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Recommended New Laptop choices for editing RAW files

Laptop Raw Lightroom

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#1 adamtaylor

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 09:33 AM

Hello all,

 

New to Wetpixel but have been diving 20 years, a few of them with a little Olympus point and shoot and recently purchased an Olympus OMD E-M5 in Nauticam Housing.

 

Loving the camera and shooting RAW, just find that my current laptop is severely slow when it comes to editing RAW files with the Olympus software. Would like to start working with Lightroom and know my current system will be painfully slow... There isn't much incentive to get creative and explore the possibilities offered by RAW images if my computer is constantly bogged down.

 

Yes, I know I can upgrade the RAM etc. on my current laptop but want a system that I can grow into, as opposed to a band-aid patch to just get by for today...

 

Hopefully someone on this forum has upgraded their system recently, or could suggest minimum requirements to ensure that I can efficiently edit my photos AND grow my skills, possibly expanding into Photoshop etc.

 

When editing takes way more time than actually taking the pictures the files will pile up, and I will never get around to dealing with them. I am embarrassed to admit that other than a first cull I still haven't sorted and edited my MANY pictures from a trip to Kenya in February / March. If I don’t streamline the editing process my pictures will just end up sitting in digital purgatory somewhere on a hard drive :-(

 

Looking for something portable that I can take to work with me, as well as on vacation. That being said, it doesn’t have to be the smallest, lightest, latest and greatest thing out there. As I live on an island and commute by water taxi something with some durability would be a bonus.

 

In addition to photo editing I will be using the laptop for basic MS Office functions such as Word, Excel, Project, as well as playing music, watching movies etc.

 

I am a PC user but would consider Macbooks if the cost / benefit can be justified.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thank you in advance for your input.

 

 

Regards,

 

 

Adam Taylor

 

 


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#2 E_viking

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 11:24 AM

Are you sure that you want a Laptop for editing photos?

I personally find it better to have a good Desktop and a good Monitor at home and a small Laptop for travelling.

The Desktops will generally be a lot faster.

 

/Erik


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#3 ChrigelKarrer

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 09:47 AM

As i travel a lot i don't have a PC anymore, i just use a powerful Laptop - a Lenovo W510 high-end Model - for all my business and private jobs, including editing 75mb D800 files and video editing for GoPro 4K and D800 video files abou 25'000 pictures and videos

managed in a massive Lightroom database.

After several brands like Dell, Toshiba and HP i choosed 2008 a IBM T61 laptop and from then on i stick with IBM/Lenovo

as i belive that:
- they are sturdy, in all my travels including thousands of miles in bonebreaking and dusty pothole roads or on humid, salty boats or shores
- they survive several misshaps like dropping (yesterday f.e.) and minor spills
- have a excelent non-glare screen to work/play outdoors
- offer high-end graphic cards
- have the best laptop keyboard
- have the possibility to use 2 hard disks (i just got a new 1TB SSD and have another 1GB 7200 Hard Disk in it)
- they offer true workstation power as far a Laptop can do

- some models have built in colormeter

 

I use a Intel Core7 1.73 Ghz quad processor and 8GB ram and 2 1TB disks (+ SSD and one 7200rpm hard disk)

 

I will soon change to the new Lenovo W540 model with the latest and fastes processor and GPU.

 

Yes, a carefully choosen and assembled PC is probably faster than a Notebook, but it simply don't fit my needs as a gipsy.

Chris
 


Edited by ChrigelKarrer, 12 October 2013 - 09:53 AM.

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#4 E_viking

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 01:24 PM

Lightroom is extremly Processor driven. SSD, GPU etc doesn't really matter for Lightroom ( except some filters in Photoshop that use the GPU).

You will never put a powerful Processor in a Laptop. They simply chew away too much battery.

An i7 in a Laptop or MacBook ( same Processors) is not the same as an i7 in a Desktop ( just the name).

Compare an Ultrabook ( or MacBook) to a good Desktop, especially in Rendering time of the D800 RAW photos....


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#5 johnspierce

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 01:49 PM

More is always better of course and as E_VIking says, desktop i7's are not the same as laptop i7's.   Having said that, my new Macbook Air with i7, 8gb ram and 256gb SSD has absolutely no problem running Lightroom.  I also have Nik's filters installed.   

 

Lightroom launches for me in about 1 1/2 to 2 seconds.  Modifying any of the photos from my D7000 is instantaneous, there is no lag.  Launching any of the Nik's plugins is also immediate --  no lag.  Importing photos from SD card to the SSD takes the same time as my quad core 2.7 ghz i7 in my mac mini.   If anything, faster I/O by using an SSD is more important for Lightroom than a faster CPU in my experience.  Also, 8gb minimum RAM is important.    

 

I just bought this Macbook Air about 3 weeks ago and sold my old Macbook Pro with a quad core, faster i7 and 16gb RAM, 256gb SSD.    In benchmarks, the Pro was about twice as fast as the Macbook Air.  In practice, at least in Lightroom, I cannot tell any difference.   The SSD is actually faster than the SSD in my old Macbook Pro.  The real bonus for me is my new Macbook air weighs 2.8 pounds and the battery lasts 10-13 hours on a single charge.

 

I've done a little bit of video editing on my Macbook Air and that's where you will see a big difference between a lower power laptop i7 vs. a desktop i7.  Having a better video card and more cores in the processor is a big deal for video processing.

 

But for editing photos in Lightroom and paired with a USB 3.0 1tb external drive for backup, my Macbook Air is perfect for Lightroom development.

 

So, I just want to say any of the current i7 laptops when paired with an SSD and appropriate RAM will be just fine for Lightroom editing.  Video is another matter.


Edited by johnspierce, 12 October 2013 - 01:59 PM.

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#6 TomR1

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 08:38 PM

For me the problem was weight and processor speed, not either storage os video board. Also, I wanted Windows 7. My soultion was a used Tosheba Portege z835-p370. It is extremely light and with 4-6GB of emory is enought to use Photoshop CS6. It has enough storage, 128gb, for a dive trip.

 

In my view however, a laptop does not take the place of a desktop with a 22-24" screen and is not plave to score your photographs longterm.

 

Tom



#7 E_viking

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 02:29 AM

It depends on which Camera you have. More Pixels causes a longer Rendering time. Creating a wish for a faster Computer :-)

 

Personally, I prefer a small&light Ultrabook for travel and a fast Desktop with a good 24" Monitor for the "real" editing.


Nikon D800, Nikon 60, 105, 16-35, Sigma 15, Nauticam D800, Zen 230mm, Subsee +5 & +10, 2*INON Z240


#8 johnspierce

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 05:00 AM

It depends on which Camera you have. More Pixels causes a longer Rendering time. Creating a wish for a faster Computer :-)
 
Personally, I prefer a small&light Ultrabook for travel and a fast Desktop with a good 24" Monitor for the "real" editing.

Yes, that's my recipe too. An ultra book or MacBook Air with i7/SSD for travel, fast quad core I7 desktop at home with 16gb, SSD and massive storage and two calibrated 24" monitors. Lightroom is designed to work very nicely with two monitors.

However, if a person either doesn't want or cannot afford both, then a larger laptop with a conventional quad core i7 /SSD combo will work fine. Maybe buy the 24" to plug into the laptop at home and you still get the benefits of dual screen Lightroom use.

Of windows laptops, Lenovo is my favorite with Sony and Samsung also making nice units. I do prefer Apple myself, but that's certainly just personal preference.

Edited by johnspierce, 13 October 2013 - 05:06 AM.

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#9 DavidSD619

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 07:49 AM

I have the Microsoft Surface Pro 128.  The Pro 2 is out with 256 SSD drive and 8 gigs memory. It Handles photoshop and lightroom without issues and has USB 3.0 for external storage (I use for backup) and SD card slot (for double backup when travelling).  

 

Also has a pen which comes in handy for editing.  Very lightweight and fast.



#10 johnspierce

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 07:56 AM

I have the Microsoft Surface Pro 128.  The Pro 2 is out with 256 SSD drive and 8 gigs memory. It Handles photoshop and lightroom without issues and has USB 3.0 for external storage (I use for backup) and SD card slot (for double backup when travelling).  

 

Also has a pen which comes in handy for editing.  Very lightweight and fast.

 

I think the Pro 2 has the new Haswell CPU, right?   Haswell is a huge step forword for mobile platforms.   My new Macbook Air with Haswell has about 3 times the battery life of my old Macbook Pro, I'm sure the Surface Pro 2 will see a similar benefit.  13 hours is very common on a single charge.


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#11 E_viking

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 08:13 AM

Yes, that's my recipe too. An ultra book or MacBook Air with i7/SSD for travel, fast quad core I7 desktop at home with 16gb, SSD and massive storage and two calibrated 24" monitors. Lightroom is designed to work very nicely with two monitors.

However, if a person either doesn't want or cannot afford both, then a larger laptop with a conventional quad core i7 /SSD combo will work fine. Maybe buy the 24" to plug into the laptop at home and you still get the benefits of dual screen Lightroom use.

Of windows laptops, Lenovo is my favorite with Sony and Samsung also making nice units. I do prefer Apple myself, but that's certainly just personal preference.

 

I agree! Just be aware of the weight Problem when travelling! With all the Photo gear that we are tugging along. A big and heavy Laptop can create Trouble.

I personally like the ASUS Ultrabooks.

The Haswell processors are a wee bit faster, but very good on battery. Make sure you get one in your Laptop.

 

 

/Erik


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#12 DiverPam

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Posted 13 October 2013 - 07:56 PM

Adam.....Here is a thread  started last year along the same line of questioning.

http://wetpixel.com/...ook#entry310082

 

There is a lot of information in there about what you are asking about. I am sure that there are some newer models out, but it may help as you are looking at what you want. 

 

Good luck - Diverpam 


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#13 hiloboy

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 06:01 PM

WOW, 13 hours on a single charge with a Macbook air.  I am happy if I can get 2 hours of processing done in lightroom with my 2 year old 15 inch Macbook Pro!



#14 johnspierce

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 06:15 PM

WOW, 13 hours on a single charge with a Macbook air.  I am happy if I can get 2 hours of processing done in lightroom with my 2 year old 15 inch Macbook Pro!

 

It is absolutely shocking how long the battery lasts on this thing.   My old 2012 Macbook Pro would last 6 hours if I was very careful with it which means turning the display brightness way down and doing just web surfing, nothing else.   Mine would also go down to 3 hours pretty quickly if doing some heavy editing.   I never bring my charger with me when I leave the house anymore.  I am certain my MBA will last all day for me with no issues.

 

Now, while editing on the Macbook Air, after working in Lightroom for 15-20 minutes, it's telling my I only have six hours left.   But after I finish editing for say, one hour and I let it sit and "recalculate" remaining time, it's back up to 9 or 10 hours.   Amazing.   Intel's Haswell processor is very miserly with your battery power.   I'm curious if the new Windows ultrabooks with Haswell will see a similar increase in battery life.  


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#15 E_viking

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Posted 14 October 2013 - 09:55 PM

Haswell is a major step in Processors regarding battery consumption.

Operative System does not really matter for Battery Consumption.

Therefore, the Ultrabooks will take a good leap as well.


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#16 adamtaylor

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Posted 15 October 2013 - 07:08 AM

Thank you Eric, Chris, John, Tom & DiverPam for your comments and suggestions.

 

They definately point me in the right direction.

 

While I am sure I will 'graduate' to a desktop system at some point in the future finding a laptop that I can grow into and also use for work makes the most sense for my present situation. Having invested in a new camera, housing, light, strobes etc., an extended vacation and a few bits of new dive gear this year cost and the ability to use as a work computer is key for me. I simply can't justify a dedicated home system right now.

 

After reviewing last year's thread I will be shopping around with your suggestions in mind.

 

Thanks for all the input, This forum is a great help to us Newbies :-)

 

 

 

Regards,

 

 

Adam


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#17 DamonA

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Posted 01 November 2013 - 07:09 PM

resolution changes are on the horizon- ultra HD