Why Mac instead of PC for Photography??

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by mavericks7913, May 8, 2016.

  1. mavericks7913 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 17, 2014
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    NY
    #1
    Ummm I just wonder why photographers prefer Mac or OS X for photography career? Every places I visited have at least iMac or Macbook pro for working. For me, I have a bad experiences with Window 10 that I have to format everything because the system is really unstable.

    Personally, I don't see any advantages in performance but why? Any reasons such as color profile or?
     
  2. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #2
    Hi. I use a Mac not so much for photography as much as I prefer the platform on the whole.

    Being based on Linux kernel, OSX is closer to the UNIX systems I used to work on. I was able to write code on a Mac and load it directly to servers with minimal changes. This saved a lot of hassle and I am hardwired to think like that.

    By the time I got into photography, my personal setup was Mac by that point so I just got used to it as my weapon of choice.

    If I were to think about it now, I have a 6 year old Mbp which is still going strong. It cost me roughly £1500 so cost wise it is the same as three £500 pcs in the same timeframe.

    Yet I have had to do negligible maintenance, everything works how I want it, never had a virus, backup and (more important) rare restores have been painless.

    To use a photography term... the tech just gets out of the way and lets me do what I need to do.

    In contrast, I have multiple PCs for work and other interests and just find them to still be clunky and always in need of patches or a clean up of some sort.

    Couple that with pants battery life in general and I have just had a more enjoyable experience with my 6 year old MBP than my 1 year old PCs including top of the line work laptop and a Surface Pro 3 i bought to play with.

    Your mileage of course may vary...

    In summary it just seems to fit my needs well.

    I really do think that as a techie, mac and PC are now like Canon and Nikon. Both are capable at the job in hand. It just comes down to personal choice. I am a techie so the diffrences in OS complexity are not of any concern to me so usability is just what I accept. I lived in a text only world for years so anything with point and click even today is a breeze.

    Dont know if that really helps.
     
  3. slayerizer macrumors 6502a

    slayerizer

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    Canada
    #3
    if you ask in a mac forum already know what the answer will be, same thing will happen if you ask in a Windows one. ;)

    I use all three (Windows, Linux and Mac) on a daily basis, for home and work usage. Photography on a Mac will probably will cost you more but out of the box, you will have a superb display (Macbook, rMBP or iMac). The color calibration is usually not too far off. My personal experience with the Mac in general is that you actually put more time using your software than managing the computer or operating system that comes with it. Everything works nice, the software that they give you are great and you can work as soon as you get it. On a PC, your first job is to actually clean the bloatware that comes with it, remove trial version, get working (paid version) of basic softwares that you need and then make sure you have a working backup. The Windows 10 backup focus more on your documents, so make sure you have a system recovery disk also created. :eek:

    A few years ago, I had an analog camera that I plugged into the PC, nothing happened. I had to find a software to rip and convert the media. So far, it's not unusual. I plugged the same camera into the mac. I had a popup asking me If I wanted the tape to be rewinded and proceed with the conversion. I was on the desktop, I just had to plug the camera and a one click operation did everything. It was doing that with the built-in softwares that came with the mac (iMac 2008, at the time). I also had positives experiences with TimeMachine backup, Mail, Calendar and many more.

    I'm sure there are more stories like that around the web. Both OS looks similar when you look at screenshots or play with them for 5 minutes. When you start working with them, it's a different story.

    If you stick to mac store apps, they will all be kept to the latest versions automatically. It's the same for Windows, but I don't know anyone that bought a single app from the store. Everybody I know use non-universal applications.

    I have a 4k screen on my Windows box, I can tell you there is still a scaling issue that blurs the fonts when you don't use universal applications. If you're not in the 1:1 pixel ratio, as soon as you use 125,150% (150% being the default), 95% of the applications I use don't render fonts correctly. I sometime use the 1:1 mode to make the problem go away but it's hard on the eyes! Same display connected to the macbook works perfectly fine.
     
  4. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #4
    @mavericks7913
    The advantages are not necessarily in performance (Macs now use standard PC hardware, so in many apps there is no difference in performance), but in ease of use and stability. The fact that you had a less than stellar experience with PCs is pretty indicative. Moreover, Macs are expensive, high-quality PCs, so many hardware problem are less common.

    That's not quite correct: OS X uses the Mach kernel which has nothing to do with the Linux kernel. The user-facing bits are similar to FreeBSD (another *nix-type operating system). Nevertheless, the fact that all of these are POSIX-compliant *nix operating systems makes porting software relatively easy these days.
     
  5. kenoh, May 9, 2016
    Last edited: May 9, 2016

    kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #5
    Err, I beg your pardon. I have been using Macs for 15 years. I have worked in IT for 20 years, I used UNIX systems for years as a sys prog and admin. I know what I am talking about.

    Some guys at Berkeley built a branch off of UNIX creating what was called BSD, the other branch was what we know as the main Linux distros, were based on AT&T SVR4 UNIX.

    The beginning of OS X came when they took the core code from NEXTSTeP and a branch of BSD to form the core of Darwin - the OS X kernel (open terminal and type uname -a). BSD as stated above is one of the two fundamental "Linux" variants. Debian being the primary BSD distro in use today, RedHat and Ubuntu being the main SVR4 based Linux distros.

    I suppose my error here was simplifying my term to Linux to refer to BSD also when strictly speaking, Linux is those distributions coming from Linus Torvalds verses BSD which was the other camp.

    However, for the purposes of my post, it is correct. BTW, Mach is the micro kernel level.
     
  6. chabig macrumors 68040

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    #6
    Here is the Wikipedia article for https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unix-like operating systems. Both BSD and Linux are UNIX-like OSs, based on UNIX. But to say that BSD is a variant of Linux doesn't make sense. They are siblings on the UNIX tree, with no parent-child relationship.
     
  7. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #7
    Mea Culpa, I generalised to Linux as I said for those who dont care about the specifics but for christ sake! all I meant was that I like it because it was closer to the UNIX systems I was working on at the time! back in your boxes pedants.... :)
     
  8. chabig macrumors 68040

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    Sep 6, 2002
    #8
    I do agree with you that one great advantage of OS X is its core OS. I never had any doubt that Windows at its core was spaghetti. Maybe Windows 10 is getting better.
     
  9. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

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    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #9
    I'd say because people who use Macs for photography like that platform, I don't believe Macs are inherently superior to PCs when processing digital images, but its more about personal preference.
     
  10. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #10
    Supposed to be better but there is a lot of legacy code there which I imagine gets in the way of cleaning things up. I think each release after Windows Vista has been a steady improvement but lets ignore Windows 8 for a moment.

    On the whole at the user level, they are to all intents and purposes equally usable. So it is a Canon Nikon thing... pick your poison, there isnt really any right or wrong answer anymore.

    We dont live in a world of AppleTalk or other incompatibilities anymore so most of the issues we used to face are now gone.
     
  11. chabig macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    #11
    I'm not a photo o graphics expert, but I think that having the same graphics engine for both screen and print is advantageous for OS X. Also, the Mac has color correction in the system. Color correction on Windows varies on an app by app basis, I believe.
     
  12. jtrainor56 macrumors regular

    jtrainor56

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    Sinking Spring, Pennsylvania
    #12
    For me it's stability and reliability.... I started with application programming on mainframes in 1981 and for the past 25 years supporting systems and networks both here in the US and overseas. My day to day requires I use a Windows laptop (company mandated) but at home nothing but a Mac.
     
  13. Ray2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2014
    #13
    My choice was largely platform based. If all I did was use a few photography apps and could count on my OS not getting wonky after a few years then I wouldn't care.

    I suspect details, fit, finish and quality also plays a role with photographers. We tend to like well executed products.
     
  14. steveash macrumors 6502

    steveash

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    UK
    #14
    I think it all dates back to the birth of Desktop Publishing. When the first Macs were introduced they were adopted by publishers and graphic designers as the best system for the job. They had far superior font and colour management and all the industry standard software. For a long time it wasn't really possible to exchange files between platforms because even if the files would open there would be all sorts of font conflicts and layout errors. When finally Windows caught up and had its own versions of the major design applications the Mac was a far more stable platform. The early OSX versions were rock solid compared to Windows (or earlier Mac OS versions) which in normal use would crash 2 or 3 times a day. Apple also introduced some groundbreaking software such as Final Cut and Lightroom which marked the Mac out as the creative workers tool of choice.

    These days there is no reason to stick to any particular platform unless you are required to by employers. OSX still has the creative person in mind with an uncluttered interface and great colour management out of the box. Personally, I use a Mac because it is all I have used for 20 years and I know exactly where I am with it whereas with Windows I am completely lost.
     
  15. dwig macrumors 6502

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    Jan 4, 2015
    Location:
    Key West FL
    #15
    Two points:
    • If you are talking about a "career", then you need to be proficient on both MacOSX and Windows.
    • Windows 10 is very very stable. If your system isn't stable it is either because you've installed something that isn't truly Win10 compliant or you have faulty hardware. Most of the various web reports of issues with Win10 stability are associated with legacy hardware where the supplier hasn't updated drivers for Win10.
    I've been doing graphics, both photography and vector art, on both Mac (since System 7) and Win (since v3.0 and on DOS and GEM running on DOS before that) for decades. Today, there is no real difference between the two platforms with respect to the performance or ability of the software. There are certain advantages to each of the underlying OSs, but that is mostly a personal preference.
     
  16. mildocjr, May 9, 2016
    Last edited: May 9, 2016

    mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #16
    I prefer Mac for photography and design because of the display, every Mac ships with one without me having to go out and find one for my Windows computer. Most applications have a better recovery than Windows, and as a power user on both Mac and Windows, I still feel as though Mac has less overhead than Windows. The one thing that I can say Windows does better is memory management. As I've been told by many professionals over the years, whatever you work the most comfortable on is what is best for you. Learning a new OS takes time, learning eats up productivity, less time for production means your eating your profits. If you are comfortable with Windows, go out and get a good display and any hardware you might need such as a good GPU (FirePro or Quadro) or memory. If you know your way around a Mac and you don't mind spending the money then do that, just make sure you have a dedicated GPU and at least 16 GB of RAM.

    edit: for those who are picky, when I say display, I'm talking about one that gives me close to original color displays, not something with a wacky gamma setup.
     
  17. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    Nov 5, 2015
    #17
    There is no specific reason why one would choose OSX over Windows for Photography. It comes to down to personal preference, 100%. The software we use will run equally well on either platform. Urban legend tells us that Macs are somehow superior, but there is no truth to this. There hasn't been for more than 15 years. The creative industries of Print, Photography, Design, etc. have a long history of using Apple products. Some shops like to spend money and will use all Macs for design, but Windows is usually the choice for output and the real production work. It is a far more flexible system and widens the possibilities of software. When you get out of hobbyist environments and into professional production, one will find that both operating systems are used frequently. I use both all day at work in the print industry. We have two Macs at home and two Windows machines. There is absolutely no difference in functionality, only interface preference and how much money one wants to spend.
     
  18. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

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    Location:
    Americas
    #18
    Stability and reliability is high on my list. I've had one since OS X 10.1. After investing in a Mac I don't see why I need a PC. At one time I used both. On a Mac for me it was easier to navigate and all the apps works flawless. Even 3rd party apps and peripherals work better. I just got another Canon printer and I love it. Its easier for me to adjust my settings and updating the drivers. Why I use it for photography? I like how its easy to navigate in and out of LR module. Printing to photo paper looks nice. Moving my photos to an iOS device is easy or even just showing them on screen.

    Short story.. Just love it. I use it for photos, music, and graphics. Oh speaking of which, you have more out the box vs PC. I can adjust my images without using any 3rd party app. And there are a few other photography related things I can do that I cannot do on a PC without having to add Windows OS
     
  19. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #19
    Lots of good answers here, but for me going Apple was because I use a PC all day and want to come home to something different.
    Also my experience with PC's was less than stellar. When you have an issue, the hardware manufacturers blame the software, the software manufacturers blame the hardware.
    As Apple made both I figured it would be easier to deal with.
    So bought an iMac in 2012, and never had any major issues with it.
    In 4 years I'd have probably ended up replacing a PC twice.
    I just want to use a computer, not maintain it. I'm sure Windows has come a long way, but I'd rather stick with something that just lets me get on and do stuff.
    Back up is easy out of the box too.
     
  20. Clix Pix macrumors demi-goddess

    Clix Pix

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    #20
    Back in 2005 I purchased my first Mac, the G5 rev B iMac. One of the very first things I noticed was that the iMac seemed to utilize the RAM much more efficiently than my Windows machine which had similar specs and the same amount of RAM. With the Windows machine, I would first import my images from CF card to computer, and then would have to stop and reboot before I could do anything else. Only after a reboot could I move on to culling and processing the images. With the iMac, I was delighted to find that I could import the images and then immediately get right to work on culling and editing them, no rebooting necessary and the machine handled everything with aplomb. That first iMac hooked me.....and I've been using Macs ever since for photography and everything else.
     
  21. bent christian Suspended

    bent christian

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    #21
    If you had bought a quality unit, probably not. Of course with any electronic item some of it is luck, but mainly using your head will ensure a long PC life. Obviously a $300 Windows unit will not be equivalent to a $1000+ Apple product. Nor should anyone expect it to be. We have Windows notebook units at home from 2007 and 2009 that are still going strong thanks to an SSD upgrade. I am sitting next to a unit from 2001 at work that we use everyday for email and printing to a RIP. I am pretty sure it still has the same original IDE hard drive. If you buy a quality anything chances are it will last. Computer devices are no different.
     
  22. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #22
    This is completely true. But my PC experiences, didn't make me want to shell out 1000's on a Windows machine.
     
  23. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #23
    Art and graphics oriented people have a nice long history with Apple. - So much so it has carried on way past the time when there was a reason to use Apple hardware. When you take typical applications like Illustrator and Photoshop and compare them on each platform (OSX and Windows), you don't find Apple having an advantage.

    As for the reference to the pretty lil' screens Apple offers via iMac and their laptops, any sage graphics person will tell you that they might be good enough for some purposes but a monitor such as Eizo and NEC run circles around them with respect to calibration (hardware vs software-profiling).

    I don't have to mention cost because most here already know that we pay an Apple tax to own/use their hardware.

    If you have the money, get either PC or Apple and do your homework - see what applications you will use, what is the optimal hardware and get back to work doing art.
     
  24. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #24
    Like cameras... we have to accept.... the best machine for you, is most likely the machine in front of you... :)
     
  25. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #25
    Pro's use Macs and Nikons.

    :D
     

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