Nik Collection 6 has been released by DxO. Since being acquired from Google, the Nik Collection has become a very well regarded image-editing suite, comprising Color Efex, Silver Efex, Analog Efex, Viveza, Dfine, Sharpener, HDR Efex, and Perspective.

Nik Silver Efex is a particularly popular tool for black and white photography, offering a wide-range of presets and editing tools. Another big part of the appeal of Nik Collection 6 is that the software is subscription-free, while all the constituent programs work as plug-ins with Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, DxO PhotoLab and Affinity Photo.

You can use the Nik Collection as stand-alone software too, though most photographers access it as plug-ins for Lightroom, for example, for greater speed and convenience. See here for our full guide to the best subscription-free editing software.

Nik Collection 6

The new Control Line in action

Key changes in Nik Collection 6

With version 6, significant changes have been made to U Point or Control Points, DxO’s tool for making local adjustments to images. For example, Control Lines, a new feature, enable you to use of linear gradient filters when making broad adjustments, while new Control Point diffusion features let you regulate the strength and style of adjustments more easily. Control Points and Control Lines can now be inverted, while new sliders also enable Control Point and Control Line editing to be tied to specific colours and tones in an image.

Nik Collection 6, Silver Efex

Many of the new local adjustments tools will be welcomed by Silver Efex users

Time savers in Nik Collection 6

In addition, it’s possible to save local adjustments as Presets in Nik Collection 6, giving you quick access to frequently used edits. The interface is cleaner too, so you can choose where local adjustment sliders appear on screen, for example.

Nik Collection Hue, Saturation, Luminance

You’ve now got finer control over colours and tones with Hue, Saturation and Luminance in Color Efex

As for updates to the most popular plug-ins in Nik Collection 6, Color Efex gets a new Hue/Saturation/Luminance tool, for more accurate control of colour and tone, while Nik Perspective now includes a ReShape Tool which enables users to warp and shape local areas with more precision. There are no significant changes to Silver Efex itself, however.

Nik Collection 6 availability

As mentioned, all the tools in the Nik Collection can be used as plug-ins for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, DxO PhotoLab and Affinity Photo, as well stand-alone programs, so you are getting the best of both worlds. Nik Collection 6 costs $149 / £135, while users of version 4 and 5 can upgrade for $79 / £69. Full details here.

From DxO, May 2023

Paris (France): DxO Labs, the company which has pioneered innovative photo editing software for more than 25 years, is proud to present the new and improved Nik Collection. A cornerstone of photo editing for decades, Nik Collection has long been the go-to plugin suite for photographers who want to edit with freedom, creativity, and technical precision. Now, version 6 takes this to another level.

Updated and upgraded, Nik Collection 6’s eight individual apps can be used alone, or as plugins within the most popular photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom Classic and Photoshop. Including the full gamut of creative and technical tools needed to make images with impact, they cover everything from simple editing of color, tonality, and sharpness, to HDR effects, denoising, geometry, and more.

Delivering quick results when you’re in a rush, and offering endless depth when you need to go deeper, Nik Collection’s powerful, innovative tools and ease of use make it the essential plugin suite for every photographer.

More creativity, more control

Nik Collection was the birthplace of U Point™ technology, the most intuitive tool for local adjustments in photo editing. Available across the suite, U Point has been upgraded to add new functionality to make selective edits more intuitive in the following ways:
● NEW Control Lines add flexibility when making broad adjustments, bringing the power of Control Points to linear gradients
● NEW Control Point diffusion features mean you can regulate the strength and style of adjustments more easily
● NEW Control Points and Control Lines can now be inverted, giving you huge flexibility when editing
● NEW Color Selectivity sliders allow Control Point and Control Line editing to be tied to specific colors and tones in an image
● NEW Renamable Local Adjustments let you stay on top of complex edits, so you’ll never lose sight of your work
● NEW Local Adjustments can now be saved as Presets, giving you quick access to your most frequently used edits.

A cleaner look for those who want it

We all like to do things our own way, and that’s just as true in terms of editing as it is in picture taking. New to Nik Collection 6 is the ability to choose where sliders for local adjustments appear on screen. Controls can be kept in a sidebar to keep the image area clean or overlaid on top of the image in the traditional Nik Collection style.

Always easy to use

Despite all of its new and improved features, Nik Collection 6 is easier to use than ever before. Available to hundreds of millions of users, it plugs straight into DxO PhotoLab, Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom Classic, and Affinity Photo, providing unprecedented creative features without affecting your preferred workflow.

Several new workflow features make editing even better

● NEW Turn your edits into a Smart Object at any stage from within the plugin, giving you fully non-destructive editing in Photoshop
● NEW Call on any of your last 15 Nik Collection edits and apply them with a single click
● NEW Presets can now be searched for by name so you can instantly find your favorite edits
● NEW HiDPI & Multiscreen support lets you work with all screen configurations
● NEW Affinity Photo is now automatically detected as part of installation

Individual app upgrades

Five of the eight plugins that make up Nik Collection 6 see significant individual upgrades bringing new features and smoother functionality:
● Nik Color Efex gains a brand-new Hue/Saturation/Luminance tool, for deeper and more accurate control of color and tone
● Nik Dfine receives a complete visual overhaul bringing it into line with the other plugins, creating a more refined experience as well as improved options for saving denoising recipes and returning to them in just a few clicks
● Nik Perspective adds the powerful new ReShape Tool which allows photographers to warp and shape local areas for complete precision
● Nik Sharpener will also be receiving a rebuild and interface overhaul, destined for Nik 6.2, and available as a free update
● Nik HDR Efex, the premier tool for exposure blending, also gets a fresh new interface as part of version 6.3 (arriving in August), providing a clearer, faster workflow.

Further reading
The best subscription-free editing software
Enhance black and white images with Silver Efex
Best software for black and white editing
Best free photo-editing software