Digital Photography Guide: PC versus Mac Computers
Mac computers have largely dominated the digital photography and graphics market for the past decade. Fortunately any modern computer - Mac or PC, is capable of handling digital imaging files as most modern computers have fast processors, large hard disks & enough memory to cope with basic digital imaging. In addition, digital editing software such as Adobe Photoshop as well as peripherals such as printers & scanners are available for both Mac & PC platforms. Computers are now available in a variety of different forms including the mini desktop, laptops, netbooks, ultrabooks, tablet PCs, smartphones and more.
A recent trend has seen the explosion in Ultrabooks and 2 in 1 Tablet/Laptop by various manufacturers including Asus, Acer, Apple, HP, Samsung, Toshiba & others. These devices are very light with high definition screens and enough power for everyday computing. They are ideal for students, businesses and for anyone who needs to browse the net, use Office applications, carry out basic image processing & everyday tasks. These laptops are costlier than the average laptop.
The big question is which platform should you choose - Mac or PC. For graphics professionals or anyone making a living from design and photo editing, the Mac still dominates and people will expect you to be able to use a Mac to a high level. For all other users, both Macs and PCs have their advantages and disadvantages.
PCs tend to be less expensive, easier to repair if a part becomes faulty, have a greater variety of software available and PCs dominate the computer market which makes it easier for file compatibility. Macs have increased market share in recent years.
Mac computers tend to be more stylish, easier to use (but the gap has closed considerably), be more stable and reliable, are targeted less by viruses and spyware and since Macs have dominated the professional graphics and design market for so long, many would argue that Macs are more powerful when it comes to image editing & dealing with large image files.
With regards to Netbooks, they are mainly used for basic computing at present but with the introduction of newer and more powerful mobile processors, netbooks are likely to challenge low end laptops on use, portability and cost.
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However the arrival of ultra book laptops have posed a major challenge to netbooks by offering light & slim bodies, larger screens, more powerful processors, more ram, longer battery life and some models which have the capability of being an ultra book and a tablet PC.
When choosing between a new or secondhand Mac or a PC, most processors from recent years are more than capable of dealing with business tasks as well as basic to intermediate graphics work. The other essential items include large amounts of ram memory with 2 gb being the minimum and 4 to 8gb being more preferable, a large internal hard disk of 500gb or more, a powerful graphics card, a high quality large TFT LED screen, DVD writer, external back up storage device and a graphics tablet which uses a pen instead of a mouse for more advanced editing. To build a complete photo imaging home or work studio setup, peripherals will also be required including photo printers and scanners as well as broadband internet access for software updates, online tutorials and stock images.
Before making any new computer purchase, it is always a good idea to visit various shops and try out different systems for ease of use, styling, size considerations, operational speed and clarity of TFT screen image. For many users, beginners in particular, the support package which is provided with the PC may be of crucial importance and in this respect, manufacturers such as Dell provide excellent computer support with some support packages offering next day onsite service where a Dell engineer will visit your home or business premises to fix the problem if it cannot be solved over the phone.
Finally, in recent years the tablet PC has gained in popularity due largely to the introduction of the Apple Ipad but competition from android based tablet PCs are closing the gap. In recent years, tablets with Windows 10 have also become more popular as they can use familiar software such as Photoshop and Microsoft Office.
Tablet PCs are capable of performing a variety of tasks such as viewing videos or photos, surfing the internet, playing games, learning new skills and even watching high definition movies on a large screen TV through an HDMI cable or wifi connection. Accessories include a stylus and USB keyboards which can turn a tablet PC into a basic laptop.
PCs and laptops still have some advantages over tablet PCs including processing power, memory, storage, games, software availability and and all round functionality. With the wide availability of Windows on tablet PCs in recent years, the advantages of PCs and laptops have become fewer.