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Thread: Good Laptop for Photography?

  1. #1
    SGerke's Avatar
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    Good Laptop for Photography?

    Does anyone know of a good laptop used for digital photography?

    I'm a beginner and am really looking to learn as much about photography as possible before deciding what I "prefer." I really plan on using the computer for everyday casual use (internet, word processing, etc.) and my photography downloading, editing, sharing, etc. I use a Canon SD1100 IS right now (compact digital), but am also researching DSLRs and plan on buying one in the next 8-10 months (any recommendations here are also greatly appreciated!).

    Thanks!
    Sarah

  2. #2

    Re: Good Laptop for Photography?

    mac pro laptop is great....

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    Welcome to CiC :)

    Hi Sarah,

    Welcome to CiC - it's great to have you here with us.

    Whilst "Melt's" unreserved Apple recommendation is admirable, I think we need a bit more information before we can get specific

    - Do you have a preference for a Windows or Apple based system?

    - Do you know what software you'll be using for image editing, word processing etc?

    - What kind of budget are you working within?

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    Re: Good Laptop for Photography?

    I can see this turning into a massive Pc vs. Mac debate. But I dont care; Windows 7 is fantastic, get a new pc Laptop shipped with it now! I would vouch to say that windows 7 will be a much more productive Os to be installed and working with on your new laptop in terms of your artistic purposes/goals and with that it would be a lot easier to share your edited works etc.

    Recently I had some trouble installing and importing using native cannon software on a Mac, Eventually, sucess! Using a program I was forced to unwillingly, it took an age to import all the "goods" and I had limited editing ability anyway. Seriously not reccomended from my experience.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Good Laptop for Photography?

    Hi Sarah,

    I went the laptop route, as you are considering, about 18 months ago, now it may just be me, but here's what I have found;
    a) I soon filled up the internal 160GB HDD with pictures, so then I needed a permanently tethered USB external HDD, and while I started trying to keep current on the internal and archive on the external, it was just more work to do so I gave up and resigned myself to the external (now also flling up)
    b) I immediately missed the numeric keypad, bought a USB add on, but the plugs and sockets got in the way and filled up the USB slots (it has 4; printer, TV tuner (who says men can't multi-task), HDD, and RF mouse dongle)
    c) Despite my initial intentions, I didn't, when it came to the crunch, risk taking it on holiday with me to download to - just another thing to lose/drop/have nicked - and with it potentially all my pics (aside from backups)
    d) As a consequence, I have found it stays permanently in one place (the study), despite having built in wireless LAN and a working home Wi-fi network.
    e) Fixed screen size (15 inch), although I do have a (very soft) 19 inch CRT as a second screen (for TV or i-Tunes use), it is too awful for photo use.

    I know I could do some things to aleviate some of my issues, but with Windows 7, 64-bit architecture and the need for more RAM, I am seriously considering going back to a desktop with the next upgrade.

    Oh, there is one good thing - the built in SD-HC card slot on the front edge, nice and convenient for downloading pics from

    As I say, that's just what I have found, many may not apply to you, but some inevitably will.

    Hope it helps (set expectations, if nothing else),
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 7th November 2009 at 08:48 AM.

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    Re: Good Laptop for Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by iPhillip View Post
    I can see this turning into a massive Pc vs. Mac debate.
    Thankfully we don't do "massive PC -v- Mac debates" here

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    Re: Good Laptop for Photography?

    Dam I really hoped it'd turn into something . Guess we're all nice natured or we have no Mac fan boys on stand-by to correct anything I said.

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    Re: Good Laptop for Photography?

    In my opinion there are only a couple of things to look for.

    Look at the screen from several different angles to see if there is fading and blurring when viewed from an angle.

    Look at some pictures you are familiar with to see if the "wide-screen" display so popular now distorts your picture or shows with the true aspect ratio.

    Pops

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    Re: Good Laptop for Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by iPhillip View Post
    Dam I really hoped it'd turn into something . Guess we're all nice natured or we have no Mac fan boys on stand-by to correct anything I said.
    Nah - Dave and I just shoot to kill if anyone starts one
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 7th November 2009 at 07:30 PM.

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    Re: Welcome to CiC :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Sarah,

    Welcome to CiC - it's great to have you here with us.

    Whilst "Melt's" unreserved Apple recommendation is admirable, I think we need a bit more information before we can get specific

    - Do you have a preference for a Windows or Apple based system?

    - Do you know what software you'll be using for image editing, word processing etc?

    - What kind of budget are you working within?
    I've worked mostly with Windows, am pretty unfamiliar with Apple's system.
    I don't know the software yet, am also looking for advice there. Haven't used Photoshop very much, but know it's a good program. Also like Picasa, but I am a beginner and don't know much about the software.
    As for the budget, I'd like to stay under $600.

    Thank you everyone for the response! It's already helping me narrow my choices.

  11. #11

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    Re: Welcome to CiC :)

    Quote Originally Posted by SGerke View Post
    I've worked mostly with Windows, am pretty unfamiliar with Apple's system.
    I don't know the software yet, am also looking for advice there. Haven't used Photoshop very much, but know it's a good program. Also like Picasa, but I am a beginner and don't know much about the software.
    As for the budget, I'd like to stay under $600.

    Thank you everyone for the response! It's already helping me narrow my choices.
    Hi Sarah,

    If $600 is the software budget then Photoshop would be perfect, but if $600 is the TOTAL budget then thats - far - more difficult

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    Re: Welcome to CiC :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Sarah,

    If $600 is the software budget then Photoshop would be perfect, but if $600 is the TOTAL budget then thats - far - more difficult
    The budget was just for the laptop. I think I'll probably start using Picasa for software (as it's free and from my experience, very user friendly for beginners). Unless you can recommend a better, inexpensive software?

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    Re: Welcome to CiC :)

    Quote Originally Posted by SGerke View Post
    The budget was just for the laptop. I think I'll probably start using Picasa for software (as it's free and from my experience, very user friendly for beginners). Unless you can recommend a better, inexpensive software?
    Adobe has a trial version of Photoshop - so it's inexpensive for a few months

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    Re: Good Laptop for Photography?

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Thankfully we don't do "massive PC -v- Mac debates" here
    Sadly I don't have any bad PC experiences to make me feel good about my multiple Macs- Photoshop Elements and the Canon software runs fine on our MacBookPro. I really find it is the speed closely followed by display quality that means the most to me. Of course you can probably buy yourself a nice 'L' lens for the price differential between the Mac and a Dell.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Welcome to CiC :)

    Quote Originally Posted by SGerke View Post
    The budget was just for the laptop. I think I'll probably start using Picasa for software (as it's free and from my experience, very user friendly for beginners). Unless you can recommend a better, inexpensive software?
    Hi Sarah,

    I started on Picasa, but to be honest, it is a bit 'prescriptive', meaning it'll do many things, but only the way it wants to. You don't have much fine control of things beyond the basic whole picture tweaks and some of those only work in one direction.

    For actually processing pictures, I'd recommend Elements, it'll do most thing PS will and you won't need to unlearn so much if you do eventually take the plunge and go the PS way - plus, if you got a pukka registered version of Elements, Adobe will offer you CS4 at half price after a few months. I haven't yet (don't need to/can't afford).

    Or there is GIMP which is also free, far more control I understand, but I haven't used it.

    Cheers,

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    Re: Welcome to CiC :)

    Quote Originally Posted by KentDub View Post
    Adobe has a trial version of Photoshop - so it's inexpensive for a few months
    Only 30 days actually

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    Re: Welcome to CiC :)

    Quote Originally Posted by agaace View Post
    Only 30 days actually
    I think that this is the 3rd or 4th time I've mentioned that Adobe has >1month trials. Will I ever learn?! Thanks Agaace

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    Re: Welcome to CiC :)

    Quote Originally Posted by agaace View Post
    Only 30 days actually
    There's an easy way to extend it forever though ...

    ... buy a licence

  19. #19
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    Re: Welcome to CiC :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    There's an easy way to extend it forever though ...

    ... buy a licence
    I'm planning to. I just find 30 days not enough to prepare financially for this kind of purchase if you want to continue working with it without breaks. Besides in 3 weeks I'll be a valid US resident, so it would be stupid to buy it now with European credit card for $1200, if in 4 weeks I should be able to buy it for $700 with an American credit card (If I still have anything left on my bank account after buying a car in the new country, renting a house and all the move-related cost )

    Sarah, you should try out Photoshop. If after 30 days of trial you decide you like it, but can't afford it, you can switch to Gimp - it's almost as powerful as Photoshop. Or you can buy the cheaper Photoshop Elements.

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Welcome to CiC :)

    Quote Originally Posted by iPhillip View Post
    I hate to promote theifery on this site
    Good, because that's another thing Colin and I "shoot to kill" for!

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