Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Medium Format / Film / Digital Backs and Large Sensor Photography => Topic started by: orchidblooms on March 15, 2013, 03:54:04 PM

Title: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: orchidblooms on March 15, 2013, 03:54:04 PM
wondering if any of the MF shooters are using PC's at home and windows based laptops away from home with camera?

i sure could use a nice win based laptop / not ready do change over to MAC...  and curious to know what people are using for laptops on locations seeing if your shots are OK....  i am finding the screen on my d800e to be virtually worthless

i take lots of shots away from home - nice laptop shure would be nice...

huge thanks
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: leeonmaui on March 15, 2013, 05:49:50 PM
Aloha,

I have a Pc at home with a tube monitor which i really trust the color on to prepare my files for my lab, I am running xp on that and CS5

I have used a number of laptops when traveling, I clean the the laptop prior to traveling to free up disk space, I do some culling and sorting after each days shooting and store everything on the laptop so I start out each day with clean SD cards , If get some really nice shots. I'll back them up to a SD card, I always keep the spare SD cards with good shots on me, not in my camera bag, this way in a worst case situation, of stolen or lost everything, i come away with my shots...

I run cs5 on the laptop, and can get a pretty good idea as to the quality of the shots, I bracket a lot so I can fill a hard drive pretty quick, but cull a lot of stuff right on the lap top, I don't do any editing on the laptop, as I normally don't have the time anyway. the screen on my laptop and the screen on my home pc don't really reveal the details of my files, as neither one is very high resolution, I don't look at the screen image on my camera that much other than for composure and glaring mistakes, I trust the histogram more and rely it it more.

most laptops with a big hard drives won't have any issues loading and working with big files just get one with the latest and greatest Intel and it should handle any load...


I am normally pleasantly surprised by the clarity of my shoots when the proofs come back from my lab; they mostly look much cleaner crisper and sharper than any view on my monitors, i am very careful not to over sharpen the files now, and only do a final sharpening print size after a few proofs now.

Its on my wish list to get a giant high res monitor but they are pretty expensive...
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: orchidblooms on March 15, 2013, 07:58:47 PM
huge thanks...

my current laptop is an plder... entry level acer...

i have to step it up...

phil
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: Jim Kasson on March 15, 2013, 08:06:47 PM
wondering if any of the MF shooters are using PC's at home and windows based laptops away from home with camera?

I don't think it qualifies as MF, but I use a Panasonic Toughbook CF-H2 in the field with a Betterlight back. It's not cheap at all, but it's very rugged, and you can see the screen in full sunlight, which is nice with the BL back since it can only be used tethered.

Jim
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: orchidblooms on March 15, 2013, 08:51:26 PM
http://www.notebookcheck.net/Panasonic-updates-the-Toughbook-CF-H2-Field-and-Health-tablets.78973.0.html

holy cow - looks super sturdy - would be great for 'bog trotting'...

i am waiting for the new sony z android phone to hit the US...  great screen - could use this in the filed as extended view screen...

they say it is virtually waterproof...

has me thinking...

i the sony z tablet is moisture resistant - had not been thinking tablet - but could be more useful in long run
(http://xperia-tablet-z-review.com/images/xperiawater.png)

i still use sony xbrite monitors at the shop - they stopped making thm to focus on devices...  i bet the screens are indeed - nice

Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: Paul2660 on March 15, 2013, 08:55:35 PM
I would consider the macbookpro line, but with bootcamp.  or parallels - vmware.   You can have an excellent windows platform.  The reason I mention this is I prefer the apple laptops mainly for built quality.  In the field I have a 13" macbook air and at home/office a 15".  

If you stay on the windows only, here are some brands:

Lenovo, they have come along way since they bought the PC line from IBM.  They have machines with good graphics cards and have good ram capacities
Sony, in their lineup, some very nice 15" and 13" machines.  
Acer, has come on very strong in the past 2 years with some quality machines.
Samsung, also has come out with some nice powerful units

I would consider 8GB of ram minimum, and if possible 16GB, 512 to 750GB main drive solid state.  USB 3 for connectivity at least 2 ports.  optical options.  Screens even the best one's from Apple macbook retina will not compare to a good NEC desktop 27" monitor.  I would just look for a nice 13 or 15" with enough working resolution on the screen to get the job done and graphics card to run an external monitor.  

I would stay with win7 and not look for win8.  I can't see any advantage to it right now.

Paul Caldwell
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: Jim Kasson on March 15, 2013, 09:37:59 PM
...had not been thinking tablet - but could be more useful in long run...

I find that not using a keyboard is essential for me in the field. I can work standing up with the computer in my left hand and the stylus in my right. Most people wouldn't call the Toughbook a tablet, but it does meet the "do everything on the screen" part of a tablet's essence. It's a lot thicker than a standard tablet.

Jim
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: orchidblooms on March 15, 2013, 11:34:31 PM
I would consider the macbookpro line, but with bootcamp.  or parallels - vmware.   You can have an excellent windows platform.  The reason I mention this is I prefer the apple laptops mainly for built quality.  In the field I have a 13" macbook air and at home/office a 15".  

If you stay on the windows only, here are some brands:

Lenovo, they have come along way since they bought the PC line from IBM.  They have machines with good graphics cards and have good ram capacities
Sony, in their lineup, some very nice 15" and 13" machines.  
Acer, has come on very strong in the past 2 years with some quality machines.
Samsung, also has come out with some nice powerful units

I would consider 8GB of ram minimum, and if possible 16GB, 512 to 750GB main drive solid state.  USB 3 for connectivity at least 2 ports.  optical options.  Screens even the best one's from Apple macbook retina will not compare to a good NEC desktop 27" monitor.  I would just look for a nice 13 or 15" with enough working resolution on the screen to get the job done and graphics card to run an external monitor.  

I would stay with win7 and not look for win8.  I can't see any advantage to it right now.

Paul Caldwell


paul - many thanks - i have a nice pc setup at 'home' with 30" nec...

we have a greenhouse / floral business and i shoot allot - there.... - so the laptop / tablet would be very handy to use at the shop/greenhouses hooked to my d800e...

never would have thought about running vmware on a MAC- great idea - i run xen on our servers...

:)

huge thanks

p.
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: orchidblooms on March 15, 2013, 11:55:55 PM
I find that not using a keyboard is essential for me in the field. I can work standing up with the computer in my left hand and the stylus in my right. Most people wouldn't call the Toughbook a tablet, but it does meet the "do everything on the screen" part of a tablet's essence. It's a lot thicker than a standard tablet.

Jim

yes i can see that - often iam deep in wet calciferous habitats (bogs)  with camera / reflectors set up at impossible positions to use screen and limited access to viewfinder.. i have to be very careful in many of these areas - some are MN DNR SNA's (Scientific and natural areas) where i have to get permission from MN DNR to enter.... -i think the toughbook or the soon to be released sony z tablet may be my ticket to more successful shots in there instances!

here is one were i literally had to guess - could not see thru viewfinder - had to look at screen with a mirrior...

the Grass Pink Orchid grows low to the bog floor...


phil
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: FredBGG on March 16, 2013, 01:01:18 AM
Samsung makes some great Laptops and PC tablets.
The screen on my Samsung Slate tablet is one of the best screens I've seen on any portable.
Construction is excellent too.
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: Pics2 on March 16, 2013, 09:16:17 AM
I don't understand completely your workflow and your needs, but I think you can get away without spending a lot of money this time.
First of all, D800E has great live view, have you tried using it (and getting used to it first), in those situation when you can't reach to the viewfinder?
For just viewing purposes (to check sharpness, exposure etc) you can use older laptop with nice 17inch monitor like Toshiba Satellite from Ebay.
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: orchidblooms on March 16, 2013, 10:45:01 AM
I don't understand completely your workflow and your needs, but I think you can get away without spending a lot of money this time.
First of all, D800E has great live view, have you tried using it (and getting used to it first), in those situation when you can't reach to the viewfinder?
For just viewing purposes (to check sharpness, exposure etc) you can use older laptop with nice 17inch monitor like Toshiba Satellite from Ebay.

>I don't understand completely your workflow and your needs...

I do most of my editing and image review at home PC 30" NEC...

We have greenhouse / floral business - i take allot of shots there - have older pc - sony xbrite screens - at the shop' huge hassle to remove card - plug in reader - go sit in office and 'review shots' then head back to camera put card back in and continue my shooting...  silly waste of time for me... - need nice screen at point of shooting

I often do floral portraiture / and macro work at the 'shop' and would like something much BIGGER than the d800e live view screen to work with...

using the d800e screen - even with a hoodman loupe has me wanting a much more useful - bigger viewing screen -

I travel often - camera in tow - often it is literally impossible for me to use the live view - or viewfinder due to the position of the camera to the subject - when this happens i use a folding, 'makeup mirror' to see the live view screen... reflecting the display of the screen so i can 'sort of'  see what i am doing...

a laptop in the field - not so easy - cumbersome for me to use - do not need keyboard

so perhaps a 'tablet' or the new sony smart phone will do the trick...

i would like something i can at minimum run helicon remote...

and moisture resistance - a huge plus!

these new sony devices are looking good - and that toughbook thing.....

ideally i would like to shoot tethered with the captureone pro 

not sure i can do this anytime soon with an android tablet ....

i think i have sorted this out - i see the new sony z tablet doodad in my future....

p.
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: FredBGG on March 17, 2013, 04:57:38 AM
Have you seen the swivi?

http://www.filmtools.com/swivi-external-5-6-inch-lcd-monitor.html?gclid=CLDGqM2wg7YCFcR7QgodFiQA9g (http://www.filmtools.com/swivi-external-5-6-inch-lcd-monitor.html?gclid=CLDGqM2wg7YCFcR7QgodFiQA9g)

5.8 inch HDMI that mounts on the back of the camera and is tiltable.
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: Ken R on March 18, 2013, 03:06:56 AM
Hi, for some shoots where the client wants to see and review images from the camera right away I have this monitor from smallHD, works great http://store.smallhd.com/Store/AC7-HDMI-OLED-Field-Monitor

I connect it using the HDMI port on my 5D3.
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: Phil Indeblanc on March 18, 2013, 11:21:20 AM
You might find it hard to find a full size powered Firwire port. And for USB, as I wanted to tether my SLR, it was even more difficult getting a fully powered USB port! Check the specs! Most newer laptops use a decent screen.  I think all the top brands have options with nice screen specs.

Toshiba, Fujitsu, Dell, even ASUS makes laptops now a days.

My laptop is an old Dell 8500, and it has a smaller port, but does the job.

I don't see a point in switching to Mac unless you have specific reasons other than..."Well to be an accepted creative, I have to use a Mac and think different"....duhhh which way did he go George?!!

BUT, if you're new to computers and have no understanding of them and don't care to understand, I'd likely recommend a Mac. But with windows 7 and now 8, I see that gap being bridged.

Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: RFPhotography on March 18, 2013, 06:09:24 PM
Tablet. 

There are several good ones out there now.  Look for one that has an IPS display and at least HD resolution.  I've got an Asus TF-700 and it's quite nice.  Viewing images on it is fine.  The colour balance is quite neutral.  It's got very good colour reproduction and contrast characteristics.  Another nice aspect is that is has an IPS+ mode that allows the screen brightness to be turned even higher for outdoor viewing.  You're still going to get some washout but it's better than the LCD on the camera, better than a laptop and better than other tablets I've looked at. 

You said MF, but you also said D800e.  There are a few apps that will let you tether and control the DSLR from the tablet.  Not so sure about the medium format.

The other plus with the IPS panel is you get much better and more consistent viewing at angles without the colour or contrast shifts of lesser panels.  Downside of a tablet is the glossy display which is highly reflective, but it's getting harder to find a laptop with a mat panel too. 
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: FredBGG on March 19, 2013, 04:50:34 AM
Tablet. 

Better still a Tablet PC.

Runs window 8, Lightroom and screen calibration. Really good screen. i5 processor.

Samsung Slate 7

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8006/7103812593_5fe07605c3_b.jpg)
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: Richard Naismith on March 19, 2013, 06:38:34 AM
I use a Dell Precision 4600. It has 4 pin firewire built in, but it also has an Express card slot, in which I put a firewire 800 card. Works fine. The computer's a little heavy - 3 kgs - but powerful. Core i7 quad core processor, 32 GB RAM. It can deal with anything.

All the best.

Richard Naismith
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: RFPhotography on March 19, 2013, 07:20:36 AM
Better still a Tablet PC.

Runs window 8, Lightroom and screen calibration. Really good screen. i5 processor.

Samsung Slate 7

(http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8006/7103812593_5fe07605c3_b.jpg)

Sure, if it's in the budget.  Triple the cost of a top end Android tablet and double an iPad.  And if the display is any good.  I don't know what kind of panel it, or other similar tablets have.  Screen calibration?  You have access to colour temperature, brightness and contrast controls?   You have the ability to use a measurement tool like the Spyder or ColoMunki?  Or is it a built-in, automated process that really isn't a true calibration and profiling?  My understanding is it's the latter. 
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: orchidblooms on March 19, 2013, 02:58:19 PM
Tablet.  



You said MF, but you also said D800e.  There are a few apps that will let you tether and control the DSLR from the tablet.  Not so sure about the medium format.

The other plus with the IPS panel is you get much better and more consistent viewing at angles without the colour or contrast shifts of lesser panels.  Downside of a tablet is the glossy display which is highly reflective, but it's getting harder to find a laptop with a mat panel too.  

medium format - i was thinking about the memory gobbling with the megapixels of the d800...  if i find something that will run the camera - ---- (i think helicon remote with work on android)

and yes - sure would be nice to have a screen where the brightness can be adjusted - The IPS Panel - sure something to consider....
I will be looking at this new sony Z critically once it hits the shelves... could very well wind up with an asus...
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: RFPhotography on March 19, 2013, 04:24:15 PM
Right.  But you're only controlling the camera with the tablet.  The images are being stored on the camera and you're using the Live View feature to preview what you have.  Yes, Helicon Remote works on Android.  There isn't an iPad version yet.  Brightness can be adjusted on all tablets.  The Asus, don't know offhand of any others, has the IPS+ setting which gives an extra boost.

There are apps that will allow you to view post-capture.  You can view from an attached card reader rather than using the onboard storage of the tablet.  There again, an iPad could be problematic.  Apple limits the amount of power that attached devices can draw.  If the card reader needs to draw more than 20 mA (the Apple imposed limit) then it won't work.  Android, don't know about Windows tabs, doesn't impose such a limit.  Most apps (all but one) show you the embedded JPEG preview so not a lot of memory use to do that.  Photo Mate Professional is the one that will actually decode the RAW files.  I've tested it with D800 images and it does work, but is a tad slow.  It shows you the JPEG in the thumbnail grid but if you open the full image in the editor, it decodes the entire RAW file.  Nice thing about Photo Mate is that you can keyword, rate and colour code images, save those settings out to an .xmp file and LR or Bridge will pick those up when you transfer to your desktop.  You can do it on individual files or in batch.
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: FredBGG on March 20, 2013, 04:45:35 AM
Sure, if it's in the budget.  Triple the cost of a top end Android tablet and double an iPad.  And if the display is any good.  I don't know what kind of panel it, or other similar tablets have.  Screen calibration?  You have access to colour temperature, brightness and contrast controls?   You have the ability to use a measurement tool like the Spyder or ColoMunki?  Or is it a built-in, automated process that really isn't a true calibration and profiling?  My understanding is it's the latter. 

The display on the Samsung Slate is excellent.
It runs windows so you can use color calibration tools. I use my Datacolor Spyder Pro calibrator.
What was quite surprising is how little the screen color is modified to obtain calibration.

It also has hardware to create an ad hoc wifi network letting me use it for wireless tethering
on location. I also run Lightroom to do preview processing automatically running a saved processing preset
pretty much in real time.
Title: Re: any MF folks using PC's / Windows based Laptops?
Post by: FredBGG on March 20, 2013, 05:19:18 AM
Of topic, but this is funny....

http://vimeo.com/61275290