Capture NX no longer compatible with the latest Nik Color Efex Pro

Nik Color Efex Procapture_nx2

Nikon UK published this notice regarding the compatibility of the latest Nik Color Efex Pro version with Nikon Capture NX 2 software (Google purchased Nik software in September 2012):

Shortly after the acquisition of NikSoftware by Google in September 2012, Nik ended sales of the Color Efex Pro plug-in for Nikon Capture software.

From the end of January 2013, Nikon Europe no longer distribute Nik Color Efex Pro for Capture NX 2 and it is no longer available from our online sales site. However, should you be a current user of Color Efex Pro, you can of course continue to use the plug-in with Capture NX 2. Please refer to the table below for version compatibility.

Nikon Software version Nik Color Efex Pro version
Nikon software is not compatible nik Color Efex Pro 4.0
Capture NX 2.3.0 or later nik Color Efex Pro 3.0 64 Bit version for Capture NX2
Capture NX 2.0.0-2.2.8 nik Color Efex Pro 3.0 for Capture NX2
Capture NX 1.2 or later / Capture NX 2 nik Color Efex Pro 2.0 for Capture NX
Capture 4.1 or later nik Color Efex Pro 2.0 for Capture 4
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  • dond

    am I the first?

    • LeadWrist

      Unfortunately being “first” means nothing with the new comment system. Welcome to Comment 2.0…

      • Fry

        and unfortunate about that is what ?

        • LeadWrist

          U right, nothing unfortunate to you, but for that poor guy, it is…

      • AnthonyH

        You can always sort by oldest first, you know. Just select it in the “Discussion” menu.

        • LeadWrist

          And why would I do that, so I can see all the first comments? 🙂

          • AnthonyH

            Why, so your own comments don’t disappear down to comment oblivion, of course! 🙂

            • LeadWrist


            • LeadWrist


    • LeadWrist

      With the new comment system, being first is meaningless since this will drop down and disappear into comment oblivion…

  • DonD

    There’s not a nit worth of difference in Color Efx pro 3 & 4.

    • It wouldn’t be the first time a product is being relabelled to make it seem newer. It is done very often by graphics card manufacturers for OEM companies. Until the day people understand that a higher number doesn’t mean it is better or different from the existing products, we will keep on seeing this marketing at work.

    • preston

      Why would you even say this? Are you disgruntled or something? They made several awesome workflow improvements including visual presets so that you can define the starting point for each filter, a history browser so that you can easily go back to previous points, improved graphics processing (it goes noticeably faster), not to mention 8 new filters (of which the ‘Detail Extractor’ I use all the time) and several other improved filters.

    • TerraPhoto

      You obviously have really used both… CEP 4 is vastly improved over CEP 3. The Pro Contrast and Tonal Contrast are so much better in CEP 4 that I am essentially abandoning NX2 for Lightroom for my day to day raw processing. And then I discovered Detail Extractor… oh my!

  • LeadWrist

    And so it begins…

    • preston

      and so what begins?

      • LeadWrist

        The beginning of the end. Google has been pulling some shenanigans, first blocking google maps to WP devices then restoring it, remove EAS protocol support, Google is going down the path of isolation and incompatibility, not sure to what end other then trying to be number 1 I guess.

  • LeadWrist

    And so it begins…

  • C_QQ_C

    Google eliminating the competition for piccassa .. woehaaa 🙂

  • Bill Pahnelas

    i had a hell of a time buying color efex 3.0 for captureNX2 last summer, for gosh sakes… nik wouldn’t sell it to me, even though i could download the demo from their site. ditto nikon. the UK nikon site offered it for sale, but not to US buyers. when i finally got color efex pro 3 in a bundle with some other nik plugins, i found inside the package that color efex pro 4.0 had been substituted. after raising appropriate hell, nik relented and licensed my 3.0 version of color efex pro. so this isn’t really news, although i understand that NR is only reporting this as newly posted on the nikon site. and it’s too bad, i must say: the plug-ins certainly do provide a welcome lift to NX2!

  • Antonio

    Not the first company to do the same – buying a program and use it to fight competition, stoping sale of compatible versions showing no respect for the final consumer.

    • preston

      Actually Nik software stopped supporting Capture NX2 before Google bought them, so don’t blame this on big bad Google. My guess is that Nikon stopped funding the development of CNX2 when they realized that they didn’t need it to stay competitive in their market – as in, people weren’t making camera system decisions based on which company had the best proprietary image editing software. And of course Nik is then going to focus on tools that work with all image files instead of just files from a single camera company.

      • EricB

        There are some technical issues that would require significant development to make CNX2 compatible with Nik CE4. It really makes integration impractical until the release of NX3 – if that happens. This has been the case for a year since CE4 was released. Google had nothing to do with this decision.

      • Karen

        LOL !!!

  • Eric Calabos

    Brace yourself
    “told ya” comments are coming

  • Samizdat2003

    So if I use Capture NX 2 and want to use the Nik Color Efex Pro plugins (without buying Photoshop) what are my options?

    • Bill Pahnelas

      if you buy a copy off a licensed user, nik will transfer the license to you. you cannot buy color efex 3.0 though retail channels any longer, however — so it’s a used copy, or nothing…

      • Samizdat2003

        Can I use Color Efex Pro with Lightroom? It’s a lot less expensive than PS. Maybe I should export from CNX2 to TIF and then use Color Efex Pro in LR?

        • preston

          I would suggest deleting CNX2 completely and switching to Lightroom with Nik complete collection. I really liked CNX2 back in 2008-9 when it came out but after I upgraded to a better computer (64-bit) it became so unstable and crash-happy that I started looking for other options. Yes, Lightroom is a great image management software but I don’t really use it for that. It is also an awesome image editing software that is perfect for about 80% of my shots and for the other 20% I use the Nik plugins to get them just how I want them.

          • Samizdat2003

            Thanks. I actually recently acquired a copy of LR that I have not yet had a chance to install. I’ve had no problems running CNX2 even on 64-bit Windows, and I really like the control points, but the program certainly could us an overhaul and is awful at image management; moreover I’ve become tempted to try the Nik plugins just as support for them was being eliminated. I will have to install LR and give it a try.

    • I understand there’s a loophole in the Nik software (disclaimer it may not apply to all Nik products):
      Convert your NEF file to TIFF and drag onto the Nik software icon to open.
      Haven’t tried this myself (as I have LR 4 in addition to CNX2) but I was told it works.
      Problem is that the Nik software doesn’t have a ‘file open’ command to open files.

      • Bill Pahnelas

        i think the guy’s name is jason o’dell. his website has the skinny on using the nik plug-ins with NX2 — although, as noted above, you need to save first as TIFF before opening in the plug-ins’ stand-alone mode.

        • Actually its was ‘closer to home’ than Jason 😉
          Having not tried to do it before (lazy) I created shortcuts on the desktop of the whole Nik suite and dragged a TIF file to each from explorer and it does work 🙂

    • umeshrw

      You are limited to CEP3. That is the end as per the above post.

  • benjamin

    if i may be so bold as to ask… what does this plug in allow one to do in capture nx2?

    • Use Colour Efex Pro?

      • Sorry, my sense of humour (toggles humour off)

        Colour Efex Pro allows one to apply various filters to TIFF files.
        The Nik software relies on U-Point technology (already available in CNX) and provides some enhancements over CNX and a lot of improvements over LR 4 (a DBMS with some editing capabilities).
        Sort of adds some CNX features to LR.
        Other than Colour Efex and Silver Efex most can be done in CNX – maybe not exactly the same but close (IRO of CNX which is older software so not quite as good as expected).
        I have CNX2, LR 4 and the full Nik software LR plug-in suite (paid for versions).

  • Andro

    This is a huge disappointment since it cripples Capture NX 2 by a lot. Being able to apply Color Efex Pro filters non-destructively to NEF files in Capture NX2 was a very convenient workflow and saved disk space.

  • anon

    i asked nik software about using CEfx4 with cnx2 when CEfx4 was first released before the google take… they said then they had no intention of them being compatible. Old news.

    • RakSiam

      yeah, CEP4 has never been compatible with CNX2. I don’t see why this is considered news.

  • catinhat

    consider DxO FlimPack, — perhaps not exactly the same thing as ColorEfex, but you can get great “effex”, and it is a lot of fun to play with.

  • Samizdat2003

    Pardon me for being dense (it’s unavoidable, really) but if I were to use Lightroom to process my NEF files could I use Color Efex Pro (and other Nik software) as a plugin to edit those files? It would seem so based on the system requirements at but I’d like to confirm that. And if I switch away from Capture NX 2 to the above workflow instead, will I be losing anything not easily replaceable? Thanks.

    • umeshrw

      Yes you can. In fact you will be gaining more as it is compatible with CEP4.

  • An anonimous Photographer

    Nik software is not participating in the development of NX3. I’m wondering if we will see any technology of Nik (control point) in NX3 due to patents/rights.

    In my opinion the control point selection technology used in NX2 is one of the best there is.

  • RIP – so i better get rid of NEF and change all my workflow to DNG. in my experience only iView Media pro aka Expression Media aka Media Pro was acquired back from a Pro company – i think this won’t happen with Nik Color Efex (reminds me at MS acquired iView Media a few years ago and nothing was developed)

  • I guess still too soon to determine what is going on with the google-nik situation but buying a company and cripple its main source of revenue is not a smart move.

    I am not sure if they indeed intend us to use piccasa in the future for professional post processing and Maybe is going to be an entirely new software with a hybrid between piccasa and CNX.

    I shoot NEF + Large Jpeg in every paid gig and if they stop supporting new cameras I will sure try to hold any new camera purchase for as long as I can just so I keep my current workflow.

  • vinman

    It’d be nice if Nikon would now consider the DNG file format as an option…

  • Marcel

    Dear Nikon Rumors,
    Nik Color Efex pro 4 was never compatible with Capture NX 2.

    Thanks for your great journalism,

  • Bogdan Nafornita

    oh ffs Nikon, just opensource your NEF format and kill CNX2 altogether… There are far more competent editing programs that can do it much better if they can understand NEF correctly.

    And CNX’s biggest selling points (Control Points) are Nik’s anyway… and they won’t be available for too long I guess.

  • Daryl51

    I am attempting to reinstall Color Efex Pro 3 Complete (upgrade), with the latest version of Capture NX2, after upgrading from WinXP to Win7, and Capture NX2 keeps crashing as soon as I attempt to use a Color Efex filter.

    This was all working fine on mx XP OS.

    I tried reinstalling in sequence using the historical activation numbers from Select then up to Complete, but had no better results.

    Of course, Nik’s support for this product has evaporated, so I feel totally hung out to dry and pretty pissed.

    Anyone know of a solution to this problem?

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