by your presentation, but this has to run out of Lightroom A LOT faster to make me want to upgrade. Perhaps you can let me know what I might be doing wrong.
Run photoshop in Rosetta, that's what they mean. The plugins will load on their own on an M1. But to see them as a plugin in photoshop, you have to run photoshop in rosetta – which sucks. And as to "why" that's a question for DxO, but certainly I can say that it's likely because the percentage of M1 Mac owners of their entire user base is going to be quite small, and no matter what Apple likes to say, porting an app to M1 is unlikely to be trivial. I'm sure the team was busy enough getting entirely new apps up and running on macOS for Intel and Windows as well.
Checked with DxO and their web support says that M1 support isn't available yet and to run in Rosetta, but in the Get Info window there's no check box for that option. It seems a mystery how to do this. Macs with M1 chips have been out for a while now. Why was this released before this capability was built in? Why should we upgrade if it is not? If we wait until it is updated for the M1 will it be worth $20.00 more for the upgrade price after the discount has expired? I wonder.
Does this work with PS Elements 19?
I don't know — please check the DxO Nik support page.
You Talk To Fast and Move Your Error To Fast.
I move my error too fast? Dude there’s a playback speed control in YouTube for this reason.
That beard demo riff tho. Shaddup and take my money already.
Haha thanks mate. Always good to see you in the comments!
Not everyone uses PhotoShop or Lightroom. It looks like to me that in this update Nik is primarily targeting Adobe users.
They work as standalone apps too
Will this same approach work with on1?
I’m not an On1 user so I’m not sure. Download the trial and test it. Keep in mind the Nik filters work as standalone apps too, so you could always do an “open in”.
nice tuto.
Today we don't pay for separate plugins but for a suite. So why not migrating viveza u pint as a filter inside color efex pro ? this is really missing in cep4 and would avoid two steps of tif.
It is very frustrating not having gmalour glow inside sep3. as soon as you launch cep4 in lightroom after sep3, sep3 stops being non destructive. We hoped dxo would be able in one year to make a section in xmp for each filter involved.
I will pay the Nik4 update but wonder how many years to make same than ON1, Luminar AI,...
cep4 has limited B&W so few more panels would allow sep3 to replace it. analog efex is really a nonsense. its filters are standard ones and i don't imagine after having created a tif with sep3 or cep4, launching a plugin for a tilt shift... viveza nowadays is also a nonsense. brightness, contrasst,... curves are in all softwares. its u-point is really amazing. but it could be a new filter in cep4 and also brightness/contrast,... goal is to limit the number of plugins launch and intermediate tif to be sure to come back easily in worflow.
All fair questions. I wonder how much it makes sense to combine features vs keep separate apps
After installation, I don’t see Viveza or SilverFX in my PhotoLab 3 Nik Collection plugin menu. Any suggestions on what I’ve done wrong?
Also, DxO support just emailed me this response, which I didn’t know when I purchased Nik4:

In your ticket, you noted that you are using DxO PhotoLab 3. Please note that PhotoLab 3 is not a supported host program for use with Nik Collection 4. You will need to upgrade to PhotoLab 4 in order to use the Nik Collection 4 apps with PhotoLab.
@@photojoseph Actually got a fix on FB:

This trick appears to work:
- in the Applications/Nik Collection folder, duplicate Viveza 3 and SEP 3 and rename to Viveza 2 and SEP 2. They will now appear in your DxO PL3 Nik Collection selector.
Oh sorry I misread that you’re using PhotoLab. Hmm ok I don’t know then… if you were using Photoshop on an M1 Mac then I’d have an answer for you. You’ll need to reach out to DxO support. Please post the solution here once you have it, thanks.
@@photojoseph IMac running MacOS Big Sur. Not sure what you mean by Host, PJ. Isn’t this PhotoLab3?

For addition context, I’ve installed and reinstalled Nik4 a bunch of times but still no luck. I even removed and reinstalled PhotoLab, but Viveza and SFX still don’t appear in the plug in menu when I launch PhotoLab. Any pointers/suggestions appreciated. 👍👍
What computer? What host? What OS? Details, please.
And gosh again, no coherence ! 3 control points system: that new downgrade shitty one, the offert far better version, and do photo lab control point interface, almost similar to the good one. WTF, frankly ?
@@photojoseph U swiped on the right and it disappeared. That was so convenient ! Please bring it back DXO. Please.
They moved the adjustments off the control points themselves because a) there’s too many now and b) they cover the image while working. I think this is a much better system.
And damned, a shortcut for the mask view please DXO, looks like a beta to me
Gosh downloaded the demo... the removal of the control point onscreen settings forcing us to scrolling, as the lack of crosshair to know what u sample and the position of the Loupé make it à no go for me. Back to previous version.
New versions of Viveza and Silver Efex do not work with Capture One!
Whoah. Please report this to DxO. That’s a nasty bug!
A simple question: How do you save an image in Silver Efex? there is no
"Save" button..
Are you using as a plugin or standalone app?
I've used the free Google Nik version for years as a Photoshop plugin. Thought I'd try this new Collection 4 update, so I downloaded and installed the 30-day free trial. Couldn't get it to run with Photoshop CC 22.3.1; kept giving the same error message. Uninstalled it and found out my old Google Nik version was now disabled. Rolled Windows 10 back to a yesterday restore point and Google Nik still would not work. Rolled it back four days previous, still doesn't work. DxO apparently puts something in the registry to kill the free version? Correct me if I'm wrong andtell me what I did wrong.
@@jimmortlock7186 Yeah I saw that but wanted to try the trial version, thinking it would be an improvement. When it would not run once installed, I then regretted giving up the free version for nothing. Fortunately I got it back. I had kept the original Nik installer on an archive drive, so I rolled Windows 10 back to a restore point and reinstalled it. All good now. Too bad Collection 4 trial was a fail.
@@mikek4464 I actually found a warning on their website saying it would permanently disable previous versions. I am now unable to find that warning.
@@photojoseph I've done that, thanks
You need to reach out to DxO tech support; that’s not here, sorry.
DxO need to give more attention to their interface. I installed the latest collection, it found that it made Photoshop unusable. I have a laptop with a high resolution screen. The plug-in chooser (or whatever it is called) popped up over Photoshop when I opened an image, at a huge size compared to my screen. It was completely impossible to remove it, or to stop it opening automatically (and uninvited). DxO needs to get to grips with making this compatible with high res screens, and should not make this an auto-start feature unless the user requests it. Very poor programming. I had no alternative but to uninstall it, because it was completely unusable on my laptop.
Fair enough. Have you reached out to the company? I find that forums are often full of people who complain without actually asking the manufacturer for assistance. Not saying that's you… just saying that that's not uncommon.
@@photojoseph while my experience may not be typical, I am not alone: look at the forums to see reports of similar problems. The fact is that the collection is not fit for purpose for certain high resolution systems, because a non-dismissible screen pops up in a way which makes Photoshop unusable, and there is no way to stop this screen displaying. Some would say that it is, at best, impolite programming behaviour to impose such a start up screen which interferes with the use of the host programme as the default on installation, rather than giving the user an option to have it display should the user want it. Perhaps my laptop is not a common configuration, but it is far from unique: it is an off the shelf HP Spectre with an unremarkable but up-to-date Windows 10 OS. The Nik Collection is an expensive package, for plugins. The fact that it does not work with readily available standard configurations strongly suggests a lack of testing or sloppy programming: customers, actual and potential, for an expensive product have the right to expect better. I criticised the programming: maybe it is not the fault of programmers as such, but it is a failure by the organisation with overall collective control and responsibility for checking the compatibility of the product before it is released as a finished article, not a beta. Subject to that nuance, I stand by my comments.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that your experience is not typical, and that if it were, then everyone would be complaining about this. Perhaps you should consider contacting DxO to find out what’s wrong with your set up? Unless you’re a software engineer who knows everything about writing code, maybe don’t disparage the engineers who work so hard on this just because you have a problem with your system.
Many thanks, very helpful!
I love the Nik suite, but using Capture One Pro means I never get the full value from any upgrade. Nevertheless, it looks as if it might still be worth doing it.
I took your Aperture course many years ago and have found your teaching work to be helpful overall, regardless of Apple's sometimes difficult to understand decisions. So I am glad to see that Nik has survived Google's equally difficult to understand buy and kill approach and am willing to pay again for the Nik collection. As I recall, I paid Nik rather a lot and that for me Silver Efex Pro was worth every penny because it gave me back the experience of printing an a B&W darkroom in the 60s without the pungent smell acetic acid and fixer. Thanks, I'll use the affiliate link.
Thank you Lorenz, and I agree with you 100%! Yeah back in the day these filters were about $150 each, and that was in the late 90s early 2000s! So this is a complete bargain, even at full price. And yes… Silver Efex Pro is still the best B&W tool out there. It’s just fabulous.
Finally I found a movie describing new features in details, thanks :)
You are welcome!
I have seen some videos explaining the features of Nik’s. None of them is close to yours, which is crystal clear and very useful. Great work!
Thank you!
Will this run on Apple Silicon M1? I bought it and couldn't get it to install.
Yes but it’s not native. The installer should run fine. However since Photoshop is M1 native, you have to open it in Rosetta to get the plugins to load. If you open Lightroom, it’s normal.
I'm assuming only Silver Efex Pro received the new film grain? Or were the colour film simulations improved in the other plugins as well, that would be great.
Only SEP and Viveza are new. Film Grain doesn’t belong in Viveza, but I hope (this is my hope, not speculation) is that the grain will also be in Color Efex whenever that gets rewritten.
Thank you for the enlightment.
Do you know on how many computers a licence can be activated?

Will the UI be introduced to the complete progamm?
License question is for DxO; I don’t know, sorry. The new UI is part of the rewrite and will eventually make its way through the suite.
And no improvement for Capture One, and still no possibilities for Lr CC, the two editing programs I use.
@@photojoseph Oh, I didn't realize you were PhotoJoseph! Can you get someone to hold a lecture on Nik Collection with Capture One? That would be great!
@@photojoseph I'm afraid the adjustments from Lr CC then will be lost, and it sounds like a complicated workflow. But I'll try, as I downloaded the free 2017 version of Nik. I don't want the full plan of Adobe, as I only want Lr and cloud storage, I don't like Photoshop, as I find it way too complicated for me. Much better with 1 TB in the cloud, but cloud storage should come down in price. 1 TB is ok, but 10 TB is insanely expensive!
I see. Well again, that’s not DxO’s fault — that’s on Adobe. You can also export the image as a TIGF from LrCC and then open in the Nik apps directly.
@@photojoseph I think you can open Nik Collection in Capture One, but there are a few more steps.

For Lr CC I only have the Lr CC + 1TB cloud plan, so Photoshop doesn't help, and I'm not interested in having Photoshop.
Lr CC isn't DxO's fault — you should yell at Adobe (as I've been doing for years). The best solution from Lightroom CC is to open in Photoshop, but then it's pixels, not a smart object. If Adobe would give us "open as smart object in PS" then I'd be 100% happy. As to C1; I'm not a user – do they have a different plugin architecture than photoshop? If so, that seems dumb. How about an "open in" option? Remember, the Nik tools are just apps that can be called on from any other app.
Brilliant review, PhotoJoseph! Thank you.
Thanks Jorge! Not a review of course, just a demo, but thank you ☺️
Quite instructive, and eloquently and persuasively presented. As long as you remain aware that PhotoJoseph regularly hosts webinars for DxO and is certainly not an independent reviewer, his enthusiasm seems to be also informed by actually using and genuinely liking the product. The Nik Collection still leaves room for improvement, but its evolution is compelling enough to justify the upgrade, as it makes the suite more effective, efficient, and fun to use, IMO.
Thank you!
@@photojoseph No harm intended whatsoever, Joseph. I didn't want to create the impression that you were being secretive or anything. Actually, yours is possibly the neatest demo video out there at this point. I've been a happy DxO user since 2015 (when I picked up PhotoLab 10) and have gone with all DxO versions of the Nik Collection so far, including the new v4.
Thank you — and yes, it’s quite clear this is not a review. I state in the beginning that DxO had me do their press tour, and that this was the same demo I gave the press. And it’s labeled as a sponsored video.
Thanks very much for such a comprehensive instruction on the new NIK update! I’m interested to know if anyone have tested it as a plug-in for Affinity Photo yet? Viveza 2 was not usable as a plug-in in Affinity since it previewed colours incorrectly. ColorEfex 4 works great though!
I never heard about the color problem. Haven’t tested this one in Affinity myself.
die NIK collektion 4 hat aber auch einen sehr doofen fehler. wenn man aus C1 ein bild an z.b. Silver Efex übergibt...werden die änderungen nicht gespeichert. wenn man das gleiche mit den programmen macht die noch nicht die neue oberfläche haben ist alles okay. wenn man z.b. silver ausserhalb startet (stand alone) dann muss C1 geschlossen sein, sonst merkt das programm das C1 offen ist und man kann wieder nicht speichern. C1 muss also vor der bearbeitung in silver efex geschlossen werden. das kann es aber ja wohl nicht sein
Please be sure to report this issue to DxO. They can’t find every bug, and it’s important that users like you share your findings. Thank you!
thank you, Sir, very helpful and instructive
I hope the new controle point updates find their way in PL4...
Thank you! Yeah, that’d be great.
Y’wlx ;-)
Salut! Joseph, vous devriez vous faire double en français. Je ne parle pas anglais, mais je regarde vos vidéos. Je crois que vous être un des meilleurs pour expliquer ce logiciel. Traduit avec Google.
Hi! Joseph, you should double yourself in French. I don't speak English, but I watch your videos. I believe you are one of the best at explaining this software. Translated with Google
​@@photojoseph Moi, aussi je veux ce pouvoir des langues. I, too, want this power of tongues.
Haha if I could learn French well enough to do the demos, I would! If i could have a superpower, it’d be to speak any language. Alas, it isn’t so. Thank you for the complement!
Nice video. Thanks for this. While there are some significant updates here, I’m disappointed DxO did not just go ahead and do the UI overhaul for Color, Analog and HDR as well. As I use Viveza and Silver the least, the value proposition of v4 is debatable for me. I sincerely hope these remaining UI updates come as a “dot” update and we don’t have to wait until this time next year for v5 to get those.
That’s great! And yeah I’d imagine those won’t hang around, but I don’t know. I hope you enjoy!
@@photojoseph I get that and after further consideration I've gone ahead and purchased the upgrade as I feel it's important I do my bit to support DxO in the eventual completion of the re-write across the collection. I do wonder though whether DxO will bother with Define and Sharpener considering they already have class leading technology in those areas?
The UI update is part of the rewrite. This is not trivial. Some of this code is 25 years old. Frankly it’s a miracle some of these apps still work at all!
I've been using Viveza 2 for years and years. It's one of my absolutely favourite image editing plugins which really makes a MASSIVE difference to the way my images look. U-point tech is legendary. I just upgraded to Viveza 3. First impressions - interface looks sexy and fresh but all that gloss is wasted to a significant performance hit. Moving Control Points and manipulating them is now considerably slower and clunkier. But what really concerns me to a deal-breaking point, is the time it takes to refresh and update changes. It takes many seconds to see something happen after u-point is moved to a place of choosing. In many cases, refresh doesn't even happen which is really, REALLY annoying and it ruins the whole experience and it limits the users' experimentation. Rendering of the final image is also considerably slower. The rewrite of the code is certainly appreciated but not when screen redraw performance and interactivity take a massive hit. I'm probably going back to the previous version.
I noticed a bit of a performance hit too... Maybe not as extreme as your experience but definitely slower on my machine... I will put up with it however because I like the new controls better especially the improved tone controls.
I probably need to make a video of a side by side test.
@@nrocha2466 describe your experience. I absolutely hate the performance. Clunky, slow, horrible screen refresh, awful render speed.
OH wow! Please be sure to report that along with your system info to DxO. That's certainly not good!
No version for ON1 or PaintShop Pro?
There aren’t special plugin versions for any app. Either the app supports a plugin or open-in architecture, or it doesn’t. I don’t know about either of those.
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