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What happens when you put a powerful laptop running Ubuntu into the hands of a photography professional? We're about to find out. System76 have loaned one of their beefy $899 Gazelle Professional lapt...
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23 comments
 
I would own a System 76 laptop by now, but they don't offer any way to have alternate keyboard layouts.
 
Yeah, that's one of the drawbacks - I'd have liked a UK keyboard but they only offer US :(
 
The @ and " keys are swapped (so " is above the 2). We also have the £ symbol above the 3, and ~ and # are their own separate button next to the Enter key.
 
Other than the pound instead of dollar symbol I didn't realize there were so many differences.  I have to say though that System76 makes a NICE system, so keyboard aside it's worth getting if you can get past that :) 
 
Yeah I know, I've already got one of their Lemur laptops :)
 
I can't be doing with a US style "return" key, the rest I might be ok with, unless it's got a small backspace like some do.
 
If they had keyboad options I would get one.
 
It should be interesting to find out how a professional photographer will handle photo editing when Adobe products are so hard to run without running a dual boot. Of course there are open source versions of most of the tools, but still.
 
Honestly there's not much GIMP can't do that Photoshop can.  GIMP is amazing once you learn how it works... not unlike Photoshop.  And the latest version 2.8 is pretty sweet.  I just upgraded to it on my laptop this week.

So for photographers though the tool set would be different there's no lack of tools for photographers.  Even the video editing and slideshow software on Linux is nice...  Oh and you won't spend a small fortune getting the system up and going either :)
 
+Sam Alexander Well I tried (as a web developer) to make the transition to GIMP multiple times (even with the 2.8 version), but layers and layer groups are still not the same as in Photoshop, I wasn't even able to import a normal Photoshop file. Sure for some retouching of a photo it works great (I think, never did that), but that is just one layer. 

I get my files from a designer which are basically not usable in GIMP.

For a free program I am really not in the position to bitch about it and the GIMP developers are doing great work, but I can't really see GIMP as a professional replacement for Photoshop.

So what else do you need? For bulk handling of images Lightroom is great (I do not know of a open source replacement), for video you have a lot of open source projects, I did some video editing on an editor which worked ok (I have experience with Avid, so more linear editing).

If people really want to they can change their workflow most of the times to open source products (or products which have Linux support), but in the end: Is it worth every time to spend hours on learning a new thing when you can buy a product for a lot of money but which which you are already familiar with?
 
+Richard Japenga You have a point there, if you're working with others and they use Photoshop or other Adobe tools you pretty much have to use the same... so Linux wouldn't be a good option there.  I've heard Darktable is an open source project similar to Lightroom, but I've not used either so I don't know how well it works.  

So you're right, if you have your tool base setup on Windows using the Adobe family of tools, there's really no reason to ditch it all just for Linux.  But for someone getting started, especially if they're on a shoestring budget, Linux has enough tools to do some rather impressive things.  
 
+Sam Alexander You are totally right, when starting out and deciding what to work with Linux has a lot of great tools to start and play around with and even use to make a living off.

I guess I positioned myself there which makes it a bit harder to work. (I use two laptops, one running Ubuntu and one running Windows that I only use for Photoshop, I move files around through Dropbox), so that is a very workable option for me.

Thanks for the Darktable tip, I will check that one out.
 
My wife is a graphic designer who uses GIMP. She only uses photoshop for file conversion, that's it. Its possible to use GIMP in a professional invironment depending on what you do and who you work for. Some clients specifically want the work to be done on a specific application like photoshop while others are only interested in a usable end result.
 
I'm a photographer and I use Ubuntu as my one and only OS.
It's faster, It has no security problems whatsoever, it's SUPER powerful and it doesn't hog resources. 

And thank you to whoever commented about +darktable 
I was looking for it and I couldn't remember the name.
Thanks. :)
 
Saying it has no security problems is being as naive as a Mac user. The thing with Linux is that most security problems are derived from exploitation in individual packages, not the kernel itself, however the community is quite adamant about fixing exploits. The major reason, however, we do not see viruses on Linux has hardly anything to do with Linux itself, but merely it's market share.

Oh...and its a bit harder to do privilege escalation in Linux-based systems as well.
 
After trying a range of RAW image editors on Linux, I now process all of my images in AfterShot Pro ($60). First and only program I've ever purchased for Linux but it was worth it. It get's a bit slow at times when I'm batching out a 100 or so images but I'm quite satisfied with it. After you download a dozen free plug-ins it becomes even more powerful. Perhaps it's not a Lightroom killer but very good nevertheless. 

Darktable is definitely my second choice. I've played with it enough that it's usable but not part of my workflow at the moment. :)

Rawstudio is another great tool. 
 
I Love my Ubuntu system but for organizing and simple photo editing I'm still using my old Mac and Lightroom because I didn't find a good alternative which does both in Linux.
 
Wow, AfterShot Pro looks great!  I'll check the trial version and see if it has any capabilities I don't already get from Gimp, but it might be worth getting if so.  And yeah, if I bought it it'd be the first app for Linux I've purchased since I bought Sun Star Office about 12 years ago :)

Also glad you guys liked the Darktable suggestion...  I haven't used it personally, but I've heard wonderful things about it. 
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