Used Mac for casual Photo Editing

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by txnoob, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. txnoob macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2009
    My daughter (15) has recently gotten into photography pretty seriously. She worked all summer to purchase a used DSLR and really enjoys composing her shots specifically how she wants them to look. I'm impressed as she hasn't ever really been interested in anything. So now she has quite a few pictures that she's satisfied with and wants to start experimenting to see how other well known photographers or those she follows on flickr create their signature looks.

    I have always enjoyed editing photos much more on Mac than on PC, despite using PC at work daily and home occasionally. But, I don't want her spending her hours of free time on my iMac. :p

    TO THE QUESTION....Is a C2D Mac Mini with 4 or 8GB of RAM, 240GB SSD and Firewire 800 External, and 20" monitor going to be adequate for doing her thing in Lightroom and similar programs? . The other possibility is a 2009/2010 white poly Macbook. I have everything but the Mini/MB and the ram. So we're talking about $200 tops for the Mini and $250 for the MB

  2. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    I would love to say yes to either but in fairness I would strongly suggest you try a couple of things -

    Go to sites that have forums devoted to Lightroom and ask there. This might include Photo sites.

    Also, check Lightroom's minimum requirements and realize that while yes, it will run, it wont run that well. I will say that I would no matter what opt for the most RAM that can populate your chosen purchase.

    Because I don't deal (anymore) with Lighroom, DXO etc., I wouldn't be the best go to on this and that is why I strongly suggest the above. I might also mention that you should include the specs of the potential purchase and the model of the monitor. Monitors are often over looked as needing calibration and ideally have a decent colour space and ease of setting gamma (2.2 often enough). My take is go with the best CPU and max possible RAM.
  3. txnoob thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2009
    First, remember this is for a kid, who will have no investment in it. The versions of Lightroom she'll likely be using are 3 or 4 which has below for system requirements. So I have no doubt it will run the program:

    Mac OS
    • Intel processor
    • Mac OS X 10.5, or Mac OS X 10.6
    • 2 GB of RAM
    • 1 GB of available hard-disk space
    • 1024 x 768 or higher monitor resolution supporting 24-bit (16 million) or more colors
    • CD-ROM drive
    The Camera is is a 16 megapixel, the JPEGs will be about 5MB in size.

    But yeah, I guess I'll go to photography site and ask around there.
  4. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    You didn't say which Intel Processor (dual, quad, number associated with speed etc.)

    However, while you are searching through, you might also want to check on other photo
    software such as Pixelmator and Adobe Photo Elements. Pixelmator is quite popular with
    beginners and youth and certainly is excellent bang for the buck (as in very inexpensive).
    I do believe you mentioned you would up the RAM and that would be a major plus. Understand
    that normal use, often more than one app is open such as Web Browser, Photo app and maybe
  5. txnoob thread starter macrumors 6502

    Mar 12, 2009
    C2D = Core 2 Duo, Dual core. The Minis I'm considering would be 2.0 or 2.26ghz. The Macbook would be 2.13 or 2.4ghz. From what I remember, the memory is more important. I'll check out both Pixelmator and Photo Elements, thanks.
  6. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
    You said it's casual you are going to use old software designed with those sort of specs in mind so yes they'll be fine exactly as they were when they came out.
  7. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Check out preview They have a mac sub forum and lots of people can answer your questions.

    My $.02 that the older versions of LightRoom will run on the older macs so you should be ok. I mean back when Lightroom 3 was out, the C2D machines were not that old.

    The mini makes sense if you already have a monitor and the mini as sufficient ram and storage (its a pain to upgrade a mini), otherwise go for the laptop.
  8. MRrainer macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2008
    Zurich, Switzerland
    I think that if I had a daughter and she was actually creating great photos (instead of wasting hours on FB, p-interest and whatnot), I'd gladly let her use my Mac for it, while helping her save-up for a MacBookPro...
    If she gets really good at it, she can hopefully make a little money on the side with her hobby.

    My old 2008 (SSD-less) iMac feels very slow compared to my 2012 (SSDed) MacMini. Don't know how much better a C2D Mini or a white MB would be.
    Plus, with photos, you actually want a good display. At least, if you want to create "serious" photos, like she seems to.
  9. ProjectManager101 Suspended


    Jul 12, 2015
    She will be fine with the Mac Mini BUT I would get a very good monitor. Monitors can cheat in colors and texture. I am typing in a 2008 Mac Pro, your 2010 what ever would be just fine. You may try to get one of those aluminium 20" Apple Cinema Display, they were really good and they had a very good resolution. They are used but they are gooood.

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