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10-28-2019, 12:31 AM   #1
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New 645z owner. What computing power am I going to need to handle these raws?

Hi all,

Iíve got a 645z on the way, and Iím sure that my wifeís old laptop isnít going to be up to it...

For the 645z owners, what spec will do the job well? Iím thinking lightroom on the RAW files and occasional photoshop.

Iíd be interested in RAM level, 32gb or 64gb?
i7 processor what HZ?
Does SSD hard drive make a difference for lightroom?
Anything else to help -graphics card???

Any guidance on this will be greatly appreciated. Ideally, Iíd like to spend as little money as possible, however I think it may be too late for me!



10-28-2019, 12:38 AM - 1 Like   #2
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You'll definitely want an SSD (for your OS and files you're working on) and a decent amount of memory. 16gb or higher should be plenty unless you plan to work on a lot of files at once. The processor and GPU don't matter as much, but having decent specs there never hurts.
10-28-2019, 12:54 AM - 1 Like   #3

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Aside from Lightroom what other software are you intending to use?
10-28-2019, 04:32 AM - 1 Like   #4
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When choosing an SSD be careful when it comes to QLC based drives. They tend to be cheaper per GB but the trade off is reduced speed. They're still fast compared to traditional HDDs - I have one as my Windows boot drive - but if the cache in the drive gets full, for example copying a single large file, performance can degrade significantly. Given your intention to play around with images from a 645 this could potentially be an issue.

10-28-2019, 05:04 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mike L Quote
Aside from Lightroom what other software are you intending to use?
Some photoshop and thatís all!
10-28-2019, 05:11 AM   #6
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Would this work?

Upgraded Mac Pro 32GB Ram, Radeon 5770, 500gb SSD running OSX 10.11 El Capitan | eBay
10-28-2019, 05:55 AM - 1 Like   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by TPR Quote
Ideally, I’d like to spend as little money as possible
For someone who bought a 645Z spending as little money on the supporting hardware will be detrimental to getting the most out of the camera.

QuoteOriginally posted by TPR Quote
Would this work?
Possibly, but that 500Gb is going to fill up awfully fast with image files. Remember the basic OS and image editing software will eat up at least 25% of that hard drive space alone. Unless you have a 4 bay NAS with at least an aggregated 1G connection....but that is more money to spend.
10-28-2019, 06:19 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I would say a good sized SSD is mandatory, the bigger the better, for files that you are actually working on. Then a big standard hard drive for storage. Then a fast, top end processor. Always seems to me the processor is the bottle neck with most editing software. Any mid range graphic card will do, unless you do video or gaming, then you'll need a high end one. 16gb of ram is good, no less though. Never seen my editing software top out 16gb of ram.

10-28-2019, 06:25 AM - 1 Like   #9
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I have two drives on my system. Ssd 128 gb m2 has windows 10 and program files, sata hdd is 4 tb for raw. You will need at least a 4tb as the file sizes will be massive. Keep the raws as long as you can then jpeg down after processing. I have an i5 works well with Affinity. Ram 2x16. Water coolers are great if you intend to batch process. If you need help building your own system pm me. Building your own is very much cheaper but you must get compatible gear.
10-28-2019, 09:58 AM - 2 Likes   #10

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Depends how/what you'll be processing

I'm using LR and mostly shooting/processing "neat". I don't have a super intense box , and I do OK. I am required to hand in TIFF files, though, and if there's a bunch it takes a few minutes to export.

Merges, panos? Well, now things start to get sluggish. My machine can choke on just 2 images merged into a Pano---I've had it crash/freeze. Gigapixel AI working with TIFF files? sloooooooooow, as in 20 minutes or so. Definitely time for a new box---that and a RAID are where my G.A.S. impulses are going right now.
10-28-2019, 10:00 AM - 1 Like   #11
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The new Mac mini with 32GB RAM, 4k screen and an external disk for extra storage space would be my recommendation. Best price/value.

Editing high resolution RAW at FullHD is terrible, because of the extreme down scaling. It's losing all detail and at 1:1 you only see an unusable small portion of the photo.
10-28-2019, 01:51 PM - 1 Like   #12

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Export times will be greatly reduced with modern many core CPU-s. I've upgraded recently to the Rzen 3600 6 core/12 threads one. The GPU only utilized for small/rare specific things by lightroom like enhance details.
10-28-2019, 05:15 PM - 1 Like   #13
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Batch processing is an entire field of its own and if like me you shoot exposure bracket or want to do a focus merge in a macro then a new system is needed for a new camera. Speaking to my photographer friend who helps many other new photographers, he says when people budget for a camera they forget filters tripods memory cards and a good computer with a half decent screen. I got most of that right, negating the screen (old LG), but hey, when photographs are 90% black and white, who needs AdobeRGB? Am I right? Ok maybe I need a new screen too. Time to look for santa's little helper and ...erm maybe a new lens...

Oh and graphics card: 'Yes' for playing games on.
10-28-2019, 10:17 PM - 1 Like   #14
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I built something good several years ago(4-5?) and it is still running fast with no bottlenecks.
Keep in mind if you do stacking or panos, you may need more RAM and drive space.
good luck
10-29-2019, 06:07 AM - 1 Like   #15
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You can expect the 645z RAW files to be in the 60 to 80mb range. If you only use LR (or Camera Raw) for adjustments to the picture and cropping, then you don't need much computing power. When I travel I even use my Surface Pro on occasion. A bit sluggish, but manageable.

As soon as you start doing composites or focus stacking, or brush or gradient filters, well then you will find a while paradigm shift is needed in computing power.

Using Photoshop with a lot of editing, or adding Camera Raw smart filters, or adding multiple layers with masks, or blending.... Same shift in power needed.

The biggest adjustment you will need to make is when you discover how much content exists in the 645's raw files. A blown out sky will reveal unbelievable details when a masked gradient filter is applied. Processing power is the name of the game to reach the full potential of what the 645z can give you. The only area the 645z is unforgiving, is focus. For the rest, you have so much lee way to be sloppy, or just make mistakes which you can fix in post to end up with amazing pictures.

I found that more RAM is more important than a fast hard drive, and fast GPU is just as important as a fast multi core CPU. I'm not a MAC guy and can't comment on the capabilities of the MAC vs Windows, but earlier this year I was seriously looking for more proceeding power and was considering a MAC, if it could deliver.

I eventually settled on the HP G5 zbook with xeon CPU and quadro GPU. I selected the 4k version with the color corrected Dreamcolor screen. Cost almost as much as the camera, and I found the following....

For normal adjustments in LR or Camera Raw, I did not see much difference with my Surface Pro. Until I started to load 20 pictures at a time in Camera Raw, added brush or gradient filters with masks, or composites, or Photoshop with multiple layers. The HP does not slow down. The CPU automatically goes into overclocking beyond 4ghz, the cooling fan sounds like a 747 preparing for takeoff, but the speed is unbelievable.

Having said that, it took me a while to figure out the settings needed to achieve that. Between LR, Camera Raw and Photoshop are distinct differences that makes it faster or slower. Took me a couple of days of trial and error to discover those, and is very happy now.

Have no idea what I'm going to do when the FF 645 comes out, because then the file sizes will likely go from 60-80 up to 200mb. Will cross that bridge when I get there. Need lots more money.....

Have fun with your 645z, it is an absolutely fantastic camera, I've had mine now for abt four years and are still discovering new tricks with it.


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