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Messages - RustyTheGeek

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271
Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: January 28, 2013, 04:44:40 PM »
Well, I've run into this too.  Not sure which Lenovo laptops you have been disappointed with but since I use the older ones, I haven't run across what you say about them being plastic crap yet.  However, my wife has about a year old T430 with i7, etc from work and it seems fine, not much difference from my older T61 and T400s.  Screen, keyboard, etc all seem good.  Are you sure you are talking about the same level ThinkPad units?  Because the ones at Best Buy are crap.  The problem with Lenovo is that they have sooooo many versions of their laptops it gets confusing real fast.  However, it's safe to say that if the model starts with a T or X, it should be a decent system.

And keep in mind, no where am I trying to totally trash macs, the next mac I get will likely be a MacBook Pro when I want to start messing with video again (but not professionally or anything).  I just don't like the iMac for the money and what it is.  A MacBook is much more versatile and much easier to sell.  That's what an IT Buddy has been using lately and when he's at the office, he just hooks it up to a BAD.  (Big Ass Display)  And he runs Win8 in a VM because he has to get actual work done at some point as well.

As far as desktop computers, at some point, they all work about the same for basic computing.  After that, for high performance needs, I just build from scratch, even for clients.  However, the DELL and HP higher end "Workstation" lines are pretty nice but also pretty pricey.

272
Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: January 28, 2013, 04:07:05 PM »
Sounds like cayenne is on his game.  Great info.  No need to nitpick details, I think we agree that the right tool for the job, etc.  My biggest problem with iMacs and any other All-In-One computers (besides the high price) is that they are an accident waiting to happen.  You're locked in to a fixed configuration and if anything goes wrong, esp the display or motherboard, it's essentially out the window.  Even under warranty it's a huge pain to send it off, etc.

So it will always be either a computer+monitor or laptop for me but in this case, a tower and a high end display that isn't glossy.

And in my experience, iPhoto and iMovie are great (or used to be, I've heard mixed reviews about the latest versions) but they have their limits so it's eventually off to buy Aperture or Lightroom.  Final Cut Pro doesn't come with the mac for free either, but if you need it, you need it.  Adobe has the advantage of being cross platform compatible.

273
Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: January 28, 2013, 01:39:53 PM »
i honestly wouldnt get an imac for gfx / video use.

the screen is glossy and a mess to work with compared to a dell u2711 or dell u2713h.

source: i own both, a 2012 imac and a dell u2713h.


had a look at mac mini / used mac pros??

My thoughts exactly with regard to the display and avoiding the iMac entirely.  I hate gloss displays.  Ditto on buying the refurb stuff.  And FWIW, I have a DELL U2410 that works great!

274
Lenses / Re: Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L II is a Peerless Performer
« on: January 28, 2013, 01:14:38 PM »
I am more interested in a long discussion and comparison of the Tamron 24-70 vs the Canon 24-70 since the Tamron has received so much positive attention.  Is the Canon really worth all the extra $$ over the Tamron?  That's the question in my mind...

275
Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: January 28, 2013, 01:08:33 PM »
I goofed again!   :-[

The 21" iMac is the nightmare iMac.  Forget doing anything with this other than turning it on and off.   ;)  Okay, that was mean.  Forget doing any upgrades or repairs with the 21" iMac other than turning it on and off.

The 27" iMac (the OP says he wants) RAM is easy to upgrade.  (But not much else.)  There is an eject button in the power cord socket at the back of the iMac. Press it, and a cover pops open giving you easy access to the RAM slots.

I still think the older refurb iMac would be your best bet if you MUST get an iMac.

276
Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: January 28, 2013, 12:51:25 PM »
7enderbender - I totally sympathize and I agree.  It's a challenge to choose a good system now.  I think Apple has really taken the laptop display up a big step with Retina.  That is a game changer.  However, I hate glossy displays.  So as good as it is, Retina is out for me.  I can't stand the glare and reflection of a gloss display.  95% of high end professional desktop displays running into the thousands are matte finish for good reason.

Keep in mind that once you remove OSX and the aluminum case, all the internal hardware, chipsets, RAM, drives, etc are identical to a Windows PC.  All the extra money is going to Apple, not to the technology.  The Retina display on laptops is the only standout right now.  And it deserves praise.

However, the problem is that people compare Apple products to the cheap retail crap at Best Buy, not to the better enterprise level systems that all the major vendors make for business.  Lenovo, Toshiba, DELL. HP, Sony, Fujitsu, Panasonic, etc all have much better offerings in both PC and Laptop devices if you look at their website and venture into the other product lines.  Those lines are more expensive and I typically suggest folks look into the refurb items that have come off of lease (2+ years old) if they want a real steal of a bargain on those units.  For instance, there are a lot of nice refurb T series Lenovo units out now, some now with iSeries CPUs (like a T410) for less than $500-$700 and then you could simply upgrade the RAM and throw in an SSD for a screaming ThinkPad that's built like a tank and has a great display.  Here's an example (not necc what you need)... http://tinyurl.com/b8sve4b

277
Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: January 28, 2013, 12:33:16 PM »
Didn't read the whole thread- just the OP. Take that into account.

For what it's worth, I have a 2010 27" iMac, i7 quad-core 2.93 GHz. Upgraded to 12 GB RAM but contemplating getting more from OWC (www.macsales.com). It cost about $2k when I got it, but I'm sure you could now get one for substantially less. I thought about upgrading when I heard they were going to do a refresh, but I immediately decided I didn't want anything to do with the new one, for the following reasons:

1) Optical drive. If you're ever going to want to burn CDs or DVDs, I'd much rather have that built in than have to buy and deal with an external drive.

2) FW. Yeah, I know, you can get a TB-FW adapter. But I already have a FW800 RAID setup for data storage and backup, which is significantly cheaper than a comparable TB RAID device.

3) What I have, works great. I have CS6, so I'm using LR4, Photoshop Extended, and Premier Pro for video. And I can run them all at the same time, with no lag. If I do something really intensive I might have to free up a bit of RAM, but I've been amazed at how smoothly this system tackles hard work. I can't imagine that the performance upgrade would be particularly noticeable, for my usage, and therefore not worth the cost for me.

My recommendation? Keep an eye on the Refurb section of the Apple store, and save some money on the lastest version of the old generation. And regardless of the specs, get the 27" screen. Having that kind of real estate is awesome. :-)


If you MUST get an iMac, I would follow this advice.  Thanks bseitz234.  Save some money and maybe still have the ability to at least open and upgrade/repair the older version of the iMac.  The newer Thunderbolt drives and peripherals are either non-existent or outrageously expensive at this time.  Older tech FW800 stuff is super solid and proven.

278
Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: January 28, 2013, 12:27:58 PM »
This might have been asked before, but I would really like some advice on which iMac, from those models just launched, to get.
Make sure you look into Academic Discounts if you are a student or have students in your family.  It's about the only way to get a discount on Apple products.

I am looking at the 27" Desktop and I am going to configure it to at least include the 3TB drive.  I will upgrade the memory (2 extra 8GB = 24GB total) after market as it is cheaper.  Now I can just upgrade everything, but I would like not to if there is really no need or real world impact.
You should get at least the iMac RAM MAXED OUT AT PURCHASE TIME because it is practically impossible to open, repair or upgrade anything once you receive it[/s].  The 27" iMac RAM is easy to upgrade.  (But not much else.)  So get your extra RAM from Crucial for a fraction of the price.  There is an eject button in the power cord socket at the back of the iMac. Press it, and a cover pops open giving you easy access to the RAM slots.  Otherwise, the iMac can't be modified easily.  This is one of many reasons I discourage folks from buying them.  They are like buying a huge iPad when it comes to working on them.  Pray it doesn't develop any problems during its lifespan!  Read this to get a better idea of the situation...
http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9234218/Upgrading_RAM_on_new_iMac_practically_impossible


So, I need the community's advice for the CPU and GPU specs to lead me in understanding where my money will best be spend
1 - CPU > Taking into account my usage, is there any need/benefit to upgrade from the i5 2.9GHz to the i5 3.2GHz or i7 3.6GHz --- each step = $200
2 - GPU > Taking into account my usage, would I benefit from the increase the 512MB to 1GB memory ---- $150 upgrade
If you are doing much video, max out the CPU.  Otherwise the CPU difference listed above is not that important.  512 MB of video RAM won't matter either way for photo or video.  The graphics chipset in the iMac is pretty weak anyway so save the money.

My Usage (None for professional purposes):
Photo Editing
 - Aperture.  I have also recently started to work more with RAW files and my current 2009 MacBook does feel the punch.
 - Photoshop Elements (rarely)
 - NIK HDR
Video Editing of family videos using iMovie
Family Computer usage: Word, Excel Internet, e-Mail.
The iMac can handle the casual usage you describe above and iMovie will likely do you fine for video.  Just please get a large backup drive(s).  Other World Computing (http://eshop.macsales.com) is a great place to get better drives than the overpriced Apple drives.  Also get a copy of SuperDuper! for better recovery backups than TimeMachine.  Also, if you have kids in school, don't forget that you can get a lot of your software in legitimate academic versions to save money.  Esp MS Office, Adobe, etc. 

Cameras: Hopefully Canon 6D and 12Mpix Panasonic GF3
I can't speak to the GF3 but I own the 6D and love it.

PS - let this not be a discussion about Mac vs PC or Desktop vs Laptop.  Those choices are settled
Sorry, I pretty much screwed the pooch on this part.   :-[

Thanks


After re-reading the OP's post (above), let me apologize for my previous lengthy post answering essentially the opposite of what the OP requested.  See above for my thoughts on his actual post.   :-[

279
Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: January 28, 2013, 11:50:04 AM »
OK, Whoops.  Sorry again for the long post.   :-[

Yeah, these things do tend to end up being Mac vs. the rest.  In this case however, I think that the iMac is a beautiful thing but very overpriced and somewhat ill suited for photo/video work.  Yes, it CAN be used for those functions but it's very expensive and inefficient to create a good environment for the task.  IMO, when working with thousands of important images or large video files, the important task (that shouldn't be overlooked) is not just CPU or RAM, it's file management.  The images should be on a RAID volume to offer protection from failure and then also stored on a large secondary volume for backup.  An iMac is essentially a laptop with a big screen and isn't designed to provide this type of multi-volume fault tolerant infrastructure.  (Without hanging a bunch of expensive Thunderbolt drives off the back, which is still very new technology.)  Yes, you can do fine with an i5 CPU and 8G of RAM (although OSX has always been very RAM hungry) but you can't do anything if your data or system is lost.

Whether the OP buys Apple or Wintel, the advice should point them to something that is powerful, configurable and upgradable.  I would suggest a Mac Pro, not an iMac.  I don't think the Mac Pro is a rip-off if that is what the job demands but it is still very expensive, just like all Apple products.  I didn't set the prices.  The Mac Pro disk structure, CPU and RAM can be much further expanded and is better designed for what the OP is doing.  (Esp if they venture into video!)  The iMac isn't very expandable.  It's primary purpose is to sit on a desk and look pretty and provide a nice device for desktop activities like web/email/iTunes and basic home duties.

Please remember that Apple products are built first and foremost to steer Apple users into the Apple stores to consume and purchase media/app content and other Apple products.  Getting other functionality from them is a secondary priority.  The iMac is a perfect example of this.  It is marketed to the affluent crowd that already owns iPads, iPhones and iTouch devices and want to venture into an Apple computer.  Most long time Apple owners that I know or read about purchase MacBook Pros with Retina and MacBook Airs these days.  Those are the most bang for the buck at this time.  The iMac is the least bang for the buck.  Production houses and graphics firms either use Mac Pros or they have started investing in comparable WinTel boxes.

Bottom Line is that if someone is looking to spend $1500 -$2000 on a device, I am going to help them spend that money wisely on the best choice, not just get what looks nice and be good enough for the time being.  Unfortunately, an ideal appropriate Apple device doesn't exist for photography/video work for less than over $2000.  That's just the way it is.  Again, I didn't set the prices.  Which is why I have an exceptional WinTel box (comparable to a Mac Pro) instead for literally thousands less.  I don't do my serious photo editing on a laptop (regardless of the make) and I'm not using a limited All-In-One Monitor+Laptop Hybrid machine either.  It doesn't matter whether it's Apple or not.  The tool should still be appropriate for the task.  If you've ever helped/consoled someone who lost everything due to a drive crash, you start to realize the value of fault tolerance and easy automated backups.  If you want a great WinTel laptop device for photo editing, check out the Lenovo ThinkPad W530.  It has features designed for photography work like built-in color calibration, an IPS matte display and a built-in RAID disk option.  For less than a comparable Apple laptop.  But it's not brushed aluminum so there's that to consider.

I would suggest either getting a MacBook Pro with SSD-Hybrid drive + big external disk for backup and then an external display or a Mac Pro with RAID and internal backup drive + external backup drive with external display.  The iMac would be my last choice for photography or video editing.  It's just too limited, crippled and expensive.  At least with a MacBook there would be the added convenience of portability, a better screen and an i7 CPU.

280
Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: January 28, 2013, 10:47:01 AM »
I like Apple stuff just like the next guy but I cringe at how they take advantage of their customers' wallets with their overpriced products.  They didn't end up having the highest stock price on their own!  It required a high profit margin.

While you may feel Apple overcharges for what it provides it is fair to argue that those who purchase Apple products feel they are getting fair value because they buy them in spite of alternatives and DO believe they are receiving value for money.

I would suggest the difference is similar to restaurants and home cooked food. The Apple restaurant uses the same ingredients as the others but happens to make a dish that far more preferred by diners. The home cook may actually make something that tastes better but the diner wants the ambiance of the restaurant that Apple has built and is uninterested in dirtying their hands.

They are not to be pitied they have made a decision that is sensible to them.

That's an interesting analogy Normalnorm!  I agree, folks that buy Apple products are buying the whole experience, not just the hardware.  I don't pity them, I just think some (not all) of them end up regretting the purchase a few months later when they discover the limits that Apple imposes to ensure the whole experience isn't tarnished by the user.  For some this is great, others end up disappointed.  Fortunately, Apple products tend to hold their resale value for quite a while.

281
Quote
My avatar is a self portrait - a sagittal MRI of me


Self portrait, i love it !

The choice of my avatar : because this photo has been taken in of my favorite places in the world, the peninsula of Osa and its amazing Corcovado national park (Costa Rica)...


I couldn't resist.  I had to Google "sagittal MRI" and I found this fascinating page using a sagittal MRI of Homer Simpson to explain the subject.  Pretty interesting!!  And if you look at a lot of sagittal MRI images, I think you will agree that Neuro's looks pretty good in comparison.

http://www.ariser.info/training/imgproc.php


282
Software & Accessories / Re: Which iMac
« on: January 28, 2013, 12:18:06 AM »
OK, I can't resist.  I have to chime in because honestly, I'm like the Neuro (based on Neuro's stellar cranial reputation on this forum) of IT when it comes to this subject.  Sorry, no offense Neuro!!  Between my knowledge and my associates' knowledge, I'm pretty solid on computer stuff ever since roughly 1985.

So now that I've established myself as an IT badass  8), let me say this...

I could have written the posts by Niterider and intence01.  They saved me a lot of effort.  And they were mostly right.  If you like iProducts, great.  They are pretty, they do what they claim, they make a LOT of money for Apple.  I agree with Niterider, I also don't like Apple.  I like their products for the most part but they are WAY too expensive.  Apple is way too arrogant, greedy and controlling, not to mention hypocritical.  That said, I've owned Apple before, an IT associate owns Apple currently and I may even own it again someday.  But don't kid yourself.  The hardware isn't any different.  When you buy iProducts, you buy the whole rosy experience, the Apple ecosystem including the hype and the marketing.  In reality, you have a different OS and slightly different software but with limited driver or troubleshooting support from Apple.  Take away the matte Aluminum and the hardware is no different.

So forget brands and focus on what matters.  Your data, your image files.  What keeps them safe?  What helps your workflow?  Fault tolerance, backups and performance.  Sorry but Win7Pro and a high end Intel computer + Lightroom + decent IPS monitor will get that for you.  Spec out lots of RAM (16G +), and i5 or i7 CPU and a RAID1 Mirror drive array and you are ready to roll for at least another 3 years.

And FWIW, an iMac is a laptop with a 27" LCD attached.  Fine if that's what you want but not worth over 2 grand.  I've spent that but I have a i7 system wiith 32G of RAM, several 2TB Mirror arrays, 180G SSD, decent video and a solid 750W power supply/solid case.  I also use a U2410 DELL IPS Display.  It's been running for going on 2+ years.  Runs like a champ.

What do I gain by spending more to have an Apple product?  I don't fault anyone who does but I simply would rather put all that extra money toward a lens or even an iPad.  (Even though I actually have a nook HD+.)  I like Apple stuff just like the next guy but I cringe at how they take advantage of their customers' wallets with their overpriced products.  They didn't end up having the highest stock price on their own!  It required a high profit margin.

283
Software & Accessories / Re: Rucksack Camera Bags
« on: January 27, 2013, 09:11:11 PM »
If you're not carrying a huge amount of gear what you can do is use a regular backpack or messenger and put in inserts. I use a North Face Surge and put in an insert thing that fits a 17-50 f.8 and a 35mm with a T1i. I can also carry other lenses if I want but they'll be "loose." I put them in lens pouches in the backpack. It works for me and there is space for laptop and other things for the day, unlike with photo bags. Also, no one will assume you have expensive stuff in it.

Pretty much ditto!  Every few months I look at photo bags again and eventually end up back to the point where I question the whole photo bag approach.  Expensive, single use design with little room for anything else and ultimately a huge attraction for thieves.  If I'm doing real hiking on the trail, I'm hiking first, carrying photo gear second so the lenses, etc go in individual pouches that can be stowed separately in a true hiking backpack so the weight can be balanced, etc.

I'm not saying there's anything wrong with photo bags per se, but in general I've never really warmed up to them.  Either I end up needing way more gear than they can carry on a local project (so I use larger trunks or rolling carts) or I carry less on my person using smaller modular bags for lenses on my belt, etc and a regular daypack for anything else including photo stuff or misc.

284
If i wanna print out jpgs with some Kodak (or else) instant printers u can find in store should i change the JPG colorspace to AdobeRGB first? Or is it nonsense since these instant printer machines arent that good anyway?

I'm no expert but I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express recently and I believe that qualifies me to help... that and the fact that I did do some online research about AdobeRGB vs sRGB about a year ago.  There is a lot of mind numbing discussions out there that essentially end up at the fact that no one has any business using AdobeRGB unless they know why they need AdobeRGB.  People that are doing specific work in print houses, magazines, etc and they have specific reasons for needing that color space spec.  In fact, I also remember some mention of the fact that you may even be hurting yourself by using AdobeRGB but I honestly don't remember much about it except that I came to the conclusion that sRGB was where I needed to stay and I haven't heard much to change my mind since.

Maybe this thread will eventually shed more light on the subject.

285
Technical Support / Re: at what shutter speed you turn IS off?
« on: January 27, 2013, 05:31:37 PM »
Another reason to switch it off aside from the potential effect on AF speed/accuracy is that some wildlife reacts to the sound of it.

 ???  Wow!  Really??  So does this mean that if you turn off the IS, you only get one shot when the much louder SLR Actuation scares off the wildlife?

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