NIK collection incorporated into PhotoLab

Yes, it works exactly as it always did except that now DXO has given us a dedicated export button instead of having to use the Export to Application feature and drill down to a Nik program’s .exe file.


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This button doesn’t make it integrated, same ‘integration’ as you get with PS for example.
A simple of coding which they’ve used to maximise the marketing

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Obviously. If you are exporting to a different application its not integrated.


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Not if you can return to the same picture / document once you’ve made the change

Let’s just hope the DxO learn from this gaff

Let’s just hope hat DxO make meaningful functionality updates to Nik

One can only live in hope!

It seems that there is a lot of misunderstanding about what the Nik plugins actually are. Basically, they are external programs that can only work with raster images, not RAW files. You can even use them as standalone programs as I explained above. They exist in 2 forms : as executables or as DLLs (a 8bf file is a specialized DLL known as a Photoshop plugin). Whatever the format used, they are totally unaware of the RAW format. So, when one is working on a RAW file and wants to use the Nik plugins in order to make some adjustments, the image must first be converted to a raster format (that is, JPEG or TIFF).

Even when using Photoshop, this conversion is implicit : you can not access the Nik plugins while the image is processed in Adobe Camera RAW. You have to wait until it becomes a raster image when ACR (which is itself a PS plugin) opens the image in PS after converting it to an in-memory raster image.

Talking about directly working on RAW files when using the Nik plugins is just nonsense. At this time, DPL and Nik are just unaware of each other (with exception of the cosmetic addition of the Nik software button in DPL - an addition that didn’t required much coding). This will be possible only when the code of the plugins, modified to work on the RAW format, will be a part of the DPL code itself. This would allow to use the Nik plugins without breaking the RAW workflow.

This is what the users who purchased the license for version 1 and now for version 2 were expecting. They are disappointed and I understand this. Maybe this will happen in version 3 (for which we’ll have to pay again) but very frankly, now I doubt.


In my workflow once I export from a raw converter Iike DXO I do not want go back. I consider this a master file which maybe I do some finetuning in a pixel editor. But that is just me



It’s not just you, I’m also doing like you.

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Wow. A lot of petty whining here about excellent improved workflow.

I do disagree with the upgrade timing and pricing for existing users (no way we should be forced to buy an additional license to PhotoLab) or charged a full upgrade price after paying for a very weak v1 (so weak as to be unusable or be even less stable than some of the Google versions they replaced). Fair ball would have been:

  1. updated version 2 for Nik v1 and PhotoLab license holders: $30
  2. updated version 2 for Nik v1 license holders without PhotoLab: $50
  3. version 2 for new users with PhotoLab Essentials: $100/$150

That would have kept everyone happy and offered value at all tiers. The huge group one above are DxO’s most loyal customers and DxO has shown us collectively a great lack of respect. Or DxO are hiding grave financial problems which mean they have to do whatever it takes to put money in the till this month. Who knows?

On the other hand, adding a dedicated one touch export button which brings the Nik finished image back into PhotoLab automatically on save in Nik is a huge step forward for a smoother workflow with Nik. It makes Nik much more usable as part of a PhotoLab centric workflow. Even for those who don’t normally use PhotoLab it makes PhotoLab a great hub for Nik Central, sending an image in and out of the various Nik applications.

PhotoLab is a bit of a heavyweight for this kind of image management but then again the Nik applications are not lightweights themselves. A computer capable of handling the Nik plugins in a spritely way can easily handle the dozen or so images anyone would want to finish in Nik in a session.

If DxO’s goal were to please the people on this forum finding fault with every improvement, alas it’s a Sisyphian task.

Sigi, I’m inclined to feel the same way as you.

What Alec pointed out to me yesterday also made me think about NIK. If I’m willing to adjust my workflow, NIK makes sense. This is Viveza. I can’t deny its brilliance.

This is me, my wife and our chevy.


Bonnie and Clyde without the guns =)
Same here for editing, maybe if PL had “layers” and “Blend mode” I’d reconsider sending the files back.

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You never know what might be in the trunk.


For anyone coming to this topic with the aim of understanding the relationship between PhotoLab and the Nik Collection tools; please be sure to read Pat’s post above … as partially quoted here;

This is a very clear explanation of how these products do (and don’t) work together.

As Pat finishes up by concluding, (and I agree) it’s not likely that all Nik Collection capabilities will ever be incorporated into PL - nor that PL’s RAW processing logic will be incorporated into the Nik Collection.

John M

Really striking image! Would you consider sharing the image you exported from Photolab for comparison?

Regards, Joseph

You are right, Pascal, but you can’t do that with RAW files and here PL is a good choice :wink:

Svetlana G.

No, because the Nik plugins cannot handle RAW files anyway. That’s why the current advertisement about Nik Collection v2 allegedly allowing to “edit RAW files with U-Points” should be either edited or removed. It is extremely ambiguous and misleading, especially for new users.

We can use U-Points in DPL but this is because the U-Point technology has been incorporated into DPL. This has absolutely nothing to do with the Nik Collection be it v1 or v2. The Nik Collection wants raster files whatever the way they are created (exported from DPL, LR, C1… or directly created with PS, Affinity, etc.)

Nik Collection v2 didn’t change anything to this and I don’t understand why this statement was incorporated into the “what’s new” section of the announcement. Regarding RAW files, “what’s new” = nothing. Period.


that’s understood. But can you or anybody else possibly describe what benefit NIK Collection is gonna bring please. I’m using DXO since ten years now, actually PL Elite with Filmpack and Viewpoint and could not be happier with my results. What does NIK bring what can not be realised with PL? What module might be useful and which not (e.g. Sharpening? in PL and again in NIK later on? Really?) Thanks in advance from Germany.

NIK just processes images differently to DxO
Nik came from a different developer and imaging was done their way rather than DxO’s way.
Just a different route.
Having said that, I see no point in the Nik Sharpener plugins because DxO does a better job if processing RAWs.
Nik works as PS plugins so works on any JPG for example

Only really unique Nik functionality is the HDR plugin. But it’s not really in the same league as Photomatix. Never spoken to anybody who’s using Nik HDR

DxO bought Nik for the U-Point functionality, the rest of the plugins came as a freebie as far as DxO were concerned IMO

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Hello to you in Germany;

A look at some of these YouTube videos will give you a good idea.

In my view/experience, the useful Nik components are;

  • Color Efex Pro is great for general enhancement - I use it on my better/favourite images, to give them just a bit more pop/punch …See my download-able document below.
  • Viveza is a bit like Local Adjustments in PL - and therefore, rarely used by me.
  • Analog Efex Pro is a bit like FilmPack - I rarely use it
  • HDR Efex Pro is handy to apply some “tone-mapping” to an image prior to conversion to B&W (for better monochrome contrast than would be gained from a standard image)
  • Silver Efex Pro does a great job of monochrome conversion (with more options than are available via PL+FP).

To be honest, tho, I pretty much only use Color Efex Pro.

As you imply, Define and Sharpener are a waste of time (in my assessment) if you have PhotoLab … those tools might be useful if you were using other (less capable!) tools for your RAW conversion.

This document (my “cheat-sheet” for Color Efex Pro) might help you get started … ColorEfexPro_Filters(byPurpose).pdf (58.5 KB)

Regards, John M


I’m with John here.

Color Efex Pro and Silver Efex Pro are the two contemporary gems in the Nik set (everything else is a bit slow and/or replicated within PhotoLab Elite with FilmPack 5). The emulsions, presets and fine grain and handling of highlights within Color Efex Pro and Silver Efex Pro blow away FilmPack 5. FilmPack 5 seems fine when you use it and does generate good to very good results. Just using the original

The strength of Nik and why it remains legendary photo software even after a decade without real updates is the quality of the original presets. They are at a very high level. Completely different from the Trey Ratcliff/Luminar overly hot primitive HDR-eye candy looks. In fact, I’m quite annoyed that DxO added some mandatory presets by a not particularly well qualified retoucher professor at Rochester University. We should be able to remove the new presets. Since DxO is Paris based, they really should have sought out the top fashion photographers in Paris or art directors from the top photo agencies/ad agencies to add some contemporary high end presets. An opportunity lost here.

My best HDR results come with EasyHDR which is something like €20 for a personal license (commercial license is €50) and extremely fast and easy to use. The finished HDR image comes into PhotoLab or Affinity for finishing. Speaking of which, now that the handshake between PhotoLab and the Nik apps is working better, Color Efex Pro would be great for finishing those TIFFs coming out of EasyHDR.

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Thanks a lot John, that’s highly appreciated. I think for now I will stay on my current workflow.