Photo restoration equipment 2020 (updated)
For ages I thought I had what I needed to do my job, I had a computer and a scanner that’s all you need right? Well, that’s what I thought …
That was until images started getting bigger and the orders started getting more frequent. What was my fix for this? Work smarter of course but the budget doesn’t allow me to spend any money on hardware, times are hard. I had to implement better workflow and have better organization, tune my techniques etc. When I couldn’t work any smarter I had to work faster. Sometimes working smart doesn’t help when you have more work to do! When I couldn’t work any faster I was held up by my equipment, such as waiting for images to open or filters to process, scans to run or applications to open and so the cycle goes round again.
My first sensible move was to a dual-core processor and a good graphics card. This helped to increase the speed of opening and saving large files. But as cameras got bigger CCDs and higher resolutions, I had bigger files to deal with! The next step was to buy a tablet which I blogged about here. “photo restoration with a tablet and pen“
Even bigger images
Being from an art background this was the most significant move I could have made to speed up my work and add to the quality produced. However, since then, images started getting even bigger and I’ve just had to upgrade again to an Intel i5 latest revision chip and an SSD disk and loads of ram. These SSD disks are solid-state like a big memory card and don’t move, which means saving on power and noise but the biggest difference is speed. Running on the latest cables and super-fast data transfer rates saving and opening large files for photo restoration is a breeze.
Then as we moved into 2018 images continued you grow in size. Photoshop works best on single-core processor speed and as we moved into 2019 installing a processor such as an Intel i9700k or even an i9900k would give the fastest speed Photoshop can work at. Now you buy AMD CPUs with equal processing speeds such as the multi-core 3900x. These newer processors are so many times faster than an old fashioned dual-core CPU..
A new graphics card also topped off the cake so I ready for the world once more. Photoshop uses GPU or graphics acceleration to help process some processor hungry tasks especially the filters on larger images, so getting the right card will help. To keep up with the ever-increasing file sizes for photo restoration this looks like something ill have to do more often.
With the constant development os solid-state memory there are now even faster drives than the above SSDs. The latest motherboards support newer SSD M.2 drives which have even faster transfer rates. Installing Photoshop on an M.2 and having a quality SSD as photo scratch disk can improve your speed even further. Photo uses a scratch disc to help process large images when it runs out of ram. Your Ram is very fast so when it runs out and a disc takes its place, the process can only run as fast as the disc. It is important to use a disc that is fast.
Now late 2019 you can enjoy the fastest possible speeds with PCIE 4 M.2 drives which work at mind-boggling speeds. You need to update just about your entire computer to benefit from these new devices.
Scanners don’t develop as fast as computers but new designs do occasionally come on the market. Faster scanning could help speed up workflow. A new auto fed scanner the Epson FastFoto FF-680W could be the answer it can scan loads of photos at incredible speeds and even scan the back at the same time! You can read my review of the Epson FastFoto FF-680W I have also included some links to other hardware mentioned in this article.
Assuming you are using a computer of some kind to edit, you will be using a monitor. To ensure your monitor is presenting you with the correct colours it might be best to get you monitor calibrated. You will be surprised how over-saturated monitors can be. Read my review of the SpyderX Pro to understand why you need one and how it can help you.
If you are in need a photo restoration and don’t have the kit to get started you can hire me to do it for you. Check out the main photo restoration page to see how I can help.