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Photography Question 
Julie Wall
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/19/2004
 

Laptop for Viewing/Editing


Does anyone know what a good brand of laptop is for viewing and editing photos? My best friend has a really nice HP that I covet. I am using a Gateway that crashes and burns multiple times daily when doing image editing, and I need an upgrade REALLY badly.

Does anyone have experience with Dell versus HP, versus Toshiba, etc?

Thanks!


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11/15/2007 2:48:46 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Contrary to opinions that people may give you about which computers they like, there is no brand of computer that will necessarily crash more or less often than another brand. Unless, of course, you go with a cheap knockoff that is not well built.

A common cause of frequent computer crashes is memory shortage. You may be able to save yourself a lot of time and money by just adding more memory to your laptop.

Chris Vedros


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11/15/2007 7:28:04 PM

 
Julie Wall
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/19/2004
  Hi, Chris, thanks. If it were only as easy as adding a little RAM. :)

I probably should have phrased the question a little bit better. You know how they say Macs are THE thing for imaging? I can't really afford a Mac right now, and kind of need that whole Windows/pc compatibility. So does anyone have an opinion on which Windows-based laptop is better for images?

Or, as Chris indicated, maybe brand isn't as important...Can anyone recommend a processor that can handle it.

My current laptop has been back to the manufacturer several times for hard disk issues about a half a dozen times in the 18 months I've had it. I have trust issues with this machine, ha ha.

The new one will be dedicated photo editing ONLY. :) (Current laptop was initially a clerical purchase.)

I have been watching "The Shoot" on VH1 and notice that all of the equipment in their "lab" is HP. Is this because HP is a better computer for photo editing or because perhaps HP sponsored the show and is doing advertising? ;) And like I mentioned in my original post, my best friend has an hp with an ungodly large display (19" I think) and the clarity and color are wonderful, nevermind the speed (which knocks my socks off).

I have heard that Macs are the best for what I do, however, until my business starts turning a profit, it is quite a bit out of my ballpark budget-wise, and I'd really like whatever I get to be compatible with the PC in the house.

Also...has anyone had any problems running their image editing software on Windows Vista?

Thanks!

Julie


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11/16/2007 3:30:47 AM

 
Dave B. Sanderson   Hi I am new to the site,I have a dell laptop OS Vista and have PhotoshopCS2 installed and at the moment have not experieced any problems on editing photos

Dave


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11/16/2007 4:11:50 AM

 
Haidar Abu Bakar
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/12/2007
  I have been using a ibook G4 for the last 4 years and it has not given me any problems despite of its age now. Buy a Mac and save money on repairs! The screen is the standard for comparing pictures.


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11/16/2007 6:03:09 AM

 
William Schuette
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2006
  Julie, I personally use Dell and make sure I have the best screen available, lots of Ram (4G), upgrade the processor and a large hard drive. The bit about Macs being preferable for image editing and video is something from about a decade ago before Ram became so cheap that you could afford to put 2G in a laptop. Also, there is nothing about a Mac screen that makes it a standard for comparing images just make sure you get a good high rez screen. If you are used to working with and set up to use PCs there is no substantial reason to switch to a Mac. And I have heard of one disadvantage to using Macs. Apparently, they do not print as well as PCs. I have not ever investigated this but have heard it from several respected professionals. Your problem with laptop malfunctions was buying a brand that is notorious for problems. Stick with Dell, HP, Sony and there are probably a couple of others and I doubt you will have any significant problems. On "The Shoot" HP is obviously providing the equipment for product placement. HP is making some good computers right now but there photo printers still lag behind Epson and Canon.

Bill


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11/16/2007 10:29:10 AM

 
W.   
William,

FYI: Macs don't print. PRINTERS do.

Julie, get a Beemer Coupe among laptops: http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/.


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11/16/2007 11:33:00 AM

 
Julie Wall
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/19/2004
  Hi, guys!

Thanks so much for your replies. :) I popped on over to the Apple store to check out the macbook pro. WOW!!! Nice machine. Way out of my price range till next budget year, but still, WOW!

I'm going to kick back and do some research on processors and RAM options.

I've got an Epson printer now, and am tickled to death by the print quality, so at least I don't have to go printer shopping, as well.

Thanks, all for all of your help! I never go wrong when I come over here with a question. :)

~~Julie


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11/16/2007 11:50:48 AM

 
Dave B. Sanderson   Hi Julie What Epson printer did you buy I recently got Epson 1800 photos come out great 8 inks pricey to replace using Epson
Dave


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11/16/2007 11:57:00 AM

 
Dave B. Sanderson   Hi Julie What Epson printer did you buy I recently got Epson 1800 photos come out great 8 inks pricey to replace using Epson
Dave


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11/16/2007 11:57:02 AM

 
Julie Wall
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/19/2004
  Hi, Dave,

I've got the Stylus Photo RX500. I don't do a LOT of printing, because I send most of what I need done professionally out to have it printed to size specs. (I do a lot of large prints.) But I do quite a few 4x6's and you can't really beat the quality for what I paid for it.


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11/16/2007 12:12:58 PM

 
William Schuette
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/8/2006
  W, I've seen your photos and other commentary and know that you understand far more about this than the inanity of your comment would suggest. I can't imagine you don't already know that printing involves a complex transfer of information among the camera, computer and printer modulated through various drivers and color profiles. And each piece in the process has an effect on the final print. As I said, I have heard from people who know more than me that most printers are initially designed to receive information from the dominant computing platform, the PC, and secondarily adapted for the Mac's OS, resulting in a very slightly lower performance with Macs. I did not vouch for the accuracy of this but simply related what I had heard so that Julie could investigate and make a more fully informed purchase.


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11/16/2007 3:21:11 PM

 
W.   
William, it isn't productive to the OP enquiring about laptops for viewing and editing photos to veer off at an insinuative tangent about Macs not printing right: 1) it's not substantiated, and 2) it doesn't answer his question.

Been to printer's production plants or top tier graphical design studios recently? What kind of "PC's" do you reckon are most in evidence in those trades?


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11/16/2007 7:04:32 PM

 
Christopher A. Vedros
BetterPhoto Member Since: 3/14/2005
  Mac vs. PC - blah, blah, blah, zzzzzzzz.

Julie - if you need or want the mobility of a laptop, then get a laptop. If most of your photo editing is done at home, then keep in mind that you will get more "bang for your buck" with a desktop machine than with a laptop. Laptops are far more affordable today than they were just a couple of years ago, but they are still more expensive than an equally-configured desktop machine.

That being said, whether you go for desktop or laptop, here are a few guidelines:

Processor: Don't get an Intel Celeron or an AMD Sempron. These weaker and slower. Get at least an Intel Dual-core or AMD x2 processor. After that, the processor speed goes up along with the price. Buy the best you can afford.

RAM: 2GB as a bare minimum. Again, buy as much as you can afford.

Graphics: You will pay a little more, but get much better performance from a discrete video card, rather than a graphics processor built onto the motherboard. Things to avoid are "integrated graphics", "onboard video card", or when it says something like "up to 128MB shared graphics memory". This means that the video processor is using system RAM to handle video, and you won't have as much system RAM to handle your programs.

Get a machine that has a graphics adaptor with its own video memory, and you will get better performance.

Get Vista Home Premium instead of Vista Home Basic.

Chris


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11/16/2007 10:31:12 PM

 
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