Photographer Austin Mann Reviews the iMac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, May 8, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Photographer Austin Mann, who is known for the in-depth camera reviews he conducts on each new iPhone iteration, this week shared his thoughts on the iMac Pro after using the machine to edit photos and videos shot with a Hasselblad camera after visiting South America and Antarctica.

    Mann's review focuses heavily on the experience of editing with the iMac Pro rather than on raw speed and performance alone, making it an interesting look at how the iMac Pro performs on a day to day basis in a photography workflow.


    According to Mann, without the power of the iMac Pro, he would not have been able to do certain things, like create the high-resolution multi-image panoramas featured in his review. A panorama composed of 14 images at 100 megapixels each would not even process on the MacBook Pro, he said, while the iMac Pro handled it with no issue.
    For photographers, Mann recommends a 10-core iMac Pro with 128GB of RAM and a 4TB SSD to future proof the machine as it is not user upgradeable for the most part. "My advice when upgrading your machine at any time is to give yourself as much room to grow as possible," he said.

    One of Mann's Antarctica shots, edited with iMac Pro​

    Mann said that his favorite iMac Pro features are reliable support for wireless input devices, which includes the Magic Keyboard and the Magic Mouse 2 (both of these can be charged via Lightning and don't require batteries), a swappable VESA mount for different workflows and conditions, and the FaceTime camera, which was much improved over the camera in his MacBook Pro. He did say, though, that he wished the Magic Mouse 2 was usable while charging and that he'd like to see more software that's optimized to take advantage of the machine.

    Speed, while not the main focus of the review, was an important factor for Mann. The machine, compared to his in-the-field equipment that includes a MacBook Pro, was "insanely fast." Exporting 20 RAW images took 61 seconds, compared to 185 seconds on the MacBook Pro, while assembling an 8-image panorama took 33 seconds on the iMac Pro, compared to 357 seconds on the MacBook Pro. Mann describes how much time can be saved with the iMac Pro:
    Mann also used an older 15-inch MacBook Pro for saving media while in the field, a 10.5-inch iPad Pro for in-field editing with Lightroom, and the iPhone X for quick shots and panoramas not captured with the Hasselblad H6D-100c or the Sony A9 that he also brought along.

    A superpano assembled on the iMac Pro, with 100% crops from the panorama located underneath​

    Mann's full review, which also delves into his personal history with the iMac and traveling with the iMac Pro, will be of interest to photographers, videographers, and other creatives who are considering an iMac Pro desktop machine to bolster their workflows.

    Article Link: Photographer Austin Mann Reviews the iMac Pro
  2. tipoo macrumors 6502

    Jan 5, 2017
    "As a professional photographer, let's conservatively hypothesize you shoot and process 25,000 images a year. Let's say the difference of choosing the faster computer saves you one second per image. That's 25,000 seconds, which is 416 minutes, which is about 7 hours."

    That seems anticlimactically small actually lol
  3. fairuz macrumors 68000


    Aug 27, 2017
    Silicon Valley
    Yeah, really not much. I would think it's more about not having to be frustrated with a slow machine.
  4. centauratlas macrumors 6502a


    Jan 29, 2003
    Of course if it is 5 seconds saved per image, then it is nearly a week.

    And I suspect it would be more than that if you were coming from a 2011 or 2012 machine.
  5. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
    It's just an example. He already showed that the iMac Pro can process things much faster (not just one second faster). Plus, put that in context on how much one can get paid hourly. That hours saved becomes hours of earnings.
    This is why we don't see much complaints on the iMac Pro (especially on its price) from the actual professionals, since it's their productive machine that help them make money.
  6. BlueTide macrumors regular


    Feb 6, 2007
    Plus, small savings are hard to put into other productive uses. If counted together, perhaps, but that's not quite how real life seems to work.
  7. YoitsTmac macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2014
    I'm a photographer. Although I now have a 2015 MBP, I had a 2012 rMBP and processed a 960MP image as well. Although it did take a while (5 minutes?), it did complete it. I'm sure my 2015 would probably do it in 3 and frankly, that is a very special workflow. I've only done it once, but normal photo editing happens totally fine. If I were nitpicking, I'd say graphic performance could be a little snappier with my stander 24MP shots, but it does 95% of edits in under a second. So for those who do large panos for a living, I can see the gains, but for the average photographer this is lackluster.
  8. sblemmy macrumors regular


    Oct 24, 2013
    One of my colleagues and I talk about all the time wasted on non-productive tasks. He likes to reference the story about Steve Jobs arguing that shaving ten seconds off the Mac boot time saves one hundred lifetimes per year.
  9. dan110 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 13, 2013
    Google just announced that they’re making Chrome OS more developer friendly by enabling Linux Apps to run on Chromebooks.

    I expect this to seriously damage Apple’s pro computer line as users move away from both Apple and Microsift development environments.
  10. gugy macrumors 68030


    Jan 31, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    I like the iMac Pro but before jumping in I am waiting to see the upcoming Mac Pro. I rather have that and buy stand alone monitors that I will keep for long time.
  11. jarred125 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 8, 2011
    This article seems like so much fluff. Of course it does things a lot faster, the machine is a lot faster! Why is this somehow groundbreaking?
  12. pika2000 macrumors 601

    Jun 22, 2007
    I don't think Chromebooks and the iMac Pro have the same target market/segment.
    I do agree that Microsoft is terribly afraid of ChromeOS.
  13. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

    Sep 26, 2017
    What does this have to do with this article? I know I’ve been out of the Linux world for a while, but how many good apps are there? I don’t recall many, like even a good photo library app.
  14. ikramerica macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2009
    The example is 2 minutes per day saved assuming all files are processed in that computer. That’s nothing. Now you combine that with saving 2 minutes on X, 10 minutes on Y, etc and you start to see a value.

    But honestly, unless you are having constant waiting and spinning beach balls on your other setup, you won’t notice it in your workflow. You have to get something to drink or use the toilet sometimes, right?

    Now for me, I’m sure the iMac pro would be a huge improvement over my MacBook Pro Core i7. I wait quite often for redraws in Archicad and I’m sure there would be no wait. But I can’t afford and iMac Pro.
  15. macduke macrumors G3


    Jun 27, 2007
    Central U.S.
    I’m a semi-pro photographer (in that I do it for my day job, but it’s about 10% of my job in addition to some side work) and I’d say get 64GB RAM tops and a 1TB SSD. Your images will be on externals anyway. Upgrade Thunderbolt drives over time as they come down in price. This is a desktop, after all. Furthermore, the RAM in the iMac Pro can be upgraded at the Apple Store when you need it. For most photographic tasks, 32GB is plenty.

    Upgrade down the road or if you’re like most pros you’ll upgrade every 4 years anyway. My 2015 MBP I have for work has 16GB of RAM and has no problem processing RAW files from a 42MP a7R III. Over the weekend I dumped a few thousand photos from a wedding shoot, which was my first big test since upgrading my camera, and it was no problem quickly flipping through them to flag and reject (using a Samsung T5 SSD which is slower than the built-in SSD) and make some quick edits to send out for the best ones while I work on the rest this week. Doubt most photogs shoot over 50MP unless they do medium format or these special gigapixel composite shots which are in the minority. And if you’re already into those things then you probably know you need a beefier system.

    Quite frankly, for 95% of photographers, a 5K iMac will work just as well at half the price. If you do video then the time savings will add up more. Photographers don’t need to future proof as much anyway because photo resolution has stagnated. It’s all about dynamic range and sensitivity these days (which is why I went with Sony). Maybe in a few years we’ll see a shift to 16-bit RAW which may necessitate beefier gear but I doubt it will be that bad. Apps keep optimizing things so you’re basically editing a lower res proxy while you work (which is why the iPad Pro seemingly cuts through 42MP like butter) so it’s diminishing returns at this point until you go to export a huge batch to JPG for web/client use. And if you do that go work on something else (cleaning sensors, fixing lighting stands, etc) or even better—take a break for a bit!
  16. Delgibbons macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2016
    128gb 4tb?! Surely in the Apple distortion field that's going to cost the same as a McLaren supercar :p
  17. ThatGuyInLa macrumors 6502


    Oct 26, 2012
    Glendale, Ca.
    What else can you do if you prefer macOS? Apple’s core mentality for all product development.

    Windows users have multiple vendors trying for their business. To get them to buy them over the other. Producing hardware and features to attract.

    Apple users?

    We have one.
  18. Damester macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2005
    Wait a second... he upgraded from a MacBook Pro... an old one at that.

    So his review can’t tell us anything we didn’t already know!

    I don’t get this “pro” who buys a Hasselblad and recommends expensive iMac Pro RAM and CPU upgrades with zero knowledge of the capabilities of the base model (4TB SSD at Apple prices? LOL go to hell)... yet he worked on a laptop before this?

    What has this guy been doing for the past 3 years that he didn’t get a 5k iMac? Hard to take him seriously.

    What I want to know is: what’s the ROI on an iMac Pro vs. an i7 iMac with 32GB of RAM, SSD, or the latest iMac with 64GB. That would be a useful comparison! Should we spend double for the pro, or not? That’s the question.

    No **** it’s faster than a MacBook Pro. So is my 2014 i7 iMac.
  19. Marx55 macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2005
    Apple should release more headless Macs, including low, middle and high products, from Mac mini to Mac Pro, and also a new mini tower. CPU may last seven years (then you cannot install new macOS releases but displays last more than 20 years. Fight programmed obsolescence, protect the environment and fight climate change and global warming.
  20. NightFox macrumors 68020


    May 10, 2005
    Shropshire, UK
    My daughter takes more selfies than that in a year
  21. SnapperUK macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2007
    I am not entirely sure that most pro-photographers would 'process' 25,000 images a year. I have been a working photographer for over 20 years and have never processed that many images. It equates to about 480 images a week, every week for a year.
    While obviously shooting that volume is definitely not an issue, we are talking here about actually processing images.
    Seriously, pro photographers do not (on the whole) shoot 100 keeper images a day.
    I suggest Mr Mann spends more time making selects than less time processing mediocre images.
  22. Spock macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2002
    The iMac Pro was a waste of R&D that Apple could have spent getting a new Mac Pro into production. I can’t imagine many professionals waiting for a new Mac Pro to buy an iMac. iMac Pro is a great computer but the name itself goes against the strategy that Apple used when Steve announced the iMac in the first place.

    iMac consumer desktop
    iBook consumer notebook
    PowerMac pro desktop
    PowerBook pro notebook

    It was simple and elegant.
  23. nt5672 macrumors 68000

    Jun 30, 2007
    Of course it's faster, what do you expect. The question is why would one pay this much for a throw away computer? Most people now have grown up where everything is throwaway, and that is a big waste. Sure when computer technology was doubling in processing power every other year there were a lot of throwaway devices. But now that technology has stabilized, there is no excuse for for this kind of waste, even considering recycling.

    The case of the iMac or MacBooks has not changed significantly in a long time. Why do we keep throwing them away and buying new? Because that is the only option Apple offers, at least until we as users quit accepting Apple's ignoring users desires and the environment.
  24. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    Works out to be around 11k here in the UK, considering the guy shoots with a Hasselblad it's well within his budget!!
  25. Chupa Chupa macrumors G5

    Chupa Chupa

    Jul 16, 2002
    It is small to people that sit around in mom and dad's basement all day. To busy people, we'll take whatever extra hours we can get. As far as professional photography goes, they can get thousands of $ per image depending on what publishing rights are purchased. Even stock photo work is not inexpensive. The extra few thousands invested to be able to crank out another 7 hours of work can easily pay for itself and then some quickly. Again, if you are just playing games on your computer in the basement, yes the iMac Pro is overkill.
    --- Post Merged, May 9, 2018 ---
    Except we don't know how much $ or manpower Apple spend on the iMac Pro. I'm guessing not a whole lot of either. Apple pushed it out as a almost off the shelf "stop gap" solution until a new MP is ready. I agree Apple ignored the pro desktop for way too long, but the iMac Pro is not its answer.

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