Alley in Pisa, Italy

by Lars Kotthoff

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21

The 27" LED mac displays are "full gamut" displays, ones that cover around 98% of the Adobe RGB gamut. These are full 8 bit/channel (24bit) screens and offer a full 178° viewing angle. They are much higher quality displays than your average LCD screen, and specifically designed to output high quality, rich, saturated graphics. Additionally, Safari, which I ...


21

You are asking two very different questions, because Adobe Photoshop Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop of course do not have the same system requirements or use the same system resources. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 Graphics Card: Lightroom does not currently utilize the GPU for performance improvements. It is outlined in the Lightroom documentation here. ...


16

The most important thing for photo editing is to get a good monitor, one that has a wide-gamut and can be color-calibrated. Those vary in price but can be gotten for as low as $450 USD for a new NEC Multisync P221W. Can spend more and get a similar model up to 30" in size but that depends on your budget. NEC sells them with or without calibrator. What I did ...


12

I recently got an SSD drive for my primary boot drive. It was a moderately fast one, with consistent 270mb/s read and write speeds. I've used lightroom with the catalog both on the SSD and on a normal HDD, and I did not see a whole lot of performance improvement for my catalog, which is about 12,000 photos or so. As I started investigating how to improve ...


10

I guess there isn't much more I could say other than I own the Apple CinemaDisplay 30" LCD screen, and I am a heavy duty Microsoft/.NET developer. I work entirely in Windows 7 on my custom-build PC (not a Mac), and this screen has been great. I purchased it quite a number of years ago, and it is still running strong. If I was in the market more recently, I ...


10

LCD displays actually use several different technologies. You can choose TN (cheap, crappy), IPS (expensive, looks great), or VA (in the middle). If you can afford it, choose IPS. The most important advantage for photographers is that you don't get color shifts depending on viewing angle; IPS displays are also much easier to calibrate well. As a ...


8

The 27" iMac has a pretty mid-high end LED backlit S-IPS LCD panel. Your low end Dell laptop and LCD monitors probably use TN panels which are inferior in color reproduction, angel of viewing, saturation, etc. Most TN panels are only 18 bit displays, so they will interpolate the 24 bit color your graphics card is putting out, while IPS panels will give you ...


8

For photo editing and other drawing work I would prefer to use a tablet rather than a mouse. With a tablet you use absolute positioning, i.e. the cursor on screen always appears at the location you point to on the tablet; with a mouse, it appears at the location you move to. This makes it far easier to draw freehand. Tablets are also pressure sensitive, so ...


8

I would recommend looking at a trackball mouse for photo editing. Personally I have a Logitech Trackman Marble Mouse and love it. The reason I love it is because I have very precise control of the mouse by just moving the tip of my finger. I also do not have to worry about desk space to move the mouse around and when I scroll across a screen I can do it very ...


7

A computer with a good processor and a high amount of memory (4GB or more) should run Adobe software very well. You should also consider a graphics card. It doesn't need to be a high end card but it should have plenty of VRAM. Details: Processor speed is important because graphics editing software (anything that deals with graphics really) does a lot of ...


7

In this very specific case: I found an article on tests of GPU acceleration in Photoshop CS6 from Puget Systems -- a small retailer I'd never heard of, but their methodology seems sound. They actually test with the two video cards you're considering, so this is a very good data source. (The GT610 model they use isn't the mobile version, but reportedly ...


7

I would recommend the higher CPU in this case. GPU acceleration in Photoshop itself can make a sizable difference, but only with a good GPU. The 610 is a bare bones "desktop" card that isn't really any better than the 4000. The only advantage it offers is the dedicated video memory, but that's going to have minimal impact when working with most gpu ...


6

Whilst not a direct USB link, there is a product called an eye-fi which allows your camera to send your photos directly to you computer, when it is within range of specified wireless networks. The 4Gb version retails around the £50 mark on Amazon


6

In addition to what others said about the display quality, I would like to mention that there is no need to switch to iMac to see nice colors. Dell itself manufactures several display models widely considered as good for color-sensitive work. They also have IPS panels and wide gamut at a lower price than the Apple product. See for example DELL UltraSharp ...


6

Yes, there is a noticeable improvement if you're using a DAM tool like Lightroom or Aperture. The bottle neck in such programs is the disk drive. To see this for yourself, import a set of files and then watch the Activity Monitor. With Lightroom, you'll see that the disk activity will hit 100% while thumbnails get generated. CPU activity meanwhile will be ...


5

I would strongly recommend getting a new card. The danger to the camera, ultimately, is that it gets stuck in the slot because of the card seperating. While I would imagine that Nikon repair could sort that out, it may cost you a lot more than a new card to have it done because such a situation would not be warrantee.


5

I the single most universal and important thing will be to make sure the machine has an abundance of RAM. Memory needs for photo (and, if you follow the market into this space, video) are significant, and the one thing you want to make sure you're not doing a lot of is paging, as doing a lot of that will wreak serious havoc on performance. Now, what is "an ...


5

Start with a little humility... Ultimately, this is about as personal a decision as it gets. What it boils down to is what you are most effective with, what feels best in your own hands, whether the precision services your needs, and what offers "extra" functionality that you think you can and will use. The best way to figure that out is go to a local store ...


4

Look for non-TN screens (twisted nematics), best PVA/MVA or IPS. They are not that expensive today and display gradients better than the (gamer-)fast TN. Take into account that a glossy screen (like the Apple one surely is) might display the pictures more vibrant BUT will be difficult to use with any glaring lights, first and foremost the sun. Maybe even ...


4

The 90 series from NEC is the benchmark for color-accurate displays. They are simply amazing, color-calibratable displays with wide-gamuts and excellent coverage of color-spaces like sRGB and AdobeRGB. Depending on desired size and budget you can get: Multisync LCD3090WQXi - 30" - That is the one I have and love it. According to NEC, I was the first one to ...


4

I work with 21MP photos and in an effort to speed up Lightroom on my desktop I looked at what I could improve and it seemed replacing the disks was the way to go. Unfortunately, I can't say about 5400 RPM vs. 7200 RPM but I replaced a pair of fairly zippy Hitachi SATA 15,000 RPM (!) drives by a pair of 160GB Intel X25G2 SSD. The improvement was noticeable, ...


4

Great monitors like the NEC ones have been mentioned so far (+1 for the sync LCD2690WUXi2 for example), but if you are on a "budget", look at some Dell monitors too. I bought a Dell Ultrasharp U2711 recently and I'm pretty happy with it. It's solid: IPS panel, 2560 x 1440 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio, factory-tuned AdobeRGB (96%) and sRGB modes. Got some ...


4

I believe the iMac has a glossy screen, rather than matte which is more common and probably what you have on the two Dells. You get more "pop"; the downside is wretched glare under room lighting which is less than perfect.


3

The SSD makes a really huge difference on my system but it is a Windows 7 64-bit machine, so the file-system is different from yours. The thing is I kept the regular HDD for the boot drive and another two (RAID-0) for data (not photos). The SSD is used by Lightroom exclusively :) and it does not have much room left already since I could only afford 240GB ...


3

There are several reasons why you're pictures might look better. As a few answers have pointed out, iMac screen's are pretty decent for general color rendition. Also, by default Mac's have a different gamma than Window's PCs. Mac's had a gamma of 1.8, and PC's have a gamma of 2.2--however since 10.6 snow leopard, Mac's now have a default gamma of 2.2. ...


3

I'm going to speak from personal experience here and apparently contrary to popular opinion. I recently (within the last 3 months) switched from a 5400 rpm drive in my laptop to a 7200 rpm drive. While the difference in many things was quite significant - I didn't feel my photo editing experienced much of a bump up. I'm not saying that there wasn't a ...


3

Not most important, but definitely worthy of consideration is the harddrive where you want both lots of space and fast access. If you have lots of RAM, an ideal disk performance/cost balance is to have a current generation SSD Boot drive (aim for 80GB+), and a larger spinning disk storage drive. also more information on scratch disks (and other things) ...


3

A SSD will boost all read and write operations to and from disk. The data transfer rate on a SSD is, depending on the model, between 100MB/s and 500 MB/s, while hard disks provide about 100MB/s. Latency and access times to your data on the disk are massively faster than on a hard disk. Early SSD models did lose speed the fuller the disk got, current models ...


3

I don't know about an open interface for cameras, but there may be another solution to your problem. Something like TriggerTrap may be a good option for you. Hook a laser that shines though the tube onto a light sensor that's hooked up to the TriggerTrap and set it to go off when the beam is broken. This is how some high speed photography is done.



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