Cyberlink PowerDirector 16 Ultra review: Ahead of the pack, especially in 360 video

Almost every feature under the sun in a video editor that's accessible and affordable

Credit: Samuel Axon/IDG

Cyberlink PowerDirector 16 Ultra is a prosumer video editor that aims to bring every feature under the sun, including multiple versions of the proverbial  kitchen sink, to a video editor that is accessible and affordable. It’s largely successful—there’s nothing else in this price range that brings you this many well-implemented features. 

Accessibility is where it falls a little short. The user interface is not always self-explanatory, and the inclusion of so many features means it can be difficult to find what you want. For other prosumer options, as well as mainstream consumer and free video editors that might be simpler, check out our comprehensive video editing software roundup.  

PowerDirector 16 Ultra was largely focused on expanding features for editing 360-degree video, and it delivers. This latest version includes motion tracking, stabilization, and other stuff the competition hasn't caught up to yet. Cyberlink has built a reputation for aggressively supporting new features and technologies. As a result, this is the best Windows software out there for 360 video.

When you first launch the software, you’re given a choice of modes: timeline, storyboard, slideshow, auto mode (which points to the Magic Movie Wizard), and the 360-degree video editor. You can set timeline mode as the default if you’d like.

cyberlink powerdirector 16 particle effects Samuel Axon/IDG

Particle effects are one of many video treatments available in CyberLink PowerDirector 16 Ultra. 

Timeline mode sticks closely to the script you see in similar software. It comes with an extremely robust set of tools and enhancement features, ranging from lens correction to audio ducking to newly added color matching, which helps you get colors looking consistent across two different videos.

But PowerDirector’s inclusion of pro-grade tools and features doesn’t mean it’s totally inaccessible to beginners. That’s because it offers simpler modes like the storyboard editing and slideshow modes, the Magic Movie Wizard, and the Express Project feature. There are abundant options for splicing something together quickly and easily with the software’s help.

That’s a good thing, because the main view would likely be very overwhelming for inexperienced video editors. We would have liked to see a simplified version of the timeline interface, too.

PowerDirector 16 Ultra also performs well, and we found that it supported every file format we wanted to use. It doesn’t offer the collaboration or machine learning features present in Adobe’s latest offerings, but for a traditional video editor with a ton of features running on a Windows PC, you could hardly ask for better than PowerDirector 16 Ultra.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Samuel Axon

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Mobile

Exec

Budget

TerraCycle Zero Waste Box Pens and Markers Small

Learn more >

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?