New SLR Photographer in the market for a new Mac

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Mr Ski 73, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. Mr Ski 73 macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2007

    I have recently purchased a Nikon D40x and albeit I am a total novice am looking for a Mac set up which best serves my needs when it comes to viewing and editing with both Aperture and Photoshop. I think I have three options;

    1. By a Mac Pro with 23" ACD. I think this is expensive and OTT for my needs.

    2. Get a 24" imac which is ok, but I question how good the glossy display is.

    3. By a macbook or macbook pro and a 23" ACD.

    Any thoughts welcome

  2. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    The Mac Pro may be a bit over the top but it has a lot of long-term likeability and room to expand. If you can afford to go for it, I think you might find it a worthwhile choice.

    To cut costs why not use a Dell monitor? The ACD's have not been updated in quite some time and IMO are not all that fantastic. You cannot adjust their height, they have one input and cost a fortune.
    Just check out the specs and reviews on the Dell monitors. I just think you could have the best of both worlds going that way.
  3. Zedsdead185 macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2006
    I'm going along a similar route to you, but more down graphic design than photography. Either the iMac or macbook pro sounds like the best options to me. I started With a 20" white intel iMac and found it incredible (it was my first mac) a year later i decided to get a bit more portability due to a lot of travelling. I was originally gonna buy a macbook, but somehow was lucky enuf to be able to buy on of the lower end macbook Pros a few months back now.
    I originally intended to use the imac at home and the MBP on the move, But for some reason ended up using only the macbook pro. Well i've sold the imac now (Not that i wanted to really, its just it was wasted potential sitting in the corner of my room). The point is, don't be afraid of the macbook pro over the imac for power. When using one it really feels more like a desktop (including graphically) than you would imagine.

    get the MBP ;)
  4. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    Scoop up a used C2D 2.33 white 24" iMac on the cheap off eBay. Great machine with plenty of horsepower for your needs and a superb matte display.
  5. Mr Ski 73 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2007
    Hadnt thought about this to be honest and sounds like its a good idea. How does the screen compare to the new imacs?

    Interesting, have to be honest I already have a MBP, but was in the market for a second machine as the Mrs keeps pinching it. What have you paired you MBP with by way of external screen?

    I have read a bit about SIPS panels and there is loads of posts on the differences on the two types of panel on this forum. Would I be correct in saying though that most 23"+ external displays are going to be better for my needs than an iMac?
  6. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    Don't know, always depends on what is most important to you. iMacs are good value for money and take up very little space. But honestly any combo will probably suit you fine but consider what you may lose in performance based on having a compact machine (laptop or iMac) Both are very good, don't get me wrong but when I have a serious task to do I always tend to go for the Mac Pro over our iMacs or laptops. MP's just handle everything so smoothly. For that I happily sacrifice a bit of cool factor by using a dell monitor with it. :p (because ACD is quite overpriced for its specs, IMO)
  7. Mr Ski 73 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2007
    I guess crux of the issue for me is not necessarily what will give the best performance from a Mac perspective rather the display. I would be keen to hear anyone else's view on either the white iMac screen vs the new iMac glossy screens and any other suggested combo
  8. Earendil macrumors 68000


    Oct 27, 2003
    I'm also in the market for a new machine to help my Photography needs. PS and my Canon 20D suck up too much of my poor lil' Powerbook :(

    However, I know exactly what I'm going to get.
    I currently have a Powerbook with a complete monitor/keyboard/external HD/laptop stand at my desk (see sig) and when I first put this together, it was awesome.

    I have full intentions of retiring my Powerbook this summer, and getting a mid-range Macbook Pro. The portability is awesome, and though it's not required, it means I have a computer with me more often than not. When I want to get real exacting work done, or a lot of work, I can set my laptop down at my "work station" plug it all in, pull up a comfy chair, and as far as I'm concerned, I now have a desktop computer... with two screens :)

    I put this system together over 2 years time, so to plop down he money all at once =might be a bit much for you. I can recommend the Dell monitors over the ACD. And this coming from a guy who thinks Dell is the worst computer manufacturer out there today :rolleyes:

    Dunno if this helps. But good luck! :)
  9. Mr Ski 73 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2007

    I agree this is similar to what I have at the moment only I am using an old 17" Sony LCD. My problem is that my wife keeps pinching my MBP, hence I wonder if the solution is that I buy her a MB and then get a new external display to got with my MBP, probably about the same price as a 24" iMac and more portability with a better screen.
  10. PNW macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2007
    I've been wrestling with this decision for a while now, and there really is no perfect option. Here are the conclusions I've come to:

    I can't deal with the glossy screen on the new iMac. Even after convincing myself to bite the bullet and accept an all-in-one, I spent some quality time with a new 24" iMac at the Apple Store, and I just couldn't plunk down the cash. It has its admirers including some who do photo work. So my advise there is to go down to the Apple store and see for yourself.

    In terms of screen and current capabilities the white 24" iMac rocks. Its primary downside for me is that RAM maxes out at ~3 GB whereas the current iMac will take 8 GB as soon as someone makes a 4GB stick. Considering that you'll want 2 if not 4GB now that doesn't leave much room for future releases of more demanding software. And there's not much of a price break on the older models.

    The MP is a sweet machine it's also wicked expensive. If you've got the cash go for it. Personally I'd rather sink the money into a new lens than a server grade machine.

    One option that you didn't mention but might want to consider. Is the mini. It's certain to get updated to x3100 graphics (at the very least) any week now. If you can live without dual monitors, the mini would suit your needs allow you to get a better monitor than the iMac provides for less money.

    I'm still plugging along with my old P4 box, hoping for a mini with a dedicated graphics card that supports dual monitors or a matte option on the new iMac. If I run into a hardware failure before either of those happen I'll either go with an old matte 24" iMAc or a first generation Intel MP. Which ever strikes me as the better deal.

    I'll also chime in and say unless they get updated or a price drop don't waste you money on the current ACD. Both Dell and Samsung make a better monitor for less money than even a refurbed ACD.

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