Mac vs. PC...need a new computer...what do most people use?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by shipwreck, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. shipwreck

    shipwreck Guest

    My PC is slowly becoming extinct. I want to do more digital
    photography and art work.

    Is the old Mac vs. PC debate over these days because PC has all the
    programs available to it? What do you folks use?

    Also, how close in color does the screen match the print? I can only
    imagine that the screen shows a representation of the colors. Like a
    PMS color chart and what an ink press prints can be quite different.

    Thx
     
    shipwreck, Nov 18, 2003
    #1
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  2. I don't think that debate will necessarily ever be over. However, Windoze
    pcs are so much more cheaper and perform relatively close to Macs these
    days. There are still major hardware differences between the two that do
    affect graphics, BUT the reality is that you wont notice a difference. I am
    not a zealot for either, and I use both, so I can tell you that both are
    viable. Just my .02
     
    Stephen Kasun, Nov 18, 2003
    #2
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  3. I have both too, and use both for digital still and digital video
    photography. I find the Macs tend to work better with fewer glitches for
    digital video editing, but PC's and Macs seem to work about the same for
    digital still photography. I use Photoshop on both, and use its native
    browser for digital photography, not iPhoto or proprietary camera software.
    iPhoto does work really well if you need that sort of thing.

    I tend to prefer Macs in general for their design, advanced features, and
    the functionality of OSX, but for digital photography, I can't see that it
    would make any difference, and Windows XP isn't so bad...

    HMc
     
    Howard McCollister, Nov 18, 2003
    #3
  4. The debate will never end. One of the reasons is that, as much as the PC
    users hate Macs, Macs really matter. (If Macs didn't matter, why would
    anyone argue about them?) The current issue of PC Magazine mentions that
    the staff uses PCs for everything -- except the art department which uses
    only Macs; page 8, "Looking Beyond Windows." Why would PC Magazine's art
    department use Macs if Windows were "just as good"? :-> And take a look at
    the truck unloading three palettes of Macs at Microsoft's loading dock:
    http://www.michaelhanscom.com/eclecticism/2003/10/even_microsoft_.html
    (note the end of the URL: even microsoft. :->). And that's three _palettes_
    of dual processor G5s. (The blogger was a temp for MS and was fired for
    posting this photo, by the way:
    http://www.reidsrow.com/archives/000440.shtml)

    And Macs come with pretty much all the software that you'll need bundled
    right in. Drop by your local bookstore and browse through a copy of, say,
    Digital Photo Pro and look at the screen shots of whatever program they're
    writing a tutorial on this issue -- those aren't XP windows in the screen
    shots. They're OS X. Apps that are written for and run under OS X.
    I rarely print images from the computer, and when I do, whatever color I
    get is satisfactory -- but I'm certainly no judge. My guess, though, is
    that if the quality satisfies PC Magazine, it's going to be satisfactory
    for your needs. (By the way, PC Mag is weekly -- do you think they use slow
    computers to meet weekly deadlines?)

    In answer to your final question in the subject line, most people use
    PCs. No doubt about it. But when pros need the right computer for their art
    departments, they choose Macs. Even Microsoft. So the issue is, what do you
    want the computer for. (By the way, I'm a lawyer, and 95% of my use is for
    text-based documents. I choose a Mac for several reasons which change over
    time. Right now, I'm gloating over my lawyer-buddies who are having fits
    over whatever the latest Microsoft virus/worm/trojan has been released by
    some script kiddy and infected their computers. No viruses for Macs; why?
    Because nobody uses them! :->)

    There is no reason not to choose a Mac. It has all the speed and all the
    programs you'll need. If you're comfortable with Windows, you'll be more
    comfortable with a PC than a Mac. But if you want to do a lot of art work
    with your computer, I think you'll be happier with the Mac once you have
    learned the OS. And you will have to learn how to use it. I've been hearing
    my PC friends tell me that PCs are "just as good now" since Windows 95. And
    they keep saying it with more emphasis with each iteration of Windows. :->
    Unfortunately, the Mac OS has had three major upgrades in the past year and
    a half, so they're always talking about an older version of the Mac OS that
    they've finally gotten "just as good as." (Oddly enough, they never tell me
    it's _better_.) And I just keep printing out all the documents I need to,
    with no Microsoft viruses infecting my computer and sending out email to
    everyone in my Microsoft address book.

    Whichever you choose, have fun. I do.
     
    Phil Stripling, Nov 18, 2003
    #4
  5. shipwreck

    Brad Guest

    You forgot to say, "As much as Mac users hate PCs, PCs really matter."
    It's a 2-way street.
    Microsoft does a lot of development for the Mac OS so it would make sense
    that they would need to have hardware. I'm sure they also do research on
    the competition out there as any intelligent business would. Do you think
    Apple has no PCs?
    IYNSHO.
     
    Brad, Nov 18, 2003
    #5
  6. Well, you're right, all the programs needed _are_ already there in Mac
    format. But I have trouble believin that people would continue to be
    trained in the Mac if Windows were "just as good." Does that make sense,
    especially in PC Magazine? Why go to the expense of having to support two
    systems? Wouldn't it be cheaper to cross-train the users and get rid of the
    Macs and support personnel? (How many support staff are there for Macs,
    anyway?)

    I think Macs are chosen because they're the most efficient way to meet a
    weekly deadline. But I could be wrong. Who can say?
     
    Phil Stripling, Nov 18, 2003
    #6
  7. Sure PCs really matter. They've got, what, 98% of the market? You'd think
    Macs could safely be ignored, right? Like BSD, Linux, and Be OS.
    I _do_ think he'll be more comfortable with a PC if he's comfortable with
    Windows. It's a factor for his decision, don't you think?
     
    Phil Stripling, Nov 18, 2003
    #7
  8. The new Macs with OSX are very SLOOOWWW...
    No need to get all aggravated and upset, he's quite right. I personally
    prefer PC's, but only because of the price difference and better viability
    as a gaming platform. However, I use Macs plenty and have to say that some
    of those new machines with OSX are just a joke. I've seen them running like
    turtles right out of the box.

    It's one thing if a machine gets older and chuggy with time as new OS's and
    programs come out, but when the thing's a day old it's pretty damn weak to
    be waiting 15 seconds to switch between applications. To be honest, I
    preferred OS9. In fact I put it on my friend's new eMac and it now works
    like a computer instead of relational slideshow. It's still a Mac, but I
    don't hate it any more.

    Ewan
     
    Ewan Sinclair, Nov 18, 2003
    #8
  9. I think you're replying to a guy who's a troll over in the Mac newsgroups;
    if it's the same one, he posts nothing but personal attacks. Just killfile
    him. I'm not sure why he's over here.
     
    Phil Stripling, Nov 18, 2003
    #9
  10. shipwreck

    Troy Guest

    Technically, XP still has the BSoD, but it's hidden. Go to the system
    properties (Windows + Pause), then on Advanced, then to Startup and
    Recovery settings. You'll see an option to automatically restart if
    there is a system failure (aka BSoD).

    Unless you're running a server and need to have your machine constantly
    running even when you're not around, you may want to uncheck that. That
    way, if you are having a hardware problem that causes a major crash,
    you'll see it instead of pulling your hair out trying to figure out why
    your system is spontaneously rebooting.
    I use both at my work and like them both. I have an XP system at home
    because, frankly, I can't really afford a Mac.
    I've also got Linux at home, but there are a ton of apps that just won't
    run under it. :)
     
    Troy, Nov 19, 2003
    #10
  11. shipwreck

    David Chien Guest

    Is the old Mac vs. PC debate over these days because PC has all the
    PCs here.

    Over 90% of the world's users of computers at home use PCs. Mac's
    are basically the 'extinct' animal today. Heck, even Adobe Premiere, a
    long, long time Mac & PC software, has dropped the Mac - the lastest
    version isn't available at all for a Mac. That goes to show how
    'limited' Macs are going forward.

    Basically, it's like this, software-wise. Get rid of Macs today, the
    world still runs fine on PCs. Get rid of PCs today, and the world falls
    apart.

    Also, you can buy a very nice PC system from Dell today (2.2Ghz P4,
    17" monitor, CDRW, etc.) for $499 that will handle just about everything
    you toss at it just fine. You'd have to spend a digital camera more
    ($300) to buy the cheapest Mac at $799 eMac, a slower system at 1Ghz
    than the 2.2Ghz P4 above (regardless of Ghz, performance just is slower).

    You can buy a very nice PC notebook with 15" screen easily for $899
    or less most anytime ($699 or less on sale; www.fatwallet.com/forums/ ->
    hot deals); iBook with only a 12" tiny hurtful screen for $1099, and
    they never go on sale.
    Get real!

    Although there's a lot of tooting about color management, color
    calibration, etc., the fundamental fact is that no matter how well
    calibrated and managed the monitor and printer is, they will never, ever
    match in terms of color output, gamut, or coverage!

    Take any sRGB or Adobe RGB color gamut chart, for example, and
    overlay it on the color gamut of 6+ color photo printers. They simply
    will not match.

    Also, prints are always reflective light sources, monitors always
    emissive light sources -- just this one difference alone means they'll
    never look identical.

    That said, you can get a good approximation if you color calibrate
    and manage everything, learn to deal with the differences in how prints
    look vs. monitors even after calibration, examine prints under a color
    accurate light box, have your room lighting fixed at a standard color
    temperature or left dark, etc., but it's a far cry still to say they'll
    'look' the same.

    trust me, I've got the color monitor calibrated, printer calibrated,
    lights off in my room, standard 5k view light, and they still look
    different. They'll look as best as they can, but still different. so
    you'll have to depend on your brain to do the guessing as to what the
    monitor image will look like once printed.

    you don't even need calibration for this part -- once you've gotten
    the hang of figuring out what looks good on screen = what looks good in
    print, you can just adjust based on that alone.

    This chart shows you how widely various emissive color gamuts vary.
    http://www.normankoren.com/Sachs_gamut_chart_2_640.jpg

    Now compare some common emissive color gamuts to reflective CMYK
    (print) gamut:
    http://www.camerahobby.com/Images/Color/colorspace.jpg
    NOTICE how the RGB green, red, and blue extremes (points of
    triangles) fall far, far, far outside the gamut covered by CMYK -- thus,
    what you see on screen will never match print, and vice versa, even
    after calibration and management!

    Fun pages to read about color management:
    http://www.color.org/faqs.pdf
    http://www.normankoren.com/color_management_2.html#Eye
    http://www.efg2.com/Lab/Library/Color/index.html
     
    David Chien, Nov 19, 2003
    #11
  12. shipwreck

    Rafe B. Guest


    I use a PC. Works great. If you're at all techno-savvy,
    forget about Macs.

    You'll get far more for your money in the PC world,
    and even if money were no object, the fastest
    workstations are PC based these days. Get a
    2.4 GHz Athlon with 1 or 2 Gb of fast DDRAM
    and you will be amazed.

    Screen to print matching depends on many factors.
    You need to understand that perfect matching simply
    doesn't exist. It's a matter of physics -- additive vs.
    subtractive colors, and the gamuts of CRTs vs. the
    gamut of a print (which depends on the print
    technology, etc.)

    There are inexpensive ways to get it right, and there
    are expensive ways. The former involve lots of
    practice and reading. The latter involves that,
    plus hardware and software that can create and
    utilize ICC color profiles. You can use either
    approach on either platform (ie., Mac or PC.)

    For most purposes, you'll have a near-infinite
    choice of software on either platform, but with
    one caveat. Specifically, when you buy a
    scanner, digital camera, printer or any sort of
    accessory -- it's quite likely that they've done
    more testing on the PC version than the Mac
    version, simply because of the relative
    market size of PCs vs. Macs.

    PS. If you go the PC route, and you have a
    choice in the matter, I'd suggest setting it up
    with Windows 2000. I use XP at work, and
    Win2K at home, and much prefer the latter.


    rafe b.
    http://www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    Rafe B., Nov 19, 2003
    #12
  13. Ye GODS!!!! We must all switch to PCs _today_! The world will _end_ if we
    don't switch to Windows!

    Y'know, though, that's _exactly_ how I pick my wardrobe. If the world won't
    fall apart if I don't wear these pants, I'm not puttin' 'em on. Or is it,
    if the world _will_ fall apart if I don't wear these pants? Wait a minute
    -- where _are_ my pants?! Oh, yeah -- they're Microsoft pants, and they
    crashed.

    So does the anesthesiology department run on Windows, Dave?
     
    Phil Stripling, Nov 19, 2003
    #13
  14. shipwreck

    Ed Wurster Guest

    The debate is not over. But to answer more specifically, each program you
    want to use is available on the PC.

    I use a PC (Windows 98) for my digital camera files. I use a Mac (PowerMac
    with G3 upgrade) to create some web pages.

    I use the camera software to download and rename pictures. I use something
    simple to catalog and browse the files. I use Photoshop, Photoshop Elements
    and Irfanview for editing files.

    You can calibrate your monitor to get a better match.

    I think the following two questions will help you decide what system to
    purchase:

    1. Set a budget first, and see what type of computer you will get, either
    Mac or PC.

    2. Where will your support come from? Think of the small and major problems
    you've been through with computer systems over the last five years. How will
    you get support when similar things happen with a new XP or OSX system?

    Ed
     
    Ed Wurster, Nov 19, 2003
    #14
  15. shipwreck

    Brad Guest

    They are.
    Wouldn't that be a reason not to choose a Mac?
     
    Brad, Nov 19, 2003
    #15
  16. shipwreck

    Brad Guest

    And where was that?
     
    Brad, Nov 19, 2003
    #16
  17. shipwreck

    Brad Guest

    So how is that a superior position?
     
    Brad, Nov 19, 2003
    #17
  18. shipwreck

    Brad Guest

    And no wonder the stealin' users block the call.
     
    Brad, Nov 19, 2003
    #18
  19. Of course, hon. It's a fair statement, don't you think? He should choose
    the computer which best suits his needs.
     
    Phil Stripling, Nov 19, 2003
    #19
  20. shipwreck

    David Chien Guest

    Basically, it's like this, software-wise. Get rid of Macs today, the
    Yes, it does. In fact, if you survey the majority of businesses in
    the entire world, they primarily run Windows. This isn't because Gates
    forces Microsoft products upon everyone - rather, seemless
    interoperability is what people strive for naturally. This is the same
    reason people settled on one video tape standard (VHS, rather than Beta)
    - not because it is the very best, not because it is the ultimate
    solution, but merely, it works decently well, and everyone else uses it.
    Same thing would go for the metric system if the USA (the only major
    country left that uses it) would change over - stupid too! lost a mars
    orbiter just because of a silly metric/pound conversion mistake.

    Besides, if Macs were better than PCs, why did they even need to
    introduce VirtualPC years ago? There would have been no need to run
    'silly, useless, inferior' PC programs otherwise - which is why PCs
    don't need Mac emulators.
     
    David Chien, Nov 19, 2003
    #20
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