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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok guys im a wanna be switcher...
we recently brought a new PC (with Vista) cause our old one craped out on us.. and cause everything we had was windows... plus hubby plays games...

i would like to switch to a macbook.. because i want a laptop for mobility reasons...

while our Vista run machine works nice with C&C and AofE for hubby it dont work so good with my RAW files.. Im a photographer.. when i try and TAG my images for ease of finding it locks up...(via the Explore)

the main reason hubby says no to a Mac is the price so im trying to find a second hand 13.3 Macbook...for abt $1000

So here are my questions....

Will a 1.83GHz Duel Core with 512ram be fast enough to do what i want?? working with PSE 3 till i can upgrade to 4?(if i go with this option i can hook up a dvd burner via USB to it yes??)


or will i denfinatly have to spend more for a 2GHz Duel 2 Core with 1GB ??


second Question... is about TAGing images.. can this be done via macs equivilant to explore?? a seperate image taging proggie??

am i able to View RAW image files right in OS X with out the need to open yet another program??

Vista has this capability with a download of something from Nikon for my camera??

and last question.... i need some really good point on why a mac is better ... so hubby can understand please. Ive tried telling him but... ^.^
 

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Computers are like motorcycles
  1. fast is never fast enough
  2. this year's blistering rocket is next year's also-ran....
Get the fastest you can afford (and maybe push the envelope a little) with the most memory. OSX loves memory - get lots. In answering the question "what computer meets my needs?" you need to keep in mind your needs will evolve, and maybe evolve fast espescially when you get a nice easy to use Mac.
 

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As far as why switch, tell your hubby to watch the apple ads on the apple website or on the tv. they are humourous and also very true. the reasons to switch are plenty, with the only reason not to being unfamiliarity with the OS. Macs are easy and intuitive to use by design, and very stable and secure.

As far as the speed of the macbook, as RGRAY says, faster is always better. i've got a core2duo 2ghz macbook and love everything about it. :)
 

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With regards to entry level macbooks (without dvd burner)...

If this is going to be your primary or only machine, I would highly recommend getting a model with a superdrive (cd+dvd writer). It really is one of those features that you should have with you all the time. Yes, you can use a USB dvd burner with the macbook, but thats generally at least 2 cables (usb + power). It's not the most convenient thing, and you'll find that you burn a LOT less dvds when you have to go external. Factor in cost (LaCie's cost well over $100), and you may as well buy the higher end macbook ($200 difference new). To be honest, all computers should come with super drives these days, as they are marginally more expensive than combo drives.

A few years ago I had a machine with a combodrive and there have been many times where I wished I had spent the extra buck to get a super. DVDs are commodities these days, and there are many many uses for them. You mentioned you work with RAW files. It's much easier to archive a roll of RAW photos onto dvd than it is CD.

Anyway, good luck with your purchase. I would recommend you take a look at craigslist, this forum's classifieds, or Apple's refurb site online (not sure if they have macbooks available). If you are buying from classifieds, be sure to ask for warranty information, and check for cosmetic damages / liquid spills. Remember that misuse / accidental damage is not covered under AppleCare warranty.
 

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am i able to View RAW image files right in OS X with out the need to open yet another program??

Vista has this capability with a download of something from Nikon for my camera??
From what I understand, the RAW image file format is supported in Preview which is a standard application that comes as part of OS X.
Apple - Mac OS X - PDF

I know nothing about RAW file formats, but I use Preview for many other purposes - you don't really have to open Preview separately, just double-click on the file and everything happens automatically.

There is also a list of compatible cameras that Apple has published - check if yours is on the list, if not, try to find out if it's natively supported.
Apple - Mac OS X - Upgrade - Devices - Cameras

I would get the 2.0 GHz MacBook as well. Not only do you get the DVD burner, but also get double the memory and a larger hard drive.
When comparing it to an "equivalent" PC pricewise, I always take into consideration the extra software I get with the Mac (that I can use) like iLife '06 and all the stuff I don't need to keep the computer running (including the frustration with Windows on an almost daily basis)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Guys thanks for this info...

i know.. that i may always want better.. than what i have its natural...lol

i am hoping that hubby will fall in love with this little mac and when we move back home to australia.. who knows he may wanna get a iMac then ^.^

I'm please that i can tag and veiw images with in OS x with out the need to download yet another program.. ( my camera is suported on that list... :) i was stoked yesterday when i discovered that i already have Adobe Elements for mac.. that's one less thing i have to buy (a plus for hubby) the only thing this macbook will be used for is working with images and surfing the web/email
the DVD i wasnt sure about i have only had a DVD burner for a few weeks before that i burnt all my images to CD

I realise 20GB more hard drive is nothing considering i have a 250GB full of raw images... so i will need a external hard drive for this macbook Anything with USB will do right??
 

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Since you're a photographer, you will want to have a look at iPhoto.

Now, some pro's absolutely hate this program. Some, really like it. If you're okay with an application keeping your files organized, much like iTunes would with songs.. then, you're going to love iPhoto.

You really can do amazing things with it.

iPhoto

It comes standard on all new Macs.

It is "the" application I use to add/organize all of my photo's with my Digital Rebel. You can do some color correction and touch ups right in iPhoto.. adjust levels and such all in Full Screen if you wish. You can always open your Photo's in an external editor too.. so, if you're a photoshop/elements fan.. there's no need to worry.
 

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I realise 20GB more hard drive is nothing considering i have a 250GB full of raw images... so i will need a external hard drive for this macbook Anything with USB will do right??
yes anything USB 2 will work great for that - i use a 250gb external drive to back up to every couple of days and like everything else about the Mac it just works. Same principal applies there - go bigger than you think you will need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's the discontinued Core Duo and not the Core 2 Duo, right?

Corect it is 1st Gen Macbook

and btw thanks for the link :)

is there any real difference between a Duel Core and a Duel 2 Core ??
like problem wise or??
 

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Hi there!

Not only iPhoto, but the entire iLife suite works really well with your photos. As vexel noted, once you've imported your pictures, you can do standard adjustments and corrections to your picture within iPhoto or use an external editor that is launched right from within iPhoto. If you like working with your pictures, however, hubby should know that Apple's entire iLife suite is unmatched on the Windows side. Well, you could cobble together similarly functioning programs but they wouldn't work as well and would cost at least a few hundred dollars.

Why is iLife relevant here? Because all the iLife applications (iPhoto, iMovie, iDVD, iTunes, iWeb -- even Garageband) share your media across the entire suite. There's no need for cumbersome file import routines (File Menu, Import File, rummage through your drive to find the photo, hit the import button, view results, not like it and then lather-rinse-repeat with another photo). Your entire efforts within iPhoto, for example, including your photo albums you may have created, is available at the click of a button within iMovie, iDVD and iWeb. It's the same thing with your iTunes playlists, which are available in all the other apps (iPhoto slideshows, iDVD menus and slideshows, iMovie for soundtracks etc.). This instant gratification makes your media creation that much more convenient and fun -- and such integration would be impossible with a dog's breakfast of 3rd party Windows programs.

Plus, iLife has a host of beautifully prepared appearance themes in iMovie, iDVD and iWeb that you can apply to your creations.

And iLife comes with every Mac, free!

I would think that, if you take photos, you'd want new, more refined ways to PRESENT your photos, be it as a printed hard-bound book out of iPhoto, build an entire movie of still shots zoomed and panned with a soundtrack within iMovie (wait until you see iMovie's animated themes!), post galleries on the web or author a refined DVD. If so, the Mac is a slam-dunk, hands-down no-brainer!

Below are some links of interest:

iPhoto 5 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): Working with RAW images

iPhoto 6: Supported RAW format cameras

Apple - iLife - iPhoto

iPhoto video tour

Apple - iLife - iMovie

Check out iMovie's video tour. In particular, check out the "Apple-designed themes" tour video. You can see how nicely you can present your photos using these animated themes within a movie. BUT, in regards to my mentioning how iLife integrates your media across the entire suite, about halfway through this video you will see how you can access your iPhoto library from WITHIN iMovie and easily drop photos into your iMovie project, either onto an animated theme's dropzone palette OR present photos as a fullscreen event complete with any panning or zooming across the picture you'd like.


Oh, and definitely get an Intel-powered Macbook -- and DEFINITELY have at least 1GB of RAM if you want to cook in iLife. As for a DVD burning option? That's your call, however, iDVD can access external, Firewire-based DVD burners (maybe USB II external burners as well?? I'm not sure). So, even if you can't pop for a MacBook with a built-in burner, you can utilize an external one down the road. With RAW photos, however, you will possibly need MORE drive capacity than what is in a base MacBook (and AGAIN, RAW photo archiving might best be done using a data DVD burning approach). This is also something that can be added later -- even a bus-powered external hard drive, but you may wind up with more desk clutter of external burners and drives than you'd like... and having to tote an external drive around WITH your MacBook could be a pain. Given the demanding storage requirements for RAW media, I'd PUSH HUBBY to get the most smokin' MacBook you can! if ANYTHING, however, 1GB RAM would -- in my opinion -- be crucial.

Good luck and keep us posted! :)
 

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And frankly, I wouldn't bother showing hubby the "I'm a Mac" ads. For starters, he's probably already seen some of them and "gets it". My impression is that he's well ensconced within the Windows platform, and those ads can be a little irritating for some folks like that to watch. If a PC user is already considering the switch or is open to it, then the ads are fine.

My suggestion is for you to watch all of those iLife video tours I refernced in my prior post, watch them to get your head around how that software suite works, THEN show hubby THOSE instead. Only the most biased of people would not be impressed with how this excellent consumer-level suite works. And by the way, despite its "consumer-level" image, iLife is used by many companies in professional settings as well.
 

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A couple of things you may want to note:
1. You no longer have to import photos into the iPhoto Library: you can set iPhoto to reference photos from any assigned locations, such as an external drive.

2. If you have a pile of RAW images on an external drives, please make sure you have them backed up, either to another drive, or to CD/DVD.

3. iPhoto can handle RAW images, but is somewhat limited - it really depends on your needs.
 

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About RAW format. This is 12 bit per color uncompressed and the files are huge compared to the 8 bit per color compressed files that most cameras use.

If you are using RAW to reduce digital noise forget it. A high quality level 10 jpg will introduce no visible loss with the first generation image. The noise comes from lack of information, usually because you are using a high ISO or the light is insufficient to produce a clear image. Either way you are outside of the optimum sensor range and that is the cause of the noise.

Remember your monitor at best handles 8-bits per color and many print systems have less resolution than that.

RAW does have its uses for maximum sized enlargements 16x20+ also for the photographer that always manipulates small portions of the image. The advantages are generally outweighed by the 30MB and larger file sizes. You will also need a full version of PhotoShop to properly manipulate RAW files. Elements, Aperture or iPhoto may be able to handle them but lack the power to fully utilize RAW files. The big advantage of RAW capable cameras is the sensor which has nearly 10 times the area of less expensive cameras . The lenses tend to be somewhat better as well. These cameras will always produce superior 11x14+ prints whether or not you use the RAW format. Take RAW and jpg images both for a while. Once you compare the same image directly I doubt you will find a lot of need for RAW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Lots of info to absorb thank you guys...
Macaholic i will get hubby to read your post i think he will like it :)

as for the Mac TV Ad's he has seen them and agrees with me on the most part.. and i think he thinks im insane cause i giggle like a school girl while watching them they are very funny..

i shoot in RAW cause i sell my photos as prints.. plus i love to print large which is why i just upgrade from my D50 to a D80 give me more cropping room and still able to print reasonably large .. i also save my images from RAW to TIFF i never shoot in a high ISO anyways... i have some nice fast lenses that i can get away with in low light at ISO 400 or there abouts...i am always in a hurry to shoot particularly with my 2 year old pulling my arm down to chimp at the shot i just took... i like to shoot in raw cause i can change the minimal exposure errors in Nic Capture and that kind stuff ...

but this RAW/Jpeg war will continue among people.. similar to the war between Nikon/canon users...Mac/PC user all the same it all comes down to what you like...
 

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will continue among people.. similar to the war between Nikon/canon users...Mac/PC user all the same it all comes down to what you like...
Yes, well said.

I virtually always shoot RAW, which I generally convert to DNG. Although RAW files are larger I don't find them to be overly so. I also disagree that you need a full version of Photoshop to handle RAW files. Most cameras that shoot RAW come with a converter, and PSE uses the standard ADOBE RAW application - as does Lightroom (although the latter handles the application slightly differently).

For me, one of the greatest benefits is that with RAW you can adjust virtually any part of the image except ISO. It is the digital equivalent of traditional negatives.

A useful article:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/u-raw-files.shtml

Anyway, to each his own - as long as you get what you want, then peace to you!
 

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Lots of info to absorb thank you guys...
Macaholic i will get hubby to read your post i think he will like it :)
no probs!

i shoot in RAW cause i sell my photos as prints.. plus i love to print large
Hmm.. I'm not a professional photographer or graphics guy, but do you know of Apple's "Aperture" software? As you sell your photos, Aperture might be more appropriate for you (it's basically iPhoto on steroids -- but that's understating things). You better check out this quicktour of Aperture. The "What's New" video is excellent:

Apple - Aperture - Quick Tours

Thing is, you may need a MacBook Pro instead of just a MacBook to have a satisfactory experience with Aperture. In ANY case, you would probably want to get 2GB of RAM on whatever Mac you get whether you're using iLife or Aperture -- BOTH of which, BY THE WAY, have the iLife media browser I described in my previous post.

As Apple's RAM can be (ridiculously) expensive, you could get a laptop with base RAM and then buy a kit from somewhere like Canada RAM sells memory in Canada - DIMMs, SIMMs, PowerBook, VRAM, Cache or even a PC shop if you have the memory specifications nailed down. It'll be cheaper. The base MacBook comes with 512MB RAM -- 2x256MB chips in the two slots of the laptop.

Regarding the price of even a MacBook compared to say, a Dell special at half the price: such a PC laptop will NOT cut it. If there's a resistance regarding the migration to a Mac, think about it not as a piece of hardware you're getting, but rather the WHOLE computing environment. It's all about the operating system and the applications that run on it. A MacBook IS NOT A MAC when it's booted into Windows -- which they can do; a Mac is A MAC when it's running Mac OS X. For example: Boot a Mac into Windows? you need antivirus software and will have to contend with the Registry and other hassles of the platform. Then, boot that Mac into OS X? No antivirus software needed (in reality). No Registry. No doggie digging for bones while you do a search :rolleyes:

Consider the value of all that, perceive value beyond sticker price (actually, outfit a Dell laptop to equal a MacBook and they're ridiculously close in price), get the right tools for the job and, if there's any bias... try to lose it. You or whomever will be better off having rejected the Mac after making an unbiased, broad-minded and objective research effort, versus relying on vague or outdated perceptions :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yep i know about Aperture its a little to $$ just right now...for me..

plus i have talked to another mate who is apple mad... and she has same camera and works on a Powerbook G4, 512 RAM, 80GB HD, and a 1.67GHz PPC processor OS 10.3 and does quite fine...

i know ram is my main issue here...

so here are few questions.. im sorry if i am repeating myself i need to recap and gather my info so i know what to tell hubby ;-)

ok so .. get a 1st Gen or 2nd Gen macbook? Does it really matter if its duel core or duel 2 Core??

And does RAM "really" need to be matched?? and matched does that just mean 2 x 512? or ??
And can i stick 1.gb plus 512??
" For full performance we recommend at least 1.5 Gb RAM, 2 Gb is optimum " <<comes from Canada RAM listed with their macbook ram
I am sorry for all these questions.. i havnt been on a mac since early primary school and that was a nice shade of monochrome green.. back in '86 ;-)
 

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as far as RAM goes, the base Macbook ships with two 256 sticks of RAM and i'm not sure, but I think only one of them is upgradeable so you could replace one of the 256 sticks with a 1 gig stick, giving you 1.25 gigs of RAM. I think the other 256 stick is attached to the logic board but i'm sure someone will be kind enough to correct that thought if i'm wrong.
 
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