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Author Topic: PC or Mac?  (Read 13131 times)
shothunter
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« on: August 12, 2007, 06:24:03 PM »
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Hi guys,

I've been using a laptop for editing pics so far (running XP on it) and since I'm definitely moving towards (at least part time) professional photography I figure I'll need a desktop to be able to deliver decent work.
I know that a lot of professionals use Mac to do the picture editing, so the big question is: Do I get a Mac or a PC? Right now I'm under the impression that the new Mac Pro is a great machine that will do just about anything you need in photography in terms of speed, memory and general performance.

I would appreciate any feedback on which platform you use (and why), your experiences with either OS and possible conclusions you've come to.
Budget is around 3000 EUR/2800 US (I will be purchasing this machine in Europe).

thanks a lot,
ed
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2007, 10:22:06 PM »
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Do I get a Mac or a PC?

Yes.
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Schewe
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2007, 12:03:56 AM »
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Yeah...I would stay away from Linux at this point...
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shothunter
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« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2007, 01:44:06 AM »
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Well, thanks for your time, gentlemen, but to be honest: Your replies require further explanation, it sounds like there is something I missed - I just plunged into this a couple days ago and didnt do a whole lot of researching yet - I guess this thread is part of my research...

cheers
ed
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feethea
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« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2007, 01:48:18 AM »
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Having been a lifetime Windows man, I've recently seen the light and gone over (mainly) to Macs.

I now have a second-hand 12" Powerbook G4 and the latest 15.4" 2.4Ghz MacBook Pro - supported by my 'flying machine' PC.

The Powerbook is great for travelling around. The MBP is great for CS3 and Lightroom - admittedly I've doubled the RAM to 4 Gig.

As far as OS is concerned I really do prefer the Mac OS X over the Vista. Easy to upgrade, easy to install from clean, no hanging or crashes, no (or hardly any) virus problems. The only problem I've encountered is probably a driver issue with the Macs connecting to my Epson R2400. Other than that - the mac is highly recommended.
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Carol
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« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2007, 04:14:51 AM »
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I'm Windows based (Win XP x64) running with 8Gb of RAM with no problems.  I can't see me ever switching to a Mac - purely based on the amount of software which I have installed - it would probably cost me around 5x the cost of the machine to switch.  Plus I would have to keep an up to date Wintel system as some of the software which I run is simply not available on a Mac.

Having said that, I do spec and build my own systems - if I had to rely on buying from Dell et al, I would probably switch tomorrow.  Both platforms are capable of being pretty mean machines - but for a Wintel system you probably need more detailed knowledge of components etc.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2007, 07:10:11 AM »
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I am on Windows XP, but if I were starting from almost a no-legacy position that the original poster describes, I would most likely buy a Mac. From what I've read, heard and seen, it is a more efficient processor of information, doesn't suffer from most of the security problems plaguing the PC world, and most equipment and important applications are cross-platform. There are some that won't run on Mac and others that won't run on PC, but except for some highly specialized uses, I don't see that as a decision factor either way, because there are usually  good alternatives. The price advantage of PCs has been largely eroded by Apple's new pricing policies, and PC's potential speed advantage has been eroded by Apple's switch to the Intel processor. The one thing though I would be VERY careful about is service and support. I know serious, knowledgeable professionals who have been badly let down by Apple support; but on the PC side, dealing with Dell for example, you can only count on really top quality support by buying a Gold package and paying quite dearly for it.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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michael
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« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2007, 07:21:54 AM »
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Keep in mind that the new Macs are just as adept at running Windows as they are Mac OS X or Linux. These are Intel machines and as such can run Windows at any time.

If you want the utmost flexibility get a program called Parallels which allows you to run Windows inside a window within OS X. Legacy software simply isn't an issue any longer.

Michael
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usathyan
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« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2007, 07:30:45 AM »
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One thing is true - These days you definitely need a PC - be it runs Mac or Windows.

After all - Steve Jobs in his recent announcement, said - a Mac is a Personal Computer as well!
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mistybreeze
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« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2007, 07:48:49 AM »
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Haven't you seen those wonderful Mac/PC commercials? I can't speak for any other gals but I like my men to have STYLE. And Apple is ALL ABOUT STYLE, in case you haven't noticed.

SUBSTANCE and FUNCTION are equally important and I think it's safe to say both a Mac and a PC can currently deliver. But I'll take Apple OS over anything Microsoft has offered.

I started on a PC in the early 90's, taking the advice of a style-less DOS geek. Just before my 18-month Photoshop education at ICP.org in 2002, I switched to a Mac and have NEVER looked back. For a short time, I kicked myself for never starting on a Mac in the first place, that is, until my studio went cross platform with web design. Now, I own both and use both but, 90% of the time, I always wheel my chair in the direction of my Macs.  

ps None of them are perfect and you just have to accept that fact in order to have fun while trying to make money.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2007, 09:08:42 AM »
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Get a PC or get an Apple brand computer - there's no difference to the end product. It means nothing that lots of photo professionals use Mac - it varies depending on where you look, and one loose guide is that Photoshop users split 60:40 PC:Mac. About all you can really say is that among photographers the Mac is not the largely-irrelevant niche that it is in the world at large.

You do need to factor in costs of staying cross platform. Sure you can buy Parallels, as well as another copy of Windows for a Mac desktop, but you'd be better off spending that money on a better PC desktop. Unless Adobe follow the cross platform licence for Lightroom with one for Photoshop, you'll still be messing around with licences on different platforms, and extra upgrade costs for these and for any other programs you need on each computer, eg MS Office, Adobe Creative Suite. And don't forget to add in the cost of your time sorting out two different streams of problems.

I run PC desktops and a Mac laptop and think that's the better way round because the laptop is what people see. So if you continually face clients who are Mac fanboys, or want to present an artsy-fartsy image to normal PC users, a Mac laptop can be handy. Recently a very pretty 18 year old came up to chat to me after seeing the laptop. While it could well have been animal magnetism, she asked plenty of questions about the Mac (nothing came of it and she's probably still upset but you can't satisfy everyone). Seriously, the laptop is more outward-facing than the desktop so what's the point buying a Mac that sits at home and leads you to waste money and time on staying cross platform?

John
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Hank
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« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2007, 09:29:49 AM »
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You mention that you are going into the pro side.  Depending on the venue, that can mean some pretty specific software.  If you are going to be working lots with a lab, ala portrait/studio, check with them and see what software they require or recommend.  Fuji's studio management software, for example, won't run on a Mac OS.  Some album assembly software won't either.  Mac's new setup lets you run the PC software as Michael points out, but you should study the software environment of your new pro venture before making your ultimate OS decision.
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mistybreeze
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« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2007, 09:34:11 AM »
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It means nothing that lots of photo professionals use Mac
I wouldn't say "nothing." It certainly means something to those photo professionals. It also may mean something that most prestigious photo/art schools in NYC house Macs in their digital labs. The only place I've seen a PC at ICP and Parson's is at the receptionist's desk.

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Recently a very pretty 18 year old came up to chat to me after seeing the (Apple) laptop.
That's my girl!

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nothing came of it and she's probably still upset
Have you done a breath test?
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2007, 09:54:55 AM »
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I wouldn't say "nothing." It certainly means something to those photo professionals. It also may mean something that most prestigious photo/art schools in NYC house Macs in their digital labs. The only place I've seen a PC at ICP and Parson's is at the receptionist's desk.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=132982\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Yes, the herd instinct is going strong. If they'd been using PCs at art school, or a PC brand had targeted the creative markets as well as Apple, they'd now be poncing round saying their Sony or Dell makes them oh so much more creative....
« Last Edit: August 13, 2007, 09:55:08 AM by johnbeardy » Logged

shothunter
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« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2007, 10:42:02 AM »
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I am on Windows XP, but if I were starting from almost a no-legacy position that the original poster describes, I would most likely buy a Mac.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=132955\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

And thats exactly where I am. I will be basically starting from scratch and I'd still have my notebook with XP running on it. I might think about installing Windows on the Mac as well, but I havent made up my mind about that yet.
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shothunter
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« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2007, 10:53:53 AM »
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You mention that you are going into the pro side.  Depending on the venue, that can mean some pretty specific software.  If you are going to be working lots with a lab, ala portrait/studio, check with them and see what software they require or recommend.  Fuji's studio management software, for example, won't run on a Mac OS.  Some album assembly software won't either.  Mac's new setup lets you run the PC software as Michael points out, but you should study the software environment of your new pro venture before making your ultimate OS decision.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=132980\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, I'm not quite sure yet which field I will be working in. I just started selling some macro work and I'll probably try to get some landscapes out there, too, but I wouldn't exclude studio work either, although if you'd have Windows running on the Mac, you should be fine (except for the extra expenses for additional software   )

ed
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"I never bracket (...), bracketing is a sign of insecurity, (...) it means you don't really know what you're doing..."
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2007, 10:56:07 AM »
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The addl costs (exp+time) creep in if you try to stay dual platform.
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mistybreeze
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« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2007, 12:40:09 PM »
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Yes, the herd instinct is going strong. If they'd been using PCs at art school, or a PC brand had targeted the creative markets as well as Apple, they'd now be poncing round saying their Sony or Dell makes them oh so much more creative....
I think "herd instinct" is far too simple and dismissive. It's a term that also shows bias. I think we're WAY BEYOND Mac vs. PC wars. One could more easily apply the term to PC users, since they are the true herd.

Almost every single pro-photographer I know in NYC, who switched from film to digital, switched to Mac (if they were a PC user), mostly because every techie in the NYC region told them, "If you want to run Photoshop, you need a Mac." Since every smart NYC techie loves to mark his own territory, I doubt "herd instinct" had anything to do with the real-time facts.

In my PC days, Dell was the design/performer of choice for many artists but all they were doing was typing letterheads. They weren't producing art with it. But once Photoshop took over post-production and Apple offered BMW style with the best program function, all others lagged behind. You can't even include Sony in this discussion because they were too late in the computer game.

Style alone DOES NOT make someone "more creative." Carrying a MacBookPro may get you a date (if your breath is in check) but it won't make you an artist. Style does make someone "look" more creative. And in an industry where visuals matter...you do the math. For me. this is a no-brainer.
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Johnny V
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« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2007, 01:47:09 PM »
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Even though I'm a long time Mac user, last month I looked into a cheap Dell laptop to use on a jewlery photo shoot (instead of my Mac desktop). By the time I matched feature for feature the $549.00 Dell laptop with a MacBook, the Dell cost about $200.00 more. So you are not saving money by using a Windows computer (well at least a Dell).

Virus wise, my girlfriends office was hit with a windows virus last month and rendered all computers useless and cost them a few thousand dollars to retirve files and fix computers. Mac doen't have that worry.

Color management seems much easier on a Mac.

OS X is pretty much bullet proof...haven't had a crash in years and that's with tons of apps running all day long.
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jjj
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« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2007, 03:54:50 PM »
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OS X is pretty much bullet proof...haven't had a crash in years and that's with tons of apps running all day long.[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=133025\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I use both, more Windows than Mac, but  my experience of Macs is they are as flaky as PCs are claimed to be. I was using a brand new MacBookPro the other day with nothing on it bar Apple software and every time I tried to burn a DVD using iDVD it  failed part way. A couple of other apps froze and had to be restarted. Not that impressive and nothing like what the Apple ads promise.

Several pro photoghraphers I know locally, use Macs and all seem to have had issues and the new desktop/laptop has had to go back to Apple store to be tweaked. Which is populated by people who don't even know how to use OSX properly and wear T-shirts saying 'Genius'. Without irony, sadly.

My next desktop will probably be a MacPro as I need both systems. But Apple rely an awful lot on goodwill and myths of their own making. Apple make hardware and software and should be a lot better than PCs, but in reality, there's nothing in it bar personal preference.
Personally I think Mac ergonomics are awful, mice, keyboards and interface leave a lot to be desired. Too much emphasis on looks above usability to my mind.
And hiding the right click options, to try + pretend they haven't given in on that front is a bit sad. For those who don't know [that's every Mac owner I've met recently], the laptops finally do an alt click, though you have to use two fingers on the trackpad and click. Being different for the sake of it or what. Though it's disabled by default, to pretend they haven't given in and admit they were wrong all these years regarding second mouse buttons.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2007, 03:57:57 PM by jjj » Logged

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