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Laptop help

Rod20 8 145 United Kingdom
25 May 2020 7:26PM
Hi, hope everyone is staying safe and well. I need a new laptop and it will only be used for photo editing and web surfing, I currently subscribe monthly to adobe creative suite and mainly use Lightroom for most of my editing, and Photomatix, I work on raw files mainly, from a Canon 6D, my budget is around £500, can anyone recommend a good laptop for my budget please, I am driving myself insane trying to compare specs etc.

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26 May 2020 7:03AM
I run a Toshiba satellite i5 laptop about 7 years old. It was getting a bit slow and was not performing well. I took it to my local computer shop to ask advice. They said my machine had a good spec, and recommended replacing the hard drive with a SSD. Cost £130. Now the machine runs beautifully, and I have still got the disc drive. I run PS 6 and elements 2020.
Dave_Canon Plus
14 1.8k United Kingdom
26 May 2020 9:53AM
I do not have my own Laptop but have bought a couple for the camera club. Last time we were able to find a standard Dell which met our requirements. They do have a large range. We also found it was best to buy direct from Dell particularly if you need to ask any questions about a model etc. If you plan to use an external monitor which I would strongly advise then a Dell Ultra Sharp may also be a good choice. Incidentally If you are using Raw files and LR there is no need to use Photomatix. LR can combine multiple exposures to form a 32 bit HDR file which you can edit using the normal controls in LR. This gives much more control and the results are more natural. When I last used Photomatix, it sometimes produced fuzzy images which they admitted was a fault. Also the colours are changed and look odd.


Rod20 8 145 United Kingdom
26 May 2020 12:31PM
I have spoken to Dell, but they say I need a laptop with a dedicated graphics card which means the laptops they have are double my budget. Thanks for the heads up on Lightroom Dave.
Dave_Canon Plus
14 1.8k United Kingdom
26 May 2020 5:00PM
I understand. This is what we had to do for the camera club as well and it did cost over £500 but the club could easily afford it.

hobbo Plus
9 1.6k 3 England
29 May 2020 10:48AM
About 3 years ago my desktop pc running Windows XP Pro, had slowed right down, had all kinds of update issues being over 10 years old. But, it was running Photoshop CS6 Silver Efex and itís Allied filters, but no way could ai afford to shell out again.

The owner of the local independent computer store knew my requirements so kept his eyes open for a very high-spec laptop. Eventually a high end two year old...SONY VIAO appeared, this was loaded with WINDOWS 10 for me and then my old drives copied directly over to it.

It has worked seamlessly with all my old files since, connected to my large LED monitor.... I keep all my RAW files and post processed photographs on a separate external 3 terabyte SSD .

The VIAO is fast, efficient and does exactly what I purchased it for which was very reasonable indeed.

mikehit 10 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
31 May 2020 8:12PM

Quote:I have spoken to Dell, but they say I need a laptop with a dedicated graphics card which means the laptops they have are double my budget. Thanks for the heads up on Lightroom Dave.

Hmm. My old I3 Dell did OK without a dedicated graphics card - Lightroom can use the GPU on the graphics card but there are many reports that that actually slows Lightroom (and I found it myself at one point).
Processor and RAM are the most important factors IME so I think a non-dedicated card with more RAM may be beneficial.
In my experience much advice comes from the view of 'getting maximum performance' rather than 'is it good enough for me'. For example if you only heavily process 5 images a week does it matter if processing takes a few extra minutes? If you are HDR/Panorama 7 images, set it going and brew a coffee.
For my latest laptop I have a 250GB SSD and use an external drive for my photos - the speed of the SSD is worth it if you can afford it! I use the SSD for processing photos and chose 250GB because by the time all programs are loaded a 120GB was OK to hold the programs but was starting to get a bit busy for heavy processing.

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