Photo Editing MacPro or iMac?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by PrairieDog, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2012
    I process my photos (large files) using PhotoShop CS6 and Lightroom 4. I have a first generation MacPro and it is time to update. I am wondering about purchasing an new iMac 27" or waiting for the new MacPros coming out next year. I am very interested in color accuracy and use iOne equipment to calibrate my work. Any ideas and thoughts would be much appreciated.
  2. macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2012
    The iMac's display will be wonderfully accurate. Just make sure your calibration hardware is able to calibrate LED backlit displays.

    I'm assuming someone is going to chime in here about NEC and Eizo wide gamut displays being far better than Apple displays, so I'm just going to preemptively jump in and say that a wide gamut display is far more trouble than it's worth unless you're using it exclusively for photography. Games, web, EVERYTHING will be over saturated and completely off unless you're in a color managed program (there aren't many color managed programs out there that have nothing to do with photography) and you'll have to process all your photos in 16bit, which can be a strain on storage in the long-term.

    Basically, if you're planning on using this computer for everyday use along with your photo work, just get the iMac. You'll love it and you'll have it now rather than waiting for MAYBE sometime later in 2013.
  3. macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    I'd wait…

    Not because the "great" iMac display is great but because the MP gives you freedom to choose display's
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 5, 2012
  5. macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    I would say....

    nothing sure about a Mac Pro in 2013, but then.....Pros are workhorses, lets one to choose a multitude of setups. Would be nice if exists some benchmarks related to LR and PS running in the two chips or base configs....Still, albeit outdated, I will lean towards the Pro choice.....

  6. macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2007
    This is why I chose to go with a MacPro as well, for its expandability.

  7. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    I'll just say that even in sRGB displays, both of those brands were better than Apple, and it has nothing to do with image bit depth. Even gamut is overstated. I mean you're looking at things in gamma encoded profiles as it provides a means of displaying an aesthetically pleasing image over a limited dynamic range. I think you already knew 16 bits vs 8 bits had nothing to do with your point:p.

    My opinion would be if the OP is looking at an imac, make sure to use one of the more recent colorimeters, or a spectrophotometer works too if he owns one for print measurements. I'd just avoid the colormunki design spectrophotometer, not to be confused with the colormunki display. If he's using it for still images, test it to see how prints match. I don't do much of this stuff anymore, but I can say the display makes things a lot easier when you're trying to fine tune one color relative to another. It's not like you can measure absolutely everything.
  8. macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2012
    Solid point, but I'm just being preemptively defensive here because it seems like whenever someone brings up photo editing or display quality on this forum somebody starts harping about Apple displays being worthless and NEC's and Eizos being a gift from the color accuracy Gods.

    They are great displays, don't get me wrong. The NEC PA271W-BK will be my next display when I decide I've had enough of my old Apple 30". Its just utterly pointless for a hobbyist to go out and spend that kind of money on a monitor when an Apple or even cheaper display with a Spyder4 pro will be way more than they ever need.
  9. macrumors 603


    Aug 5, 2010
    Agreed. I like Eizo better, but NEC is an amazing value in the US. They're $950 now, and I can't really recommend the thunderbolt display at $1000 over the NEC at that price. Once you add in the software it comes out about the same. Their spectraview package with the oem colorimeter is a bit higher. If someone is considering an imac, I won't actually tell them not to. I'd merely suggest buying through Apple in case they decide it won't work for them. The lenient return policy is there just in case. Really at this point you can get away with anything down to a mini as long as you don't make the mistake of buying a display that uses HDMI rather than displayport. I've tested creative suite CS6 even with graphics acceleration disabled. It works fine. If it lags with the HD4000, you should be able to just disable its use in photoshop. It's not as useful as benchmarks make it look.

    I should add that colorimeter and profiling software updates in the past year or so have made the 27" Apple displays much easier to use for such things. Prior to that it was difficult to find a good solution for LED backlit displays.
  10. carter2, Dec 6, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012

    macrumors member

    Oct 29, 2012
    It comes down to how you plan to use the Mac. My main Mac is a 12-month-old 15-inch MacBook Pro with 8 GB of RAM and a 2.0 GHz Core i7 processor. I use in in a vertically in a cradle beside a 20-inch monitor.
    I have found that in the vertical position I cannot burn a DL DVD successfully, it needs to be in the normal horizontal position.
    Otherwise, it is fine or SL DVD and CD burning while vertical.
    The 15 & 17-inch MacBook Pros are very powerful computers, well able to replace a desktop machine, but there are compromises. For example, the HDs run at 5,400 rpm vs 7,200 for the iMac. The iMac has a bigger screen unless you are going to use a bigger external display.
    Ultimately, though, you need to ask whether your Mac needs to be portable. If not, then an iMac would be better. You need to pay several hundred dollars more for a MacBook Pro of similar capability to an iMac.

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