Nik Collection vs DxO PhotoLab: What to Use in 2023

When comparing Nik Collection vs DxO PhotoLab, keep in mind that both products were created by the same company. However, there is one noticeable difference between them. The former is the collection of plugins, whereas the latter is an editor.

If you are looking for the most convenient and effective way for making your pictures brighter and more captivating, make sure to consider the Nik Collection recently released by DxO. It contains a variety of powerful tools that can alter your images in ways the photo-enhancing software can’t. The Nik Collection of plugins is a great option for fast editing.

DxO PhotoLab 5 allows processing RAW files. This editor is fitted with some basic but effective picture browsing and management tools. Its main advantage is a stunning processing quality along with exceptional lens correction profiles developed by DxO.

What is Nik Collection?

nik collection logo

Nik Collection, a collection of Adobe Photoshop plugins created by Nik Software. Google purchased it in September 2012. At that time, it was considered that it would help Google acquire Snapseed, a stunning mobile image editing app.

Nik Collection consists of eight plugins that have a great value for money in comparison to other similar products. By using these filters, you will get stunning results. Besides, they are easy and fun to use. The only thing you need to decide on is which of the plugins is better suitable for enhancing a specific image.

When writing this Nik Collection vs DXO PhotoLab comparison, I noticed that the former perfectly integrates with popular photo editing software. The collection employs the U-point technology for processing the parts of a picture. Unfortunately, the changes introduced for it in Silver Efex Pro 3 and Viveza 3 have not affected the other plugins.

  • nik collection interface
  • nik collection interface

    Nik Collection: Pros and Cons

    Compatible with well-known editors. Nik Collection released by DXO is compatible with a variety of editing programs, such as Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Lightroom. Since 2018, is also compatible with Affinity Photo. Other supported programs are Capture One Pro, On1 Photo RAW, and DXO’s own PhotoLab.

    Total control over colors. Color Efex Pro contains 55 filters for adjusting colors, tonality, creative effects, etc. Besides, you can combine them to achieve eye-catching results. The filters can be applied to the whole picture or the selected part.

    Stylish black-and-white plugin. Silver Efex Pro is a highly functional black and white plugin that contains twenty film emulations for achieving a vintage black-and-white film look. Unlike other black and white editors, it is quite versatile and can fine-tune the controls to produce captivating pictures.

    Cutting-edge sharpen tools. Sharpener Pro can make your images sharper at any stage of processing. This plugin, which offers more controls in comparison to other similar editing solutions, is great for all kinds of sharpening.

    Professional HDR plugins. By using the Nik Collection HDR Efex Pro plugin, you can merge several bracketed exposures into one HDR picture. It allows achieving a subtle HDR look with clearly visible details, which makes this solution similar to the best HDR software.

    Exceptional analog effects. Analog Efex Pro is a stunning accumulation of tools for creating analog age images. Shooters can take advantage of this collection to simulate darkroom photo production techniques to make images look as if they were taken by old cameras.

    Local adjustments. Nik Collection Viveza is a perfect option for adjusting light, color and tonality. You can employ this plugin to alter the color of an object or make the details more visible in your main subject. Viveza is great for creating precise masks with handy control points.

    Automated noise removal. Like other noise reduction software, the Nik Collection DFine plugin helps you eliminate noise in your pictures. The greatest advantage of this profile is that it is very precise, so you can apply it with just one click like in an automatic photo editor.

    Perspective Efex function. If you compare Nik Collection vs DXO PhotoLab, you will see that it is one of the best features of the former. With its help, you can easily edit architectural photography shots taken with the angled camera to fit the tops of the buildings into the frame. It allows getting rid of distortion in pictures and correcting the perspective. Perspective Efex can straighten the lines easily by cropping the image a bit. Besides, you can either trim photos preserving the original aspect ratio or set the desired dimensions manually.

    Lack of non-destructive workflow support. Unlike Raw processing, it is not so convenient. When using this option, you might notice that your files take up a lot of space on your hard drive. However, you may benefit from this feature when processing images. Besides, you edit many images at once to speed up your image-processing workflow.

    It is not optimized for Apple M1 chips. The plugins are not compatible with Apple's M5 processing unit as well. The owners of the M1 Mac can use Apple's Rosetta 2 emulation layer to run the program.

    What is DxO PhotoLab?

    dxo photolab logo

    DxO PhotoLab is a RAW photo editor that combines highly functional editing tools with AI technology to create photos of exceptional quality.

    It has an extensive editing toolkit that enables users to balance exposure, correct colors, enhance picture details, etc. However, the best feature of this editor is AI-powered DeepPRIME technology that minimizes the noise and mosaicing effect to improve the overall quality of your visuals. This editor is a perfect choice for space and astrophotography.

    DxO PhotoLab can handle the whole process of editing easily. It allows viewing files kept on local storage or any device connected to a computer. Choose the desired images and go to the Customize tab to start editing your images.

    • dxo photolab interface
    • dxo photolab interface

      DxO PhotoLab: Pros and Cons

      Cutting-edge artificial intelligence technology. DxO PhotoLab uses deep learning AI technology to achieve an exceptional quality of images. DxO DeepPRIME that was exclusively produced by DxO’s labs is capable of simultaneous demosaicing and denoising in the shortest possible time.

      The best lens correction. DxO PhotoLab can fix any lens issue using advanced features released by DxO’s labs.

      Automated image optimization. DxO PhotoLab has developed an image optimizer with nearly 40 well-designed filters for processing various kinds of images like portraits, landscapes, black-and-white photos. DxO PhotoLab5 allows you to implement even the most creative photo ideas with ease.

      Highly customizable workspace. The updated Smart WorkSpace UI is fully customizable allowing you to show or collapse the palettes with enhancement tools. You can choose one of the options: to display some specific options or all the features at once.Highly customizable workspace. The updated Smart WorkSpace UI is fully customizable allowing you to show or collapse the palettes with enhancement tools. You can choose one of the options: to display some specific options or all the features at once.

      ClearView Plus technology. ClearView Plus technology can remove haze, fog, and mist from images making them clearer and more distinct with a single click. Besides, it allows optimizing the style and intensity of your pictures and applying your custom edits.

      Lets you fix images. The automated repair option similar to the tools available in other repairing software provides you with total control over the enhancing workflow allowing you to reposition and overlap your edits.

      Advanced History feature. It preserves every last editing step, so you can view and customize it if necessary. By using this option, you can regroup your edits, which will make it easier to find them later.

      Allows balancing tones. By taking advantage of DxO SmartLighting’s intelligent technology, you can achieve a perfect balance between bright highlights and deep shadows.

      Full-screen mode. By using this mode, you can view pictures in their full size along with their EXIF data. The Viewer feature allows marking up and selecting the best photos. Besides, you can benefit from keyboard shortcuts to process multiple images in a snap.

      Pricey. DxO PhotoLab 5, especially the Elite version, is quite expensive. It loses the Nik Collection vs DxO PhotoLab battle in terms of prices. Besides, it is not so user-friendly and cannot speed up your workflow.

      Nik Collection vs DxO PhotoLab: Prices

      nik collection vs dxo photolab prices

      DxO Nik Collection includes 8 software programs, 250 original filters, and integrated advanced U Point™ technology for realizing all your creative photography ideas.

      Nik Collection costs $149. It includes secure payment and exceptional customer support. The developers also offer a free trial thus allowing any user to use all the plugins for a month and study the available tutorials.

      To use DxO PhotoLab, you should purchase either the Essential or Elite version. The former costs $139, whereas the Elite version costs $219. DxO PhotoLab ESSENTIAL Edition includes a variety of powerful editing features, both automatic and manual.

      DxO PhotoLab ELITE Edition allows you to produce images of exceptional quality. The software uses AI technology for lens correction, demosaicing and denoising.

      We recommend using a one-month trial to test out the functionality of the software before making a purchase. Moreover, you can acquire it by making a one-time payment without paying for a subscription.

      Who Wins?

      Nik Collection is the updated version of a plug-in suite released a decade ago. It offers a range of exclusive tools, including Pro, Color Efex Pro, and Silver Efex Pro. Its key selling point is, probably, the new Perspective Efex plugin.

      Silver Efex Pro and Viveza were redesigned for this bundle. They allow you to increase the productivity of your editing process. The updates of these plug-ins are a step forward, but they make them look a little out of step with the rest.

      If you are still not sure which program, Nik Collection or DxO PhotoLab, to choose, take into account that DxO PhotoLab is a perfect option for professional editors as it offers a variety of advanced features, including AI denoising technology. Its UI is a bit complicated, but once you get familiar with it and learn the arrangement of the tools, your editing workflow will become easier and quicker.

      Those who specialize in astrophotography can try using the Denoising/Demosaicing tool that can remove even the most intensive noise to produce crisp and detailed images.

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