Observations w/ Lightroom and RiMac 27 EDIT - Video Added

Discussion in 'iMac' started by alexxk, Nov 13, 2015.

  1. alexxk, Nov 13, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015

    alexxk macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2010
    My iMac 27 arrived today. I bought it to use mainly as my photography editing tool

    i7 4.0

    My photos were taken with my Canon 6D 20MP camera and RAW images

    Here what I thought of it.

    Scrolling through images with GPU Acceleration enabled I noticed the images takes a bit to load as well as zooming also take a bit of time in Develop Module. Editing however is smooth as butter, exposure, shadows, highlights and so on are really smooth as you move the sliders.

    When I disable the GPU, the images loads really fast, scrolling through them is a joy, zooming also takes no time, however editing I noticed delay as you move the sliders, it's not bad, but its not as smooth as with the GPU enabled

    Now this is the question, which one to use?

    I would say, if you are editing a wedding or a shoot with lots of images and doing batch processing in which you apply same setting to a bunch of photos and need to go thorough them, disable the GPU.. if you are editing a few individual images then enable as the sliders will be really smooth while editing them

    There is no win win situation here, Adobe needs to fix these issues..

    Now, the display is spectacular, I'm really impressed how my images looked, did not know I was taking such sharp images hahaha..

    Loving this computer!!


  2. iTiki macrumors 6502

    Feb 9, 2007
    Maui, Hawaii
    It's been well documented that Lightroom does not play well with Apple. I refuse to use/pay Adobe until this is resolved. Adobe raw processing on Fuji files is not as good as others as well. Even Aperture which hasn't been updated in a long time does a better job. No excuse.
  3. alexxk thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2010
    I wonder how it does on PC with similar specs as this one..
  4. brokeneck macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Boston, MA
    This is interesting to me. I have the same config as you except I have the M395 and have 24GB of RAM (which won't make any difference). I store and reference my photos from an external thunderbolt striped disk array but that shouldn't matter because your test is a simple enough before and after.

    So I tried the test and found the same results as you in that Library was a bit slower with acceleration, and Develop was a bit faster. I mostly focused on the Library part (zooming/loading) as this difference would impact my workflow the most and I found the difference to be extremely slight (10-15% slower at most). So if your difference is greater than this I suggest you check your Camera Raw Cache Size and increase it to at least 40-50GB. This tweak is well documented as there is a major bottleneck here. I am shooting with the Canon 5DS R which is a megapixel beast at over 50 so I can only surmise that pushing around those RAW images is a tremendous consumer of space.

    I too think this is an incredible computer for photography (and honestly probably a bit overkill/waste for those not into pixel peeping). I replaced my late 2012 iMac which was no slouch. But the screen and SSD are absolute killer on this new model.
  5. HalfOnWhole macrumors member

    May 23, 2011
    I too love this thing for photography, but am hoping Adobe can sort out the performance woes. The computer feels so fast outside of Lightroom. 42 MP Raws ain't helping!
  6. mfouks macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2012
    I have the top of the line new IMAC with the fastest card and 32GM of ram which I upgraded (Kingson 2133). I also have the 1T SSD card (yes this computer cost a fortune). My last computer was the late 2012 model (fusion drive). I have to say that zooming in to a photo in LR and developing using the sliders are both instantaneous for me. I too love the screen. I haven't done anything to the settings so I don't know what the GPU is set to. This system is quite a fit faster than the old one when it comes to LR and also using the plugins like NIK. When I now apply a slider in NIK, I get the results instantaneously whereas before I had to wait for the results.

    By the way how do you like the Sony A7rII and what are your favorite lenses for it. I'm using Nikon now- I love the camera but I'm thinking about adding a Sony at some point to save some weight/size for travel and I like some of the features that the Sony has compared to my D810. However, my D810 is a fantastic camera.


  7. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    I have an A7RII and my documentary film group uses two D810s. My main lens on the A7RII is the Sony 28-135 f/4 cinema lens which is great for video. It provides smooth motorized zooms and optical quality is quite good, although not quite equal to a 70-200 f/2.8 Nikon or Canon lens. I've used the Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8, which is an excellent portrait lens.

    My Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS II works pretty well on the Sony with the Metabones IV adapter. For stills the autofocus performance is fairly good -- not equal to the Sony lens or a Canon lens on a Canon body, but pretty good. For video the Canon lens has no AF ability on the Sony body.

    The A7RII is a great camera but the menu system is complicated and "gadgety". The battery life is short relative to a DSLR but I use the battery grip which helps with ergonomics on long lenses. With that the battery life is OK.

    The A7RII sensor is really no better than the D810 overall (for stills), however for 4k video it is obviously better. The D810 is a superb camera and you cannot really adapt Nikon lenses to the Sony like you can Canon lenses. In general I would recommend hanging on to the D810 unless you have very pronounced video needs that favor the A7RII.

    The A7RII can be configured so it's lighter/smaller than the D810 but IMO if weight/size is the main issue, get a more compact camera like a Sony RX-100 IV or similar.
  8. HalfOnWhole macrumors member

    May 23, 2011
    I actually love the camera for landscape and architecture, but find i don't like the raw output for many other things. Lifestyle and portrait stuff I don't really like the color profile and find Nikon files to be more malleable. I use 70-200, 28 2.0, and Zeiss 55 the most. All are good but I've had issues with Zeiss chromatic aberrations on this camera (a lot!) and the 28 is very distorted pre-fix. If I could choose, I'd use this camera for anything that doesn't have much bokeh or has flat loghting, but use a Nikon for people and anything contrasty.
  9. mfouks macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2012
    Thanks so much for your response. This is the first time I've heard about chromatic aberrations being an issue. I would be using the camera for travel (mostly landscape, street and architecture). So this sounds like a good fit - I would be keeping some of the Nikon lenses and camera as well. I was thinking of getting the 16-35, the 55 and the 70-200 but the basis 25 is also tempting.
  10. TheBing1980 macrumors member


    Oct 15, 2013

    In your opinion is the i7 a must have for editing? I shoot with a Canon 5D III.
  11. HalfOnWhole macrumors member

    May 23, 2011
    New LR release 2015.3 is out. I'm away from my computer a few days, but curious if anyone on new 5k has noticed any performance improvements?
  12. Pardus macrumors member


    Aug 9, 2006
    Vancouver, BC
    I have late 2014 27" retina maxed with everything, updated lightroom, with gpu on, all previews 1:1. Camera is Canon 5DS R 50mp Raws (8688x5792). Pretty much no delays on anything (noise reduction is a fraction of a second), super fast, and great to use.
  13. HalfOnWhole macrumors member

    May 23, 2011
    Very nice. How was your experience before this update? I'm maxed with exception to ram (16) and graphics (2gb m395).
  14. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'm curious as well, since one of the main uses for the iMac will be using Lightroom.

    I held off initially from the 5k iMac because of the reports of horrible performance on the 5K with Lightroom 5. Things have largely been ironed out, yet LR performance is crucial to my purchase decision.
  15. eoren1 macrumors 6502

    Aug 17, 2007
    5k iMac P3/i7/512ssd/395/32gigs RAM here
    LR CC 2015 (not updated to latest since the import debacle) with 100,000 image catalog on OWC Thunderbay IV
    New images from Canon 5D mk III imported to onboard SSD

    I have to say that LR and PS seem absolutely great. Moving through images is a huge improvement from my 2011 i5 iMac.
    Biggest difference I noticed was when saving files from PS back into LR...it's instant. Before, I would have time to grab my iPhone, catch up on FB, etc.

    Only delay I have seen was in sending a 12 image pano to photoshop. The Merge to Pano in LR was super fast (but still isn't as accurate as I would hope). Tried the file in PS and it did take a while to pull in all images, align, etc.

    Using filters like Nik Color Efex is also much faster and smoother than before with far less time waiting to build up the image.

    Also had a chance to use iMovie for the first time the other day which I typically use to make short previews and an end of year review of my landscape work. Exporting was so damn fast - glad I opted for the i7.

    And as for fan noise, I heard it for the very first time yesterday when making an end of year Blurb book within LR (I make a book of the kid's images each year for the grandparents). Fan went off for a bit as it crunched images and uploaded but was still not loud by any measure (and I'm one who swapped out my Thunderbay fan for a ridiculously quiet one as that had bugged me).

    Overall, I am thrilled with this iMac for my main use which is photography.

    I will point out that I recently purchased the Dell Ultrasharp UP2516D as I was not able to calibrate the iMac to match prints from two labs output in sRGB or aRGB. I also missed the extra real estate of a second monitor and was able to get it on sale for $500. The new monitor is awesome and hits 99% of aRGB with great reproduction of images. It is the same resolution as the iMac but not at double the pixels so there is a clear difference with text, etc.

    Hope that helps.

  16. brokeneck macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Boston, MA
    No. The i7 is nice but so is the i5. I haven't used the i5 but I've read plenty of posts from people who have and i seriously doubt there is a huge difference unless you're a professional processing hundreds of photos daily. Even then it's probably not night and day but more like 15-20% faster at most.
  17. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    I just finished processing some 42 megapixel raw stills from my Sony A7RII with LR 2015.1.1 and top-spec 2015 iMac 27. It was OK but there were definitely some sluggish aspects. Painting areas with the adjustment brush was quite laggy -- over 1 sec in some cases. I have never seen that on my 2013 iMac 27. I tried GPU on and off -- it was slow in both configurations.

    Most global adjustments such were pretty fast, although curves had some obvious delay.
  18. brokeneck macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Boston, MA
    I wonder what's going on. I'm not seeing anything worse than my 2013 iMac that I replaced and I'm editing RAW images larger than the Sony's. I've seen a few sub second lags in develop mode, but nothing I didn't see on the older rig.
  19. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    What LR version are you on? I am on 2015.1.1. Also it is not generally slow but in specific areas like the adjustment brush with auto-mask enabled and "show selected mask overlay" checked.
  20. brokeneck macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Boston, MA
    I am on version 6.3.
  21. alexxk thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2010
    Lightroom is a mess in general..

    Today I was playing with version 6.3, I've updated and

    GPU off - Everything while adding adjustments is slow, going through photos is usually ok, but at times especially when you are zoomed in and moving/cloning gets really but really slow.. at one point I let the mouse go and the image was still moving frame by frame WOW

    GPU on - Most editing/adjustments are smooth as long as you don't have too much adjustments added. I added a VSCO preset and started tweaking and all get a bit slower.. still faster than with GPU off but slower then with fewer adjustments.. Moving images/cloning is fast.. Zooming there is some loading, but not that bad.

    I'm now with using with GPU on. Before I was using it turned off but since I've got major problems moving zooming at times in general I'm getting better performance with GPU on..

    I will make a video later today and post it.
  22. alexxk thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2010
    Added a video as promised..

    Hope it helps!!

    BTW.. Forgot to mention, images are RAW, 20MP Canon 6D

  23. joema2 macrumors 65816


    Sep 3, 2013
    Alex, thanks for taking the time to make the video. I updated to 6.3 (2015.3) on both my 2015 iMac 27 4Ghz i7 and M395X and 2013 iMac 27 3.5Ghz i7 and GTX-780m, both with 32GB.

    In general I don't see my retina iMac as dramatically slower than the non-retina iMac. It is definitely faster for some things such as using the adjustment brush with Auto Mask enabled (the checkbox at the bottom of the brush pane). If you enable "Show Selected Mask Overlay" at the bottom of the picture, it's easy to see how rapidly the auto-mask region is calculated.

    That is doing some complex calculations to help you mask regions by hand, so it's not expected to be instant -- having some lag is normal. However there is a lot more lag on my 2013 iMac than 2013 retina iMac -- both with GPU enabled.

    Another test is how rapid the spot removal tool works with clicked and dragged as a brush. On both 2015 and 2013 iMac 27 there is a little delay, but not bad considering the calculations it's doing. However -- the 2013 iMac is significantly slower with GPU on than with GPU off. By contrast my 2015 iMac is about the same with GPU on vs off -- for this tool. That is different from what you observed, where your iMac was much slower with GPU off when moving the image after using the spot removal tool.

    There is a little lag on tone curve adjustments -- not bad about 1/5th sec. However the lag is similar between 2013 and 2015 iMac 27s.

    Likewise on both machines making global exposure adjustments is a little laggy with GPU off, with GPU on it is instant on both.

    Re taking time to change images, it looks like you were changing while in the Develop module. LR has always sluggish at that -- on both my 2013 non-retina iMac and the 2015 retina iMac. Changing images in Library module is faster.

    Did you generate 1:1 previews for those images? It definitely will take longer to fully render when changing images if no 1:1 previews are available.

    After you enabled the GPU, it seemed pretty fast. I saw it slow down when you applied the VSCO film emulation package. I don't have that so I can't try to reproduce it.

    If you can state a specific sequence of edits which makes it slow down with GPU on, I would be happy to also try those.

    Overall my 2015 retina iMac 27 with M395X is no worse than the 2013 non-retina iMac 27 with GTX-780m. In my previous post I tested using the earlier 2015.1.1 version, so maybe the new 2015.3 (6.3) version is improved. My tests done on 42 megapixel raw stills from a Sony A7RII.
  24. HalfOnWhole macrumors member

    May 23, 2011
    Good to know! I'm on a new i7 395 16gb and I experience same lagging with my a7rii files. Even my old Nikon 24s aren't super smooth. Haven't tried 2015.3 but look forwRd to seeing if any difference!
  25. AppleHater, Nov 28, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2015

    AppleHater macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2010
    Coming from 2011 iMac and 2013 MBP, I was expecting some noticeable differences from I7 CPU and m390 GPU with super fast SSD.

    Not that it's slow but switching from D750 raw file to file still has loading and stuttering, and zooming in and out of a photo still has a brief stuttering with or without GPU enabled.

    I can't say I'm not disappointed, although I don't know what to blame: iMac or Adobe.

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