Are Macs better than PCs for photography work? If so, why?

Started Mar 31, 2013 | Questions thread
Fat Dragon
Regular MemberPosts: 192
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Re: For power users, the Mac really does win. Here's why.
In reply to fyngyrz, Apr 2, 2013

fyngyrz wrote:

Fat Dragon wrote:

You can't do this legitimately on a PC. But you can on a Mac.

The italicized section above is true only because Apple's terms of service for OSX state that it may only be used on their computers.

Nonetheless, it is true. And the implications aren't minor, either: It affects what support you can get ("great" as opposed to "none"); it affects liability ("none" as opposed to "what do you mean I have to go to court?"); it affects upgrades and updates ("regular and authorized" as opposed to "none or irregular and probably illegal").

there's no technical specification preventing you from doing the same thing on a PC.

Yes, but as we know, technical specifications really aren't the definitive issue here. Licensing is a big deal, it controls the vast majority of how software use is handled these days, and it legitimately affects the work environment and the work product.

With regards to that system [clippage] it's a several thousand dollar investment and could be outdone by a PC builder with a $2000 budget.

No. Now you're just talking about hardware. You can buy a Cray supercomputer and you still can't run a legit copy of OSX. You're not comparing Apples to Apples. You're comparing Apples to pumpkins. Computers are systems whose actual value is based irrevocably on a very specific synergy: hardware and software. The system I described can run the way I described with no problems. The system you described becomes an instant legal liability and support nightmare the second you try such a thing. So no, your PC builder can't match it, not unless he starts with a Mac in the first place.

Either one is probably out of your budget for an editing machine.

I really can't speak for other people's budgets. What I can say, however, is that I am very content with my system's capabilities and not displeased with the cost. The power in my hands has paid me back many times over -- and that's still true even if I only count earnings from my photography. Yet I live on an otherwise fixed income these days, and I do watch what I spend.

The important thing, I find, is that old saw about being penny wise and pound foolish. If saving $1000 today cripples my ability to earn money at what I want to do tomorrow, perhaps it's not really a savings. If my Mac died today, I'd have another one on its way to me tomorrow (no Mac stores here, sadly.) It's been just that good.

The same thing goes for a decent monitor, a good office chair, and -- seems like a non sequitur, but isn't -- a good mattress and pillows. Because if you don't sleep well, everything eventually goes to heck in a hand basket. The person who cheaps out on the sleeping environment has well and truly shot themselves in the foot.

Computers aren't so cut and dry, because if you can't take advantage of a big system, then it's kind of pointless to go after one. But that still doesn't change what is capable of providing the most bang in the long run for those of us who push at the edges -- and that's a Mac.

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The entire crux of your argument is that spending more than 100% more on a Mac Pro as opposed to a custom PC is worthwhile because you can run OSX legally and with support. Legally, and from a perspective where OSX is needed for its software support or any other reason, that's watertight. I know a number of people who dual-boot or VM OSX on non-Apple machines and none of them have run into significant problems.

Considering all of the monopoly lawsuits that have gone through against MS, it's strange to me that Apple's ToS for OSX have never been blown open, especially in the EU. I'm still trying to determine how I feel about government regulation, but if they're going to regulate, that seems like a big one.

Either way, my bottom line on the basic question - as a PC user, will the OP benefit from switching to Apple for photography work - is no. Plenty of top industry professionals stick to one system for work in just about any field, and both systems offer excellent options for software and peripherals. Switching systems requires buying new licenses for programs, (potentially)new peripherals, and learning a new system. It's a time-intensive, costly process, and in the case of going from PC to Mac, it's also a switch to the system that costs more to begin with. If I'm buying a new system, I can spend $800 to build a new PC from scratch (or less to upgrade my home-built desktop), or I can spend $2500 on a similarly-specced Apple, another $500+ on software licenses, and 20 or more hours learning to use the system at a functional level (not to be confused with using it at the level I have acheived with Windows). The end result is that I spent more money for a system with a more-limited upgrade cycle and a shiny picture of an apple that lights up when I hit the 'on' button.

Apple makes great computers that work very well. They cost twice as much or more so that you can use their UNIX-derived OS in accordance with their Terms of Service. Price and the proprietary nature of the OS are two things that bother me about Apple, but the cult of Apple would turn me away every time even if those others weren't in place. Your response demonstrates that many Apple users have legitimate reasons for using Apple over other brands - you don't seem to fit into the cult. But so many others do, and they are by far the most annoying brand-loyalists I've ever met.

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