Recommend a Windows based photo editing laptop

NikonerNikoner Posts: 8Member
edited September 2014 in Nikon DSLR cameras
All of my search results on this forum were at least 3 to 4 years old; with Murphy’s Law we have dramatic changes in what technology is available every 3 months. Thus, a new thread.

I am looking to replace my old laptop with a new one, and I need recommendations and thoughts on a Windows based laptop. A MBP may be best thing after sliced bread but I don’t want to use it, so please open another thread if you want to discuss MBP.

At times I shoot up to 4k images in a day with a D800 and D4. I mostly shoot jpeg nowadays but sometimes with bad lighting (no flash allowed) I shoot RAW.

I choose about 15% images to process in Nikon Capture NX2 or Adobe PS CS5, and store them on external hard drives.

My budget is $1300.00 and I hope to get the following in the config mix:

Intel i7 processor
16 GB ram
15" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS screen.
Dedicated graphic card with 2 GB ram
250 GB SSD

I will sometimes travel with the laptop and would like to keep the weight+dimensions down to less than 7 pounds with a 15" screen size only.

Please also post your thoughts on which components of the configuration are more important and why?


  • ElvisheferElvishefer Posts: 329Member
    Moore's Law - Deals with technology's growth rate. Wikipedia

    Murphy's Law - Deals with finding a better deal on a laptop the day after you can't return the one you bought.
    D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VRII, 24-70mm f/2.8, 14-24mm f/2.8, 50mm f/1.4G, 200mm f/4 Micro, 105mm f/2.8 VRII Micro, 35mm f/1.8, 2xSB900, 1xSB910, R1C1, RRS Support...

    ... And no time to use them.
  • NikonerNikoner Posts: 8Member
    I stand corrected Elvishefer, thanks.
  • Vipmediastar_JZVipmediastar_JZ Posts: 1,708Member
    Here is a link to some mobile workstations from B&H

    I haven't looked into laptops in a long time since converting to a Macbook Pro. The B n H staff may be able to recommend some from their inventory. You can call or chat with them.
  • Parke1953Parke1953 Posts: 456Member
    Nikoner@ That about what I have in my PC and works great for 70+meg files. Should work equally good in a laptop for you.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited September 2014
    How about the Lenovo Y50-70 Laptop, Intel Core i7, 16GB RAM, 1TB + 8GB SSHD, 15.6" 4K Ultra HD, Black

    not very slim or sexy but it a sensible price in the UK @£1,100
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • NikonerNikoner Posts: 8Member
    Thanks all.

    Sevencrossing: That one (Lenovo Y50 Laptop - 59421871 - Black - UHD Display) is selling for 1599.99 usd. I was looking at it in lieu of Thinkpad W540, but it does not have an optical drive. That does not bother me as much as the fact that it (and the w540) has no status leds (for HDD activity, battery indicator, wifi signal, caps lock, num lock). Plus I don’t know if the Nikon/Adobe software would be able to up-scale to (3840x2160) some folks report odd pixel loss on their images due to high resolution screen.

    That's why I am contemplating a Sager, I can get everything I asked for except the IPS screen within my price range. But Sager does have couple of TN screens with 90% of NTSC color gamut that works well for me as I shoot in sRGB anyways. You can even swap the optical drive for additional HDD. (Earlier Thinkpad W series used to have a hot-swappable HDD in the optical drive)

    P.S. Sagers are not at all slim nor sexy looking. They look like legacy mammoths, but so do I.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    Get a MBP :-) Not sure why blinky lights are mandatory. Why are you worried about optical? I use optical for archive, but I use a standalone USB burner, and I'll pop a standalone USB reader on whatever system I'm using for the 4.2 minutes a year I actually need one. Inquiring minds want to know :D
  • NikonerNikoner Posts: 8Member
    To use the optical drive bay for swappable HDD'S, that way there is no need to carry multiple usb cables and portable drives when away from home.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    edited September 2014
    Thanks, that makes sense. I hoped you weren't still toasting DVDs... So you buy a bunch of carriers and mount your own drives?
    Post edited by Ironheart on
  • GarethGareth Posts: 159Member
    I looked into this a while back but ended just sticking with a desktop.

    My search criteria were different to yours.

    Mine were

    1. at least sRGB gamut coverage
    2. preferably IPS for better viewing angles/less fall off
    3. upgradeable

    This left me with basically only one option

    The issue with using a laptop for image editing is the panels are almost all crap (yes including the retina displays) in terms of colour gamut.

    In the end I decided it was just too expensive to try and get a laptop that did everything.
  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    Do your really need a laptop?
    laptops tend to have a lower performance, than a similar spec desk top? They are difficult to upgrade, have a limited screen size and will be more expensive than the same speck desktop
    I use a low spec laptop when traveling, then finish thing off when I get home
  • Parke1953Parke1953 Posts: 456Member
    +1 sevencrossing. I now only take a laptop if I'll be away for more than 3 days,and then only use it to download to an external drive and to view photos. Short trips I take a few extra cards.
  • kenadamskenadams Posts: 222Member
    I use optical for archive
    To quote Princess Leia, "Optical for archive? You're braver than I thought!"

    My experience with storing stuff on writeable optical media is, there's too much data loss from degrading data layer materials. I thing DVDs are a bit better than CDs, but frankly I'd recommend neither.

  • sevencrossingsevencrossing Posts: 2,800Member
    edited September 2014
    a bit off topic but if you truly want archive your work (eg something that might last several hundred years) Black and Prints are your only option
    Post edited by sevencrossing on
  • safyresafyre Posts: 113Member
    edited September 2014

    Look up the Asus Republic of Gamers Series. You can often find their laptops to match your specs and keep within your price point. I bought mine three years ago and it still easily handles everything I throw at it.

    As for most important specs, prioritize as following: Processor --> Screen --> Ram --> Hard Drive --> Graphics Card (if you do a lot of video editing, then you can bump this up higher in the list)

    Also one thing I'd highly recommend that is easily overlooked is a decent keyboard. If you have the table space, get a mechanical keyboard and you will notice a world of difference from the cheap laptop keyboards.
    Post edited by safyre on
  • NikonerNikoner Posts: 8Member
    Yes Gareth I see your point that laptop with those specs are expensive, but my lifestyle does not permit a desktop (desktop’s as sevencrossing pointed out are any day better than a laptop in terms of price/performance. Plus you can get best of screens as well).

    Safyre I have been looking at Asus ROG, I have no firsthand experience, but have heard more bad than good on their build quality. Possibly as they are not as mainstay as Dell, HP or IBM. Not that those are any better specially HP’s.

    Thank you for prioritizing on components that was the advice I was looking for. I wonder why you rate graphic card as least important; I kind of see how photo editing requires less of graphic card as video editing would. So if I have 16GB ram maybe I can make do with a built-in Intel graphic card rather than a discrete one?
  • GarethGareth Posts: 159Member
    Note that ROG parts are not replaceable unlike the MSI I mentioned. That is why they were not on my list.
  • IronheartIronheart Posts: 3,017Moderator
    I use optical for archive
    To quote Princess Leia, "Optical for archive? You're braver than I thought!"

    My experience with storing stuff on writeable optical media is, there's too much data loss from degrading data layer materials. I thing DVDs are a bit better than CDs, but frankly I'd recommend neither.
    I only use 200 year gold archive blu-Ray:
    "Do or do not... there is no try"
  • HazelnutHazelnut Posts: 2Member

    I've had this for about 4 months now, great laptop albeit slightly large due to the 17 inch screen. It's an IPS full HD display with really gorgeous colors.
    Of course, it's not a replacement for my desktop but this baby runs LR5/CS6 smoothly and quickly even with D810 files. The battery life is also quite good for a big laptop with high end internals.
    If you can find it, I'd highly recommend it.
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