PCs, Macs and camera brands....

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by David Kilpatrick, May 28, 2004.

  1. This is a very silly thought. Sigma keeps getting called names by Canon
    users (almost exclusively) on this group making very forthright
    statements that Sigma products are of inferior quality, implying that
    this is a downmarket choice.

    Yet of the couple of dozen Canon digital professional users I know,
    nearly all are dedicated fans of PCs and don't like Macs - one or two in
    a pretty extreme fashion. As far as I'm concerned the PC is cheap me-too
    platform prone to all kinds of inconsistencies and plagued by virus
    attacks (not MS's fault, as such) and the Mac is fundamentally the only
    choice for digital imaging and design/publishing work. This is not a
    head-in-sand view as I have to maintain PC systems and Macs side by side
    to test software and products, and have done for many years.

    Having said that, most of my contacts are in social photography, not
    press or commercial, and probably had PCs for invoicing/admin purposes
    only in the past, and never counted the computer system as an important

    Any thoughts? Do Nikon owners prefer Macs and Canon owners prefer PCs?
    Is it a herd instinct thing? Should Sigma owners really be trying to
    find software for their NeXT Cubes?

    David Kilpatrick, May 28, 2004
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  2. []
    I am a Nikon owner and have built my own PCs since about 1977. I cannot
    build a Mac. I have been very happy with Windows NT, 2000 and XP as
    stable and very capable operating systems.

    David J Taylor, May 28, 2004
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  3. David Kilpatrick

    Lung Fish Guest

    I am primarily a Nikon owner.

    I use Unix.
    Lung Fish, May 28, 2004
  4. This Canon user prefers the Mac OS. Canon for 35 years, Mac for about 18.
    John McWilliams, May 28, 2004
  5. Well, there must be some difference, because with the exception of one
    clone Mac which ended up cannibalised and thrown away every single Mac
    we have owned has continued to work - our earliest are now two decades
    old - and quite remarkably the accounts software we used to use (better
    for 1986 than anything made for PC back then) kept going until last
    year, when switching back to Classic got to be a pain just for one 1986
    program soldiering on.

    I don't think any of the PCs we've had lasted more than four or five
    years for useful life (the last one to expire was our massive Dell twin
    processor tower - their most expensive imaging solution in 2001 or
    whenever). The build quality just wasn't there. I've now had a Dell
    2.6GHz running XP and switched on for about two years (maybe a little
    less) to date, it seems to be standing up well but the fan and HDs are
    making more noise than they did. Our Mac 9600 in contrast - and the 8100
    we used to use as an imagesetter RIP - show no signs of any
    deterioration in compenents, including moving parts, in eight years of
    continuous operation with rare shutdowns.

    The only other equipment we've got which has the same incredible
    longevity seems to be HP laser printers - 4V and 4MV. They are

    The least reliable equipment I have right now is the Acorn-derived Fiery
    RIP for the Canon photocopier, which eats hard disks and self-destructs
    systemwise at regular intervals. We no longer leave it on all the time.

    My Macs are generally never switched off because of ISDN reception,
    printer and network/internet serving functions. Richard, our son, grew
    up with them so much he collects them. He is selling them now, but his
    collection last month included some wonderful old things like a Colour
    Classic with a new processor shoved in it, running happily on the wired
    bit of his hybrid PC/Mac/Unix wireless and cabled network.

    He was a PC convert for much work until recently when the Mac 20 inch
    cinema display and Pro Tools with a twin processor G5 persuaded him that
    studio sound production was all down to how well the interface works!

    David Kilpatrick, May 28, 2004

  6. This is true but the memory is actually not the same. It looks it but
    the configuration of the chip is different. I had some PC memory which
    had this tiny difference from Mac, and I altered the SIMMs to make it
    work. It did work, but crashed constantly and was not a usable option.
    The Mac memory was 100 per cent stable. This was: a Power PC 275 mHz
    9600. Can't remember where the 'wrong' memory came from.

    David Kilpatrick, May 28, 2004
  7. David Kilpatrick

    Mike Engles Guest


    If you go to
    you will see the Nikon/Canon v Sigma war pplayed out as a Apple v IBM
    one, with the same abuse, the same 'experts', the same arguments.

    It initially makes an amusing bit of reading, but then you realise how
    sad the combatants are.

    Mike Engles
    Mike Engles, May 28, 2004
  8. 'Cept this ain't supposed to be a mad dog advocacy group, which the
    advocacy groups generally are. And another major difference is that
    there seems to be one or two persons posting under several pseudonyms
    making outrageous claims and assertions in this group, whereas in the
    adv. groups there are often Holy Wars of opinion, and character
    assination, by many on each side, be it Ford or GM, Mac or PC, etc.
    John McWilliams, May 29, 2004
  9. There used to be a very large difference between PCs and Macs. PCs were
    pretty junky hardware and software initially: stepper-motor disk
    positioners, lousy disk interfaces, crummy text-only graphics cards
    while even the earliest Macs had decent (for their time) SCSI disks, a
    bitmapped screen, and windowing software. Macs cost a lot more than
    PCs, but they also did a lot more.

    Things have changed since then. Current versions of Windows are quite
    usable compared with MacOS, though there are still people who like one
    or the other better. Macs now use the same frame buffers and disks as
    PCs do. New CPUs come out all the time, and the lead in benchmarks
    keeps changing.

    In broad terms, Macs aren't nearly as expensive as they used to be in
    inflation-adjusted dollars, but they're not made with such premium parts
    any more either. PCs have remained pretty cheap, but the hardware is
    far better now. Hardware-wise, the two worlds aren't that different

    Dave Martindale, May 29, 2004
  10. David Kilpatrick

    Tom Scales Guest

    No, it's not.
    Tom Scales, May 30, 2004

  11. that's a user choice, unlike the Disneyland appearance of XP!
    David Kilpatrick, May 30, 2004
  12. They were introduced as copies of the Windows stuff because windows
    users complained that Mac icons and interface weren't big enough to see
    or colourful enough to notice - the cartoon style was a Windows
    invention, followed by Mac - and you can indeed turn off just about
    everything of the system-slowing animation and be left with a nearly
    pure Mac interface if you wish.

    Even so, I still prefer the graphic integrity of the original Xerox Parc
    Lisa/Mac GUI.

    David Kilpatrick, May 30, 2004
  13. When something does go wrong, you lose nothing. OSX recovers every last
    keystroke on any current app. InDesign is marvellous - I've never lost a
    single minute's work.

    In contrast, Sage payroll on Windows NT (admittedly, not XP) cost us an
    $800 fine last year by losing all data and failing to function correctly
    with joke backups on floppies. Floppies! moronic. We now do the same
    thing entirely on MYOB on Mac and it backs up to anything we choose,
    automatically, but we've never needed a backup. We used to have to
    rebuilt Sage's transactions several times a year due to system or
    hardware failures in PCs.

    David Kilpatrick, May 30, 2004
  14. David Kilpatrick

    Tom Monego Guest

    This sounds like bad software, you could use MYOB on the PC or Quickbooks.
    Never a problem with Quickbooks and it will back up to anything. Crap software
    is crap software no matter what platform it is on.
    I run very stable PCs with win98SE and Win2000 (which saves everything BTW). I
    have XP on a digital imaging system at a medical facility where I work, 2
    crashes in the 6months we have used it all data saved. I had one 98SE computer
    go down, it was a lease from Gateway and they had an interlock on the
    motherboard (required by Microsoft) so their operating system couldn't be used
    on any other computer. This failed repeatedly on 5 different mb's. Gateway
    replaced the entire computer. But this was a bad design. I have 3 PC computers
    I have made all are running with no problems. I have a friend running OSX on a
    G4 that crashes every time it goes to sleep, Apple wants it in for a mb
    transplant and $$$, he just turned off the sleep mode and is fine. What matters
    is that my machines are productive and so are yours.

    Tom Monego, May 30, 2004
  15. How good is your memory??

    John McWilliams, May 30, 2004
  16. It's fine if you have a tiny little screen and run each application
    full-screen, as people pretty much did on 9" Macs. But it's horrid
    for a modern setup with, say, a 21" monitor and a 17" monitor, where
    you routinely have multiple application windows open at once.
    It matches the natural behavior of CRTs better, as I remember it.
    That's a pretty big advantage actually.
    David Dyer-Bennet, May 30, 2004

  17. They didn't pick any gamma. For a decade and more, there was no such
    thing as any colour management in any PC/Windows release. Then - was it
    95 I think? - they ported Apple ColorSync to Windows, briefly under its
    own name, and then Windows CMM.

    The Gamma 2.2 came about simply because this was the legacy gamma of the
    average unadjusted CRT with the average video card. They used the gamma
    which their typical user already had.

    I remember in 1989, our first 20 inch colour monitors for Mac (imported
    from the USA and flown in to Edinburgh to save thousands on UK prices)
    came with cards that offered firmware set gamma - 1.0, 1.4, 1.8, 2.2 and
    2.8. We worked initially with 1.4 for quite a while since that was the
    default for Aldus Preprint. Agfa's scanners and printer/imagesetter
    drivers required a gamma of 1.0 to be set!

    The main difference between Mac gamma 1.8 and PC 2.2 is that if you want
    an identical view of an image on the PC without colour management in
    place, you will be tempted to raise the three-quarter tone and shadow
    brightness. This emphasises noise in digital images, which is always
    most visible in this area of the shadows.

    The CMM also does the same. I have had to deal with PC/2.2 users
    claiming unacceptable shadow noise levels from digital cameras where Mac
    users saw none - and in the printed results, there wasn't any. PC/2.2
    users are also more likely to say that scans look grainy, for the same

    If it is possible to set a screen gamma which shows an unadjusted
    digital camera shot looking correct tonally without any CMM transforms,
    that is an ideal situation. The closest you can get really is G1.8 and
    shooting Adobe 1998 RGB. G2.2 and shooting sRGB is much more likely to
    make pictures show shadow zone noise or appear to have some poor colours.

    David Kilpatrick, May 31, 2004
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