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truthsforme

Is The Surface Pro Fine For Photo Editing?

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truthsforme

Will the Intel i5 processor used in the surface be able to handle photo editing software like adobe PhotoShop and lightroom? Currently, I'm using an Acer with an AMD e-350 processor and 6gb ram to do photo editing. It takes a little patience because of the rather slow performance. Will the surface pro be considered a step up in terms of performance compared to my Acer? Rough estimate, how much of a performance increase should I expect (2x faster etc.)?

 

I would hope that they made the surface pro with photographers in mind, why else include a display port as oppose to an HDMI port, lol.

 

Thanks, regards

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ImTheTypeOfGuy

An i5 will be plenty. Not sure how much better it will be though since I don't use or pay attention to AMD.

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geekaccountant

Depends on the images and how you edit. For me, I wouldn't want to edit on a system with less than 8GB of ram. Heck, I have 16GB in my system and think it is not enough. Will it be good enough for some light editing, sure. But good enough for serious editing or large LR catalogs, no way. Plus the tiny screen is going to be an issue with editing large files.

 

Come to think of it, the video card will be a weak spot as well. PS CS6 takes advantage of the GPU to speed things up in some areas. Can't image the Surface Pro will come close to keeping up.

 

But, if you want to do some light editing and just use LR to catalog the images on a trip and publish to Facebook or Smugmug, I think the Surface Pro should be able to keep up, maybe. I will be getting one when they come out and I will let you know.

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truthsforme

Thanks for your responses, everything is a little more clear now. But also, I thought more ram makes it easier to multitask, I had no idea it also makes doing 1 task easier. I guess I would be better off with one of those new asus ultrabooks that come with a discrete GPU. Strangely, on the anandtech.com futuremark benchmarks, the acer aspire s7 with i7 processor scored the highest for video and photo editing, even beating laptops with discrete GPUs.

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geekaccountant

Depending on the level or editing you are doing Photoshop all by itself can eat up all 16GB of my ram, and actually way more. I have had Lightroom eat up a little over 8GB before. So yes, these programs really benefit from additional memory. Now if you are just doing light work (red eye, cropping, etc), then you can get away with much less memory.

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truthsforme

I was listening to the surface geeks podcasts and my question came up! =D

 

Ok, so here is how I'm planning on using it and where I got the idea etc:

 

So first, I do photo editing using lightroom 4 and nik softwares (silver efex pro, color efex pro). I don't do over-the-top photo manipulation that really requires a GPU such as HDR. I work with files that are about 8mb each also.

 

My workflow is very simple: import to a temporary folder where I view the files that I want to edit. Separate the keepers from the non. Edit a few in lightroom then export the edited and keepers to a separate folder. Lastly, I transfer all the non keepers to an external hard drive. That way, space on my local storage won't ever run out.

 

I noticed that the surface pro comes equipped with a display port (as opposed to an hdmi port) which raised a question, why choose a display port over an hdmi? Then I started looking at some of the advantages of doing so. With a display port, you can connect the surface to high resolution monitors and take advantage of the full resolution, specifically up to 2560 x 1440, which is something that I'm currently planning on buying also. Then it hit me, is the surface pro also aimed at folks that can use the surface just like a Wacom tablet (sort of) to edit their photos? Initially, I thought this would've been a brilliant plan. Connect your surface to a higher resolution monitor while using your surface the same way someone would use a Wacom tablet to edit their work. The only factors getting in the way of that were the cpu and ram - which I now learned (thanks to geekaccountant) 4g ram might be too low for photo manipulation, which I also happen to agree. I wonder if there's any way of opening the thing and just replacing those 4gb ram card(s) with 2 8gb ram? A person can dream, lol.

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Dave

I'm just going to appoint GeekAccountant as mod of this thread! His JPEG2Raw podcast qualifies him for that! Glad you heard it on the podcast. Thanks for listening and posting here.

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truthsforme

There's no way of editing my post? I forgot to mention that I do edit the photos in RAW format. Each photo amounts to about 10mb.

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geekaccountant

First point, you should almost always be shooting in RAW, especially since LR4 is so cheap these days that anyone wanting to get into photography beyond a point-n-shoot should own it.

 

Sounds like you are doing more light editing and the Surface Pro might be able to handle that, although I would like to know how much ram it will be running. You may be better off just putting Lightroom on it and save the heavy PS work for when you get back to your main editing setup. Also, keep the LR catalogs small on the Surface and that should help a bit.

 

Not sure about it acting as a Wacom tablet, but it would be interesting to try with a stylist.

 

I think until we actually have the Surface Pro, it's going to be hard to really determine what it can do and where it's limitations are. But I think for light LR work while in the field it should be able to handle it. Heck, it might be a good solution while in the field to load the images into a LR catalog and tag them with their keywords. Then when you get home, load them onto your main setup. Although if you shoot as much as I do, storage space on the Surface may be an issue.

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