Can image editing be successfully done with laptop

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by boris_krivoruk|3, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. I am debating whether to buy laptop or desktop. The ability to take computer
    wherever I want and do the work outside of home is a definite pro. What are the
    people's experiences with laptops vs desktops?
  2. Oh it certainly can be done.

    My biggest problem is that I've found that some notebook LCDs vary much more in terms of brightness between models than others. My Dell Inspiron 700m has a screen that shows images as substantially brighter than any other screen I own, even at a relatively low setting.

    That, and notebooks often have odd screen resolutions that can make vertical images tedious to work on.

    I don't do much image manipulation and editing, but when I do, I normally use my desktop. I just use my laptop as a storage device.

    Hopefully some pros who handle tons of images will reply to your question, because I imagine the pros and cons amplify with quantity of images.
  3. Yes it can. I use both a laptop and a desktop. Remember to calibrate your monitor and you
    should be fine. I use my laptop all the time for location shoots. I do prefer using my desktop
    for major projects, That is because I have 2 21 inch monitors versus a 15 monitor on the
  4. I use a laptop for my image editing. I constantly am importing pictures into lightroom or photoshop and editing with out many problems. Sometimes it gets real slow but i you have everything else closed it chugs along just fine.
  5. It's hard to calibrate a laptop screen. It is dimmer than a desktop LCD and the luminosity is variable depending on power-saving devices. The angle of view is limited (partly for security), so it is hard to position the screen and your eye for even illumination.

    That said, calibration is straight-forward. The calibrator is always looking straight into the screen, and results are consistent if you do the same and always use line power. If you edit on battery power, be sure the display operates at full power (you can still blank the display).
  6. I do it in a pinch on the road. It's not ideal, though. Laptop LCDs are just not that good. I
    think they're all TN technology-based - which is especially bad with respect to vertical viewing angle sensitivity. Helps to have a few reference images you're familiar with for setup
    on the road.
  7. You can get a lot more bang for your buck with a desktop, including more memory, a faster CPU, a bigger hard disk (or two), better screen etc.

    You can certainly edit on a laptop if you have to, but it's probably not the best choice, especially if you are on a budget.
  8. Here's an article about LED screens which might be useful:
  9. You can attach a bigger flat panel LCD to your laptop and toggle between the two or use both (check the manual to see which Fn key combo does this on your laptop).
  10. Photo editing on a laptop; yes, could be slower depending of the size of the image.

    serious color correction; no

    get a laptop for the road, and a good (read not cheap) external monitor that you will leave at home for serious color correction.
  11. I did it for quite a while. Pretty much in agreement with others in that it's certainly possible, but seldom ideal.

    Small or individual images aren't too bad - but large images or many images (via bridge/lightroom etc) tend to be a bit sluggish due mostly to slow HDDs in laptops.
  12. I use a laptop with PS CS and Lightroom, but connected to an external display. Works just fine. Another option would be to buy a powerful desktop and a sub-notebook to be carried around when traveling.
  13. Possible but expect inconsistent, frustrating results. I got a cheap CRT to use with my laptop and have been happy since.
  14. The processing speed of laptops is on a par with desktops, albiet at a cost premium. Laptops usually suffer with respect to buss speed for disk and IO, however. It becomes doubly important to have enough RAM installed.

    It is advisable to use a standard keyboard, mouse and desktop monitor for serious editing. You can use a mounting base, but a port expander accomplishes the same thing at lower cost. With a port expander, you just plug in your laptop at your workstation desk. Except for emergencies, you will want to use external disk drives for image processing and storage with a laptop. These can be left attached to the port expander.
  15. My desktop died just when a laptop was on its way to me. Now I got used to it, and find it so practical to be able to take it anywhere. I have only the necessary stuff on the harddrive and store everything on external drives. I do plan to get an external screen in a few months when I'm in a bigger space, as suggested above, for more serious work (well in fact I'm colourblind anyway :). The editing in LR and PS CS goes just fine, but then I don't do heavy editing with lots of layers etc.

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