Thanks for the response James. What model of Dell is it you bought? And the C1 problem was just with 64bit Vista right? 32bit works? It seems to tether fine for me in XP pro with both Canon and Phase, and the preview rendering in 4.5 is much faster than 3.7 was.
With the Canons, I need them to tether much faster and with a much bigger buffer than I've been able to get so far. We don't use them on studio jobs where we're waiting on the strobes, we use them on location jobs where we're shooting ambient, so 10-15 frames and then wait for the buffer doesn't cut it. Does Dell have a money back if not satisfied type deal? This new MBP is very nice and is now my new personal laptop, but I don't want to get stuck with a Dell I don't need if the speed is still not cutting it.
I've been following the Nikon rumors and will probably add Nikon in once the D3x ships if in fact it can tether successfully to C1. Nikon tends to shoot themselves in the foot with some sort of proprietary thing, so I'll wait and see on that. I don't want to add in DPP or Nikon NX or Lightroom or Photo Mechanic or Aperture or anything else- I currently have a lot of camera systems but only one software to worry about, and I'd like to keep it that way.
I have the dell studio 17" It's big and heavy but it works.
There is a buffer but probably not much different than shooting to cards, it just depends on how fast you shoot. Hold the button down at 5fps and it will hit the buffer but so will anything and medium format doesn't go near that fast anyway. If I shot the Canons to the speed of my p30+ shot on small compressed the Canons would never hit the buffer either.
I didn't want to buy a Dell either though I needed to tether to the Canons for a gig and needed higher iso than 400 so I bought it and kind of like it. I don't find it any better or worse than the macs other than the weight.
As far as learning eos utility it takes 4 minutes to learn it and in a lot of ways is much easier than c-1 of any version. For quick processing you can always use c-1 so I don't see any real issues there other than eos utility has a much nicer preview than c1 3.78.
In fact we use a lot of programs because I shoot a lot of different cameras. I use I-view to drag and drop files and rename, photomechanic is excellent for quick editing, in fact it it's amazing for quick editing, especially on a fashion gig where the AD wants to edit on the fly, but maybe that's just the clients I'm working with and maybe it's just that time of year but most of the jobs I've done have required speed and less hanging around the monitor so I guess the Canons and Nikons are the cameras of choice for me right now. Then again I just did a gig where it was slower and in studio and I still went with the Canons because I thought the look on the monitor for the previews was prettier and less brittle looking than 3.7 and until 4.5 gets ALL the bugs worked out of it, I'm not putting any original files in it.
I do believe that eventually a lot of us are going to have to include motion into our work and that is either going to require double lighting or shooting higher iso faster still cameras so I get the feeling I had better get use to the 35mm world.
I think anyone that works as a digital tech will also have to learn some kind of motion/video workflow if only to collect and backup the original files.
I just got the 5dII and with only a two minute walkaround in the studio, playing with focus and high iso I can see where this is going to be a real ground breaking device.