BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: To Be Categorized

Photography Question 

Mac vs PC for digital image work?

What are the issues re buying a Mac vs. PC for digital work, i.e., scanning images, using Photoshop to manipulate images, storage and printing images? Mac used to be king, I underatnd. Is this still true? What if I also want to run office software such as Excel, Word, Powerpoint, and Access?

To love this question, log in above
5/6/2001 12:42:02 PM

Jeff S. Kennedy   I am far from an expert on this but as I understand it Mac's are still the preferred platform for graphic artists. But the differences between them and PC's are negligable and I suspect you could hardly tell the difference. I think it's probably more important to stick with what you are used to. I doubt enough would be gained buying a Mac if you are used to using PC's to make the transition worthwhile.

To love this comment, log in above
5/6/2001 12:55:56 PM

Ken Pang   This is a pretty good topic to start flame wars on. :) I'll try to be objective.

Firstly, keep in mind that if you're chosing a machine with only one application in mind, you'll suffer when using other Apps with that machine. Realistically, will you be playing games, surfing the internet, or DTP on this machine?

With that in mind, remember that although the Mac platform has a very good RISC processor that handles graphics rendering very fast, the advantage in terms of photo finishing is not significant. In fact, if you are willing to spend up big, a well designed PC system will far outrun any Mac. (I'm talking dual procs with RAIDed HDs + copious amounts of RAM) We call this method in Australia "American firepower". If you can't do the job with finesse, do it with brute force.

Also, as a generalisation, all software is released first on PC, and if there is enough demand, later on Mac. Remember this when you go over the question "What else am I going to be doing on this machine?"

Finally, if you are not a computer expert yourself, better off getting a machine on the platform that help is most easily available - usually the PC.

Bottom line - Macs are certainly value for money if graphics editing is all you are going to do, but in reality, PCs are a much better "all-round" machine.

Hope this helps.



To love this comment, log in above
5/7/2001 2:31:41 AM

Jim Miotke
BetterPhoto Member
Owner,, Inc.
  Hi guys,

I'll pipe in my quick observations:

I grew up on Macs and love them for their ease and overall friendliness. I now have a couple of both (Macs and NT/Win 2000). I use one Mac just for scanning - not because it is better with graphics but rather "because it's there." I have noticed when using various applications such as a Web browser, my Macs are twice as slow (same DSL connection, similar RAM).

I hate to admit it (and many of my friends will crucify me for this) but I must say that my life has become much simplier, less frustrating, and more efficient since I moved the bulk of my work to my NT machines.

Hope this helps.

To love this comment, log in above
5/9/2001 11:50:13 PM

Log in to respond or ask your own question.