I have been using NIK software for many years now. I purchased it not long after it came out and have been using it as part of my workflow ever since. I only tend to use certain modules, Color Efex Pro 4 and Sharpener 3. These are actually very important parts of my post-processing.
Google purchased NIK Suite in 2012. It is said that this was to get hold of the mobile app Snapseed. Nevertheless, NIK was still available if not updated and then in March 2016 they announced that the NIK software collection would be a free download for everyone. At that point, we realised that the writing was probably on the wall for this excellent software but also rejoiced that it was now free.
In 2017, Google announced that there would be no more updates for the NIK collection. That meant that as software such as Lightroom and Photoshop advanced and was updated, the chance that the NIK modules would work with them got less probable. I must admit I started to experiment with ways that I could get the same results just using Photoshop, especially in sharpening and tonal contrast.
Then, on 25 October 2017 the software company DxO announced the acquisition of the NIK Collection.
This is good news. It obviously means that NIK will not be free in its future incarnation; however, if it retains its high quality then it should be worth paying for. DxO has said that it will be incorporated into their current software such as the re-badged DxO Photolab. However, it remains to be seen what parts of the collection, if any, will be available as stand-alone plugins for Photoshop and Lightroom.
As a Fuji user, the only downside I can see with DxO taking NIK under their wing is that they do not support the Fuji Trans X sensor. This means that RAF RAW file conversion cannot be done through the current DxO OpticsPro and its reincarnated Photolab. However, for those Fuji users who use Lightroom or Iridient (as I do ) or any other software to convert to DNG then there should be no problem using DxO NIK in the processing stage after Raw conversion.
The full DxO – NIK press release can be downloaded here.