PhotoDirector 8 Essentials is a cut-down free version of CyberLink's powerful photo editor, PhotoDirector Ultra.

It really is cut-down, too. Here's the official list of all the Ultra features which Essentials leaves out:

  • Face tagging
  • Photo stacking
  • Editable Exif - Capture date
  • Spot Removal
  • Brush
  • Selection Brush
  • Gradient Mask
  • Radial Filter
  • HDR effects
  • RGB Curves
  • Split Toning
  • Levels
  • Auto Denoise
  • Lens correction
  • Edit Tools
  • Layer Editing

Fortunately there's still quite a lot left: a solid organiser, slideshow creator, a capable viewer and a useful set of general image adjustment tools (even if you can't remove background objects, there are all the usual adjustments for colour, brightness, contrast and more).

Verdict

CyberLink PhotoDirector Essentials leaves out all the most interesting and powerful editing tools, but if you just need an organiser with basic image adjustments then it works well enough.