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View Full Version : Tech geeks, I need your advice...



Nabonga
08-07-2019, 05:58 PM
Feel free to bin this Ian if it's out of place.

So, I'm thinking of starting to get back into fiddling with photography and filming on a pure hobby level. I've got about 30k swedish kronor to spend on this, most of which will be spent on a new computer since my current one was a last minute, as cheap as possible "Oh, shit my computer crapped out on me I gotta get a new one stat" purchase. I doubt it'll handle any image/video-editing without exploding.

I was farting around tonight on an e-store and made a shopping cart. Is this a good starting set up (I'll have to get stands, lights, etc, etc at a later stage)?

*Sorry aboot the image for ants*

23068

Mark Tolch
08-07-2019, 06:22 PM
Gonna strongly suggest an external hard drive or two for backup. I have an older iMac 27", they're awesome to do any photo/video work on. Good choice.

Nabonga
08-07-2019, 06:40 PM
Cool. Yeah, you can never have too much back up. The downsides of the digital era. I'll seriously consider buying this set up then. I've only used Mac in school before and it was specifically for editing film (on Avid, which I've never truly warmed up to) and photoshop so I have some experience with the brand even if it was years ago now. Any not super expensive software you can recommend for editing, etc?

I mainly need a hobby I feel. I work a simple job so I have lots and lots of downtime. My childhood friends are all caught up in the whole raising kids game so we're not really on the same level anymore. I watch a lot of movies but that's pretty much all that's going on in my life. I feel like I'm just existing.

Dom D
08-07-2019, 06:53 PM
The camera is solid, you cant really buy a bad canon DSLR. If I was dabbling I'd probably go mirrorless. I'm a DSLR man but mirrorless is the future 100%.

I'd probably go with a couple smaller sd cards than the one big one. 128gb is probably about 5-6000 RAW images with that camera which is a lot to carry on one card.

I think the Mac is a crazy choice for photography. They have no advantages and your severely limited by the hardware available which is all stupidly expensive. I built my PC myself for photography and it cost about $USD4000. To get an equivalent Mac would be well into the 5 figure range. The issue is, they don't use AMD cups which are easily the best bang for buck these days. And they don't use nvidia GPUs which are just massively better than the alternatives.

Dom D
08-07-2019, 07:02 PM
Just a bit further to the computer stuff because I realise my own needs dictated my advice there rather than the best course. Photoshops needs are actually pretty modest for the computer. If your editing in Photoshop, Photoshop can only accesses 4 cpu cores at 100 percent and will use 2 more at 50% if available. That's just my own testing so not sure if that holds up across the board but I believe it's true. So 4 core processor is fine. 6 is better. More than that is just going to waste. The GPU is rarely used. Basically it jumps into to render some filters. I believe you can even get away without one and Use an integrated gpu. A modest one is still nice. 16gb RAM is a minimum and unless your doing really complex stuff it's probably all you need as well.

Nabonga
08-07-2019, 07:22 PM
I appreciate the input Dom. The camera does seem really solid for my budget range and basic skill level. I'll take the memory card suggestion into consideration as well. I'm purely guessing but I went with the biggest because of video in mind. The pro cameras we used in school ate up a lot of memory really fast I recall. I'm not that versed in tech unfortunately. Something I could and should get better at but it all becomes gobbledegook when I start reading about it.

The Mac vs PC debate always comes up when talking about these things. It's both valid and endless. Everyone has their preferences. I don't really have a dog in the fight myself. But I wouldn't be throwing money in the trash should I opt for a Mac? Overpriced though it may be. The brief time I spent in the business it was all Mac everywhere basically.

Paul L
08-07-2019, 07:44 PM
The camera is solid, you cant really buy a bad canon DSLR. If I was dabbling I'd probably go mirrorless. I'm a DSLR man but mirrorless is the future 100%.
To echo what Dom has said, there's nothing wrong with a dSLR but depending on what type of photography you're planning on doing, you might want to look at mirrorless options. Some of the mirrorless cameras are incredibly good, though if you're looking at sports or wildlife photography you'll probably still need/want a dSLR. For my documentary work and the occasional weddings and events that I shoot, I use mirrorless cameras all the way (I favour the Fujifilm X-Pro2) but still have a dSLR for backup.

I think the Mac is a crazy choice for photography. They have no advantages and your severely limited by the hardware available which is all stupidly expensive. I built my PC myself for photography and it cost about $USD4000. To get an equivalent Mac would be well into the 5 figure range. The issue is, they don't use AMD cups which are easily the best bang for buck these days. And they don't use nvidia GPUs which are just massively better than the alternatives.
Again, I'd side with Dom on this. I've been a Mac user for almost 20 years, since I started working in the media department at a local college and was required to 'switch'. Since then, every computer that I've used has been a Mac. But I think the tide is turning against Apple. They've made some bloody ridiculous decisions and animosity towards them has been brewing for a few years now. Their products are vastly overpriced. I'd suggest getting a reasonably decent PC instead and spending the difference instead on some software - either Capture One or Adobe Lightroom/Photoshop. (If you're going for the latter, I'd recommend looking for the last physical version of the Adobe software rather than the Creative Cloud subscription service - which is a massive ripoff, imo.)

Re: SD cards. I also go for smaller cards (no more than 32Gb usually) and carry a few with me, in case one of them craps out. (If you lose 128Gb of images, you're screwed; if you lose 32Gb you're still screwed but potentially less so.) With the mirrorless cameras I favour, they tend to have dual card slots - so you can use one of these as a backup or set the camera up to record JPG to one of the slots and RAW to the other, etc.

Dom D
08-07-2019, 10:56 PM
But I wouldn't be throwing money in the trash should I opt for a Mac?

Oh definitely not. Apple don't make a bad computer (except for the infamous Mac pro from a few years back. Would literally melt under load). It's just you get so much more for the same price with a PC.

I'd disagree on the Adobe front with Paul. I actually reckon the Adobe subscription is an excellent deal. I think I pay $aud15 a month for that software. Sure it adds up over time but $15 is not really an amount I notice monthly and you get two industry standard professional programs for that. Old unsupported software like the last version you can buy of Photoshop makes me nervous. Like recently Adobe removed old versions of Premiere from their systems and told people they were no longer licensed to use them- even if they owned them- because a licensing deal they had with Dolby expired. I wasn't involved in that one as I'm all Blackmagic for video but from the outside it looked messy. I reckon always go current and supported.

If you don't like the subscription model though have a look at Affinity Photo. I think it's about $50 and it's 95% of the functionality of Photoshop. Unless you're working at a very advanced level I don't think there's anything you'd miss.

Headless Body
08-07-2019, 11:18 PM
If you do get the Canon you should look up the Magic Lantern firmware. It opens up a ton of cool options for those cameras.

Darcy Parker
08-07-2019, 11:20 PM
I also endorse the Mac solution. Video and graphics work is integral to the operating system, and the integration of the hardware and software allows for much smoother workflow and lower chances of problems. As for build quality and longevity, I have a 2006 Mac Mini still going strong as a lightweight server and the legendary 1997 Power Mac G3 in the blue and white tower in a closet just needing a clock battery to be replaced, but otherwise running like its brand new when I feel like some retro gaming.

IT is my profession, and it’s honestly kind of amusing how many professionals in the field keep Windows systems running all day, but go home to a Mac because it doesn’t need any effort to keep it working.

Dom D
08-07-2019, 11:41 PM
Integration of software to hardware depends on the software that you are using. These days most creative professionals use Adobe software which is no more integrated with one operating system than another. Indeed Apple flat out wont support Adobes cuda and adobe doesn't seem overly keen on chasing Apples tail with their alternatives.

For photography it just doesn't matter that much. Either will get the job done and you're unlikely to ever be waiting on the hardware unless its well underpowered. The Mac just costs so much more. For other creative projects I think it's a more critical choice, I've edited features on Macs and edited them on Windows. Workflow is exactly the same on both. You just go faster on Windows because the equivalent priced hardware is so much faster. But then I'm a 3d guy and 3d is really a windows/Linux world. 3ds Max (the Photoshop of the 3d world) has never even been ported to Mac.

Darcy Parker
08-07-2019, 11:53 PM
Integration of software to hardware depends on the software that you are using. These days most creative professionals use Adobe software which is no more integrated with one operating system than another. Indeed Apple flat out wont support Adobes cuda and adobe doesn't seem overly keen on chasing Apples tail with their alternatives.

For photography it just doesn't matter that much. Either will get the job done and you're unlikely to ever be waiting on the hardware unless its well underpowered. The Mac just costs so much more. For other creative projects I think it's a more critical choice, I've edited features on Macs and edited them on Windows. Workflow is exactly the same on both. You just go faster on Windows because the equivalent priced hardware is so much faster. But then I'm a 3d guy and 3d is really a windows/Linux world. 3ds Max (the Photoshop of the 3d world) has never even been ported to Mac.
The integration I’m speaking of is the driver level software being specifically written to the OS and hardware as known quantities, which eliminates a lot of the errors in Windows that cause application crashes and system crashes. Mac OS is written with a knowledge of exactly what hardware it will be running on, where Windows has to be loose enough that it will work on any random bucket of parts, more or less. I’ve supported Adobe CC in a Windows environment, and things were so flaky and temperamental at times that some of the staff brought in their personal Macs and used them instead of the brand new workstations we had bought just for the purpose. Mac OS may not have the CUDA rendering support, but rendering isn’t usually time-sensitive, so that’s more of a marketing feature than a functional benefit, and even then only certain GPUs even support it. Having Windows or CC crap itself and fall over in the middle of a simple edit can cost days of productivity, and it’s much less likely to happen on a Mac.

Mark Tolch
08-08-2019, 08:15 AM
If you've got the funds to build your own computer, you can do some great things with it that will last a damn long time. I usually don't have thousands to dedicate to such a thing, and I do have the advantage of working in IT and haven't had to buy a new computer in about 8 years. That being said, I love the imacs. I'm not an apple fan boy; I basically have no other Apple products, save for an ipod nano that's about 12 years old; but they're just so nice to work on. Clean is how I describe it when people ask. The layout of the mac, the aesthetic, automatically puts me into a creative workflow headspace, but that could be because I work on a PC all day everyday for work. I also love that my Macbook Pros from 2013 are still reliably kicking; one of them is my recording computer, and it handles everything I need it for just fine.

As for editing, I do use Photoshop, but the editing software that came with my Nikon does a great job for cropping, resizing, adjusting levels, etc. I'm not big on filters and other photoshop goodies, I like to get the picture I want in the lens, but I'm also a pretty shitty photographer haha.

Whoever mentioned getting two memory cards is on the money. First off, if your card fails, you have a backup, secondly, if you go on vacation or have a long period where you're doing a lot fo shooting, it's nice to have a second card to switch to, as opposed to having to upload all of your photos before you can get back to work. Sounds like you're about to have yourself a heck of a time!

Ian Jane
08-08-2019, 09:22 AM
I currently support 6 designers using CC on PC's and honestly don't run into any problems - I just make sure the work stations have the horsepower to handle it.

Recently built a video editing work station and went PC for it simply because of the graphics card Dom mentioned earlier, and this thing is fast a Hell.

That's all I really have to add, haha.

Nabonga
08-08-2019, 06:57 PM
Love all the input. All of you make good points. Reading all of it with interest. Not a huge fan of subscription based software but that seems to be the thing these days. It's why I switched to an open source word alternative in openoffice, for example.

Basically I'm looking for something that frees up space (my apartment is tiny) and that is reliable. My current computer takes up an entire desk and with the Mac it would take up a lot less. In my personal life I've always only used PC and haven't had catastrophic issues but still some bad ones. But I've used them for everything. This new one would not be used for anything everyday life such as surfing, banking, etc... I'll get a decent laptop for that stuff.

It's hard to decide but y'all have convinced me of going for a couple of smaller memory cards instead of the one in the picture example. I'm also basically set on the camera I think. It's the PC/Mac thing I'll have to mull over.

Darcy Parker
08-08-2019, 10:34 PM
Love all the input. All of you make good points. Reading all of it with interest. Not a huge fan of subscription based software but that seems to be the thing these days. It's why I switched to an open source word alternative in openoffice, for example.

Basically I'm looking for something that frees up space (my apartment is tiny) and that is reliable. My current computer takes up an entire desk and with the Mac it would take up a lot less. In my personal life I've always only used PC and haven't had catastrophic issues but still some bad ones. But I've used them for everything. This new one would not be used for anything everyday life such as surfing, banking, etc... I'll get a decent laptop for that stuff.

It's hard to decide but y'all have convinced me of going for a couple of smaller memory cards instead of the one in the picture example. I'm also basically set on the camera I think. It's the PC/Mac thing I'll have to mull over.

If space is at a premium, the iMac or iMac Pro would be the best bet, depending on budget and how much horsepower you need. Windows all-in-ones tend to have short lifespans due to the corners PC makers cut to make a cheaper product.