I did a search here and only found a post from 2009. So, hoping that folks have had more exposure to both since then, I decided to post a new question here. If you have use one or the other, or both, which would you recommend? Ease of use, and quality of results are my most important criteria, but cost and quality of support also count. Thanks.
#1. "RE: Nik vs. Topaz Bundle?" | In response to Reply # 0JonK Nikonian since 03rd Jul 2004Tue 26-Jun-12 04:48 PM
Hopefully others who have used both will weigh in…
I use Nik Color Efex Pro 4 filters. Great interface, lots of power, lots of variation within each filter — and the unique Control Point technology for local adjustment which really cannot be beat. Of the 50+ filters, there are a handful of straight adjustment filters that are in many ways more powerful than the similar controls in most of the "darkroom" software; another handful of filters for traditional special effects that are also excellent; and a whole bunch of other special effect or wild and weird filters, some of which you may like.
I know nothing about Topaz except to have been impressed with some slightly surreal effects used regularly by a few Nikonians.
Assuming you are also interested in B&W or HDR, there is a potential bargain in purchasing Nik's Complete Collection.
Download the 30-day Color Efex Pro 4 trial and give it w whirl!
A New York City Nikonian and Team Member
Please visit my website and critique the images!
#2. "RE: Nik vs. Topaz Bundle?" | In response to Reply # 1
#5. "RE: Nik vs. Topaz Bundle?" | In response to Reply # 2schadowrider Registered since 10th Mar 2012Sun 08-Jul-12 06:44 PM
Agreed -- I have, and use, both bundles.
I find it easier to get to some nice and quick results with Topaz -- seems easier to use. The presets can be heavy handed, but quite easily dialed back as necessary. I also think Topaz does a much better job promoting their webcasts, which I find very helpful (maybe Nik does the same and I'm just not on the right mailing list...).
On the other hand, I think the Nik products can give a much more refined and high quality result (just harder -- at least for me... -- to get at). I haven't had much opportunity yet, but I'm looking forward to playing with their HDR module (I don't think Topaz even has one).
#3. "RE: Nik vs. Topaz Bundle?" | In response to Reply # 0
I own Nik Color Efex Pro 4, Topaz Bundle, and OnOne Perfect Photo Suite 6. My go to program is Nik Color Efex Pro because of the 50+ filter presets, but Topaz and Perfect Photo Suites have a lot of presets and functions that I use in my work flow. As mentioned previously, download the free programs and check out the free tutorials that provide brief overviews. Perfect Mask 5 in Perfect Photo is great for producing masks of difficult subjects, i.e., hair, tree branches, etc.
#4. "RE: Nik vs. Topaz Bundle?" | In response to Reply # 0
I've used Topaz Adjust and Topaz Detail, but frankly, I've not been able to get the results that I would like; and that is "pilot error" because I've seen others get very good results from Topaz products.
My personal choice and recommendation is the Nik suite from noise removal to sharpening. I enjoy visual presets of Color Efex Pro and Silver Efex Pro as starting points. The U-point technology can't be beat for selective adjustments. I've also used HDR Pro which I prefer over Photomatix. But it's all personal preference. Download the trials and see which ones you prefer.
De l'audace, encore de l'audace, toujours de l'audace!
#6. "RE: Nik vs. Topaz Bundle?" | In response to Reply # 4Captain Rich Nikonian since 25th May 2006Tue 10-Jul-12 02:25 PM
Thanks for all the advice, guys. I'm doing a good bit of traveling and haven't been able to download the trials yet, but it seems the prevailing opinion is Nik. Anyone know which bundle works better in a Capture NX2 environment? I understand the Nik bundle works with LR, or as a TIF based standalone with NX2. I don't know how Topaz operates in this scenario.