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05-27-2015, 02:51 PM   #1
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Use of Silky Pix/Light Room on Laptop

I am presently shoot in jpeg but want to start shooting in raw. I have read about its benefits and also that the files are very large.

I have a Dell Inspiron i5 4gb ram 500 gb hard drive windows 8 laptop. Is this enough processing power to manage raw files? I have read where users say their computers crash because the files are too large.

Based on the specs. will the silkypix supplied with the k-50 work on this laptop? I saw a thread where users had problems with silky pix operating on windows 8.

If so, is there a free light room or any other that i can use to process raw files?

05-27-2015, 03:12 PM   #2
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I have never used Silkypix except years ago and found it to tedious to bother with. Lightroom is far superior if you want a full image manager. And it will run on your laptop, though more RAM would be helpful.

However, are you looking to actually manage images or just shoot RAW and develop into a jpeg? There are a number of free RAW processors available if all you want is to develop the files.

IMHO, there is no substitute for an actual image management system like Lightroom but if you do not need that take a look at RawTherapee or GIMP and the UFRAW plugin. Also I believe Picassa can handle RAW files. There are several others that a quick internet search will find.
05-27-2015, 03:13 PM   #3
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Raw Therapee is free and can do the job.

But I doubt whether it will be a lesser challenge for your computer.
And learning all the tricks can be even more challenging for the user.
05-27-2015, 03:13 PM   #4
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Silkypix runs fine on Win8 (I've used it on all of our Win8 machines). You'll want at least 8GB of RAM working with RAW files (or any photo editing) or things will start slowing down as your page file starts taking a beating (when you run out of system RAM, your hard drive steps in as a pinch hitter; spindle hard drive at 5400 RPM (standard laptop drive speed) vs. speed of electricity (RAM) = slowwwwwwww). You can never have enough system RAM for photo/video editing. You get a performance bump in PS and LR with a multi-core processor. A lot of i5 laptop procs are only dual-core (with hyperthreading). If you have a true quad-core proc, you will see a little bump. The best thing you could do here (if you really want to do this on a laptop) is max out the system RAM (manual will say how much your motherboard/chipset can have installed), and swap out your spindle hard drive for an SSD (unless you are already running one). SSD writes are very fast, and if you do run out of system RAM, then your page file will be on the SSD (instead of the spindle hard drive) and now you're talking about the speed of electricity on both sides of the fence. Faster proc always helps, but you can get by just fine with a dual-core (just ease up on the multitasking while editing), and RAM is the big helper here (also the least expensive, and easiest to install).

05-27-2015, 03:29 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by cotty Quote
I have a Dell Inspiron i5 4gb ram 500 gb hard drive windows 8 laptop. Is this enough processing power to manage raw files? I have read where users say their computers crash because the files are too large.
Increase your RAM (at least 8 GB) and you should be fine.


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05-27-2015, 03:42 PM   #6
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Silkypix 3 is absolutely fine for RAW editing and comes free with your camera. I use it on 64-bit Windows 8 with a Haswell i3 and 8GB RAM no worries. If you're just getting into RAW processing you won't need all the extra features that Lightroom and Raw Therapee offer, and might find they make the processing more challenging. Just start with exposure bias and work your way down through the parameters.

The Silkypix manual is pretty good and gives a lot of advice for improving images.
05-27-2015, 03:59 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by cotty Quote
I have a Dell Inspiron i5 4gb ram 500 gb hard drive windows 8 laptop. Is this enough processing power to manage raw files?
I think it should work. But here are two things I would add. You will eventually need an external hard drive to store the photos. 500 GB is enough to begin, but after a year or two.. You probably want this to be USB3, as it will be much faster than USB2. Make sure it works with your laptop, though.
Secondly, RAM. This depends on the laptop, some are easy to upgrade, others not so much. But getting 8GB of fast ram is very helpful.

Now on to software. There are many that work well. Lightroom is very popular, because it has a fairly understandable cataloging system and a lot of functions. Aftershot Pro is popular as well. I tried SilkyPix and it is very powerful, but I found it to be complicated to use. I know some say its the best software for Pentax and I have seen good results; I just found LR to be easier.
There are also some free options like FastStone (people like this one), RawTherapee (popular for single photo edits), and Gimp (but this one might be overkill, it is similar to Photoshop).
So, stick with SilkyPix. If you cannot stand it, try Lightroom or FastStone. Many of these programs allow a free trial. Oh, and I don't have Win8, so I can't comment on how well SilkyPix runs on it. Maybe there is a patch/update for SilkyPix that improves stability, though.

And congratulations on getting the camera. The K-50 is a great camera, have fun
05-27-2015, 06:04 PM   #8
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An i5 processor should be fine, noting though that an extra slim ultrabook style of laptop will have throttled back versions of the processor chips found in a conventional laptop as a power saving measure. I thing all i5's are quad core from memory - the i3's are dual core. Not that Lightroom to date has been very well optimised for multi-core (LR6 is meant to be better)

Main performance driver is RAM. Various tests show Lightroom's performance is tied more closely to RAM levels than most other variables. I agree with the earlier suggestion to upgrade your RAM to 8Gb. My prior computer had 4Gb and was starting to struggle at times with Lightroom and particularly with stitched panoramas (this was with K-x files). I upgraded to a i7 laptop with 8Gb RAM prior to acquiring my K-3 and things have been fine (I shot RAW). Laptop screens are very ordinary though for any serious PP work (particularly in my experience judging highlight levels and undesired tints). I have a 27inch Dell IPS screen plugged into my laptop when at home. Overall, a nice set up I enjoy using.

I rarely use Silky Pix as I prefer the non-destructive editing available in LR together with its local adjustments functions. Can occasionally be handy to feed Silkypix a RAW file just to see how Pentax JPEG processing would render the image. For JPEGs, Silkypix (Pentax optimised version) can do an amazing job fixing bad white balance (which is one of the Achille's heels of processing JPEGs). It seems to read metadata buried in the OOC JPEGs that other image apps can't/don't interpret and understands much better what to do to change white balance. Not an issue for RAW files but I have saved some woeful JPEGs that way.

05-27-2015, 06:55 PM   #9
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My advice is to max out the RAM to the most you can get. This is always the first thing I do (or I buy it maxed) with any computer I am going to use to work on photo files.

I buy external drives for my photo storage leaving the main drive for programs. 500 gig is a decent start but I would think in terabytes if it were me.

The rest is fluff.
05-27-2015, 07:17 PM   #10
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Thanks for the quick feedback guys. I already have an external hard drive so i will work on upgrading the RAM. I will try the silky pix and see how it works. If it fails then I will try the other options. I will keep you posted
05-27-2015, 08:24 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by cotty Quote
If so, is there a free light room or any other that i can use to process raw files
There is no free Lightroom although Adobe do offer a 30 day free trial.
05-27-2015, 08:27 PM   #12
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I've had no problems running Lightroom with Windows 7 and only an i3 processor with 4 Gb of ram.
06-12-2015, 03:48 PM   #13
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You may be overestimating the differences in file sizes ... My K7 RAWs are around 14-18 mb, and max quality jpegs around 7-12mb, so not a big difference. It would take many thousands of images to produce a big extra demand on hard drive space. Of course the later larger sensors produce bigger files , but with a couple of 1 or 2tb external backup drives you won't have anything to worry about.

I think your system is plenty powerful enough for your needs. Unless you are carrying out large-scale batch processing then the time you wait for images to be processed is going to be more dependent on particular software rather than your systems speed. It may be a few extra seconds here and there slower than a high speed computer.

If you convert your RAWs straight into JPEGs in their final form then you won't get really large files. That starts to happen if you do what I do, and convert initially to 16bit Tiffs to use as master editing files in other programs ... These can end up being 60-100mb, and then your space starts to fill up. Otherwise don't worry .... Hard drive and DVD storage is very cheap really these days .
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