Old 08-21-2016, 10:16 PM   #1
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I'm looking for a new laptop, and one of its uses will be photo processing. I understand that desktop setups are preferred as the monitor can be more precisely set to provide correct color/contrast/etc. But I have reasons to use a laptop instead - it's a mixed use computer - and I'd appreciate any tips for general considerations or specific models that might suit my photographic needs.

I'm hardly a pro but I would like to make the best purchase given the inherent compromises. Oh, and it isn't like I can spend thousands on some super-laptop. In the past I have purchased bottom-end Dell and found them satisfactory for my hobbyist/family purposes, but it would be nice to get something a bit better.
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Old 08-22-2016, 01:05 AM   #2
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What size files will you be handling? I found out the 36mp of the D800E really eats up memory (including graphic card memory) pretty fast. I upgraded to 32gb DDR5 and a 4gb Nvidia graphics card. Processor is an 8-core Intel i7, but this is probably overkill. For now.


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Old 08-22-2016, 02:00 AM   #3
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Macbook Pro with a retina display. Amazing.
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Old 08-22-2016, 03:02 AM   #4
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Macbook Pro with a retina display. Amazing.
That would involve throwing away a lifetime of WinOS knowledge. But I wiil consider.

It looks like the main benefit of the retina comes from the high pixel count. I could go for a 3200x1880 or better screen, such as a Dell XPS.
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Old 08-22-2016, 05:07 AM   #5
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Dear GAWD go MAC while you still can.
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Old 08-22-2016, 02:41 PM   #6
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I plug along with an older model Asus myself. I've always liked their offerings. I wouldn't go too crazy on a fancy one myself, I've yet to hit a stumbling block with a cheaper model and I do ALOT of editing in both volume and complexity.

Apple.. pfft. Worse than a Nikon.

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Old 08-23-2016, 06:07 AM   #7
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Macbook Pro with a retina display. Amazing.
That's what I use when I travel and I love it. I process a lot of pix on it and when I get home and put them on my big monitor, I rarely find I can do any better than I did with the laptop.

I ran PC and Mac side by side for years, and each has its advantages. But when my last PC died there was no question it would be replaced by a Mac. The Mac hardware lasts longer (too long in some cases) and the software is better thought out and more intuitive.
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:40 AM   #8
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That would involve throwing away a lifetime of WinOS knowledge. But I will consider.
Well, I hope you like Windows 10. I sure didn't. I disliked it so much that I reverted to Win 8.1 via "restore to factory". Not that I like anything about Win 8.1. Which is why I will keep using my old HP Vista-runner (with an excellent external monitor of course) 'til it assumes room temperature.
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Old 08-23-2016, 03:05 PM   #9
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Returning to original concern about monitor, can't you add second monitor to laptop. I would "guess"??? that could be then calibrated similar to desktop???


As far as Windows, not a fan at all, but adjusting practices so it doesn't choke, letting it go into restart after a session, watching folder sizes and processes open etc it seems to work OK for personal use, if I were in the business of photo processing etc that would be different. D750 files seem manageable, compared to d800.

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Old 08-23-2016, 03:22 PM   #10
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Returning to original concern about monitor, can't you add second monitor to laptop. I would "guess"??? that could be then calibrated similar to desktop???
I can, and occasionally do hook up a monitor. I've never gotten a calibration device for it, because I've never been serious enough or used it often enough to justify the expense. But there are lots of situations where I want to use the laptop as a laptop, such as trips, and still be able to do decent processing on it.

My current laptop a) is acting up generally, and b) seems to display dark now, even at max brightness. To the point where I have to send an image to another computer to verify proper exposure before uploading anywhere. So not looking to invest in it anymore.
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Old 08-23-2016, 04:07 PM   #11
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Well, I hope you like Windows 10. I sure didn't. I disliked it so much that I reverted to Win 8.1 via "restore to factory". Not that I like anything about Win 8.1.
One of the nice things about Mac is the transition from one OS to the next has been relatively seamless, as opposed to the crisis that seems to occur overtime MS puts out a new OS. Not trying to say there are no problems with the Mac transitions, but they seem minor relative to Windows. I guess MS has recognized that problem and if I understand correctly starting with Windows 10 supposedly future "upgrades" will be more evolutionary, like Mac. My son is still stuck with XP because in his opinion it has been downhill since then. It is interesting that Mac has handled all this so well because at the same time they also were introducing many of the big innovations to the mass market.
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Old 08-23-2016, 05:32 PM   #12
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I purchased a 13" Macbook Retina last year and have no regrets. It's also very convenient using it in the field if you have to edit photos in a pinch.
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Old 08-23-2016, 07:44 PM   #13
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I love my 13" Retina too. Worth the premium if you can spare it.
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Old 08-23-2016, 08:54 PM   #14
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For what it's worth... I found the screen on my ASUS laptop (a K75D with a 17" monitor) was way, way biased towards the blue end of the spectrum out of the box. Through some tweaking I've brought it to something acceptable, but I still feel like it's not perfect and the default self-calibration tools are all but useless.

Also, I can only process photos with it when it's plugged in (which is effectively all the time anyway) as when it's unplugged, the monitor loses all colour depth, contrast, and highlight definition.

-Jacques
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Old 08-23-2016, 09:37 PM   #15
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I am not an Apple fan at all (some companies have attitude problems and Apple is one of them), but that said.....the Retina display is the best....period. I own an IPAD that I carry with me when I travel. I don't edit photos on it, but whenever I have a concern about the "look" of a finished photo, I always check it out on the IPAD. I have found that if it looks good there, it looks good.

The best of both worlds would be a PC with a Retina display. All of the other applications would be what you are used to, but the display will be better than the crap that most laptops are sold with.
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:08 AM   #16
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The best of both worlds would be a PC with a Retina display. All of the other applications would be what you are used to, but the display will be better than the crap that most laptops are sold with.
I have seen some stuff that views some Dell screens, the 3200x sized ones, favorably. It still isn't clear to me whether the pretty retina look is primarily due to resolution or whether it has some other dimensions of improved quality.

I am concerned about what happens to other software - in principle the software is supposed to adjust to the increased resolution but in practice not all software does. And if you have a 1392x program running on a 3200x screen, things get small. I suspect that Apples are better in that regard.
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Old 08-26-2016, 03:24 PM   #17
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Has anyone tried using the Surface Pro 4? I'm curious how that would be for a highly portable solution.
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Old 08-27-2016, 02:18 AM   #18
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I use PC's all day at work. They are fast but picture is ho-hum. Yesterday, I used a superb PC laptop. (don't remember the name) But when I look at my iPad or my iMac, I feel I am Ansel Adams.
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:30 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jac_murphy View Post
For what it's worth... I found the screen on my ASUS laptop (a K75D with a 17" monitor) was way, way biased towards the blue end of the spectrum out of the box. Through some tweaking I've brought it to something acceptable, but I still feel like it's not perfect and the default self-calibration tools are all but useless.

Also, I can only process photos with it when it's plugged in (which is effectively all the time anyway) as when it's unplugged, the monitor loses all colour depth, contrast, and highlight definition.

-Jacques
You know that you can change some settings so that the screen doesn't go into power saving mode when unplugged, right? It'll eat your battery much faster, but you'd still be able to edit without problems.
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Old 08-30-2016, 06:35 PM   #20
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I have seen some stuff that views some Dell screens, the 3200x sized ones, favorably. It still isn't clear to me whether the pretty retina look is primarily due to resolution or whether it has some other dimensions of improved quality.

I am concerned about what happens to other software - in principle the software is supposed to adjust to the increased resolution but in practice not all software does. And if you have a 1392x program running on a 3200x screen, things get small. I suspect that Apples are better in that regard.
Apples are much better with scaling programs to higher resolutions. While shopping for a new laptop last year I finally decided that getting anything over 1080p with a MS OS isn't worth it. The compatibility just isn't there yet. Almost, but not quite. Maybe in another year or two. A 1080P display is perfectly fine as long as its an IPS LED screen rather than an old style LCD.
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