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Old Nov 5, 2012, 4:12 PM   #1
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Default laptop for photo

Hi, flexible here. I got rid of my film cameras last year and bought a Canon EOS T3i 6 months ago. My 6 year old desktop started dying and i'm looking for a laptop to handle digital photos. I use Elements.

Does anyone have recommendations? I'd like to keep it under $2,000.

I've been told to get an Intel i7 and 16G of RAM.

thanks

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Old Nov 5, 2012, 4:49 PM   #2
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I think 16G will be overkill for PSE.

I'd go with a Dell Latitude. You could save some money by checking out the Dell Outlet Store.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 4:58 PM   #3
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IMO, the displays on laptops are unsuitable for photo editing. If someone knows of an exception, I would be happy to hear of it. Unless you absolutely need the portability, I think you would be better off with a replacement desktop.
16GB of RAM would probably be overkill unless you will be doing a good bit of video editing as well. With Elements and still photos, 4GB would probably be enough, but memory is fairly cheap, so I would likely go with 8GB in this case. Be sure to get large enough hard drive. I always find I underestimate how much storage I will need, and have to upgrade later.

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Old Nov 5, 2012, 5:32 PM   #4
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As for ram the more you can have the better. 4GB as a minimum, but 16GB seems like overkill. Laptops are good for minor photo work but for the majority of stuff you need a good desktop monitor.

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Old Nov 5, 2012, 5:35 PM   #5
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I don't know that I'd say that laptop screens are unsuitable for photo editting. Get the biggest screen with the lowest resolution you can. ... Yes, that's right. I said "the lowest resolution." Higher resolution screens make the detail smaller, so it's harder to see.

... and you can add a full size desktop monitor to a laptop via a docking station, which is also a good idea. But again, get a big size with a lower resolution.

I will say that a trackpad is unsuitable for photo editting. Get a mouse.
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Old Nov 5, 2012, 6:21 PM   #6
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Yes use a mouse like TCav said.

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Old Nov 8, 2012, 1:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VTphotog View Post
IMO, the displays on laptops are unsuitable for photo editing. If someone knows of an exception, I would be happy to hear of it.
It's true, the vast majority of laptops have displays that do a poor job rendering an image. There are some exceptions though and there is always the option to source a laptop with proper connectivity options so as to connect a decent external monitor.

Most laptops use inexpensive TN tft LCD panels in their displays. They are easy to spot - their screens exhibit a gamma/color shift as you tilt the display to various angles vertically and horizontally. Seen from below the colors shift to the extreme of appearing like a film negative. Preferred LCD panels are those using either IPS, PLS, or the now seldom seen, PVA tft matrixes. The main issue is viewing angles but there are also issues with color depth and color space coverage.

There is a good article here that discusses LCD matrixes:
http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles...chnologies.htm

Viewing angles - compare the following from TFT Central:
IPS - http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/images/d...ing_angles.jpg
TN - http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/images/i...ing_angles.jpg

Color depth - many if not most inexpensive laptops with TN displays also offer a 6bit color depth but use a bit of electronics wizardry (Frame Rate Control ie. FRC) to simulate an 8bit color depth of 16.7 million colors. Unfortunately, these displays with their poor processing tend to exhibit a fair bit of banding in color gradients.

Gamut - just as with external monitors, the vast majority of laptops offer a color gamut that covers most of the sRGB color space. Some are notably less, i.e. 67% of the sRGB space. A handful offer "RGB LED" type back lights that cover the sRGB and AdobeRGB color spaces and these are known as "wide gamut" displays.

Several years ago (to 2006) some IBM laptops featured displays using IPS panels with a sRGB gamut. Then we got into the dark years for laptop displays up until about 18 months ago when IPS panels began to show up again, notably in a line of desktop replacement models from HP. Initially these were very very expensive, in excess of $3000 USD. Today you can find IPS panels in models from HP, Dell, Lenovo, Sony, ASUS, and perhaps others for about $1000 USD at the bottom end. Some of these offer wide gamut backlights and others sRGB coverage or a portion of sRGB. Most people edit photos on sRGB gamut external monitors so don't let that scare you off.

You may want to investigate the following models or do a Google search for "laptops with ips display 2012".

alphabetically....

Apple MacBook with Retina Display
- more or less sRGB gamut

ASUS Zenbook's UX31 and UX32 13.3" w/1920x1080 IPS display
- more or less sRGB gamut

Dell Precision M6700 w/"Premium Panel" IPS option display
- a premier model
- 17.3" 1920x1080
- wide gamut sRGB + AdobeRGB via RGB-LED backlight
- claimed 10bit color depth

Dell Precision M4700 w/"Premium Panel" IPS option display
- similar to above
- 15.6" 1920x1080

HP Elitebook 8770w w/ "Dreamcolor" display
- a premier model
- 17.3" 1920x1080
- wide gamut sRGB + AdobeRGB via RGB-LED backlight
- claimed 10bit color depth

HP Elitebook 8570w w/Dreamcolor display
- similar to above
- 15.6" 1920x1080

(note: you may be able to get a deal on the prior generation HP 8760w and 8560w and Dell M6600 and M4600 models)

HP Envy 15-3040nr (and perhaps other Envy models)

Lenovo X230 Thinkpad w/IPS option
- some debate over the percentsage of sRGB coverage with the backllight on this model

Samsung Series 9 w/PLS matrix

Sony Vaio SE w/IPS option


Miscellaneous stuff

The Dell XPS laptops, though some have a wide gamut LED backlight, use TN panels.

M6600 vs 8760w http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=6470

Connectivity - if you decide to go for a budget model but connect a good quality external monitor for office/home editing, try to get a model with a "DisplayPort". With the DisplayPort you are usually assured support for 1920x1200 and 2560x1440 or 2560x1600 resolutions which on some inexpensive models with HDMI ports, is not a sure thing (reports of some older cheap models supporting 1920x1080 but not 1920x1200 via HDMI). You could also support those resolutions with a "Dual Link" DVI-D port but these are hard to find on laptops. For future proofing, high bandwith 2560x1440 or 2560x1600 resolutions require either a DisplayPort or Dual Link DVI-D. Technically HDMI can support these resolutions but practically this is an unknown.

Last edited by NewsyL; Nov 8, 2012 at 1:48 PM.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 1:50 PM   #8
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PS....

I just priced out through the Sony Store an S15 model with a 15.5" 1920x1080 IPS screen for under $1300 CAD.

VAIO S15 Series Custom Laptop

Model Number: SVS151290S Standard


  • 3rd gen Intel® Core™ i7-3632QM (2.20GHz / 3.20GHz with Turbo Boost) Upgrade & Save! Was $250 [$150.00]
  • Windows 8 64-bit
  • No Fresh Start
  • Imagination Studio™ VAIO® Edition software
  • Microsoft® Office 2010 trial version
  • 15.5" LED backlit Full HD IPS display (1920 x 1080)
  • NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 640M LE (2GB) hybrid graphics with Intel® Wireless Display technology [$50.00]
  • 750GB (7200rpm) hard drive [$60.00]
  • 8GB (4GB fixed onboard + 4GB removable) DDR3-1333MHz [$80.00]
  • CD/DVD player / burner
  • Internal lithium polymer battery (4400mAh)
  • English only with Backlight

Not the smallest, or lightest, or longest battery life, but looks to be a decent laptop for mobile editing of images.

Edit... it seems the older SE model which used the same IPS panel may have some issues with covering the full sRGB color space - reds appear orange is one complaint.

Edit... confirmed same issue with the Sony S15; HP Envy's with a 15.5" IPS panel are also said to have this issue.

See >> http://forum.notebookreview.com/hp-e...ml#post8241643

.

Last edited by NewsyL; Nov 22, 2012 at 2:07 PM.
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