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Thread: The digital darkroom set-up

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    Default The digital darkroom set-up

    What do I need in terms of a digital darkroom set-up, if I were to move from shooting jpegs to RAW?? I 'd just been shooting for fun and working on my skills. Now I am beginning to think tht I should get more into this. But with the move, everything gets more complicated - I need bigger capacity and faster CF cards, file sizes get bigger => more RAM, and how much?? how much hard drive?? What else??

    I shoot mostly running road races, active outdoorsy stuff and picked up shooting buildings, structures, indoors shots of people doing things -> mostly available light stuff. I'd make mistakes but I come up with some good ones too that I like to keep. I have 1 m RAM, 112 GB hard-drive, 1 Gig SanDisk Extreme III CF and 1 512 80x CF card is all. I don't know the speed of my PC. This part is so techy. But I like to build and make logical, step-up changes. Appreciate your help. Thanks! Jen.
    Goodday, y'all!
    Phoenix

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    Default Re: The digital darkroom set-up

    More RAM the better, but you know that probably. RAM on the PC is pretty much for Photoshop or some other editing software. Do you have any editing software to develop the RAW files? Are you going to use the Olympus package to do it? You could, and then use say Photoshop Elements to tweak, unless you know what you're doing there. You didn't say.

    As for cards, to me you have enough. If you are shooting a LOT of images at these events, then you might need a 2gb card too. If it is pretty fast to fast action, I'd still shoot JPG, but that is me. I'd meter of of something known (a gray card or green grass or the sky, and adjust accordingly.

    Hard drive is another where more is better. You could add a external 100gb or more HD to JUST put the images on. Might help you with organization.

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    Default Re: The digital darkroom set-up

    if you plan to use Photoshop, get more memory , at least 1.5Gb for it's memory hogger
    That HD size should serve you for a while; you can add another later as needed; i'd buy an external one for backing up the images, say 200Gb or more; also use DVD to back up your images as a extra measure of safety
    CPUwise if you could afford , get the hyperthreaded Intel 3Ghz or faster since PS uses this feature and can run faster
    One of the more important element for the lab is the LCD; get yourself a nice bright LCD, at least 19" with hi-res ; Dell, Samsung, would be a good place to shop
    I usually carry w me many CF cards as spare so carry many you could , like at least a couple of 2gb cards instead of 1 big one; you certainly don't want to bet all in one basket
    Cheers

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    Default Re: The digital darkroom set-up

    An LCD is by no means a digital darkroom requirement. In fact, lots of folks still do NOT use an LCD because they are harder to get a true (to them) color image on one.

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    Default Re: The digital darkroom set-up

    Thanks for the responses! I don't have a RAW converter. will check this out. I do have 1 Gb RAM - will look to see if I can add more, swap out the cpu (cpu = 'brains' of pc??), more cards, LCD ..if I save $$. Add HD. This is not too bad. ;_). I'll start with a few RAW images first I'd think. Thank you. Jen
    Goodday, y'all!
    Phoenix

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    Default Re: The digital darkroom set-up

    Jen,

    for what its worth, I have 1gb ram and do just fine with CaptureOne LE (the RAW converter I use). My cpu is a 2.2 ghz 64bit AMD processor. I wouldn't worry about upgrading either your ram or your processor unless your computer does not work fast enough for you (in other words, first you start using RAW, then upgrade as necessary).

    One important thing to have is a monitor calibration package (hardware & software). I use a colorvision spyder2express (their cheap version), and it has served me well so far. If it ever fails me, I'll upgrade the software.

    Like I mentioned above, I use phaseone's CaptureOne LE to convert the RAW files. I don't use photoshop for other processing, I use GIMP (it's an opensource image manipulation program - free and quite good).

    Don't worry about getting more harddrive until you start to run out of yours. By then, prices will probably have dropped and you'll be able to save some cash (or get a bigger HD). An external hard drive for backing up your images is a good idea, though (still on my to-do list).

    As for CF cards, don't worry about it until yours prove too small. The main message here is: don't upgrade until you need to.

    But that's just my 2c.

    André

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    Default Re: The digital darkroom set-up

    Quote Originally Posted by 4/3_Pickles View Post
    An LCD is by no means a digital darkroom requirement. In fact, lots of folks still do NOT use an LCD because they are harder to get a true (to them) color image on one.
    I'm In agreement here. A good quality CRT, 19" or larger is IMHO best.

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