March 24th, 2016
December 11th, 2014
Google announced today that it was making the Nik Collection desktop software plugins available to users for free.
The bundle includes Analog Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, HDR Efex Pro, Sharpener Pro and Dfine. If you purchased the Nik Collection in 2016, you will receive a full refund.
Google bought Nik software in 2012 with an eye toward honing its mobile editing capabilities. It wasn’t immediately clear whether the move to make the Nik Collection free meant the end of software updates and users have complained about a relative lack of updates to the suite (we’ve reached out to Google for more information).
UPDATE: A Google spokesperson tells us that the software will continue to be updated “to ensure compatibility with Operating System updates and host updates, such as Photoshop and Lightroom.” No word yet on whether users can expect new features.
The Nik plugins used to cost around $500, a price that was later slashed to $150.
September 25th, 2013
Fast on the heels of the fall launch of ACDSee Pro 8, ACD Systems is out with another title, Ultimate 8, that merges sophisticated image management and organization tools with a layered photo editor.
The company is taking aim at Lightroom and Photoshop users, arguing that its $149 software centralizes what Adobe breaks up into two separate programs.
ACDSee Ultimate 8 offers all the organizational and editing capabilities of ACDSee Pro 8 but adds a layered editing toolset for more complex edits.
Using Ultimate 8 you can apply filters and effects to individual image layers, create, reorder, merge or manipulate layers individually, apply pixel targeting to layers as well as add text and watermarks as a layer. Additionally, you can add images as layers to build composite images. The program supports transparency for 32- and 64-bit images.
Ultimate 8 is available now for $149.
DxO just updated its ViewPoint perspective and distortion correction software. Version 2 features a new 8-point mode that, using 4 independent lines, allows users to more precisely correct convergent lines. In conjunction with the new mode, DxO has also added a one-click “natural” option to adjust the intensity of those corrections.
ViewPoint 2 also draws on a database of almost 15,000 optics modules to automatically correct lens distortions according to specific lens/camera combinations. If your particular gear is not included in the database or you’d rather do it yourself, manual distortion controls are available.
The crop tool has been enhanced, providing access to the entire image and more cropping flexibility.
ViewPoint 2 operates as a standalone program and as a plug-in for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom. With version 2, ViewPoint is also now compatible with Adobe Photoshop Elements (Elements 12 was just released) and Apple Aperture, although automatic distortion control is not yet available for Aperture.
Upgrades are free for those who purchased ViewPoint on or after August 1, 2013. For everyone else, ViewPoint 2 is on sale until October 20, 2013 for $49. After October 20, ViewPoint 2 will cost $79. A 30 day trial can be downloaded here.