Imac Photo/Video Editing

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Fourthjake, Jun 16, 2012.

  1. Fourthjake macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    #1
    Good morning,

    I am a current PC user with the intent on buying an Imac. The primary purpose of buying an Imac will be for "Prosumer" photo and video editing (lightroom or apeture - Camera Nikon D7000), general web browsing, and Itunes.

    Like most of you I was hoping for the Imac refresh at the WWDC before making my purchase. However, with all the question as to when it will be, or won't be refreshed/spec bump, I am trying to decide hether or not it's even worth waiting for with the uses described above. Of course I would rather have the most up to date machine but my PC is so out of date, it's not even worth turning on, and it's more frustrating than anything.

    With that being said; I have been eye balling the 21.5 Imac base model (21.5-inch: 2.5GHz) with the possiblity of purchasing the next one (21.5-inch: 2.7GHz).

    So here's my question: With what I intend on using the machine for, is it "worth" waiting for, or would I see a huge difference in performance if I were to wait it out the refresh/spec bump? IF we should see one this year!?

    I know it's a relatively vague question, however any advice will be appreciated.

    Thank You!
     
  2. nagareru macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    Lima, Peru
    #2
    If the spec bump is what we are guessing ivy nvidia usb3 i only think you will only notice the difference with the usb3 for the rest you will have to be doing some 3d work and compositing and motion graphics work to notice the increased performance of the nvia gpu. The cpu then would help ypu save some render time; seconds or hours depending on the complexity of the project. If the card is kepler then you can also take advantage of the cuda option some professional plugins like sapphire have.

    so as you can see the current imac will be good enough for your purposes, in fact a new pc will outperform that imac for less price.
     
  3. sl1200mk2 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #3
    Fourthjake, I'm more or less in the same boat as you, although my home desktop is probably far, far older than yours (2003 era Pentium 4). I'm to the point where it's painful for pretty much every daily task. I do have a 2008 15" Macbook Pro that I use for my photo editing (Aperture) and SD/DV video editing. While it runs circles around my desktop, it's still far too slow for most tasks with newer photo/video requirements, especially HD and not convenient in my workflow/setup for a daily machine.

    I've been waiting to upgrade for, well, ever, but I'm going to hold out for the next 27" iMac revision. I'm pretty confident they'll be here by end of September or early October and will bring the same upgrades as the new high-end MacBook Pro's (Ivy Bridge CPU, faster SSD, USB 3.0, Nvidia Kepler GPU, etc). I doubt any Retina displays for another year or two, but that's not something to hold me back.

    For purely photo editing related work, the current gen machines would be just fine for you. They have more than enough power. You did also mention video editing. While current gen would be OK, as you're probably aware, especially with recent HD cameras, more CPU/GPU resources are always better. Just in the past month I upgraded to a D7000 and new prosumer HD video camera for an important vacation. That's one of the drivers for me holding out on the next revision -- upgraded GPU to take advantage in Adobe apps and faster conversion/render times from upgraded CPU.

    If you can hold out for just 2-3 more months (again purely my speculation but based on history of releases) I think it'll be worth it.
     
  4. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #4
    What is it with you guys who are running 10 year old computers, outdated, poor, poor performance but obsess on what to purchase today??

    Any iMac, Macbook, MP or whatever is going to provide huge performance gains over your old, outdated junk.
     
  5. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #5
    It's not like everyone is running a 10 year old machine :p. It could just be an older mac pro or something of that sort where the upgrade isn't always an upgrade without a lot of other modifications to the setup for storage connectivity and other things. For the purposes mentioned, updated IO standards are a big deal, especially on something like an imac which obviously lacks a PCI card system. USB3 alone is a big change. If it should be coming within a few weeks, it's worth the wait. If Apple really pushed a 2012 update off the table, that would be pure laziness.
     
  6. boyd1955 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    #6
    Yes ... Well ... Us who CAN'T AFFORD to be upgrading our bloody computers at a drop of a hat are tending to think, as the upgrade is SUPPOSEDLY on the bloody verge, its worth holding out a bit longer for some up to date technology cos we may well have to run this one for 10 years too
    And I actually find your attitude seriously bloody annoying
    Sorry .. Not all of us are spoilt brats who have what they want when they want it ... A computer is a major investment for many of us so don't be so rude
     
  7. Fourthjake thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 16, 2012
    #7
    LOL...Not necessarily obsessing and It's obvious that my PC is absolute JUNK! I just don't want to kick myself, if in fact the refresh comes within a month of a 2011 purchase.
     
  8. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

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    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #8
    Why would you kick yourself - a purchase of any current Mac will be a HUGE improvement for you - get on with it.

    ----------

    Well, with thinking like that you never will have any $$$
     
  9. nagareru macrumors regular

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    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    Lima, Peru
    #9
    I dont know what performace you will really get from the 2012 that the 2011 will not give you. I work at a tv station and i use a 2011 imac for editing true 422 footage. It runs almost exactly the same as our macpros. This is the same for after effects and photoshop. Like i said. Unless you are doing large scale rendering the ivy cpu wont give you any noticeable difference. the nvidia gpu only games 3d software. Really cs6~cs5 whats the difference? Mercury? But if not in a hurry just wait!
     
  10. Matador Red macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2012
    #10
    So he will never have money because he is careful with it!? Right..... Hope you are not a financial advisor.
     
  11. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #11
    I'm not sure he was looking at the top 27". If you're talking about After Effects, there's quite a difference between a 21.5" imac and a mac pro :p. I think usb3 is still a huge win given the lack of suitable IO in the imac. Thunderbolt helps, but usb peripherals remain more common, especially if he's on a budget. I'd say that's a given if he's running such long upgrade cycles and looking at the lower models.
     
  12. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #12
    My investment performance is waaaay beyond what most "financial advisors" have delivered.

    You don"t generate wealth by worrying over how you may have to run a computer for 10 years as postulated by boyd1955. That headset almost assures that he, or you, will not generate wealth.

    Back to the OP's issue - the minor gains of Ivy Bridge over Sandy Bridge are not likely to be noticed compared to the jump in performance in just buying the current computers.
     
  13. alksion macrumors 68000

    alksion

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2010
    Location:
    Los Angeles County
    #13
    As much as I didn't like his or your attitude, I must side with him. Anyone who works a half decent job can afford to upgrade a computer at least every 3-4 years.
     
  14. HurtinMinorKey macrumors 6502

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    Jan 18, 2012
    #14
    Yup!
     
  15. mlblacy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2006
    Location:
    the REAL Jersey Shore
    #15
    wait...

    unless you are crushed with an immediate need, wait.
    Even if the new ones are not that compelling for your needs, the older ones will dip in price a bit. Usually the pricing trend is costs remain somewhat static, while performance goes up. If you tend to hang on to your computer for a longer than average time, buy the most recent version you can at the time, as it will give you a bit more time before it reaches software obsolescence.

    When someone asks me for advice for a mac for imaging, I always say buy the biggest screen you can afford. The 27" offers a huge expanse for imaging, which gets quickly gobbled up by various palettes & windows. When I upgraded from a 24" to the 27" it was a breath of relief, the difference between a 21" and a 27" is huge.
    cheers,
    michael
     
  16. boyd1955 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    #16
    Gord man you are a right prole aren't you ... Keep working for the man ... Your money is going to be worthless before the end of the decade anyway ... Bye Bye Dollar :))
    I'm an old fogey artist ... Not commercial ... But happy ... And no boss to stress me out ... My way of living ... Not interested in yours ... Been there done that
    My machine is slow but has worked fine up until about 8 months ago ... Slow but dependable ... Since then every new software upgrade has made something else go slower ... The machine is fine ... The upgrades are the problem ... Should reinstall and take it back a bit really but decided it was time for a new machine and to wait for the next release as it shouldn't have been far off if it went as it usually did ... Apple have been crap of course and not brought one out yet
    So I need a new 27"mac, but I don't need proles telling me I'm not generating wealth cos quite frankly my idea of wealth is so different to his its impossible to compare
     
  17. Apple Corps macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #17
    Hey Boyd1955 - I don't work for the man - I work for myself. The $$ I've made did not come from Mickey Mousing around trying to breathe life into 10 year old obsolete computers.

    Maybe you calculate wealth in a different currency and get your socks knocked off tinkering - good for you.

    Not good for me - I'll take the cash and smile...
     
  18. MrViking macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2011
    #18
    If u really can't wait, then don't.

    If u can wait a little longer. WAIT!

    Why iMac, why not a mini or a PC? (budget wise better decisions).

    With the iMac you're paying heaps for a screen, which isn't all that good for video/photography...
     
  19. Apple fanboy macrumors Core

    Apple fanboy

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    Feb 21, 2012
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    Behind the Lens, UK
    #19
    I think this is getting off topic. I would wait and get the new or reduced price refurb when the 2012 model is released. If nothing in July, its safe to assume nothing will come out until September. But is another 4 weeks going to make a difference to you. As others have said any Mac will be a big improvement, but if you plan to do a lot of photo editing go for a 27" if the budget will allow. I think it will be a 21" for me as I'm in a small office and I want to spend any extra on apple care as its my first Mac and Airport Extreme. If cash allows I'd also consider an SSD as its not easy to upgrade afterwards.
     
  20. InlawBiker macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #20
    Since you are not concerned with 3d video games the current gen iMac would be great. This latest Intel chip is not a huge improvement over the previous gen. They're in the same ballpark for performance.

    For video and photo editing I would consider the current model basic 27" and max the RAM. Or the 21" if you like but that big screen is pretty nice. The current 2011 iMacs would be great for your purpose. The refurbished ones are a pretty good deal.

    If you're intent on keeping it another 10 years, either the 2011 or 2012 would be almost equally obsolete by then anyway :)

    Nobody knows what the 2012 model will have in store for us in addition to the latest Ivy Bridge processors and video cards. But I know the 2011 model will do the job you want it to.
     
  21. lucasfunkt macrumors 6502

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    Jun 11, 2012
    #21
    I thought that was one of the main reason to have a large, high quality screen, for video/photography?
     
  22. MrViking macrumors member

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    Jul 16, 2011
    #22
    Over-saturated, backlight isn't topnotch (little bits of bleed), colors are off and hard to calibrate.
     
  23. nagareru macrumors regular

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    Jun 11, 2012
    Location:
    Lima, Peru
    #23
    The latest gpu would definitely be beneficial for video editing if you plan to do more than just cutting and sticking stuff together. ie putting some effects transitions cuda? Like i said just for some quite professional stuff and also if you plan to combine some 3d work in the future but you will have to be using the machine to its max to notice any performance improvement

    ----------

    And seriously. Who would buy a computer for video.picture color grading.. You need special hardware for that ie special monitor like a gpm-150 for with need sdi connections
     
  24. Melbourne Park macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    #24
    There are lots of tests on speed. I am in your boat, needing more go for amateur photos and also I want to digitize all my old taped videos.

    For video work, you have to blend the edits, and perhaps, change the output to its final format. That is very tough work for a computer. For instance, to get an HD movie of 3 minutes down to lower resolution for the net or your web page, took around 40 seconds for top i7 Quad last generation motherboards, similar to iMac.

    You will be able to use the 21.5" - just upgrade it to the Quad i7. The i7 will crunch graphics and photos much better.

    Instead of today's iMac 27 - and you'd have to get the i7 version of that - a faster alternative is the Retina 15", with 8GB RAM, and the 256GB SSD. And add a third party monitor onto it. For colour accuracy, you will get it with the 15" Retina, and you can use the monitor for normal work, and video layouts etc. You'll need to buy an adapter for going from the Macbook Pro to the monitor - check on that, because I haven't yet.

    And you'll have to buy a drive or two - USB-3 externals are cheap and pretty quick.

    You'll be able to use the macbook pro's card slot to transfer you photos and videos quickly to the computer.

    You'll run out of HD quickly, but the externals will cover that.

    You can buy a big monitor from Apple too, but they cost $1k. There's a Samsung and a Dell which are Adobe approved and have the same technology as the iMac's 27" display, and they are maybe $600 in price.

    And you'd have to buy a keyboard and pointing device. But you can later sell the powerbook pro, and its portability would be useful probably.

    finally, the base 256GB Retina machine is faster than today's top iMac 27", which could beat quite a few Mac Pros.
     
  25. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #25
    Displays are a tough issue. It matters how critical you are and what settings you are trying to hit. If we're talking about photography, assuming you're looking at a really bright display with a backlight that won't dim very far, things will always seem to print down somewhat relative to what you view on screen. Apple's displays are never optimized for lower brightness levels, so you will have to accept that. Even if you turned it down, it tends to go a bit flat. Now plenty of people deal with this anyway and use them. It just helps to be aware of it. Displays drift too and they need to be profiled or calibrated. There is a difference. One is typically implemented via writing to an LUT to change the output. The other refers to measuring the output and using those output values to rewrite the description of the device as it's presented to the computer. The two are commonly confused on here.

    I'm not always sure what to suggest these days to people. I'll see things that I know could be a better representation, but as long as they know how to get the right end results, that is what counts. I just find it easier to fine tune the look of things when I can view something reasonably close to the capabilities as in brightness, gamut, and contrast range of the final output. It's still not perfect, but if you're someone who makes a lot of very small tweaks to a still image or video, the value of this can become pretty evident.

    There are a lot of things Apple could do to improve their implementations, but I think they're of the opinion that it would have a minor impact on their sales (or it would cost too much if they wanted to maintain consistent margins). Sometimes my posts on this topic take on an extremely annoyed tone when I think about it. I guess the thing to take away is that many people do use Apple displays successfully here, but they have never been my top suggestion if cost isn't a major factor.
     

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