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03-14-2015, 05:12 AM   #1
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645D/Z File Handling

Hi!

I've recently joined the forum as I'm contemplating a 645D or Z. Terrific amount of quality information here, greatly appreciated. One thing I havent seen discussed much is the level of difficulty involved in dealing with such large files. As a part of my calculus, I wanted to understand just how much more taxing processing will be. So I'm curious as to what sort of computer setups people are typically using in terms of memory and cpu power. Coming from Ricoh and Fuji APS-C land and working with LR/PS/Nik software on a recent Mac Pro 15" with 8GB, I'm a little concerned that my budget needs to factor in upgrades in this dimension as well. I do have a fairly high end 16GB Win 8 workstation (Velocity Micro) as well, but I much prefer to work on the laptop. Was also curious if there was any noticeable difference between the D and Z in this regard as well. Thanks for any advice you can provide!

03-14-2015, 05:45 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tailwagger Quote
Hi!

I've recently joined the forum as I'm contemplating a 645D or Z. Terrific amount of quality information here, greatly appreciated. One thing I havent seen discussed much is the level of difficulty involved in dealing with such large files. As a part of my calculus, I wanted to understand just how much more taxing processing will be. So I'm curious as to what sort of computer setups people are typically using in terms of memory and cpu power. Coming from Ricoh and Fuji APS-C land and working with LR/PS/Nik software on a recent Mac Pro 15" with 8GB, I'm a little concerned that my budget needs to factor in upgrades in this dimension as well. I do have a fairly high end 16GB Win 8 workstation (Velocity Micro) as well, but I much prefer to work on the laptop. Was also curious if there was any noticeable difference between the D and Z in this regard as well. Thanks for any advice you can provide!
When it comes to processing large files there are a few main things I see the greatest area for reducing time spent stuck at the computer.


My order of priority would be something along these lines
-Downloading the images. USB 3 or equivilant is the only way to go. USB 2.0 will see some serious restrictions.
-Storage, Hard disk speed tends to be overlooked quite often as people look for the 2-3 TB drives because it fits lots of stuff. You will see huge benifit of working from a newer solid state drive (this doesnt need to be big, 64-128 would be fine) then having projects that are older moved to a large capacity disk drive.
-RAM, for 645 images I would say 16GB minimum 32GB preferred. I find with my K-5 processing in Capture One Pro chews 5-7GB alone.
-Graphics Card, I think after CS4 Photoshop could utilise the processing power of these cards. So take advantage of that.
-CPU's Most i5/i7 processors are pretty capable and I personally dont see much cost/benifit between them for image editing.

*disclaimer* this is coming from an APS-C shooter.
03-14-2015, 07:43 AM   #3
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I've used cameras ranging from the 5Dmk2 to the 645D and Z and even 80mp backs, my current computer is a mid-2011 iMac, here are my opinions:

- USB3 isn't as critical as it seems unless you will also shoot a lot of images, but you probably won't, Medium Format cameras you don't tend to spray & pray with like a Canon/Nikon, so bigger file sizes will be offset by lower shot volume.
- 32GB SD card holds about 520 shots, you do the math about how much storage you need, but it'll be a lot... shot a dozen images? you're already down a gigabyte.
- My computer has 8GB RAM which I definitely feel cutting into my productivity, but I also tend to multi-task a lot and Lightroom + Photoshop are rarely the only applications I have open at any one time, I would suggest 16GB minimum if you want to edit/process photos while doing other things too.
- I haven't used a computer with an SSD yet, but you'll want one as your boot/application drive, plus a RAID array for mass storage. Since you want to stay on a laptop, get the biggest SSD you can to hold and work on files for when you don't have access to external storage, and get a NAS/RAID box for all your mass storage needs. Don't keep anything on your laptop for too long at a time.
- My CPU choice would be decidedly high-end, but for most people a nice quad-core should be more than sufficient, and CPU tech seems to have slowed down in recent years, so any recent quad-core CPU will be good for your purposes.
- Graphics cards currently don't offer particularly stellar acceleration in Photoshop and none in Lightroom, whilst Capture One does not work with either the 645D or Z at all, so a simple graphics solution that can drive the resolution of your display of choice is enough.

In terms of 645D files vs. 645Z, they both seem to be rather close enough in resolution for the difference to not be especially noticeable, the biggest change is coming from any older DSLR to the D or Z; even a 2-shot stitch with the Z is somewhat sluggish to perform.

Last edited by Kolor-Pikker; 03-14-2015 at 07:52 AM.
03-14-2015, 08:24 AM   #4
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My experience so far has surprised me---I haven't felt like my computer was being strained. It's a quad core PC with 8gb ram and an Nvidia graphics card that's several generations old. I am not using Photoshop at all, and currently not Lightroom much, although that is likely to change, nowr am I stitching. I use LightZone, but that has to do with a lot of factors none of the readers of this post will care about---but I have been happy that our current version is working ok with the files. Faststone viewer is working fine, too. I, however, tend to deal with my files singly and not batch so much. Have not yet batched a bunch of Z files yet, may try that this weekend.

Storage is my bigger concern right now. I've had a couple of bad HD meltdowns in the last several years. My computer guy says his other photo clients are all worried about storage as well. He recommends NOT using SSD drives, at least for long term storage. He says that when disk drives have problems there are still ways to retrieve, but when an SSD drive goes it is not recoverable.

My biggest issue right now is backup---it takes sooooo long with the files I've got now. My computer guy says that the only real answer is to have a RAID running daily, backing up once a week won't cut it anymore with active shooting and large files. Also, a U.s. problem: we live in a major American city but don't have cable. Our DSL service is too slow to use the cloud effectively for backup. I was told off the record by a Verizon employee that fiber optics cable is unlikely to come to major cities in the forseeable future because the lines themselves are physically heavy, so they can't be strung on poles as well and must be buried. That makes cities prohibitively expensive to do fiber optics cable in, for the most part.

03-14-2015, 09:04 AM   #5
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Thanks for the replies! I actually pulled the trigger on a lightly used D this morning, so I guess its in the family now I do have SSDs on all my computers and a Synology 2TB Raid as well, so I'm fairly solid in that area. Both computers have SD slots as well, so should be good. My Mac book is an i7 Retina with the 1GB NVidia card so while it wont be stellar, it should be adequate at least for a while. Whereas with my APS-C gear I just shoot, transfer everything and sort it all out later, going forward it will pay to kill the obvious losers before they ever hit the wire. Moving up to MF for me is all about slowing things down a bit anyway.
03-14-2015, 11:30 AM   #6
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You won't find your laptop problematic for LR. For PS, likely yes. I find I shoot less on the 645z than with 35mm, so total gigabyte consumption has stayed steady. I have double-redundant 4TB storage. Should last me another year or two.

USB3.0 or Thunderbolt aren't really optional at this level, imho. USB2 is so 2005.

As for cards, big fast 64GB ones. I like the Transcend 600x ones. (Red). Dirt cheap now.

- N.
03-14-2015, 11:56 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by texandrews Quote
Storage is my bigger concern right now. I've had a couple of bad HD meltdowns in the last several years. My computer guy says his other photo clients are all worried about storage as well. He recommends NOT using SSD drives, at least for long term storage. He says that when disk drives have problems there are still ways to retrieve, but when an SSD drive goes it is not recoverable.
SSD life has certainly improved over time, but of course it depends on which model you get and from which manufacturer. There are three cell types for the memory in SSDs; SLC, MLC and TLC, which go in order of decreased durability for a reduction in price. SLC isn't seen anywhere but industrial-grade applications, so MLC and TLC are the two major cell types for consumer drives, for instance Samsung's "Pro" and "Evo" lines are MLC and TLC based respectively. The 850 Pro uses stacked MLC cells, so it can be manufactured on a very robust 40nm process, meaning each cell is considerably larger than in the older 840 series, which leads to increased durability. One 850 has been tested with over 8 Petabytes written to it, and I don't think anyone knows whether it wore out yet or not.

One thing I can say with certainty is don't buy OCZ drives... at all. They were notorious for failing all the time for a long while now, and even though they've been bought out by Hitachi and use their chips now, I still wouldn't risk it.

Crucial M series drives have power protection circuits built in, so they have a better chance of preserving data if the power goes out or something.
03-14-2015, 12:17 PM   #8
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I don't shoot with a 645 but I do stitch a lot, so my resulting image TIFF files are usually 1G to 1.5G in size. I recently built a new PC, first one in 20 years.
  • 16GB certainly helps. I left an additional 2 memory slots for another set of 16 or 32G sticks when the price comes down a bit. For $10 more I am using 1866 memory rather than 1333 - a 30% increase in access speed. I would check to see if you can expand your memory in the laptop or replace your SIMM with a larger one.
  • I went with 2TB RAID 1 (Mirror) using drives, but with a SSD caching the RAID so as to provide additional speed (look for a motherboard supporting Intel Smart Response Technology (SRT)). This provides both speed and redundant storage failover. You can get NAS boxes with RAIDED storage that will connect either via USB 3.0 or via your network. I put my storage in my case rather than hanging it off the network or USB, so that access would be faster.
  • There have been various posts that the new LightRoom 6 will support graphics cards for accelerated processing. The posts on the web having been saying 2nd Q of 15. You would probably want something with a fairly large chunk of memory. Also, I am guessing Nivada would be supported with out any question.


03-14-2015, 01:30 PM   #9
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Here is a link to the SSD torture test referred to by Kolor-Pikker:

The SSD Endurance Experiment: They're all dead - The Tech Report - Page 1
03-14-2015, 02:16 PM   #10
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I just finished printing for a gallery show and my i5 iMac (mid 2010) with only 4GB of RAM using Aperture or Photoshop just dragged on forevvvvvvver with 465D files. I found myself rummaging around memory upgrade web sites during many "spinning beach balls of death" moments. My i7 MacBook Pro laptop has 8GB and was much better handling the few 645D files I worked with in Photoshop. I may kick-up to the max of 16GB for the old iMac soon . . .

Almost forget to mention . . . I bought a 3TB hard drive and set up Time Capsule for backing up the entire computer. Seems to work just fine.
03-15-2015, 02:14 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbinpg Quote
Here is a link to the SSD torture test referred to by Kolor-Pikker:

The SSD Endurance Experiment: They're all dead - The Tech Report - Page 1
I wasn't really referring to that article, because I was talking about the new 850 Pro while they tested the 840 Pro, but thanks for the link anyway. The Samsung Pro drives have some the best durability out there, going just by numbers, you could write half the 850's capacity every day for 5 years.
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