iMac 27 and Lightroom 4

Discussion in 'iMac' started by bleighty, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. bleighty macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2006
    Just putting this thread out there as I know when I was looking to upgrade this was my one main question/concern.

    I just got my BTO iMac 27. 3tb fusion, upgraded to OWC 32bg ram, everthing else top end with processor, video card, etc. Basically the highest end iMac 27 available aside from getting a SSD pre installed.

    I am coming from a 2010 macbook pro i7 (top of the line with it too) with 8gb ram and upgraded to dual SSDs.

    Lightroom is the best thing that ever happened for photographers and the worst damn application ever created all in one. It keeps you organized, efficient and makes many elements of my workflow go so smooth. It can also be the slowest flippin program ever created and make you want to punch walls.

    I picked up the new Nikon d600 24mpx camera when it first came out. Immediately my Lightroom experience became horrible. I was shooting with a d7000 18mpx camera and the new filesize of the images was JUST enough to make going from one image to the next a painful 5 or more seconds. When you are trying to edit through 400+ images from a fashion shoot or 1300+ images from a wedding it really adds up. Once I was working on an image it was fine (I know that some people have issues with serious slowdowns while even adjusting the image .. this has never really been a problem for me).

    My update to the iMac was to get the best system I could to handle my current camera / mpx size and speed up my workflow.

    I can tell you that Lightroom rocks on the new system. I can literally hold my finger on the right arrow button and SCREAM through my image previews and when I stop its about a 1/2 second load for the full res to POP. (And this is without rendering 1 to 1 previews!!). And I have not even done a single tweak to Lightroom to help with performance so I know that I can get these renders to almost instant with some back end adjustments.

    I am absolutely relieved about its performance. I know that 32gb of ram is overkill, likely the performance is due to the processor and bus speed. I just wanted to get this thing loaded as much as possible so that I don't even have to think about updating for years.

    I have been putting off a number of edits that I need to get out so this upcoming week/weekend will be the real world test. I'll update in a few days so that others looking for Lightroom performance with the new iMac might have some solid info without having to get stuck in a bunch of random Google searches with people guessing about how it might be.

    More later.
  2. Dr FranknFurter macrumors member

    Mar 23, 2012
    Cambridge UK
    Good to hear, i've ordered a similar setup for use with CS6 and Lightroom, cant wait to get it and get going!:D
  3. petraidm macrumors member

    Jul 10, 2010
    I look forward to hearing more about your experience. If and when my machine ever arrives (ordered on 11/30 but still processing), I will have the same beast. My old 2007 iMac could not cut it so I have been usig aperture. i look forward to loading up LR 4 as soon as I get the beast. Untill then, I look forward to your feedback
  4. torana355 macrumors 68040

    Dec 8, 2009
    Sydney, Australia
    How much of the 3TB HDD have you filled up? Ive got 2TB filled on my 3TB fusion and it runs like an all SSD Mac :) Fusion works much better then i could have ever expected.
  5. bleighty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2006
    Very little so far. Just a handful of images and adobe creative suite.
  6. dlbmacfan macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2011
    This is fantastic news! I'm getting the same setup as you, and I can't wait to say goodbye to LR's slowness.
  7. mfouks macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2012
    thanks for the information- I got the new IMAC for the same reason as I have a Nikon D800. With the old computer (mid 2010 IMAC 27inch) the processing and importing, editing etc. was really slow. My new IMAC has basically the same specs as yours. Are you planning to set up the photos on the fusion drive or a separate external drive? In the past I used a separate drive and was thinking I would go the same route as I am afraid even with the 3TB hard drive it would fill up too quickly. I take a lot of photos! So I'm looking at some kind of thunderbolt system- perhaps raid- to keep my photos on. One idea would be to process them on the internal drive and then move them over to an external drive.


  8. DocMultimedia macrumors 6502a


    Sep 8, 2012
    Charlottesville, VA
    Nice to hear. I bought for the same reason. My 2006 was taking about 2 minutes to nudge a slider.
  9. ashleypenny macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2012
    Looking forward to trying it as my pc was miserable with D800
  10. digitalfailure macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2012
    I'm really looking forward to getting my new imac and new software, i've gone for the 3.4 /680 with a fusion and have cs6 and Lr4 sat here waiting for it. I'm expecting a big jump in speed compared to my 2008 24" with cs4 and Lr2 :D

    I shoot with a 5d2 and currently have to convert to dng at import as Lr2 can't handle the raws, should save about 30 minutes on a 16gb cf card upload :D
  11. itsky macrumors newbie

    Mar 20, 2012
  12. bleighty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2006
    I do 100% of my edits with photos on my primary internal drive. My 2010 was USB 2 without thunderbolt -- I picked up a USB 3 enclosure and am going to remove one of the SSD drives from my MacBook. But this will likely be only for backup/transferring.
    My workflow is import, edit, with files on my local drive and them move them using Lightroom to my RAID so the catalog knows where they are.
    My RAID is USB 2 and I need to change that ASAP.
  13. gr997s, Dec 18, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012

    gr997s macrumors member

    Dec 13, 2010
    Did you put your photos on the fusion drive or external
  14. raymond lin macrumors regular

    May 22, 2010
    As a fellow photographer, very glad to know.

    Now, what external enclosure should I get for the working files.

    Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 ?
  15. ashleypenny macrumors member

    Dec 8, 2012
    I got LaCie rugged 128gb - ill use it as boot also.
  16. Kadath macrumors regular

    May 28, 2006
    Great to hear. This should scream with my D4 18megapickle files. I'm also starting with a fresh library so that should help too. Having over 100k images in the old one definitely made it a bit hinky.
  17. bleighty thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2006
    I went w USB 3 so I could use it with my MacBook as well. Again I don't work off of an external, only use then for transfers and sharing. I got a small USB 3 enclosure from OWC and it works perfect. I put a 5200 drive in it last night and copies compared to USB 2 are much faster. Once I get an SSD in there it will scream. :)
  18. kaelell macrumors 6502

    Nov 16, 2009
    an over zealous admin moved my post, but clearly there are some LR users here so pleasee if anyone can answer the following:

    thanks in advance

    Photo management in Lightroom
    Evening Folks,

    just had a question for those who have used Lightroom ( apologies for posting this in iMac section, but just seems more traffic here considering the recent release)

    some background
    I am waiting for my new Mac still and don't have a machine to test some of the questions I had, want to set it up right from the start and get it right in my head.

    Previously a somewhat inefficient set up I had/have was I used Lightroom to edit my raw images then export the selected few final's and copy into iPhoto and use iPhoto to manage the library. I would then move the larger raw files from my lightroom folder to a separate 2TB FW drive for archiving.
    in iPhoto I used, iPhoto buddy to load separate libraries.

    My reason for doing it like this was a) keep only smaller files on my hard disk and move the raw's to the archive external drive. b) using iphoto buddy to split library's meant it was faster to load and better presentable.

    A major problem I have with this is that I want to introduce a NAS drive into my set up, and I want to have access to my photos anywhere regradless of device im using, whether its a windows laptop, iPhone or iPad. the way iPhoto manages the library, if that gets backed up to the NAS then I dont think I will have that ease of access that a simple folder structure would give?

    I want to change this and hopefully use only Lightroom to manage my library, I believe that uses a simpler, accessible folder structure ? If that is the case, how does Lightroom manage edited photos, do you need to Export and add to the lightroom library again? would that mean a separate folder created for edited images in addition to the existing RAWs? would It be a situation where I can easily move the RAW images to an archive when done and the edited images automatically backed up to the NAS, leaving just edited library in Lightroom.

    I hope that all makes sense and I am not overthinking it, perhap's you'll tell me I have it all wrong and I should do it like xxxx

    ultimately what I want is
    a) Manage my desktop space & not have all my Raw's stored there, only my edited finals
    b) Not have a dozen steps in copying back & forth to manage photos
    c) Have an automatic process where my photo library is backed up the NAS and is easily accessible via any machine/OS
    d) Still have the Raw files somewhere in case I need it

  19. mfouks macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2012
    Thanks for reply. I think that is the route I will do. I just need to get a raid solution to move them to once I have done the editing. I am thinking thunderbolt and might wait for the caldigit system to become available next year. I'm kind of new to LR and find the catalogue system a bit confusing. Can you please provide information on how you move the files over so the catalogue is knows where they are? Thanks so much,


  20. raymond lin macrumors regular

    May 22, 2010
  21. Foggy macrumors 6502a

    Jul 4, 2006
    London, UK
    I do all my initial culls in photo mechanic. It blows Lightroom out of the water for speeding through images. It also means far less waiting to render previews in LR as well.
  22. raymond lin macrumors regular

    May 22, 2010
    Foggy!!! Long time old pal !
  23. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    My reply was not moved over with your post. Here is my reply.

    It sounds like a lot of work for very little gain. I personally think it is a mistake to split your database like you are suggesting.

    I shoot in RAW+JPEG and import them as a bonded pair into Aperture 3. Of course it takes a lot of space... but storage is so cheap that I just do not worry about it... especially on an iMac. I also use my MBA for photography... but I simply transfer A3 projects back an forth between the two machines.

    Personally... I would not recommend iPhoto at all. It is OK for a small photo collection... but I find that it gets clumsy as your library grows. I would do everything inside of Lightroom... or Aperture. They are both spectacular programs. Why try to circumvent what they do best by introducing iPhoto into the mix?

    Both LR4 and A3 support keeping your photos on multiple drives. Utilize it.

  24. speekez macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2003
    I have a macpro 2007 tower and NEC matte 30" display. Need to upgrade system as well and considering 27" iMac. How is the quality of the display itself? Both in terms of reflectivity (since it is glossy) and in terms of color?
  25. Foggy macrumors 6502a

    Jul 4, 2006
    London, UK
    Reading iMac threads whilst waiting for mine to dispatch from China!

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