Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I'm at a crossroad again. Still a Pentaxian, but post-processing platform...Mac or PC?


Hi Pentaxian friends.

I have been a user of the PC platform forever. Photoshop, Lightroom have been by tools for years and I have to admit that I have been pleased with the results. All my business work is done using Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. All my books were written using Word. There are no questions as to the popularity of the PC world.

However, it seems that most serious or professional photographers and graphic artists have been using the Mac for their graphic work. As I understand, the iMac is  supposedly much better and easier to use for graphic, music, cinema, and most of the artsy side of computing.  I never owned a Mac and frankly always thought that they were way too expensive.

There is an Apple store I visit once in a while when I go down to Los Angeles. The screen resolution and clarity seem to pop out at you. Applications like IPhoto, IMovie and Garage Band are very impressive and tempting. It's one thing to look at an iMac at the Apple store  but the real test is likely to have one at home and work on it for a while before making a judgement as to which machine would be best for a photographer.

So.I spent $300.00 and   purchased a used iMac G5 with 1.8GHz and upgraded the RAM to 4GB right away.  It only has apple software on it and I cannot compare Lightroom on both platform. I used iPhoto and copied about 2000 of my images, both RAW and JPG, from the PC to the Imac. The iPhoto runs pretty smooth and I can't say that the images are better on it, but it is an old computer running a much slower processor The iMac does run Microsoft Office 2008 and all my usual writing tools are remaining the same. That's a good thing. The iMac is about 6 or 7 years old and the processing speed is not great compared to my current PC which only runs XP.  With Windows 7 pro on a new PC (around $800.00) I could get 64bit processing and clock speed in the 3.5 MHz or so. The newest iMac in it's simplest form, 21.5"-3.06MHz-4GB RAM, is $1,200.00 then add Microsoft office, some editing software and other necessary tools, you at $2,000.00. Buy a Mac Pro quad-core starting at $2,500.00, plus software, you way pass my budget.

I have to admit that I really like the ease of the operating system on my cheap iMAC G5. This is the way a true windows operating system should work. It is very intuitive and the applications are running very smooth. As far as I know, you rarely get any viruses when runing the Apple Platform. I suppose that the number of Apple computers worldwide is not big enough to satisfy the appetite of hackers.

So, I'm at a crossroad again. It's time to upgrade and I'm not sure what I should do. Some of you have always used a PC  and probably would tell me to go with a PC again. Some of you have always used a Mac and probably would tell me to go with a Mac again. Some of you certainly have used both platforms and have very valuable experience with both platform. I would appreciate any guidance from you guys in particular. You can post comments herein, send me an email , reply on my Facebook or Twitter as well. I am posting this blog on photo-net and hope to get comments there too.

Thank you, you are the best,

Yvon Bourque
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