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Surprise! DxO keeps Nik Collection alive and launches updated RAW editor

Nik Collection photographers, take a deep breath — the popular image editing plug-ins aren’t going anywhere after all. On October 25, DxO, the company behind the DxO One camera and the DxOMark sensor and lens ratings, announced the acquisition of the Nik Collection from Google, with plans to update the collection in 2018. The announcement comes with the company’s latest update to DxO OpticsPro RAW converter, which has been re-named to DxO PhotoLab and adds local retouching tools thanks to Nik U Point technology.

DxO acquires the Nik Collection

Google essentially killed off the Nik Collection, a popular set of plugins for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, earlier this year when the company announced it had no plans for updating the plugins to make them compatible with new versions of Adobe software. The change came after the company made the add-ons free to download in 2016.

Now, DxO has stepped in to save the collection. Fans of the tools will have to wait until next year before the software is up-to-date and compatible with the latest versions of Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom Classic and the latest desktop operating systems, however. The tools are still available as a free download from DxO until that update. The company did not clarify whether the collection will still be free after the update next year.

“We are very excited to welcome the Nik Collection to the DxO family,” Jérôme Ménière, CEO and founder of DxO, said in a press release. “DxO revolutionized the image processing market many times over the years with its innovative solutions, and we will continue to do so with Nik’s tools, which offer new creative opportunities to millions of photographers.”

The Nik Collection includes seven plugins that offer a range of effects from film simulations to high dynamic range processing.

DxO OpticsPro becomes DxO PhotoLab

While the updated plugins are not yet available, the U Point technology pioneered by Nik, which allows users to easily select specific regions of an image without complex masking techniques, has already been integrated into DxO PhotoLab. This brings  local adjustments to DxO’s RAW photo editor, and is the only solution on the market that offers U Point in a non-destructive, RAW environment.

Beyond U Point, PhotoLab also now includes an automatic mask retouching brush for precise selections. A new graduated filter tool joins the options for local edits, with both new additions working non-destructively. Unlike using local selections after an image is already converted, accessing these tools inside of a RAW editor means that users can use all of the RAW data when making adjustments, leading to better results.

To enhance the experience of making those specific adjustments, DxOMark includes the tools in a Local Equalizer toolbox right next to the area getting those adjustments. Multiple adjustments can also be applied without re-selecting the area.

DxO PhotoLab’s previous repair tool was also re-built from the ground-up using a new algorithm that creates more accurate — and faster — adjustments. The company says the tool remains just as simple to use.

The update also fine-tunes lens corrections, the software’s stand-out feature. The tool can now be optimized for the photograph’s ISO level, for sharper results while controlling noise.

DxO PhotoLab Essentials retails for $129, with the Elite edition at $199. Through the end of November, the Essentials version is discounted by $30 and the Elite version by $50 as part of a launch promotion. Current customers can also get a discounted upgrade.

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