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Question: should i use linux for digital photography
linux for photography - 1 (50%)
should i use linux - 1 (50%)
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Author Topic: Linux for digital photography  (Read 23571 times)
jalcocer
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« on: November 04, 2010, 05:08:42 PM »
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Hi, I'm new in photography and in this site, I primarily am a computer specialist (mostly in networks and repair), I've used mac, pc, and recently linux (ubuntu), I can see clearly most of people here are mac users, but the thing is, I've tried linux lately and I really like this OS, I also like mac and windows (virus aside). What I would like to know from any of you with experience using ubuntu or any other linux distro. Is it really worthy for photography? Are linux tools less accurate or powerful?

I've been playing with a software called bibble 5 pro, which i find really nice and a lot like Lr3, but since I'm new at this I cant really tell. Should I be better off with windows, it's slow performance but using lightroom, or should I buy at least a mac mini to be able to use aperture or should I stay with linux and bibble?

regards
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lookit
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« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2010, 08:41:44 PM »
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Linux has good programs for organizing (such as F-Spot on Ubuntu) and editing of photos (such as the GIMP, for complicated stuff, and ImageMagick, for extremely fast command-line performance of simple stuff).  I have found them to be more than enough for keeping track of pictures and fixing poorly-taken ones, but perhaps non-Free software is better for certain specialties.  If Linux is doing what you want, why switch?  If some operations are a little faster on another operating system, consider whether it might be better to put some of the savings into better computer hardware like an SSD or camera stuff (and perhaps donating a little toward improvement of the programs), and whether a little frustration for the time being is worth not having your skills "locked in" to a non-Free system.  Apple stores periodically have demonstrations and classes through which you could see if their software, much of which is the same as relevant Windows software, does something you like that you later find is very difficult in Linux before spending a lot.
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Mike Bailey
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« Reply #2 on: November 05, 2010, 09:43:35 AM »
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My experience with Linux/Ubuntu is similar to what others are saying, too.  I spent a long time working with Ubuntu, including Gimp and Bibble, trying to get results equivalent to what I was getting on the Windows platform with Photoshop.  With extra effort, it was possible to get close, just in the development side from raw to finished file, but not as good as with Photoshop under Windows.  Some of the awkwardness I'm sure would be reduced by long-term use of Ubuntu, but it just wasn't quite at the same level of quality when all was said and done.

Color profiling the monitor/graphics card was another story.  Granted, there is software which works with my OptixXr Pro puck (DTP94), but works only in the general sense.  The profiles were not as good as those created using the software which came with OptixXR under windows.  The Linux profiling software also has a Windows version, and that under windows did not do as well either, just for comparison.

So, you probably could get by okay with Linux, assuming a good level of expertise, but the operative words there are 'get by'.

Mike Bailey
http://mhbailey.com
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jalcocer
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« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2010, 08:23:19 PM »
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so, linux is not the way to go for photo and video, even though bibble and gimp give some times similar results but with an extra effort.

My pc is practically new, quad core amd running at 2.6, with 4 gigs of ram, 2 more slots available for another 4 gigs. No ssd, or raid 0 config for hard drives.

I am new into photography but not into computers and software, so, based on my actual specs I think the only option would be windows (happen to have a licensed copy of windows 7 64bit), so do you really believe it's gonna be a lot better running windows with photoshop and lightroom, although ubuntu is lighter for the machine?

I'm really low on budget now, but if that wasn't the case i'd purchase a mac with no hesitation. Cause the thing I hate most about windows are viruses, and it doesn't matter how careful you are, you always end up with some minor virus. I've always used to create images of my installation drive and keep all my personal folders in another hard drive, but either way it's really painful to keep restoring images every time you catch a virus.

I like bibble but I know lightroom is way better.
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feppe
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2010, 09:06:10 PM »
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I'm really low on budget now, but if that wasn't the case i'd purchase a mac with no hesitation. Cause the thing I hate most about windows are viruses, and it doesn't matter how careful you are, you always end up with some minor virus. I've always used to create images of my installation drive and keep all my personal folders in another hard drive, but either way it's really painful to keep restoring images every time you catch a virus.

If you lock down your Win7 well with proper virus protection program, don't use IE, and install NoScript and ABP on FF, and don't download pirated software you'll be fine. Win7 has a solid built-in firewall as well.
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jalcocer
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2010, 09:09:16 PM »
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just out of curiosity, what's your actual setup? and is Lr3 and photoshop the best combo for windows? or should I include another app? I want to include also sony vegas for the part of video editting I do, or can you recommend a better choice? thanks
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Schewe
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« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2010, 11:23:55 PM »
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Are linux tools less accurate or powerful?

The simple answer is: can you run Photoshop on Linux?

No...

Enough said...anything you may be able to run on Linux will be less than optimal...Linux is not an OS that is optimal for digital imaging for a whole host of reasons not the least of which that the main player-Adobe-doesn't think Linux is worth developing for...that's gotta tell you something.

Mac, Windows, yes...Linux, uh, no.
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2010, 11:54:49 PM »
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Hi,

You can get by on Linux. I was using Linux a long time. Bibble is pretty good. Gimp is OK. What's really bad with Linux that there is little support screen calibration. That essentially means that you don't know what colors you have.

Picture Window Pro ( http://dl-c.com/content/view/47/74/ ) is a good alternative for pixel editing. It used to be possible to run it on Linux using Wine.

As long as you save your raw-files I'd suggest Linux is OK. Would you find that your colors are off you can always rework the original data. With JPEGs and 24 bit TIFFs to much information is lost.

In my Linux days I was often using Bibble on Linux for batch processing, because it was more stable than under Windows. With time we got "Raw Shooters Essentials" which was PC only, and that made me really switch to Windows. Three years ago I decided to take the plunge and go for the Mac.

I never caught any virus in my Windows days, by the way. Did never like Windows a bit.

You could also check out "Hackintosh", google on the net.

Best regards
Erik



so, linux is not the way to go for photo and video, even though bibble and gimp give some times similar results but with an extra effort.

My pc is practically new, quad core amd running at 2.6, with 4 gigs of ram, 2 more slots available for another 4 gigs. No ssd, or raid 0 config for hard drives.

I am new into photography but not into computers and software, so, based on my actual specs I think the only option would be windows (happen to have a licensed copy of windows 7 64bit), so do you really believe it's gonna be a lot better running windows with photoshop and lightroom, although ubuntu is lighter for the machine?

I'm really low on budget now, but if that wasn't the case i'd purchase a mac with no hesitation. Cause the thing I hate most about windows are viruses, and it doesn't matter how careful you are, you always end up with some minor virus. I've always used to create images of my installation drive and keep all my personal folders in another hard drive, but either way it's really painful to keep restoring images every time you catch a virus.

I like bibble but I know lightroom is way better.

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kikashi
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« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2010, 09:46:08 AM »
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My pc is practically new, quad core amd running at 2.6, with 4 gigs of ram, 2 more slots available for another 4 gigs. No ssd, or raid 0 config for hard drives.
4Gb of RAM is not a lot. You would probably be very surprised by the improvement you get in speed by loading as much RAM as you can afford.

Jeremy

Bloody hell: I can't believe I just wrote that. "4Gb of RAM is not a lot". I remember the anguished debates when I was an undergraduate over how the University IBM 370 should allocated its newly-acquired fourth megabyte of main memory. Maybe I'm just old.
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jalcocer
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2010, 10:31:47 AM »
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I don't think you are that old instead of technology simply taking very big steps in comparison now than a few years ago. I'm only 33 but I still remember my first machine, a 386 with 8 mb of ram, with hardly a hard disk running windows 3.1

In twenty years technology has been growing like mad. While 4 gigs a couple of years ago would been incredible and expensive, right now it is almost the standard for every machine, at least here in Mexico computers are barely rising with 2gigs of ram.

Any way, 4 gigs of more ram for me are doable, since I have 2 empty slots and my machine fully supports them.

So, win 7 64b, lightroom, photoshop. Nobody has told me if vegas is a good choice for this setup. 8 gigs of ram instead of 4, should I go raid 0 with an external backup? or better of with ssd? I think should be better 2 good drives in raid 0 than one ssd, at least for this purposes, and less expensive.

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jalcocer
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2010, 02:14:45 PM »
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It's settled, I guess though. I'm going with my same quad core at 2.6, an extra 4gigs for 8gigs total, my windows 7 64bit copy, two 1tb raid0 hds and an external drive for backup all my data. I guess it's not necessary to keep OS and data in separated partitions as long as I have my backup.

Going for Lr3 and Photoshop Cs5, I'm still hesitant about vegas or another video editing software.

regards
jorge
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Les Sparks
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« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2010, 07:23:18 PM »
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With Windows you have lots of choices for video editing. A lot depends on how much you want to spend. Good choices are under about $100 include
Movie Edit Pro 17 plus (Always get the plus version of Movie Edit Pro) by Magix
Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum by Sony
Premiere Elements by Adobe
These are all very capable programs
If you want more features the three companies offer "Pro" versions
Magix's pro version is call Video Pro X (VPX)
Sony's is Vegas Pro (new version 10)
and Adobe's is Adobe® Premiere® Pro CS5
There are other video editors but I have personal experience with some version of all the programs listed above.
You can download trial versions of all these programs (even the pro versions) from the Companies' web sites.  For lots of discussion of pros and cons you can go to http://www.hv20.com/forum.php HV20 forum. You can also find some discussion on this site for example http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=44986.0, and http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=45764.0.
Which of the editors is best really depends on your needs. They all capture video from the video camera, can edit it on a time line, burn a DVD or BluRay,  add some special effects and audio, and add nice titles. All of them let you use multiple tracks of both video and audio. All let you add stills to your movie. The non-pro versions handle building a DVD with menus and burning the DVD  easier than the pro versions. Magix's software and Vegas can smart render that means that if you have a scene that is in the correct output format they will just pass that through to you output file. Premiere (at least previous versions not sure about CS5) always had to recompress scenes even if they were in the correct format to start with. Sort of like if you have a jpg file and want to resave it, a program that does smart rendering saves the file without recompressing; it a program that does not smart render will recompress the file before it saves it.  Smart rendering improves quality of the output and reduces the time necessary to output your video.
Be sure that the software supports the type of video files you camera produces and can produce the type of output file you want to distribute or share you video.
I would suggest you download the non-pro trials first to see you any of the programs meet your needs. If you need more features, then try the pro trials.
And don't forget the free Windows Movie Maker (Called Windows Live Movie Maker in Windows 7 http://explore.live.com/windows-live-movie-maker?os=other.
Good luck and have fun.
Les
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jalcocer
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« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2010, 09:12:31 PM »
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finally, i'm already in the installation of windows 7, i finally decided to go with this:
win 7 x64
8gigs
2 x 1tb raid 0
external drive for backup all my catalog and data
Lr3
Photoshop cs5
and with video going with vegas

is there any other tool for my photography work and learning I should look up for?

thanks again for all the good replies
jorge
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EduPerez
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« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2010, 06:08:27 AM »
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While I cannot comment on the professional use, I think Linux is a very viable solution for amateurs: I use Linux exclusively at home, and have managed to create a complete workflow using only free tools running on Linux. No, it is not the same as Windows / MacOS, obviously;  but, philosophy aside, neither can all of us afford MF cameras, or L-class lenses,... or the licenses.
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jalcocer
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« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2010, 08:27:54 AM »
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You are completely right about the affording. While I used ubuntu it was a really good experience, once you get the feel of it and understand the commands for some things you really start to feel comfortable with it, specially the speed, the amazing options for arranging and modifying your desktop, the no virus scenario, and all the free software and tools you can use, some maybe don't have the appareance that windows has or mac os has, but really do the job.

I have found a lot of software that despite been free, its really useful.
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mayukh
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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2010, 04:32:32 PM »
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Not sure about pro photographers, but for me I exclusively use Linux (Ubuntu 9.10 to be exact).

I use the following software:
  • GIMP - suitable for a wide range of editing; serves my need completely
    UFRaw - for RAW files, works fine with Nikon NEFs in my case.
    Hugin/ Panorama Tools - a "must-have" software for digital photography
    Luminance HDR - has all tonemapping algorithms that are popular. I don't use it much though as I am not too keen on HDR.
    gThumb - Image thumbnail and EXIF viewer.
    Picasa (only this one runs on Wine; is not actually a Linux software, so performance is a bit slow)

I do agree that installing all these software on light OS like Ubuntu can be a pain (Ubuntu does not even come with C++ compilers by default), unlike extensive distributions like Fedora/ SUSE. But Ubuntu is simpler, and nonetheless, Linux. So its just a matter of time to install them.

Note that all of the above are GUI based software, so quite simple to use. Also, GIMP has extensive online documentation if you are looking for.

I have only 2 gigs of RAM (+ 1 gig video card, though this is not used much unless you are into 3D modeling etc.) and I have used resource-intensive applications like Hugin, to stitch upto 56 MP images. Stitching panoramas from 10-12 sample images in multi-rows takes about 6-7 mins on my machine. (Not to mention this while playing music, surfing the web etc.). Had I used Win 7 etc., I'd probably have needed double the RAM for same performance. I am new to panorama stitching, so as of now don't shoot more sample images. Since I can upgrade RAM up to 8GB on my machine, it should do fine with much more samples.

So I am quite satisfied with the performance as well. As for calibration, I have not faced any issue because I shoot only in sRGB color profile. I wonder maybe Adobe RGB/ others run better on Win/ Mac. I have not tried that.

Update:
For video editing, I have used Avidemux. It works quite well. There is also a professional software called CinePaint, which I have not used
« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 04:04:12 AM by mayukh » Logged
jalcocer
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« Reply #16 on: November 20, 2010, 02:22:40 PM »
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Thanks for your comments, I'm still in the verge of going for windows or staying with linux, not decided yet, have been searching the web for pros and cons, and still have no definitive answer. Since I'm only into amateur photography I'm still looking for the best option for me, trying to find out if there are programs that really fit all of my needs without having to use too much apps for my work.
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wolfnowl
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« Reply #17 on: November 21, 2010, 12:32:54 AM »
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Bloody hell: I can't believe I just wrote that. "4Gb of RAM is not a lot". I remember the anguished debates when I was an undergraduate over how the University IBM 370 should allocated its newly-acquired fourth megabyte of main memory. Maybe I'm just old.
I know what you mean.  I can remember when 1GB of space was considered a 'mass storage device'.  O'course, I also remember 8" floppy disks and no hard drives at all... And then there were the 'flash card' days.

Mike.
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mayukh
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« Reply #18 on: November 21, 2010, 03:56:33 AM »
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looking for the best option for me, trying to find out if there are programs that really fit all of my needs without having to use too much apps for my work.

I agree. Too much apps complicates things. I guess GIMP would be fine for you to begin with in Linux. Of course, with time you'll realize what exactly are your specific needs, accordingly you can install new apps and/ or GIMP plugins. One thing about Linux is that in some cases you also get plugins for GIMP along with the standalone version of the apps, (like UFRaw plugin), which let you work within GIMP session only.

« Last Edit: November 21, 2010, 12:00:10 PM by mayukh » Logged
jalcocer
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« Reply #19 on: November 21, 2010, 09:41:18 AM »
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I agree, there are a lot of choices, a lot of options, between hardware and software. I love the speed linux gives, with a basic quad core and 4 gigs my pc feels like 8 gigs and a high end cpu, I can just imagine what would happen with linux and 8 gigs in my pc. I've been researching for options between open source and other apps, the last one I've been trying is bibble 5 pro, I really like it, it allows you to do a lot of things under the same software, it manages your libraries, using metadata, tags, the speed is amazing, either importing or exporting photos. And the editing is really good, but I'm still on the search, and try to find out if this is the one for me or maybe just go open source.

I install another partition with windows 7 64, and I have to say it feels lot slower in my machine, I wasn't aware of all the resources windows consume until I run it alongside with linux. That's a shame.
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