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Author Topic: Hi and a newbie laptop question  (Read 4889 times)

Barb B

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Hi and a newbie laptop question
« on: April 26, 2009, 09:02:33 PM »

Hi, I'm looking forward to sharing and learning from such talented and informed members     I recently returned to (D)SLR after 20+ yrs of point n shoot with the kids, and am re-learning with XSi  w/kit and 18-270 lenses.  I just started shooting RAW+jpeg and haven't touched a raw file yet as I have a very old Elements on the desktop, and am reading up on the freebies that sound interesting.  There is so much to learn!
My question-I just purchased my first laptop yesterday and am trying to clarify that it has the juice to run Lightroom w/ plug-ins, that I hope to get soon? After reading the Computer forum and so much was over my head I decided to post here first- hope that's OK.  It is pc w/ Core 2 Duo 2.13 ghz, Vista 64 home, 4GB ram, 500 GB 5400rpm drive, ATI 256mb dedicated video.  Knowing addl drives will be added -is this going to work well and not bog down?  If not I can still return it and try again, but hoping to stick with needs vs wants.  Thanks-any help is appreciated.
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wolfnowl

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Hi and a newbie laptop question
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2009, 02:01:06 AM »

Hi Barb, and welcome to the list!  Basically it sounds like your computer will work for you.  A 5400rpm hard drive is a little old but not archaic.  Depending on your screen you might want to connect to an external monitor, and of course your monitor should be calibrated.  There's no such thing as 'too much' RAM, but 4GB should be enough to get you going.

Mike.
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Barb B

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Hi and a newbie laptop question
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2009, 09:33:02 PM »

Quote from: wolfnowl
Hi Barb, and welcome to the list!  Basically it sounds like your computer will work for you.  A 5400rpm hard drive is a little old but not archaic.  Depending on your screen you might want to connect to an external monitor, and of course your monitor should be calibrated.  There's no such thing as 'too much' RAM, but 4GB should be enough to get you going.

Mike.
 Thanks Mike for your input and info on calibration- looks like there's many options available to accomplish that.  I'll look into it.
Barb
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Unmanedpilot

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Hi and a newbie laptop question
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2009, 01:26:02 AM »

It seems as though you have a very similar computer as mine with just a tad more power. I use photoshop on my laptop and the only slowing is when I add effects to images at their full resolution. And even then its a just bit of slowing and not a big deal.

You should be just fine with Lightroom, just be aware that it can take a little time to process the more advanced plug-ins. 2.13 Ghz isn't a ton of processing power but it will get the job done.  But for average editing you wont notice a thing.
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David Sutton

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Hi and a newbie laptop question
« Reply #4 on: May 20, 2009, 04:38:59 AM »

Hi Barb. I did all my editing for a year on a Toshiba laptop so ancient it didn't have a touchpad. One Gb of ram, XP Pro and connected to an external monitor. It only really slowed down when stitching panoramas. I had all my photos and LR catalogue on external usb drives to keep the laptop running faster.
When you get a monitor just check your laptop will support the monitor's resolution.
Cheers, David
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Barb B

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Hi and a newbie laptop question
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2009, 10:14:13 AM »

Thanks for all the input- I actually returned that unit because the video card was less than stated- error in specs in advertising.  Anyway, I'll be getting a Sony Vaio 16" which is more than capable, and with great screen res.  Thanks again!
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Chris Pollock

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Hi and a newbie laptop question
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2009, 05:27:21 AM »

It's not the resolution of laptop screens that's the problem, it's their colour gamut and contrast, which are usually far inferior to a good desktop display. Laptop displays need to be energy efficient, which unfortunately leads to compromises in image quality. I don't know what the recent Vaios are like, but it's certainly something you should check before buying one. You should also make sure it has a DVI or HDMI output so that you can connect it to an external monitor. A VGA connection will degrade the image quality somewhat.
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Ed Blagden

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Hi and a newbie laptop question
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2009, 08:57:30 AM »

Hi Barb,

Your laptop will do just fine.

Just to emphasize Mike's point, if you want to make prints or share images online then you must, repeat must, get your monitor calibrated.  Reason: all monitors exhibit colour drift over time, so for example what appears yellow on your uncalibrated screen may come out slightly orange when you print, or when you post on the web and I look at your picture on my properly calibrated monitor.  When you calibrate a monitor the output of your video-card is re-mapped to what is actually appearing on your screen, and everything will then be just fine.

The best way to do this is to buy the necessary bit of hardware, and calibrate regularly.  I personally use the Spyder2 Express which is made by Colorvision.  Very simple to use, and it costs about $100 so it is a relatively small investment.  I am sure there are other equivalents which are also very good.  The process only takes five minutes or so each time, and you will not regret it.

Best of luck with your introduction to Digital SLRs and RAW processing.  These boards are a great source of knowledge, and there are some very experienced and talented people (I'm not one of them) who are only too happy to help and advise.


Ed
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