laptops versus desktops (also monitor Q)

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by skywalkerbeth, Jun 16, 2008.

  1. skywalkerbeth

    skywalkerbeth TPF Noob!

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    Not sure if this is the best forum for this question...

    Do most of you use desktops for your photography? Or are laptops just fine for what you do?

    I have a nice laptop that is three years old. It is nearly full - but it also occurred to me that a three year old laptop is going to be slow compared to what is out there. It has 100 gigs on the HD.

    I just bought a cheapie laptop solely for traveling. It uses Vista. Alas, it's almost full too! It has an 80 gig hard drive, that I didn't expect to use/store, but of course since it is my TRAVELING laptop, all my photos go there first and I rarely move them over to the main one afterwards. It's almost half full.

    At any rate, a friend of mine just had a desktop built and bought a really razz monitor. See the monitor below. Her desktop holds something like 500 gigs.

    When I bought my laptop, the big reason was to reduce clutter in my office/on my desk. I hated having a big desktop (AND UGLY MONITOR) taking up space. But these new ones are so sleek.

    Thoughts? I'd especially like to know if the below monitor is high quality or not. It would be so nice to really see the photos, up large and personal!

    http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11225728&search=Samsung%2024%22%20Widescreen%20LCD%20Computer%20Monitor%20Item%20%23302443&Mo=0&cm_re=1_en-_-Top_Left_Nav-_-Top_search&lang=en-US&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&Sp=S&N=5000043&whse=BC&Dx=mode+matchallpartial&Ntk=Text_Search&Dr=P_CatalogName:BC&Ne=4000000&D=Samsung%2024%22%20Widescreen%20LCD%20Computer%20Monitor%20Item%20%23302443&Ntt=Samsung%2024%22%20Widescreen%20LCD%20Computer%20Monitor%20Item%20%23302443&No=0&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Nty=1&topnav=&s=1
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    If storage space is an issue, you could always get/use external hard drives. That is a good idea with a lap top anyway because you don't want to risk loosing all of your images if the computer is lost/broken/stolen etc.

    A lot of people like to have a 'work station' where they can set up their computer and peripherals for ideal editing. Other people like to do their photo editing on the couch with a laptop.

    A big monitor can be great...but one problem I've seen with many LCD screens, is that images look different at different parts of the screen. With a huge screen, it might be worse.

    You might consider dual monitors.
     
  3. skywalkerbeth

    skywalkerbeth TPF Noob!

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    thanks Mike.

    actually, I am trying to justify getting that HUGE monitor. wow, did it look nice. I like the laptop a lot, but was blown away by the massive monitor.

    can I just hook the laptop to a monitor, and if I do.. I guess I would have to get a docking station and a keyboard?
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I'm not sure. I think you can just run a laptop to a 2nd monitor without a docking station. I personally wouldn't want to work solely on a laptop though.

    One thing to consider is how precise & accurate you want to be with your photo editing. Even for basic photo editing, I recommend a calibration device like the Spyder or the Eyeone. For really accurate display, a professional monitor is recommended.
     
  5. Apex

    Apex TPF Noob!

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    You can dual monitor with a laptop. Theres a slot to plug it into your laptop in the back just as you would plug it into a desktop. You wouldnt need a new keyboard but IMO laptop keyboards suck anyway.

    Eh, mike beat me to it
     
  6. jvgig

    jvgig TPF Noob!

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    I use both. When you are out (trip, vacation, sporting event) and you fill a memory card, the laptop is a nice thing to have as you can clear your card and view your pics. Also, if you have free time in an airport or at night, you can do some basic editing (cropping, etc) on the laptop screen. However, if you can be at home, the desktop is a much better choice. For the same money, you get better screen, better hardware, more comfortable keyboard/mouse, adjustable monitor positions. Personally I would never do color corrections on a laptop screen unless I absolutely had to. Most laptop screens do not have the accuracy of a dedicated monitor. My friend has an imac, which uses laptop parts, and put together a bunch of "black" images with bugs expecting to just see a black background with insects on it. However, it came back from being professionally printed and he was very disappointed as you could easily make out the edges of each image, which his monitor did not show.

    That monitor is of average quality. It will probably suit your needs, especially if cost is a concern. "high quality" 24" monitors usually run $1000 and up (eizo, lacie, i believe some high end samsungs, some nec)

    As you stated, you could use the laptop as your computer and hook it up to an external monitor, keyboard, mouse etc, which will save some money, but it will still not be as powerful as a desktop. (dual core vs quad, possible raid, multi dvd drives, more ram slots, more addon car options.
     
  7. skywalkerbeth

    skywalkerbeth TPF Noob!

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    thanks guys. How do I find and use a calibration device?

    also, does it matter how great my laptop and calibration are.. if the place I print (kodak, shutterfly) is not "super high quality"...?

    Apex, did you mean to say I would need a keyboard? I guess it would be awkward to type on a laptop (open) with the monitor behind it, too. My desk isn't huge (and it's covered with paperwork, argh).
     
  8. skywalkerbeth

    skywalkerbeth TPF Noob!

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    jvgig, thanks. I'm not a pro photog, just a hobbyist. If that monitor is ok for a newbie, I could use it for a while. I mostly liked that you could see your WHOLE photo on it - no enlarging and scrolling. Plus the resolution looked nice.

    where would I go, to find a really good photo monitor?
     
  9. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Even a laptop screen should be calibrated if you use it for photo editing. But you have to be sure that your viewing angle is not affecting how you see the images on the screen.

    The Spyder is made by ColorVision. You buy it with a software package like ColorVsion Express. You install the software and then use the device on on the screen as per the instructions (it's super easy). It then creates a profile which your video card uses to make your display more accurate. It should be done every month or two.
     
  10. Parkerman

    Parkerman TPF Noob!

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    I just recently got a lap top.. like.. last week.

    All of my main editing for a picture will be done on my desktop PC. However if im on the go.. and im taking pictures, i can also upload them to my lappy and edit them.

    Im going to be purchasing the Spyder2express sometime.. Because I need to calibrate my desktop and laptop. Calibration is very important in the world of photography if you plan on editing your pictures. Because what might look right on your screen... wont show up right on a print.
     
  11. maytay20

    maytay20 TPF Noob!

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    I have a laptop that I dump photos on while I am out, I also have a desktop that is more powerfull and can actually handle running CS3. My laptop just drags running CS3. Also I much prefer my desk top even with a LCD screen because the viewing angle on my laptop does change what my photos look like. I also have more than 1 external hard drive just to make sure everything is backed up, it sucks to loose pics just because lack of backup.
     
  12. jvgig

    jvgig TPF Noob!

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    just so you know, a photo's resolution will still be much higher than even a 30" display. So in reality, you will still have to scroll quite a bit to see your whole image at 1:1. The large display will allow you to see more, but in comparison to the resolution difference between the monitor and image, not much of a noticeable one. (24" display=1920*1200 while images can be 3000+ on a side)
     

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