December 21, 2014, 11:02:55 AM

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Messages - LDS

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I usually don't spent large amount of money in smartphones (although I'm using them since 2002...) because they are just a commodity - as long as they work as a PDA and phone it's enough to me, I'm really not interested in playing games or other activities on them, have better devices for that. Also I like small, unobtrusive ones. Of course, this kind of models usually have the lower end camera features.
Also, I really hate smartphones UI to take photos.

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Canon General / Re: Pixma pro 10 or 100?
« on: December 16, 2014, 04:36:29 PM »
Ah, BTW, I forgot to add another difference between the Pixma Pro 10 and 100 - the former allows for printer calibration using an X-Rite ColorMunki or i1 Pro/Pro2 using the supplied Canon Color Managemt Tool Pro, and ICC profile creation, just like the Pixma Pro 1. The 100 supports only creating ICC profiles.
If you have a wholly color managed workflow the 10 can be a better choice, especially if you're going to print on papers for which an ICC profile is not available, of if you want to create your own.

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Canon General / Re: Pixma pro 10 or 100?
« on: December 15, 2014, 06:17:21 AM »
But just note that the Pro 10 images might still only last 9-12 years (per Redriverpaper site)

For print stability tests, I suggest to check http://www.wilhelm-research.com/. They perform extensive professional tests, and have a huge library of tests.

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Canon General / Re: Pixma pro 10 or 100?
« on: December 15, 2014, 06:09:00 AM »
So which printer would you keep and sell? And why?

I've just bought a Pixma Pro 10 (no luxury rebates here in Italy, unluckily), and I weighted both the 100 and 10 before buying - price was not so distant to be the issue. Eventually, I decided for the 10 because it looks better for B/W prints (especially on matte paper), and many reviews put it close to the Pixma Pro 1. It also uses a chroma optimzer that shoud improve some kind of prints.
Unlike some Epson models, it can switch between glossy/matte black ink without wasting it. On the other hand, on fine art papers it forces to use wide borders, and can't use roll paper. Reviewers put ink cost among the lowest ones for the category, but printing is still an expensive "hobby" - it it's not part of your job - especially if besides inks you end to print on some expensive large papers or canvases.
Also, learning to print "high quality" prints requires some time, experiment and mistakes to gain the required experience.
What printer to keep depends on what kind of prints you believe you are interested most in, what costs you are ready to sustain, and how often you print and what kind of paper you prefer.
I'm satisfied of the first results I obtained from the Pixma Pro 10, and the main reason I wished I could print myself was to have "total" control of the result, despite the costs. O well, once I was spending in films, now I spend in inks... but I find it is great have the printer create your print :)

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Technical Support / Re: What kind of photo printer do you use?
« on: December 14, 2014, 10:23:55 AM »
It would seem that when the printer driver and Lightroom are both trying to do stuff, it can mess with the final results.

Sure. This means both Lightroom and the printer driver apply transformations, and the result will not be what you aim for - and probably unpleasant. You have to ensure only one color management engine is used at a time.
Lightroom internally can use its Adobe ACE color management engine (the same used in Photoshop), while printer drivers usually use the OS supplied color management engine. Which one is best to use may be subjective. Soft proofing has the added benefit you can see a preview of the result, while the Print module preview is not affected by print adjustment settings, and requires some experiment for different profiles.

One last thought: It's not the cost of ink and paper that's the problem -- it's mats and frames! Good gravy!!

As usual, if cost alone was the deciding factor an external supplier will be often cheaper because of volumes. DIY has the added pleasure of learning, making mistakes and learning from them, and trying to achieve the exact final result you have in mind. IMHO this is priceless, and I will happily save some money elsewhere - anyway anybody as his/her own priorities - and quality standards.

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Technical Support / Re: What kind of photo printer do you use?
« on: December 13, 2014, 03:37:30 PM »
In a nutshell, the solution for me was to have Lightroom manage the color and use the Canon profile while telling the printer driver not to do any color correction.

In Lightroom, to achieve very good printing results, you should use "print proofing" in the Develop module. From there, Lightroom can create a "snapshot" using the selected ICC profile. Once the snapshot is created, you can fine tune it (remember to enable "simulate ink and paper" to get a better preview of the final outcome). Youy can use the before/after view to match the soft proofed image with the original one. Then you can switch to the
print module and print.

This process is far more advanced (and controlled) than the simpler "Print adjustment" sliders in the Print module.

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Technical Support / Re: What kind of photo printer do you use?
« on: December 10, 2014, 05:43:23 AM »
Now to find some Canon ink deals...  :P

Aren't the paper deals a way to sell more ink?   :D

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Technical Support / Re: Optimal processing platform of still images
« on: December 04, 2014, 02:40:07 PM »
I agree with you. If you use a simple graphic card everything is slow and ugly.

Today the problem for 2D bitmap manipulation is not speed, nor card memory sizes - it's quality. Most cards will shuffle pixel around quite easily, the differences comes in how they deal with processing applied on them and what is sent to the monitor(s). Here the hardware and driver quality matters.

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Technical Support / Re: Optimal processing platform of still images
« on: December 04, 2014, 11:42:52 AM »
If the OP wants to spend $2K-$3K on the monitor and then another $1K+ on a dedicated workstation level graphics adapter, then 10-Bit Color support will be within reach.  But is that needed?

Depends on what you want to achieve  :) RAW images have a far wider gamut then sRGB, and most printers as well. It all depends on what you do with your images, and the level of processing you want to achieve.  An "entry level" nVidia Quadro card (i.e. the K420) costs less then $200, and still supports 10bit colors and other pro features (http://www.pny.com/nvidia_quadro_k420).

And assuming 10-Bit was eventually achieved, what would the result look like?  Would it be worth it compared to a good IPS High Color Gamut monitor properly calibrated on the Intel 4600 Graphics adapter?

Depending on the image type, you can see differences. For example with B/W images (with just 8 bit, far less grays to choose from), or other images where there are subtle color variations.
Again, don't be fooled by the stress which is put in raw 3D GPU capabilities in these days, video cards do a lot more than that, although it is what most people just look at. But there's much more under the hood of a good GPU.

If the OP wants to spend an extra thousand or two, I think there would be more value in investing in a good

Again, IMHO depends on what you need to achieve. Just, image processing starts with proper image quality :) If you mate an high-quality monitor with a so-so graphic card, you can't achieve high quality results, believe me - the whole graphic "pipeline" needs to support the quality you need.

To select/build a proper image processing system you need to start with defining what quality level you need, then build the system around it. IMHO investing in extremely fast and large SSD disks, or very large RAID arrays is less important than image quality. Sure, you need SSDs and RAID too - but you're not running a high frequency trading application or database. For an image processing workstation I wouldn't go to the extreme PCIe SSD disks - a 6Gb/s SATA will be probably fast enough -  but I would start from a good pro graphic card and monitor.

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Technical Support / Re: Optimal processing platform of still images
« on: December 04, 2014, 09:27:14 AM »
Some folks will disagree on this but for photo editing, the graphics card doesn't need to be high end.  Photo editing doesn't require a lot of graphics processing.  In fact, if the motherboard is new (made in the last year)

You forget that a professional video card is more than pure GPU power. It's also about other features like 10+ bit color support (otherwise your high-end monitor can be wasted, see http://www.imagescience.com.au/kb/questions/152/10+Bit+Output+Support), per monitor LUTs (if hw calibration is not available), better built components and drivers - which means more stable output. It is true you don't need the monstrous GPU 3D capabilities of some cards, but still you need a card designed with quality in mind - not volume pricing.

Always build a balanced system for the task you need - don't let a component becomes a bottleneck or cripple the system design  ;)

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Technical Support / Re: Optimal processing platform of still images
« on: December 04, 2014, 08:28:50 AM »
I was (maybe) expecting a bit more focus on graphic cards and displays though. Personally I think color depth and accuracy is key to good image processing. So any additional advice on that part would be good.

Graphic cards: if you can, avoid the "gaming" models. There are models for aimed at professional users (i.e. the nVidia Quadro). If you do just image processing and don't need high-end 3D features and high-end GPU performance, the "cheaper" models would do. Also, avoid on-board models, which are usually aimed at the lower-end general purpose market. If you use more than one monitor and those don't have hardware calibration, ensure the card can use differtent color profiles for each used output.

Display: 4K/5K display will become probably common in the next years, and they also usually have a wider gamut - which is good when it comes to image processing. I never used one already, I'm curious about sharpening using those pixel densities.
If you can, get one with more than sRGB coverage, look for one at least close to Adobe RGB. This is is especially important if you're going to print yourself - or prepare for printer output anyway, because of photo printer gamuts.
Look for a monitor designed for image processing, many models are more aimed at general use, consuming video content or gaming. The "de facto" standards are Eizo and NEC, but some other brands got close for semi-professional use. A model with hardware calibration will usually yeld better result than one without - they also could come with more calibration features, i.e. brightness uniformity, something a video card alone may not easily achieve.
About the monitor size, it's a matter of preference and space available - I prefer larger displays than many smaller ones for image processing (but other setups for different tasks...)

Just, you will also need a calibration tool to achieve good accuracy, naked eye calibration is not enough.
If you get a monitor with hardware calibration, check if it comes with its own tool, or if not, which one(s) it supports. Here too you can find some cheaper devices aimed at "semipro" users (and simpler to use), and more expensive ones for professional use (more complex, yet more powerful). Some can be used only for displays, other can also be used for printers - (and their software can also be used to create camera profiles, with a proper color target). Calibration should be performed once every month at least.

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Technical Support / Re: Optimal processing platform of still images
« on: December 03, 2014, 06:34:10 AM »
I have Spyder3Pro, and if I calibrate second monitor, the first one will change too.

Color profiles data are loaded into device "tables" called "LUT", which are used to map the input colors to the output ones. If more than one monitor needs to be "calibrated", each one needs its separate LUT, because even if the same brand/model, there could be differences, even more so if different brand/models.
AFAIK, unless the monitor has its own internal hardware calibration capabilities, and thereby its own internal LUT (loaded with the profile created by the monitor calibration tool/software), the video card LUT(s) are used.
Although many cards comes with more than one video connector, not all video cards are able to manage separate LUTs for *each* display, and just use a single one.
Unless they can, it's impossible to calibrate and profile more than one monitor with a single card. Also, the software used to load profiles must be able to load the correct profile in the correct LUT.
It looks that Apple designs its models with cards able to manage "per display" LUTs, while on Windows PC depends on what video card is used - not every card can, and that's another thing to be aware of when selecting a video card if multiple display are being used.

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Technical Support / Re: Optimal processing platform of still images
« on: December 02, 2014, 02:17:56 PM »
Is 32GB of RAM always going to be enough, as some motherboards have  'only' 4 slots (so 'only' 32GB capacity)

Who knows? For a while, sure, until all we have 100Mpx cameras with 64 bit color depth  ;D

If you have two monitors & want to calibrate both, is it necessary to have two separate graphics cards?

No, but depends on the graphic card - a single card needs to support separate LUTs for each output. AFAIK if the monitor offers its own hardware LUT this is not necessary.

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Technical Support / Re: Optimal processing platform of still images
« on: December 02, 2014, 01:10:56 PM »
I can't say about add in video cards except that you probably want one or more if you are into video editing and/or gaming.

You need to match the monitor with a proper video card, if you want full color calibration and take advantage of advanced monitor features, i.e. 10+ bit color. The monitor is one side of the equation, the other is the video card. Here again there are integrated cards, gaming ones, and professional ones. The latter should be the choice to match an high-end monitor like an Eizo, Benq or NEC. They also comes with driver optimized for image quality, not only speed like in some high-end gaming cards. Usually on-board cards are so-so.

Sorry, this sounds like a view based on fear of the unknown.

Yes and no. Some people like DIY, others don't. Some are interested in photography and not much in IT and hardware. After all, some people buy branded photo gear and accessories, others like to build some of them.

Again, in branded pre-build systems there are several different lines of machines, from consumer ones, standard office ones, and models built with higher spec aimed at professional users. Usually these ones are called "workstation".
For example my office Dell Precision comes with SAS controller and 15K disks in RAID 1 and an nVidia Quadro video card. We have a maintenance contract that warrants 4-hour on site support (we never let our disks exit the building but after a wipe or, it is impossible, being physically destroyed...)

With a hardware calibrated monitor, does Mac-OS have advantages over Windows?

OSX has still a some advantage in color management compared to Windows - and it's simpler to use. Windows improved a lot in 7 and 8.x, but its Windows Color System is still a bit complex to setup - and some calibration software may still install its gamma loaders in Windows, and lead to some issues. Nothing that could be fixed, yet OSX is simpler.


There's a recurring theme from several posters here and on that page/link that indicate your component shopping should start with a wide gamut monitor with hardware calibration, begin selecting the rest to support
that monitor with enough processor, memory and SSD speed to deal with the large files you'll be working with.

I agree - when working with images correct output is the most important aim - but yet a lot depends on how the final images are displayed. If your images ends to be mostly seen on uncalibrated sRGB devices, maybe a very expensive monitor/card setups could be wasted. If images are printed on professional photo printers and papers - or other types of professional outputs, then being able to control properly the whole process is far more important. Anyway is still important to buy/build a balanced system within the available budget, and decide where to save, taking into account what's the primary aim - speed, image quality, etc.
 

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Technical Support / Re: Optimal processing platform of still images
« on: December 01, 2014, 04:47:33 PM »
If you could choose freely, what processing platform for still images would you choose?
The one you feel more comfortable with.

From an hardware perspective, since Apple moved to the Intel platform, there's very little difference from an high-end "Windows" PC and an "Apple" one (but maybe the "stylish" part).

With Windows you may have more choice, especially if you're ready to build your own PC - but it also means warranty covers the single parts, not the whole system - and you need to be careful to get and match the proper components. Gaming-oriented ones, although fast, may not be the best choice for image processing where you also need stability and minimal data corruption risks.

I prefer to perform most work an a desktop system. It allows for faster CPUs, more RAM, SSD + RAID (fast) spinning disks, and a good GPU. Photoshop and Lightroom of course work better with a faster CPU and GPU - and good RAM amounts - but it's important to find a "balance point" within your budget, spending too much on some components and too little on others may not lead to a good system. Good power supply and cooling are also important for error-free operations.

Matched with a good monitor, preferably a wide gamut one with hardware calibration, and good input devices (keyboard and mouse - maybe a graphic tablet) it's a comfortable system to use even for long processing sessions.

All-in-ones IMHO are nice devices when there is little space for a classic "desktop" units, laptops are not a choice and style is important (no cables clutter, etc), but they force you to buy a "bundle" like laptops and suffer from the same limitations when it comes to add or expand hardware, and are not often designed with specific tasks like image processing in mind. I would avoid them.

I found laptops less comfortable to use, even with a docking station and a separate monitor. SSDs put an end to slow laptops disks, but they may be not very large (but slower, hybrid ones) and make you depend on external disks or NAS units even for "main" storage. Also, when running heavy tasks and getting "hot", they can become noisy.

Unlike some desktops with enough RAM slots where you can add easily more RAM as you need, and prolong system life a bit, often laptops are not easily upgradeable. Of course for on-field and travel use there are no other choices, although some of the latest tablet/laptop combo may be an interesting alternative - some high end Windows model can run PS/LR although they costs as much as a high-end laptop.

The OS is really a matter of what you are more comfortable with. As a long time Apple user you may not like Windows too much - and PS/LR are quite the same on both platforms. Unless the hardware choice don't force you to switch, I'd keep using it - in some areas like color management it's better and easier to use than Windows. If you keep your system "clean" and mostly dedicated for image processing as you would do with a Mac - avoiding to install all the crap many Windows users ends up to have on their system, IMHO Windows is not less stable or slow than OSX, of course you'd need to be more careful because most malware targets Windows.

Even if many suggest to avoid it, Windows 8.1 has some more advanced features than 7, especially when it comes to recent ones like high DPI support (which Adobe will support under Windows too), improved graphic support, better support for recent hardware (i.e. native USB 3.0 and UAS support), and a good, built-in hypervisor for VMs. Sure, it has the non-desktop-friendly UI - but when you spend most of your time in a couple of application only - like when using LR + PS - it doesn't get much in the way.

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