Nik Tools (now called the Nik collection) has been around since 1995 as an Adobe plugin. Google bought the tools, then dropped them, and DXO rescued the popular photo-editing aids in 2017. They've undergone continuous upgrades since then, and this new version will please Mac users with the new M1 chips.
The big headline here is "Native M1" Adobe Photoshop compatibility. That means increased speed when used on Apple Silicon, and since Photoshop is already M1 compatible, it should make for a speedy bundle. The Nik creative suite also improves the performance of its software plugin, Nik Silver Efex, one of the most popular tools for black-and-white conversion.
Nik Collection, combines 250 professional-quality presets with the flexibility of U Point™ local adjustment technology. Its eight software plugins address every aspect of creative photography, including color and HDR photography, black-and-white conversion, and analog simulation.
"Users of Photoshop 22.3 (and later) working on a Mac M1 can run it in 'native' mode or with the Rosetta emulator. Up until now, they had to use Rosetta to be able to run Nik Collection," recalls Jean-Marc Alexia, Vice President Product Strategy. “With the 4.2 version of Nik Collection, users can now opt to run the software in ‘M1 native’ mode and enjoy an optimized user experience.” I can't testify to the increased speed of the update, as I use the Nik Collection on Intel-based Macs, but early user comments are positive.
Nik Collection 4.2 also makes Nik Silver Efex and Nik Viveza compatible with the latest version of Capture One.
I've been a long-time user of the Nik tools, way before the messy acquisition by Google. They are often part of my landscape imaging workflow, and I often use the U Point technology to make smart selections of parts of an image for enhancement.
Nik Collection 4.2 (Windows and macOS) is now available for download from the DxO website for the special price of $99.99 instead of $149 and $59.99 instead of $79 for the upgrade until October 10, 2021.
Photographers who own Nik Collection 3 or later can purchase an upgrade by signing into their accounts. A full one-month trial version of Nik Collection 4 is available here.