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Author Topic: Computers for digital photography  (Read 16742 times)
Snowdon
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« on: January 25, 2007, 09:51:56 PM »
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I have recently switched from file to digital photography (Canon 5D) and need to setup a computer system. What are some recommendations for a computer system that can handle the large image files from this camera, including any specific components to make processing and storage easier and more reliable.
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John.Murray
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2007, 12:04:29 AM »
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You may well want to use the Search capability of this forum - you'll find a lot of material.

With the hardware convergence of Mac and PC to the x86 (Intel) platform, here are some guidelines:

Intel Dual-Core processor, 2Ghz or higher clock speed.
2GB or more RAM recommended.
Decent Graphics adapter 128MB video memory or better (nVidia or ATI chipset).
Fast hard drive subsystem, minimum ATA100 or SATA bus, 7200RPM or better.  Consider multiple drives to split O/S-Application and User Data.
CD-RW/DVD-RW capability for backup.

Finally, and possibly the toughest decision will be your display!  Do yourself a favor and budget the $300 for Display Calibration/Color Management.

This is a *great* place to find information - enjoy!

-John
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Christopher
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2007, 03:52:38 AM »
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You may well want to use the Search capability of this forum - you'll find a lot of material.

With the hardware convergence of Mac and PC to the x86 (Intel) platform, here are some guidelines:

Intel Dual-Core processor, 2Ghz or higher clock speed.
2GB or more RAM recommended.
Decent Graphics adapter 128MB video memory or better (nVidia or ATI chipset).
Fast hard drive subsystem, minimum ATA100 or SATA bus, 7200RPM or better.  Consider multiple drives to split O/S-Application and User Data.
CD-RW/DVD-RW capability for backup.

Finally, and possibly the toughest decision will be your display!  Do yourself a favor and budget the $300 for Display Calibration/Color Management.

This is a *great* place to find information - enjoy!

-John
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=97606\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Pretty good, one note. PLZ look for a new Core 2 duo, because it would be a waste to buy and old Intel.
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larsrc
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2007, 05:59:01 AM »
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Finally, and possibly the toughest decision will be your display!  Do yourself a favor and budget the $300 for Display Calibration/Color Management.

-John
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=97606\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I'm looking at upgrading my screen to something where I don't have to lock my head in a specific position to see the same brightness.  I know the Dell UltraSharp line is very good that way, but others, even those with huge "viewing angle", vary a lot.  Is there any kind of number/designation that can give a clue to how good a monitor is in that respect, or do I have to go look at each and every one in person?

-Lars
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2007, 01:39:50 PM »
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Look for ISP-S type LCD's like the NEC's SXI/UXI models, Eizo's and Apple Cinema Display's.
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Snowdon
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2007, 02:07:45 PM »
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Thanks for the information on computer selection. As a new user, I did not realize that I can search through prior posts.


Quote
You may well want to use the Search capability of this forum - you'll find a lot of material.

With the hardware convergence of Mac and PC to the x86 (Intel) platform, here are some guidelines:

Intel Dual-Core processor, 2Ghz or higher clock speed.
2GB or more RAM recommended.
Decent Graphics adapter 128MB video memory or better (nVidia or ATI chipset).
Fast hard drive subsystem, minimum ATA100 or SATA bus, 7200RPM or better.  Consider multiple drives to split O/S-Application and User Data.
CD-RW/DVD-RW capability for backup.

Finally, and possibly the toughest decision will be your display!  Do yourself a favor and budget the $300 for Display Calibration/Color Management.

This is a *great* place to find information - enjoy!

-John
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=97606\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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sceptacon
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« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2007, 08:45:50 AM »
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Fast hard drive subsystem, minimum ATA100 or SATA bus, 7200RPM or better. Consider multiple drives to split O/S-Application and User Data.
CD-RW/DVD-RW capability for backup.

When I upgraded my hard drive to a new bigger 80 GB one, I kept my old hard drive which is still 13 GB and went into the computer shop where I originally got the computer. they hooked me up with a caddy for my 13 GB drive to sit in and now I use it as my backup disc drive rather than cd's or dvd's. the caddy and drive as one are inserted and removed from the front of the computer into it's own bay and I only have it inserted when I back up, then remove it and store it safely.

I have found that when I used to backup on cd's as soon as you have to span the data across any more than one cd/volume it becomes messy and ridiculous. for the cost of another drive and a caddy the removable internal hard drive system works well for me and is a single copy. I also find cd's trashy, I don't feel like the data's worth much on them when I handle them and I have never understood or devised an appropriate storage system to contain my cd collections over the years. so they just linger around the place, getting dusty, scratched and pushed here and there.

I have a need also to get some display software as far as I understand they do two main acts - monitor calibration followed by monitor profiles. not sure exactly how this works but it seems important. ColorEyes Display Pro seems like a good choice to me -  I like delights that are affordable.
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framah
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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2007, 11:24:53 AM »
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Mac...no..PC... no..Mac..no..PC..no..Mac... and on and on and on and on... ad nauseum!!

just thought I'd get it out of the way all in one post!!
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« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2007, 05:05:36 PM »
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You have two choices when selecting a computer IF you go the PC route (no, not MAC bashing!).  One is to buy a system that already exists and the other is to build your own.  To my knowledge you can't build your own MAC.

If you're building your own you already know enough about dual core processors, power supplies, RAID systems, etc. that you can figure it out from there.  If you're looking for a pre-built system, you might want to start by searching around a bit for 'puters built for computer gamers.  In some ways they're looking for the same things - fast processors, upgraded video, etc.  You'll want as much storage space as you can get, though.  Depending on what accessories you get, you'll have to decide if you want gigabit ethernet, integrated WIFI or Bluetooth,  if firewire (400 or 800) is necessary, whether you want dual video cards, a built-in card reader. etc. etc. etc.  The lis is (almost) endless.  Keep in mind that the average computer is obsolete in about 3 years.  Yes, there are older computers out there that are still being used, but they get left behind fairly quickly.

Different strokes for different folks.  The 'net has a wealth of information on reviews, comparisons, etc.  Let your fingers do the walking to start with.

Mike.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #9 on: February 07, 2007, 07:20:19 PM »
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I have recently switched from file to digital photography (Canon 5D) and need to setup a computer system. What are some recommendations for a computer system that can handle the large image files from this camera, including any specific components to make processing and storage easier and more reliable.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=97588\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

People can throw out specs but to really get a bead on what could benefit you, I need to ask a few questions:

1. What is your experience with computers?
2. If you already have a computer is it a Mac or a Windows PC and how familiar are you with it?
3. Are you capturing Jpeg or Raw?
4. Are you working with 8bpc or 16bpc images?
5. Do you have a budget?
« Last Edit: February 07, 2007, 07:21:08 PM by 61Dynamic » Logged
tived
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« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2007, 05:03:25 PM »
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Hi,

Mac vs PC....well, get what you feel most comfortable with.

I work with both, but feel more at home with PC's

We do retouching for Professionel photographers and studios, from Raw conversions to, manipulation to restoration.

At the beginning of this year we bought two new PC's which we had build. There were identical, Intel Quad Core with four gig of ram and a Raptor 150 boot disk with a set of 320GB Seagate 7200.10 disk in RAID 1 (mirror) and a plain Nvidia 7600GT graphics card, will probably add a second graphics card to run two monitors seperately and calibrated. They have multi card reader and DVD multi drive small box with  big cooling fans and a 600W Zalman power supply. Running windows XP x64 due to the 4 gig of ram.

These systems are fast, but not as fast as my Dual Opteron 285's (dual core) with 8gb of ram and an all scsi hard disk sub system. but given that the Opteron is  three times the price and the difference in performance is less then 20% I think you will be better off with the Intel system.

Currently if you are looking at a PC, then definately get a Dual Core processor and Intel seem to be the flavour of the month. However if you were to build a highend workstation then I would go Opteron Socket F

However, to better assist you, you need t answer some to Daniel's questions

Henrik
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Ray
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« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2007, 07:25:33 PM »
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When I upgraded my hard drive to a new bigger 80 GB one, I kept my old hard drive which is still 13 GB and went into the computer shop where I originally got the computer. they hooked me up with a caddy for my 13 GB drive to sit in and now I use it as my backup disc drive rather than cd's or dvd's. the caddy and drive as one are inserted and removed from the front of the computer into it's own bay and I only have it inserted when I back up, then remove it and store it safely.

One blu-ray disc, the size of a CD disc, will hold double the data of you 13GB hard drive. 3 DVD discs will hold as much as your 13GB hard drive. I'd put much more faith in those 3 DVD discs than your old 13GB hard drive.

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I have found that when I used to backup on cd's as soon as you have to span the data across any more than one cd/volume it becomes messy and ridiculous.

CDs are now obsolete for storage of DSLR files. DVD media has reached maturity. It's now as reliable as any form of storage and is by far the cheapest method of archiving images.

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I also find cd's trashy, I don't feel like the data's worth much on them when I handle them and I have never understood or devised an appropriate storage system to contain my cd collections over the years. so they just linger around the place, getting dusty, scratched and pushed here and there.

Cloth bound wallets with a zip around 3 sides and plastic sleeves inside are very cheap (if made in China) and very effective. You can fit 96 or so CDs in the space that an average book would occupy on a shelf, and you can label them on the edge as a book is labelled. Sloppiness and irrationality do not make a good case.
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John Camp
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« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2007, 08:14:22 PM »
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One blu-ray disc, the size of a CD disc, will hold double the data of you 13GB hard drive. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=100251\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Ray,

Is blu-ray gonna win? (I'm serious, here.)

JC
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Ray
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« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2007, 08:42:51 PM »
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Ray,

Is blu-ray gonna win? (I'm serious, here.)

JC
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=100256\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

John,
That's the impression that I'm getting so far. At the moment blank discs can hold 25GB on one side. I believe the technology allows for implementation of increased number of layers on each side. I've come across reports that the format can eventually support up to 200GB of data on one disc.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2007, 01:23:02 AM »
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Ray,

Is blu-ray gonna win? (I'm serious, here.)

JC
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=100256\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
No one can say for sure at this point. The rate of support for either format (Blue-Ray and HD-DVD) has been a result of X-Box 360 HD-DVD drive sales and Sony PS3 sales. As for support for stand alone players, neither has seen any significant success.

There are some things to consider:

1. Many say the Porn industry sets what the new tech will be (why that is the case, I'll leave to your imagination) due to the history with BetaMax and VHS. They have chosen HD-DVD.

2. One thing to consider is when mass-adoption will occur. The first format to make it to $300 for a player will no doubt be the one to grab the "average-joe" market and win. So far, HD-DVD is the leader there with $500 players. HD-DVD is still lingering around $800.

3. Cost to make a disc. HD-DVD is a modified version of DVD and thusly doesn't cost considerably more (few grand) to make master discs for. Blue-Ray however is completely new requiring upwards $20K to master a disc.

These are all important since whichever disc wins the movie/video market will be the one that will certainly become the economical choice for data storage. The loser will likely be more costly to use niche status.

Really though before anyone can remotely begin to give an educated guess as to what will be the next data-storage format, the movie wars will have to be won. Frankly at the rate they are going I don't think either will win. I believe internet-delivery of video will advance and surpass the discs first.

I'll be glad when both these formats die. I want neither for storage. Primarily because burning discs is a pain and burning the amount of data these new discs will hold will be painfully slow (current transfer rates for reading are less than half a typical DVD). It'll be a while before they are as fast or faster than regular DVDs for burning simply the same amount of data of 4GB. Secondly, due to the shear density of data on the discs the slightest smudge will cause it to have issues reading the data--something already being reported by reviewers of the players not being able to watch a movie due to a single finger print.

Don't get too excited about these HD DVDs until they actually are available for data storage at reasonable costs, speeds and longevity. That is if they ever do get there...
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Ray
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« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2007, 05:04:35 AM »
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As someone concerned with resolution, I'm attracted to the Blu-ray format because current movie titles on blu-ray can output 1080p through HDMI. The HD-DVD format seems restricted to 1080i, at least for the present. A single layer on one side of a blu-ray disc holds 25gb. There are already prototype dual-sided 4 layer discs that hold 200GB of data. A single layer on HD-DVD holds 15gb with 3 layer, dual-sided prototype versions holding a maximum of 60GB.

To meet the needs of future data storage, blu-ray is a superior format. One can only hope that the Sony led consortium will have learned well from the Betamax fiasco and will triumph this time round.
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jorgedelfino
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« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2007, 10:44:06 AM »
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hard to beat an iMac intel 20" 2Gb ram, 250 Gb HD, 128 video card for less than $1.500!
Plus is a good looking machine too.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #17 on: February 11, 2007, 11:17:15 AM »
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As someone concerned with resolution, I'm attracted to the Blu-ray format because current movie titles on blu-ray can output 1080p through HDMI. The HD-DVD format seems restricted to 1080i, at least for the present...

To meet the needs of future data storage, blu-ray is a superior format. One can only hope that the Sony led consortium will have learned well from the Betamax fiasco and will triumph this time round.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=100302\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
HD-DVD can also output at 1080p and all HD-DVD movies are 1080p capable (both formats support the same codecs and resolutions). If anyone is only getting 1080i it is a limitation due to either the TV or HD-DVD player.

Sony learning a lesson? Ha-ha! If only. If they learned a lesson from betamax, then they would have been willing to have sat down with the HD-DVD group and worked out a single standard long ago rather than engage in this anti-consumer pissing match they are in now (the HD-DVD group is just as guilty of this BTW).

Bu-ray and HD-DVD are less about bringing out new and useful technology and more about racking in licensing fees and unreasonably locking down content so they can sell your fair-use rights back to you. The primary driving force for the development of these new discs and the complex DRM that's built into them was the fact DVD encryption was so easily cracked.

Anyway, from a technical standpoint Bu-Ray is the better candidate as far as sheer storage space is concerned. By the time it's a viable option however, other technologies are bound to have surpassed it.

So! Yah, computers. Something was asked about computers right? :D
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Ray
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« Reply #18 on: February 11, 2007, 04:19:40 PM »
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Anyway, from a technical standpoint Bu-Ray is the better candidate as far as sheer storage space is concerned. By the time it's a viable option however, other technologies are bound to have surpassed it.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=100329\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Why should that be? Where's the precedent? As I recall, the first DVD burners to hit Australian shores were far more expensive than the first generation blu-ray burners and on a cost per gigabyte basis, the blank DVD discs were also more expensive than the current choice of 25gb and dual layer 50gb writable and re-writable blu-ray discs, per gigabyte. I'm getting reports of second generation 4x BD burners already writing data at speeds in excess of 16x DVD burners, ie. about a gigabyte per minute.

I recently bought a couple of basic Maxtor 500GB external drives that were on special, presumably because Maxtor has been taken over by Seagate. They were the cheapest I could find at just A$369 each. All the data on one of these drives could be archived on just 10 currently available 50Gb BD-R discs at a total cost of A$640 (excluding the cost of the burner which on a new PC would serve the purpose of all previous burners and DVD/CD drives since the new drives are backwards compatible).

That this brand new technology is less than double the cost of old, superceded external hard drive storage (and only marginally more expensive than the latest 1TB external drives), augurs well for its future viability. That there are 2 competing formats is not all bad. You Americans must realise better than most that competition is generally a good thing. Already we have players/burners capable of handling either format and even HD movies with blu-ray on one side of the disc and HD-DVD on the other. That all adds to the cost of course, but there's no reason to suppose that prices will not rapidly fall in coming years. Those who want the new technology now will have to pay a premium, as is always the case. However, there's a big incentive for all those who own a 1920x1080p TV set. They can now watch movies with a clarity and texture they've never seen before outside of a movie theatre.

Of course, it goes without saying that 500GB of data on just 10 BD-R discs occupies a much, much smaller space in terms of both weight and volume, than a 500GB external hard drive.

I just don't know why some people are so negative   .
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #19 on: February 11, 2007, 05:28:52 PM »
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Ray,

The tech is still very immature. Just because it seams like technically good thing, does not mean it will be adopted. If that was the case, we'd all have replaced DVDs with 5GB discs the size of a quarter by now.

As for competing formats, yes it actually is a bad thing. Neither format offers anything unique with the exception of storage space (BD) and audio support (HD-DVD). The format war is about DRM and licensing deals. This is the whole reason why we have two formats and not one. Competition of products is a good thing. Competition of the formats is only good before it hits store shelves as it gives the industry an opportunity to choose the standards they'll use before they build around it. A format war after it hits the store shelves it does nothing but add confusion, cost and frustration for the consumer. Anything you buy now could very well become obsolete in a short time.

Currently 500GB drives can be had for $140 USD. 1TB hard drives have been recently announced and should be hitting store shelves very soon at around $400 further dropping the price of other drives. We'll have a single 3.5" hard drive at 1.5TB by Christmas this year at the current rate of development as well. Toshiba, Seagate and Hitachi all have officially stated this won't be difficult to achieve. By Christmas we will also still have a format war of the new optical discs unless something big and completely unexpected happens very soon to change that.

I'm not negative. Just skeptical--and rightfully so--as this whole thing is a big song and dance I've seen many times during my 15 years dealing with computers. Simply put, I'll believe it when I see it.
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