In need of some serious advice pc to powermac G4

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Photographer, Feb 26, 2003.

  1. Photographer macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2003
    Hi all,

    I have been surfing, calling, viewing, asking all sorts of things today.
    I am a professional photographer who has gone digital, I own a HP 8690 and see more blue screens in a day than im happy with, I have lost some 14,000 images and an 80gb external hard drive as a result, but have been a pc user all my life (42) starting with the sinclairs and commodore 64k lol, omg that old! I visited the Focus on imaging at the nec yesterday and all off the industry seem to be using macs, with adobe photoshop and wacom tablets, its seems the way to go!

    Can any one please help me to decide, im about to buy a Dell high spec machine pc and have just thought should i go Mac? Its an expensive transition but would I gain an advantage? I work with 8mb image files per photo, run several applications at once, how difficult would this change be and what are the benefits of a powermac G4 spec 'd up the cost for the dell is 3000 quid looks like a powermac G4 with a 23" screeen will be closer to 5000 quid.

    Im happy to accept email in response to this and apprecitae all your advise,
    Many thanks

    One frightened pc owner testing the water.......
  2. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    Switching shouldn’t be difficult. Digital images are digital images. Give us your set up now, hardware and software (much more specific information).

    I have a friend who is a professional photographer, previously a starving artist ;). Currently he is working for New Line Cinema, on LOR, doing B to B work and photography. They use Macs. I can’t think of any better example of a high volume and detailed oriented use of Macs for photography.

    Your external HD should be able to be used by a Mac. At worst, you would need a FireWire converter box.
  3. Photographer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2003
    ok im running ms win 98 an AMD K7 processer 384 mb RAM 14gb hard drive with an 80gb and 160gb externals. i run adobe photoshop and nikon capture software, and nikon view, i print onto a HP photosmart p1100 printer and use pro labs for customers. Can the mac dvd rw be read on other pc dvd/cd? are cds cross readable?

  4. iJon macrumors 604


    Feb 7, 2002
    win 98 is the first of your many problems. with mac os x's stability and ram managment i think you can kiss your crashes goodbye. plus i assume you are using adobe products. and adobe and apple are like brother and sister(that get along of course). i cant even imagine you trying to do serious photography work on anything other than a mac. make the switch my friend.

  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    CDs are cross platform readable. The jury is still out on DVD's due to some of the format wars going on. (DVD-R vs. DVD+R)

    I use Photoshop, Nikon View and Nikon Capture on a G4 with no problems. The images I play with are 36 megabyte images.

    I've also made CD's to bring into a photo shop to have prints made with no problem.

    I am printing to an HP2250TN using the print drivers that come with OS X. (10.2 or later) with good results. So try the supplied drivers before adding in the HP driver package.
  6. blackfox macrumors 65816


    Feb 18, 2003

    I will have to admit I am not much of a photo buff, but I do do alot of misc. video editing, and I love to use macs...but both platforms can be o.k. Your situation as I see it has potential ups and downs...
    1)More aesthetically pleasing
    2)Rock-solid, intuitive OS(although takes some getting used to...)
    3)Dual-processor optimised Adobe apps(helps with speed)
    4)Perhaps slower than a Dell system, but you will only be working on what you want, not on trying to get your applications to work correctly...
    5) External HD's should work fine even formatted as pc drives, though at some point you would want to reformat for mac...
    If you wanted to stay with Dell, then pluses:
    1) Cheaper
    2)Faster, in raw terms
    3)Wouldn't need to buy new apps (e.g photoshop...)
    Personally, I would make the switch if you can afford to...I love the mac platform and I believe you would too. If you stay with PC's I would highly recommend getting WIN2000 to work on, or XP(which probably would come with your Dell)-I don't like XP at all, but it is more stable than WIN98...just get alot of RAM, infact whatever you do get as much RAM as you can...I am sure I missed alot of important points, but I hope this helps-Good Luck...
  7. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    Also of note: If you purchase a Dell, you will probably be XP or Win2k. Win2k is poor at detecting FireWire drives, a reboot is usually necessary. (Oddly, Win98 is very good at it. At least at work.) I dislike XP. We have stayed Win2k because XP is such a pain in the arss. You will have to upgrade your software regardless of what new computer you buy. Bite the bullet and get change OS.

    You won’t have to purchase much. You might be able to upgrade your Adobe products. You might like to purchase M$ Office, if you use Word.

    There are a lot of very specific DVD and CD formats. Your future Apple should have no problems decodeing them, and it burns to the most common formats of both. I may get jumped on, but there are some uncommon formats that are very software specific that you might not be able to use. We have used a few at my work (for data archiving) and they are very OS specific. I don’t think the average person will run into such problems. As background, we archive and transport large media files onto type 1 9.4 Gb DVD cartridges. Some of our archiving formats are software specific. This is truly annoying and not very smart, but somebody else wrote our SOPs and we must follow.

    Go with Mac, it will work for you. I have sent my photographer friend an email. Perhaps he will post.

    You’ll have to retrain your self on the new OS. I use both platforms and find switching between them easy. (Though I prefer Apple.)
  8. iShater macrumors 604


    Aug 13, 2002
    Re: In need of some serious advice pc to powermac G4

    The current dual-processor PowerMacs should help you nicely there. Once processor can be rendering/transforming/etc in the background, while you are using another piece of software to do more work in the frontend.

    Also, what kind of monitor are you looking to get withe Dell?
  9. zarathustra macrumors 6502a


    Jul 16, 2002
    Philadelphia, PA
    I would suggest you go for the middle of the line G4 - dual 1.25 GHz. Upgrade your memory (of course as much as you can afford), and forget about the apple LCDs. I say this not because I dislike them, they are gourgeous and an all around winner, but if you are serious about color, a LaCie, Formac, mitsubishi or Sony 20" - 22" CRT will give you a better performance/price ratio. For $800 you can get a 22" monitor (granted, with a smaller viewable area), and you will get colors that are truer, especially if you opt for a callibrating eye. I have just bought a DP 1.25Ghz with a Sony monitor, and while it doesn't look as sleek as an Apple LCD, I saved a grand by going with third party memory and a CRT monitor.

    Granted I am not a pro-photographer, but I use Sony, Minolta and Nikon digital cameras on a regular basis and they work seamlessly. For pro-retouching, you will need Photoshop 7, if you don't have it. It's worth every penny you spend on it.

    You will appreciate after a while the experience - just remember not to overthink things. Most of the time my switcher friends get frustrated because they are trying to solve problems the "windows-way", and not going for the obvious solution.
  10. timbloom macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2002
    Question: what kind of drives do you have?

    If you have USB 2 drives, they will be a little slower on the mac since it only comes with USB 1, but a USB 2 card are dirt cheap these days. If it is FireWire (IEEE 1394, iLink, ... ) you should have no problem connecting them.

    But, eventually, you will want to back them up and reformat the drives to hfs+ to get the advantages of the Mac's native file system.
  11. .a macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2001
    i do visualisations for architecture and design professionally (my daily job) and i have very often to work with photos, too.
    organizing photos in iphoto2 is superbe! photoshop 7 is a must!
    i use an "old" dual 450 with 1gb ram and the only noticable slowdown i got, when i inserted an 500mb picture into illustrator, while having 14 apps open...
    osX is enormeous!
    for best workflow i recommend dual screen and a lot of ram.
    go and enjoy the mac-world!
  12. finleymac macrumors newbie

    Jul 16, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    If you are going to be working with photoshop and images make sure you buy a dual CPU Mac. You'll get your money's worth out of it.
  13. daniel77 macrumors 6502

    Oct 13, 2002
    seattle, wa
    lucky guy, able to afford a 1.42, i cant even buy a bottom of the line crt imac :(
  14. Photographer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2003
    Thank you

    Dear all

    Thank you so much for your input, I have just spoken to a shop and the guy spent ages on the phone to me, i was very impressed with the customer support here, thanks for the advice about the very nice mac cinema monitors which i was looking forward to looking at but as you have said here that their not as good as for which i require, the shop also correctly told me to keep my present monitor hence saving me 1699 quid :), so i can upgrade else where.

    Basically i think ill need as recommended here also Dual 1.42ghzprocessor, 2gb sdram, 120gb drive, DVD-RW ( can anybody tell me how long it takes to burn 4.7 gb onto a dvd?)what about the choice of graphics cards NVIDIA geforce Ti 128mb or the is it radeon pro which should i get?

    Once again guys thanks for all the support so far, im sure if i go this route ill be back askin more dumb questions.....

  15. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Re: Thank you

    For what you're doing it probably doesn't matter much. Although if you think you might go to a dual monitor setup, the 128MB might be nice to have.

    Burning a DVD is 3 stages. Prep, Burn, and Verify.

    Presuming a full DVD, it can be up to an hour to prep. This depends on how you go about it and how spread out what you want to back up is.

    Burn time is about 15 minutes with 4x media in the new SuperDrive. ** Buy a box or two of Apple 4x DVD-R media with the system. This way you don't have to run out and get them when you need them. And at least in the US Apple currently has the best price on 4x media.

    Verify is under 25 minutes. Could be much lower with the new SuperDrive.

    These times are with using the burning utilities that come with Mac OS X. I can usually do the prep work in under 20 minutes. Other utilities will give you different prep times.

    For a digital workflow, I burn images to CD right after I download them to the computer but before I reformat the CompactFlash card. When I have enough images to about fill a DVD, I burn a second backup. Using the DVD for the second backup saves a lot of physical storage space.
  16. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

    Dec 21, 2002
    Yahooville S.C.
    The ati 9700 pro is the best videocard for the mac at this time. get it.
  17. Photographer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2003

    I have been advised both here and from macsolutions my nearest store to keep my LG studioworks 910sc monitor, what will happen if when I turn on the g4 does not recognise the monitor or would it automatically find the correct driver?
  18. MacBandit macrumors 604


    Aug 9, 2002
    Springfield, OR (Home of the Simpsons)
    Re: Monitors

    It is unlikely that it will not recognize your monitor.
  19. SumDumGuy macrumors regular

    Jun 17, 2002
    I would say go with the Nvidia card is there is even the slightest chance of going to two monitors in the future (which I highly recommend). Once you work with two monitors, it's hard to go back to just one.

    As for the computer not recognizing your monitor, I have NEVER EVER had a monitor that I simply couldn't plug into my Mac and it was instantly recognized. That is the best thing about using a Mac, they JUST WORK! No driver problems, no DLLs...just turn it on and get the job done.

    Buy the Mac and enjoy the blissful computing experience that is OS X!
  20. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    Re: Monitors

    Monitors don't have drivers, they have profiles.

    The monitor will work, you will just have to pick out the resolution and other settings for it from the Displays Preferences.
  21. Photographer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2003
    Thanks again

    Well thanks again for the support you are all asionate about your macs, i might well take the plunge after 40 yrs


    Ill let u know what happens!!!!!
  22. dabirdwell macrumors 6502

    Sep 26, 2002
    I'm not a professional photographer, but I do a fair amount of work with a nice Olympus, and the new 20" Display is absolutely *UNBELIEVABLE*. Our photos have never looked so awesome. I wouldn't discount the Apple display so quickly, especially when a Dual 1.25 will do what you need for production. I can't imagine that you would ever regret getting the new Cinema Display, it is bright enough, pixel-dense, and empirically HUGE. Plus badass looking and USB connectable.

    I sometimes find myself pausing during work to just stare at how much stuff I have on the screen, or how brilliant the picture in the background is. I never would have said it before I had owned one, but its value is far greater than the cost assigned to the assembled display. I would have paid even more...
  23. Photographer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 26, 2003
    Processor speed

    Hi all, just another quick thought, i notice the best processor on the G4 is 1.42ghz but pcs are usin 2.4 upto 3.2 etc is the mac that much slower than pc?
  24. teabgs macrumors 68030


    Jan 18, 2002
    behind you
    Re: Processor speed

    no. The Pentium 4 is that fast, but it's not as effiecient. You get more done in one clock cycle with a G4 then with those. AMD processors, which are much better then P4's do not run so fast., They're higher (I believe around 1.8-2.0Ghz someone correct me if I am wrong) but its not a hugh difference, and they also arent on the same "scale"

    I dont do photo, but video and animation. I have a dual 1.25 w/ 2Gigs RAM, Geforce 4Ti and it's awesome! I run maya on it for animation, and it does some functions better w/ that then the Dual 1.2 Athlons we have in our 3D lab. Though some functions are faster there, but I believe it is because they just started porting Maya to OSX.
  25. Stelliform macrumors 68000


    Oct 21, 2002
    I always use this analogy when comparing processor Mhz. Basically you can think of them as car RPMs. A Volkswagon bug driving at 2000 RPM is not as fast as a Ferrarri at 2000 RPM.

    (I know this is hugely simplified, but it helps explain it to alot of my clients.)

    RPM and Mhz are just not good benchmarks for performance.

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