Sorry about the gory cover photo but I couldn’t resist. 1) Because it’s Halloween tomorrow. 2) Because I kept saying “Nik was dead” and using a RIP photo with a graveyard in the background, so I thought this was appropriate.

Anyway, in a very unexpected turn of events, it was announced that DxO acquired the Nik Plug-in Suite. As you can imagine, that has a bunch of people really excited that maybe Nik isn’t dead after all.

Here’s my thoughts. For starters, WOW! I would totally have lost money betting on this one. Seriously, a lot of people kept saying that some one should just buy Nik, but I thought it would NEVER happen. I just couldn’t see Google selling it. But, I was wrong (some one should have bet me!) 🙂
Anyway, it’s great news. While I’ve worked Nik out of my workflow, I’m happy for all of the people out there who still use it. Photo editing software becomes personal at times, and it’s frustrating to know that your favorite isn’t being supported or developed anymore.
So that’s good news. DxO wasn’t really clear about what they’d do, but for now it’s still free. And according to the website:

“The new “Nik Collection 2018 Edition” will be released mid-2018…”

So hopefully you can read between the lines and expect that whatever comes next year will not be free. Which is fine – good software that’s updated and supported, usually isn’t free. Judging from their current product line-up, they have a $99 version and a $149 version, so get ready to fork out some money when they do come out.

I think the one thing that remains to be seen is will the new Nik software stand the test of time. A lot of things have changed over the years since the last versions of Nik came out. It definitely has some catching up to do. The filters in Nik Effex are awesome. But it’ll be interesting to see how to integrate those in to today’s raw workflows now that every raw file is probably double the size that it was when they were first released.

Do the People Matter?

The other thing that’ll be REALLY interesting for me to see is whether the success of Nik was about the tech/software or the people behind it (or a combination of both). But one thing I do still believe to this day, is that the success of Nik was largely due to the people behind Nik. And now those people have disbanded. Collectively they’re not together any more to create the collective awesome software they used to. So what does that look like going forward?
DxO is definitely a reputable company and has been around for a while. But I don’t often get asked about their software, and I’m not sure why. I just walked around PhotoPlus Expo for 3 days in NY and this was a hot topic. And for every person that asked me about it, I asked back… “Do you currently own anything from DxO”. And a small fraction of the people (that I asked) said yes.
I can’t go a day without seeing a comment from some one saying how much they LOVE(d) Nik. But I just don’t see that with DxO. I could be wrong and just not looking in the right place though. I hear about DxO Mark scores all the time (they rate lenses and cameras, etc…), but I don’t hear much about the software.
All that said… could this be a brilliant move on their part to break in to an audience that hasn’t used them before? Probably. But I do wonder about Nik and just how much the people behind it made a difference.
Anyway, that’s my news for the day. Right now, nobody knows anything right? All we know is the same free plug-ins that we use to download from Google’s site are now downloaded from DxO’s site. But nothing has really changed. But I can tell you that with all of the new players and versions of software in the industry, it’s going to be an interesting 2018.
Have a good one!

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