Help Buying A New Computer

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Carol Curtis, Aug 26, 2001.

  1. Carol Curtis

    Carol Curtis Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 1999
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    My girlfriend wants to buy the lowest priced computer she can that will work with a Sony Digital Camera. She is a model & wants to be able to change the backround & etc on pictures. Which computer would you reccomend & what would it need for memory. Also where should she buy it? She asked me about the HP $699.99 that K-Mart has this week. PLEASE answer in plain English so I can give it to her. THANKS Ahead of time. Also would she need a special program for for changing the pictures? or do the cameras come with them.
     
  2. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2000
    Messages:
    1,528
    Likes Received:
    0
    Basically any current PC on the market today will do. For image manipulation she probably wants at least 256 MB of memory though, but other than that...?
    The camera will certainly have some way to get the images to the PC; either a serial connection or a USB connection. Any modern PC will support either of those.
    The cameras often come with some image manipulation software, yes, but not always the best choice. Photoimpact, from http://www.ulead.com , is a very good application. It will set her back some $90 though.
    A PC really is a commodity item these days, which is why I don't have any specific brands in mind. Perhaps someone else can give more specific examples. You might also want to check http://www.computershopper.com and do some searches on what's available.
    ------------------
    /Kimmo
     
  3. Brian Poteat

    Brian Poteat Auditioning

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2001
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    A couple of things.
    1) She wants to be able to change the background of images. This is not a trivial task. To do this and have it look even half-way decent you need to have an evenly lit green or blue screen background for your pictures. The process is not too complicated but event the cheaper screens can be kind of pricey and not all photo editors will allow you to do composite pictures (the term for combining two photos, in your case the subject and the background).
    2) If she wants the pictures to look semi-professional, you must have at least a little working knowledge of photography techniques including photo-lighting. Hence, you will need a decent lighting setup and a decent camera. All you said was that you want something compatible with a Sony camera so I'm guessing you already have a camera. If this is for professional headshots or portfolio pix, you might want to seriously consider whether you are going to be able to do it yourself or not considering your equipment budget and experience level (of which I have no knowledge so make no judgement).
    As for the PC, just about any PC is fine for doing photo editing - not much computational power needed. In my opinion, the best photo editing software is Adobe Photoshop, and like learning photography techniques, it takes a little learning to do it right. Oh yeah, it's not cheap either.
    As a conclusion I have to again stress that if this is for professional photos that will be given to potential clients, agencies, etc. you might want to seriously consider using the money that you would spend on this setup on paying a professional photographer. Doing this for a career is a whole different thing than doing it as a hobby.
     
  4. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2000
    Messages:
    1,528
    Likes Received:
    0
    Brian is absolutely right. I have done some work with Photoshop and other programs on an amateur level and can certainly attest that getting a professional result requires professional knowledge - of both the process and the programs.
    I just limited myself to answering the computer question in my previous post, and recommended some fairly affordable software that is easy to work with; far easier than Photoshop. It goes without saying that it is also far less flexible than Photoshop. [​IMG]
    ------------------
    /Kimmo
     
  5. Carol Curtis

    Carol Curtis Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 1999
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the info so far, the more the better. No I really don't know what she wants to do with the pictures? She is already a professional model so maybe she knows how to do photo layouts? Anyone else have any ideas on software & etc for her?
    Thanks
     
  6. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2000
    Messages:
    534
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi. Adobe Photoshop is a great peice of software - and so it should be for its price (£500 in the UK). It can be hard to use as well.
    If your girlfirend has never used any kind of image manipulation software then I'd recommend messing about with some of the cheaper packages first. Lots of cameras/scanners etc come with image softare. Usually this is the Lite/SE/LE etc version of a bigger package. Adobe have an LE version of Photoshop that is bundled with some cameras, but Adobe recently stopped selling the LE version as a standalone, and have released a new package called Adobe Photoshop Elements. This is a slim-down version of Photoshop and is supposed to be easier to use for beginners.
    Another very good piece of software, which I use, is Paint Shop Pro 7. This started out as a shareware version several years ago and has built itself into the "poor man's Photoshop". You can download a 30-day trial version for free from www.jasc.com The full version is about £80 in the UK.
    As for the PC itself, they seem to be getting cheaper and faster every day. Any modern machine will handle photo editing OK - I'd second the advice on getting at least 256Mb RAM. If she wants to print the photos she'll need a good quality printer and photo paper. Alternatively get a Zip or CDRW drive in the machine so she can take the photo files (which can be several Mbs in size) to a professional printers.
    ------------------
    My HT My DVD Collection
     

Share This Page