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Help and Advice Always Welcome-What Computer?


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8 replies to this topic

#1 Towlersonsafari

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Posted 14 October 2016 - 11:38 AM

Inspired, if not a little daunted by all the wonderful photo's on Safaritalk, I m determined to try to do better.And that includes updating my poor old 10 year old samsung laptop to get to grips properly with photo and even video editing.then i can  bore even more folk with video of a wild dog hunt, lion small hippo confrontation, hyena's etc etc.

So what do i need? i have never used apple stuff so is it worth the change? can I use photoshop or lightroom on a mac? i assume i need at least an i5  thingy and 1tb of another type of thingy, and a good screen but what do folk out there use? I have about £1000 at most.I was thinking of a laptop but then those shiny all-in-ones look very sparkly, and I have a google tablet for idle surfing. Although perhaps that should be spent on safari.....

Any help much appreciated. Oh and I know the biggest bar to getting better, but I much prefer to blame the equipment!


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#2 russell

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 10:36 AM

For a good photo editing setup, your budget is pretty limited. The importance in photography is colour management, which means calibrating your device.

As an analogy, if you put a cheap lens on an expensive camera, you are not going to the most from your camera. The same applies for viewing screens. You can have the best computer, but without a decent monitor, you are going to struggle to edit accurately.

As an example, your budget would probably cover the cost of a decent monitor and calibrating kit.

Whether you have a MAC or PC does not make too much difference if working in colour managed applications. If you want to edit in the field, you would want a Laptop with an IPS screen, but most will connect this to an external monitor for critical work.

If editing video, you will need at least 32gb Ram so it does not sit there idling.

Edited by russell, 15 October 2016 - 10:37 AM.

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Au revior ST - its been a pleasure, see you in 2015!


#3 TonyQ

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 02:59 PM

@Towlersonsafari

I use Light room on a PC, but it is available for MAC. I like it a lot! I am not a computer expert or an expert photographer - so others will have much more knowledge! I have never used a MAC.

 

I am sure that @russell is correct for the very high quality of output he produces. However it does depend on what you want to do with your photos and video. Are you aiming to publish or exhibit? Or just show at home on your computer or TV with an occasional print (and of course share your photos on Safaritalk)? I fit into the second category.

 

I have a laptop which has 12GB RAM, and I think you should look for at least 8GB RAM.  For me this works fine for photos. With 12GB I can edit shortish video clips (I have not tried long videos as I get bored with watching them!) but it will not be lightning fast for video - but I only do a few bits and the speed doesn't bother me.  My computer is an i7 - I don't know how much faster it is than an i5. You should go for at least 1TB of Hard Disc - photos and video can soon take up a lot of space.  My screen is resolution is 1920x 1080. I don't use an external monitor - but I don't do anything important with my photos.  I don't have any screen calibration - so the colours in my photos that you see on Safaritalk may be unbalanced - but I am happy with them on the screen and on the TV. I print very little.

 

So really it depends on what you want to do. However I suspect you will notice a difference compared to your 10 year old computer. :) I look forward to seeing your photos on this site.


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#4 xelas

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 04:30 PM

It very much depends on where you are planning to put your outcome/processed photos.

 

If they will be mostly for internet then there is no real need to have top-of-the-shelf equipment, and calibrating your monitor is kinda useless, as people that will watch your photos on their monitors mostly will not have one.

 

Myself I am working with proprietary Nikon software that comes free with the camera, or on the internet. I think each of the major producer has its own set of proprietary software. My iMac is of older generation and has only 4 MB of RAM, thus sometimes I need to wait for a while ... but nothing really distracting. 

 

Once also myself I will jump the boat and start using Lightroom. For now, I am happy with what I have.

 

Back to the hardware; if you are not planning to use your computer in the field then stand alone are definitively better option. They will give you more power per buck, or better, for about the same cost you will get a much bigger monitor. This is also the most important part of future purchase; get as good as the budget allows, but be sure that it is an IPS type of LCD.


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#5 Towlersonsafari

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 05:05 PM

Ta everyone for your advice definitely not for publishing just prints for the wall and on the internet.Having done some more research I think we are going to look at a desktop from Chillblast

#6 marg

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Posted 15 October 2016 - 09:24 PM

@Towlersonsafari...just a small plug.  I have a Mac and love it.  Also, an IPad.  When we are traveling I download the photos into the IPad where at least I can have a better look at them and start the delete process.  Then, we get home the photos have magically arrived on the Mac.  The Apple products, as we have been told, do not easily get viruses.  Unfortunately they are a bit more expensive.


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#7 Peter Connan

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Posted 16 October 2016 - 12:38 PM

For what it's worth, I use an old HP laptop (1.3 GHz processor and 4Mb RAM), which was donated to me by a friend after their company upgraded.

 

I have Adobe CC, which means I have Lightroom and Photoshop, but am currently only using Lightroom.

 

It is slow and it can be a pain, especially when trying to sort through the photos taken to decide which are best, but hey, it was free!

 

What I am trying to say is, the equipment determines the amount of patience the user needs, not necessarily the end result.


Edited by Peter Connan, 16 October 2016 - 12:43 PM.

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Ek oefen skelm.

#8 firmin13

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Posted 24 October 2016 - 08:22 AM

Some general infos to guide you, what kind of computer to look for:

At comparable 'speed' or 'power' a laptop or a mac will be more expensive, so best value for money is a windows desktop or tower.

You do not need an expensive multicore chip, but the frequency it's running on matters.

On my system lightroom uses 12 to 16 GB, much more beiing available; I'd recommend 16-16 GB RAM.

Having the pics you're currently editing, lightroom (e.g.) and the system files on a SSD drive will enhance the speed a lot.

For more detailed infos on as photo editing system you (or a friend who is familiar with computers and willing to help you choose) could read this:

https://www.pugetsys...Recommendations

and

https://www.pugetsys...erformance-649/


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#9 Dave Williams

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Posted 25 October 2016 - 02:21 PM

For your budget you can buy a 21" iMac. Have a look at the re-conditioned ones. They arrive looking like new.

A beautiful piece of kit that takes little room and is very functional too.

The upside is that the monitor is better than looking at a laptop which often is at the wrong angle for viewing too so it alters the image that you are looking at, they tend to be faster and have more memory etc, etc.

The downside is they are stuck in one place and you can't take it on trips with you.That can be both a good and bad thing!

I would also buy an external hard drive to store your photos in and reduce the amount of space taken on your computer.

 

I used to have a Windows laptop but I found it got slower and slower as it was constantly getting filled up with updates. I was regularly having to defragment the disc and clean up the hard drive. I don't seem to need to do that on a Mac.

 

What you use to edit all depends on how serious you intend becoming about your photography. If you shoot in Jpeg you can alter most of what you probably want to do in free programmes like Picasa. If you shoot in RAW it gives a much wider scope for recovery in editing and I opted to sign up for Adobe CC too. Costs about £7 per month for a year's contract. Prices alter so it's worth waiting for a good deal.

I could use the manufacturers free programme (Canon DPS in my case) but I find Lightroom very easy to use for the things I need to do.


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