Potential Mac convert needs guidance !

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Atomiser, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. Atomiser macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Location:
    Paris France
    #1
    Hi confused newbie seriously thinking about buying first Mac. I am in my forties & have considerable experience with older PC's and Windows (up to Vista). I am keen amateur photographer (semi pro Digital SLR Canon EOS 7D). Many old PC's (desk top & notebook Pentium 4's and also works Intel Core 2 duo (with Vista !!)) now need to buy new computer capable of running adobe ps (& Canon pro software) efficiently & processing HD (1080P) video at an acceptable speed (I have very limited spare time as I have demanding job & relatively young family). Drawn to Macs as disillisusioned with build quality & design of windows pc's, although price is much lower. After some considerable research have following challenges: IMAC or Mac book Pro (Mac Pro too expensive & possibly over specced for me). Cannot decide between two.
    What is best minimum spec for this type of use? especially screen size & type (recognise can upgrade hard discs & memory later) Dont want to waste money buying spec I will not take advantage of. Also for MBP would I need a separate screen in addition or is MBP screen size (15"/17" enough)? Advice particularly from photographers really appreciated. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #2
    You mentioned 1080p video so get the best you can. Video encoding can take advantage of extra cores and you said you're busy so if portability is not needed, I would pull the trigger on i7 iMac, more precisely on the refurb as it's cheaper and offers about the same speed as the new i7.

    If you don't mind having a PC, then I would just get one instead. You are familiar with Windows and CS5 is available for Windows as well. Windows 7 is also a great OS and if you build your own computer (that's what I would do), you will save a nice amount of $. Then put that money towards GOOD display. The iMac's display ain't that great what I've heard from photographers as it's glossy so you might end up getting an external display anyway and then iMac is fairly useless IMO
     
  3. Laurencia7 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2009
    #3
    Well I get paid to be a photographer, so I can help.

    You want the most memory possible and a large screen size. But do you care if it is portable or not? if so, then go Macbook Pro with at least 8GB of ram.
    Try getting one with an Intel processor, that way some windows apps can be put on the mac if you install windows with "bootcamp" app.

    Def consider Mac, for photographers it is so easy and great to use. And be sure to take advantage of the time machine app, to backup your photos.

    Also, check apple.com for refurbished macs, they are great and less expensive.

    Whatever you choose you won't be sorry. If you have a genius bar in your area. Go to them and ask what is the best apple to fit your needs and budget, they want to sell so they won't scare you off buy trying to sell you something outrageous. I only have 2GB of ram and my HD 1080P camera converts video great, and the LCD is great too.

    Just shop around, amazon.com is where I got mine, and they have great deals too.
     
  4. Atomiser thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2010
    Location:
    Paris France
    #4
    Thanks Hellhammer for the balanced reply. I too have the same concerns about the glossy display on the imac so really considering MBP or a PC. Hate Vista (dream about constantly spinning blue circle of wasted life!!) but have heard good things about Windows 7. Would really like to try a mac & experience the apple OS but how much advantage for a photographer?

     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #5
    I assume you already have some monitors around? You could simply start by getting a Mac Mini, that is a good starter Mac and as you're an amateur, the speed isn't THAT important. You can get one for 589$ with 4GB of RAM from refurb store. You have 14 days to try it as you can return it for a refund within that time period. Aperture and iPhoto are nice for photography but Photoshop is still the king.

    I don't know, it's a tough choice. I somehow just have an itch that you might be better off with a PC because your main usage is Creative Suite and Windows 7 is totally different from Vista in terms of performance, it's a very good OS. Plus you would get a lot faster machine for same $. One big disadvantage is the iMac's screen, it isn't that great due reflections but it's sufficient for amateur, depends on your conditions though but I've heard so many people disliking it. If you have time and like to play with computers, then you could build a Hackintosh (install OS X for normal PC), that gets you the best from both worlds.

    If you really want to try OS X, get the Mini but I wouldn't say OS X is special for photographing, it includes some good apps for it but Creative Suite adds what you need.
     

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