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In pro digital photography, megahertz matters - Continued

Single Image and Batch Processing in Photoshop 7.0.1

Five tasks were performed in Photoshop:

  • Multi-step resample: The time it took to resample up a D100 photo, in seven 110% increments, for printing on a 13 x 19 inch inkjet printer at 300 ppi, was tested.

  • Unsharp Mask: The time it took to apply Unsharp Mask (Amount: 300% Radius: 1.5 Threshold: 1) then Fade the filter (Mode: Luminosity, Opacity: 100%), was tested. The photo's resolution was 20 x 30 inches at 300 ppi.

  • Batch process using web site Action: The time it took to batch process 25 D100 JPEGs, saving them out as quality level 70 JPEGs using Save for Web, was tested. The processing steps were derived from an Action used in preparing photos for this web site: assign a profile, rotate, filter noise with Quantum Mechanic Pro, apply Unsharp Mask, Fade Unsharp Mask, resize to 450 pixels wide in three steps, apply Unsharp Mask, Fade Unsharp Mask, convert to sRGB, Export using Save for Web.

  • Batch process using event Action: The time it took to batch process 25 EOS-1D JPEGs, saving them out as quality level 10, baseline optimized JPEGs was tested. The processing steps are derived from a modified version of an Action used by Calgary, Canada-based event photographer Dave Lazarowych. These steps include: rotate, filter noise with Quantum Mechanic Pro, apply Unsharp Mask, Fade Unsharp Mask, copy, paste and position the photo in a custom frame for the event, flatten layers then save as a JPEG.

  • Process photos into a Web Photo Gallery: The time it took to process 25 D100 JPEG photos using Photoshop's Web Photo Gallery automation plug-in was tested.
All results are in seconds. Single photo processing times are rounded to the nearest 0.1 of a second; batch processing times are rounded to the nearest full second. The fastest times for each task are in bold.
 
Task
Alienware Area-51m 3.06GHz P4 w/1GB RAM, Windows XP Pro
(seconds)
Apple Macintosh Power Mac G4/1.25GHz Dual w/1GB RAM, OS X 10.2.3
(seconds)
Dell Dimension 8200 1.8GHz P4 w/512MB RAM, Windows XP Pro
(seconds)
Apple Macintosh Powerbook G4/800 w/1GB RAM, OS X 10.2.3
(seconds)
Multi-step resample of D100 JPEG for 13 x 19 printer
6.4
6.6
9.7
12.5
Unsharp Mask of 20 x 30 inch, 300 ppi photo
7.0
6.9
971
15.4
Batch process 25 D100 JPEG photos using web site Action
151
254
227
407
Batch process 25 EOS-1D JPEG photos using event Action
239
402
373
618
Process 25 D100 JPEG photos into Web Photo Gallery
57
88
90
140
Testing notes: Photoshop memory usage was set to a maximum of 75% on all but the Dell, where it was set to 90%. The number of History States was set to 1.
1) This computer's limited RAM meant that Photoshop had to draw heavily on virtual memory to complete the task. This extended the processing time considerably.

Multitasking with Photoshop 7.01 et al

One of the potential benefits of a multiprocessor computer is the ability to run two intensive tasks simultaneously with minimal performance degradation. The two computers included in this test sport multiprocessing capabilities. The Mac is powered by twin G4 1.25GHz processors, while the PC's 3.06 GHz P4 is the first Pentium processor from Intel to incorporate Hyper-Threading. This is a technology that allows a single processor to run two processing threads at the same time, thereby mimicking, in a limited way, a dual processor environment.

The tests combine Photoshop batch processing and RAW photo batch processing simultaneously. The tasks used in testing are the same as those run as single processes earlier in this report. The first table details the results when Photoshop is the foreground process; the second table details the results when Photoshop is the background process.

All results are in seconds. Single photo processing times are rounded to the nearest 0.1 of a second; batch processing times are rounded to the nearest full second. The fastest times for each task are in bold.

Task (Photoshop in the foreground)
Alienware Area-51m 3.06GHz P4 w/1GB RAM, Windows XP Pro
(seconds)
Apple Macintosh Power Mac G4/1.25GHz Dual w/1GB RAM, OS X 10.2.3
(seconds)
Background: Canon File Viewer Utility: convert 25 EOS-1Ds TIF photos to JPEG
Foreground: Photoshop: Batch process 25 D100 JPEG photos using web site Action
File Viewer Utility: 340
Photoshop: 207
File Viewer Utility: 390
Photoshop: 273
Background: Kodak Photo Desk 2.0: Save 25 DCS 760 DCR photos as JPEGs
Foreground: Photoshop: Batch process 25 D100 JPEG photos using web site Action
Photo Desk: 121
Photoshop: 184
Photo Desk: 132
Photoshop: 261
Background: Nikon Capture 3.5: Convert 25 D1X photos to JPEG using Batch
Foreground: Photoshop: Batch process 25 D100 JPEG photos using web site Action
Capture: 300
Photoshop: 177
Capture: 403
Photoshop: 294

Task (Photoshop in the background)
Alienware Area-51m 3.06GHz P4 w/1GB RAM, Windows XP Pro
(seconds)
Apple Macintosh Power Mac G4/1.25GHz Dual w/1GB RAM, OS X 10.2.3
(seconds)
Foreground: Canon File Viewer Utility: convert 25 EOS-1Ds TIF photos to JPEG
Background: Photoshop: Batch process 25 D100 JPEG photos using web site Action
File Viewer Utility: 266
Photoshop: 356
File Viewer Utility: 392
Photoshop: 257
Foreground: Kodak Photo Desk 2.0: Save 25 DCS 760 DCR photos as JPEGs
Background: Photoshop: Batch process 25 D100 JPEG photos using web site Action
Photo Desk: 50
Photoshop: 195
Photo Desk: 132
Photoshop: 245
Foreground: Nikon Capture 3.5: Convert 25 D1X photos to JPEG using Batch
Background: Photoshop: Batch process 25 D100 JPEG photos using web site Action
Capture: 267
Photoshop: 303
Capture: 444
Photoshop: 282
Testing Notes: Photoshop memory usage was set to a maximum of 50%. The number of History States was set to 1. For more information on the tasks performed, see the Processing RAW Photos and Single Image and Batch Processing in Photoshop sections of this report.

 

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