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03-27-2015, 06:32 PM   #16
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Thanks all! PSE7 is a nightmare! Although I'm not keen on patronizing Adobe right now, I think LR may be the best choice for me.
Now, to Mac or not to Mac, that is the question.

03-27-2015, 08:41 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by PKMike Quote
Does LR5 have similar tendencies with its organizer? I hope not. Sounds like that may be the one to go with.
LR does not have an "Organizer" in the same manner as PSE does. It does have a Library Module, and you do Import your photos into LR. However, the Import does not move your photos other than from a memory card or from you camera into a folder (directory) on your hard drive if that's what you tell it to do. The import otherwise is just telling the LR Catalog (database file) where the photos exist and builds a preview of the image file.

If you do go the LR route, one thing to remember is to only move or delete your images from within LR. Otherwise the image will be missing from the Catalog and you will need to re-sync things (which is not a big deal once you recognize what happened).

As far as your computer is concerned, I agree that completely eliminating PSE 7 and bringing your memory up to 8Gb would be a good move. I run both LR and PSE 13 on an Windows 7 (64 bit) i7 desktop with 8Gb of RAM without any issues, but I do not use the Organizer in PSE. LR lets me organize things the way I want, and provides ample tools for enhancing >95% of my images without even going to PSE. However, there are things that LR can't do well, such as remove or clone an object in an image that PSE can since PSE is a pixel level editor as opposed to a parametric editor.

Last edited by lsimpkins; 03-27-2015 at 09:36 PM.
03-27-2015, 09:28 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by jatrax Quote
No it does not. Lightroom simply indexes where the image is located, it does not try to move or copy the file into it's own structure. That (IMHO) is the beauty of the system. You organize your images the way you want which makes back ups and moving to a new computer very easy.

It is recommended that all your images be under a single directory such as "Photos" (how you organize under that is up to you). You just point Lightroom to that directory. If you move to a new computer you just copy the "Photos" directory to the new computer, install Lightroom, copy over your catalog and point it to the new location. In about 30 seconds you are back up and running. This seperation of actual files and the indexed catalog is important at least IMHO.

Narual, I've moved computers twice and successfully re-attached all images without any problem. It should not be difficult at all, just click on the question mark and tell Lightroom where the file is. Of course it is much easier if everything is all under one directory so you only have to locate the root directory and Lightroom finds the rest. PM me if you are having a problem, maybe I can help.
The only thing I might add to this is:
  • Making periodic back-ups of the catalog is easy and fast
  • There usually is no need to write metadata off to disk. In fact, doing so creates a possible drop in sync between the file metadata and the catalog itself. Incremental backup is preferred over maintaining multiple copies of the LR metadata as primary record.*
Like jatrax, I recently moved my catalog and all the image files from one computer to another. The process could not have gone smoother. The key is to have all the files in one directory tree and to move that tree as a whole. Lightroom will do a good job of finding them.

The bottom line is that Lightroom does a good job of keeping track and does so without a lot of drama or resource intensive actions.


* There are exceptions of course and the flexibility of writing XMP off to file is very helpful for certain use cases. The process may also be automated so that it happens automagically when edits and other changes are made though with a small performance hit. As always, YMMV.
03-28-2015, 09:15 AM   #19
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Thanks again I'm gleaning plenty from all comments and open to any more. Mike

03-28-2015, 09:29 AM   #20
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Another thing to keep in mind is that Lightroom is VERY configurable. So spend a little time thinking about how you want things to work. There are lots of tutorials and resources on the web or ask here.

The key to making Lightroom work for you instead of the other way around is to get your configuration set up properly and use presets. Once you figure out how you want something done save that as a preset or a template.

For example my import preset:
  • renames the file to
  • copies it into the directory tree on picture server with a new folder for each day (making a new folder if it does not exist)
  • copies a backup to an external harddrive
  • applies a develop preset with settings I use as the default for images
  • applies basic keywords
  • adds my copyright information
  • builds the full size previews
  • ejects the SD card when done
You can do all that manually but by using a preset I can stick the card in and go make coffee while the computer does the work

The only thing I might add to this is:
  • Making periodic back-ups of the catalog is easy and fast
  • There usually is no need to write metadata off to disk. In fact, doing so creates a possible drop in sync between the file metadata and the catalog itself. Incremental backup is preferred over maintaining multiple copies of the LR metadata as primary record.
Good point on the backups. I don't use the automatic "save metadata to file" feature because it caused my incremental backups to think the all files had been changed on a regular basis. Not sure if that was a bug with Lightroom or with my backup software but I turned it off. Now I just click "save all" once a month or so to write everything out to the DNG files, just in case. This might not be an issue on the newer versions, I have not tried it. Or maybe it was just my backup software.
03-29-2015, 10:54 AM   #21
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I just when thought this with my computer. It had become a FORD (Fix Or Repair Daily). I looked at buying a new computer, either a Mac or a PC and ended up buying the parts for a PC to building one myself. I am not recommending you build a computer. I only mention this because I ended up evaluating every detail for where the curve bent on cost to performance (bang for the buck) and for low PITA factor in the future. These 2 things were my mantra. I also had to get into the minutiae much more then I usually like too.

Macís are a good computer. The problem is that you will not get the best BFTB and you are more limited which will lead to more PITA later. If you are doing just general computing stuff like Web or writhing documents you are good but when you start to more specialize stuff you will have less choices (both hardware and software) and the choices you have will usually cost more. If you stay more general a Mac can have less of a PITA factor. Other have alluded to some of your choices and limitations.

You did not say much about the PC you have now other then it has an I5 and 4 Gigs of RAM. The I5 is a little slow and the 4 Gigs of RAM kind of anemic for any photo software especially for something like PSE7. You could up your RAM but you have to have a 64 bit operating system. If you are using a 32 bit version of widows you can only use 3.5 Gigs of RAM. Adding more wonít get you more. You I5 should be 64 bit ready but you will still need to check your motherboard.

This brings us the software itself. If you are going to use more than 4 Gigs, this means you have to have a 64 bit OS. You also should look at the latest software that it 64 bit capable. This is mostly so it can use the more RAM. The newer software all have much better RAW converters and many other good things. Adobe has always tried to be the top end pro software. It has a lot of things in the full package for Pros with a steep learning curve and price to match. If you have the money for the full package you also should have the money for the hardware to run it. Adobe realized this was limiting sales so they came out with things like PSE and LR. This limited the money coming in so now Adobe is going to a leasing only version of the software. You pay a monthly fee so you get to use the software and Adobe will upgrade the software whenever they like. If you only use the software occasionally and/or upgrading every 2-3 years you will end up paying a lot more. You will also end up basically as an addict as it will be hard to stop paying if you want to keep all your old Adobe files. All of this means if you are not going to make money to offset the cost Adobe is a poor BFTB choice and a big PITA latter. You can probably get by get by with the older software but now may be a good time to look at the other options.

Lastly you OP comments (1), (2) and (3) I can get but your (4) confuses me and your (5) comment just floors me. Getting it right in the camera to me is getting as much DR as the camera can get and not blow the high end. This is not fixing a mistake. Doing less for a camera like the K-3 just means you have bought more camera then you are using. Spending a minute later to finalize the photo just makes sense. If you already have the RAW using just JPG is like shooting with old positive (slide) film. You are just so limited to what you can show others. Not keeping the files after they are on the computer just blows my mind. Hard drive space is now so cheap you can get a TB for like 60 bucks if not less. I have been shooting for a long time and I keep everything. Not only have I not used a TB (some may but 2 or 3 TB is still cheap and I have 3 TB in my computer now). I also backup every photo (and every other file I want) to an online system. This has saved me many times and is well worth the cost.

03-30-2015, 03:32 AM   #22
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I don't know your budget, although if you are thinking of a Mac laptop it must be around $1800, but I would do the following:

Put your money towards as much RAM as your laptop will take (the OS is fine being 64 bit, I5 processor is fine). (~$120)

Buy a standalone copy of Lightroom. (~$180)

Buy a 256 Gb solid state drive (SSD) for the laptop for the OS and the Lightroom catalog. (~$160)

Buy a 2-bay NAS from Synology or QNAP, set it up with 2 separate volumes (not raid1) and use the second volume for the NAS to automaticaly back up to from the first volume where your photos are stored. (~$350 NAS, 2x2Tb WD Red ~$300)

Buy a decent 24" or 27" IPS 16:10 monitor e.g. Asus PA249Q (~$700)

Total ~$1,810 (All prices AU$)
04-11-2015, 09:57 PM   #23
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Currently I use Photoshop and Lightroom thru the Creative Cloud and find the $10 monthly a very decent deal.

For my personal non business work I use them on a Lenovo Y50 notebook.

No complaints.


04-20-2015, 02:10 PM   #24
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Any Creative Cloud subscriber using Lightroom & Photoshop on different systems (.i.e., PC & Mac)? I'm asking as I have Lightroom 5, but no Photoshop (on a PC), and I'm thinking about subscribing to Creative Cloud as I have a MacBook Pro on order (due 4/27), so I'll have Lightroom & Photoshop on a PC and the same on a Mac. Will I have to create separate catalogs? Maybe I'll just have them on one system. Thanks, just curious.
04-22-2015, 06:39 AM   #25
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if you are interested in speeding up an older computer, provided it has at least a SATA2 controller for the drives: put in a decent modern SSD like the samsung 840/50 series. that alone should be a massive upgrade for overall speed. then max out the RAM. 300 dollars/euros if you go for 512 GB SSD and 8 GB RAM? substantially less if you require less hard drive space.

if you go the mac route (a system i can fully recommend from personal experience in terms of how well it works and the software available) - don't forget to factor apple care (extended warranty) into the price. their current line of laptops can't be upgraded or even opened anymore without voiding warranty. and those apple standard warranties are really short. sadly they are currently very expensive because of this and have become a bit of a throwaway-item in my opinion. too expensive to repair out of warranty.
04-22-2015, 09:10 AM   #26
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I bought a 27" iMac just for photography purposes. I currently use LightRoom 5.

After being a PC user for 25 years (electronics engineer in telecommunications field), I am very pleased to be doing my digital photo editing on a Mac.

I understand that running two systems is a luxury. If you need PC and can't do two systems, you can still do it all on a PC. But image editing on the Mac is a breath of fresh air.

There is one caveat: The way the Mac operating system comes configured from the factory took some time to "fix'. It seems like Apple assumes their users are all 13 year old morons (they spend a lot on market research, so they may be correct). It took a few tries to get the computer out of "Hello Kitty" mode.

In all fairness, every Windows upgrade I had to endure required a bit of configuration to get the window-stickers off of it. I still run Windows 7 and LightRoom 5 on my laptop for travel. Its like sleeping on the couch compared to the iMac at home.
04-22-2015, 11:54 AM   #27
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Thanks for the replies. My desktop machine is a 4 or 5 year old Dell Vostro with 8GB ram & 250GB drive. I have LR5 installed and I've been using it quite a bit. Also have Adobe Elements 13 installed. Got it as a gift. My wife (the banker of the family) uses the Dell mostly for online bill paying (took me forever to get her to do this), and her QVC/HSN stuff.

I have ordered a MacBook Pro 13" with Retina and a 2.7GHz (with turbo boost to 3.1GHz), 16GB ram, and 256GB storage. Had to order it because I wanted 16GB vs 8GB. I also got Apple Care. Ordered it online and they discounted the laptop $140 and discounted Apple Care $100 (total discount of $240 + free shipping) as a "veteran's" discount, even though I was discharged from the Navy in 1968! It is supposed to be delivered to my local store on 27 April. Didn't want to trust it coming to the house and my wife or I not be there as we are travelling this month.

I am 99% sure I will subscribe to Creative Cloud for LR5 & PS. I'm a little confused how it will work with the Dell and the laptop. I didn't have LR5 on the laptop with the motherboard that died. I know I can install LR5 & PS on 2 machines, but not sure how it works synchronizing stuff. Will I have 2 catalogs? I currently have all of my photos located on a 1TB external drive and backed up on another 1TB external drive. Not sure this is the smartest way to do things. Common sense (to me) says one catalog. The only place I see the catalog now is on my desktop, and I will be travelling with the MacBook Pro, once I get used to it. Been using Windows forever (hate Win 8), but ready to change and looking forward to getting the laptop.

Sorry for the long post, but just curious about CC. Thanks.
04-22-2015, 12:31 PM   #28
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Use Smart Previews and you'll be able to view & work on your photos even when the external drive isn't attached. Have Lightroom write the metadata to the file, and you'll be able to see your changes from either computer. But if you want to see your edit history on both, you'll need to figure out a good way to synchronize the catalog and previews files between the two computers.
04-22-2015, 02:28 PM   #29
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Tel you the truth PSE vs. 8 was the best version of Photoshop Elements that ever came out and I had version 3, 4, 6, 8, 10 and now 12. PSE has always been slow and quirky, but it is/was the next step up to Photshop. I don't know if it's your computer, but PSE tends to hog a lot of memory and hard drive. If your processor is not up to snuff 2hz or higher then you are definitely going to get bogged down trying to process RAW files from the K3 which are relatively HUGE. Like I said I don't know much about PSE version 7, but maybe you can contact the folks at Adobe and see if they can fine tune the software for you.
04-22-2015, 04:20 PM   #30
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Thanks for all the replies so far -- really good information. I have used PS Elements 9, 10, and now 13, and they were OK, but didn't particularly like the organizer part of them. A friend gave me Elements 13 for free as it was given to him and he is strictly LR & Photo Shop CC (?). I've never used CC. I might just decide to only use the MBP for processing. Haven't really decided yet, but I do appreciate the comments.

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