Photographer Imac. Few Questions.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by cambi, Jan 9, 2012.

  1. cambi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    #1
    I am a photographer making the switch to mac. I went in to the apple store and saw the imac and fell in love. However, when I came home to research the computer more it says here on this site don't buy as it is due for replacement. It does feel better to make a purchase on something that is the latest and greatest but I don't know how long I want to wait around. My current pc laptop is just not cutting it. What are the rumors as to what the upgrades will be? I have seen a variety of ideas as to when this will be just wondering if it is valuable enough to wait.

    Also, keeping budget at no more than $2500 what items (if needed) would I upgrade first on the 27" imac after the memory to atleast 8 over the base 4. I run lightroom and photoshop constantly and illustrator at times too. I also want to get into video as part of my services.

    Thanks so much
    Melissa
     
  2. Sandman1969 macrumors 6502a

    Sandman1969

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2007
    #2
    We just got two of the 27" iMacs for Christmas knowing that a refresh is likely sometime later in 2012. I don't like to play the what is coming next. If I want something, I am not patient to wait.

    I don't think it will be a huge upgrade to what is in there now.

    Personally, I always say, If you want it, get it.

    I would definitely upgrade the memory and would go with 16GB. Especially, for what you are doing.

    macsales.com is where I always buy my memory. I got 4 4GB chips (around $90) for mine, and put my 2 2GB in the wife's so she has a total of 8GB.
     
  3. lexvo macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2009
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #3
    As for when a new iMac will come out and what new features will be, nobody knows.

    I do photo editing on my iMac (not professional though). My 2009 quad core i5 is more than enough for editing 21megapixel files from the Canon 5DmarkII.

    Your idea of getting 4Gb extra RAM is a good one: when I look at my memory usage, it goes just over 4Gb most of the time (I have 8Gb total).
     
  4. SkippyScud macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 10, 2011
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    In tech you can spend a long time if you always want the latest and greatest :)

    It all comes down to how you want to use your machine. Figure out your needs and wants.

    The current generation is plenty powerful enough based on what you've mentioned you'll be doing. I would get which ever processor you want (i5 or i7, more i7 if you do more video) and the base amount of RAM. Buying 3rd party ram kit to max out around 16GB would be more than you would probably need, but cost you the same as having Apple upgrade you to 8GB. And it is easy as can be to do yourself.

    Upgrade rumors may become clearer in coming months, (retina displays? More ports?) but if you need a solution now, I don't see it offering any real benefit overs what you can get out of today's system.
     
  5. cambi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    #5
    thanks for the feedback! Where do you get the memory to do it yourself? A little nervous to open a machine myself but sounds like people have had good luck on here.

    I should also say I am planning to get the nikon d800 which will have huge files with 36 mp and huge tif files. Just want to make sure this machine can handle that kind of load.

    I am plunking a lot of money down this year on equipment and I need it to have some legs so I am not needing an upgade sooner than I would like.
     
  6. product26, Jan 9, 2012
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012

    product26 macrumors 6502a

    product26

    Joined:
    May 30, 2005
    #6
    I ususally get my memory here


    Installation is EASY Check It out here
     
  7. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #7
    Two more options for you to consider....

    Buy the iMac from an Authorized Apple Reseller. The price of the iMac will be the same as from Apple, however they can add the RAM for you using cheaper 3rd party RAM. If you are spending enough $$ with them, they should do the installation for free. May not be the cheapest RAM, but it will be cheaper than Apple's and if there is a problem it's their problem, not yours.

    However, you may also want to consider buying a refurbished Mac from the Apple online store (Left side column, way down at the bottom.) These systems are usually about 12% to 20% cheaper. Apple sells these units "as good as new" complete with the 1 year warranty, upgradeable to the 3 year AppleCare warranty. One caveat.... if you are not familiar with Macs, get someone who is to help you choose since Apple mixes in both older and current generations together. In your case, pick the iMac that suits your needs and has a Thunderbolt connection. I believe that the TB connection will be important in a year or so, though it isn't much used now - imho. The downside is that then you will need to buy your extra RAM and install it yourself (but think about how much more RAM you can buy with your savings!)

    Get AppleCare. You have up to a year to buy it, but I recommend it.

    Get as much RAM as you can. The machine is plenty fast enough for Photoshop/Lightroom. What will bog it down is too little RAM.

    Luck.
     
  8. cambi thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 9, 2012
    #8
    One last question

    Thank you all. You have been very helpful. The other thing maybe worth waiting for would be a matte display. Are any of you photogs that are ok with current display. While at the store looking at my pictures they looked so much better that I worried the accuracy. I wondered if I would assume they are better than they will be in print during editing.
     
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #9
    I think your best bet is to find someone using a glossy screen in a production setting, and compare your own image file with print. I've read lots of conflicting opinions on this topic. The production setting is important because stores have really crappy lighting typically.

    I use a matte screen (hooked up to a Mac Pro) and a friend loves his glossy iMac screen. He is a professional shooter, and a good one. Other photographers hate the glossy screens.... so you need to check it yourself, I think. What is not in dispute is that your workspace needs to take into account the glossy screen, if your want to do serious editing. Matte screens are more tolerant of less than ideal workspace lighting.

    Cheers
     
  10. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

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    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago-area
    #10
    I love the current display and would not switch to a matte if it were offered. However, I think that after a lot of trial and error my SOHO office is lit perfectly, a nice balance of natural and artificial light. I have Photoshop, Dreamweaver & Aperture open as I type. I started out at 8 GB RAM but upgraded to 16 GB pretty quickly. I think that you will appreciate as much RAM as possible when you start working on photos, etc. FWIW - I am just starting to explore video.
     
  11. Santabean2000 macrumors 68000

    Santabean2000

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
    #11
    DOn't wait. Waiting is a fool's game, unless a new model is eminently expected, (i.e. beyond just normal rumor and speculation).
     
  12. cambi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    #12
    Thanks again. I am going to do it tomorrow with upgrading the memory myself. I am assuming with my Adobe creative suite they will give me the mac version for download.

    Not looking forward to relearn all the commands, but ready to make the jump!
     
  13. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago-area
    #13
    Now THAT is an interesting question/assumption, one that I do not know the answer to. If your move to Mac is dependent on that, I would ask Adobe prior to making the move.
     
  14. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    Oct 22, 2007
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    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #14
    Check with Adobe.... but, the worst case scenario (from what I've heard) is that there is a nominal cross-license fee. Make sure you mention that term, otherwise they may assume you want an upgrade license. I've also heard that your license key is good for one Mac installation and one PC installation, and I've heard that your license key is good for installation, and that if you use the Adobe installer to un-install your PC version it then frees up an installation you can use for your Mac.

    Luck.
     
  15. mac mac mac macrumors regular

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    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    #15
    I just got my 27" iMac around Christmas, and it's an amazing machine. Prior to the upgrade, I was using the early 2008 MacBook Pro, which has a 2.4Ghz C2D processor and 6GB of Ram. The computer still runs fast, but when it comes to Aperture and Photoshop CS5, it runs really slow. And I often have to close one of the programs to keep the computer running somewhat more smoothly.

    But after the iMac upgrade, I no longer need to close other programs. I can have Safari, iTunes, CS5, Aperture, and Mail all running at the same time without any lag. Since you've a budget of $2,500, that can get you a very nice iMac. I bought mine from B&H for $2,249 (see the specs in my signature), and picked up the ram from Newegg. I got two of the 8GB kit for $35, or I now have 16GB of ram, and it was only $70. You may be able to get it for around $60.

    If you use Photoshop, I'd put in as much ram as you can afford. Don't forget to buy AppleCare as well. B&H sells it for $61 when you purchase it with the iMac. It's worth the investment.

    Don't wait for the next upgrade, especially if your PC is dying. I don't think you'll see much of an improvement if you mainly use it for photo editing. I think Ivy Bridge is more tailored toward mobile so the MacBook Pros and Airs will benefit more from that. And I don't have a problem with the glossy screen, and 27" really isn't big at more even though it looks huge at the Apple store. Good luck. I'm sure you'll love it :D
     
  16. jackoatmon macrumors 6502a

    jackoatmon

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    #16
    There's nothing in that description that says "wait".

    The current gen iMac 27" with the 6970m in them are fabulous for photo and video. You literally will never wait a second for rendering.

    Get RAM 3rd party and install yourself. 7 minutes saves $250

    The people who are waiting are just into having the latest thing. The only possible teeny-tiny difference is if the next gen comes with an OS SSD standard. But that's an outside chance and a very marginal gain in terms of your production.

    Also, be sure to buy refurb off the Apple website. Save $400 or so with zero impact to the machine.

    Sincerely,
    A guy who does a tonne of photo and HD video editing on an iMac
     
  17. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

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    Sep 2, 2011
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    Chicago-area
    #17
    A short post-script: consider the trackpad and something like bamboo capture if you work on pics a lot.
     
  18. cambi thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2012
    #18
    Do I do anything to upgrade the hard drive or graphics card?

    Sorry I am not the most technical person. I so appreciate everyone helping me. I didn't do it today because I am not sure on a couple more things. I am thinking the i7 because someone here did say that would be good with video editing. What about the standard hard drive? graphics card?
     
  19. sfarooq macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    #19
    I've been a looooong time PC user but finally bought an IMac during Sept last year. I had the same questions (and more) as you have mentioned in your post and I did a lot of research before taking the plunge. I must say I am absolutely delighted with my IMac and I think I made the right decision! I also recently bought an MacPro to replace my old Win laptop.

    I use it primarily for professional photo editing using LR3 and CS5.5 (Creative Suite) and the IMac is very fast and I get almost no lag even with extensive editing of multiple RAW images. I did have some some concerns around the quality of the display for photo editing and the glossy screen but with the correct calibrition tools (a must) I get accurate colors on my images and after having reworked the room lighting a bit I dont find the glossy screen a hinderance. For the future I would like to add a professional photo editing screen when I've more $'s to spend :)

    My IMac specs are 27" Core i7 3.4Ghz, 8GB Ram, 2TB HD, 2GB 6970.
     
  20. cheeba macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2010
    #20
    I'm a professional photographer - one that is quite diligent about colour accuracy and editing - and here are my thoughts on my iMac (specs in my sig):

    Glossy screen is fine if you can control the ambient light, and you're willing to setup your display a little. I calibrate my iMac with an optical calibrator, so print/web matching is not an issue. Considering the very low price of RAM, I recommend upgrading to at least 16GB (especially if the D800 36MP rumour turns out to be true...although I doubt it will). SSD working drive for LR3 and CS5 are by far the best upgrade for any editing machine - when it's properly configured, the difference is incredible.
     
  21. robgendreau macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #21
    I guess no one ever searches on this site, but as to the original question check out the MacRumors buying guide, http://buyersguide.macrumors.com/#iMac

    Last release May 3, 2011, average days between updates 273 (from 231 to 309), 255 days since that last update. But who knows? I agree that refurb is the best value, and that's hit or miss, so keep checking the site and when you see something good jump on it. There are a bunch there now, and the money you save could get you a start on a second monitor…in matte, if you like. Or an iPad (some of the photo editing stuff you can do on one these days is amazing…I think over time in some ways better than on the computer, but I'm an old hands-on wet darkroom veteran).

    I'd say that anyone who has fiddled with camera equipment is more than capable of putting RAM in an iMac. If you can put a filter on without crossthreading, you're probably got the coordination and patience to do it.

    Another consideration, though, is an SSD. Like more RAM, a big speed booster for certain work. Installing one is not an option, so it rules out the refurbs. But they are blazing fast. And expensive.
     
  22. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

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    Location:
    Chicago-area
    #22
    That is a sophomoric reply to the OP's thread.
     

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