Advice on a good laptop for editing

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Voit Blue 50

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Looking for advise and recommendations for a good laptop for underwater photo editing, and also software recommendations?

I am just starting out with underwater photography so looking for something in the novice level that won't break the bank.

Cheers and thanks
 

ColoDale

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I cannot tell you specifically about which computer/laptop to get as there are many but you will want a good resolution screen, good video card, robust processor and lots of memory. I can also say that your display configuration, (RGB), brightness, contrast, light (sunlight or artificial), etc will affect your editing. The angle of the screen to your eye will also affect the outcome.
I use photoshop elements and I do not use all of it's tools. The full photoshop version would be too much for me (tools and $). I know others that use Lightroom and are happy. Mostly you want something that can deal with exposure, white balance, contrast, sharpness, vibrance. If you shoot in RAW then software that can deal with that is good. Too much editing can make your photo look cartoonish or surreal.

The software is not magic.
Rule number one is start with a good photo.
 

Diverlady13

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IMO, any laptop that will run your software of choice should be fine if it has a good screen for color. Otherwise it's the software that does all the work. I've always been a Windows user, but purchased Macbook Pro laptops for both myself and my husband before we retired last year. I've been really happy with mine and my husband loves his because it has iMovie which he now uses for editing diving videos. (ETA: I bought MacBooks because they are lightweight for travel and tend to be pretty sturdy.)

As far as editing still photos, I've tried lots of different free programs. Of the free apps I tried, I didn't love any of them. The apps that purported to be as good as Lightroom and Photoshop weren't very intuitive to use. Others just didn't have the functionality to do a good job editing UW photos even though I liked them for land photography (which I also do).

In the end, I finally broke down and subscribed to the Adobe photography bundle which includes both Lightroom and Photoshop. Lightroom turned out to be amazing for removing the blue that you get especially when diving deeper. (Note that I haven't edited my avatar which is why it's still so blue.) I'll also say that I hate that this is a subscription rather than a one time purchase, but I wasted money with apps that had a one time payment and didn't work as I'd like. The bundle is $20 a month....basically giving you one of the apps for free. If you pay for the entire year at once, you do get a discount.

Also, one hint about Lightroom if you go that way. There's not a way to save your edits in lightroom as a new file that can be opened in another app. What you have to do is open the photo to Photoshop directly from Lightroom and then save the photo from Photoshop. I find that strange and annoying, but it is just a couple of clicks to accomplish the mission.
 

hedonist222

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You would need to help us with what you are recording?

4K?

Generally speaking, editing photographs will manageable on most mid level systems.
But editing videos is another realm.

I suggest getting a lot of ram and a dedicated video card.

Out of curiosity, why not a desktop?
For whatever you end up committing to a laptop, you'll get a 50% better desktop.
 

kelemvor

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Re: Hardware
Obviously good specs, lots of ram, good storage... those are easy. One thing to make sure you get in a laptop is a Thunderbolt3 port. You can use a thunderbolt 3 port to do major upgrades such as video card - which is generally not upgradable on laptops any other way.

Other than Thunderbolt3, make sure to get an 11th generation Intel processor (i7 or i9). At leas 16GB RAM, and an NVME SSD (brand is not critical, I don't think I've seen any NVME drives that aren't good). 10th gen and 11th gen Intel chips have modern format compression capabilities (HEIC/HEVC). That's a big deal for performance and compression.

AMD processors generally aren't as good as Intel (when comparing current gen Intel to current gen AMD). That said, they will WORK, although I don't know if they do HEIC/HEVC or what gen introduced it if they do.


Re: Software
If you're really getting into photo/video stuff, then Adobe is the best there is for software. However, their stuff is both hard to use and expensive. Make sure to take some adobe training if you go this route. There's both free and pay online classes from MANY different instructors/companies.

The easiest to use for editing dive photos is probably vivid-pix LAND & SEA SCUBA | Fast, Easy photo editing software . I don't think you'll need a high end computer for using this software. It's good but kind of limited. It either works amazingly well for a particular photo or not. At least that's my experience with it.

There are several free packages that are perhaps more complicated than vivid-pix, but should get the job done once you learn what to do.
 

dhaas

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I'll throw a completely different idea out.

First, I'm an Apple user with the wife having an iPad, we have two iPhone and an iMac 27" Retina display desktop. I also have a late 2014 old MacBook Air 11" laptop which is very light and small which I've traveled all over the world with.

For some upcoming land plus additional dive trips I'm seriously thinking of just bringing an iPhone and several memory cards. I'll swap cards every second day or so locking them so I won't overwrite the data. I may buy a tiny back up drive also.

Both my compact Canon G7X II and iPhone can transfer pics to an iPhone. I can edit with the native Apple Photos App or free Snapseed App. If near Wifi I can share a few photos to the internet or email them to friends and family.

Once back home I'll download cards to my larger 27" iMac retina display desktop computer. It's a lot easier to edit and save the best ones from a trip.

Having the small MacBook Air 11" laptop has been good to reply to emails, etc. but these days I travel to enjoy myself versus spending time on a computer.

For editing I continue to use Apple's FREE Photos software for still photos. It's gotten better with each generation and is easy to transfer photos all over to any Apple product.

Videos which I shoot some may force me to learn iMovie.

So much software takes too long to learn, is expensive and have kept me from buying additional software.

One inexpensive "art type" software called Smart Photo Editor has been fun to create new ideas as I have thousands (literally) of "standard" underwater pictures after decades of diving.

My advice would be maybe buy a tablet (iPad or ???) or do my memory card / smartphone plan. Traveling light is the way to go these days in my opinion!

David Haas

CreoleWrasse FB 022418.jpg Squid FB 022418.jpg OctoOilCanvasVert11X17.jpg DolphinSolitudeSME1LARGE11X17.jpg HumpbackScorpionfishSMElarge_pe.jpg
 

davehicks

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Also, one hint about Lightroom if you go that way. There's not a way to save your edits in lightroom as a new file that can be opened in another app. What you have to do is open the photo to Photoshop directly from Lightroom and then save the photo from Photoshop. I find that strange and annoying, but it is just a couple of clicks to accomplish the mission.

Once your edits are done in Lightroom you can select some or all of your photos and use the Export feature to bulk save the photos as JPG files.
 

kelemvor

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Also, one hint about Lightroom if you go that way. There's not a way to save your edits in lightroom as a new file that can be opened in another app. What you have to do is open the photo to Photoshop directly from Lightroom and then save the photo from Photoshop. I find that strange and annoying, but it is just a couple of clicks to accomplish the mission.
Lightroom started out its life as just a front-end for the other Adobe software (Premiere, Photoshop, Audition, etc.) It was kind of a holistic media interface that allowed you to convert formats - especially RAW device files. Adobe bought it from some other company, and they've added enough functionality directly to it that some people now use lightroom standalone. I think that's why the workflow is as you describe.
 

hedonist222

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I don't think any $3000 laptop can touch a ~ $1500 desktop. The camera is portable, memory cards are portable, no need to make the PC and software portable. Enjoy your trip, edit stuff later.

thats exactly what I do

On overnight weekend dives, I've been tempted to load photographs onto my Samsung Tab S7+ and edit and then post online.
But I know that tablet editing software is no where as sophisticated as desktop software.

I currently have a desktop and Luminar AI.
Unfortunately Luminar AI is not designed to take advantage of processors with multithreads (yet).
So its a bit slow. But very good otherwise.
 
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