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  1. #1
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    Ideal Notebook/Laptop for photo editing.

    I am planning on purchasing a Canon Powershot G9 next month. I will also be purchasing a notebook/laptop to store and edit my photos. What kind of notebook should I be looking for in terms of features and memory size. I believe photoshop and other programs take up quite a bit of space. Any help would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mn shutterbug's Avatar
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    Re: Ideal Notebook/Laptop for photo editing.

    It's not the space requirements to be concerned about with Photoshop, it's the memory.
    Mike

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  3. #3
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Ideal Notebook/Laptop for photo editing.

    Lots of RAM and a big hard drive. What platform are you going with? Mac or PC? I have a 17" Toshiba Satellit P35-S609 and I love it. Or at least I did, up to the point where the monitor crapped out on me. I still use it, but the lines running through the screen are pretty annoying. That being said, I would buy another one, but this time I would get the extended warranty.

    I love the 17" monitor for working on my photos, but it's a pain the the butt when traveling. it's big and heavy, but most of the time it sits on my desk so it's not a big deal for me. If you plan on taking your laptop with you a lot, I would consider a smaller one.
    Mike


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  4. #4
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    Re: Ideal Notebook/Laptop for photo editing.

    Thanks for the replies. I am looking at a Dell inspiron laptop with a truelife Screen. It looks like I could get the ideal laptop for for under £400.00.

  5. #5
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    Re: Ideal Notebook/Laptop for photo editing.

    Memory and storage aren't a big deal for me. Less RAM just means things take a little longer. As for storage - I only use my notebook for temporary storage. Everything gets moved to external hard drives.

    The critical issue for me is screen quality. And other than Mac laptops, I've yet to see one that I really trust. I've got a laptop with a calibrated screen and it doesn't compare to the two calibrated CRT monitors I have. I refuse to cough up the money of a Mac and all new software. So I'd really like to know what I need to do to get a laptop with a good screen. The laptop I have now was custom-built by a local company that knows what they're doing as far as power goes. But they don't know about photography or screen calibration. So the machine is smoking fast and reliable as all hell. But I still don't trust the color.
    Photo-John


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  6. #6
    Senior Member Medley's Avatar
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    Re: Ideal Notebook/Laptop for photo editing.

    I agree with both John and Michael.

    I have a 17" MacbookPro. Best of all possible worlds. Mac OSX 10.5 on one side, Windows XP on the other, and some software called Parallells3 that allows me to run both simultaneously. There's very few apps I can't run, and IMO it's not worth dealing with Vista to get those apps. The LCD monitor is calibrated, and stays true to form, provided of course that you use a consistant viewing angle. About the only problem I've run into is that Internet Explorer on the Windows side doesn't seem to like (or even acknowledge) my Airport Extreme. So, I browse the web from the Mac side only. Not a huge deal, just one of those grating things in the back of my mind.

    However, as Michael pointed out, lugging the 17" around is kind of a pain. If I had it to do over, I'd probably opt for the 15". On the upside, the case for the 17" is just big enough to allow me to take my Wacom 6x8 graphics tablet along on those weekend trips or vacations.

    Lots of RAM is definately a good idea for the MacbookPro, as available RAM needs to allocated between the two operating systems. I opted for a 320 GB hard drive, but the standard 160 GB drive probably would have sufficed. I also picked up 2 250 GB Western Digital Passport drives to use externally. It all fits into a computer briefcase that's approximately 17" by 13", with enough room left over for a few office project folders. And the whole bundle is small enough to pass the carry-on size tests for every airline I flown since purchasing it, though I can tell you from personal experience that on board a plane is one of those times when a 15" would definately be better.

    John does have a valid point on the cost though. The flexibility and reliability are second to none, but it comes at a steep price. Still, your question was regarding the best laptop for photo editing, and I'm convinced the Mac is the answer to that question.

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  7. #7
    Formerly Michael Fanelli, mwfanelli, mfa mwfanelli2's Avatar
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    Re: Ideal Notebook/Laptop for photo editing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jones1
    I am planning on purchasing a Canon Powershot G9 next month. I will also be purchasing a notebook/laptop to store and edit my photos. What kind of notebook should I be looking for in terms of features and memory size. I believe photoshop and other programs take up quite a bit of space. Any help would be appreciated.
    I would get a decent amount of RAM as others have stated. It is certainly not that expensive. Hard drives space is always running out but you can also buy fast USB extrenal drives for storage and backups. Use the internal drive just for the files you are currently working with.

    If you are buying from Dell, be aware that they do not support 64-bit Vista as the vast majority of consumers don't want it. If 64-bit is the way you'd like to go, you'll have to buy the OS retail or try another computer company that does support it. If you do buy from Dell, the business-oriented laptops (not Inspirons) have XP Pro as an option. But be aware that Vista has calmed down and is now working pretty well. It's reputaion for being crap will take quite a while to wear off.

    I also agree that a CRT is still the best for photography. It is difficult, however, to find a decent laptop with a built-in 60lb CRT monitor. On the other hand, unless you are a pro, the Dell TruLife screens are a good choice.

    Macs are OK (IMHO overpriced). In addition, as you see in the post here, you are pretty much forced to run Windows as well to get the software you need to run. LOL, just like the old IBM OS/2 claim: "A Better Windows Than Windows." Gee, that turned out to be successful! OK, just kidding the Mac folks around here. Don't be so serious!

    But the MS operating system (XP or Vista) and the Parallels software adds even more expense. If you do go for a Mac, make sure the machine has the new huge update for Leopard, newly released (or soon to be) before you buy. It is the most massive update in Apple history and will fix, allegedly, many of the really nasty problems with Leopard.

    If you have the bucks, you can buy one of those stunningly beautiful 30-inch Apple Cinema HD displays to hook up to your laptop's HD outputs (again, not an Inspiron). I have yet to see anything better, especially for photographs.
    “Men never do evil so cheerfully and completely as when they do so from religious conviction.” — Blaise Pascal

  8. #8
    has-been... another view's Avatar
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    Re: Ideal Notebook/Laptop for photo editing.

    I bought a 15" MacBook Pro over the summer, so guess what I'm going to say...

    The big downside with a Mac is that not all software is available for it (period). I know everybody says you can do anything you would with a PC, but it's simply not true. Sure, I could buy Parallels and another Windows license but at that point I might as well buy a second inexpensive laptop for that stuff (non-photography stuff, low spec or even used laptop). Two examples - Garmin GPS (they may be announcing something at Macworld next week, but so far they're not compatible even though they've been working on it for at least a year) and a car diagnostic program I have (and this one won't catch all fault codes even with Parallels, it's been tested).

    These are two really specific examples and most people won't have these issues - but it would be best to check this out before making a change. Honestly I knew about both issues and bought it anyway, but after spending a lot of money on a computer it would have been really nice to have it do everything. I also thought that Netflix on-demand movies would look great on this really high quality display, but they're only compatible with Windows...

    However - I haven't had to fix it (period). No lost settings, no lockups even after letting it run for a few days, no blue screen of death... It's been really nice and it looks cool. If Bang & Olufsen made a computer, it would look just like this. Software can be expensive but call Adobe before doing anything - I have heard (from someone here) that they will swap platforms. I have not done this because my copy of CS is a suite and I don't want to upgrade the whole suite; only Photoshop. I'll probably buy a Wacom tablet so I can get CS3 for 50% off (really) when I'm ready to do that. At the moment I'm using Nikon Capture NX which works with both Windows and Mac.

    And don't forget about Apple refurbished computers - mine is one and it looks brand new except that it didn't come with the pretty box. That saved me 25%!

  9. #9
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    Re: Ideal Notebook/Laptop for photo editing.

    i don't know if anyone metioned it but i think PS actually is more a processor hog than ram hog. aperture uses more ram the processor. someone correct me if i am wrong but i would go for fast processor and more ram then storage. could always get more external storage later. i have a widow pc laptop dual core and love it. also have mbp and love it too.
    You can edit any of my photo's

  10. #10
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
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    Re: Ideal Notebook/Laptop for photo editing.

    I have a HP Pavillion entertainment which has a wide screen and which can be and is calibrated.

    Bit heavy and cumbersome but suits my needs.

    Don't forget get Windows 7 and not vista, so so much better.

    Roger R.
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

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  11. #11
    Formerly Michael Fanelli, mwfanelli, mfa mwfanelli2's Avatar
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    Re: Ideal Notebook/Laptop for photo editing.

    I also thought that Netflix on-demand movies would look great on this really high quality display, but they're only compatible with Windows...
    I use Netflix on-demand movies all the time on both my MacBook Pro and Windows laptops. What problem are you having with the Mac?
    “Men never do evil so cheerfully and completely as when they do so from religious conviction.” — Blaise Pascal

  12. #12
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    Re: Ideal Notebook/Laptop for photo editing.

    I've always used a Mac with as much RAM as the system will handle. I back all images up onto a CD-R and an external hard drive. In all the years that I've been shooting, I've never had a hardware failure. Today, I'm using a MacBook Pro and a 24" iMac, both running CS5. The Air Force started in digital imaging with Macs, went to PCs, now they're going back to Macs. Too many problems with PCs.

  13. #13
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    Re: Ideal Notebook/Laptop for photo editing.

    I would store pictures on an external drive that way if the computer crashes your pictures will be ok, not to mention freeing up your computers memory for other things. External drives are cheap.
    I am like Barney Fife, I have a gun but Andy makes me keep the bullet in my pocket..

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  14. #14
    Liz
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    Re: Ideal Notebook/Laptop for photo editing.

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg McCary
    I would store pictures on an external drive that way if the computer crashes your pictures will be ok, not to mention freeing up your computers memory for other things. External drives are cheap.
    AGREED! IMO - it's the only way to go light.

    SM

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