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Author Topic: Need help with upgrade decission!!  (Read 3212 times)

Setazo

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Need help with upgrade decission!!
« on: August 22, 2012, 05:39:12 AM »
Hi guys. So this is the situation:
I'm lucky enough to earn some extra money doing some photo jobs (2-6 per month), mostly restaurant/food pictures for a website. And I have decided that this money will be re-invested in photography (or other hobbies).

For some months my thougt was to save money for a new PC. I have a late 2007 iMac, which is still doing fine, but I often find myself not being able to do post-production work because of the obvious portability issues with the iMac. So My thought was to by a MacBook pro/ Air.
So, with the money I have saved I could by:

   1.    A retina Macbook pro
   2.   13" Macbook Air (128GB storage with 8GB RAM upgrade) + New Tripod (my thought was MANFROTTO 055XPROB m/498RC2) + Lastolite Ezybox Hotshoe Kit (I'm starting to play a little with the 2 flashes I have)

On the other hand, I'm also quite tempted to by a new Camera. My 40D works OK mostly (it has though some very annoying, sporadical ERR 99 problems). But I have started doing some concert photography, and I have found it to be quite challenging even with my f1.4 lenses.

But, If I use my money on a new house (and maybe a couple of lenses if going full frame), I'm concerned that my (relatively) old iMac will struggle with the bigger file sizes that a the new camera will produce.

I'm afraid I'm losing the perspective here... What would you do???
« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 06:39:12 AM by Setazo »

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Need help with upgrade decission!!
« on: August 22, 2012, 05:39:12 AM »

tron

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Re: Need help with upgrade decission!!
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2012, 06:45:00 AM »
It's a little risky to get advise from people who do not know your needs and/or your equipment. But since concert photography is challenging even with 1.4 lenses I would say that you need a 5DMarkIII. Assuming you have FF 1.4 lenses (like 50mm or 35mm).


Sith Zombie

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Re: Need help with upgrade decission!!
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2012, 07:15:40 AM »
Hi
My advice: First of all forget about the macbook air, that 128G HD will fill up faster than you realize and you will not be able to upgrade it. I'm also in the position of upgrading my 2007 macbook and I'm looking at the entry level 13inch Macbook Pro, I cant afford the retina, if you can then go for it. [although the cheaper 13inch is due soon]
I'm not slagging the Air, they are great machines but after a lot of research, I found out that the although the screen has a slightly higher resolution than the 13inch pro, the pro has better color gamut. Add the fact that it's got a 500GB HD that is user upgradable [even to solid state] and a faster cpu, I feel it would be better suited for photography work. A workaround could be and air and an external HD tho?

With regards to the camera, If you upgrade, you imac should be fine. Like I stated, I have a 2007 macbook and It handles 5D mkii files quite well. Your I mac should be more powerful than my macbook.

As for what to upgrade first, I'm unsure. How big a problem is getting the pictures to your mac then emailing the finished photos to your clients? The errors on the camera are worrying, may be time to upgrade. I'v taken some great gig shots with my 40d, you just have to hope the venue has powerful spotlights and wait for those to illuminate the subjects. But in situations where there is one or two weak lights then not even full frame will help. [Maybe 1dx tho  ;)]

PeterJ

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Re: Need help with upgrade decission!!
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2012, 07:21:10 AM »
I'd also have a think about how important it is to you to be able to post-production work on-site. It may be vital but maybe you could shoot JPEG + RAW so the customer has something to view, then post-process the RAW later on a desktop that would be cheaper and just e-mail it through?

Setazo

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Re: Need help with upgrade decission!!
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2012, 07:25:15 AM »
It's a little risky to get advise from people who do not know your needs and/or your equipment. But since concert photography is challenging even with 1.4 lenses I would say that you need a 5DMarkIII. Assuming you have FF 1.4 lenses (like 50mm or 35mm).

I guess there are too many questions in my post… I'll try to simplify:

   1.   Apart from screen size/ quality difference, would a MacBook Air work fine for Aperture? or should I go with the (Retina) MacBook Pro?
   2.   If I should decide to invest my money on a new camera instead, would my late 2007 iMac be up for the task? (with increased file sizes compared to the 10Mpx of my 40D)

TRON: my needs are: portrait, food and indoor locations (as in restaurants) and concert.
          my equipment is: 40D, Canon 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 60mm macro, 17-55mm 2.8 and 55-250mm; Sigma 30mm 1.4 and 10-20mm 4-5.6... so I have a bit of investment in crop.

5Diii would be a dream, but not sure if it's realistic looking at my budget and if it would be overkill for me. I'm an amateur after all…

Gman

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Re: Need help with upgrade decission!!
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2012, 07:26:36 AM »
The MacBookAir hd is not really a problem now there are really small external hds available like the LaCie Rikiki 500Gb it is self powered and tiny, I use it for backing up my Aperture library and for transporting Aperture libraries between my iMac and my MBA. It's very small in size and not expensive.
My MBA works well with my Aperture libraries which contain raw and jpeg images from an Olympus E410, and my Canon G11.
http://www.macworld.com/product/436794/lacie_rikiki.html
Of course Solid state usb memory sticks are improving in capacity month on month but tend to be more expensive Gb for Gb. 
for example
http://www.memoryc.com/usbproducts/usbflashdrives/128gbpatriotxporterxpressusb2aluminium.html
will double your onboard memory for around 80€

PS
I shelved my old (1997) 15" Powerbook G3 as it was really too slow to use with Aperture.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 07:30:49 AM by Gman »

tomscott

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Re: Need help with upgrade decission!!
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2012, 07:29:45 AM »
I also bought a 13" MBP instead of the MBA with photography work loading then dumping information off an SSD is not great for them anyway. With a MBP you can remove the DVD drive add a 750gb HDD in there with a caddy and stick a 128gb SSD in the normal HDD bay so gives you the best between space and speed. The SSD for system and HDD for storage. You just move the home file directory from the SSD to the HDD. 

Im lucky as I also have a Mac Pro that has 12TB of space with a 12TB back up. But the MBP is great for portability it will also take more hammer on location work than a MBA would, although great they do seem slightly flimsy... depends on your weight preferences.

Also same as you I have a 40D doing similar things but a much broader range of subjects, and I am going for a 5D MKIII. At 1600ISO the 40D quality is pretty bad but 6400ISO on the 5D MKIII the quality will be equivalent and probably better so you have a lot more room for manoeuvre. Therefore 1.4 will be fine. But with FF comes the rest of the glass if you glass is EF-s. So more cost.

Hard choice but I would go camera, even tho it may take longer in post at the end of the day the camera is what makes the money not the computer. The camera will give you more keepers and you can make more money then you will be able to upgrade your machine. I would say buy some more ram and do a complete backup of your iMac and start a fresh it will speed everything up.
5D MKIII 40D 17-55mm F2.8 IS 16-35mm F2.8 II L 24-70mm F2.8 L 24-105mm F4 IS L 100mm F2.8 IS L 70-200mm F2.8 IS II L 70-300mm F4-5.6 IS L 50mm F1.8 2x Ex 580EX

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Re: Need help with upgrade decission!!
« Reply #6 on: August 22, 2012, 07:29:45 AM »

Setazo

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Re: Need help with upgrade decission!!
« Reply #7 on: August 22, 2012, 07:52:33 AM »
Hi
My advice: First of all forget about the macbook air, that 128G HD will fill up faster than you realize and you will not be able to upgrade it. I'm also in the position of upgrading my 2007 macbook and I'm looking at the entry level 13inch Macbook Pro, I cant afford the retina, if you can then go for it. [although the cheaper 13inch is due soon]
...

With regards to the camera, If you upgrade, you imac should be fine. Like I stated, I have a 2007 macbook and It handles 5D mkii files quite well. Your I mac should be more powerful than my macbook.

As for what to upgrade first, I'm unsure. How big a problem is getting the pictures to your mac then emailing the finished photos to your clients? The errors on the camera are worrying, may be time to upgrade. I'v taken some great gig shots with my 40d, you just have to hope the venue has powerful spotlights and wait for those to illuminate the subjects. But in situations where there is one or two weak lights then not even full frame will help. [Maybe 1dx tho  ;)]

Good point with the storage size Sith Zombie and also about the upcomming 13"pro... maybe I should wait for that.

Regarding the Camera issue, the errors are a pain in the a** when they happen. I've also taken some nice gig shots with my 40D, specially with flash. But the venue I shoot for is very dark and illumination is quite often kept down, so I often end up with too many not usable files...

Setazo

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Re: Need help with upgrade decission!!
« Reply #8 on: August 22, 2012, 07:53:27 AM »
I also bought a 13" MBP instead of the MBA with photography work loading then dumping information off an SSD is not great for them anyway. With a MBP you can remove the DVD drive add a 750gb HDD in there with a caddy and stick a 128gb SSD in the normal HDD bay so gives you the best between space and speed. The SSD for system and HDD for storage. You just move the home file directory from the SSD to the HDD. 
...
Also same as you I have a 40D doing similar things but a much broader range of subjects, and I am going for a 5D MKIII. At 1600ISO the 40D quality is pretty bad but 6400ISO on the 5D MKIII the quality will be equivalent and probably better so you have a lot more room for manoeuvre. Therefore 1.4 will be fine. But with FF comes the rest of the glass if you glass is EF-s. So more cost.

Hard choice but I would go camera, even tho it may take longer in post at the end of the day the camera is what makes the money not the computer. The camera will give you more keepers and you can make more money then you will be able to upgrade your machine. I would say buy some more ram and do a complete backup of your iMac and start a fresh it will speed everything up.

tomscott, thanks for your advice. It sounds like an interesting idea to have both SSD & HDD... is it difficult to switch the DVD drive with a HDD?

...and good point about camera making the money  ::) even though in my case it's not that much money...

Lawless

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Re: Need help with upgrade decission!!
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2012, 09:03:28 AM »
Whatever you do, wait until at least the end of September (maybe even through October) to make a decision. Both Apple and Canon are rumored to make announcements during September and who knows what we will see.

Maybe a $2,000 FF will be announced?

Personally, I am in a similar situation (going to upgrade to FF and a new iMac) and am going to make my purchases from B&H on Black Friday. That will wait out the fall and let the announcements and product settle as well as get a better deal, hoping B&H/Canon do similar promotions this year as last.

Setazo

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Re: Need help with upgrade decission!!
« Reply #10 on: August 22, 2012, 09:22:49 AM »
Lawless, I'm definitely waiting til october.
By then I should have saved enough money to buy a 5Diii, and if a new entry full frame is announced, I would probably by it with the 24-105 Kit lens (+ my 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.8 I should be ok...for a while  ::)
Then selling my EF-s lenses should provide me about the cash I would need to buy a new 13" MacBook pro... ;D

I'm excited about this new plan!!!!
Thanks everyone for your input, ideas and comments. It's been very helpful!
Cheers

Lawless

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Re: Need help with upgrade decission!!
« Reply #11 on: August 22, 2012, 09:43:09 AM »
Not to hijack your thread, but where do you plan on selling the EF-S lenses? I have a new 17-55 2.8 IS that I want to unload and didn't have much success on Craig's List and some UK scammer tried to buy it on EBay ...

sdsr

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Re: Need help with upgrade decission!!
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2012, 11:04:09 AM »
Unless you really need a laptop for post-production work, as opposed to just letting clients see your shots as soon as you've taken them, I would suggest something a bit different: Go full-frame but save >$1500 and get a 5DII (or wait a bit and see if a lower-price FF comes out before the end of the year?), and, if you need a new computer, replace your iMac with their latest 27" version - cheaper than their better laptops and I would have thought that post-production work would benefit from a relatively large monitor (but maybe that's just me).

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Re: Need help with upgrade decission!!
« Reply #12 on: August 22, 2012, 11:04:09 AM »

preppyak

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Re: Need help with upgrade decission!!
« Reply #13 on: August 22, 2012, 11:57:57 AM »
Not to hijack your thread, but where do you plan on selling the EF-S lenses? I have a new 17-55 2.8 IS that I want to unload and didn't have much success on Craig's List and some UK scammer tried to buy it on EBay ...
FredMiranda, PotN, basically any photography forum with a buy/sell forum. Scammers are a lot less frequent there, though they do still exist.

preppyak

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Re: Need help with upgrade decission!!
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2012, 12:04:39 PM »
TRON: my needs are: portrait, food and indoor locations (as in restaurants) and concert.
          my equipment is: 40D, Canon 50mm 1.4, 85mm 1.8, 60mm macro, 17-55mm 2.8 and 55-250mm; Sigma 30mm 1.4 and 10-20mm 4-5.6... so I have a bit of investment in crop.

5Diii would be a dream, but not sure if it's realistic looking at my budget and if it would be overkill for me. I'm an amateur after all…
Sounds like you have a decent plan, but, aside from the concert stuff, the 5dIII would definitely be overkill for you in terms of AF. The 5dII AF would be the same as your 40D, and you'd be gaining probably 2 stops of light just by that sensor switch. But, based on your investment with EF-S lenses, and what you are shooting, I'd say spend all the time between now and October learning flash. You need it for portrait and product photography anyway, and it might take away the need for full-frame, allowing you to keep those lenses.

The good news is that you have enough lenses that moving to full-frame wouldn't hurt you. Replace the 60mm macro with the non-L 100 and your prime lineup would be set. And a 17-40 would probably take care of the gap left with the 10-20, if you use that often. Either that or something like one of the non-L 20, 24 or 28mm primes, if you need low light wide angle shots for the concert. But chances are flash will help clear up your need for quite a few things; I shot a friends wedding with all f/2.8 glass (and the 50mm f/1.8), and with flash, I didn't need anything faster

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Re: Need help with upgrade decission!!
« Reply #14 on: August 22, 2012, 12:04:39 PM »