Photographer/Grad Student Seeking Purchase Advice

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by EricksonPhoto, Aug 5, 2009.

  1. EricksonPhoto macrumors newbie

    Aug 5, 2009
    Howdy All,

    I'm an entering graduate student that is passionate about photography. I shoot photos every day and am working to get noticed so I can earn income as a photographer during my years as a grad student. I need a computer that will allow me to edit photos in Photoshop quickly. Also, it would be nice to have the ability to edit audio and video since this is rapidly integrating with digital photography. Lastly, I will use the machine to design my own website. Having something portable will be important in school and otherwise so I might hold onto my current laptop or sell it and buy another one.

    My current five-year-old computer is a Dell Inspiron 9200 laptop with 17" screen, 1GB of RAM, and a 2GHz single core processor. Needless to say, it nearly dies working with large TIFF files in Photoshop CS2. In fact, multiple things have failed on it in the past couple years, but I fixed everything myself. I have experience working on PCs and am comfortable doing so.

    Here's the deal; I am pretty sick of every Microsoft OS other than DOS. My laptop came with Vista, which was terrible, so I switched back to XP, which stalls/crashes often. My Parents have a new Core2Quad Dell running Vista and even that thing feels dog slow compared to a mid-range Mac running OSX. Perhaps Windows 7 is the fix, but I doubt it considering that every OS since Windows 2000 Professional has gotten slower and more bloated.

    So, I need something powerful, and I need to still have something portable available. Being a student, my budget isn't great, around $2k, if I sell a couple other things. The options I am considering are the MacBook Pro (13" or 15", and selling my current laptop), 24" iMac, building my own PC for a grand, or getting a base model 2009 Mac Pro with an affordable 24" monitor and living like a poet. Will a MacBook Pro with external monitor make the cut? Should I just save hundreds and built an ultra fast PC to run Windows 7? Or, should I drop everything into a quad-core Mac Pro? I was originally going to get a 24" iMac and hang onto my laptop, but I have not been hearing good things about them.

    Here's a sample of my photography:

    Thanks in advance! Man, this is a stressful but exciting process :D I am VERY happy that I will be able to save time during editing.
  2. gatepc macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2008
    Pittsburgh PA
    Honestly though I love my mac, if I was in your situation I would build a computer for $1000 ( you can get some nice builds for this price with some nice quad core cpus ) I would spend the other 1000 on the apple 30" cinema display ( which is amazing for editing video and photo's) keep in mind that the reason the display cost so much is that it is an S-IPS panel which basically means it is photo accurate where as the cheaper screens use S-PVA or even worse TN which are not good for color accuracy. I have tested out windows 7 and have to say that is is something Microsoft has actually done right (surprisingly) If I was you I would put in a Q6600 processor( can be Overclocked to 3.4ghz easy ) and I would put in 8gb's of ram. This can be had for sub $1000 prices.

    you definitely do not want the 13" mbp the screen real estate is not really good for photo/video editing. even the 15" screen is not really that great if I was to get one I would go for the 17" which I consider still very portable ( though you may not, check it out in the store for your own opinion )
  3. eXan macrumors 601


    Jan 10, 2005
    15" MBP or 13" if you can work on 1280x800 screen. Both models have awesome screens and plenty of power for your uses.
  4. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    This is what I'd do. Look for a nice IPS or PVA display and you'd be in good shape.
  5. Mac Forums macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2010
    photographer mac system

    what are suggested best value mac systems today to go along with photoshop hdr, levels, masking type work? ($600-$1000 range) where are best places in a warranty mac system without monitor, as plan on getting ips or equiv. panel to go along with basic mac system.

    certain ebay apple dealers? or other sites?

    or can mac air notebook also be internal upgraded? (graphics, memory, or hd) to take on photoshop work as best as possible?

Share This Page