While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

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Heavymental
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While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby Heavymental » Fri Sep 28, 2012 17:42 pm

My old laptop is struggling under the load of working with big files on Photoshop so I started thinking about an upgrade. Obviously after 2 minutes of looking I am hit with the PC v Mac debate. Given that I already use PS and have always had a PC, what benefit would I actually get from using a Mac? I don't use PS that heavily (layers, masks, slight retouching) and know my way around the features that I use and I'm happy with it. It's purely the fact that it freezes up due to big RAW files where my problem lies.

Also I not long bought a new monitor that I run alongside my laptop for photo editing so I'm not that keen to shell out on an iMac given that I only just bought the new screen.

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daviesee
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby daviesee » Fri Sep 28, 2012 18:14 pm

Can of worms.

May as well ask Campag or Shimano; Canon or Nikon.......

FWIW I use both and prefer Mac. You pay extra but I think it is worth it in the long run, i.e. 5-8 years.
My oldest Macbook Pro is 8 years old and still handles everything thrown at it.

Software licenses can be transferred so you could keep using what you have, including Photoshop.
The major bugbear that most people have is Microsoft Office. I don't think it is transferable and it can be quite expensive. The Mac version (Pages, Keynote, Numbers) is relatively cheap and does all I want including converting but people that use Office heavily say the it is not up to the job and the conversions aren't 100%. Then again, I got a cheap version of Office (Edit:- Office for Mac) from work anyway.
As you have a screen you may get away with just getting a Mac Mini but I haven't looked at the specs.

As I said, can of worms and people will no doubt jump on the cost and fan boys but I won't be going back to PC. The differences at a bit intangible but somehow - better.
Last edited by daviesee on Fri Sep 28, 2012 20:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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mfin
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby mfin » Fri Sep 28, 2012 18:24 pm

One things for sure... a mac out of the box will give you far better colour accuracy on screen with no mucking about. (in the case of iMacs or any Mac runnng a Mac screen).
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team47b
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby team47b » Fri Sep 28, 2012 18:26 pm

What do you mean by 'big' files?
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Hoopdriver
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby Hoopdriver » Fri Sep 28, 2012 19:31 pm

Definitely Mac

What do I mean by big files? 60mb

estampida
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby estampida » Fri Sep 28, 2012 19:35 pm

the main difference is that you cannot really upgrade a mac once bought so you need to spend big money to get top spec

the old powermac's (last time I had 1) if you wanted to upgrade anything you needed to but a new OS.... and new Bios as it would not recognise what had been done to it........

they have changed aspects of this but I like being able to upgrade ram by simply taking a cover off and reading what type it is then buying bigger ram on ebay.......

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fast as fupp
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby fast as fupp » Fri Sep 28, 2012 19:45 pm

they have changed aspects of this but I like being able to upgrade ram by simply taking a cover off and reading what type it is then buying bigger ram on ebay.......


amazingly thats just how i upgraded the ram on my mac mini

and my old g5 powermac
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The Ors
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby The Ors » Fri Sep 28, 2012 20:27 pm

estampida wrote:the old powermac's (last time I had 1) if you wanted to upgrade anything you needed to but a new OS.... and new Bios as it would not recognise what had been done to it........


WTF? :D Not true of any PowerMac I've ever had.

To the OP: I prefer Mac but unless you're a Pro photographer I guess you won't see much difference PS wise.

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Hoopdriver
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby Hoopdriver » Fri Sep 28, 2012 20:31 pm

The better question, photography wise, is what do you use for post-production? Lightroom? Aperture? Picasa? Other?

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daviesee
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby daviesee » Fri Sep 28, 2012 20:37 pm

Hoopdriver wrote:The better question, photography wise, is what do you use for post-production? Lightroom? Aperture? Picasa? Other?

The OP said his current machine was struggling with large files on Photoshop - so Photoshop.

If that was a general question, I use Capture NX but that is purely because I shoot in Nikon raw NEF.
If I used any other brand I would probably go for Lightroom.
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gasman_dave
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby gasman_dave » Fri Sep 28, 2012 21:55 pm

Shimano, Nikon, Mac, but we have PC as well as 2 Macs in the house with Photoshop on all 3.

The new retina screens on Macs look lovely and I would have thought would be great for photos.

FWIW I use photoshop (elements 8) on my macbook pro, but much prefer iPhoto which is simple to use and does most of what I do. I find that non-Apple software sometimes doesn't work as well which is probably as much to explain why I use iPhoto. A lot of Mac-users I know use Aperture because of that, and for me, I find the older version of CS2 on my PC is brilliant and actually easy to use. Elements does open most files including NEF though.

We got fed up with the constant problems with our main PC, losing hard-drives and getting viruses, malware and trojans. We have used Macs and MacBooks (and iPhones and iPods) with no worries for 3 years now. You can upgrade Macs relatively easily if it just updating RAM - they're Intel-based and there are plenty of them about. RAW files are big enough to make you think about your RAM.

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southdownswolf
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby southdownswolf » Fri Sep 28, 2012 23:57 pm

Personally I would go with a midrange PC and spend as much as possible on an IPS screen. A well calibrated screen is more crucial than the speed of editing files, if you do not get the photo correct on screen, how can you produce a decent print? A HP ZR2740w would be a good starting point.
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doublem_1
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby doublem_1 » Sat Sep 29, 2012 05:01 am

The best thing to have when edited big RAW files is RAM, lots of it, and a dedicated graphics card.

Heavymental
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby Heavymental » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:01 am

Thanks all. To clarify, by big files I mean I am converting RAW to JPEG and then dealing with these in PS. They work out as between 10 and 20mb per image. When I start to add layers or blend 2 images it's too much for my 2gb memory to handle. I have to wait for it to catch up which can take a couple of minutes. Frustrating. I want to work with TIFF files but it would be way too much to deal with blending 2 TIFF files at the moment.

The monitor I bought is a decent Viewsonic IPS screen so I'm not looking for a monitor upgrade as such.

The HP here http://whatlaptop.techradar.com/2012/05 ... otography/ looked like a good idea as it comes with PS (and I'm currently running CS which is quite old now). But then at around about a grand, I could get an Apple. Hmmm.

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Hoopdriver
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby Hoopdriver » Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:10 am

Apple really does handle image processing very, very well. It is pretty much the standard in publishing circles.

Heavymental
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby Heavymental » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:13 am

Hoopdriver wrote:Apple really does handle image processing very, very well. It is pretty much the standard in publishing circles.


See, I don't know that I really understand what that means? Is it just that it's easier to use for editing? I'm happy with the fact that over the last year I've learnt how to use a number of functions on PS so I use these and have no problems... apart from the speed. Is it the whole 'intagible' useablility that makes the difference?

Bozman
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby Bozman » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:23 am

Just go in any media room at a sports event and you'll find that 90%+ use macs.

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Hoopdriver
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby Hoopdriver » Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:42 am

I have been writing and shooting for magazines for many years, and yes, just about everything is Mac.

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daviesee
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby daviesee » Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:35 pm

Heavymental wrote:Thanks all. To clarify, by big files I mean I am converting RAW to JPEG and then dealing with these in PS. They work out as between 10 and 20mb per image. When I start to add layers or blend 2 images it's too much for my 2gb memory to handle. I have to wait for it to catch up which can take a couple of minutes. Frustrating. I want to work with TIFF files but it would be way too much to deal with blending 2 TIFF files at the moment.

The monitor I bought is a decent Viewsonic IPS screen so I'm not looking for a monitor upgrade as such.

The HP here http://whatlaptop.techradar.com/2012/05 ... otography/ looked like a good idea as it comes with PS (and I'm currently running CS which is quite old now). But then at around about a grand, I could get an Apple. Hmmm.

Regardless of which screen you have, you really need to calibrate it with a proper calibration tool & software. The built in versions just are not good enough for quality photography levels.
RAM = speed. See if you can upgrade the RAM in your current machine first. That said, the 2GB RAM in my 8 year old Macbook Pro handles just what you are trying to do. Maybe that ties in with why the media types mostly use Macs, they can handle what is thrown at them.
None of the above should be taken seriously, and certainly not personally.

Heavymental
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Re: While we're talking photography... PC or Mac!?

Postby Heavymental » Sat Sep 29, 2012 12:39 pm

I upgraded my RAM from 1gb to 2gb but as it's a fairly basic Acer laptop, that was as much memory upgrade as it allowed.

Ok ok. So what about editing packages? I typically do my initial sharpening and cropping in Canon DPP software, convert to JPEG, then open in PS CS1 to use unsharp mask, layers/layer masks and some slight clone stamping and other touch ups. I'd like to be able to open multiple RAW images for layer blending and editing. But this is my current workflow. What software am I going to need for these fairly undemanding tasks?


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