Tag Archives: US $99.95 value

PhotoDirector 2011 – Special Offer – Save $99.95

imageSometime back, I reported on Adobe Lightroom Release Candidate 3.4, which had just been cleared by Adobe for download. In a bit of a twist on this tried and true method in product development – CyberLink, has recently released their PhotoDirector 2011 beta.

Here’s the twist – if you provide feedback on the beta version (takes 2/3 minutes), to the developer’s by June 20, 2011, you will receive the official release version (when available), for free (US $99.95 value).

Don’t be put off by the fact that this is a beta version. I’ve said this before, but it’s worth repeating – In the last year or two, I’ve found that beta software can often be as stable as the final release. It may well be, that Microsoft raised the bar for both beta, and release candidates, with reasonably flawless releases of Windows 7 in both these formats.

My understanding is – on or about June 30, 2011, an e-mail from the developer will provide you with download details for the full version of the final release.

Here are the conditions.

Limitations: Participants will receive a 90 day trial version of the software by providing a valid email address.

Feedback:  To receive the full version of the software after it is released, participants must be over 18 years of age and provide feedback to a designated CyberLink email address related  directly to how the participants experienced PhotoDirector by June 20th, 2011.

I have downloaded and installed this application but, have not yet had an opportunity to put it through its paces. Still, based on the following screen shots from my test system, the application seems to be fully featured. What’s with the dark GUI though?

Click on graphic to expand to original.

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Click on graphic to expand to original.

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Click on graphic to expand to original.

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Fast facts: some of the main features.

  • Import and organize all your photos in the library for easy browsing and editing.
  • View each individual photo’s metadata information.
  • Add and embed keyword tags and copyright information in photos.
  • Crop and rotate photos, or apply touch-ups such as red-eye and spot removal.
  • Modify photo color and white balance with easy to use adjustment controls.
  • Sharpen photos and correct photos that contain unwanted vignetting or image noise.
  • Create dazzling photo slideshows and output them as video files.
  • Share photos on Facebook and Flickr, and upload created photo slideshows directly to YouTube.

You can learn much more here (PDF format).

System Requirements (from the developer):

CPU Processor

  • Intel Pentium D 3.0 GHz CPU with hyper-threading or equivalent AMD CPU is minimal.

Screen Resolution

  • 1024 X 768, 16-bit color or above.

Operating System

  • Microsoft Windows 7 (32 bit and 64 bit).
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise (32 bit and 64 bit).
  • Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 3.

Memory

  • 2 GB is required.

Graphics Card

  • Intel 945 GM and above (Independent graphics card recommended).

Hard Disk Space

  • 1 GB of disk space for application and documentation.

To download this special offer, go here.

If you’re looking for a free professional level photo application, you might want to consider this offer.

Update: June 12, 2011 – here’s what real world user, and regular reader John B., thinks about this application.

Hi Bill,

I’ve now had a chance to work with PhotoDirector 2011 Beta.

After checking the download with VirusTotal, the software installed easily with Revo Uninstaller; none of the problems I’ve experienced in the past with some other paid-for programs. I did not have to disable or adjust my firewall or other security applications such as WinPatrol.

The program opened with a splash screen pointing out that this is a 90 day trial version. Once inside, I was presented with a familiar-looking GUI in thumbnail view. This comprised a work window for the selected file, with a horizontal scrollable strip of thumbnails beneath. To get pictures into the thumbnail strip is simplicity itself. You click “Import” and navigate to the required folder, either from the generic folders displayed by default or, in my case to one on my desktop. Then select the desired files and they appear in the thumbnail strip, with the first one in the work window ready for editing.

The import took a little time but I had selected 300 photos, each of about 18mb. I usually shoot in Sony RAW (.arw) and was delighted to see that this format was recognised without needing any plugins. In fact there is support for a very wide range of camera RAW versions.

The editing itself was very easy, with a good range of adjustments available under the “Adjustment” tab. The only thing missing from my personal point of view was “curves”, which I find gives excellent results quickly. However its absence made me check out the other available options in some detail. I found them to be very easy and intuitive to use.

As each picture is worked on, its thumbnail is tagged as “adjusted”. Once editing is complete, a click on “Select by Adjusted” under the “Edit” tab allows those photos to be exported to a folder of choice. By default the photos are converted to jpeg files, in my case of about 4mb each.

Unfortunately, after about an hour or so of work, the program suddenly crashed without warning. I had not exported any of the photos I had edited and was concerned that all my work would be lost. However, on reopening the software, I was pleased to see all my pictures present with those I had worked on still tagged. Needless to say I exported them without delay and continued to work on the remainder. The second crash came after about another 90 minutes. This time I was not so lucky as, when I restarted the program, all my pictures were gone, including the tagged ones.

I cannot say whether these crashes were the fault of the software, or because of some conflict in my laptop. What I can say is that I will happily continue with the Beta version and will equally happily accept a free licence after 20 June. Further, I would say that, if others can run the program without crashes, it is well worth the full licence cost.

In conclusion, this program has nearly everything that a high level photographer / editor requires. In addition I understand that a wide range of presets is available on line for those who need less fine control over the results.

Thank you John – as always I very much appreciate your input.

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