Fastest photo editor for Mac or PC

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
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iullian Regular Member • Posts: 297
Fastest photo editor for Mac or PC


Even if I knew in advance that my workflow would be impacted, I upgraded from A7ii to A7Rii - and now I am in this position, when the editing workflow became hugely time consuming.

First - I shoot RAW only.

Second - I have only laptops - one MacBook Pro 13 (the first one with only 2 USB-C ports - no touchbar) and a 5'th gen i7 laptop (lenovo, if it matters) with dedicated 2GB video card, SSD and 8 GRAM.

Third - I am a paid subscriber to Adobe Photography plan (Lightroom and Photoshop) and I have licence for Photolemur and budget for others (Luminar, Capture One, etc.).

Fourth - space is not a problem - I always edit, transfer both raws and edited jpegs to external HDD and clean the working laptop.

Now - the main laptop I use is the MacBook Pro. I simply love it, as a tool. When I had the A7ii, it took me usually 3-4 hours / batch edit (about 200 raws). During the first hour, I usually import in Lightroom the raws and I rate the photos. I usually end up with about half (100). I apply a preset (as a start point) and start playing around with the fine-editing. I usually clean the eyes (when faces), enhance the sky (when present) and crop to taste. After all of them are done, I export them on disk. During the edit, I copy-paste settings for similar photos. When everything done, I upload the entire batch to my flickr account (I have really fast internet) and move the photos to the external drive. I have to mention that I don't do cosmetics or surgeries within my workflow, as I am a hobbyist, not a paid photographer.

But now, along with the A7Rii - the time increased a lot. It takes me almost double the time to complete the same workflow. Which leads me to this topic.

1. The import time - from SD Card to PC - I cannot change this. I have the fastest SD Card (that I afford) and the best/fastest SD card reader available for Mac (SD to USB-C). So - this is a step I cannot skip/restrain

2. The rating - I am using Lightroom for rating, as I usually intend to edit in Lightroom. This step also extended to almost double, as (pre) rendering and checking the focus takes a lot of time. Do you have other recommendation for rating?

3. Editing - as I said - along with the large files the time became a problem. This is my main concern. Do you have recommendation for faster editors? I stated above what I usually edit: presets as base point, auto WB, auto Color, auto Lighting and some corrections to eyes (cleaning and enlightening) and skies (enhancing). Lens corrections and sharpness/noise reduction minor control.

I bought Photolemur for its promised AI editing and, in fact, it does a good job BUT it has one HUGE HUGE HUGE gap: no cropping. Really? 2018 and no cropping? I tried it lastnight: I uploaded about 100 raws from A7Rii (the entire shooting, no rating) in the evening and I pushed one button to do its magic. After 3 hours, the progressing bar was at about 75-80% (guessing - as no indicator for this) and I fell asleep. In the morning, I found the entire batch exported according to my settings (sRGB jpegs, 100% quality). But, it took me another 2 hours for importing them in Lightroom, rate them (50% remains), CROP them, re-export and upload them. So, in the end, it physically took me about 2 hrs in front of Mac to end up with 50 photos, and another 3-4 hours for Photolemur to perform its magic.

For curiosity only - I installed Luminar during the morning and I edited 1 raw (no problems - the same time as with Lightroom) but the export time for this 1 edit only took about 2 minutes and froze the laptop completely during the process.

Any suggestion would be welcome - the fastest = the best.

4. Export time (see above) goes hand in hand with the editor.

5. Cleaning process - I cannot do much here.

I know that my post is long, but I would like to get some positive/constructive answers.

A dedicated editing machine is not possible, because of lack of space. I simply don't have where to install a desktop solution.

Thank you all !

 iullian's gear list:iullian's gear list
Sony FE 55mm F1.8 Sony FE 28mm F2 Zeiss Batis 85mm F1.8 Zeiss Loxia 35 Sony a7R II
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