Computer Setup for Photography.

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dark, Oct 18, 2006.

  1. Dark macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #1
    So heres the deal, right now I have a G5 iMac with 1.5 gigs of ram. It a great computer don't get me wrong but when it comes to demanding applications its heavily lacking in performance. My interest and skill in photography grows daily and its something that I would like to do professionally. I use Aperture and most of the Adobe Creative Suite and my iMac struggles greatly to perform tasks and is impossible to work with when multiple applications like that are open. I shoot primarily in RAW so I'm really looking for more internal hard-drive space as well. I know that a Mac-Pro would be right up my alley, but financially its a burden. I was just wondering what serious hobbyist's and professionals setups were like here on macrumors.
     
  2. peas macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    #2
    dont stress it.
    my mp is a freakin wimp.
    5 gigs. xt1900. 2 x 250gig OS drives 2 x 500 swap drives
    im not impressed at all. hell the damn thing lags when it shows the widgets.
    and i havent added a single one to the already useless ones it came with.
    and i dont even want to start on how ****** the 30acd is.
    this thing can not be calibrated to save it's life.

    overall i wish i just bought an eizo s2410w display to begin with and built a custom pc.

    i know that isnt what you want to hear, but i work in the field and being a first time mac owner, im really disheartened by the switch after reading rave review after rave review. right now i believe those reviews were written by fanboys or those that take pictures at family reunions and consider themselves very well versed because they can get rid of red eye.

    so, grunt it out with the imac, invest in more hdd, and buy a monitor worhty of your images.
     
  3. Dark thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #3
    Yeah ive been hearing those kind of issues. It sucks to hear that. I switched over to Mac about a year and a half ago and i have loved it so far. However I was reading an article in a photography mag called "Ultimate Systems". In the article they showed the Mac Pro and the Dell XPS 700. You can get that Dell with a 3gig Pentium dual core, 2 gigs of ram, the Nvidia GeForce 7900 GS 256 mb video card, 250gig HD, and the Dell 20inch widescreen lcd all for $2,100. The comparable MacPro was horribly equiped and came with no screen for the same price. Its tempting but I hate XP too much. However Im testing out Vista on an old PC and its a good OS and will be something to look into once its released. I dont know, The Mac Pro would be nice though. How about I take that wimp off your hands:D
     
  4. atari1356 macrumors 68000

    atari1356

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2004
    #4
    I'm in a similar situation... serious hobbyist with dreams of someday turning pro. I'm currently using a PowerBook 1.5GHz G4 with 1Gig of RAM at home for photo editing...

    I use a Mac Pro where I work, and even though it only has 1 Gig of RAM, there's a definite speed improvement. Exporting video clips is over four times faster - thanks to Final Cut Express using all four processors.... but Photoshop seems about the same as on the PowerBook since it's running under emulation.

    I've tried Aperture on the Mac Pro's at the Apple store and the speed is acceptable, but there were slight delays when doing certain things (example: move a slider, and it takes a couple seconds to actually start moving and following your mouse movements)... Aperture is a very processor hungry program and is still a bit slow on any machine (just my opinion based on very limited experience).

    I've also tried Adobe Lightroom, but I didn't really like the interface and it seems to take forever importing images.

    For now I'll stick with my PowerBook and a combination of iPhoto and Photoshop CS2 - but I'm shopping for a large external monitor to go with it. (will probably just go with the Dell 24" since it seems to be good enough for my amatuer needs)
     
  5. Dark thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #5
    Yeah see the problem is I cant run an external with my iMac which sucks but whatever. I was originally going to ask for a MacBook for christmas, because I always go on photoshoots and stuff with friends and it would be nice to upload the photos onto the laptop for space and for corrections or re-shoots while im out. However, I'm unsure now on what to do.
     
  6. pdxflint macrumors 68020

    pdxflint

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2006
    Location:
    Oregon coast
    #6
    It really amazes me how many people seem to be unable to do their photography post-processing on a late generation Mac. I can tell you that shooting 35mm film and using a Nikon film scanner, a Powermac 8500 with 256 megs Ram, and later a B/W G3 300mhz with 256 mg RAM and a 6 gig HD with a CD burner, Photoshop 4, then 5.0, I was able to get my job done as a newspaper photographer and editor. I also did freelance work scanning art negatives for websites, magazine shoots, event photography, and my own personal photography, including B/W, where I made often made work prints to scan via flatbed, because I got better tonal results in B/W that way compared to scanning the negs. Sure, it wasn't rocket fast, but then again I set up my workflows so I didn't have to sit there waiting for something to happen. All this using Mac System 7.5, then 8.5. I felt like technology was just incredible to allow me to do all that, and today anybody can just buy far more capability and speed for next to nothing, compared to 8-9 years ago.

    Sure, it would seem a bit tedious today, but the facts are... it worked, and acceptably. I was spinning, rotating, applying filters, etc... to 24MB files in Photoshop (had set up a decent scratch disk, of course.)

    I have to wonder how many amateur photogs need as much speed or power as they think they do. How many work-related large file photographs do you have to process on a daily basis? I shot a lot of frames as a pro, way more than I really needed, but I knew I had to get at least a required number of usable images. My camera was going through roll after roll of film every week, virtually non-stop. I know with digital it's really easy just to shoot the heck out of everything you see, but do you really need to do heavy-duty processing of all those images? Or perhaps spend more time editing and truly spending the time on the images that count?

    Anyway, to the guy who hates his new MacPro, just let me know how much you want for it, I might just have to take it off your hands.
     
  7. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #7
    I think the problem lies in the software overhead, I think all these people are happy with their machines but the software to do all this is becoming increasing more and more complex.
     
  8. Cooknn macrumors 68020

    Cooknn

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2003
    Location:
    Fort Myers, FL
    #8
    Dude, you have a killer setup. I can't believe you're so upset with it. f$%k the widgets. Who really cares anyways? The problem you're dealing with is Rosetta. You should have bought a Power Mac G5 if you wanted speed now. Or else, be patient. When Adobe finally releases a UB for Photoshop you should be in heaven. Regarding your ACD, I don't know what to say. I love my 23-inch but I'm not a stickler for color perfection.
     
  9. Dark thread starter macrumors regular

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    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #9

    Yeah I understand what your saying but that comparison isn't really valid now-a-days. Thats old technology vs. new technology. Like Cracked Butter said, the applications now are so demanding of fast processors and insane amounts of ram. Waiting for previews to load in Aperture is crazy on my machine. Trying to process a few hundred RAW's is extremely time consuming and waiting for Aperture to load something up is a pain.
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #10
    ^^Even Aperture 1.5? I tried Aperture 1.2 and it was slow as a dog. I use Lightroom now and it's much much faster on my MacBook with 1.5 GB of RAM. I need to get it to 2 GB, though, if I want to multitask. :eek:

    You're running an Adobe Suite that's still running under emulation, and you're also complaining that these apps run slowly when running them and Aperture at the same time when you only have 1.5 GB of RAM. :confused:

    Get more RAM. Get another 1 or 2 GB if you can.
     
  11. Dark thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #11
    I have a G5 iMac, I'm not running under emulation. Yeah, obviously it runs slow because I don't have a lot of ram. Hence why I stated the need for a more powerful setup and asked what everyone else was using.
     
  12. Rickay726 macrumors 6502

    Rickay726

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #12

    its a shame imac g5's only hold 2.5 gb ram.

    as for the kid with the amazing macpro setup, i cant bring my self to figure out how you dont like it? i would die for a computer like that.

    as for my iMac i only have 512 ram and run lightroom and CS2 on it sure it lags, buy my 2gb ram is on the way ;)
     
  13. Silentwave macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Gainesville, FL
    #13
    Aperture is a resource hog to be sure, but it does a pretty good job. I have tried it on lots of machines over the past few months, and I have *never* seen it run as well as it did on the 4x3GHz Mac Pro/2GB RAM/X1900XT I used at the West Palm Beach Apple Store. It had no problem with raw files of all sizes, including a few EOS-1Ds MK II .cr2 files in the sample images. Using the loupe to look at chromatic aberration in the wide angle shots was fun and smooth. Way better than the G5 Quad I tried it on previously :)
     
  14. SpankyPenzaanz macrumors 6502a

    SpankyPenzaanz

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #14
    I used a powerbook g4 800 w 1gb ram for 4 years using photoshop then moving to cs1 and then to cs 2 all the while taking raws with my canon 10d to process into 150mb tiffs. it was getting really slow toward the end and i finally upgraded to a 2footimac and everythign has been great so far. one thing i did note was that i started getting massive slowdowns with tiger, my days with ppanther and jaguar it was nice and fast
     
  15. tonyeck macrumors 6502

    tonyeck

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2004
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #15
    Maybe look into buying a dual core G5 second hand? It will fly with Aperture if you have the right gfx card and enough ram...

    While it might not be a Mac Pro, it will be cheaper, upgradable, and will still run CS2 faster.

    Just a thought?
     
  16. Dark thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #16
    Yeah, I'm really looking into the stock configuration Mac Pro + Bluetooth right now. I think that would be my best bet. Then, I could just hook it up to my 26in. Panasonic HDTV and I would be set.
     
  17. clintob macrumors 6502

    clintob

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #17
    This thread is really upsetting because a lot of people are apparently very misguided. Hopefully I can stop the bleeding a little here. All the MacPro/Powermac/iMac bashing on here is complete hogwash. Please listen, because this is actually accurate information:

    1) The iMac is not a pro machine, it's a consumer machine. It's capable of handling a lot of stuff that other consumer machines can't, but in the end it's not built to handle running a lot of pro apps at once. If you need to do that, get a pro machine. There's a reason the iMac is over $1000 cheaper than the MacPro.

    2) I have used both Mac and PC, in a professional setting, for over 9 years. I have used numerous models, and numerous versions of many different pro apps (Adobe, Macromedia, Apple, etc) for high level photo editing, layout and design work, web development, etc.

    There is absolutely no doubt whatsoever that the Macs outperform the PCs by a WIDE margin in virtually all tests, all day-to-day operations, and all benchmarks. It's indisputable, there are numbers to back it up. My Dual 2.5 G5 absolutely wipes the floor with a brand new Dell XPS 700 (like the one that was described here as cheaper than the new MacPro). The new Dell was brought into my office, and my Dual 2.5 G5 (which is a year old!) ran a CS2 speed test in just over 1 minute... the Dell took nearly 2! And there's plenty more where that came from.

    3) Photoshop, as has been pointed out here, is not yet a Universal Binary application, so it's going to run slowly and eat up a LOT of RAM in the process because it's being translated the whole time it's running. This will also slow down your other apps. This will be a non-issue in the Spring when CS3 is released, but in the meantime it still runs effectively enough to work on. If your computer lags to the point of aggravation, or causes you to stop working elsewhere, it's something wrong with your particular unit (or your setup) and not the PM in general.

    4) As for the pricing issue, there is no Dell system you can build that has comparable parts to the Mac Pro for the same or better price. It doesn't exist. On the surface you might find one that appears that way, but look at the tech specs and try it out in real world situations. The Dell systems you can build online appear cheaper, but there are a LOT of corners cut and a lot of pieces to the puzzle you don't see. First off, the 2.66GHz Xeon in the MP runs a lot faster than even the 3GHz C2D. It's been tested. Second, the MP has a faster bus than the Dell and the RAM is fully-buffered across the board so it's used much more efficiently.

    Yes, the Dell displays are cheaper, but this has been discussed ad nauseum on these forums so I'll suffice it to say that there's room for debate but you wont find more than a handful of people to disagree that Eizo and Apple are in a dogfight for the "best display you can buy" category, and Dell isn't even in the same league except at price point.

    Buy a Mac, give it enough RAM to do the jobs you want it to do, and don't for a second think you can find a PC running XP that will do the same job at the same speed. It doesn't exist.
     
  18. untitled... macrumors member

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    Sep 14, 2006
    #18

    well put!!!:)
     
  19. CrackedButter macrumors 68040

    CrackedButter

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    Jan 15, 2003
    Location:
    51st State of America
    #19
    I find it amusing and puzzling when people type my name with a space in the middle, a lot of people always split it into two separate words, I've always wondered why, because I never do. In the real world I'm very particular about my real name as well.
     
  20. billtanderson macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2004
    Location:
    Croydon, UK
    #20
    G5s and Aperture

    I have a 3 year old dual 2GHz with 2Gb RAM. It runs Aperture OK for my non-pro uses.

    Straighten and spot and patch are not good to use but work.

    I also have a MAcBook 2Ghz with 2Gb RAM, which so far since the 1.5 upgrade seems to run Aperture better.

    From reading around it seems like the graphics cards in the G5 machines don't do too well with Aperture.

    If you want performance it looks like you need a MacPro with a non 7300 (think thats the number) graphics card, and at least 2Gb memory.

    It does sound like adobes Lightroom (hope that's the right name), which I have not tried does do some things much more smoothly than aperture, but for what I want aperture has a much better feature set.
     
  21. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2005
    Location:
    8 miles from the Apple Store at Tysons (VA)
    #21
    Aperture works just great on my 3.0 GHz Mac Pro with ATI 1900 XT and 8 GB RAM....
     
  22. SpankyPenzaanz macrumors 6502a

    SpankyPenzaanz

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    #22
    I am wondering if some people are just having user-headspace errors
     
  23. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #23
    Wait.

    If you send a lot of time using Adobe products I would NOT switch over to an Intel Mac until after Adobe releases the UB version of CS3. When Adobe does release CS3 the Mac Pro will have been updated and may have 8 cores. Or possably there will be a mid-sized tower with reduced price. The MacPro is just not that much of an upgrade for heavy PS users. Steve Jobs himself said that Photoshop performance under Rosetta is only good enough for casual use, not for a full time PS user. Can you find a more autorative source than SJ? I doubt it. Again in his recent quartly earning report SJ says he things profesional users are waiting for CS3. He is in fact admitting that it is reasonable for them to be waiting. Beleave what he says.

    In spring 07 there will be a UB version of CS3 and a better faster Mac Pro.

    That said do you really use PS? What functions in PS do you use and how many hours per day? Possably you are more of a casual user. Have you thought of downgrading to Adobe PS "Elements 3.0? Seriously. Do you use functions in CS2 that are not present in Elements 3? Must photographers don't. CS2 extra functions over Elements mostly addresses people working in print pre-pres and grapic design. Photographers use a small sub-set of CS2. With Elements lighter footprint you will get much improved performance

    You best upgrade would be to max out the RAM and buy a Firewire RAID system to hold your data. You will need the RAID box even adfter the upgrade in spring 07 to the MacPro. The RAID system will make a good backup devive for your internal disks. (Time machine in leopard will be able to use the RAID for backups)
     
  24. Dark thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #24
    I am more of a casual Photoshop User so thats not my main issue. However I do use Aperture just about every day. I do realize that the new chips are coming out soon(Woodcrest?)so that may hold me back.
     
  25. Pistol Pete macrumors 6502a

    Pistol Pete

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    Location:
    So Cal
    #25
    back on topic...

    I use an iMac G5 with 1.25gb of ram...

    i run aperture and rarely photoshop...
     

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