Laptop for serious amateur photographer

Started Mar 24, 2013 | Discussions
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lnguyenh Contributing Member • Posts: 685
Laptop for serious amateur photographer

Hello,

I am on the hunt to upgrade my current laptop (Dell inspiron 1520, 4G RAM, Core 2 duo, Seagate Momentum 750GB). I use my laptop for all my photo work, with Lightroom and Photoshop. I also have an old Eizo screen 19" that I use when I want more screen surface. I use the Xrite eyeone display 2 to calibrate my screens.

The ideal setup might be a desktop computer, but it just doesnt fit my current lifestyle.

I have been looking at the Asus rog g55 and g75.

I would like a good setup performance wise (Right now my files are 12 MP, but they might get bigger in the near future). My budget is around 1200 euros. I would prefer a touchpad with "separated mouse buttons". I am not after ultimate portability. I am more for a solid build, with little noise and good cooling (which are big selling points for the Asus G55 and G75). The screen should be decent, but doesnt have to be pro grade (within my budget it is probably out of reach anyways).

Do you have an opinion about 15 vs 17 inch for laptops? Do you agree with the G55/G75 suitability for photo related work? Other laptops I should look at?

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JulesJ
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 39,570
Re: Laptop for serious amateur photographer

lnguyenh wrote:

Hello,

I am on the hunt to upgrade my current laptop (Dell inspiron 1520, 4G RAM, Core 2 duo, Seagate Momentum 750GB). I use my laptop for all my photo work, with Lightroom and Photoshop. I also have an old Eizo screen 19" that I use when I want more screen surface. I use the Xrite eyeone display 2 to calibrate my screens.

The ideal setup might be a desktop computer, but it just doesnt fit my current lifestyle.

I have been looking at the Asus rog g55 and g75.

I would like a good setup performance wise (Right now my files are 12 MP, but they might get bigger in the near future). My budget is around 1200 euros. I would prefer a touchpad with "separated mouse buttons". I am not after ultimate portability. I am more for a solid build, with little noise and good cooling (which are big selling points for the Asus G55 and G75). The screen should be decent, but doesnt have to be pro grade (within my budget it is probably out of reach anyways).

Do you have an opinion about 15 vs 17 inch for laptops? Do you agree with the G55/G75 suitability for photo related work? Other laptops I should look at?

Solve all your problems and get a Mac laptop. Don't muck about with a Windows based one.

KENTGA Veteran Member • Posts: 4,388
Re: Laptop for serious amateur photographer

Look at this thread I started a couple of weeks ago. I ordered an HP from HP and just got it so I don't know much about it. I replaced a 6 year-old Dell that was very slow.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3392743

Kent

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NewsyL
NewsyL Veteran Member • Posts: 5,676
Re: Laptop for serious amateur photographer

The weak point with laptops has always been the screen in terms of matrix type, gamut coverage, and bit depth.

A screen with an IPS panel, full gamut coverage (either standard sRGB or wide gamut sRGB + AdobeRGB), and at least a true 8bit color depth is preferred.

Many, like the two you have focused on, have the guts to process images and video reasonably quickly and enough drive storage to get you through a good period of time until you have to archive images to external drives.  Almost all Windows laptops, and until the Retina displays - Mac laptops, have had screens that were not ideal for image editing. (There was a period about 6 years ago when a few laptops had better quality screens but they vanished recently.)

They usually use a TN LCD panel matrix which has poor viewing angles such that what you see on the top and bottom of the panel is shifted in gamma & color from the middle - users will fiddle with the angle of the screen to try to get it right.  Ditto left to right but usually not as noticeable in laptop screens as on large desktop monitors that use TN panels.

Then their backlight's usually did not offer even a full gamut coverage.  For about 18 months now we've seen an influx of laptops with IPS LCD matrices.  These offer much better viewing angles but still quite a few of them offer poor gamut coverage - 67% of sRGB is not uncommon.  So an IPS panel is not guarantee of full gamut coverage.

Another point with laptops is that often the screens were not offering a true 8bit color depth (16.7 million colors).  They were actually 6bit (262,144 colors)  and used a basic form of Frame Rate Control (FRC; often referred to as a dithering technique) to simulate an 8bit color depth.  Recent budget priced IPS desktop monitors also do this but they typically use an Advanced FRC.  Both have potential to produce banding in gradients and artifacts in dark areas though the curent AFRC is actually quite good.  The older FRC could be quite bad in some laptops.

So.... if you're really serious and you want accurate color on the laptop screen with full sRGB coverage and maybe even wide gamut coverage (sRGB + AdobeRGB), you're going to have to put out about $2000 USD to get what is sometimes known as a mobile workstation.

If you can live with a substandard screen while mobile and can use the (calibrated?) external back at home base then the ASUS models will suffice.

Here's a web site that I use for reference because they check the gamut coverage of the screens:

http://www.notebookcheck.net/

.

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DonA2
DonA2 Senior Member • Posts: 2,658
Re: Laptop for serious amateur photographer

Have a look at the Luminous Landscape site.  www.luminous-landscape.com

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Don V. Armitage

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gblatchford Regular Member • Posts: 278
Re: Laptop for serious amateur photographer

I would argue don't bother with a Mac as you'll end up paying twice as much for the same as a PC thinking it's twice as good to justify the madness.

For twice the price you'll get a PC that poops on a Mac at the same, I did, Dell Presision M6600.

I don't really find that it limits my work/sales as a working professional, but the others here who swear a beauty parade is what sells you images, are obviously correct.

My tu'penny'worth.

GB

JulesJ
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 39,570
Re: Laptop for serious amateur photographer

gblatchford wrote:

I would argue don't bother with a Mac as you'll end up paying twice as much for the same as a PC thinking it's twice as good to justify the madness.

Plus twice the ease of use and twice less hassle and a thought out user friendly interface unlike MS's

For twice the price you'll get a PC that poops on a Mac at the same, I did, Dell Presision M6600.

I don't really find that it limits my work/sales as a working professional, but the others here who swear a beauty parade is what sells you images, are obviously correct.

My tu'penny'worth.

GB

alvie Regular Member • Posts: 282
Re: Laptop for serious amateur photographer

I'm in the boat that you're in.  I was going to buy a Mac but then you have to pay $200.00 for photoshop upgrade in order to use mac platform CS6.  You'll have to pay a minium of $1600.00 for the mac retina pro 13 inch, you may also have to pay for any other software you have in your windows that you'll need. See where I'm going.  Mo Money...stay with the windows base laptop.   In the long run its no better no worse that the mac.

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Tom_N Forum Pro • Posts: 10,204
Re: Laptop for serious amateur photographer

alvie wrote:

I'm in the boat that you're in. I was going to buy a Mac but then you have to pay $200.00 for photoshop upgrade in order to use mac platform CS6.

That's Adobe's doing.  A Mac user of an old copy of Photoshop who was going to buy a Windows PC and move Photoshop to it would face the same "upgrade to cross-grade" fee.  (To make things more fun, I think Adobe now only allows upgrading from the immediately-previous version.)

You'll have to pay a minium of $1600.00 for the mac retina pro 13 inch

There are no laptops like the Retina MacBook Pros (whether 13-inch or 15-inch) anywhere in the Windows world.  But as a rule, if you go high-spec in the Windows world, you'll also have to pay for it.  (Take a look at the price on an HP EliteBook with DreamColor 2 IPS screen lately?)

turbsy
turbsy Contributing Member • Posts: 813
Re: Laptop for serious amateur photographer

JulesJ wrote:

lnguyenh wrote:

Hello,

I am on the hunt to upgrade my current laptop (Dell inspiron 1520, 4G RAM, Core 2 duo, Seagate Momentum 750GB). I use my laptop for all my photo work, with Lightroom and Photoshop. I also have an old Eizo screen 19" that I use when I want more screen surface. I use the Xrite eyeone display 2 to calibrate my screens.

The ideal setup might be a desktop computer, but it just doesnt fit my current lifestyle.

I have been looking at the Asus rog g55 and g75.

I would like a good setup performance wise (Right now my files are 12 MP, but they might get bigger in the near future). My budget is around 1200 euros. I would prefer a touchpad with "separated mouse buttons". I am not after ultimate portability. I am more for a solid build, with little noise and good cooling (which are big selling points for the Asus G55 and G75). The screen should be decent, but doesnt have to be pro grade (within my budget it is probably out of reach anyways).

Do you have an opinion about 15 vs 17 inch for laptops? Do you agree with the G55/G75 suitability for photo related work? Other laptops I should look at?

Solve all your problems and get a Mac laptop. Don't muck about with a Windows based one.

And why diodes buying a Mac solve the problem?  Can you even get a MBP for 1200 euros?

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Birk Binnard
Birk Binnard Senior Member • Posts: 1,822
Here's what I did

I use a laptop when travelling for photo & video backup & editing.  So I wanted a machine that was easy to pack but still had enough power to run Photoshop Elements, Autopano Giga, and Sony Vegas.

I know from experience I needed at least an i5 CPU, and after converting my desktop's boot device to an SSD I knew the laptop had to have the same feature.

I opted for an ASUS ZenBook - because I only use it when travelling I got the small one with the i5 CPU, but they make a big screen one as well, and you can get an i7 if yu want to pay the extra $.

ZenBooks have IPS screens and therefore display a really great looking image.

My ZenBook has a 128GB SSD drive, period.  This is not a lot of space - with Win8 & my software I have about 60% free.  But I travel with a 2TB USB3 pocket drive which is where I put system backups and all my image & video files.  (On a typical trip I usually end up with about 50GB of photo & video files.)

Win8 is another story itself of course.  Most people either love it or hate it.  I'm a hater, but I installed a $5 utility called Start8 that makes the system look & run just like Win7.

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JulesJ
JulesJ Forum Pro • Posts: 39,570
Re: Laptop for serious amateur photographer

turbsy wrote:

JulesJ wrote:

lnguyenh wrote:

Hello,

I am on the hunt to upgrade my current laptop (Dell inspiron 1520, 4G RAM, Core 2 duo, Seagate Momentum 750GB). I use my laptop for all my photo work, with Lightroom and Photoshop. I also have an old Eizo screen 19" that I use when I want more screen surface. I use the Xrite eyeone display 2 to calibrate my screens.

The ideal setup might be a desktop computer, but it just doesnt fit my current lifestyle.

I have been looking at the Asus rog g55 and g75.

I would like a good setup performance wise (Right now my files are 12 MP, but they might get bigger in the near future). My budget is around 1200 euros. I would prefer a touchpad with "separated mouse buttons". I am not after ultimate portability. I am more for a solid build, with little noise and good cooling (which are big selling points for the Asus G55 and G75). The screen should be decent, but doesnt have to be pro grade (within my budget it is probably out of reach anyways).

Do you have an opinion about 15 vs 17 inch for laptops? Do you agree with the G55/G75 suitability for photo related work? Other laptops I should look at?

Solve all your problems and get a Mac laptop. Don't muck about with a Windows based one.

And why diodes buying a Mac solve the problem?  Can you even get a MBP for 1200 euros?

Pas with most things, you get what you pay for.

turbsy
turbsy Contributing Member • Posts: 813
Re: Laptop for serious amateur photographer

JulesJ wrote:

turbsy wrote:

JulesJ wrote:

lnguyenh wrote:

Hello,

I am on the hunt to upgrade my current laptop (Dell inspiron 1520, 4G RAM, Core 2 duo, Seagate Momentum 750GB). I use my laptop for all my photo work, with Lightroom and Photoshop. I also have an old Eizo screen 19" that I use when I want more screen surface. I use the Xrite eyeone display 2 to calibrate my screens.

The ideal setup might be a desktop computer, but it just doesnt fit my current lifestyle.

I have been looking at the Asus rog g55 and g75.

I would like a good setup performance wise (Right now my files are 12 MP, but they might get bigger in the near future). My budget is around 1200 euros. I would prefer a touchpad with "separated mouse buttons". I am not after ultimate portability. I am more for a solid build, with little noise and good cooling (which are big selling points for the Asus G55 and G75). The screen should be decent, but doesnt have to be pro grade (within my budget it is probably out of reach anyways).

Do you have an opinion about 15 vs 17 inch for laptops? Do you agree with the G55/G75 suitability for photo related work? Other laptops I should look at?

Solve all your problems and get a Mac laptop. Don't muck about with a Windows based one.

And why diodes buying a Mac solve the problem?  Can you even get a MBP for 1200 euros?

Pas with most things, you get what you pay for.

let me correct that for you.  You get what you over pay for.  MBP are nice well built machines. I have owned two. With the new non upgradable MBPs i cannot recommend them even with the retina screen.

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Tom_N Forum Pro • Posts: 10,204
Re: Laptop for serious amateur photographer

turbsy wrote:

JulesJ wrote:

lnguyenh wrote:

I would like a good setup performance wise (Right now my files are 12 MP, but they might get bigger in the near future). My budget is around 1200 euros. I would prefer a touchpad with "separated mouse buttons". I am not after ultimate portability. I am more for a solid build, with little noise and good cooling (which are big selling points for the Asus G55 and G75). The screen should be decent, but doesnt have to be pro grade (within my budget it is probably out of reach anyways).

Do you have an opinion about 15 vs 17 inch for laptops? Do you agree with the G55/G75 suitability for photo related work? Other laptops I should look at?

Solve all your problems and get a Mac laptop. Don't muck about with a Windows based one.

And why diodes buying a Mac solve the problem?  Can you even get a MBP for 1200 euros?

Yes, you can.  But according to the prices posted on the French Apple Store site, that would be for a 13" MacBook Pro (base model).  15" models with quad-core CPUs (which better match the specs the OP seems to want) start at 600 euros more than that, and go from there.

Curiously enough, the numbers for the base 13" and 15" models are the same on the U.S. and the French sites, even though the units (dollars, euros) differ, and the euro is worth more.  I think the French prices may include VAT, whereas the US prices are the prices before sales tax.

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