December 18, 2017, 12:32:39 AM

Author Topic: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)  (Read 8398 times)

JPAZ

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Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« on: December 25, 2016, 12:35:40 PM »
I've got a few days off and some time to ponder (which is always dangerous).   Presently, I take my photos and bring home a stack of CF's that I upload to my PC for processing.  This can amount to thousands of images to select / delete than process.  I thought about bringing a laptop on my trips but that's added weight in my bag or luggage.  I've been considering a Surface Pro as a lighter weight option in the field.  Than, I could upload images, add keywords and at least some basic editing in the field.  Then I'd only need to do some added PP on my big monitor with an occasional more complex need for layers, etc (use both LR and PS) at home.  So I've been doing a lot of research on this including threads here on CR.  Anticipated workflow (unless someone has a better way):

1-Take photos
2-Upload RAW files to Surface Pro when able (using card reader)
3-Do some PP and delete non-keepers" in evening or while en route in airplane or car or bus with LR (I know the SP screen is supposed to be pretty good but realize that there will be some limitations)
3-Once home, transfer those edited images to PC and merge the Surface Pro catalog to my PC Lightroom catalog (seems more than one way to do this)
4-Finish editing the keepers at home (which should be a whole lot less time consuming than what I am doing now)

So, are any of you doing something like this?  I am sure many are using a MacBook or something similar but I am invested in PC versions of software and interested in the lower weight and size of the SP and not a Surface Book or laptop.  Are my thoughts reasonable?  How do you use LR in the field and than transfer the changes to your home computer (I've seen two or three ways to do this on forums)?  I've read pros and cons of using LR sliders on the SP but does this work pretty well?  I'd think a SP 4 with 16gb of RAM and 256 or 512gb of storage would be the way to go.

Finally, whether any of you celebrate any of the holidays of this time of year or not, I want to wish each and everyone of you the best of the season and a very prosperous and healthy New Year.  And, thanks to each and every one of you for you knowledge and posts here on CR.  I learn lots from the threads I see even when I don't participate and hope my limited input helps others as well.

Thanks!

JPAZ
« Last Edit: December 25, 2016, 12:42:57 PM by JPAZ »
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Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« on: December 25, 2016, 12:35:40 PM »

LDS

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Re: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2016, 04:50:09 PM »
So, are any of you doing something like this? 

I'm doing something like this on an older Surface 2 Pro which is only 10"/16:9 (then it was upped to 13"/4:3)  - and it works.

Sliders are OK using the pen (you may need a little to get used, though), or you can still use a mouse if you like/need (the touchpad on the keyboard is not very good, the keyboard itself is). The display, withing its limitations, can be calibrated with the usual tools. Only the Book has an higher-end video card in the keyboard (but IIRC it lacks USB ports on the tablet part!), but the i7 models have enough power to run LR without much issues, and if don't perform really heavy tasks, the i5 as well. Mine is an i5 and for what I do is OK, but I don't process much on it.

The internal disk may not be large enough, thus I also use it to move images to larger external disks (a small USB hub may be useful).

tpatana

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Re: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2016, 05:24:06 PM »
Got try Surface Book, I like it way more than SP4.

JPAZ

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Re: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« Reply #3 on: December 26, 2016, 06:21:46 PM »
Still researching.......
The SP4 + Type cover + Charger weighs just a bit over 2.5 pounds
The Surface Book is about >3 pounds and about $2200
How about a Dell XPS 13 with i7 and 16gb and 256hdd?  It is cheaper than the Surface Book with more ports and the same weight?
5d Mkiii; Eos-M5 and too many lenses; 430 EXii, 430 EXiii-RT and a whole lot of stuff.

privatebydesign

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Re: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« Reply #4 on: December 26, 2016, 07:51:57 PM »
I do it with an iPad Pro (irrelevant) and Adobe CC (if you don't do CC you are out of luck) when on travel shoots. It is effortless, whatever changes you make to an image, be it developing or cropping or simple rating or keywords automatically get synced to my desktop and laptop. They recently added full RAW support to mobile devices too.

The CC environment is heavily weighted to cross platform and mobile use.

If you don't do CC the I used to use a program called Photosmith, but that will be even less interest to you because it is Mac only and they stopped developing it because Adobe now do it all included.
Too often we lose sight of the fact that photography is about capturing light, if we have the ability to take control of that light then we grow exponentially as photographers. More often than not the image is not about lens speed, sensor size, DR, MP's or AF, it is about the light.

MarkPS

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Re: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« Reply #5 on: December 26, 2016, 09:15:38 PM »
I handle my travel photos on my surface pro in just that way. I upload the photos each night to my surface pro and edit as time permits. I get most of my preliminary editing done on the way home...layovers, on the plane, etc. I import my travel catologue to home PC once I get back. I do my final editing on my home PC. I have been very happy with this workflow.

tpatana

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Re: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2016, 11:20:46 PM »
How about a Dell XPS 13 with i7 and 16gb and 256hdd?  It is cheaper than the Surface Book with more ports and the same weight?

If you're planing to do any photoshop, nothing beats the SB pen. Not even wacoms. For LR it's probably not that big deal.

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Re: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« Reply #6 on: December 26, 2016, 11:20:46 PM »

JPAZ

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Re: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2016, 12:24:57 AM »
Thanks for all the comments.  @MarkPS, your workflow is what I am considering.  @privatebydesign, I do use Adobe CC and can sync with LR mobile on the device. But, I use CF cards and uploading RAW images to the iPad can be an issue.  The 5Diii does not have WiFi (without a work-around) so I'll probably be using a card reader.

I just lifted my travel kit and the backpack is over 15 pounds so I was thinking of a lightweight solution.  But, once I add th Typecover and Charger to the Surface Pro, it weighs only about a quarter of a pound less than the Dell XPS 13 which has more ports and that weighs less than the Surface Book (which is the most expensive option).  I know the SP and SB have slightly better pixel density displays than the Dell.

Going to have to compromise on something........still trying to decide.  Everyone's input is appreciated and I want to hear about your experiences with any of these devices.....

« Last Edit: December 27, 2016, 12:27:40 AM by JPAZ »
5d Mkiii; Eos-M5 and too many lenses; 430 EXii, 430 EXiii-RT and a whole lot of stuff.

CANONisOK

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Re: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2016, 07:23:13 AM »
Happy holidays.

This is my exact workflow. I have the SP3 (i7/8GB RAM/512 GB SSD version) and d/l pics with the card reader in evenings and do some light editing while on the road.

A few notes:
1) Can't recall if it's only been since the Win10 upgrade or if its always been this way, but the battery life on the i7 version is pretty poor. Lucky to get ~2-3 hrs under heavy usage.
2) LR CC can be sluggish with 5Ds R files. 5D3 & M3 files were snappier, but some of that has to do with LR updates and whatnot. Have yet to try 5D iv files yet (tomorrow will be our next trip), but I absolutely will not use Dual Pixel Raw.
3) I like using the MS Sculpt Comfort mouse when traveling. Although, I don't really have trouble with the type cover's mouse pad either. You get used to it quickly.
5) For a long time, I used a small external 512GB SSD (MyDigitalSSD 480GB (512GB) Bullet Proof 4 Eco (BP4e V2) 50mm SATA III (6G) mSATA SSD Solid State Drive - MDMS-BP4e-512 with Oyen Digital mSATA to USB 3.0 External Aluminum Solid State Drive SSD Enclosure Adapter UASP), but of course this requires a USB3.0 hub (Anker Ultra Slim 4-Port USB 3.0 Data Hub). Occasionally, the hub would get wonky, but once the transfer is done, I'd disconnect the hub and directly connect the SSD with no problems. This was a decent approach.
4) Then I remembered the micro-SD slot behind the kickstand. I currently use a SanDisk Ultra 256GB MicroSDXC UHS-I Card with Adapter (SDSQUNI-256G-GN6MA). This is more convenient than the external hub with one glaring exception. With the external SSD, I could just add the CR2 files to LR when importing. But for whatever reason, LR will not allow this for the microSDXC card. The raw files must be copied to another location before being added to a library, which is more of a hassle. (In other words, there are tradeoffs.)

Hope some of this helps.
A few bodies, some flashes, a tripod here and there, a handful of lenses. Plenty of equipment, a lot of perseverance, but not enough talent (yet).

tpatana

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Re: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2016, 01:44:20 PM »
Going to have to compromise on something........still trying to decide.  Everyone's input is appreciated and I want to hear about your experiences with any of these devices.....

Yea, with less portability requirements I would have said get the Surface Studio  ;D

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2016, 04:38:51 PM »
I hate trying to merge catalogs, particularly very large ones.  Thats the weakness of Lightroom, it does not lend itself to easy portability.  As you said, there are many different schemes in use to try and make it work smoothly, none of them seems ideal to me.

JPAZ

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Re: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« Reply #11 on: December 30, 2016, 01:04:27 PM »
Still no decisions.  I am leaning towards either the SP 4 (with an external extra battery like the Lizone QC) or the Dell XPS 13.  The SP is appealing because of its size and weight but the laptop is more capable.
5d Mkiii; Eos-M5 and too many lenses; 430 EXii, 430 EXiii-RT and a whole lot of stuff.

lion rock

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Re: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2016, 02:34:58 PM »
With the choice of processor/RAM size/SSD capacity determined, what is left to choose are size of monitor, quality of display, weight and ease of user interface.
I recently got a SP4 with i7, 2.2gHz, 16 gB RAM, and 256 gB SSD., and the unit performed very well.  I used it to stitch over 20 shoots with MS ICE into a pano photo, it did the composite much faster than my similarly equipped desktop.
I don't remember the cost of the SP4, but I think it was just over $1000.
A similarly spec lightweight Dell XPS cost about $1500.
I specced out an SP4 to the max compliment of internals (fastest processor, 1tB SSD) for a professor, and the cost was well over $2200!

Now onto user interface: 
On the SP4, though there is a keyboard/touchpad, the keyboard is fairly easy to use.  The touchpad is like every other laptop touchpad, fine but not fantastic.  My fingers are not big, but the touch screen on the SP4 is not easy to use; when at home or work, I revert back to the mouse.  I would not use the SP4 as a main computer, even though the performance is top notch.
I purchased 2 Dell XPS 13 inch for my faculty, and with the limited use I had had with the setup of these units, I really like it.  The units carry similar specs to the SP4, but I feel very comfortable with the interface.  The Dell also have touch screen capability, too.
I really regretted that I didn't get the Dell after getting the SP4.  So, this is my accessment of the two units.
-r

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Re: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« Reply #12 on: December 30, 2016, 02:34:58 PM »

JPAZ

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Re: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« Reply #13 on: December 30, 2016, 08:42:41 PM »
Thanks, @lion rock.  If the XPS 13 weighed a little less, it would be a no-brainer for me.  The appeal of the SP4 is really the size and weight. 

Word is that an SP5 is imminent and that there will be an XPS 13 convertible (display fold over like the Vaio Canvas) in 2017.  But, I cannot live waiting for each new model or I'd never get anything (when is the Canon 5dv coming out anyway  ;) ). 
5d Mkiii; Eos-M5 and too many lenses; 430 EXii, 430 EXiii-RT and a whole lot of stuff.

lion rock

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Re: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2016, 02:34:40 AM »
You're welcome!
I'm not fond of a multi-pivot hinge, thus not in favor of those open/twist/snap-together tablets like Fujitsu laptop computer.
I'm sure you'll make a good choice on your computer.
Good luck.
-r

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Re: Surface Pro and PC Workflow (and Happy Holidays!)
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2016, 02:34:40 AM »