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Recommendations for photo editing laptop, please?


mwoods 10 20 United Kingdom
22 Aug 2012 10:48PM
I need to replace my desktop PC with a decent laptop in the (hopefully) £500 price region for photo editing Canon 350D images (4 mb files generally).

Does anyone have recommendations if current machines, please? I'm well versed in PCs, Windows and Linux but have never owned a laptop. The netbook I'm writing this on might be a little under-powered for the task!

Thankyou in advance for any replies.

Happy shooting!

Regards,
Mark Woods.
markwoods.daportfolio.com

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StrayCat e2
10 15.5k 2 Canada
22 Aug 2012 11:01PM
Acer, HP, and Toshiba usually have some good sale prices on about now with schools and colleges about to open. I've seen some excellent prices advertised here in Canada.
Scottelly 2 35 United States
23 Aug 2012 12:29AM
I got a 13" MacBook Air a few months ago. I used to have a 17" MacBook Pro, but it was stolen, and I ended up using whatever I could for a while, including a 24" iMac and various Windows notebooks. The solid state drive in this little MacBook Air is absolutely amazing. This computer is faster than anything else I have ever used (even though it has a slower dual core processor than my MacBook Air had). The screen is pretty high resolution too. You may consider the 13" basic MacBook Air. I find it would have been just fine, and since I bought my computer, they have upgraded the basic model to something about as fast as mine. Whatever you do, make sure you get a solid state hard drive. You won't regret it.
GlennH 9 1.9k 1 France
23 Aug 2012 8:15AM
Laptops are generally inferior to desktop monitors for photo editing because they tend to have a lesser colour gamut and almost without exception use a TN panel, making viewing angles frequently very poor. If you can find a model that isn't terrible in these respects it'd obviously be a good thing! So I'd recommend reading impartial expert reviews.
mikehit e2
5 7.1k 11 United Kingdom
23 Aug 2012 8:23AM
Do you intend to use the laptop for editing 'on the move' or will you be getting a laptop to save space at home and that is where you will also be doing the editing? The reason I ask is that I have a 15" laptop and would not want anything smaller and I use it for sorting/cataloguing with some basic editing - but if I want to do really critical editing I use my desktop and fully calibrated 24" monitor.
So rather than getting a 17" laptop one option is to buy a 15" plus a good quality screen (the Dell 23"-24" Ultrasharps can be had for about £200 which will be close to the difference in price between 15" and 17" screens).

My laptop is by Dell who I have always found reliable.
saltireblue e2
4 4.3k 26 Norway
23 Aug 2012 8:25AM

Quote:Laptops are generally inferior to desktop monitors for photo editing because they tend to have a lesser colour gamut and almost without exception use a TN panel, making viewing angles frequently very poor. If you can find a model that isn't terrible in these respects it'd obviously be a good thing! So I'd recommend reading impartial expert reviews.

Would a laptop with an external screen be better, or would the screen settings be governed by the laptop's colour settings, even if the screen has inbuilt menu for contrast, etc.?
GlennH 9 1.9k 1 France
23 Aug 2012 8:36AM

Quote:Would a laptop with an external screen be better, or would the screen settings be governed by the laptop's colour settings, even if the screen has inbuilt menu for contrast, etc.?


An external screen would be better—particularly if it had an IPS panel. The inherent properties of the LCD are what make it better, and generally you'll get the best from any consumer-level monitor if you don't tweak it too much, even using the inbuilt menu.

The brightness control, which usually manipulates the screen's backlighting, is the only totally 'organic' adjustment you can make. The rest should be used sparingly, despite the 'settings recipes' that you often see on monitor websites (frequently geared towards gamers).
23 Aug 2012 9:47AM
Plenty of RAM memory (speeds the editing up). For Window 7 go for 6Gig if you can. Plenty of hard drive storage (try and go for 1 terrabyte if you can). Not as important as RAM, as you can back up pictures onto other media to get space back. Anyway, it would take quite a long time to fill up a modern hard drive with pictures, even in RAW format, unless you start with videos as well.
As already stated, the screen is important, though you can get external screens to improve things. difficult to beat the old CRT screens for image quality.
The touchpad is not a very accurate way of editing fine details, so a mouse (and a table space to use it on) is really necessary for any fine work. A small graphics tablet is even more accurate.
saltireblue e2
4 4.3k 26 Norway
23 Aug 2012 9:51AM

Quote:Would a laptop with an external screen be better, or would the screen settings be governed by the laptop's colour settings, even if the screen has inbuilt menu for contrast, etc.?

An external screen would be better—particularly if it had an IPS panel. The inherent properties of the LCD are what make it better, and generally you'll get the best from any consumer-level monitor if you don't tweak it too much, even using the inbuilt menu.

The brightness control, which usually manipulates the screen's backlighting, is the only totally 'organic' adjustment you can make. The rest should be used sparingly, despite the 'settings recipes' that you often see on monitor websites (frequently geared towards gamers).



Thanks, Glenn.Smile

Malc
mwoods 10 20 United Kingdom
25 Aug 2012 11:19PM
Thanks for your replies.

I have a Dell Inspiron dual-core desktop and an LG IPS 22" monitor currently - the Sony i3 15.5" Vaio for £349 in Currys is tempting but I wonder if the monitor can compare?

Portability is sadly the priority for me so I'll be plumping for a Lenovo quad-core with 8 gig of ram or the Sony, both for £349, I reckon.

Cheers, Mark.

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