PhotoDirector vs Photoshop: Comparing Professional Editing Software

Photographers need to decide more than just how to frame or light their shots, though those are very important considerations. For many, taking the picture is only half the battle. Many of the most important tools for a photographer can be found in the photo editing software he or she uses. That’s where a very important question comes in: what should I choose, PhotoDirector vs Photoshop?

Both are two of the industry leaders in photo editing software. Both are impressively feature-rich with a lot going for them. Even more considerations arise when looking at their respective learning curves and ease of use. Here are a few important considerations when choosing between PhotoDirector and Photoshop.


A big question to consider when trying to decide between PhotoDirector and Photoshop is one of accessibility; how easy is PhotoDirector to use versus how easy is Photoshop to use? When it comes down to it, Photoshop has an interface that could very well be overwhelming even to seasoned photographers since it has so many bells and whistles that seem to be thrown at you all at once.

While PhotoDirector definitely has many bells and whistles of its own, it’s user-friendly interface makes it easy to use for new photo editors. When you compare PhotoDirector to Photoshop on accessibility, PhotoDirector has a clear advantage.

Neither software has any shortage of tutorials on YouTube, so learning to use either is very much possible. It just depends on how much time you want to invest into learning the features of your chosen photo editing software.

Cost Value

Both PhotoDirector and Photoshop have subscription plans, meaning that you can pay for as long as you need the photo editing software. But on the other hand, with PhotoDirector, you also have the option of a one time payment version. Regardless of how you’re paying for your photo editing software, though, the PhotoDirector vs Photoshop debate does inevitably turn to one of the most important questions: are you getting your money’s worth?

With both platforms, you’re getting all of their features. However, one of the major advantages Photoshop has over PhotoDirector is storage. Both services offer cloud storage, but Photoshop offers 100 gigabytes of cloud storage, compared to PhotoDirector’s 50GB to subscribers & 25GB for the perpetual version. This is still nothing to sniff at, but all photographers know that space can be eaten up by projects really fast! In the end, the cost value of PhotoDirector vs Photoshop comes down to your needs as a photographer.

Updates and Improvements

Both PhotoDirector and Photoshop get frequent updates: yearly in the case of Photoshop through the Creative Cloud. PhotoDirector is known for a new version every year or two, but recently got a subscription platform of its own with PhotoDirector 365, in addition to its recent PhotoDirector 10 update.

In Photoshop’s 2018 update, they added a Frame tool for the purposes of easier masking by putting your images in frames. In addition, they redid their Content-Aware Fill workspace and a number of other smaller usability features like a live preview mode for blending.

With PhotoDirector 10, released in September 2018, the navigation was made even easier, and their layering tools were improved. It also features the new AI Style Transfer which works in conjunction with the stylish AI Style Packs offered by CyberLink, that goes well beyond simple layer editing & filters.

Specific Uses

In some ways, the most vital question that a photographer has to consider when looking at the differences between PhotoDirector and Photoshop is this: what are they going to be using the software for? Now obviously, the short answer is “edit photos”, but the long answer is a little more complicated because both PhotoDirector and Photoshop have their own unique uses, despite both being great photo editing platforms.

For example, Photoshop is an excellent choice if you want to have the widest range of editing tools and want to delve into the nitty-gritty details of your images: maximum tweakability, in other words. It also has great features for both website design and 3D graphic design, thanks to its wide array of drawing tools. It’s most definitely an all-in-one package for photographers trying to find photo editing software.

But since we’re looking at Photoshop vs PhotoDirector, let’s now take a closer look at what the latter offers, because it has a lot of amazing features for specific uses too. It’s great for photographers who want maximized noise reduction on their images, and it’s really good for those looking for speed, since it boasts one of the fastest rendering engines on the market. In addition, it comes with several one-click presets that make quick editing a breeze. Plus, for those with the latest 360-degree cameras, it has a whole suite of editing features tailored specifically to 360-degree photography.

Additional Features

In addition to those features, CyberLink also offers AI Style Packs for users who are more interested in creating artistic renditions of their images, including the looks of watercolors, oil paintings, and even sketches. This is incredibly unique to PhotoDirector and part of what makes them so well-known in the industry. With new packs being made available every month for free to subscribers, it’s well worth considering if you’re looking for the fastest, most stylish way to enhance your photos.

The Bottom Line

So those are the key comparisons of Photoshop vs PhotoDirector. Both have their advantages and both have their drawbacks, so it can be a hard decision. One of the best options is to try a free trial of both, and see for yourself!