Oxford School of Photography

insights into photography

Building the Right PC for Your (Serious) Photography Needs

I definitely think a good computer is necessary for photographic needs, what might be fine for your every day work is probably a bit lacking for serious photographic requirements. As much RAM as you can fit is a usual cry from photographers and the monitor, well the best graphics monitor you can afford is preferred but at the top end they do get expensive. Dzvonko Petrovski on Lightstalking starts this article by declaring himself a PC, have to ‘fess up I am definitely a MAC man. Last night I was teaching our Lightroom class and those with PC’s were constantly asking, how do I make a new folder?, where is that? this doesn’t work? The one’s with a MAC just smiled serenely. That doesn’t mean a MAC is better but as they say people love their MACs but like a bad relationship, people tolerate their PC’s. I know contentious but oh so true. Anyway this is just about PC computers because you can’t build your own MAC just like you can’t build your own Bentley

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First of all, I must say that I am a PC guy. Many photographers choose iMacs over PCs for the “stability” and such, but I haven’t seen big difference in it, to be honest.

What kind of a computer does a photographer need? Well, you can go ahead with almost any decent computer, but if it isn’t up to par, it will slow you down significantly. I won’t get into specific brands, as in whether you need a Kingston or Corsair solid state drives for the differences in product specifications.

Photographers, as well as gamers need quite a lot of raw processing power in their computers. But that needs to be paired with so many different things that gamers will never need. For example, a 10-bit monitor. No game (as far as I know, and I do play a lot of games) supports 10 bit color, but photography on the other hand easily goes to 12 bit color space even with the entry-level DSLRs out there……

When talking about monitors: the bigger the better. Opting for factory calibrated to cover the most used color spaces is a good choice. Dell and Asus currently have good 10 bit monitors for affordable prices. 10 bit monitor has 1024 shades of each color, instead of 256 on the regular consumer monitors, which means they get better gradients, and better color reproduction than consumer grade. You should go for decent IPS panel (reading reviews is wise) with refresh rate not bigger than 5ms. You will want to use it for things other than photography sometimes. There are monitors that are much wider than usual, which is practically replacing 2 or 3 monitor setups. This is really good thing to have because it makes editing so much easier.

Want more of this, it is really interesting….

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