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PhotoDirector 11 Review: More than a Photo Editor

PhotoDirector 11 Review
PhotoDirector 11

Name: PhotoDirector 11

Description: Get to the heart of creative photo editing, fast. With powerful AI tools, eye-catching visual effects, advanced color controls and intuitive layer editing, you can create breathtaking compositions and artistic masterpieces in a snap.

Offer price: 99.99

Currency: USD

Operating System: Windows, Mac

Application Category: Multimedia

Author: CyberLink

  • Photo Editing Features
  • Presets
  • Performance & Usability
  • Price (Lifetime)
  • Library Layout & Photo Management
  • Extra Functionalities (Slideshows, Print Functions)

PhotoDirector 11 Review Summary

Photo editing software similar to Photoshop and Lightroom. AI tools and Express Layer Templates allow fast editing on your Windows or Mac.

PhotoDirector 10 was a popular photo editing program. Cyberlink continues this trend with the release of PhotoDirector 11. This updated program offers a myriad of updates and improvements. Furthermore, it offers all of the features you would expect such as adjustment editing, transformation tools, and photo management. We have tested this new release and created this PhotoDirector 11 review.

We know that choosing photo editing software is often difficult. So in this review, we provide you everything you need to know about the latest PhotoDirector software.

Read on to help you decide if this software is something you might want to try out.

Also, if you haven’t downloaded the free trial yet, you should give it a try.

Try PhotoDirector for Free

What’s New in PhotoDirector 11?

Firstly, what new features does PhotoDirector 11 contain? It is clear that Cyberlink has looked to address issues with the previous version. Furthermore, they have added some cool new features. The following are some of the new tools and features available:  

  • AI Deblur
  • Advanced Color Replacement
  • Customizable text layers
  • Guided editing tools
  • Quality clip-art packs
  • AI facial recognition

It is clear that AI technology is a central point of PhotoDirector 11. Many other editing programs include AI technology – it is how the industry is progressing. The AI Deblur and AI facial recognition tools are excellent advancements of the technology and they have practical applications.

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The Deblur tool, for example, improves the quality and clarity of photos that are slightly out of focus. Moreover, the facial recognition tool allows the quick and efficient cataloging of people within your photos. These are just some of the awesome new features available – we take a more in-depth look at these features in the rest of our PhotoDirector 11 review below. If you’re interested, the full list of new features can be found on the official Cyberlink site.    

Price & Availability

Before we dive into the review, let’s look at the prices and different packages available. Cyberlink offers a selection of different packages for various purposes. Furthermore, discounts are often available for monthly payment plans. Below are the current PhotoDirector 11 packages available:

  • PhotoDirector Ultra 11 – $99.99 one-off purchase
  • PowerDirector 18 & PhotoDirector 11 – $159.99 one-off purchase
  • PhotoDirector 365 – $3.15 / month
  • Director Suite – $8.08 / month

We feel the one-off purchase price is reasonable – this is a lifetime purchase guarantee. If you edit video too, the PowerDirector 18 and PhotoDirector 11 packages are a great price – both programs are reduced in price. PowerDirector is an excellent video editing program with advanced tools.      

PhotoDirector 11 Review

Now onto our actual PhotoDirector 11 review. We have split this into several categories; performance, photo management, adjustments, transformation, slideshow creator, and print tools:      

Performance and Usability

We have never seen any reported performance issues with PhotoDirector 11. Cyberlink appears to have created a stable program that performs well. PhotoDirector 11 doesn’t have as heavy system requirements as other editing software such as ON1 Photo RAW. The minimum system requirements for version 11 are listed below:

  • Operating System: Windows 7 or later / MAC OS 10.11 or later
  • Processor: Intel Core I-series or later
  • Graphics: 128MB VGA or more
  • Memory: 4GB+
  • HDD Storage: 2GB

When testing this program, we found no issues. We easily moved through the different menus and tools and the editing process was smooth with no lag or delay, even when loading large images. The tools and overall layout are also easy to navigate – this is an extremely user-friendly program. We quickly understood how to use the tools and navigate through the different screens.

As part of our PhotoDirector 11 review, we looked at the import and export features. The import dialogue box is advanced and has a range of features. Different parameters and functions are applied during the import process, if required. For example, users can rename files during import.

The export process features similar options. Users can export files into a range of different formats including JPEG and PNG. In addition to this, different options are available such as re-sizing and watermarks. The following screenshot shows an example export screen:

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Library Layout & Photo Management

Let’s look at the PhotoDirector 11 photo management features. PhotoDirector 11 offers both image management, and editing functionality. The photo management is extensive. And when it comes to organization, users can benefit from a myriad of filters, sorting options, and metadata. If you have large volumes of photos, this program is used to easily manage and organize them.

Firstly, there is a full folder structure – this is split down into various different categories. Users create collections, smart collections, and albums. You can also utilize different tags that are available to search for – if you have added metadata tags to your images, PhotoDirector 11 allows you to search for them.

This brings us to the next point – filtering and sorting. This program has a range of advanced search functionality and filters. Basic filter options include colors, star ratings, flag picks, and tags.

The metadata is extensive – users can enter a plethora of metadata about their RAW images. Examples of metadata include job title, creator, focal length, caption, dimensions, and capture date. You can also create metadata profiles to quickly enter metadata in multiple images.

Overall, the photo management features of this program are one of the best parts of our PhotoDirector 11 review. This program really does enable users to manage photos effectively and with great control.     

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Adjustment Layout & Basic Editing Tools

The basic image adjustments are made in the adjustments tab. One feature we found a little tiresome, was the tooltips that opened every time you opened a new screen or feature. We appreciate this is meant for novice users, but we don’t need advice every step of the process. Luckily, this feature can be turned off!

In the adjustment screen, basic parameters along with advanced adjustments to tone, color, brightness, and other aspects of RAW photos can be made. The different parameters are changed using sliders. We thought the process was quick – the preview pane updated in real-time as you dragged the sliders without any delay. The following are some of the available tools:

  • White balance
  • Exposure
  • Contrast
  • Midtones
  • Clarity
  • Saturation

The below screenshot shows the basic adjustments layout:

Aside from manual editing, the adjustment screen also contains presets. These presets are pre-designed to emulate different styles. Furthermore, the presets offer fantastic creativity and artistic options. The is a large selection of categories such as scenery, portrait, split toning, and black and white.

Within each category, there is a selection of individual presets. Users can apply these presets with a single click. Once applied, the preset can be changed using the manual adjustment screen.

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We like the different presets – there is a great range to choose from. The quality and amount are not as extensive as some other editing programs, but there is enough to create fantastic artistic shots:  

Edit Layout & Transformation Tools

PhotoDirector 11 takes a staggered approach to the editing process. It splits the editing into adjustments and transformations. First, as mentioned above, the adjustments are made to the basic image parameters. Next, the transformation tools are used – these are found in the edit layout.

We feel this gives the editing process structure and it is easy to follow. The edit screen contains basic tools such as crop, rotate, scale, and distort. Whilst also providing tools you would expect from a raster graphics program such as Photoshop.

These tools include eraser, text tool, gradients, fill tool, and magic wand. Essentially, users can add different elements to their images such as text overlays and graphics. Each tool has a tooltip when you hover over it – the functions are self-explanatory and easy to use.   

Layers are also an important part of PhotoDirector 11. The previous version had layer functionality – PhotoDirector 11 improves upon this. Users have full control over layers. As shown in the screenshot, different layers can be added and layers can be grouped for further management.

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Slideshow Creator

An awesome feature of PhotoDirector 11 is the “create” mode. This gives users the ability to create image slideshows from their personal catalog.

The layout is easy to use – the left-hand pane contains main settings of the slideshow such as transition effects, aspect ratio, and the duration of each slide. You can also select background music – PhotoDirector 11 has a range of pre-loaded background tracks. Users can also upload their own music.

In the right-hand pane, the different image slides as displayed as thumbnails. There is a preview pane beneath that shows the timeline of the slideshow. We understand that there isn’t a large selection of transitions to choose from, but the text effects look fresh and creating a slideshow is unbelievably easy – everything is self-explanatory.

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Print Tools

We really like the print tools available in PhotoDirector 11. We especially liked the flexibility that they provide. PhotoDirector 11 provides basic printing tools – this allows users to print their photos on standard A4 paper.

There is also a range of preset options that allow printing of photos on different sized paper and formats. The following print options are available to change:

  • Paper size
  • Orientation
  • Unit settings
  • Photo size
  • Watermarks
  • Resolution

The cell settings are the option available to change if you want to print specific photo sizes. Options available include 2” x 2.5”, and 4” x 6”, to name a few. Furthermore, as you can see from the screenshot below, a preview is shown of the different print sizes available. We like the preset options available – if you want to print photos for an album the process is quick and easy.   

PhotoDirector 11: The Final Verdict

PhotoDirector 11 is certainly an improvement on the previous version. Cyberlink has added a range of useful tools – tools that are actually beneficial, and not just gimmicks. In addition to this, the program has various improvements to the UI and performance – it runs smoothly, and is easy to operate.

Moreover, users have great flexibility with the different editing options available such as the adjustments, transformation tools, and print functionality. Finally, we also like the slideshow creator – if you want to share photos with friends and family, this is a great way to do so. We would certainly recommend this editing program – it has great versatility and we Cyberlink have done a great job updating the program. To finish our Photo Director 11 review, we have listed a handful of pros and cons:

Excellent performance and usability
Logical layout for different editing processes
Fantastic slideshow maker
Myriad of useful print options
Advanced editing tools for RAW files
Tooltips can be annoying (they can be turned off so it’s not a big deal)
Pre-sets are basic compared to other editing programs

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  • Paul loves traveling and photography. He is also a Lightroom and Photoshop expert and likes to test new photo software, apps, and gear. Paul frequently shares his travel photography tips on his travel blog and writes for known photography publications.

1 thought on “PhotoDirector 11 Review: More than a Photo Editor”

  1. Thank you for your review of Photodirector 10.

    I am looking for a photo editor that does everything as Abobe photoshop and lightroom without a subscription. Any ideas? Thank you for your time.

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