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

Started Mar 31, 2013 | Questions thread
danijel973
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Re: Are Macs better than PCs for photography work? If so, why?
In reply to theJuke2, Apr 2, 2013

There have been many responses already but I'll add my experience.

For photographic work, I don't think you'll see much difference one way or another. Both have sufficient hardware and the OS is more than capable enough. Adobe software works on both and I don't think there are significant speed differences.

That said, there are "general computing" differences that you might consider. For instance, Mac has a unix OS so it is quite easy to do command-line scripting in several languages (php, perl, python...) which you can combine with command-line tools such as dcraw or imagemagick in order to automatize certain kinds of image processing. Furthermore, using rsync as a backup tool can be quite useful. So if you have a background in linux, solaris or something similar, Mac's command line will feel like home. If you don't, you probably won't miss it because the rest of the OS works more-less the same as Windows GUI. Mac's built-in backup tool, the time machine, seems to work better than the Windows equivalent, though.

Both operating systems have their share of glitches that manifest occasionally, but they are placed differently. For instance, on Windows I had instances of my Logitech keyboard not working, so I had to unplug the unifying connector and plug it back into the USB port in order to reset things. On my Mac, every month or so the keyboard gets stuck into autorepeat mode, repeating the last character a hundred times or so before it goes away. Both have their stupid background services that occasionally rev up the CPU and HDD doing something useless and you wonder WTF now, but Windows is more annoying with its update policy. Also, a Mac has a different keyboard layout and getting special characters such as @, {}[ ] etc might be quite unfamiliar at first, but you learn it quickly.

You'll pay less for a PC, but not so much less if you really configure it with top spec components, but at least you'll know what you're getting. On the other hand, a Mac feels more elegant and I grew to like it very quickly.

So generally speaking the differences are not all that significant if you don't use unix shell, but if you do, then a Mac becomes a significantly more versatile machine, which is why many scientists, programmers and system administrators use it as their machine of choice: it is as usable as a linux box but without the warts, and you can run the same commercial software as on Windows.

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