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Old Jan 21, 2013, 1:38 PM   #1
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Default Software tools and availability

I am planning on getting a second computer to support my photography hobby. My current system is pretty good to perform day to day tasks and also some photography tools like Gimp, ArcSoft, Proshow Gold etc.

For the new backup computer, I am tossing with the idea of changing the OS platform. The alternatives that I am considering are MacBook Pro and UbuntuStudio. When I go through photography magazines I see lots of software for touch ups, special effects, panoramic stitching etc. Now the questions of the software and availability for these platforms:

1. How expensive is the software that is available of Mac OSX?
2. Are there commercial photography tools available of Linux? I do not mind paying as long as it works and there is some support. I am not interested in using virtualization software to run Windows for the photo tools.

My comfort zone is Linux and I know that it does not crave for more and more memory for processing photos.

Other than GIMP/Photoshop, what other tools are really useful for a photographer?

Thank you in advance for any advice and information.
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Old Jan 21, 2013, 10:31 PM   #2
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There are some plug-ins that I use often - Viveza from Nik Software and several of Topaz Lab's programs (DeNoise, Detail and occasionally some of the other ones). They are not stand-alone programs, they need to work with a program like Lightroom, Aperture or Photoshop/PSE.
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Old Jan 22, 2013, 12:34 PM   #3
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I use Linux Peppermint 3 and am trying Pinta for manipulating photos. I'm struggling with it because although it looks somewhat like Photoshop, it has it's own ways of doing things.

But if you like Linux, and you're looking for an alternative to Photoshop and Gimp, you'll probably find Pinta interesting.
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Old Jan 24, 2013, 12:19 PM   #4
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Lots of free stuff available http://www.photo-freeware.net/category-downloads.php
Most of it is for Windows of course, but a lot of it is plugins, so if your main editor can use them, you're golden. Also a good bit of stuff for Linux if you search it.

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Old Feb 9, 2013, 5:43 PM   #5
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kleanchap -

I overlooked that you'd said you were looking for second computer to use as a backup and to specialise in photograpy.

You are obviously contemplating a similar arrangement to mine. I use Linux Peppermint 3 on my six year old main computer. I use it for virtually everything - but hardly ever for adjusting photos. I don't use my two favorite photo programs (Photoshop Elements 2 and Faststone) on it because they can work only clumsily under Linux, so I make do with gthumb and Pinta instead. They're nothing like so good or capable as Faststone or Photoshop respectively, but they can sometimes be useful.

My second computer is around 7 years old too. I keep it disconnected from the Internet. It uses Photoshop Elements 2 and Faststone image viewer - and moreover it runs them under Windows 2000. The combination works very well indeed.

Another point - when it comes to Photography the monitor always seems (to me) to be the most important piece of equipment. Within reason, the bigger and the more quality the better.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 6:55 PM   #6
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while I agree with Herb that the monitor is very important do not overlook RAM on your computer or new computer. get as much as your operating system can use and you can afford. Editing 100s (or even more than a 1000) 30MB 14 bit RAW files takes a lot of ram to keep the process moving. I am currently seriously looking at Windows to replace Windows XP so I can run 16GB of ram vs the 4GB I have now. When I edit 1000 to 1200 wedding images the process gets bogged down because of the amount of ram I have. I ran a test last week on a friends machine that had 16Gb of ram and the process ran so smooth for me, I esitmate it will take me about 1/2 the time once I make the change
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 11:15 PM   #7
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Photo 5 -

You're absolutely right about the benefits of using as much RAM as your computer can cope with & you can afford.

The same applies to solid state Hard Drives. SSDs, though costly, tend to operate amazingly fast.
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