Video production and editing have become much more accessible in recent years. You don’t need to be a Hollywood bigshot or a Sundance prodigy to splice together a few scenes anymore. The popularity of YouTube, TikTok, and various other social media platforms have created a demand for affordable, easy to use video editing software. That’s where PowerDirector 365 comes in. I put this CyberLink Powerdirector 365 review together so you can decide if it’s the video editing software you need for your creative workflow!
Zoom In: Features
- PowerDirector 365 Account
- Access to CyberLink & Shutterstock Assets
- 50GB of Cloud Storage
- Four Editing Modes
- Suite of Advanced Editing Tools
- Motion Graphics & Animated Titles
- Nested Projects
- CPU and GPU Performance Boost
- Videos up to 240 FPS
- Array of Export Options: MP4, MOV, and More
My Experience With PowerDirector 365
Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of this review of Cyberlink PowerDirector 365, I’d like to showcase a video I made to test PowerDirector’s capabilities.
The video is a simple overview of Night in the Woods by Infinite Fall, one of my favorite games. While working on it, I made a point of only editing audio and video on PowerDirector and using music from their library.
I am not a professional video editor by any means, but I made this to showcase the results of a relative novice like me using this software for the first time (with no training or experience).
This doesn’t show off all the software features, or the level of professional-grade videos PowerDirector can produce in more experienced hands.
Next, let’s take a quick look at CyberLink PowerDirector 365’s primary competition.
Anyone who’s spent a little time looking into video editing knows that Adobe Premiere is the industry standard. What you might not know is that Adobe requires you to sign up for their Creative Cloud at the exorbitant starting price of $20.99 per month. That’s all well and good if you’re working for a company that’s willing to foot the bill. But that’s a big price tag for someone paying out of pocket.
Final Cut Pro X
The Apple counterpart to Premier is Final Cut Pro X. This production software costs $299.99 and is probably the second most popular amongst industry professionals. The biggest downside (other than the price) is its limitation to computers running Mac OS.
DaVinci Resolve 16
DaVinci Resolve 16 exists on the opposite end of the spectrum. The base software is free, and there’s plenty to get you going. But certain advanced features must be purchased, so you will probably end up spending some money as you progress. I’ve personally experienced some stability issues with the software as well.
So, Where Does PowerDirector Fit In?
PowerDirector 365 is just $69.99 a year, putting it in a respectable middle ground between Resolve and the higher-end programs.
Sure, it doesn’t have some of the more advanced features that the expensive video editor’s come with. But it’s easy to use, and it does come with a wide array of free-to-use media that you can utilize and publish in your videos.
Upon opening Powerdirector 365, the first thing it will ask you is to choose from four different editing modes; Full Mode, Storyboard Mode, Slideshow Creator, and Auto Mode.
1. Full Mode
Full Mode is your primary video editing interface. It has a straight forward timeline with multiple layers for you to build your video. Full Mode is what you’ll want to use to make most videos, as it offers the most versatility.
2. Storyboard Mode
Storyboard Mode is more ridged. It uses blocks organized like a storyboard, or like pinning notes to a corkboard. It might be useful for quickly cropping together a few clips, but it seems more suited to planning out a video than being used for a video’s final production.
3. Slideshow Creator
Slideshow Creator is for creating – you guessed it – slideshows. However, this is more of an image-based slideshow editor than a productivity-based one like PowerPoint or Google Slideshow. Think background projector at an anniversary or a high school reunion. There is a greater emphasis on media.
4. Auto Mode
Auto Mode is the most unique of the four. You select a media source, i.e., an album of photos, music, or videos. Then you choose a style of video, and select memory field, original, fast motion, and slow motion.
Then the “Magic Movie Wizard” automatically creates a film for you to use. This way, you can share a video of all your honeymoon photos without going through the muss and fuss of actually making the video.
CyberLink knows that not everyone downloading their product has a lot of video editing experience. You can try to find tutorials on YouTube, but those can be hit or miss. That’s why CyberLink put together a learning center where they’ve added dozens of official tutorials written by their own staff to help you utilize all the tools PowerDirector has to offer.
Everyone looking to get started should begin with: How to Edit Video with the Best Video Editing Software for Beginners. But don’t stop there! There’s always more to learn.
Want to make action video effects for your GoPro footage? No problem.
Want to add the shield effect from Doctor Strange to one of your videos? They’ve got you covered.
The CyberLink Learning Center is an excellent resource that makes it quick and easy to figure out how to do anything you need.
Click, Drag, and Trim
Special effects are flashy, but they aren’t everything. The primary job of any video editing software is to give its users the ability to move raw media onto a timeline, cut it down to the parts they want to keep, and then organize and layer it with other media.
PowerDirector 365 has a much lower learning curve for beginners than its competitors. While you’ll eventually want to learn specific hotkeys for the sake of productivity, the interface is so straightforward that you can get by without them while learning.
My favorite thing about using PowerDirector is one of its more unique features: the trim tool. Selecting a clip and then pressing the trim button opens a separate window where you can mark off the beginning and end of a section that you want to keep from the larger clip. Then the paired down version is added to the timeline in place of the longer clip. You can even use it to trim multiple smaller clips from one large one all at once. You can still drag or slice clips on the main timeline like in other video editors, but the trim window is especially useful for keeping your timeline organized when working with multiple video files.
Anyone who’s ever had to work with multiple 3+ hour-long video files will tell you that sorting through them on your timeline is no fun.
Another major point in PowerDirector’s favor is CyberLink’s partnership with Shutterstock. According to their website, this gives their users access to “a professional stock library that includes tens of thousands of videos, hundreds of thousands of images and hundreds of music tracks.”
These can be useful for any project, but they are especially good to have for anything you might be looking to publish. That doesn’t mean you have to be shooting a blockbuster film, by the way. Copyright-free content is invaluable for platforms like YouTube. The last thing you want is to spend weeks working on a beautiful video just for your channel to get shut down because of a copyright strike on your background music.
Likewise, high definition, professionally lit footage can add a degree of respectability to a video. You can use it for introductions, transitions, and any other “filler” spots where you might not have the means of procuring an individual clip.
CyberLink’s PowerDirector 365 is a video editing software that is easy to use for beginners and is fully capable of creating professional-grade videos.
It is a jack of all trades and master of none. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, however. It isn’t free like Resolve, and it doesn’t have all the advanced editing features offered by Adobe. Instead, it occupies a middle ground that combines affordability with a simpler interface and a high threshold for professional-grade usability.
Amateurs and pros alike will not be disappointed with PowerDirector 365’s performance.
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Zoom Out: Verdict
Ease of Use - 10/10
Features - 8/10
Performance - 7/10
Value - 9/10
CyberLink PowerDirector 365 offers an exceptional array of cutting-edge features at a fraction of the price of competitors. It’s incredibly accessible, easy to use, and perfect for all your entry-level video editing needs. Although not considered industry-standard, you can still expect a level of polish reminiscent of your favorite influencers and content creators. Highly recommended.
- Easy to use
- Includes access to free-to-use media
- Lacks some advanced features
- Not considered industry standard