Purchasing questions for keen photo types

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Nikko1965, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. Nikko1965 macrumors member

    Oct 31, 2003
    Evening all,

    I'm not a professional photographer but I really enjoy it as a hobby and have an expensive stack of good gear for capturing so I'm looking for a good set up for processing. Consequently I'm in a bit of a quandry as I want to buy a productive new setup but Apple's "new" Mini is a damp squib processor-wise and the G5's are either all-in-one restrictive or plain unaffordable. I'm also not a millionaire. That said, I'm always willing to be convinced the extra is worth the extra. The options I believe I have are:

    Mini 1.42 with 1GB RAM and a bloody good screen (Apple 20" or Dell 20")
    the rational being a Steady Eddy processor but excellent image quality at a reasonable price.


    iMac G5 17/20" - the rationale being faster processing and almost as good image quality but with no ability to upgrade any part of the unit.

    What I need to know is from amateur/enthusiasts only. No professionals, baldy advertising types or clueless rich teenagers. Preferably from people who have spent their own cash on their gear. So, who has any of the above, which gives the best value and preformance, what are the downsides.

    Looking forward to some good advice.

  2. matticus008 macrumors 68040


    Jan 16, 2005
    Bay Area, CA

    Well, if you go for the mini, the only thing that you're free to upgrade is the monitor (as far as improvements over the iMac). The iMac 20" display is an impressive unit, and if all else fails, it does have VGA output. I don't know why it's not DVI, but anyway. I would get the iMac. Ultimately, the hard drive and RAM can be upgraded just like the mini, and you've got a much better processor and a keyboard/mouse that you'd have to buy otherwise. Frankly, I think the iMac is your best bet, with its only downside being that it doesn't have a DVI port to add a second monitor.

    You can buy the Dell later on, which has a VGA input, but VGA signal clarity is less than desirable for a flat panel. The 20" built-in display should be sufficient through the life of the machine anyway. I've personally paid for all of the systems in my signature (and several that aren't) and do a lot of graphics work (not so much photography, but only because I haven't gotten around to it yet). The G5 will give you a more rewarding Photoshop experience.

    That said, it might not be worth the cost difference to you in the end. The mini is a decent computer. It's a tough call. I'd say get the iMac, unless the cost difference is significant (since you're not in the US, the prices could be closer or further apart than the same configurations here).
  3. chucknorris macrumors 6502a


    Jun 28, 2005
    Moscow, ID (No Kremlin here!)
    I think you're exactly right here, Nick.

    My recommendation would be to go for the mini, and apple/dell display.

    The logic I used is that you can have the display as a beautiful fully functional screen for years to come, whereas the iMac will soon be a nice display encumbered by an obsolete computer.

    It won't be very long before the minis switch to intel (say 6-8 months), so you can always buy one now then sell it and buy again on the first or second intel rev. Another option would be to wait a while, and replace the mini with a refurbished power mac (can be very comparable in price to iMacs).

    As you know, macs hold their value almost unbelievably well, so these options give you a very nice way out.

    The bottomline is that for your purposes, something scalable, and modular would be ideal. GET THE MINI!

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