Earlier this year I reviewed PhotoDirector 3 on Windows. Now, PhotoDirector 4 is available and, for the first time, is available for the Mac. How does the Mac version stack-up compared to its Windows counterpart?

Well, first of both versions look remarkably similar and a familiarity with one will certainly help you get to grips with the other. This obvious port from Windows to Mac, though, doesn’t come without its downsides – for a start, standard touchpad gestures don’t work, so you can’t use it to zoom for instance. However, one Mac technology that is supported is the new Retina screens – indeed, this is the first non-Apple photo manager to support Retina.

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All the features of PhotoDirector 3 are present along with a few new ones…

  • Face recognition technology – this is of use for tagging faces in the photo browser, as Google Picasa does
  • HDR Effect – turns high contrast scenes into HDR images
  • Chromatic Aberration correction – corrects unnecessary fringes of colour
  • People Beautifier Toolset – this brings together a number of the existing tools along with a new one – Body Shaper. This, as you’d expect from the name, allows you to re-shape a person’s body.
  • Content Aware Removal – automatically remove objects from a photo

In addition, a number of the existing functions have been improved – for example, the spot removal tool.

If this appears to be a slim list then that’s because of some of these changes are massive – face tagging and content aware removal in particular.

Content Aware removal is where it allows you to remove elements of a photo. This isn’t perfect, but then Photoshop’s equivalent function isn’t either.

As with version 3, everything is easy to use and works brilliantly well. The only thing lacking is a matching help system – help is present but it diverts you to a web page on your browser and it’s not very intuitive.

So, Windows and Mac versions are remarkably similar  which is not a bad thing. One thing I didn’t experience with the Mac version, though, was the slowness – maybe because I tested it on a modern MacBook Pro, unlike the Windows version which was running on a system with a much older processor. As before, if you’re looking at the Windows version I’d make sure you have a relatively modern, powerful machine to support it.

PhotoDirector 4 is available for £79.99 and comes with both the Windows and Mac versions.

Screenshots

The following screenshots are taken from both the Windows and Mac version.

Summary

As per my review of PhotoDirector 3 this is a refined and powerful photo browser and editor. If you’re serious about your photography then, in a crowded market of similar products, this is well worth considering.

For a similar price to the cut-down Photoshop Elements you get both the Windows and Mac version of the software – both of which are equally excellent.

If you have a Retina Mac then the fact that this is the only non-Apple photo editing software that supports the improved resolution, then this is surely a must-have.

Disclosure of gift - I received this product at a discounted price in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

CyberLink PhotoDirector 4

CyberLink PhotoDirector 4
80

Rating

8/10

    The Ups

    • Works with both Windows and Mac
    • Support Retina Macs
    • A refined photo editor and browser

    The Downs

    • Non-intuitive help
    • Required quite a powerful PC