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Thread: Opinions on Imac setup ??

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    Opinions on Imac setup ??

    OK so ive decided to switch to mac ..

    I only use my home PC for internet , email , music & photos .. thats it

    I think ill set it up as follows;

    24" 2.8 imac .. upgrade ram to 4 gig ..

    with Aperture , PSE7 and Lightroom ...

    that should keep me going for a while ?? Any other thoughts or suggestions ?? I would like to set the mac up from the outset so I dont need to add anything to it for quite a while as Im quickly running out of money ..
    Hi Im Darren

    www.darrengrayphotography.com

    SONY A850 (FF)] + GRIP | SONY A350 (APS-C) + GRIP | SONY NEX-5 +16 2.8 + 18-55 E-MOUNT LENSES | CZ 85 1.4 | 50 1.4 | 28-75 2.8 | 70-200 2.8 | 2 x 42AMs | 24" imac | LR | CS4 | + loads of other junk


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    Member Calxoddity's Avatar
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    Good setup - that's what I run here at home - but no PSE7 for Mac - it's PSE6 (no biggie - hardly any difference). Upgrading to 4GB is important. If you can afford a little more, spend it on an external hdd and usb hub. I have iomega unit with 2x500GB and 3 port usb hub.

    Regards,
    Calx
    Calxoddity
    Concert Pianist, Test Pilot, Pathological Liar


    Nikon D40, Sigma 17-70 F2.8-4.5 HSM, Nikkor AF-D 50mm f1.8
    Post Processing: Aperture 3 & Photoshop Elements 6

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    One question: why Aperture AND Lightroom? Don't they more or less do the same thing?

    Oh, and welcome to OSX btw

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    One question: why Aperture AND Lightroom? Don't they more or less do the same thing?

    Oh, and welcome to OSX btw
    Perhaps he's got too much money?

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    Hi Bigdazzler

    Both Aperture (Aperture2) and Lightroom will both want to have their "Library" system setup on the C drive and that will chew up enourmous amounts of drive space. Much of this can be changed to an external drive which is almost a necessity with an IMac but the app still needs a fair sized C drive space - especially in Aperture 2.

    Another issue I found with both those applications is their refusal to actually change the master image but rely on an output MXL type file. This didnt suit me as in many cases I want to do basic changes to the master image then have a range of alternate sub images ie web suitable jpg's or cropped images etc, and those images actually as image files not an MXL info file.

    In the end I chose CS3 and Nikon's own image applications - Nikon Transfer, View NX & Captuure 2 (there are some things that Nikon actually do better than Adobe - albeit you can now get a pluggin to do the same). All of these apps allow full external HD storage including any thumbnails for search/retrieval systems.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkW View Post
    Hi Bigdazzler

    Both Aperture (Aperture2) and Lightroom will both want to have their "Library" system setup on the C drive and that will chew up enourmous amounts of drive space. Much of this can be changed to an external drive which is almost a necessity with an IMac but the app still needs a fair sized C drive space - especially in Aperture 2.
    I run Lightroom 2.2 catalogs straight from 1Tb external drive (eSATA connection). Data is also stored with the catalog (in a seperate directory). Only the application resides on my root drive. Never used Aperture, so can't comment, but that seems strange to me. I ensure that images NEVER reside on my root drive (only exception is when doing an export to my gallery, and then it's only temp). This could be a mac thing but seems strange the same program would work so differently.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkW View Post
    Another issue I found with both those applications is their refusal to actually change the master image but rely on an output MXL type file. This didnt suit me as in many cases I want to do basic changes to the master image then have a range of alternate sub images ie web suitable jpg's or cropped images etc, and those images actually as image files not an MXL info file.
    Again not sure if this is a mac thing, but on PC version of lightroom you can create virtual copies which are stacked with the original. Before I make an edit of the original I create a virtual copy and change it. Always good to be able to go back (but then I have the backup created on import if I forget).

    Hope this helps, happy to create a post on Lightroom workflow if people are interested. Sorry to see you go to the dark side
    Last edited by Allann; 08-01-2009 at 1:48pm.

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    Member Calxoddity's Avatar
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    Allan,
    You just beat me to it: Aperture allows you to catalogue your photos in either referenced or managed modes - or a mix if you like. In referenced mode, Aperture leaves the photo where it is and just points to it. In managed mode, Aperture imports the photo into its database.

    Where you keep your Aperture library is up to you - there's nothing to stop you from keeping it on the internal iMac drive, as you get the speed benefit, but your backups had better be good! (and mine are!!!). There is an inherent compromise in selecting an iMac that means external storage is not optional...

    I'm not sure I understand Mark's comments about Aperture - it does non-destructive adjustments to your photos, keeping a record of the adjustments so that you have infinite undo capability. I've got multiple versions of several photos, by creating new versions such as:
    - one optimised for a particular photo printer
    - another as a monochrome
    - another as a cropped version I'm playing with
    - plus the original photo as the reference point

    From my trial experience with Lightroom 2, this is the same as the virtual copy capability.

    At any time (and I did this earlier today) I can choose one of the versions and export it as a reduced size jpg to post on this site.

    Hope this helps.

    PS - He's finally realised the power of the Dark Side.. bwahahahahah etc etc

    Regards,
    Calx
    Last edited by Calxoddity; 08-01-2009 at 2:28pm.

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    "Windows, I am your father...."

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    "Use the Force, Daz.."

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    Maybe I didnt investigated Lightroom far enough to get the configuration correct to get everthing but the actual app out of the C drive. I did manage in both apps to get it to store the image on an external drive but it wouldn't catalogue on the external drive, it wanted to use the 'pictures" directory for cataloguing. Must be something I missed.

    The other issue is I want to use destructive altering of the master image. I don't want to be told I cant change the master image without destruction of the other images. This also goes for naming the file. The big no no in Aperture is you cant change the name of a file once its in the image library cause it upsets all th other image XML files. I change file names to suit my cataloguing system, sometimes a file is miss-filed so I cant change it - no way.

    Didn't purchase Lightroom just used a trail version, but I did buy Aperture 2 and it just sits on the shelf as it didnt do things the way I wanted them to. Oh well - each to their own. CS3 worked the way I wanted and now its the main app.

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    My Imac came with a 300+GB HDD which I partitioned 100Gb to be my Photo drive.
    I have a Lacie external HDD which takes the macs backup, it from memory, is around 150Gb. This constantly backs up only new info, deleting the oldest information when the disk is full.

    I run Aperture 2 for all my RAW processing and storage until I convert to JPEG and at that time they go to the partitioned drive.

    I only use CS3 for image size changes.

    Just for fun:

    I was asked by a friend to look at her laptop (Windows XP) After waiting 5 minutes for it to be ready with numerous error messages I could finally got to work on it . It was a great reminder to me not to go back to a PC
    David
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    Lumix G6 with 14-140mm lens.

    RAW post work done with Aperture 4 with image size done in CS5

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    I would probably create and manage my library on the int drive but back up to an ext WD or Seagate HD every couple of days ..

    i like the sound of what Dav has done .. partitioned 100 gig of his int HD for photo storage .. it sound simple and easy
    Last edited by bigdazzler; 08-01-2009 at 5:48pm.

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    REMOVED : Double post

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    Let Time machine do your backup automatically, it only backs up changes.
    Does it every hour I think.

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    time machine seems like a great feature but i still like to have an independent storage back up for my images .. just in case

    Call me paranoid

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    That's what I do - I use Aperture in referenced mode for my photos. Time machine backs all stuff up on hourly basis to one external drive. Another external drive contains an independent manual backup of my photos and important other files. If any one drive fails, I have 2 spares...

    BTW, there's no real benefit in partitioning an internal drive. If anything, you're going to create problems down the track with effective utilisation of the drive.

    Regards,
    Calx

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    that was my next question .. so you can configure time machine to back up to external ??

    EDIT: Scratch that .. just watched time machine tutorial on Apple site .. what a top feature hey
    Last edited by bigdazzler; 08-01-2009 at 8:06pm.

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    I made the exact same switch a couple of weeks ago, got that exact same configuration (24" iMAC with 4 GByte RAM, standard harddisk and CPU). I did choose Aperture, still don't know if LightRoom is better but I'm quite happy with the configuraton.

    As for photo editors, I absolutely loath photoshop. Tried it, found it much too heavy and much too expensive. Steep learning curve too.

    So, what than? I tried three options: GiMP (free!), PS Elements and Pixelmator. Each of these have their own pro's and contra's, but in the end I decided to keep GiMP (hey, you can't beet its price / performance ratio ) and PixelMator. The reasons I dropped Elements:
    - No full color management support (limited to sRGB and AdobeRGB)
    - Only partly supports 16-bit color depth
    - Provides a couple of pre-cooked curves, but you can't freely define your own
    - Adjustment layers in 8-bit mode only
    Now, the latter is somewhat deceptive, since it's the only one out of those three that provides adjustment layers at all, but at 8-bit color depth I'm not impressed. I keep hoping though that PixelMator will soon be extended with adjustment layers.

    Pro's for Elements: it does provide these adjustment layers (but not very extensive) and it provides support for ACR. To me, however, the latter is not a reason to choose Elements since the RAW converted in Aperture is at least as good if not better anyway.
    Ciao, Joost

    All feedback is highly appreciated!

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    For photo editing, I was going to chose GIMP or something other than PSE6, but a funny thing happened when I went to OfficeWorks to buy some stationery. In the bargain bin was a returned copy of PSE6 for Mac, marked down to $49 - some n00b had bought it thinking it was the PC version and realised the mistake later and returned it. At that price it was too good to pass up.

    To make up for my absolute lack of knowledge in PSE6, I bought the Missing Manual for PSE6 for the Mac - it's really useful. As it turns out, I use PSE6 perhaps 1% of the time - all of my other adjusting and printing is done in Aperture (PSE gets a workout only when I need to chop up a photo e.g. double-exposure or special effects).

    Regards,
    Calx

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    perhaps a stupid question .. but does Aperture have layer and mask functions ?? After watching a million tutorials on the Apple.com i see noe reference to layers at all ..

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