PowerDirector 17 Detail Review: Is it worth?

CyberLink PowerDirector Overview

PowerDirector is an affordable and simple to use video editing software, distributed by Cyberlink Corp, a Taiwan based multimedia company. It comes in handy for people who are totally fresh to making videos. The program is packed with decent editing tools, loads of presets, transitions and video effects which can be applied easily right from the editing window.

In September 19, 2018, the company released PowerDirector 17 which was said to give users more powerful features, more flexible pricing options with the introduction of PowerDirector 365, a subscription version, which will give you accessibility to unlimited premium add-ons, and updates.

I jumped into this software few weeks ago, and spent enough time to figure out the advantages and disadvantages of using this software as a total fresh user. Before diving into the detail of the program, let’s quickly go through some options you may have if you decide to go further with Cyberlink PowerDirector.

PowerDirector Version & Pricing Detail

PowerDirector 365 is the center piece of CyberLink’s new Professional Series of creative tools. It is the ideal solution for advanced video creators who want to always have access to the latest and most advanced tools. It builds on the high-performing, feature-rich and easy-to-use core features included in all versions of PowerDirector. On top of this foundation, it brings a large and growing collection of professional effects, templates and add-ons, including all the AI Style Packs exclusive to CyberLink and 50GB of cloud storage. Most important, it offers affordable subscription options to ensure users continuously get all the newest tools through frequent updates. This version cost is as below:

  • 1 month: $19.99, 3 months: $39.99, 12 months: $69.99
  • Includes PowerDirector 17, unlimited access to CyberLink premium add-ons and content packs include AI Style Packs and 50GB CyberLink Cloud storage.

PowerDirector 17 Ultra remains the benchmark that combines rich features, ease of use and performance and provides the base functionality to all versions. Simplified editing tools allow for rapid movie creation and eliminate the steep learning curve usually associated to video editing. The software continues to offer unrivaled rendering and production speed and the most comprehensive set of support formats and codecs. The improved Video Collage Designer can combine up to seven videos simultaneously, with animated openings and endings. Express Projects, one-click color correction tools, and the easy-to-use Action Camera Center make editing any video project a breeze. This version seems to be the most affordable one as it cost only $99.99 for perpetual license.

For video editors who want to push boundaries, PowerDirector continues to innovate with refinements to its pioneering 360° stabilization technology and editing tools. Workflow management is enhanced with new features like Nested Projects for timeline editing and Video Pre-cut help to streamline the creative process. Professional editors can now take greater control of the creative process with frame-by-frame motion tracking, multi-key sampling for chroma key editing and a host of other tweaks to PowerDirector’s design tools.

PowerDirector 17 Ultimate offers the perfect balance of core functionality and professional-level add-ons, at one value price. On top of all the features of the Ultra version, it comes with an impressive selection of add-ons exclusive to CyberLink, in addition to professional tools from NewBlueFX, proDAD, and BorisFX. Perpetual license of this version is $129.99. 

Compare to other professional, expensive video editing suite on the market, PowerDirector seems to be a little bit cheaper. However, it’s not the most affordable video editing programs out there. Take a look at below top video editing pricing comparison, you’ll know what I mean.

Top Video Editing Software Pricing Comparison 2019 Update
Top Video Editing Software Pricing Comparison 2019 Update

Off course, pricing plan is not the only thing you should care about when selecting a video editing program. There are usability, features, performance, system compatibility and technical support service you have to pay attention to.

However, in my personal perspective, paid video editing programs have to accompany with good license price, and stand-out features as there are dozen of powerful free video editing software on the market now. Why would you have to pay for something that is similar to them?

Well, you’ll figure out if CyberLink PowerDirector 17 worth your money or not, very soon, right in this article. Keep on reading!

PowerDirector 17 Review: Usability

First thing first, let’s talk about usability. How does PowerDirector 17 rate against similar video editors on the market? Is it easy to use enough for beginners? These are the factors that I always put on top of my check list when writing a software review, after license price.

At this point, CyberLink has done a great job then. PowerDirector 17 has an user-friendly user interface, and workflow that anyone know what to do without any prior video making experience. Right at the Start Page, you can select to create a new project in Timeline Mode, or Storyboard Mode, or simply Make a slideshow from still images. You don’t have to mess around, searching for getting started tutorials like other professional video editors I mentioned earlier.

That’s not to mention the Auto Mode which give you the chance to create a complete videos automatically. Off course, serious users will never rely on this feature. Take a look at below screenshot, you’ll understand what I say.

PowerDirector 17 Starting Screen
PowerDirector 17 Starting Screen

To access all the features, you’ll need to Timeline Mode, or Storyboard Mode after selecting your project aspect ratio. Keep in mind that all these parameters can be customized in the main workspace at later steps. If you’re using its free version as I am, you will receive a promotional message, asking you to purchase the software. Just go ahead to ignore it.

When you’re in, its classic main editing workspace does not require steep learning curve as others often do. As a total fresh user, I can figure out how to getting started with PowerDirector in about 5 minutes as it is very similar to the software I am currently working with (Wondershare Filmora 9). Here’s the main work space layout.

PowerDirector 17 Main Workspace
PowerDirector 17 Main Workspace

This work space looks similar to VEGAS pro, Lightworks,Filmora, Movavi, Camtasia and many other NLE video editing programs I see on the market. And, it’s more intuitive than Adobe Premiere Pro, and Hitfilm Pro, at least, in my personal opinion.

PowerDirector 17 Review: Key Features

In order to give you an overview of the program, I am not going to list out all its features here as you can easily find it on CyberLink’s homepage. Instead, I made a 4 minutes example video,  published on my YouTube channel for you to see how it looks like. This is just an overview of PowerDirector 17 I created in 20-30 mins after having it installed on my computer.

PowerDirector 17 Review: Pros and Cons

If you’re still reading this post. Thank you very much for your patient! And welcome to the most interesting part of this post.

I am going to answer the question I put at the title of this post: Is it worth your money? Right now! No more excuse!

PowerDirector 17 CONS (Disadvantages)

Let’s begin with the CONS! This list is what I found during 1 moth free trial. If you meet any problem with this program, please share with me. I am very happy to put it in below list so that new users are noticed.

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  1. The license price is not as affordable as I expected. If I were CyberLink, I will reduce the license price to $50 for you.
  2. Compatible to Windows only. No Mac, no Linux.
  3. The motion tracking feature does not work as described (at least in my sample test).
  4. Performance on low-end laptop is not stable. The program becomes laggy when I put all my stuff into the timeline (many clips, title, effect, particle elements) and so on.
  5. No trimming tool for resources. I mean you can’t put an in/out point for the clip before dragging it to the timeline for assembling. This is a common feature in modern NLE video editor.

If all the above mentioned CONS are important to you, you are welcome to skip the rest of the post, and find a similar program with more affordable cost in this article.

PowerDirector 17 Review: PROS (Advantages)

Though I only use PowerDirector 17 free trial version, and have not switched to PowerDirector 17 yet, I believe that new users will gain lots of benefits when they decide to go ahead with it. Here’s all the CONS you will get:

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  1. PowerDirector is one of the most user-friendly video editing programs I’ve reviewed. Though it is packed with many advance features such as motion tracker, auto beat detector, 360 degree editor, the developer managed to keep its interface, and workflow intuitive enough for novice and casual users. It does not require steep learning curve as other expensive tools on the market.
  2. It includes loads of preset video effect, transition, title and powerful color grading, audio mixer, 4K support and more.
  3. It is packed with many advance video editing features which are motion tracker, particle room, title room, title designer, transition room, VFX room and so on. All these features, advance chroma key,as far as I know, are only available in professional editing suites.
  4. Video rendering speed is very impressive, compare to professional video editors out there.
  5. Built-in plug-in and the ability to download new plug-in from its online store is definitely what you should care about when you want to join filming industry.

Well, these are all the PROS I found during my trial period. I hope this piece of information is useful for you. Click here to download PowerDirector 17 free trial if you’re new to it.

Bottom line

This program is capable of doing what the company described. I hope all the information in this post can help you make your own decision. If you have any question about the program, don’t hesitate to contact me any time. Don’t forget to follow us to keep up-to-date with our future reviews.

Good luck!


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