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

Started Mar 31, 2013 | Questions thread
Daniel Bliss Senior Member • Posts: 1,880
Re: Are Macs better than PCs for photography work? If so, why?

I don't think the difference is that big, quite honestly.  I have used Macs for 20 years and I doubt I'll ever switch, though I have to say I am impressed by how well Windows 8 works (not quite so impressed by its user interface, but that's another story — basically I have yet to be convinced that you can do one-size-fits-all for a UI across tablets, phones and both touchscreen and non-touchscreen PCs, but if the PC market goes all touch, then Microsoft is definitely on to something).

It's worth considering where Apple has led, and where there's not much different.  First of all, the Apple UI generally looks better, even with Windows 8's improvements in typography.  The Retina interface means truly scalable resolutions, and I think that's hugely useful in a graphics environment; you can effectively set fonts and icons to the appropriate size for the task, while always enjoying the full resolution for the photos.  Second, Apple's Apple-only software is interesting.  iPhoto is outstanding for a freebie package; Aperture combines the organizational capabilities of PhotoMechanic with most of the raw conversion strength of Adobe (and hopefully they'll soon give the long overdue upgrade to Aperture to finally bring it all the way to parity with Adobe's raw conversion) and, what's more, Aperture plays very nicely with other software if you want a different type of processing that Aperture doesn't necessarily offer and need to "roundtrip" a file out and back into Aperture.

If you use Adobe software, however, there really isn't much of a difference as Adobe has done everything they can to standardize applications, even down to some of the code they run, between the Mac and the PC.  And, especially if you use multiple Adobe applications, let's say Photoshop, Lightroom and Premiere together, there's a big benefit to using Windows because of the way the Windows toolbar sits with the application window rather than at the top of your primary monitor.  There are workarounds to this on the Mac; third-party plugins like SecondBar can give you extra toolbars, but they don't work as well as Windows' approach.

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