Review: PhotoDirector 5

Now with 4K and expanded support for RAW files -- and 64-bit processing on both Win and Mac!

On Thursday, CyberLink launched the 5th version of PhotoDirector. The latest release brings native 64-bit support, new ways to fix distorted photos via Auto Lens Correction, and improved photo management that includes better RAW file support.

PhotoDirector is a high-end photo workflow app that directly competes against similar competitors like Adobe Lightroom and Apple Aperture. This update brings additional pro-level effects and corrective tools like improved chromatic aberration and downloadable Lens Profiles. Version 5 also enables higher DPI support for both PC and Mac.

When you first open a photo to edit on PhotoDirector, there are two main approaches. You can manually adjust each parameter individually or choose from a large collection of presets that mimic popular effects like HDR, Retro, or stylized effects that'd impress a color-freak audience or horrify an avid photographer. But its grown-up list of Instagram-ey filters will get users into touching up their photos, quickly and easily.

The program is pretty fast, but there were still some slight lags between adjustments and switching between tabs or adjusting sliders. It's a moderate performance jump over the previous version, but markedly not as snappy as its competitors. We haven't even touched upon RAW formats yet.

The interface is clean, with plenty of breathing room and spacing between adjustment areas, so it doesn't feel cluttered. Icons are flat and clean, as well, leaving little room for ambiguity as to which tools do what.

PhotoDirector allows you to categorize and tag each photo directly within the photo ribbon. By right-clicking and opening the menu, you can adjust and mark photos by color and rating, and flag for removal.

Overall, PhotoDirector continues to leverage its strength in ease of use and time-saving filters, as well as through an intuitive photo management flow that helps with bulk editing. If you're an entry-level photographer who's looking to graduate from slapping on a basic filter, then PhotoDirector is a fine place to start.

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