Recent Accidental Performance Boost, LR Classic

Albert73

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Dec 4, 2018
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2
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#1
Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic version: 8.0
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macOS 10.14 Mojave
My first post here, but hope this is of some interest.

I have used Lightroom for many years for my work and like many before me have suffered from performance issues from time to time - sometimes solving them with an upgrade (hardware or software) or just getting used to the balance between new features and slower performance. The exception being smart previews which, in my opinion, are the best thing to happen to LR for many years.

My current setup - LR Classic 8.0, MacBook Pro with 15" Retina 2015, quad core 2.8GHz , 16GB, SSD and thunderbolt 2 external hard drives (catalogues on SSD, images on external HDD) connected to a 27" 2560 × 1440 external monitor, was sort of fine, if a little choppy sometimes especially on previews (even smart previews).

At the weekend, with shoots to be edited and delivered and new shoots coming up this week, my 27" 2560 × 1440 monitor stopped working (after 9 years of service) and much as I thought working on the 15" Retina MacBook Screen would be fine in the interim, it just was too small for me to edit hundreds of images to a deadline. A panic buy from a store in the form of a budget 27" IPS Screen followed - for about $175/£150.

The thing is, the new screen is 'only' 1900x1080 at native resolution. Now although this does of course mean text and, if you really sit close, images can appear less sharp, when sitting at a normal viewing distance (3+ feet) it is more than OK and the increase in size for the panel text in LR is most welcome too. However this is a tiny detail compared to the improvement in performance I am now getting. LR is like it used to be years ago - something I had long since thought lost on my setup. I guess the MacBook & LR very much like pushing around fewer pixels.

The replacement screen was initially bought as a "get me though the next few weeks until I work out what to do" replacement, but I am tempted to keep it as my main screen despite the lower resolution. It calibrated itself extremely well colour wise (using a Spyder Elite) and I can, of course, still check how images look at a much higher PPI using my Retina Laptop Screen if needed.

This experience also completely puts me off the trend for 4K or even 5K screens which, when my old screen stopped working, was what I thought I would ultimately replace it with. Of course one could go for a much higher resolution screen then scale it down to 1900x1080 for the same performance benefits, but I doubt they would look as good when down-scaled as a screen with the same native resolution. I can also appreciate how a 4K or 5K screen could be used to wow clients, but for editing I am now not sure it is worth the upgrade.

Am I alone in not writing off lower resolution monitors for editing?
 

davidedric

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Oct 28, 2013
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696
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Cheshire, UK
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#2
Well, you're not alone, though I wouldn't want to put myself up as good practice. I'm a low volume amateur, and I use my pc for stuff other than photo editing.
A few months ago my Dell monitor began to falter, so I decided to change it.
After a lot of thought, I decided that I did not need a 4K monitor, and I would be better served by spending my money on a high quality, wide gamut 1920 × 1080 one.
I opted for 24", partly for space reasons, and partly because it's a size in comfortable working with.
I bought the Eizo ColorEdge CS2420, and I am delighted with it.
Dave
 

Albert73

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Dec 4, 2018
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#3
Yes, Eizo make some superb screens and I think going for one of these vs. a less accurate 4K model sounds like a sensible move, especially given my recent experience. Looking back at my post I also realised I made an error - I meant 1920x1080 (not 1900x1080!)... 24" is probably an even better compromise of screen size vs. number of pixels at this resolution than my 27" model.

Looking at iMacs and the like with their 5K screens is certainly impressive to see and I can totally understand how the right image does look great on them but for actual editing (especially on many images in a single session) I cannot see a major advantage of working 3 or more feet from a 4 or 5K screen, only performance disadvantages...
 
Joined
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Los Angeles / San Francisco
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#4
I also run a laptop as my main computer (for now...). It's hooked up to a BenQ 27" monitor, the SW2700, (2560 x 1440), suggested to me by my color-management guy, and it has been great. Something like 99% of Adobe RGB, and it's been very reliable. It's at stores, but I bought it directly from the manufacturer.
 

Victoria Bampton

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#5
Thanks for sharing Albert, and welcome to the forum! While the retina screens are beautiful for text, there are at the root of many of the performance issues.
 
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