Lightroom and AMD Ryzen 3900X

A field report after upgrading my Lightroom PC to the brand new CPU Ryzen 3900X, a beast of a CPU featuring 12 cores and 24 thread. Let’s compare the configurations:

  • Old configuration: Ryzen 1700X (8 cores, 16 threads), 32 GB RAM, 1 M2. NVM SSD, 1 SATA SSD
  • New configuration: Ryzen 3900X (12 cores, 24 threads), 64 GB RAM, 2 M2. NVM SSds

The performance gain is very noticable! On the old PC I often faced brief delays when scrolling through a heap of pictures. The delay was always very short (< 1 sec) but it was very annoying and destroyed the fast workflow. My wife even started using Photomechanic for doing a preselection as PM is very fast.
On the new PC all delays are gone and the import is blazingly fast. I tested 100 RAW files (Nikon Z7, about 56 MB per file) and the import was done in 2 minutes 26 seconds – including rendering 1:1 previews.

Why fast M.2 PCIe SSDs? Of course the difference to regular SATA SSDs isnt noticable during daily routine, but the surcharge for M.2 PCIe is getting cheaper every day and there are big performance gains during backup or copying large files.
Why 64 GB RAM? Currently RAM is extremly cheap and RAM that isn’t used by Lightroom will be used by Windows for caching.
What graphics adapter? In my experience this doesn’t matter much. Performance gains are minimal and from time to time this LR feature isnt very stable.

Test: LR import with Ryzen 3900X

A Sony A9 II without innovation

Sony has announced the A9 II, successor to the leading A9 mirrorless pro camera. Same 24 MP sensor as its predecessor, no EVF improvement, but better AF tracking. Nikon and Canon will be relieved.

Nikon – quo vadis?

The camera market is shrinking and so are revenues of companies in this field. Nikon, my favorite brand, is very good in managing this change – after all, they are profitable year after year.

But slowly I get the feeling that there must be more than micro-management to keep the company stable and the ship floating. Signs are on the wall that austerity alone doesn’t bring new customers. Some observations based on my own location in the middle of Europe (your mileage may vary, but I hear similar repots from other continents):

  • Nion Austria closes the only Nikon Servicepoint in the country so I will have to ship a broken camera to another country (Czech Republic), a major inconvenience
  • Nikon Austria no longer offers the “Nikon Photo School” for workshops/seminars – where will all the newcomers learn to shoot?
  • Nikon will not do a booth on Photokina 2020
  • A year after launching mirrorless Z6 / z7 cameras there still is no battery grip available (aren’t accessories like a grip where major profit is made?)
  • Ever heard about “Computational Photography”? Nowadays its all about software, not hardware! Big players like Apple, Google and Samsung pump massive amounts of money to bring new features to smartphones – I can’t see how comparatively small companies like Nikon, Canon Imaging and Sony Imaging will have the power to keep up with these developments – at least if they do R&D all alone.
  • Expensive disasters like Nikon 1, Nikon DL (never saw the light), Nikon Keymission (too little, too late).

Don’t get me wrong, this comes from a Nikon fan still buying expensive cameras and lenses from them. But I have raised eyebrows.

Fujifilm GFX 100 medium- format 100MP

Fujifilm launched the GFX 100, a medium-format camera featuring…

  • 100 Megapixel medium-format (44 x 33mm) sensor
  • In-body 5-axis image stabilization (well needed for this kind of resolution)
  • Removable, tilting OLED EVF 5.76M dots
  • Hybrid autofocus system with 3.76 million phase-detect pixels spread across nearly 100% of the frame
  • ISO 100-12,800 (expandable to 50-102,400)
  • 16-bit RAW files
  • 4K video at bit rates up to 400Mbps
  • High-end body about the size of a Nikon D5, weighing 1.4kg/3.1lbs
  • 3.2″ touchscreen with 2.36 million dots that can tilt in both landscape and portrait orientations, just like on the GFX 50S
  • 2 SD card slots
  • Ports for USB 3.2 (Type-C), an external mic and headphones, a remote, and HDMI.

Available at the end of June for about $10,000
For more details see https://fujifilm-x.com/de-de/cameras/gfx100/

Fuji GFX100

Nikon Z6 and Z7 service advisory due to problems with VR

Nikon USA published a service advisory for Nikon Z6 and Z7 due to problems with VR:

“It has come to our attention that the vibration reduction (VR) feature in some Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 cameras may not function fully.” and “Nikon has resolved this by making available corrective service for affected Z 6 and Z 7 cameras free of charge”

Visit the page to find out if your camera is affected:
https://www.nikonusa.com/en/service-and-support/service-advisories/technical-service-advisory-for-users-of-the-nikon-z-6-and-z-7-cameras.html