The Bottom Line on The Nik Collection by Google

August 29th, 2017

Sharon in Los Angeles asks:

What are people doing about the demise of The Nik Collection?  I know many use it for real estate photography but will eventually lose it due to computer updates.

First of all, I think it is important to be clear about what has actually happened with the Nik Collection by Google:

  • Google’s statement about it is: “The Nik Collection is free and compatible with Mac OS X 10.7 through 10.10; Windows Vista, 7, 8; and Adobe Photoshop through CC 2015. We have no plans to update the Collection or add new features over time.
  • If you have hardware and software that the Nik Collection works on and you really like using Nik hold on to the hardware and software so Nik keeps working. If you don’t change the hardware or software Nik will keep running. You could keep an older machine around just to run the Nik Collection.
  • It is easy to find reports of new hardware (MacBook Pro) and software (Adobe Creative cloud 2016 and 2017) that already break the Nik Collection.

As I posted about a month ago, many of the people that developed the Nik collection are now working on Luminar by Macphun. So Luminar is a natural choice for a Nik replacement.

Here is a post over at suggesting other Nik alternatives.

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10 Responses to “The Bottom Line on The Nik Collection by Google”

  • I’m running a iMac with Sierra 10.12.6 and Nik Software is running just fine with Photoshop CS6. I haven’t tried it with the latest CC version yet so I don’t know if it still works with CC 2017. The problem with Luminar is that you don’t have that u-point local control that makes the Nik software so versatile. I suspect that is a patented technology that Google will not share with other software developers, simply because they can. Google is one of the more nefarious tech companies out there, so we shouldn’t expect any help out of them since they could care less about pro photographers.

  • Damn google!

  • I’m running a laptop with the latest Win10 and Photoshop CC is up-to-date. I’ve had no problems thus far with the Nik Collection in my setup, and it works just fine with Lightroom CC too. I will curse the day it inevitably does stop working, because its shadow, saturation and exposure control, along with the control points, is something that Lr and Ps can’t match. I still am amazed that a free plugin is so good. My only issue is with the Warmth control, it’s not as intuitive as Lightroom’s WB and tint control.

    And Google’s aim is to make money, so yeah, we as real estate photographers are not on their radar and may never be. This is true for many large tech and telecommunications companies. They make decisions based on the money they stand to spend and make, not at all based on what people need. For instance, in the middle of the 16th largest city in the US, I’m in a dead pocket for internet. I have no internet at home because my little area has been overlooked by all ISPs that service my city and no change is in sight when it comes to that unless they think they can make a profit off of us. Google is no different.

    I’d love for someone to be able to obtain the code for the Nik Collection and make something that functions similarly, and as well, as it does.

  • After the download on my PC I found that Luminar is not a Plugin for PS like Nik is. It is a stand alone program that you have to run each image into. It just adds another process to post processing. Will not be using it.

  • @Dave Clark – The Macphun Luminar site ( says “Luminar works as a plugin for Apple Aperture, Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop… it’s also a Apple Photos extension”

  • Luminar does work as a plugin to LR and PS (CC at least). You can set up LR to use Luminar from Edit In, and the various places you access plugins. After you apply a preset in Luminar, it also imports the new file back into LR stacks. I haven’t used it often enough to comment on whether or not any NIK-like features have been incorporated. It installs as a Filter option in PS.

  • @larry

    I’m confused on their mention of Aperture. Did Apple bring it back? My understanding was that it was dead YEARS ago, but did Apple simply drop support for it and quit updating it?

    It’s strange to me that a newer program like this would and could work as a plugin for a presumably dead piece of post-processing software.

  • @Ryan – Apple doesn’t support Aperture, it’s just like Nik, the people that had it when Apple discontinued support of it can still use it if they want… There is probably some Apple hardware (or software) released since Aperture that already won’t run it.

  • I have to say, I never used any of the Nik software. What is all the fuss? I have been using PS for years. What are photographers using Nik for that PS can not do? Just curious… thanks

  • @Robin – I really like the HDR processing in Nik. I can get realistic properties that aren’t overprocessed.

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