Unfortunately, most people don't really understand the purpose of tools like Adobe Photoshop and CyberLink PhotoDirector and the differences between them. Photoshop is a graphics editing program in which (among other things) you can create, edit and extensively modify digital images. Photoshop has a monstrous learning curve with hundreds of features and functions. When it comes to graphics editing programs, aphotoshop is not only king of the hill, but it is the hill itself.
PhotoDirector is a completely different animal. Its publisher describes it as a tool that permits you to manage and adjust your digital photos. It is simply not a competitor to Adobe Photoshop, open source GIP or Corel PaintShop Pro. It doesnt pretend to be. It does however compete well with Adobe Lightroom. Many people call these type of applications workflow programs. You start with organizing your images, adjust the color, composition, add effects, prepare them for output and output them in an orderly fashion with tools that are provided for you.
In short, PhotoDirector is primarily an image adjustment program and a pretty good one at that.
It has a moderately steep learning curve. Regrettably most people will ignore the 18 page manual included in the boxed version. Too bad because it is quite informative and a single read would leave the first-time user much better equipped to get the most out of PhotoDirector. The manual is also available at any stage within the program by simply pressing the F! key. Again, far too many people will never figure that out: they don't need no stinking manuals and instead become angry with the program because they cant figure out how to perform the simplest function.
The program divides workflow into five descriptively named stages: Library, Adjustment, Edit, Slideshow and Print. The guts of the program are in the Adjustment and Edit modules. In the Adjustment module you are greeted with an initially confusing array of adjustments that you can apple manually and incrementally. For nearly all hobby photographers this module will all they need most of the time for cropping and adjusting colors, lens aberrations and so one. The manual adjustments pane can be very, very intimidating at first because it contains very powerful tools. Adjustments are always non-destructive unless you make a really bad mistake and Save them. There is also a wide range of presets where all the tedious work has been done for you. They are previewed in a small window as you browse them and be further adjusted manually once you apply them. Unique to CyberLink is an online library where you can download additional presets from a huge library of user supplied contributions.
The Edit modules provides somewhat limited image modification capabilities such as patching, background and content aware removal, simulated HDR and other effects. Useful overall.
The Slideshow and Print modules allow you to finish your image adjustment work. There are vastly more powerful specialty programs for these functions, but these modules will be more than adequate for most.
Overall, for the user understands that this is not a competitor to Photoshop, but an image adjustment tool, PhotoDirector will serve them well.