If you’ve launched your Nik 4 Color Efex Pro in the past few days, you probably saw the notice that Nik 5 is now available from DxO. Using Nik back when it was only Beta, it has been an essential part of my imaging finishing. The new update I hoped would at the very least take care of some long-residing bugs (it does!). The Color Efex 5 does that and a whole bunch more!
You have to delete Nik 4 to install Nik 5. My first warning to you is that the images you finished with Nik 4, the layer with Nik Color Efex cannot be opened by Nik 5 to make changes. In my workflow, I bring my Nef into ACR and then open it as a Smart Object in Photoshop. I apply my Nik Color Efex Preset to that layer. The Nik Color Efex is its own layer under the Smart Object. If I double-click on it, it will open and bring up the Color Efex UI. This is no longer true for all my images finished with Color Efex 4 or earlier now. In fact, you’ll see the warning symbol next to that layer. They’re forcing us to delete Nik 4 to install Nik 5 seals the fate of those old files and any flexibility we had worked for in our workflow. With that and the fact that any “Recipes” you created before (now called Presets) don’t work in Nik Color Efex 5, you might as well delete the old ones when you install Nik 5 Color Efex. BEFORE YOU DO THAT, you might want to do screen grabs of your recipes and all their numbers so you can recreate them in Nik 5 Color Efex 5.
And here are my Nik 5 Color Efex 5 Presets in a Zip file for you to download and install if you’d like. When you install them, they will go into the Imported Panel in Color Efex 5. You cannot modify and save the changes to Presets in the Imported Panel! If you want to change any aspect of them, you will need to recreate them in Custom and then you can modify and save them on the fly all you want. And you may want to as some of the math has improved! With all that said, the updates in Nik 5 Color Efex 5, I find are worth all the hassles. If you’re wondering about the rest of the DxO Nik Suite, Analog, Silver Efex & Vivesa they are still at 3, HDR Efex & Define are still at 2, and the others, no clue. I only use Color Efex 5 & Output Sharpener and they are outstanding so I’m a happy camper.