NIK plugins vs Topaz Labs

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by maflynn, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #1
    I own the Topaz Labs plugins but I see people using the NIK plugins.

    I typically use DeNoise and the B&W Effects but if I can eek out better quality or ease of use with NIK is it worth buying the suite?

    I shoot using a micro 4/3 camera - OMD EM5. Its a great camera but a lot of times I find myself shooting in high ISO. I switched over to Aperture from Lightroom and find that DeNoise plugin part of my work flow a little more then I used too.

    If money was no issue, which plugin suite would you get? Is it worth having both or should I be content with Topaz labs?
     
  2. macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    Feb 24, 2008
    Location:
    Over there------->
    #2
    NIK offers a 15-day free trial, so you can judge for yourself whether or not it will be a good investment for you.
     
  3. thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #3
    I'm installing it as we speak but I'm still curious to hear opinions, both pro and con.

    while I can certainly get a feel of the plugins, experienced users can provide more detailed info that I may not initially uncover.

    Also, what about Google's ownership - any concern?
    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I took the plunge after playing with Define and seeing how its cleaning up my images better then DeNoise. I also found a coupon code to reduce the price to 126 which made it easier to swallow.
     
  4. AlaskaMoose, Apr 6, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2013

    macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
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    Alaska
    #4
    My favorite NIK's plugins ar Color Efex Pro and Vivesa. DeNoise does a good job, but so other relatively cheap noise removal applications such as Noise Ninja and Neat Image.

    What I have noticed about the Topaz plugins (Topaz Adjust) is that they don't increase the size of the image like NIK does. I imagine that the NIK Color Efex plugins add layers to the image much you one would do manually with PhotoShop.

    In relation to which one I use the most that has to be Color Efex and Vivesa, but I also use Topaz for other effects not available in the NIK applications. I have both.

    By the way, I also have some of the OnOne Software plugins, and these work in a similar way as NIK's (increase the size of the image with layers (?). But on the Mac using NIK and Topaz is quite easy since these plugins are found in the PhotoShop's filters menu, while OnOne plugins have their own window or screen on the desktop. This screen displays on the desktop once PhotoSop (CS5, CS6) has launched, and disappears when you quit PhotoShop.

    I don't think that Google will abandon NIK Software since so many photographers are using it. In my view Google has just taken a huge corner of the market relating to this type of software. By lowering to price from several hundred dollars to $149.00, and by giving it free to existing NIK plugins users all Google is doing is making its "corner" stronger.

    Adobe better keep its eyes open, because an application that can do what CS6 can do, coupled to the efficiency of NIK plugins would be quite welcomed by a lot of people. What NIK and other plugins do is to automatically take a series of steps that would take several minutes for you to accomplish manually. Not only that, but the plugins also give the user full control of every effect desired.
     
  5. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Location:
    Blackwell, OK
    #5
    I have used all three of the programs: OnOne, Topaz, and NIK, and for _me_ (YMMV), it's a no-brainer: NIK's are the most useful for me.

    1. Topaz I like, yes, (and I think they are well engineered), but I don't like the "Snap" actions for having to save experiments, and I find these plug-in's harder to use (I still don't know exactly which slider does exactly what...and how much). Also, I have had the masking program crash my system numerous times.

    2. OnOne Suite: talk about crashing. With the exception of Perfect Resize, virtually every one of their programs has crashed my system at one time or another. Much of that had to do with their activation program. Anyway, I finally gave up on getting a fix for their masking program. I would definitely not want to depend on using this within Photoshop _as an alternative to Photoshop_ now that OnOne supports layers, but, hey, maybe that's just me.

    3. NIK: I have owned and used this suite for several years, and it has been rock solid in every program. I use _all_ of the programs in this suite, and they are all well engineered and fast. I also like the stacking and ability to reorder the stacking of filters. I always attend their demos at Photoshop World, and they always have the most professional and competent personnel (Dan Hughes).

    What will become of NIK after the Google acquisition? Who knows, but I can't believe that Google paid a billion ("with a "b") dollars just to let this program die on the vine. Although I don't necessarily trust Google, I pretty much do trust their affinity for money, and their repackaging and reissue of the suite as The Nik Collection at least convinces me that were conscientious enough to put in many man-hours to rebrand it as theirs, in order to _make money_. Filthy lucre is a great motivator, it seems ;)

    Next week is Photoshop World in Orlando, and each of the three demo booths is about ten feet apart, so I hope to "interrogate" Dan Hughes at the NIK presentations :) Anyway, I did get--and install without any problems--the free-to-existing-owners Google version. Works just the same, but runs faster now on my machine (Mac Pro 5,1, 24 GB ram). I will also, as always, go to the Topaz and OnOne presentations to see what is "new" there and will post what I learn. Maybe their suites run fine now, but I don't have the time to experiment with their software while they tweak it "to perfection."

    Hope this helps.
     
  6. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2008
    Location:
    Alaska
    #6
    Haven't had any trouble with Topaz nor OnOne plugins on two iMacs. But I do have the maximum RAM allowable on both computers. But I agree with you in relation to OnOne versus NIK in that the later is easy to use. Maybe onOne tries to "hog" too much RAM space from CS5? I don't really know.
     
  7. thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    Location:
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    #7
    I have to say I'm liking the performance of Dfine over DeNoise. I'm sure with lots of tweaking I can get DeNoise to have similar results but I have less work with DFine. I also like the simple interface.

    I haven't compared how Silver EFEX Pro measures up against B&W Effects which I'm very happy with.

    I will say that Nik has greatly improved my workflow and the quality of my shots. I typically shoot in the higher ISO ranges where a flash just doesn't work. DFine 2 has improved the quality which is what I wanted :)
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    ratboy90

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    #8
    Silver EFEX is probably the best Black adn White plugin I have ever seen in my life. And I've tried a lot. It's a great friend of street photographers.
     
  9. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Location:
    Nanning, PRC
    #9
    Another vote for siver efex.
    the ability to use the 'look' of old film stock like agfa 100 etc gives my work that little edge it needs.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #10
    Off topic, but where exactly did you pull the billion dollar figure from? I doubt Google paid anywhere close to that for Nik.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    Location:
    Zanzibar Land
    #11
    I just purchased the Nik Collection after playing around with the 15 day trial.

    One thing that struck me as odd when making the purchase was lack of a user account for Nik, or a serial number that needs to be entered into the software.

    Then looking into the standalone apps and the Photoshop / Aperture plugins another thing that seems odd is there is no "Check for Updates" option.

    Is this abandon-ware or is a new version coming out so this is discontinued and discounted?
     
  12. macrumors member

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    Jun 13, 2010
    Location:
    Blackwell, OK
    #12
    Watch the Trey Ratcliffe video--with the guys from Google--at minute 4:50 to around 4:55:; the Google guys announced the purchase price publically.
     
  13. thread starter Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    #13
    Valid questions and I thought the same thing about being odd. My concern with google purchasing is the long term prognosis of the plugins. For the price and the performance of the plugins, I thought the risks were worth it.
     
  14. macrumors 68040

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #14
    Compare the plugin cost to your investment in bodies, lenses, flashes, bags, tripods and heads.....:eek:
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    AT06

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Location:
    Winwick, UK
    #15
    +1 for NIK Plugins. I find their results to be far better quality, and the are very easy to use. Google have said that the plan to maintain and update the plugins, so at the price they are going for (and it includes plugins for Windows, Mac, Aperture, Lightroom, and standalone) I think they are a good investment.
     
  16. macrumors 6502

    AxisOfBeagles

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Location:
    East of Shangrila
    #16
    If you listen to that clip, he clearly says "I'm kidding".

    NIK was privately held so there aren't any public filings from which to assess, but most outside reports estimate their revenues at between $9 mil and $10 mil. I'd be surprised if the acquisition was very far north of $100 million.
     
  17. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2011
    #17
    Seems a little more realistic.
     
  18. macrumors regular

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    Feb 28, 2006
    Location:
    Zanzibar Land
    #18
    Good News!! NIK software bundle has been updated, with bug fixes, new presets, and an additional tool: Analog Efex Pro

    As far as I can tell there is no way to update from within the NIK software itself. I re-downloaded from my purchase confirmation email, and it downloaded the newest version, which installed over the old version.
     
  19. macrumors 6502a

    NeGRit0

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    Apr 19, 2008
    Location:
    Las Vegas, Nv
    #19
    Thank you for posting this! I saw the news yesterday but couldnt figure out how to upgrade. :eek:
     
  20. macrumors demi-god

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2012
    Location:
    Denver, Colorado, USA
    #20
    I have Topaz, onOne, Nik: Nik is the standout for me. Like another poster said, very solid and nicely engineered and I really like the fact now that they are fully integrated from an activation/purchase standpoint, no more separate licenses.

    Topaz is definitely a decent product, though I mostly use DeNoise but am starting to explore some of the others like BW. I find their UI philosophy to be somewhat clunky.

    onOne...not bad when it works, but fairly crash prone.
     
  21. macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    Location:
    PHL
    #21
    I wholeheartedly agree here. My black & white conversions suck for the most part. But Silver Efex really made me fall in love with black & white again.

    I have used both, and I think NIK is the far superior program. I only did the free trial for Topaz, but during those 15 days, I wasn't really impressed with the plugins.

    As for NIK, I ultimately purchased the plugins, and they are part of my everyday photography workflow. It was definitely well worth the money I spent on it.
     
  22. macrumors 6502

    MiniD3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #22
    Thanks for the heads-up guys,

    Regards,
    Gary
     
  23. macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #23
    Having tried both I honestly prefer Nik over Topaz. Nik collection is much more polished and better engineered than the Topaz Labs collection; this is evident especially in noise removal where Dfine annihilates most noise while Denoise leaves messy artifacts around.
     
  24. macrumors 68040

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #24
    LR5 plus the Nik Suite is a sweet combo.
     
  25. macrumors 6502

    Padaung

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    Hmmm, just downloaded and installed the Nik update.

    The download has doubled in size! Software bloat at it's best... The uncompressed installation size is now 1Gb.

    I'm struggling to get excited about the new Analog Efex Pro. It's all a bit Instagram for my liking, call me old if you like ;) I thinking it will stay in the options menu along with HDR Efex Pro and collect metaphorical dust.

    For me Silver Efex Pro and Viveza are my most used of the suite, followed by Colour Efex Pro. Dfine and Sharpener Pro are excellent and useful to have as and when they are required. All 5 apps are excellent in my opinion. It is good to see Google developing the suite, even if thus far I'm not keen on the new app addition.
     

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