Google Abandons the Nik Collection

June 11th, 2017

Everett in LA says:

I am contemplating replacing my old iMac and I have discovered that the newer operating systems OS 11 & 12, may no longer support Nik Software.
Is there anyone who could explain a possible work around so that I could still use this software which saves so much time and is great to work with? Possible solutions would be appreciated.

I think there may be photographers worrying about the same thing. The Nik Software suite is very popular. For those who haven’t noticed yet, Google quietly abandoned support of the Nik collection going forward.

What I would recommend is keep your old iMac as a backup machine so thatwhen Apple releases High Sierra (version 11) this fall, if Nik has any problems you will have a machine that Nik runs on. You could also choose to not upgrade to High Sierra if Nik doesn’t run on it.

Frankly, I find it unlikely that the Nik software suite will not run on High Sierra although I could be completely wrong. For those brave enough to try the beta version of High Sierra Nik can be tested on it right now. Don’t load the beta version on your production machine!

Update June 12: Scott Kelby did a post today proposing another solution to this problem. Scott’s proposal is to use Luminar as a plugin. He claims it will do many of the functions of Nik.

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5 Responses to “Google Abandons the Nik Collection”

  • I am sorry to say it feels like it’s becoming a case of “Apple is abandoning professional photographers”. Too often it seems that the latest Apple software update renders a perfectly functioning bit of software (eg my Color Navigator software for calibrating my Eizo monitor) or even hardware (eg the well respected Anker multi hub USB port.. essential for laptop users) redundant while these third party companies figure out how to release upgrades. Shooting tethered to a laptop has for similar reasons become far less straightforward than it was, again thanks to complex Apple OS updates. I know we shouldn’t bemoan progress, but I do wish Apple would work a bit more collaboratively with those providing software and hardware for their products (they seem to pay their i-phone app developers enough!) It would be a great shame if Nik disappears: I have used it for black and white personal work and was also impressed with Viveza. Everett, if you are thinking of upgrading your desktop or laptop, I am sure it is worth, as Larry suggests, hanging on to the older machine with a tried and tested older OS which will still run Nik (and others) rather than sell/ part exchange for a laughable sum. It is always worth having an older machine as a back up anyway. The Catch 22 with hanging on to an older OS (and I did this to my cost) is that if you don’t keep up to speed with the Apple updates, then you find that when the software providers do update their offerings, then your older OS won’t work with them ! So at some point one has to work with the new OS. A two machine system can therefore be a good plan, not just as a back up against hard drive failure/ loss : keeping both going so that there is no break in your production flow can be far more valuable than the small sum gained selling the older machine. Re: workarounds: Lightroom of course has had local adjustment options for some time (Vivezza) and if you are a black and white enthusiast (Silver Efex Pro) then Capture One has some nice film-look options.

  • Last year, after hearing the feedback on MAC v PC, I invested about $3500 in a new I-MAC 27″, 5K display (running OS X EL Captain version 10.11.6) to do my editing, but, I kept my PC, as some of my other software (PRO show Producer and some other software) are PC based only.

    My I MAC was working fine and I could view my Fuji X-Pro 1 and X-E2 RAW files in the MAC viewer. But, my new Fuji XT-2 RAF files are not opening in the MAC view (views fine on a PC without importing to computer). I was told by FUJI, to update to Sierra which should resolve that issue.

    I too use the NIK collection, especially Silver Efex Pro). But I am frustrated about not being able to view my Fuji XT-2 files in the MAC viewer and concerned about updating to the new OS Sierra without having software issues.

    Also, are there any Fuji XT-2 photographers out there using the MAC and having this issue?

  • Simon: Thanks for the advice. I think it is a good idea to keep my old computer as long as I can. I have to get a new computer to handle the ever increasing size of the files, but I will keep the old one as a backup and to use NIK software when it becomes redundant. We are always at the mercy of these giant corporations who could care less about their customers.

  • It was so sad to hear that Google will no longer be supporting Nik products, simply the best ever plugs in and standalone and smart phone apps ever invented. Nik was very good to me. We have become very close friends with many of the Nik developers and employees through our participation in Beta Programs, Summits and other Nik activities. Some of our best friends in photography were Nik Photographers. We not only still correspond with these great people, but also see them on a regular basis.

    That being the case, I want to let people know you are not hanging or dangling. Programs like Topaz and OnOne offer solutions that are almost as good as Nik (nothing will ever be as good) and take the processing one step further. So, if you really are going to change computers and operating systems – I would sign up for trials of these two program and see which work best. I know I use OnOne for sky replacement all the time!

  • Simon makes a valid point and I don’t necessarily disagree with his thesis that Apple is losing its focus on the pro market, but I don’t think it’s fair to blame Apple for any potential incompatibilities with software it does not itself own. While I question some of the design choices (and limitations) the company has made lately, nearly all software produced since broadband Internet became popular in many households has required regular updates in order to remain compatible with the host OS. It’s a consequence of the increased frequency of updates in OS versions and features, which used to occur less frequently due to the technical barriers of delivering the upgrade. As owners of the Nik intellectual property, Google is the company solely in control of Nik’s longevity, including continuing to nurture the software and produce updates in ways that keep it compatible with both Adobe and the host OS (don’t forget when Adobe produces updates, this may also necessitate action on Google’s part). I suspect (this is purely speculation) that they will likely incorporate the Nik technology into Snapseed, and I would not put it past Google to attempt to create a free or low-cost desktop and/or mobile photo editor option intended to compete with Photoshop Elements. Making the Nik system free provides Google with a ton of analytics they can use to determine which filters are most popular and how people are really using the system—people who might want the Nik filters but didn’t want to spend the money on them. I questioned the charitable nature of them allowing people to use the system for free, and I believe there must be a financial opportunity in it for Google somehow.

    Everett, I think Larry’s suggestion makes the most sense—buy the new computer first, then test everything out. If it doesn’t work on the new OS, you should be able to install an older OS version even on the new computer, either as a virtual machine, which runs inside the main OS, or on a separate disk or partition (even an external disk), which will give you the option of which one you want to use when you turn on the computer. This is less than ideal, though, and depending on which filters you are most interested in, I have found most of the effects can be replicated using Photoshop, which obviously is not as simple, but can become just as routine in your workflow over time.

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