iMac for photo editing

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Gooberton, Jan 6, 2015.

  1. Gooberton macrumors 65816

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    Jun 20, 2010
    #1
    My wife put me in charge of researching , she wants an iMac for photo editing on lightroom and ps, working for a wedding photographer, she currently uses her bosses pc, but wants a Mac, and she wants the 21 inch I think , what can I get away with
     
  2. fathergll macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 3, 2014
    #2
    The 21" iMac is a terrible value computer. Does she really want a 21" over a 27" iMac for photo editing work?
     
  3. Gooberton thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    I said that,but I think she wants to save the 500 bucks?

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    Does the graphics card and stuff matter will still photo editing?
     
  4. fathergll macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 3, 2014
    #4
    You would probably need to drop about $1,700 for a new half decent model. I wouldn't get anything with less than 16 GB and a fusion drive. That will run you around $1,700 which is a terrible purchase but its your money.

    2.7GHz Quad-core Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
    16GB 1600MHz DDR3 SDRAM - 2X8GB
    1TB Fusion Drive
     
  5. Gooberton thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Ok, assuming the max she wants to spend is 2000 then what would be the best, idk if she does but I told her it may last longer to get the better one..

    What's the benifit of the fusion drive ?

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    And I know 16gb ram goes without saying , I'm worried about the other specs
     
  6. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #6
    I'll skip the topic of specs of the CPU and GPU as well as RAM. What you need to find out is how happy she will be with the quality of the screen and ability to "soft" calibrate (as in create a profile) for proper colour balance. iMacs are not top notch when it comes to their screens though they are nice.

    Typical to pro work is the use of better monitors such as those from NEC and Eizo and then possibly Dell and HP's upper line. I am sure some here will rave about iMac screens but the reality is that while they are good screens, they are not comparable to real art work oriented (graphics and photog) monitors.
     
  7. fathergll macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Depends on your definition of photo editing but I can't imagine someone working for a wedding photographer would need that much horsepower. Currently LR doesn't use GPU but PS does.

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    Fusion drive is much faster. Stores your OS and applications on a SSD. Buying a computer in 2015 without one is stupid especially when spending close to 2 grand.
     
  8. Gooberton thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #8
    She's using a cannon 6D, and may get into more photography , now it's just the wedding stuff

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    Faster in what way, sorry I don't know about this kind of stuff to much
     
  9. fathergll macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gF47o8uEh78
     
  10. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

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    #10
    I spent over 3 grand on a computer without a fusion drive. It works just fine, and I process RAW photos with it. Fusion drives are good and serve a purpose, maybe even the tread starter's purpose. But assuming anyone who doesn't share your needs is stupid reflects badly on you.

    Too bad Apple screwed up the Mac Mini because it seems like a maxed out Mini with a good monitor would fit her needs perfectly.
     
  11. Gooberton thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Why did they screw it up
     
  12. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #12
    I second this.
    The only spec that really makes a difference is the screen and ssd.
    Plenty of people use dualcores and less then 16gb Ram with no problem whatsoever.

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    Sounds like your wife is smarter then you.
    The base 21" is easily powerfull enough to run Lr and Ps for photoediting.
    The only worthy upgrade would be an ssd.
     
  13. Gooberton thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #13
    So your saying def get the fusion drive?
     
  14. fathergll macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    You spent over 3 grand on a computer without a fusion drive or SSD? I'm jealous.
     
  15. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #15
    I am saying listen to your wife!
    A lot of folks on this forum recommend every upgrade available.

    Go to the :apple:store and check out the base 21" for exactly what your wife is doing.
    I'll bet it'll perform great. I personally like the 21" size factor and your wife might, too.
    The only worthy upgrade is an ssd drive, external, internal or fushion.
     
  16. fathergll macrumors 6502a

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    #16


    Being able to use less then 16 GB right now is not the point. You can't upgrade RAM later on. Have fun with 8GB of ram a few years down the road. I can't tell you how many times I've seen people screw up with buying too little ram.
     
  17. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #17
    1. That's speculation about the future. (Aka fortune telling)
    2. For a photo business the specs don't change, because she will be essentially using the same/similar dslr in combination with the same editing software for quite some time.
    3. If in a few years if she is not satisifed anymore, she can sell the iMac and buy a new one. Tech loses value over time quickly and the less you spend on it now, the less you lose over time.

    Btw, if you stick an ssd in it you can use Lr and Ps for photo editing even with 4 gb RAM and no hickups. 8gb is already "future-proofing".
    When starting a business it is better to have money in your pocket now instead of investing in "future proofing" your computer.
     
  18. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #18
    As someone else said, look at a NEC Spectraview or Eizo CG model. Come in 24" or 27". Much better at reproducing accurate colours than Apple Screens. That and a maxed out Mac Mini, or if she wants to offer portability as well a MacBook Pro (although more expensive than the Mac Mini).
     
  19. fathergll macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 3, 2014
    #19


    1. Memory requirements tend to go up over the years do to software updates. Memory is extremely cheap but will cripple your computer if you run out. Is that fortune telling?
    2. You don’t know what software she will be upgrading whether it is PS, LR ….OSX updates….browser updates..etc.
    3. Good luck selling it with 8GB down the road. You will take a hit in reselling it. There is a reason why the 21” iMac 16 GB models fly off the Apple refurb site. But all of this leads back to my original post. 21" iMacs are terrible purchases.

    4 GB? Nice….just make sure you don’t use the internet at the same time.


    I’m down with that. But then the OP shouldn't purchase a $1,500 21” iMac with those specs to begin with? That’s not a cost effective purchase.


    My Mac Mini cost

    2012 Quad i7 Mini $589
    16 GB RAM $130
    250 GB SSD $130
    TOTAL $849

    Spend the rest on a good monitor that you can actually reuse.
     
  20. robgendreau macrumors 68030

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    Jul 13, 2008
    #20
    I suspect that she is not too picky about specs; that color fidelity, speed, etc aren't biggies. Most pro photographers would be a lot pickier. Sounds more like she just needs a general use computer.

    I think you're in the USA (gotta be with "gooberton" right? :) ), so check the refurb store.

    I agree with most that a Fusion (flash storage plus HDD) or all flash is the way to go. Best way to speed up a Mac, reliable, more resell value, and did I say way faster?

    You can get a bigger 27" iMac refurb with Fusion with pretty killer specs for $2k.

    But if I were her I might consider a retina MacBook Pro 15" or even 13". For a few reasons, not the least of which is the excellent retina screen. The 21" iMac shows 1920x1060; the retina 15" 2880x1600. That's a lot of info, and the benefit of retina is that she can edit photos at a smaller "size" on the MBP than on the iMac. So the apparently bigger iMac isn't, in a way. You get the flash storage automatically, and decent graphics and speed. And the Canon does tethering and wifi; this means the MBP is ideal for tethered shooting, which some use at weddings at times. And it's nice to have the laptop available to show photos, store them, get shots from others, and take home to work on.

    If she's already considered that, fine. But spec-wise, even aside from portability, the retina MBPs can be a worth a look.
     
  21. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #21
    What hogwash. I have two 4gb machines here and they run multitasking Lr, Ps and Safari just fine.
    Your statement is not based on reality.

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    The mini is a good idea, but the OP has no use for a quadcore.
    But he could get a dualcore, stick an ssd in and upgrade RAM as needed.
     
  22. Gooberton thread starter macrumors 65816

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  23. Chuck Rodent macrumors member

    Chuck Rodent

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    Jan 9, 2014
    #23
    If color accuracy for printing is critical, then the iMac screen is not up to the quality that you will get with a better monitor. Think portrait skin tones. Then it would be better to go with a Mac Mini and a separate high quality monitor, with a color calibrator which could easily be done at 27" for under $2000. If you wish the simpler configuration of the all in one, and are not concerned about screen size or color accuracy, then the iMac will be fine. I would go with the Mini.

    I have a Macbook Pro Retina and its color cast makes it unusable for photo editing colors, there is an entire thread about the yellow and pink color cast on these screens.
     
  24. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #24
    Argh - I really didn't want to get into the specs facet but because there is some confusion here with dual vs quad and amount of RAM here goes -

    Photoshop - yes, it does take advantage of multi-core and as such, depending on the size of files and the amount of editing, the quad core IS a better choice.
    As well, this application LOVES RAM. The more the better and from my own experience, I wouldn't go below 16 gigs if one is serious about using Photoshop, potential plugins etc. It does make a difference. The nice part about SSD is that it can partially compensate for less RAM because it too is fast when used for scratch space. The combination of quad, 16+ gigs of RAM and SSD is a winner. As for video, the latest CC version of Photoshop supposedly exploits certain video chipsets but in general, the value is low so concentrating more on the former items is more meaningful.

    As for Lightroom, much the same but there are plenty of threads found elsewhere on best "minimum" for pro work.

    Given a choice, I would rather have a quad Mini with SSD and 16 gigs RAM than a newer 2014 Mini or a 21 iMac with only 8 gigs of soldered RAM and a Fusion drive (for comparison purposes only on hardware other than monitor).

    Go to any photoshop oriented site or Digilloyd and get the skinny on setting up for Photoshop with respect to hardware and Photoshop settings.

    If I have offended anyone here, I apologize in advance but can only speak from experience as well as doing my homework/research on the topic at hand.

    Last - yes it is possible to take a 2014 Mini with max RAM and SSD and get reasonable results (though dual core) but again, file size and complexity of layers will quickly show the dual core to be a bit of a dog.
     
  25. Meister Suspended

    Meister

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    Oct 10, 2013
    #25
    For Ps:
    you are correct that it utilizes quadcores and of course RAM.
    For graphic design this might make a difference, but for editing photos (like a photostudio does) the difference is marginal from my experience.

    For Lr:
    I use Lr a lot with RAW files and I always monitor my system pressures with iStat and activity monitor.
    RAM use is minimal (even with 4gb) and the (dual core) cpu usage hovers between 5 - 15% and peaks to 85% when importing and exporting.

    I can say with certainty that at least Lr is definitely not a program that requires high system configurations.

    The OP did not mention video and that is a whole different story altogether.
     

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