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Thread: Unbiased advice sought

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    Ausphotography Regular enseth's Avatar
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    Unbiased advice sought

    I'm going to treat myself to a new computer (desk top) which will be used pretty much exclusively for photography processing. I have never owned a Mac. I fact I have never even used one. I have always used PC's. I have heard on numerous occasions how good Macs are for working on graphics. So with that in mind here's the list of questions:

    Are Macs really that much better?

    Is it difficult to make the transition from PC to Mac

    Given this computer will be used mainly for photography processing what would be your recommendations for both PC & Mac?

    What is the optimum Monitor size & type?



    All advice gratefully received.

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    what you will get is people who use PC telling you they are the best, and people using mac's telling you Mac's are the best.

    go to a mac store and try some.
    "It is one thing to make a picture of what a person looks like, it is another thing to make a portrait of who they are" - Paul Caponigro

    Constructive Critique of my photographs is always appreciated
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Get USB3 and USB3 HDDs. Make your system drive an SSD.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Member JJM's Avatar
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    From my limited experience with Mac's, Photoshop is essentially the same as it is on PC.
    Speed wise I think $ for $ I believe PC's are better value and being able upgrade is a big thing for me.
    The other question you want to ask yourself is do you want to have learn a new operating system?
    If you have a family full of Ipads and Iphones then I could see the advantage as apple integration of devices is pretty good.

    The above has been said with my limited experience with Mac's i.e. played with one a couple of times.

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Get USB3 and USB3 HDDs. Make your system drive an SSD.
    Before doing such things ---- take a look around the net at the various reports about new "macs" refusing to talk to non apple SSDs.

    - - - Updated - - -

    And my thoughts in an unbiased way are that if the machine is to be used "exclusively" for processing images you will save massive dollars by building / configuring a windows machine over buying a mac. Running the bare minimum programs on such a machine, obviously an OS, then purely your editing program/s should result in a stable under stressed 'puter.
    That is the way we have it set up here, one machine dedicated to images and just the OS ( Win 7 pro ) + 4 or so editing programs. It has been running sweetly for a few years now. The advice for the configuration of the hard drives and the actual assembly of were thanks to King Arfur ------
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Well, the same goes for pies. Use Apple pies only

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    Ausphotography Regular
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    Thanks for the advice people. It is as much as I suspected. I'll do some more research on hardware but you fellas have steered me in the right direction.

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    Photo Bizarro nimrodisease's Avatar
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    Pretty much as others have said... you'll get much more bang for buck if you build yourself a PC. And it's very easy! I have found http://www.pccasegear.com/ to be very competitively priced and have really good service.
    My name is John.
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    It's all about the Light!
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    The easiest way is as follows...
    1. Figure out a config via WP https://whirlpool.net.au/wiki/rmp_sg...asking_configs
    2. Goto MSY and order all the parts and pay $70 for MSY to build it for you http://www.msy.com.au
    3. Simple!
    Last edited by Kym; 22-11-2014 at 12:05pm.
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    One idiosyncracy I found with Apple Macs when I was using one for a client as opposed to a PC was in its copy mode. I think the I was using OSX and it may be different now. Anyway, when copying a directory AND its contents from one location to another, if there is a copy of that directory already in that location, the Apple actually copies and replaces rather than copy and append like a PC does. So, if the existing directory has something in it that is NOT in the copy you're moving or copying, that file will be deleted from that location too. This is also what happens within Adobe Bridge which makes me think Adobe is Apple-centric.

    This is not a reason not to go with Apple, but it is a trap for people who simply think an operating system is just an operating system and you don't need to understand how it works. The first time you discover this is when you lose image files and don't understand why. In windows it is easy to drag a directory and paste it over an identically named directory and know that you will end up with an amalgamation of both. That won't happen with the Apple.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I've had limited time with Apple computers.
    One screen only type device(sorry can't remember the name of the model) and a laptop device.

    In terms of 'speed' .. I'm yet to see this faster than Windows that almost all Mac users espouse so loudly.

    A few of my main issues with Macs ... while I have a lengthy experience with Windows and can navigate through one quite easily, I found that navigating a Mac is not the nirvana that every Mac devotee talks about.

    So this notion that Macs "just work" is simply bunk.
    The first thing I tried to look for on the Mac(I was trying to fix for someone) was the "Explorer" equivalent. I think it's called Finder or some other name that doesn't really make it a natural process to search you computer for information.
    I think I may have been expecting some kind of valet service from the Mac to help me do stuff, going by all the glowing accolades.
    The reality is that it's the same(as Windows) but different.

    One thing that Apple has going for it with their products is form. That is the products look good. Expensive as hell when compared to a properly produced PC tho.
    Another major issue I have is that this 'form' comes at a cost. Not just the additional initial purchase cost either!
    There is the support/redundancy/service/adaptive costs to take into consideration too.

    While many now see the idea of the traditional Wintel box+ screen+ periphery setup as prehistoric compared to the all in one computer, I still like the idea that when the time comes for it, I can add another hard drive into my jurassic box sitting on my desktop.
    I like the idea that if I think I need(actually it's usually a self indulgent want) a dedicated internal drive just for my photos, I purchase a HDD, open the box, connect two cables and I'm good to go.
    (but then again, I'm the type that has 4 internal drives, three external drives .. and one spare external drive that is in reality just another internal drive .. just totally disconnected and stored safely).

    I like the idea that I can replace the graphics card cheaply and/or easily with whatever I want .. not just what the manufacturer dictates I have to use.

    I think all the chatter that Macs appear to be faster stems from the point that the people making those claims who had switched from Windows, had older hardware(ie. HDD's and CPUs) and cluttered configurations.
    My experience with the 27" iMac, both when new and now about 4 years old, is that it's slower than my lowly specced(AMD processor) PC. Opening any file seemed slower on the Mac.
    My more recent experience with some photo related stuff on a Mac notebook(again the model name escapes me) was that while it felt a lot more solidly built than the average cheapie laptop(of most brands), a higher end quality laptop feels just as tight and well built.
    (basically you get what you pay for).
    As a comparison: my daughter's $400 Asus laptop feels flimsy as hell, especially around the keyboard, which flexes badly. My son's $900 feels as strong as the 2 year old Apple laptop.
    My main gripe with the Apple laptop was it's slower than glacial speed! I was under the assumption that Apple laptops were reknown for their speed.
    My daughter's AMD powered latop(hence the super low price!) was massively faster in for loading D800 images(in full sized jpg versions) even my piddly little Atom powered Win7 tablet loaded them faster!
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    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    ...I've had limited time with Apple computers...
    Same here, but I'm neither + or -.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    One thing that Apple has going for it with their products is form. That is the products look good. Expensive as hell when compared to a properly produced PC tho.
    Another major issue I have is that this 'form' comes at a cost. Not just the additional initial purchase cost either!
    There is the support/redundancy/service/adaptive costs to take into consideration too.
    1) "Form" is in the eye of the informer.
    2) And the wages of the dozens of Apple staff in their spacious shops.

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    ...(basically you get what you pay for)...
    - Or not even!

    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    As a comparison: my daughter's $400 Asus laptop feels flimsy as hell...
    But not my $1500 Zenbook, which is locally known as "The Lapfast". In this case I did get what I paid for, I reckon, after having done ages of research.

    Again, I'm not saying yea or nay. (Or "neigh" - from the horse's mouth.)

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Hmmm .. for some reason, I've just had this weird recollection of the famous quote ....

    "Hello! ... I'm Mr Ed"

    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    .....

    2) And the wages of the dozens of Apple staff in their spacious shops.

    ......
    Aha!.... this explains it.
    (why my cousin's son gave up a degree in industrial design(or something like that) in favour of working in one of those spacious stores)

    ps. I recommended to my sis one of those lil Zenbooks too.
    I remember them well, when I was looking for a laptop for my son. The build quality was definitely in the upper 1% category.
    Just a tad out of the price range I was budgeting for a 10yo with little regard for others 'hard earned'.
    Although, in saying that after three years of heavy use, his laptop is in remarkably good nick(for a typical teenage airhead) .. I thought it'd have been trashed a couple of years ago. he does have a habit of losing semi important stuff like the wireless dongle for the mouse, and breaking cables every other day .. but the lappie is still churning along and looking pretty new.

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    Personally I have very little experience with apple, but a comment a tech once made to me has stuck. It's easier to dig deeper in a pc than a mac. If something isn't working quite the way you want it, you have more options in a pc to change settings than you do in a mac apparently.

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    Ausphotography Regular Hamster's Avatar
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    Well I've just gone from windows to Mac and have a MBP for photo work and an air for surfing and easy stuff. My impressions are:
    No Apple stuff doesn't "just work", but when you've finished bending it to your will, it is more stable.
    I too thought Windows gear was better value, but then I had someone show me that in actual fact it isn't. The mistake most make is not comparing like for like on specs. They think they're pricing up the same specs but they're not.
    Don't care though, price wasn't an issue.
    It's the Mac faster for processing images. No, my desktop is well specced and was doing fine. But I've now gained portability, which means I can find the time to process images sat untouched in folders from last year.
    Apple customer service is light years better than any other service here in WA.
    Apple stuff works well with other Apple stuff. Some of the iOS and OSX integration features are useful.
    Are there some differences to learn. Yes of course, it's like switching from Word Perfect to Word. Suck it up and stop winging about change like an 80 year old. Every time I've not quickly figured something out a quick Google has provided the answer.
    I'm happy I switched, but it hasn't turned me in to a total Apple fan boy. Macs aren't perfect either, if you're cash limited stick with Windows machines, they'll do the job fine ( but they are not better value, although you could argue that a top end MBP is over specced for many people's needs)


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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    I recently found myself in just this situation, and surprised myself by replacing my 6 year old Windows machine with a refurbished MacBook Pro, which cost me about $2500, with a 512GB SSD, 16 GB RAM, and a lovely 15 in Retina display. While the performance of the new machine is a real revelation to me, I can't really say too much about it given that I can only compare it to a PC which was ancient, and was having real trouble coping with recent software.

    Generally speaking I agree with Hamster, with a couple of extra observations:

    -Trying to do anything reasonably complicated (eg setting up a local network using wi-fi) tends to be ridiculously easy on the Mac compared to on a PC, but if anything goes wrong it's a bit harder to troubleshoot. Macs are sort of more opaque.

    -If you're used to Windows PCs (I used them exclusively for 16 years) the various incompatibilities can seem a bit daunting at first. It's not just that things work differently; they can't read each others file systems (out of the box, at least) transferring browser settings or old e-mails can be a pain, you may need to "crossgrade" Photoshop and find alternatives for your favourite software... don't be too daunted: look it up on the internet and there's a solution to every problem.

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    Ausphotography Regular Allie's Avatar
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    Have always owned PCs but last place I worked used Apple as that is what the graphic designer previously used as graphics were important. Very easy to use and considering the included software easily equal in value if all software is compared. Safari as a more than an adequate browser but you can set it up to use whatever you like. Apple lets you do what you want if you are not a tech player and unless something has changed it is user friendly and intuitive. Many advances in PCs in that regard are Microsoft editing their software to become more Apple-like. I still own a PC but if I needed I would change to Apple without any concerns.

    As Rick suggested check each out and then decide.

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    Ausphotography Regular Hamster's Avatar
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    Unbiased advice sought

    Quote Originally Posted by jim View Post

    -Trying to do anything reasonably complicated (eg setting up a local network using wi-fi) tends to be ridiculously easy on the Mac compared to on a PC, but if anything goes wrong it's a bit harder to troubleshoot. Macs are sort of more opaque.

    -If you're used to Windows PCs (I used them exclusively for 16 years) the various incompatibilities can seem a bit daunting at first. It's not just that things work differently; they can't read each others file systems (out of the box, at least) transferring browser settings or old e-mails can be a pain, you may need to "crossgrade" Photoshop and find alternatives for your favourite software... don't be too daunted: look it up on the internet and there's a solution to every problem.
    Yep, Mac tend to do things odd ways (at least they seem odd from an ex Windows perspective) it's worth googling when trouble shooting to get to the answer quicker.

    There is a Mac import tool for getting settings across from a Windows machine, it works fine. For emails I just bought a copy of office for Mac, shoved my pst file on the NAS and it read this in outlook like I used to on the Windows machine. Could have used the import function though. This was just to access old emails. I use the Mac email now I've switched
    You can also use Boot camp or Parallels etc if you want to run Windows on the Mac. I do this for one program I can't get a Mac version of.

    Not sure what you meant by "crossgrade" PS jim. I just downloaded LR and PS from CC, stuck all my images on the HD and told LR where the catalogue was. All was running identical to the old Windows machine in seconds (if you don't count the transferring images bit :-))

    Biggest disappointment? ITunes is still a steaming pile of excrement.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 03-12-2014 at 6:47pm.

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    I have a Mac at home. PC at work. Any PP I do is done at home with Lightroom and a far as I a concerned, provided the systems are specced up enough, it makes no difference if it is a PC or a Mac. In the PP space there is some validity in the argument that it is only a platform for LR or PS.

    There are gotcha's with a Mac. Unless you are purely Mac, you may suffer with some apps. For instance MS do provide Office for Mac, but do not support VBA. If you need that for whatever reason you will need to stay with a PC. May be the same with Active-X. Not sure.

    So apart from photo PP, if you are going to use a MAC as a substitute platform for Windows, but still need to do Windows type work (read "Microsoft") then it may be wise to stay with Windows.
    Cheers

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    Way Down Yonder in the Paw Paw Patch jim's Avatar
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    Hamster: with CC there's no need to "cross grade" Photoshop, but with CS6, you have to ask Adobe to let you change from Windows to Mac version (to which I got the response "sure, would you like a free DVD?") and with older versions you can't do it at all.

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