Yep, FREE. Gratis. At no cost to you.
So, what you had to pay $149.00 for just last month is now being passed out to all comers at no charge. This unusual move makes me wonder if Google is really going to invest any effort into future upgrades and improvements. Time will tell, I propose.
If you are interested–and you might as well be at the current price point–just go to the Google Nik Collection website to check it out.
The Collection includes the following applications:
Analog Efex Pro (for old classic camera, lens, and film imitation effects)
Dfine (for noise reduction)
Silver Efex Pro (for B&W conversions)
Color Efex Pro (many different color effects, styles, adjustments)
Viveza (to adjust color and tonality)
Sharpener Pro (for input and output sharpening)
HDR Efex Pro (for, you guessed it, various HDR effects, from the good, to the bad, to the ugly)
Some additional Google Nik observations…
–This suite can apparently be used in stand-alone mode but is not really designed that way. You’ll have to spend some private time with Ms. Google to work out this option–I can’t help you as I use these applications via Photoshop as host.
–Downloading the bunch is worth it just to get the most excellent Silver Efex Pro. I use this for my black and white conversions almost exclusively (as I did in the above image) and many photogs agree it is one of the best. (You can certainly come close with Photoshop, Lightroom, or Elements, but it is more difficult to do.)
—Color Effects Pro has a “Tonal Contrast” preset (with several sub options) that I use quite often for my color images.
–The only other applications I use are Analog Efex (only occasionally for messing around with wet plate and retro camera simulations) and HDR Efex (on a very, very rare instance).
–All of these applications allow an almost infinite number of alternative adjustments and options once you have selected a preset as a starting point.
–All of these applications are fairly intuitive and are easy to learn by simply playing around with presets and sliders. The Google Nik website linked above (as well as YouTube) is full of help videos if you need further assistance.