I am seriously looking into getting equipment for scanning and archiving most of the pics that i have accumulated over a span of 30 years. I went to a local photo shop and I think I am interested in getting an epson 1640 flatbed scanner (I believe this model comes with a negative scanner).Photoshop seems to be the way to go. I still havent decided on the printer but the Epson 1270 seems ok.
My question is about the computer. Can you all recommend the minimum specs that I will need on the computer to get reasonable speed when scanning. Is printing also going to require a minimum on the computer? The local shop tells me that I should be looking into a PC with at least 700 mhz and 512 meg of RAM and 30 gig disk space. My current machine definitely will not make that (333mhz/32 meg ram/3 gig hard disk). Do i really need that kind of horsepower or more or can I get by with less? I feel I will get a more objective response from you guys... So have at it guys...... Also, will I need a bigger monitor (currently using 15")? Please feel free to comment on everything above. I am quite open at this point of my researching....
#1. "RE: New Photoshop User Computer Requirements" In response to Reply # 0
Prices have dropped so much that a Pentium III 700Mhz CPU will cost you less than the one you have today. Now that the Pentium IV is out. To have more CPU is useless unless you are processing the payroll for the Armed Forces. Same thing with the 30Gb hard disk. They cost today what a 6Gb used to cost two years ago. I just installed one in one of my home computers (the one I am using now at this moment to answer this). Look into reputed and reliable brands like Seagate and Western Digital. As for Ram memory it is close to the same cost ratio, but I get by with just 128Mb, maybe upgrading soon (as I do often with all components; about every year and a half) to 256Mb. Monitor? Yes, a 17" will save on your eyes strain. And they are also now very inexpensive, look into the ViewSonic (I have a E70), at least at par with the Acer, Sony, etc.
To ease my continuous upgrading I bought an 'open' Acer cabinet and built the machine myself. But you can get someone to do it for you. Quite often the "brand" built models have little flexibility for upgrading, a motherboard will have all of the components integrated (sound card, video card, modem) so to upgrade you have to change the motherboard and often the entire cabinet. That is why I have an 'Acer open'. As for the scanner, yes, the Epson is a good choice. I am happy with mine, DD is also with his and several other Nikonians here. But I expect to soon upgrade to the Nikon CoolScan IVED. Have a great time JRP (Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) My profile Previous photographic journey, before Nikonians: A Brief Love Story
#2. "RE: New Photoshop User Computer Requirements" In response to Reply # 1
"jaymor" If you can I would add a larger hard drive (20 or 30gig) and increase the Ram to at least 128 0r 256 meg. The CPU you have now will work fine. With the amount of Ram you have an increase in Proccessor speed would be negligible. Photoshop needs RAM the more you have the better. When you deceide to upgrade your system you can always use the hard drive and ram. A 17" monitor set at 1024x768 High Color (16 bit) or True Color (32 bit) will work great. You will be able to have almost all the tools boxes open and still be able to display a decent size picture. Check out (www.pricewatch.com) for prices on computer peripheral's 30 Gig Wd Hard Drive average price 100$ 128Meg Generic PC-100 Ram average price 50$
#4. "RE: New Photoshop User Computer Requirements" In response to Reply # 0
One thing that you didn't mention about your proposed new computer is a CD burner. You ARE going to write all these scans to CD, aren't you? And if you are serious about archiving 30 years worth of work, you might want to look into a DVD writer, with much higher capacity per disk. They are still a little expensive, but like everything else, they are constantly coming down in price.
Also, just to get off on a little tangent here, you can't go wrong with Photoshop, but unless you are going to put all of it's tremendous capability to work, you might consider the newly-released Photoshop Elements for about $500 less.
Lastly, I'm not familiar with the scanner you are referring to. If others say it's good, then I trust them that it is. I recently bought a Minolta Scan Dual II and am extremely pleased with it. However, at times, especially when I'm scanning old film, I find myself wishing I'd bought one of the scanners that has the Digital ICE feature, where dust and scratches are removed automatically. Spotting dust out of your scans can be a REAL pain. Note that Digital ICE does not work with B&W or Kodachrome film, so this may be a moot point for you.
#5. "RE: New Photoshop User Computer Requirements" In response to Reply # 0
thanks for the quick replies... just got home and read all of them.... i forgot to mention that my intent was to acquire a new computer system since my existing one was not powerful enough....but rick if you think that i can get by with 333mhz on the cpu....hmmm makes me want to think that i can maybe just upgrade my exisitng one.... i know i can upgrade memory to what jrp says he gets by with and probably even up to 256 meg(two 128's), but i am still bothered by my cpu speed, dont get me wrong rick, but my scouting reports indicates that photoshop is a highly 'compute bound' program...now that you know that i plan to get a new system instead of upgrading my existing one, please feel free to modify your suggestions as you see fit or anybody else for that matter....
victor n., i do have a basic sony 'cd-burner' which i bought last year.... it can write up to the 700mb discs that they now have out...so probably should be good enough?...thank you
lefty, got you, but at my age i dont think i have enough energy to relearn a new operating system.... i am still trying to be competent with windows 98 as it is....
jrp, have you had any experiences scanning prints on your epson scanner? i am told that it does prints better than it does negatives.... reason is, all of my pics are prints.... and that is why i am leaning to the one that you have....
lastly, my son-in-law donated a 1-year old 15" monitor to me.. which he replaced with one of those new flat ones.... what will i lose if i use this and not a 17"
by the way, there seems to be a watered-down version of photoshop that is available i think with the scanner or the printer..not sure which... is it going to be sufficient for my purposes or do i have to get the full-blown version
#6. "RE: New Photoshop User Computer Requirements" In response to Reply # 5
Jay: You'll be very happy with the Epson scanner, happier if you have mostly prints since you won't have to be mounting and dismounting the negative/slide light tray. Most of the pictures I have posted at this site were made on the Epson, a lower model than the one you are proposing. Look for example my article on the F4 Monitor: 15" and not 17"?. Try them at a store .. you'll get my point very fast. You might even want to move up to 19" but the price difference then will be greater. Have a great time JRP (Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) My profile Previous photographic journey, before Nikonians: A Brief Love Story
#7. "RE: New Photoshop User Computer Requirements" In response to Reply # 6
Hello Jay Don't get caught up for the "Need for Speed" hype with CPU's Your 333MHZ with 256MEG of Ram or better yet 512Meg of Ram will perform quite well with Photoshop. I agree Photoshop is a very MATH Intensive program however no matter what speed CPU you have once you run out of RAM and Photoshop starts useing the hard drive as memory everything slows down to a crawl. Example... you scan a 4x6 pic at at high DPI so you can make a nice print, file size around 20 meg. You use the Brightness and Contrast adjustment in PS. The program takes the original scan and places it on the clip board (RAM) so you can peform an undo if your not satisfied. Now that 20 meg file has taken up over 40 meg of ram. I believe PS 6.0 has multi undo's, a few more adjustments to your photo and all your ram is used up. Remember also that Win98SE gobbles up 64meg of ram just to do it's thing. Are you starting to get the picture ??? (PUN intended) Another thing many people spend a fortune on a super fast system then buy the cheapest monitor they can find. Like screwing a Mason Jar on the front of an F5. The monitor is the window of the digital world. If it was my decision I would put two 128 meg dimms in that system along with a 20 or 30 meg hard drive. Then I would get a top of the line video card (Matrox is outstanding) and a high resolution 19"monitor with high refresh rate. Believe me a good Monitor / Video Card combo will last for years no matter how many times you upgrade your CPU. Don't forget it wasn't long ago that Photoshop was run on 486 CPU's and the results were stunning. I hope this gave you a little more insight.
#11. "RE: New Photoshop User Computer Requirements" In response to Reply # 7
And you save a lot on memory if any change is made on the reduced size file, not on the original at large dpi. Have a great time JRP (Nikonian at the north-eastern Mexican desert) My profile Previous photographic journey, before Nikonians: A Brief Love Story
#9. "RE: New Photoshop User Computer Requirements" In response to Reply # 0
hello guys thanks for all the inputs.... rick, you really hit the nail on the head when you said dont get overhyped with the need for speed.... so, i wont.... i think what i will do then is to upgrade the computer that i have to 256 meg memory which is the max it can go.... install a 30 gig hard disc, this should keep the cost down as much as possible so that i can then get a 17" or 19" monitor (probably a 17")... as a hedge,if in the future my existing computer system proves inadequate i can always remove all of the upgrades ...i think this will be the fastest and cheapest way for me to get started for now...
alan , i am not a computer techie, how do i make sure that the video card can operate on 24 or 32 bit color resolution and do i pick one first? jrp, i think you will be correct that i will be happy with the epson scanner. i just got back from a local photo shop here where i was given a demo on the flatbed scanner doing both print and slide...digtized then printed...all under the the magic of photoshop .... nice!!!!... both looked good to me... by the way, for anyone interested, the lite version i mentioned above (i should not call it watered-down version).... IS! called photoshop 5 lite and it comes with the scanner for $100 US and soon to be renamed photoshop element per the demo store person.
#10. "RE: New Photoshop User Computer Requirements" In response to Reply # 9
On the resolutions, colour depth and scan rate point, have a look at the specs for the card you're thinking of. As an example take a look at http://www.matrox.com/mga/products/mill_g400/features.cfm for the spec of the Matrox G400. Near the bottom of the page you'll see some tables showing 2D resolutions and colours: you can get 24-bit colour (16.8M colours) in resolutions up to 2048x1536 so there'd be no worries on that count. Below that is a table showing maximum refresh rates for different resolutions: in this case these are so high that the limiting factor would be your monitor, so you need to check its spec carefully. Another example: http://220.127.116.11/nmed/product.jsp?hnav=3&lang=en&type=3&size=3&product=11 gives the spec of the Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 730. You'll see it says it can go up to 1600x1200 at 76Hz - so in combination with the Matrox G400 you'd be capable of a maximum resolution of 1600x1200 (which is as high as you can comfortably go on a 17" screen) at 75Hz with true colour.
Like Rick, I'd suggest looking at Matrox cards - they're well known for producing excellent images. I also have a strong preference for Sony Trinitron / Mitsubishi Diamondtron monitors since these generally produce very high quality pictures.
#12. "RE: New Photoshop User Computer Requirements" In response to Reply # 0
i spent a good portion of the day looking into everything we discussed here.... alan i cant find that video card ....i have one more place to try... i am going to go 19" on the monitor as you all advised it should last me for a good while...
thanks for all the help everyone... this should enable me to post some pics here as well soon.... hopefully by next month i can share some pics with you all...... good shooting everyone.