imac 20" for amateur photography-help!!

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Dudlg0, Jan 22, 2009.

  1. Dudlg0 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #1
    Im about to go to the the way of the Mac. However, I have read a few things on line that the imac 20" (with 256mb graphics card) isn't any good for photography.

    Im a amateur photographer and all i want is a display that actively represent the photos that will be printed out.

    1) Should I go with the imac or find a PC???

    2) Does any one have any simple advise on how to get the most out of the display and machine for photography,
     
  2. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #2
    The iMac is fine for photography. I can't see how its particular graphics card would make any difference to photographic work. Graphics cards mostly affect performance in video games and hardware dependant software. Perhaps it's the quality of the screen itself that lets it down. Anyone?
     
  3. nidserz macrumors 6502a

    nidserz

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Dubai x Toronto
    #3
    hey,
    I'm not sure if its good or now but I have the same iMac you are using and I use it for photography.
    I tried two prints so far and they both came out a lot darker than what showed up on the screen so I am not sure if it was because of the iMac or the settings.
    Hopefully someone more knowledgable could help out because I would like to know how to get prints to looks somewhat like what I see on my iMac (colors, etc).
     
  4. CarlsonCustoms macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    #4
    If I remember right the 20" uses a lower quality panel.

    I just got the 24" imac with 8600gs and its fantastic.. If you can save a little longer and get at least the base model 24" i'd do that

    Zack

    EDIT.. Even with 3.06ghz C2D, 4gb Ram, and 8600GS vid card my imac sometimes chugs with lightroom
     
  5. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #5
    That's the holy grail, mate. Camera to computer screen to printer colour matching is difficult to get done to a high level. What you are experiencing is quite normal!

    Calibrating your monitor is where it starts. Then getting colour profiles for your printer.
     
  6. CarlsonCustoms macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2007
    #6
    Have you calibrated your monitor?

    I bought the Spyder 2 Express to do mine but I haven't printed anythign yet. I don't plan to either.. I'm going to use online printers.
     
  7. bking1000 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    #7
    You will love the 20" iMac. Yes, you could get a better monitor in the 24" iMac, a Mac Pro w/ an Apple Display and Dell and others make "better" monitors, but as an amateur who's just looking to have fun, you will not ever notice the difference.
     
  8. nidserz macrumors 6502a

    nidserz

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    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
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    #8
    Agreed. I love my 20" iMac. I am an amateur photographer (as a hobby) and student and it does everything and more than I need it to do. For the regular eye the panel isn't very noticeable unless side by side with the 24" iMac and the same photo open.
     
  9. valdore macrumors 65816

    valdore

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2007
    Location:
    Kansas City, Missouri. USA
    #9
    I have found otherwise. Programs like Aperture and Lightroom will make use of the graphics processor more often than you'd think. I've even found Photoshop CS3 to sputter around at times if I'm dealing with a huge TIFF file messing with it heavily.

    I use a 3.0 Ghz 8-core Mac Pro with eight gigabytes RAM, and the bottleneck I see in thumbnail renderings in Lightroom or whatever is definitely coming from the fact that I witlessly configured this thing with a fairly low rent graphics card because I assumed dealing with still images wouldn't be all that taxing to such an otherwise well-endowed computer.

    However for Dudig0's needs, if he/she uses iPhoto mainly, it will probably all be fine.
     
  10. arogge macrumors 65816

    arogge

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2002
    Location:
    Tatooine
    #10
    Actually, I recommend that you keep the computer off and concentrate on your photography by learning how to use the camera instead of fixing things with photoshopping.

    It amazes me what some people own to do basic photoshopping, and then they may ask me, "How do you do anything?" I can use an old CPU with 512 MB of RAM and a graphics card with 4 MB of memory for image processing. These applications like Aperture and Lightroom are simply resource hogs. I tried Lightroom once and couldn't even get the stupid installer to run because it wanted more than 512 MB of RAM to do anything. Code streamlining seems to have become lost on many companies, and they've also lost my business because I only upgrade hardware to handle data that I produce, not excess CPU cycles and memory leaks that software developers produce.

    The only intractable things that have become more demanding for me are the increasing sizes of the image files and the overall size of each job. Most of that can be handled by simply adding more RAM. A faster CPU and hard disc can also help, but only for lengthy operations involving many processing cycles. For amateur work, I don't bother with the computer much at all. It's easier letting the camera do the processing, and maybe do some batch conversions from RAW files, but nothing extensive for post-processing.

    http://www.bibblelabs.com/products/bibble/speed.html

    I like to push JPEG and RAW files through basic processing adjustments and send the files to a batch queue for output. That's less time wasted sitting in front of the computer screen for me. Bibble handles that automatically.
     
  11. arogge macrumors 65816

    arogge

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    #11
    Monitor calibration should be all that is necessary. I can do work on my PowerBook and it looks like my larger desktop screen. One thing that can cause this brightness problem is if you have the LCD brightness at maximum and you are also looking at it from an angle that makes highlights look brighter.

    What does your histogram indicate about the image exposure? Maybe your printer or printer or printer software profile is bad. I could not stand printing photos myself. It's too expensive and slow, which is why I use a print shop with a large printer and a technician who can make adjustments before printing.
     
  12. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

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    Jan 13, 2005
    #12
    That sounds more like a disk performance bottleneck. CS4 directly accesses 3D hardware, but AFAIK CS3 doesn't. With my high end 640Mb video card, plus RAID0 high speed disk setup, gigs of RAM and a fast CPU, Photoshop still splutters from time to time.
     
  13. Dudlg0 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #13
    next step software advice.....

    thanks everyone for their constructive advice. I agree that it more important to take good pictures in the first instance. However, occasionally photos need a bit of processing etc!

    Consequently, what software would you all recommend for an amateur photographer, I have had a play around with iphoto and it seems to do the basics quite well. Previously in my PC life I used photoshop and photoshop elements, would this be worth getting for the mac or is there anything else better out there just for the mac?

    Also, is it worth getting any calibration software? Once I have these bitsof software do I need anything else?

    So many questions........
     
  14. arogge macrumors 65816

    arogge

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    Feb 15, 2002
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    Tatooine
    #14
    I don't use any calibration software except for what OS X required during installation of the operating system. My images are WYSIWYG, and I'm very satisfied with the output. If you want more than that, maybe because you have your own large printer, buy what you can afford. I couldn't justify the expense for one of those Gretag optimisers.

    I found Adobe Photoshop to be a waste of money unless I was doing complex editing, and then it is still a waste of money because it probably means that something was wrong or otherwise lacking with my in-camera work. A legitimate reason for Photoshop is when the batch processing does something wrong, and I need to make changes to the affected images manually.

    I recommend Bibble Pro.
     
  15. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

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    Jan 13, 2005
    #15
    Most people on MR would recommend Aperture or Lightroom. There's certainly nothing wrong with those apps, but if it's just basic manipulation then you could probably stick with iPhoto. I'm a fan of Photoshop Elements because it does so much and it's inexpensive, although I've recently switched over to Photoshop CS4 (I outgrew Elements).

    The best calibration method is hardware based, but it costs a bit. I'd suggest starting with OS X's built in monitor calibration tool.
     
  16. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #16
    Yes, it will be fine. If you really care that what you see is an accurate representation of your photo, you need to calibrate your screen with something like the Color Spyder. Avoid Hueys, they have a reputation of leaving pink hues. Of course, that also holds if you don't buy an iMac, without hardware calibration, no screen will give you `accurate colors'.
     
  17. wheezy macrumors 65816

    wheezy

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    Apr 7, 2005
    Location:
    Alpine, UT
    #17
    Calibrating Monitors and Printers - Printers being the more expensive part to calibrate. Printers that can be assigned profiles are more expensive, the cheaper ones let you adjust certain parts of it but it's hardly calibration. I've much preferred just printing from Costco or Adorama when I want color accuracy. I've downloaded the Costco Printer Color Profile for my local shop and generally get the colors I want if I want to get cheap prints. For more expensive then I'll use Adorama.

    Until I have my own 8/10/12 color Epson or Canon it's just not worth the hassle to me.
     

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