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Cyberlink PhotoDirector 4 Ultra for PC and Mac alike, is a photo editing software suite that's a "comprehensive, powerful, and intuitive solution " to your photographic needs.
An obvious contender to Adobe Photoshop Elements and at a similar price bracket, I was curious to see what features were on offer and how they compared. For the most part PhotoDirector is feature packed and offers face recognition software, HDR effects, 16-bit RAW file support, a watermark tool for adding copyright to photos, a stylistic effects pallet (for adding effects such as black and white or sepia) as well as a range of tools such as a 'Wrinkle Remover' and other photo improvement options to help you makes your images standout. Taking into account the raise of Social Media, the software also offers the user the choice of publishing photos directly online via Facebook, Flickr or in the case of slideshows - YouTube (all of which work well.)
One tool that I found very useful is the option to remove your subject from its' background (and verse versa) for composite images. PhotoDirector's ability to do this is easier than in Adobe software as well as being much quicker. Just as useful is the range of portrait tools which can really enhance a photo with minimum effort. The ability to batch process images (apply the same options to a group of photos) is a time safer, but to be honest is a bit hit and miss so you still have to give each image your attention to make sure it's as good as it can be.
Installation of the software was easy but not as quick as I was expecting, as you are asked to register (optional) as well as download the latest version, patches and updates (not the smallest file). At the time of installing you are also giving the choice of installing other trial editions of software. Once installed however it is very fast at loading and even faster to get to grips with (a very "modular" design with clear cut tabs such as "edit" and "printing." It's worth noting that the software reads the RAW files straight from my camera (Canon 600D) with easy while Adobe Photoshop doesn't.
In terms of value it is more expensive than it's closest rival Photoshop Elements, do you get more for your money? Sadly not really, while there is a lot on offer at the same time PhotoDirector can't do everything Elements can do (and only a few things are quicker and or easier) I would like to see the price come down so the pair are at least level in this aspect.
Nevertheless this is still an excellent photo suite for those wanting to take there images to the next level, or simply tidy them up. A great entry point to the world of photo editing that's easy to get to grips with and that's suitable for all levels of users.
Microsoft Windows 7, 8, Vista and XP (Service Pack 3 is required)
3.0Ghz CPU or higher
2Gb RAM minimum (DDR3 recommended)
128MB Graphics Card (or higher)
1GB Hard Disk Drive Space for installation
(I'm a reviewer on Amazon, and some my reviews are copied from there to dooyoo. Please feel free to check out my Amazon profile under my real name of Mr Andrew M Kerr.)