/ Anyone use a laptop or tablet for photo editing?

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Vanessa Simmons on 19 Nov 2016
What device do folks use for basic photo editing and what are its pros and cons?

Santa has offered to replace my ancient Dell laptop (14" screen, 2.8 kg). I like the screen size and quality but not the weight. It's mainly used for Photoshop (fairly basic techniques with an ancient version of Elements) emails, googling etc. I like to take it with me on holiday so I can edit and share the photos straightaway. Anyone got any advice for Santa?

Thanks.
Glyno - on 19 Nov 2016
In reply to Vanessa Simmons:

use a laptop for editing when on the move, away from home, etc, and have a decent sized monitor at home to plug into your laptop - best of both worlds!
Vanessa Simmons on 19 Nov 2016
In reply to Glyno:

Thanks Glyno. Which laptop is it and would you recommend it?
thlcr1 on 19 Nov 2016
In reply to Vanessa Simmons:

I recently changed from using a desktop with a large screen to using a small screen convertible tablet/laptop. Its a Lenovo Mix 700 and is basically a clone of Microsoft Surface pro 4 at a lower price. Runs Windows 10, has a Core M7 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid state hard drive. Seems to handle PhotoShop and Lightroom almost as well as my 5 year old desktop did. The screen maybe half the size of my desktops monitor, but its very high res and amazingly vivid, and as you view it from about a foot away it looks, to my eyes, better than a monitor viewed from 3 foot away. My guess is that most of these sort of machines would work fine.

Lee
In reply to Vanessa Simmons:

I do all of my editing / writing / work on a 13 inch MacBook pro. Can't recommend it enough...
Chris Craggs - on 19 Nov 2016
In reply to Vanessa Simmons:

I do all my photo work and write all my books on a laptop as I am away from home for 90% of the year.

I currently have a 2 year old 15" MacBook Pro and although it was very pricey it still chews through everything I throw at it with ease. The only problem is the hard-drive is a only 512 gig and that means I have to keep stuff on a separate drive.

Not sure what your budget is but Sherri has a three year old 13" Mac Air which has been brilliant, super-portable and still runs for 6+ hrs on a full charge - that would handle the stuff you are describing with ease.

Chris
monkey man - on 19 Nov 2016
In reply to Vanessa Simmons:

for those with a mac book what software are you using for editing photos?

thanks
John2 - on 19 Nov 2016
In reply to Chris Craggs:

I have Lightroom on a Lenovo laptop with a core i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory and a separate video card. The processing power is well up to the job - if you don't need a specialised video display then this sort of setup is perfectly adequate (and a great deal cheaper than anything Apple produce).
In reply to monkey man:

Adobe Creative Cloud photography package. 8 a month for Bridge, Lightroom and Photoshop. Superb for the money.
Chris Craggs - on 19 Nov 2016
In reply to monkey man:

Like James I use the Creative Cloud package (I also have the Indesign part for the books). Initially I was very against the subscription idea, but I have come round and I love the fact that the software is now always up-to-date. I do the vast majority of my photo-editing with Lightroom, only using Photoshop for more sophisticated butchery! Not sure if you can subscribe to Lightroom only but if so, that would be ideal,

Chris
ianstevens - on 19 Nov 2016
In reply to John2:

> I have Lightroom on a Lenovo laptop with a core i5 processor, 8 gigabytes of memory and a separate video card. The processing power is well up to the job - if you don't need a specialised video display then this sort of setup is perfectly adequate (and a great deal cheaper than anything Apple produce).

Pretty much the same here - Lenovo something or other with a core i&, 8GB Ram and a 2GB dedicated video card, and was a shade under 500 at Easter this year. Screen isn't the best as some of the colours wash out a little when you don't have the viewing angle perfect, but otherwise its great. There are lighter laptops, but I've carted it around the Alps and NZ without any issues at all.
ianstevens - on 19 Nov 2016
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> Like James I use the Creative Cloud package (I also have the Indesign part for the books). Initially I was very against the subscription idea, but I have come round and I love the fact that the software is now always up-to-date. I do the vast majority of my photo-editing with Lightroom, only using Photoshop for more sophisticated butchery! Not sure if you can subscribe to Lightroom only but if so, that would be ideal,

> Chris

You can't unfortunately - the best option is CC for Photographers at 8.57 p/m which also has Photoshop.
jethro kiernan - on 19 Nov 2016
In reply to Vanessa Simmons:
I've done some basic editing on my ipad from Nikon dale via wifi whilst on holidays using lightroom app, not cloud, it was fine for getting things onto social media etc. but not sure I would be using it to upload to photo liberties etc.
Did make me think that getting a new laptop would be good as I am taking the photography more seriously again, not sure that I can justify a MacBook Pro with the price increase, a MacBook Air might be upto it but might struggle a bit, a bit of looking around and the assus zen series tick a few boxes, also factor in the expense of a decent tough portable hard drive.
A slightly left field option is an ipad pro with keyboard not sure about external storage for these, more research needed.
Glyno - on 19 Nov 2016
In reply to Vanessa Simmons:

I use a 13" Macbook Pro in conjunction with a 22" iiyama monitor.
I also subscribe to Abobe's Creative Cloud package.

One tip I'd mention - always use a wired mouse as opposed to a wireless or bluetooth mouse for better accuracy and response.
Chris Craggs - on 19 Nov 2016
In reply to Glyno:

> I use a 13" Macbook Pro in conjunction with a 22" iiyama monitor.

> I also subscribe to Abobe's Creative Cloud package.

> One tip I'd mention - always use a wired mouse as opposed to a wireless or bluetooth mouse for better accuracy and response.

When I handed over a recent book to Alan James I commented that I had been having a few issues with a 'sticky' trackpad. He was astounded (to the point of being lost for words) when I told I hadn't used a mouse on any of my recent books - just the trackpad for all the design work, drawing lines, photoshop editing, etc.

What you get used to I guess,

Chris
thlcr1 on 19 Nov 2016
In reply to ianstevens:

> You can't unfortunately - the best option is CC for Photographers at 8.57 p/m which also has Photoshop.

True unfortunately. You can however buy a standalone version of Lightroom 6 for around 100. You'll get upcoming ver 6 updates but once they go to 7 your out in the cold. On the whole the subscription very might be the best value, especially if you want PhotoShop as well.

Lee
Fraser on 19 Nov 2016
In reply to Glyno:
Have you tried using a small tablet (Wacom style) instead of the mouse? If not, I'd definitely recommend it, it's much more fluid and versatile imo.
Post edited at 18:45
charlieg0pzo - on 19 Nov 2016
Photoshop cs2 is now free. You can also download GIMP for nothing.

Glyno - on 19 Nov 2016
In reply to Fraser:

> Have you tried using a small tablet (Wacom style) instead of the mouse? If not, I'd definitely recommend it, it's much more fluid and versatile imo.

hmm... I do have a small Wacom tablet, but despite a few dabbles I seem to find using a mouse easier. I should really take the time and effort to get more used to it I suppose.
The Lemming - on 19 Nov 2016
In reply to Vanessa Simmons:

Question for the mac fans, if I bought a mac laptop would it play nicely with my Synology NAS?
Sam W - on 19 Nov 2016
In reply to The Lemming:

Have used Mac laptop for a couple of years with a Subplot and had zero problems.

On the laptop front I bought a gaming laptop purely because I wanted plenty of oomph for photo editing. It's a Dell 7559, the only thing I have against it is that the screen is so good photos look amazing, then you put them on a standard monitor and they lose a lot of their vibrancy
Vanessa Simmons on 20 Nov 2016
In reply to Vanessa Simmons:

Thanks for the replies everyone. Some interesting ideas there. Looks like it might be a Dell Inspiron as recommended by Which? as a good all-rounder.
In reply to The Lemming:

> Question for the mac fans, if I bought a mac laptop would it play nicely with my Synology NAS?

The MacBooks on my home network speak to the Windows PCs OK so I would've thought it'd be fine.

The Lemming - on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to Paul Phillips - UKC and UKH:

Thanks for that.

jethro kiernan - on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to Vanessa Simmons:

Anyone used a MacBook Air for photo editing or does it struggle a bit, finding the cost of MacBooks a little hard to Swallow :-/ and not sure I would be able to fork out for the MacBook Pro
Chris Craggs - on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to jethro kiernan:

I would have thought an Air would be fine for photo-editing, it isn't a very processor intensive operation. Not like video-editing,


Chris
biped - on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to monkey man:

Capture1 Pro for 99%+ of everything. Not cheap but available for windows.

For pixel editing/photoshop type work (which I hardly ever do) I use Affinity Photo which is AFAIK mac only and was 30.
keith-ratcliffe on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to Vanessa Simmons:
A couple of points I would suggest for your new Laptop.
Dedicate the laptop to photo work and keep your desktop tidy. I have only a couple of folders for current images in progress and I minimise the applications to just those I use for photo-work. Only use the hard drive for work in progress - it will quickly fill up and slow things down. Use an external hard drive or cloud for long term storage and backup regularly.
Fraser on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to Chris Craggs:

> I would have thought an Air would be fine for photo-editing, it isn't a very processor intensive operation.

Aside from processing power, is photo-editing not about monitor real estate as much as anything else? I know when I'm using PS or LR I need lots of S - P - A - C - E so I'm not essentially working with a thumbnail-sized image ;-)
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jethro kiernan - on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to Fraser:

I have an imac at home that is the primary photo editing tool, looking for something portable, no matter what laptop you use it always seems small after a big desktop screen ;-)
Chris Craggs - on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to Fraser:

> Aside from processing power, is photo-editing not about monitor real estate as much as anything else? I know when I'm using PS or LR I need lots of S - P - A - C - E so I'm not essentially working with a thumbnail-sized image ;-)

Yes, I can see that. I spend my whole life on a laptop (15" admittedly) and it is adequate rather than ideal,


Chris
icnoble on 23 Nov 2016
In reply to The Lemming:

Yes it will, I have both and everything works fine.

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