CyberLink PhotoDirector Ultra is photo management software that excels at both organizing and editing. While testing, I discovered that this program not only allows you to sift through thousands of photos and easily find the one you need, but also lets you correct and transform your photos with its extensive editing tools. While the software’s capabilities may seem intimidating to beginners, it offers a variety of helpful resources that even out the learning curve.
I was pleased to find in my tests that this program works with RAW images as well as a wide range of camera file types. It also comes with 20GB of free CyberLink cloud storage, so you can save your images directly online from within the program without having to pay extra for it. With the cloud service, you can access this software and your photos from multiple devices, and there is a companion app on both Android and iOS devices so you can use it on the go.
The organizing tools allowed me to label and arrange photos with keyword tags, smart collections, star ratings, flags and color coding, and I found the process easy and intuitive. The program uses stacks to sort your images. I can automatically stack your photos based on composition, frame, time or date, or if you prefer a more hands-on method, you can manually stack them by simply dragging and dropping.
This software also features face tagging, which was something I really liked. I created tags for each person in our collection and simply indicated who was in each image. While this feature helps you sort photos by the people in them, it would be more efficient if the program auto-tagged faces once they were identified in a photo or two, like Facebook does. The one file management feature this software is missing is the ability to password-protect albums. If you want a program that can lock albums and files, you might be interested in ACDSee Photo Studio Professional.
This photo organizer helps you share both digital and hard-copy photos, and you can create slideshows and directly upload them to YouTube to share with your family and friends. PhotoDirector Ultra also allows you to directly export to Facebook, the CyberLink Cloud and DirectorZone, a forum where you can download templates. Speaking of DirectorZone, it is incredibly active so you can interact with other CyberLink users when you have questions or comments about the program.
Editing & Extras
The program has several standard and advanced editing tools to help you transform your images. I especially liked that you can make changes to your photos without harming the original copy. Among the editing features are cosmetic tools, including a body shaper, makeup enhancer, teeth whitener, wrinkle remover, skin-tone adjuster and blemish remover. I used these tools to erase unwanted wrinkles and blemishes in our photos.
Perhaps one of the most unique features was the Face Swap tool, which is perfect for editing group photos as it allows you to pull elements from one photo onto another. For instance, in one of our pictures, someone was blinking. I had another image from the same shoot so I switched out the open eyes from one image for the closed eyes of another. Boom! A perfect photo!
The software also features some automatic adjustment tools that change the color, balance and contrast of a photo at the push of a button. These automatic tools help you edit your photos quickly while still maintaining quality – something that busy photographers or beginners to the software will appreciate.
Additional tools, like the content-aware removal tool, allow you to remove unwanted objects from your images. You just highlight the object you want to remove, and the program will cover it up with imagery from the background. Using the content-aware removal tool, I removed a bottle that was littered on the ground. It took a few attempts to get the results I wanted, which is normal for content-aware tools, but now you can’t tell the bottle was ever there. You can also use the smart patch, which removes an object from the image and allows you to select a pattern or color scheme from anywhere in the photo to fill in the empty space.
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I also discovered that this photo manager has advanced features such as panorama and HDR imaging. You can use these tools to create one amazing image using multiple photos.
Help & Support
CyberLink offers ample support for its software. The website gives you access to user forums, FAQs and tutorials that help you learn more about the software. You can also contact customer service by email or phone. It may take a few days for a return email; however, CyberLink offers helpful advice and links to more resources.
Through my extensive testing, it became clear that PhotoDirector is the best photo manager because it offers a lot of intuitive organizing tools to help you sort and search through your photos. I was pleased with the photo editor tools, which allow you to beautifully edit pictures before storing them online. Bottom line: This is a powerful photo manager that provides a great way to manage and store your photos, while also making it simple to edit and share them.
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