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Thread: Tech geeks, I need your advice...

  1. #1
    Senior Member Nabonga's Avatar
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    Tech geeks, I need your advice...

    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)?

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    Senior Member Mark Tolch's Avatar
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    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.

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    Senior Member Nabonga's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Nabonga; 08-07-2019 at 06:45 PM.
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    Spoon! Dom D's Avatar
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    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.
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    Spoon! Dom D's Avatar
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    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.
    "Never let the fact that they are doing it wrong stop you from doing it right." Hyman Mandell.

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    Senior Member Nabonga's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Nabonga; 08-07-2019 at 07:26 PM.
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  7. #7
    Scholar of Sleaze Paul L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D View Post
    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.
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  8. #8
    Spoon! Dom D's Avatar
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    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.
    "Never let the fact that they are doing it wrong stop you from doing it right." Hyman Mandell.

  9. #9
    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.

  10. #10
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    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.

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