Will Nik Collection ever work with RAW files and be fully integrated into PL's RAW workflow as FP is?

The title says it all really. For me, Nik isn’t really a must have for me at any price, but that’d change if the plug-ins worked within PL and operated on the same RAW data as PL rather than a behind-the-scenes export to TIFF and back again.

Can anyone comment on whether the above is on the roadmap for PhotoLab?


Been asking this for many years… and never got a reply.

FilmPack already works this way flawlessly: there’s no reason why Nik Collection shouldn’t.

The older versions for Nik Collections (when it was still owned by Nik) worked fully integrated into Nikon Capture NX2 (no need to export to TIFF), and it was a beauty.

If DxO will ever integrate it into PL, it will be a sure purchase for me. Until then, I will stick with the old free version from Nik/Google.

What do you feel is missing? With FilmPack and ViewPoint integrated, I have never needed anything else, apart from Topaz for resizing.

And PL works with all file types, RAW and bitmap files.

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Anything, is possible, but Nik integration into PhotoLab is highly unlikely to ever happen. Historically there are not more than a dozen or so new and upgraded features in PhotoLab each year and the same for the Nik Collection. The backlog of asked for features and version differences continues to grow. In addition to this very limited number of annual updates does anyone really believe DxO would be capable of also taking on the absolutely enormous effort required for integrating the Nik Collection into PhotoLab for the limited audience who would find it desirable? And that does not even take into consideration the massive amount of software bloat full integration would create.



Don’t hold your breath. Even in the Nikon Capture time, these plugins only worked on bitmap data. (JPG, TIFF, in-memory bitmap in Photoshop, etc.). If a RAW file is loaded, it must be demosaiced before a Nik plugin can do something with it. That is, exported as a JPG or TIFF, converted to an in-memory bitmap in PS or processed “à la DxO PureRAW” in FilmPack itself. All these plugins are originally and structurally only working on a bitmap and this will not change unless they are re-written from scratch.

Also, remember that the target market for the Nik Collection is not limited to DxO users. The Nik plugins have to work like they always did and be compliant with the Photoshop plugin interface to be able to work in PS and in any other compatible bitmap post-processing software. Why should DxO shoot themselves in the foot ? Note that even if ViewPoint and FilmPack are taken into account in DPL, it’s kind of an illusion : this is not exactly the same UI and not all features are available. So, I wouldn’t say that they are integrated in DPL. A good part of their code has probably been re-used in DPL and that’s it. Not something I would call integration. Otherwise, changes in the standalone products would be immediately reflected in DPL.

Now a question : why shoot in RAW if I only load the RAW file in a standalone plugin, get it converted automatically to a bitmap and use the plugin’s special and unique features against it ? For this kind of finishing, one will usually do the main work in the RAW processor, export and then load the bitmap file into the plugin, be it from the RAW Processor itself or using the standalone version plugin.

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would be nice, working flawlessly like FP and VP.
even though you can already used them within, it’s a back and forth from tiff or jpeg. DxO should definitely add it working like the other 2.

Note that the integration of FilmPack into PhotoLab is a nearly-full integration: you don’t need to install the FilmPack software to use it, just a FilmPack license. Some features of the Nik Collection are already being copied into PhotoLab without needing to buy a Nik license: U-Point Technology being the most obvious example. If that continues to happen, I think you’ll have your answer. I wouldn’t be surprised if FilmPack and the similar components in the Nik Collection come to more closely resemble each other over time. ViewPoint has already been ported to the Nik Collection in the form of Perspective Efex. Perhaps one day some of the distinct capabilities of Dfine will find their way into PRIME NR. Maybe PL will gain some color rendering abilities from Color Efex Pro. (e.g., the Sunlight filter) And then there’s HDR Efex, which presently doesn’t work well with PhotoLab and has very little in common with PhotoLab. (There are unfixed bugs in the HDR Efex rendering pipeline.) Both PL and HDR Efex would need major rewrites for these to no longer be entirely separate products.

i’ve never really use it or don’t remember using it, as it’s best to use more than 3 pictures for better results than boosting 1 pictures within its range.
one thing DxO could to is the implementation of “layers” with PL for the use of Nik Collection and set it so it can be use like Ps does, so you can go back and re-adjust any setting if you wish.

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Not exactly true. With Nikon Capture NX2, there was no need to export into JPEG or TIFF. Nik Collection would work inside the Capture NX2 interface, without creating no intermediate bitmap file, and showing the effects of the plugins in real time on top of the preview based on the RAW development settings.

Real time preview of RAW development in CNX2:

Real time preview of RAW development in CNX2 + Nik plugin… with NO intermediate JPEG/TIFF creation:

If it was possible to do it in 2008 (with much less powerful computers!), it should be a breeze to do it today too.

That’s not what I said. Quoting me :

Don’t hold your breath. Even in the Nikon Capture time, these plugins only worked on bitmap data. (JPG, TIFF, in-memory bitmap in Photoshop, etc.)

I said that the plugins can only work on a bitmap, either by creating it during an export to JPEG or TIFF, OR by converting the RAW data in-memory (PS, Nikon Capture,…). They cannot work on the RAW data directly. In PS, when you load a RAW file, you actually load it into the ACR plugin. When you click on Open Image in ACR, it does an “internal export” and convert the image to a bitmap and pass it to PS. Photoshop cannot work on RAW data directly. Ditto for Nikon Capture.

PL works on a bitmap too. It converts a raw file to a bit map in memory. Loading a disk file like jpg or tiff is loading that file in memory as a bit map. I don’t see any difference between them. What might be a problem are the used editing tools. I don’t think they are the same.


Oh yes, now it’s clearer.

But for sure, CNX2’s implementation of 15 years ago allowed for a much faster and streamlined workflow!

With the current workflow, you have to re-export the TIFF/JPEG manually everytime that you modify the RAW development parameters, and then reapply the Nik plugin. It’s a waste of time. With CNX2, if you modified the RAW development parameters, the effect would be seen in real time TOGETHER with the effect of the Nik plugin on top of it. Whatever bitmap conversion there was, it was completely transparent and in real-time. 15 years later… and we are left with a much less sophisticated workflow: progress! :smiley:

Well, it’s a good opportunity to remind everyone about a capability of PS eliminating the problem that you describe. If you open a RAW file in PS, you load it in ACR and apply your RAW settings. Then, instead of clicking on “Open image”, depress the Shift key and click on “Open as smart object” or “Open object” (it depends on you PS version). This can also be done directly from Lightroom. A layer will be created containing the object to which your RAW settings have been applied.

You can then do you editing job in PS, which includes opening the current image (the smart object) in whatever plugin you want to use. So what ? The good news about this is that you can double-click the smart object layer at any moment and modify your RAW development settings. You then reopen the smart object and the modifications that you made in PS will still be taken into account. Nice, isn’t it ?

See Photoshop open RAW file as "smart object" you can modify the RAW settings and return to PS editing - Recherche Google

To solve this problem another way when using Nik plugins from DxO Photolab, please read this :


Yes, if only PhotoLab allowed the same!

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It’s not just PS that has this ability. Affinity Photo 2 can do this as well. Open a RAW file in AFP and it loads into the ‘Develop’ module. Make your RAW edits then before you click ‘Develop’ ensure the ‘Output:’ is not set to ‘Pixel Layer’ but is either set to ‘RAW Layer (Embedded)’ or ‘RAW Layer (Linked)’. See here for more: