Today June 30 is the official launch day of the final version of Cyberlink Photodirector 2011. A perfect tool for people who wants to edit their photos in a clear and easy to understand user interface. Clear and easy doesn’t mean less powerful. Not at all. All the correction tools an amateur or professional photographer are looking for are present. To name a few :
– Level correction by channels with histogram
– color manipulation by hue, saturation or lightness
– tone correction including exposure correction, contrast, black level, highlights, shadows and brightness
– clarity, vibrance and saturation
– white balance correction
– vignetting removal
– sharpness and a very efficient noise reduction tool
You can add to the list a set of very powerful regional adjustment tools (brush, spot removal, gradient mask). Comparison (before/after) screen split and the adjustements history list allows you multiple undo.
Photo library management is not forgotten. Your photographs can be displayed in the classic way as thumbnails or list. The latest offers not less than 21 criteria of sorting : by name, capture date, focal length, shutter speed, ISO and so on. You can tag your photos individually or by lots in a few clicks and it is very convenient and easy to work with. Of course you can search your photo library by using the various filters and tag search to quickly find a particular photo. Export allows you to save your file in jpeg or tiff and to resize the output file. On the online sharing side Flickr, Facebook and Youtube (for slideshows in H.264, mpeg-4 and wmv) are currently supported.
Final thoughts : PhotoDirector 2011 is a good raw converter with all the usual tools a photographer may need. The photo library management is fast, configurable, well thought and easy to use. Which is an important point when you have to work with thousands of photos and to find the one with lightning speed. Of course there is always room for improvements, like a more configurable dual-screen support, an adjustment history window who doesn’t block mouse interactions with other tools/menus/tabs while open, lens distortion correction and maybe a 64-bits version.
The program is only in his first version and no doubt we will see interesting changes in the near future since the developer team and customer support is carefully listening to users feedback.