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Old Jun 9, 2012, 07:13 AM   #1
Jeoff
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Newbie - imac spec questions

Hi, first post so go easy.
I live in the UK and have just moved so am wanting a real nice desk top to mainly play with photographs in a serious sort of enthusiast way. Got a real nice room that I am turning into a study so the imac is the way forward for me for aesthetics and screen quality.

So assuming the new one comes out next week. What kind of spec do I need? What programmes for decent digital photo editing? I like the big screens but need to be on a budget too.

Hi anyway - great site , I have been in the background for a while

Regards

Jeoff
Thorpe Bay, Southend-On-Sea, Essex, England
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 07:36 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jeoff View Post
Hi, first post so go easy.
I live in the UK and have just moved so am wanting a real nice desk top to mainly play with photographs in a serious sort of enthusiast way. Got a real nice room that I am turning into a study so the imac is the way forward for me for aesthetics and screen quality.

So assuming the new one comes out next week. What kind of spec do I need? What programmes for decent digital photo editing? I like the big screens but need to be on a budget too.

Hi anyway - great site , I have been in the background for a while

Regards

Jeoff
Thorpe Bay, Southend-On-Sea, Essex, England
Alright mate, well we don't know exactly what the specs will be of the next gen iMac, but we can speculate. Cannot say I do much photo editing myself but my girlfriend is quite into it. If screen real estate is what you are after, I would recommend the base 27" of the current generation. Program wise, PhotoShop is great from my use of it at work and on my girlfriends macbook pro. Maybe someone else can help you a bit more here. But the iMac is definitely the way to go, not only for practical use but it will look great in your new room. Better than a plastic PC would anyway.
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 07:39 AM   #3
Nandifix
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The base 27 inch will work great with extra screen real estate. The software I would recommend would be photoshop or pixelmator which is a lot cheaper. Anyway we all have to wait until Monday anyway to know for sure.
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 07:44 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Jeoff View Post
Hi, first post so go easy.
I live in the UK and have just moved so am wanting a real nice desk top to mainly play with photographs in a serious sort of enthusiast way. Got a real nice room that I am turning into a study so the imac is the way forward for me for aesthetics and screen quality.

So assuming the new one comes out next week. What kind of spec do I need? What programmes for decent digital photo editing? I like the big screens but need to be on a budget too.

Hi anyway - great site , I have been in the background for a while

Regards

Jeoff
Thorpe Bay, Southend-On-Sea, Essex, England
Hi Jeoff,

The base models will be absolutely fine for this, upgrade to an SSD and 16GB ram afterwards if need be but as far as spec even the base model is grand, the digital photo suite in our university and even the digital darkroom used base 27" but there were base 21.5" in the editing suite so any of the line up will be grand for you, if you find them a bit slow then upgrade the components I mentioned previously.

Also, there is a chap on here who makes custom bezels for the iMac which allow you to remove the glass front and replace it with a bezel over the more Matte looking screen behind the glass front, this could be a benefit for you as the glass can be highly reflective and cause a bit of colour difference when viewing. Most of my photographer friends have chosen the matte display on their macbook pro's as a result of this, I imagine the same to apply to iMacs.

You can find his product at http://www.macframes.com/ and they are only $49

Finally, on to software, it depends on you really, Apple would like you to buy iPhoto if you're dabbling and Aperture if you're more serious, some people use PhotoShop but it's limited for actual RAW image tweaking.

I personally find that Adobe Lightroom is the best bit of software out there as far as actual useability, quick editing and multiple applications of a setting (great for studio shots that share the same lighting environment) and it makes resizing quick too! So for me, I'd definitely say Lightroom but do try a demo of each of them as it really comes down to which you feel most comfortable with and the UI can play a lot in that decision.

One more thing... this little trick is the one thing about Mac OS that really, really kicks ass for photographers especially, if you hold down Ctrl-Alt-Apple and then press 8 it inverts the screen colours which is absolutely brilliant for working in negative mode and checking your image from both pos/neg standpoints!

Hope that helps and good luck with your new toy!
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 07:55 AM   #5
AppleDApp
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Welcome to the forums! From what I gather you don't seem to currently have lots of experience with photo editing. To start of I would suggest using free photo editing software. You can get Picasa or Gimp which are both free, or you can download a trial of most software. Apple doesn't seem to offer trials anymore

As far as using an iMac I would say great choice. you can never have to much real estate. However, I have seen multiple threads in the photography forum that say it is best to get a monitor that properly displays colour. That being said, I have a friend how does some freelance work that uses an iMac and MBP with the Hi-Res antiglare screen while on the go.
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 07:57 AM   #6
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Hi Jeoff
Southend on Sea takes me back. I used to live down the road in Chelmsford. Anyway I'm waiting for the new iMac (hopefully Monday) and I am going 21" with SSD (which hopefully will be standard in the new model). Upgrade the Ram yourself as its easy and cheaper than apple doing it.
I like the idea of the 27" but I'm only going to be sitting arms length away, so I think 27" would be too big.
I'm going to be getting Lightroom as I have a NIK software complete collection plugin for it which a friend gave me. If your budget can manage it go for Photoshop though.
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 08:01 AM   #7
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Hi Jeoff
Southend on Sea takes me back. I used to live down the road in Chelmsford. Anyway I'm waiting for the new iMac (hopefully Monday) and I am going 21" with SSD (which hopefully will be standard in the new model). Upgrade the Ram yourself as its easy and cheaper than apple doing it.
I like the idea of the 27" but I'm only going to be sitting arms length away, so I think 27" would be too big.
I'm going to be getting Lightroom as I have a NIK software complete collection plugin for it which a friend gave me. If your budget can manage it go for Photoshop though.
Do you have experience working with Lightroom? It's far more full featured for photographic work than Photoshop, when you're importing RAW format images into Photoshop you get that modal window to edit them in and it's actually a bit technical and quite limited.

Lightroom is an absolutely brilliant bit of software and very intuitive to use!

We used to get scolded heavily at University if we edited photographic images in Photoshop using the curves/brightness/contrast etc features as you don't actually *learn* anything in doing it, whereas in Lightroom you basically have all the development features you find in analog photography but in digital form!
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 08:02 AM   #8
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Welcome to the forums! From what I gather you don't seem to currently have lots of experience with photo editing. To start of I would suggest using free photo editing software. You can get Picasa or Gimp which are both free, or you can download a trial of most software. Apple doesn't seem to offer trials anymore

As far as using an iMac I would say great choice. you can never have to much real estate. However, I have seen multiple threads in the photography forum that say it is best to get a monitor that properly displays colour. That being said, I have a friend how does some freelance work that uses an iMac and MBP with the Hi-Res antiglare screen while on the go.
four replies already - thank you

Oh it's a hobby I let slip really - started with some really big canvasses and used Nikon raw programme to lighted and darken specific areas. But Pc now defunct and using a few old laptops hence my new purchase

I wanted to take it up a notch, heard people discussing 'aperture' - is that any good? Does imac come with aperture?
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 08:08 AM   #9
Nandifix
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No unfortunately it's a paid app. I think it's about 55.

Last edited by Nandifix; Jun 9, 2012 at 08:10 AM. Reason: Wrong info
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 08:35 AM   #10
Jeoff
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No unfortunately it's a paid app. I think it's about 55.
Well that's inexpensive - any reviews here?
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 08:45 AM   #11
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Photoshop Elements is great...

Gimp is named appropriately, that's all I have to say.
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 08:49 AM   #12
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four replies already - thank you

Oh it's a hobby I let slip really - started with some really big canvasses and used Nikon raw programme to lighted and darken specific areas. But Pc now defunct and using a few old laptops hence my new purchase

I wanted to take it up a notch, heard people discussing 'aperture' - is that any good? Does imac come with aperture?
There are a few discussions on here about Lightroom verses Aperture. At the end of the day see if you can get hold of a trial copy or borrow a friends. Have a play and see what works for you.
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 10:06 AM   #13
AppleDApp
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Check out the photography forum section i linked earlier. I'm sure you'll find plenty of useful info. Theres a sticky of Aperture vs. Lightroom.
Edit: Not that Aperture doesn't have a trial version. You'd be going in blind, or mostly blind. Aperture on the other hand has a trial.
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Last edited by AppleDApp; Jun 9, 2012 at 10:11 AM.
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 10:12 AM   #14
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I noticed you mentioned being on a budget. I think most of the people recommending Photoshop must have missed that bit. There is nothing budget about PS. As a designer who uses Photoshop everyday for my job, there is no substitute but as an ameture photographer, which I am, it is overkill. Aperture or Lightroom will have 99% of the tools you need. If you discover you need that extra 1%, then save up for Photoshop later. Seems like most people on these forums live in a world with an unlimited budget. Good for them but it does make it hard to get legit answers to a budget question. I am surprised no one has suggested you buy a Mac Pro

My suggestion is get almost any spec of the 27" and Lightroom or Aperature and you will love it.
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 10:21 AM   #15
AppleDApp
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To refer to the budget aspect, if you are a student, Adobe offers up to 80% to students. You could also look at Photoshop Elements or adobe's creative cloud options. I read somewhere it's cheaper to use the cloud option of CS6 then buying it and using it until CS7 is released.
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Old Jun 9, 2012, 12:46 PM   #16
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great replies - thanks for making the effort
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 07:37 AM   #17
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great replies - thanks for making the effort
What a terrible wait this is? I am supposed to be enjoying my rekindled hobby and am still without a decent PC. Stupid Apple
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Old Jul 15, 2012, 01:08 PM   #18
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I've been waiting since February so tell me about it. 24th is the next date most people are speculating about. If no new machine then I think we are looking at a fall release which is a killer.
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Old Dec 15, 2012, 04:12 AM   #19
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What a terrible wait this is? I am supposed to be enjoying my rekindled hobby and am still without a decent PC. Stupid Apple
So a year later, I might get my new PC
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Old Dec 15, 2012, 04:21 AM   #20
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So a year later, I might get my new PC
Your new what ???
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Old Dec 15, 2012, 04:27 AM   #21
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So a year later, I might get my new PC
You've been waiting too? It is good they are finally coming out. I waited too. Which I now realise was silly.
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Old Dec 23, 2012, 12:27 PM   #22
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Your new what ???
ooooops sorry lol
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