Photographers : Which workstation do you prefer ?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by NStocks, Oct 3, 2008.

  1. NStocks macrumors 65816

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    England
    #1
    I'm getting a Mac in the next few weeks ( I think ) and this will be my first ever Mac. Now I was set on the idea of the iMac because of it's gorgeous huge screen, but then I realised that when I go to University ( 1 year from now, to study architecture ), I may need a laptop for then,but I can't be certain. Notebook owners, how do you feel with the size of the screens, are they too limiting, and iMac users are the screens overall better than Notebooks.

    There are many rumors of new Apple Notebooks in about 2 weeks, if they take advantage of open CL which CS4 and Snow Leopard will, wouldn't this be a better investment ? If the price is right I may just get a Notebook because I have alays got the portability, and a 26" LCD HD screen ( TV ), which I could also use.

    In general how are Notebooks for Photography ?

    Thank You

    NStocks
     
  2. yaroldb macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    #2
    I have a first Gen Macbook. Got it in June of 06 if that tells you anything. I use it mostly for processing photos when I am away from my iMac. I recently went to Monterey C.A. and ended up shooting 1200 raw images and transfering them on my Macbook. I used Lightroom 2.0 and PS CS3 for cleaning, cloning and cropping. It runs like a champ. The files are 13gb out of my camera and it handles them with no problem what so ever. I run a lot of noiseware filters and it takes them little or no time to run. The machine is the orginal Core Duo 2.0 (not even Core 2 Duo) and I've jumped the ram to 2gb. The only problem I see is the screen size. The 13.3 is a little hard to see and the glossy screen can cause the picture to look different than the final result. For what I use it, I love it.

    Go down to a local Apple store, or Best Buy and play around with it. Most have PS installed and you can download a large picture online to see what the screen size feels like.

    Either way, you'll love it.
     
  3. vga4life macrumors 6502

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    Jun 16, 2004
    #3
    Notebooks are fine. I replaced my G5 with a MacBook Pro, keeping my 30" LCD.

    You'll want a good external monitor when working at home - even on the LED Macbook Pro, the LCD is only 18-bit. Can't recommend anything with a glossy screen.
     
  4. SimD macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    #4
    Notebooks work great!

    Sure, they haven't got the raw horsepower of say a Mac Pro, but you gain the wonderful world of portability.

    Reasons why notebooks work wonders for photo editing!

    1) Tethering. Ever wondered what that photo looks like larger than say 2.5"? Just use the tethering capabilities on your camera and you now have a 15/17" view of your shot!

    2) Dual displays. Yeah ok, this one can be achieved with all the macs, but my point is that you don't lose the possibility. Just purchase a nice display and you have a nice workstation for your studio/home.

    3) Coffee. Enjoy sitting on that nice comfy couch in your favorite little coffee shop sipping some nice tasty coffee? Now picture yourself working.. there! :)

    Reason why it may not be your cup of tea (no pun intended).

    1) Not enough horsepower. If you plan on doing intensive work with PS and the likes, even a MBP might hold you back.


    In my case, the pros outweigh the cons, and since I'm always on the move, the choice was pretty clear.

    Anyway, good luck and happy shooting!

    Sim
     
  5. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #5
    I'm by no means a professional photographer, or even make money from it it's only a great hobby. I once had a laptop about 4 years ago and I loves it, the top of the line song vaio, but the only thing is that I n we really took it anywere away from the desk. I guess that now I'm at college and will be going to and from university I will use it more portablly.

    I will wait and see what the new ones offer, and ifnhere is a price drop as the MBP are way too expensive for what you get, but I don't want a MacBook because the screen is too small.

    NStocks
     
  6. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #6
    Go with the MBP - Having an iMac would be nice, but it's not a big enough jump in performance over the MacBook Pro.

    With a notebook, you can have it sitting on your desk most of the time (I use a tablet and an external keyboard to make it less straining), and if you need to take it around, you have that possibility.
     
  7. stagi macrumors 65816

    stagi

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2006
    #7
    My MBP has a good enough amount of power for a lot of photo tasks, if you have a good monitor to hook it up to when you need crucial color accuracy I would go for a MBP for the portability.
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    You have to deside on priorities. Do you want a color acurate screen or something that is good for watching movies?

    Get the mat screen on the MBP. You can calibrate that one.

    TV sets don'tr have the resolution or sharpness of a computer monitor. a 26" TV will have at most 1080 lines. That is not a lot for a screen that size the 24" iMac has more. TVs are designed for a longer viewing distance.
     
  9. jodelli macrumors 65816

    jodelli

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    Windsor, ON, Canada
    #9
    As others have said, if you go portable get an external monitor that can be calibrated.
    I even still use a CRT sometimes for PS alterations because photos I take seem to be reproduced more accurately when posted on other peoples' monitors.
     
  10. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #10
    In terms of performance, the ProBook is close to an iMac. If you do any semi-serious photo editing, you should get a good (!) external screen and calibrate both screens. Avoid any monitors with a TN panel (that is: all cheaper ones)

    Whether you get a glossy (internal) lcd or a matte display does not matter much. The ProBooks use a 6 bit TN display which doesn't even come close to a good external screen in terms of gamut, contrast and viewing angle. This is not a peculiarity of Apple notebooks, notebook screens have different priorities (e. g. battery consumption, heat emission, availability and also price).

    These days, all Macs/computers have more than enough horsepower for photoshop (unless you are constantly editing 500 MB photos), it's Aperture and Lightroom drive the need for speed.
     
  11. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Well the rumours are looking good for October 14th, so hopefully they will bring some new ones out... I just pray for price drops ( the current prices for the MBP are way to over priced IMO ).


    NStocks
     
  12. valdore macrumors 65816

    valdore

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    #12
    The Mac Pro is in my opinion the ultimate photographer's computer/digital darkroom. So expandable, powerful, and with a very long useful lifespan. My 'Pro is perhaps my most valued material posession.
     
  13. tcphoto macrumors 6502a

    tcphoto

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    Location:
    Madison, GA
    #13
    You didn't mention your budget.

    If funding is not an issue the MacPro line is ideal and the Cinema Displays are due for an update. A Macbook for class and location work would go nicely with the MacPro. Myself, I am a freelance photographer and there isn't a lot of money left after buying camera and lighting gear. I just bought a MacBook Pro to replace my old G4 Aluminum and love it. I simply could not wait till an update was released.
     
  14. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #14
    I can afford to get the current 17" MBP tomorrow if I wanted, but the most I want to spend on any Mac would be £1200 give or take. I will have car insurance, test, tax and petrol to pay for in a few months, so I need to put thingsin perspective. The Mac Pro is not an option ; I wanted to have a machine with very few cables, to maximise space, hence why im getting rid f my Pc Tower, plus that are too expensive for what I will use it for

    ... I'm only a hobbyist Photographer and do not make any money what so ever from Photography.

    NStocks
     
  15. bigandy macrumors G3

    bigandy

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    #15
    A 15" MacBook Pro should be a fantastic choice. Look at the UK-HE prices if you can.
     
  16. SimD macrumors regular

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    #16
    In that case, forget the Mac Pro.

    MBP or even Macbook.
     
  17. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #17
    I rung up my nearest Apple store ( 2 hours away ) and they said they will give me 11% student discount... I will have to see what the 14th brings

    ... do you have the MBP
     
  18. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #18
    The 15" MacBook Pro has plenty of horsepower (I have one that's 2 years old now, and it does great). If you can afford it, consider buying an external LCD monitor with it. Dell has some pretty good prices for monitors, and they don't look TOO bad. :D

    Having an external monitor doesn't mean you have to use it all the time; but for photo editing it can be nice to have 1) a larger workspace, and 2) better color performance.
     
  19. bigandy macrumors G3

    bigandy

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    #19
    Yeah I've got the 2.4Ghz 15" w/ 4Gb RAM. It's phenomenal. Had a previous MBP (2.16Ghz C2D) and a PowerBook during University, and they were fantastic. My current setup includes the 2.4 on an iCurve next to a 20" wide TFT, behind an alu keyboard and Wacom tablet. It's great.

    The UK-HE discount is more than 11%, but I noticed if you're not going to Uni for another year it makes no odds. At least the studenty discount isn't a bad one.

    A line up refresh won't change discount levels, btw.
     
  20. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #20
    I can only qualify for FE education ( im on my 2nd year on which i started the 1st year straight after i left school )

    NStocks
     
  21. jodelli macrumors 65816

    jodelli

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    #21
    If you use a notebook, do the work on an calibrated external monitor. It's been my experience that sometimes Photoshopped pictures looked ok on the lcd but didn't reproduce as well on someone else's monitor.
     
  22. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #22
    So am I right in saying the MBP screen isn't as good as the iMac ? ... what about when they release new ones would they have improved ?

    I only really care about what the Photo's will look like on my monitor(s), and when I print them, as I know its fairly pointless trying it to match other peoples monitors, as there are so many different ones.

    NStocks
     
  23. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #23
    Yes, notebook screens are not as good as Desktop screens. This is particularly true for the 24" iMac which does not use a TN panel (like the MacBook, MacBook Pro and 20" iMac). Notebook screens have less compensators (thin foils that improve angle-dependence), because they increase heat emission and power consumption (unless you want to have a dark screen).

    If you have a notebook, you should get a good external lcd (a non-TN panel lcd to be precise). Just compare the gamut of my ProBook (first-gen MacBook Pro)
    [​IMG]
    to my external 21" Samsung (SyncMaster 213T) lcd:
    [​IMG]
    Both have been measured with my ColorSpyder, so what you see is the actual gamut as measured and not some manufacturer-supplied color profile.
    Plus, most of them haven't been calibrated ;)
     
  24. NStocks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Thanks for that, its helped more. Professionals ( that I know ) have MBP and they seen to be very pleased with them, do you think they actually do any editing with them, or just for tethering etc. I'm rethinking a Notbook again now - My Samsung 26" LCD HD Tv isn't that great, but it's not being calibrated, and don't want a laptop that is as equal or less in terms of the saturation vibrancy etc.

    ... Guess the next 10 days will be very interesting !

    NStocks
     
  25. Hmac macrumors 68020

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    Midwest USA
    #25
    I have both a Mac Pro/30" ACD's and a MacBook Pro. I prefer to use the Mac Pro when possible for reasons of speed and monitor size, but I have used the MacBook Pro to edit a LOT of photos on airplanes and in remote locations, using both Photoshop and Nikon Capture NX/NX2. For modest volume editing, the MacBook Pro is certainly a viable choice IMHO, especially if the choice is between that and an iMac.

    For the MBP, get a good wireless mouse.
     

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