The Best Computers for Photographers: What to Look ForApr 19, 2022
Are you a photographer who is looking for a new computer? If so, you may be wondering what to look for. There are many different factors that you need to consider when choosing a computer for photography. In this article, we will discuss the most important ones. We will also recommend some that we think are the best choices for photographers. Let's get started!
Laptop v Desktop
The first thing you need to decide is whether you want a laptop or desktop computer. Laptops are great for photographers who travel often. They are also more affordable than desktop computers. On the other hand, desktops have more power and storage capacity and are easier to work on due to the ability to have larger, and multiple screens. If you plan on doing a lot of photo editing, then a desktop computer would be a better choice, unless you are in the fortunate position to be able to have both!
The bottom line is, Desktop computers are more versatile than laptops. They have more power and can be upgraded with better components in the future.
What processor is best?
The next thing to consider is the processor. The processor is the heart of the computer and it determines how fast it can run. For photography, you need a fast computer so that you can edit your photos quickly.
If you want your computer to be able to handle multiple tasks at once, then go ahead and get a desktop computer with multi-core processors. The more cores there are in your processor the better for running many programs simultaneously without any lag time between them! Look for 4,6 or 8 core processors.
How much RAM (Memory) is best?
Now that you know how important the processor is, the next thing to consider is the amount of RAM (memory) in your computer. The more RAM you have, the more quickly your computer will be able to load and edit large files such as photos.
For photography, I recommend getting at least 16GB of RAM. This will ensure that your computer can handle all of the tasks you throw at it without any problems. RAM can easily be bought and installed later, so make sure you buy a computer than can have more ram added later.
How much storage is best?
The last thing to consider when choosing a computer for photography is the amount of storage space. This is important if you want to store all of your photos on your computer. Personally, external hard drives are probably best for storing your images, with a cloud backup for security.
Your computer storage only needs to be large enough to store your photo editing software and other programs you use regularly. Having said that, your computer will usually be able to process images quicker that are stored on an internal drive.
For most photographers, a computer with a 256GB to 500GB hard drive will be plenty. If you can get one with an SSD (Solid State Drive) this will be much faster than a traditional hard drive and will save you time when loading your files into your editing software.
If you are wanting to store a lot of files on your computer, then you can get up to 2TB on most computers.
Storage Tip: If you have more than one computer, save your lightroom catalogue on an external drive and you can use it with each computer easily.
What monitors are best?
We have talked about the important parts of the computer, but what about the monitors?
For photography, you will want a monitor that can display accurate colours. This is important for colour-correcting your photos. Look for monitors that have at least 100% of the sRGB colour gamut.
You will also want a large monitor so that you can see your photos clearly. A 27-inch monitor is a good size, but if you want something even bigger, there are now ultrawide monitors that are 34 inches wide!
The resolution of the monitor is also important. A higher resolution will allow you to see more detail in your photos. Most monitors nowadays have a resolution of 1920x1080, but if you want even more detail, look for a monitor with a resolution of 2560x1440 or higher.
Personally, I use 2 gaming monitors with high resolution and refresh rates. They also have a lot of adjustments available when setting them up so I can get the contrast, brightness and colours set the way I like them.
Something to consider: Wacom Tablet for Editing
If you do a lot of photo editing, then you might want to consider getting a Wacom tablet. These are devices that you can draw on with a stylus and they are pressure sensitive. This means that you can use them to edit your photos in programs like Lightroom with more precision than using a mouse.
They come in different sizes, with the most popular being the Wacom Intuos Pro (this is what I have). This is a medium-sized tablet that is big enough to edit photos on, but not too big that it becomes cumbersome.
Apple Mac or PC?
Now that we have gone over the important parts of a computer for photography, you might be wondering if you should get a Mac or a PC.
I have used both, and there are advantages and disadvantages to both, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference. I currently personally use a PC because I find them more customizable and easier to upgrade. My last computer was an iMac and after a few years it was lagging behind in the tech and I wasn't able to open it to upgrade components, PCs are much easier to switch out parts and also generally cheaper than Macs.
However, Macs are popular among photographers because they are seen as being more reliable and better suited. I think PCs have come a long way and the days of graphic designers and photographers choosing Mac over PC automatically are over.
So, which one should you get? If you are a PC user already and are happy with it, then stick with what you know. If you are looking to switch to a Mac, then go for it. If you are unsure, then maybe try using a friend's computer before making a decision.
Whichever one you choose, make sure that it meets the criteria that we have talked about in this article and you will be well on your way to having a great computer for photography!
I hope this article has helped you understand what to look for when choosing a computer for photography!
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