Making photographs, not just taking them – Dundee, Tayside, Scotland

Mac vs PC

Ok so not directly photography related but it is linked trust me.

I’m now doing my photo editing via Adobe Lightroom which means I only shoot in RAW, previously I was shooting in both JPG and RAW then editing the RAW files in Photoshop. This proved to be a very time consuming way to edit and having the JPG files often meant I could be lazy and simply use them without doing any editing.

Anyway I digress, the point is I’m running Lightroom on a pc that is around 7 years old and I’m strongly questioning if this is holding me back and making it less efficient. For example the loading times to move from one image to another when in Develop mode takes between 5-20 seconds so when editing say 50 images this can add a considerable extra chunk of time required to do the edit. Which leads me to the main point – will replacing my PC with a Mac speed things up and indeed will getting something shiny, new and a pleasure to use increase my productivity and creativity?

This is a question I have been pondering for a number of days now. The Apple Store website does now and again have Mac Minis (ideally I’d like an iMac or a MacBook Pro but those are waayyyy out of my budget) coming up in the refurbished part of the store (meaning savings of around 10-15% off a new one) but even that would be a struggle to pay for and mean having no real spending money for yet another year. I have had the mouse hovering over the Order button a number of times with the voices of a couple of mates in my head saying “buy, buy, buy” but something has always made me back away – must be the thought of worrying about money each month again for yet another year!

So really there are 2 questions:

  • Will getting a Mac to replace my PC really make much of a difference to my post editing?
  • Will the difference justify the price and being poor for another year and definitely not being able to replace my kit lenses?
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6 responses

  1. well, the initial conversation was to do with the NAS drive & PC vs MACs is a different thing.

    Workflow wise the mac is better for moving files around different applications. PCs say they understand drag and drop but they dont really.

    In all honesty as a guy that hits computer processes hard (I’m at work now with 4 400mb+ files open plus 8 programs) and when it comes down to pc vs windows there isnt a huge difference in process power as today they are using the same chips.

    My advice is this. If you get skinted out buying a pc or mac now that may not fit your needs, why not just leave it year and save up a few extra bucks to get a pc/mac that you want to get next year.

    15/12/2011 at 09:15

    • batty79

      That’s kinda the conclusion I’m coming to myself Chris, that I make do with what I have for the time being, save some pennies then see how things are later in the year.

      Either way I can replace my current machine with something more powerful and with a newer network card later (hence getting round the network/NAS issue or at least lessening its impact).

      15/12/2011 at 09:43

      • What I would do if you are buying an apple is to keep an eye on the site as they quite often have deals around holidays like valentines day and back to school malarkey deals. Also go and find a student friend and have them buy it for you as they give money off for student cards which I think could be around 10%, it’s worth checking up.

        15/12/2011 at 10:36

      • batty79

        Yeah they were trying to suggest the student discount yesterday (15%) when I was asking why there’s no option for the 10months interest free finance (only available each christmas) on the refurb models.

        I was looking to purchase a refurbed Mac Mini for 15% off. Wonder if the student discount can be applied to refurbed units to get a bigger saving?

        15/12/2011 at 10:59

  2. msmudge

    I bought a i7 iMac by strangling my credit card to death. I now run lightroom on it. Its been a while since lightroom on the PC for me so I don’t really remember enough to compare the speed difference. Seeing as the credit card has now returned from the dead like something out of ‘The Exorcist’, my advice is to stick to what you can afford. Especially in this day and age. As a couple of months down the road you’ll be thinking ‘is this any faster?’
    The decision between Mac or PC for me isn’t about speed. It’s about usability. To be error, problem, virus, freeze-up, etc free is worth it’s weight (or even maximum aperture) in camera lenses.
    I definatley say get Mac over PC. But don’t get it because it might be faster, although it probably will be.
    If you are not a pro tog then just soldier on with what you have. As the differences I have seen have done me little good as a hobbist. And there will always be the next thing to ich away at the retail mind.
    Look up Dopamine on the net. If I’d have known about this before my extravagance on photography, my financial situation would be much better now. Having a basic understanding of how Dopamine works has saved me a fortune recently.

    15/12/2011 at 19:59

    • batty79

      To be honest I’m itching to get a Mac cause I’m sick of constantly having to fix things that go wrong with Windows based machines. I thought everything Mac was just silly till I got my first iPhone, since then I’ve just been getting sucked in more and more.

      I think I was just looking for people to confirm that yes a more powerful machine (Mac or Windows) would help and that my old machine is an issue. Or maybe I wasn’t, maybe it was just me rambling who knows.

      Anyway one day, hopefully not too far away, I will get a new machine, hopefully a Mac 😉

      15/12/2011 at 22:04

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