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by Bart Arondson

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55

To increase readability and avoid exceeding the answer length limit, this answer has been split across two posts. General information and APS-C cameras are covered in this post; full-frame and APS-H cameras are covered in a separate post below. TL;DR answer In general, Canon DSLRs require a maximum aperture of at least f/5.6 to autofocus. Depending on ...


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. ...


13

The answer is, it depends. Generally, firmware upgrades can Correct flaws in the original firmware. For instance, if there were a metering mistake in the original firmware, that can get fixed. Expose new software functionality. I'm thinking of CHDK here, that brings new functionality to canon powershot cameras (such as RAW shooting, timed shooting, ...


13

The reviewer may have used a sample of one. Lenses will vary. The reviewer is measuring scientifically in the lab, pixel peeping using test charts and compiling MTF curves. Owners of the lens are taking vacations shots and pictures of the family dog. the reveiwer has experience with a number of other lenses, including pro lenses. Owners of the ...


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 ...


11

Something that hasn't been mentioned yet: in 'Catalog Settings' turn off 'Automatically write changes into XMP'. This will prevent LR from automatically dumping its catalog metadata, keywords, rating, labels and develop settings back to your photo files. By doing so you will reduce the number of disk operations performed by LR. You can still write your ...


10

All image previews are stored as JPEG files of various sizes inside of a .lrprev file. The loading speed of the preview images will likely not change much if you switch to DNG. The benefit of DNG is that it is an open standard format, and can keep the metadata in the same file as the image data, which simplifies portability. On the flip side, you would incur ...


9

Upgrading to Lightroom 3.2 is cheap and easy. You'll find version 3 a lot more responsive than 2.6, and version 3.2 even more so. In most situations where Lightroom 2 makes you wait, Lightroom 3 will do its processing in the background, so you can continue to interact with the program. You didn't say what hardware you're running, but if you're using ...


9

I have actually tested this by separating some of my photos (around 1200) in to another catalogue as I was worried about putting all my eggs in one basked (incase of a failure). I found that there was very little performance increase by doing this, at least, that I could see or measure. My catalogue was ~3100 images in size prior to this. One option I can ...


9

DXOMark primary "scores" are utterly useless. IGNORE THEM. It is a futile effort to try and reduce a complex entity such as a DSLR to a single, scalar number that tells you everything about it. It's a fallacy. There are too many factors to consider, and which factors are most important for a given photographer differ. A single score entirely defeats the ...


8

Overall Score I generally ignore the Overall Score, as it's way too general if you understand any of the individual scores. The Overall Score is a function of a variety of (fairly) deterministic tests, each of which is quite informative, and most (if not all?) have clear units of measurement. But then they generate a "score" that combines these metrics, ...


7

Given that you have a Canon, the lower RAW modes, mRAW and sRAW, DO INDEED UTILIZE ALL of the available sensor pixels to produce a richer result without the need for bayer interpolation. The actual output format, while it is still contained within a .cr2 Canon RAW image file, is encoded in a Y'CbCr format, similar to many video pulldown formats. It stores ...


7

The speed of the memory card is definitely one constraining factor but as you suspect there are other bottlenecks. First there is the internal memory buffer of the camera. Each camera only has so much RAM installed. When you shoot this buffer is filled first and the camera does what it can to quickly empty the buffer to allow for more shooting. The size 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 ...


7

Consider this: If your camera had twice as much buffer memory it would be able to take roughly twice as many photos before running out of memory, but it would also then take roughly twice as long for the buffer to clear. So after the initial extra 5-10 shots twice a deeper buffer would allow, you would then still be limited to the exact same frame rate you ...


6

I have tried Aperture on the same (low-end) machine with both 2GB of RAM and 8GB of RAM. The difference is huge; with 2GB it is unusable, with 8GB it is OK. So I would suggest that you first go through the memory upgrade and after that see if you still need more power. Edit: This is an old question, and hardware has advanced a lot in the recent years. ...


6

Don't let the catalogue grow too large. Separating your pictures into several catalogues can bring a lot of speed. For me the main waiting point is waiting for Lightroom to render the 1:1 previews - if I let Lightroom render those on import I can usually work faster. Of course putting the catalogue on a fast hard disk (SSD) helps, too.


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 ...


6

Without knowing the amount of RAM or processor speed, it's hard to make specific recommendations, but Lightroom will perform significantly better with more RAM and a faster processor. It also doesn't hurt to occasionally optimize the Lightroom catalog, which helps increase the efficiency of operations. On a PC it's under Edit->Catalog Settings, on a Mac ...


6

A great deal here comes down to the simple fact that most of what's measured in a typical lens test has almost nothing to do with how that lens will perform in real life. First of all, most lens tests emphasize resolution. This gives some idea of the largest print you could produce from a picture and still have it look sharp -- but doesn't tell you much (if ...


5

Upgrade. LR 3 is a fair amount faster for me. I also have found that RAM seems to matter more than raw processor speed, at least for me.


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

There are reasons firmware upgrades are issued and that is to fix flaws (most of the time) or extend functionality (some times). In all cases, a firmware upgrade should never make things worst but it is just software, so it may happen, the firmware is programmed by humans too! Manufacturers often put out a list of fixed issues but sometimes are very vague ...


4

Adding to jrista's answer, you can always embed your original RAW file to the DNG file (in the Preferences dialog, under the tab File Handling). This way you can keep your original RAW files. Or you keep them separated, it is up to you.


4

A camera can only write out information so fast. So once you have a card that can be written to as fast as the camera can write out there is no benefit to getting a faster card. The I/O bottleneck is on the camera side. The only benefit you'll see is when it comes to reading off the card onto the computer. Whether that benefit is worth the cost difference is ...


4

Tim Grey, whom I would consider a reliable source, once stated in his newsletter: Adobe indicates there is no practical limit to catalog size from a performance perspective, and I can tell you from experience that even with 283,669 in a catalog, performance remains good. This was a little more than one year ago and he referred to recent versions of ...


4

There are two main things I can think of, the first is the autofocus. On a DSLR, the mirror reflects light on to a Phase Detect Auto Focus sensor while you are looking in the view finder. While PDAF isn't as accurate as contrast based detection (which can be done with a standard CMOS sensor) it is much faster. Since mirrorless lack the mirror, they ...


4

Are you wondering about the distinct list of keywords in an entire catalog or are you wondering about the number of keywords for a single image? I am doubtful that there is any practical limit to the number of keywords allowed in a Lightroom catalog. It wouldn't make sense to have an artificial limit in the software itself but it is possible. Lightroom is ...



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