An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field. — Niels Bohr, Danish physicist and Nobel Prize winner.
Peter Phun wrote the original 21 signs that you’ve crossed the threshold from pretender to contender in 2009. I read it yesterday and found it quite outdated. So i decided to re-write it and update it to what i feel the current condition is.
In a day and age when anyone with any sort of camera and a social network account can call themselves a photographer, it can be a little difficult to figure out when you’ve separated yourself from the pack to become a real photographer.
Therefore, here are the New 21 clues that you’ve crossed the threshold from pretender to contender:
1. Your friends have begun to ask you which camera to buy so that they can take better pictures at social gatherings.
2. You don’t run out of battery power because you have a solar charger.
3. You upgrade your camera to shoot better pictures of your kids.
4. The salesman at your favorite camera store asks you whats new in the market.
5. You correct people when they cannot get the word ‘bokeh’ to describe what they are talking about.
6. A gorgeous woman with a digital SLR brushes by you — and you take only a fraction of a second to notice her camera and what kind of lens she has. After that your eyes focus on her bum.
7. You concentrate on the lighting instead of the subjects.
8. You abuse folks in the back row at the concert shooting with an iPhone or a point-and-shoot when they ask you to get out of their lens’s field of view..
9. You don’t go to a photo lab anymore.
10. Your in-law who’s a pro asks you for new tips each time you meet.
11. Other photographers follow you to see where you’re shooting from. Shoot from the same spot, review the picture on the LCD, shake their heads in disapproval, but do not delete the picture.
12. Other photographers treat you as though you are a snob when they see you at camera stores.
13. Your photography workflow is not complete unless the picture ends up on some social networking site.
14. More and more women want to be your friend either because you have a big camera or they want to buy a big camera.
15. You stop asking what aperture and shutter speed was used to take a picture. Instead, you look for lens distortions in a picture.
16. You critically analyse other peoples photo vest – making a mental note of what equipment you can put in which pocket.
17. You have stopped taking group portraits and now focus only on individual side-lit portraits.
18. You are ashamed to carry/use a point-and-shoot even on family outings.
19. You can distinguish a 500mm f/4 from a 400mm f/2.8 and a 600mm f/4 from a mile away.
20. Your spouse stops asking you to teach her/him photography.
21. Right now you are thinking which camera or lens to buy next.
Are there any other clues that you might want to add? The list can always be extended to include your inputs. Tell me, use the comments system below.
Gone are the days when people shifted from their SLR camera to a DSLR. Today, people are upgrading their compact digital cameras with entry level DSLRs. Most of them are upgrading only their camera, not themselves. Upgrading a camera is easy – you buy a new one. Upgrading ones self is more daunting a task – it takes time, energy, dedication and most of all a desire to improve. They seldom have a desire to improve, most of them have just a desire to ‘click photographs’.
When they first take a DSLR in their hands they are overwhelmed by the number of buttons and the choices in the menu. After fiddling with it and not being able to click pictures half as good as what their compact camera captured, they give up and find refuge in AUTO.
AUTO is a very simple function with a very specific mission. Its function is to get them the best picture possible in any situation. Its mission is to enslave them. Using its simplicity as a charm it makes them forget there is a world outside AUTO that is more adventurous and fun than that boring four letter word. AUTO ensures they get the same kind of boring pictures again and again and again. The kind they have grown to like, to love.
They are overjoyed to find the very same AUTO which once sat on the dial of their faithful compact camera that has got them this far. They remember their AUTO, it gave them the best pictures. And thats exactly what they want – best picture in every situation. But who should decides what is best? AUTO or they? From time eternal we have heard, its not the camera that makes the picture, its the person behind the camera.
By turning to AUTO they are submitting themselves to the camera. They are saying, ‘The camera is a better judge of photography than I am.’ They are saying, ‘The camera makes the picture I just tell it to click.’ They are saying, ‘The camera is the photographer, I am not.’ AUTO satisfies them, satisfaction kills their desire, and desires death leads to the death of creativity.
If you are using your DSLR on AUTO, kill yourself!
How often have you been handed a camera and asked to click pictures – at birthday parties, at weddings, at picnics or on holidays?. How often have you had to use someone elses camera?
Using a camera you are not familiar with can be frustrating. But it is easier and a lot more fun if you understand the settings on the camera and reprogram them to suit your photography. To set up any camera for basic operation you don’t need to wade through its 100 page user manual.
The following steps will help you set up any camera to shoot anything within 10 minutes.
1. Check how much space is available on the memory card
2. Set the Shooting mode to PROGRAM ( P ) or AUTO if PROGRAM is not available
3. Set the Image quality to the highest level (or the second level if you have less free memory on the card)
4. Set the ISO to AUTO if AUTO is unavailable set it to 200
5. Set the White balance to AUTO or AWB
6. Set the Metering mode to MATRIX, EVALUATIVE or MULTI (Depending on the camera model, they all mean the same)
7. Set the Auto Focus to SINGLE AF
8. Set the Drive mode to SINGLE. Set it to CONTINUOUS if you are shoot action
9. Turn on IMAGE STABILIZATION (IS), VIBRATION REDUCTION (VR) or ANTI-SHAKE (Depending on the camera model, they all mean the same)
10. Turn on RED-EYE REDUCTION or RED-EYE CORRECTION for the flashlight if you are shooting people
Note: This tutorial assumes what you own a compact digital camera and are familiar with its features and functioning. If you are not then you should start by reading the camera manual.
As usual, if you have any queries feel free to write to me. Your comments can come below.
This post is for those who are buying their first or second compact digital camera. If you already own a DSLR consider skipping this article and reading something else.
Buying a compact digital camera is often confusing because of the variety of choices available. The various permutations and combinations available are mindboggling for a person just starting off with photography. By sharing with you this simple think-flow, I aim to make it easier for you to choose a camera that best suits your needs. Follow these steps to their logical conclusion and if you are still undecided or unclear about anything, you can always email me your query or write it at the end of the article in the comments box.
Step 1: Fix your budget
Digital cameras are available at all price tags. If you don’t check your wallet and decide how much you want to spend, it will be extremely difficult to decide on a model. Your budget has to be a figure, not words. Don’t say ‘inexpensive’ or ‘not too expensive’ or ‘mid-range’. Convert words to numbers, say ‘less than Rs. 10,000′ or ‘not more than Rs. 15,000′ or ‘max Rs. 12,000′. Don’t set unrealistic budgets like ‘around Rs. 4000′, the idea is to buy a camera, not not buy one. Always choose a budget that will allow you to buy a quality product that will last you at least 2 years (I usually aim for 3 years) before it finds its place in the tech graveyard. Having arrived at a budget, move on to Step 2.
Step 2: Determine the type of use
What do you want to photograph? It is important to know the primary use that your camera will be put to. Each type of photography has at least one specific feature requirement. You should buy a camera that has the feature(s) your photography requires. Like, if you do a lot of close-ups of small objects like flowers etc. then your camera should be able to focus real close. (i.e. have a small minimum focusing distance). If you do a lot of action photography your camera should be able to take many pictures in a short duration (i.e. have a high ‘frames per second’) to ensure you don’t miss any action.
When taking family pics indoors you will need a camera with a good wide-angle lens (ideally 24mm or at least 28mm). But when you are on a nature safari your camera needs to have a good telephoto lens (ideally 400mm), here its OK to have a wide-angle lens of 28mm or 35mm.
Similarly, a good flashlight is a boon if you are shooting in low light or indoors, but if you are primarily shooting outdoors, in good light, a flashlight is of little use, but the possibility of using a lower ISO is a boon.
Don’t stretch the scale too much, if you want a camera that takes good indoor shots of your kid’s birthday party and also of the small bird sitting high up on the tree you will do good by buying a top-of-the-line compact digital camera (they are not so compact in size though).
You don’t have to restrict yourself to only any one type of photography, you can short-list a few but keep in mind the most frequent use your camera will be going through. Having done this, move on to Step 3.
Step 3: Consider the frequency of use
It’s time to be honest to yourself. How often will you be using your camera? Are you going to remember your camera once in two months, or will you be clicking every weekend? Your frequency of use will be a factor in deciding which model you should consider.
If you are going to shoot only a few pictures now and then, (like: an occasional get-together, annual vacation and birthday parties) then you need a camera which is light, simple to use, and uncomplicated. So that when you see it after a month you don’t have to wonder where the controls are.
It is not going to be difficult to find a camera for such use within your budget.
If you are going to shoot regularly, like every weekend or more often than that, then you should consider choosing a camera that is built for frequent use – is more durable and will withstand the tangs and bangs of regular use. A camera of this type usually finds itself at the top end of your budget. These cameras may have more features which in turn may give you more control over your photography. The additional features and options may seem of little importance in the start, but as your photography improves, which it will if you shoot a lot, you will find use for these features too. Having decided how often and how much you will be shooting move on to Step 4.
Step 4: Start doing your homework
Now that you know what you are looking for it’s time to find the camera you need. No, don’t walk into a store just yet. Go online. Visit websites of major camera manufacturers (Canon, Nikon, Sony are most popular in India) and browse through their offerings. You can visit an online retailer (ebay.in or jjmehta.com) to know the approximate price of the camera models. On a piece of paper (or on your mobile phone) shortlist 2–3 models of each manufacturer that you can consider buying – these camera models should fit your requirements almost perfectly. Rewrite your list arranging the camera models according to your buying preference. The one you are most likely to buy should on top and the least likely option should be last.
There will always be minor sacrifices that you will have to make – like buying one with 3x zoom instead of 4x or 12MP instead of 14MP. These sacrifices will be prompted because the camera has other features which you desire more. Having prepared and finalised your list, move on to Step 5.
Note: Avoid buying a camera model that is selling at a huge discount in a number of stores. Most probably, a new model is about to be launched and the shops are discarding the current model before it loses value. This will be obvious when stores advertise discounts in newspapers.
Step 5: Try and buy
Now you are going to buy your camera. Armed with your list walk into a camera store (or an electronics supermarket: eZone or Croma, in India) on a Sunday morning (or when it’s least crowded). Don’t get distracted by the loads of cameras on display, stick to your list.
Starting with the first camera you have shortlisted, hold every camera in your hand to see how it feels. Can you work the controls? Are the buttons of a convenient size and shape? Is it easy to hold and operate? If you are in one of those large electronics supermarkets you may not be allowed to actually take pictures (the batteries are removed), but you can still experience the camera.
When you entered the shop your aim was to buy the first camera on your list. Now, after experiencing it, if you find it’s not convenient to use, don’t buy it. Buy it only if you can get used to it during your learning curve. Choose a camera that feels good and which you will enjoy using. If you don’t enjoy holding it, you won’t enjoy taking pictures. If you don’t enjoy taking pictures, there’s no point in having a camera.
How to choose a compact digital camera?
1. Decide how much money you want to spend on a new camera.
2. Spell out the kind of photography you will be doing most of the time.
3. Shortlist the features that you need for your kind of photography
4. Admit to yourself how often you will be using the camera. If you are not going to use it regularly, there’s no point buying an expensive one.
5. Go to camera manufacturers’ websites and shortlist models that best suit your requirements and fit into your budget.
6. Visit a store to experience the cameras you shortlisted. Chose one which you can use conveniently.
7. Buy it.
Enjoy your new camera!
Still confused? Or have a query? Get in touch with me through the comments below or email me.
People seldom use the full potential of their domain name.
Using your domain name as a web address for your website or blog is just one of the things that you can do. The other thing is to use it for a personalised email address. But you can also use your domain name to create a trail of presence over the internet by using it to access various services that you use.
Lets assume you have a domain name such as yourname.com (this could also be your-punch-line.whatever). Here is all that you can do with it -
1. Host your website or blog. (you will need to have web hosting space for this)
2. Use Domain Forwarding to redirect your domain name to your blog at Blogspot.com or WordPress.com (or any free blog hosting services)
3. You can create Sub-domains. Most registrars allow you to make unlimited subdomains for free. (Make sure you check this before choosing a registrar. Always use a reputed, transparent registrar to avoid lock-ins or additional costs)
4. You can use Sub-domains in the following ways -
4.1. Make a sub-domain like blog.yourname.com and forward it to your free blog at blogspot.com or wordpress.com
4.2. If you have another blog you can set that up too, like, blog2.yourname.com or whatever-its-called.yourname.com
4.3. Have facebook.yourname.com forward to your Facebook profile (For example: facebook.meethil.com will take you to my Facebook profile page)
4.4. Have linkedin.yourname.com forward to your LinkedIn profile (For example: linkedin.meethil.com will take you to my Linkedin profile page)
4.5. Have twitter.yourname.com forward to your Twitter page (For example: twitter.meethil.com will take you to my Twitter page)
4.6. Have flickr.yourname.com forward to your flickr collection (or set or gallery, whichever you want)
4.7. Basically, once set up, all your social media, networking and photo sharing websites can be accessed this way.
4.8. The advantage of doing this is – tomorrow for some reason if you change your blog address or some account id, you just have to change the forwarding URL in your domains control panel and the URL you distributed before still works.
5. Use email on your domain. Thanks to Gmail you no longer have to stick to a feature starved webmail or machine dependent pop-mail client when you want to use firstname.lastname@example.org. Most hosts allow you to setup unlimited (or at least more than you would require) POP mail accounts (though these can be limited to 1 GB or 2 GB Inboxes). But using Gmail you can use email@example.com to send and receive email from within your current or new Gmail account while using all the Gmail features.
Advantages of using Gmail on your domain:
1. Use the benefits of web mail
2. Use all Gmail features
3. Collect email from multiple POP accounts in one inbox
4. Send and receive emails using any of the POP email ids you setup
To get personalised tips on how you can use a domain name feel free to get in touch with me. You can send in your queries by commenting to this post or email me.
Thanks for reading.
Since it kindled in 2007, Amazon’s Kindle has been on my mind; primarily for two reasons. First, its usefulness to voracious readers and second, its potential to influence the publishing industry.
The Kindle is designed for voracious readers. If you are not reading at least one book a week, you cannot possibly understand the importance of a Kindle. And, if you are not spending money buying books, you cannot digest the initial investment of Rs. 18,600 (cost of Kindle plus import duty), that the Kindle requires.
Having said that, lets how it benefits the avid reader.
The Kindle is pencil thin and weighs 300 g, but it stores up to 1,500 books. Ensuring you never run out of a read at the wrong time. It makes it a great travel companion, be it short trips or long, you may be on the first page of the book or the last chapter, you don’t have to worry as long as you have a few of your next books stored on the Kindle. If you read more than one book at a time, using a Kindle, you don’t have carry the extra weight. And please don’t wail about reading on a ‘screen’. The Kindle screen is not the same as the ones on your laptop or LCD monitors. It is a totally different technology called e-ink and it will not strain your eyes.
If you are in the habit of buying books, ebooks for the Kindle are cheaper than paperbacks (as of now it is so in the USA, it will soon be the case in India, read below to know how). This means you can read more in the same amount of money you spend buying paperbacks today. Or, if you are the frugal type and want to factor in the interest of the Rs. 18,600 you have already invested in buying the Kindle, it would just mean that your can still read the same amount of books as before, knowing that you are paying less for each book.
How often have you bought books by new authors or authors you have not read before? Kindle allows you the chance to experiment. You can get free sample chapters before you decide to buy the book. It helps you discover authors you have shied away from all these years. How does this compares to an in-store experience? I don’t think you have ever read more than a chapter in the bookstore before you bought the book an any reader worth his/her salt knows that the book excerpts on the back cover are PR gimmicks.
Kindle contributes in widening your reading horizons in more than one way. It provides subscriptions to blogs, newspapers and magazines. Though not all magazines and newspapers you want to read are available today, but, please understand that the Kindle is just about to go international, up till now, it was only available in the US and publishers did not have a huge market to tap. Now that the Kindle is entering the international arena, more publishers will tie-up with Amazon to provide their content to an international readership. If you are serious about your language skills and look up new words in the dictionary while you read, you will find the Oxford American Dictionary1 built into the Kindle, a big help.
How Kindle can affect the publishing industry.
Printing books is a money intensive activity. The publisher invests a reasonably large sum of money in printing each title. This investment-heavy business model means that they have a fixed budget and can only bring out x number of books each year. Losses if any, are borne by the publishers. If the publishers had to print lesser number of copies, they could publish more titles in the same budget. But with today’s business model, printing lesser books translates to selling lesser books.
If Kindle is accepted by the book-buying masses it can change the business model. It will allow publishers to print lesser copies of books but at the same time maintain sales, thus facilitating smaller print runs without loss in revenue2. Amazon claims that of all the books bought on its US website, 48% are bought on the Kindle. Therefore, if we assume that a person does not buy both versions, ebook and paperback, publishers in the US can safely drop their print run by 45%3. That is a huge saving for the publisher.
For book publishers in India, brick-mortar bookstores are the primary points of sale. Therefore, retailers get a sizeable chunk of the list price (approximately 40%). Few bookstores pass on their profits to the customer as discounts4. Publishers and distributors, in turn, have to keep bookstores happy because sale of books depends on them.
If publishers had another reliable sale point, they would not be cowing down to brick-mortar bookstores. Amazon can be that second sale point5. But an aggressive online bookstore would break the monopoly of the brick-mortar ones and create a price war. To lure customers back into bookstores they will slash their profit margins and the price of the paperbacks will fall. Thus, benefiting those who do not own a Kindle.
For readers and publishers who fear that with wide spread e-publishing, paper books will lose their value, let me assure you, they won’t. With the growth of e-publishing, lesser paper books will be printed, and like all things, here too – less is more. Books will only gain in value. In the future, you will see signed copies, limited editions and special editions gain importance for the niche reader who understands and appreciate their value. With the bulk of the reading material distributed in the electronic form, publishers will concentrate their efforts on volumes that are a value-add and get in additional revenue for the publishing chain.
Advantages of the Kindle
1. Access many books on the go
2. Directly download books through Amazon’s Whispernet, internationally
3. Is backed by the world’s biggest bookstore – Amazon
4. Text-to-speech feature and adjustable font size makes it accessible to a wide range of age groups and abilities
5. Subscribe to blogs, magazines, and newspapers
You can see a complete list of features on this Amazon Kindle page.
Disadvantages of the Kindle
1. Selection of new novels, newspapers and magazines is limited for Indian Kindle owners, yet. (Tie-ups with publishers should improve the situation)
2. Amazon Whispernet may have teething problems in India.
3. Cost of ownership at approximately Rs. 18,600 is a bit high. Should be between Rs.10,000 and Rs.15,000
4. At Rs. 450 a book, its almost as expensive as buying a new paperback in India. The price per book will have to reduce for the Indian market.
Kindle is not an assault on books. It aims not to take books away from you but to bring reading closer to you. You never fell in love with blank sheets of paper bound together, but the words and sentences written on those sheets of paper. Kindle will show you those words and sentences, and it will make you love it – just like you love books. You don’t have to choose one, you can love books and Kindle at the same time – just like I do.
- With the Kindle going international, i am sure more dictionary options will soon be available ↩
- There will be marginal drop in profits, but that is countered by a smaller investment on each title published ↩
- It will depend on the genre of the book and the exact sales figures from Amazon ↩
- Bad bookstores charge you full price, good ones give you a 10% discount, very good ones give you a 20% discount and your best-friend-bookstore gives you a 30% discount. ↩
- Note: Amazon, being the largest bookstore in the world, is known for dog earing publishers and making life hell for them ↩
1. It teaches you Patience
FarmVille is a game that requires you to be patient. Real world farming is a patient job, once you sow your seeds there is nothing you can do till the crop is ready for harvesting. Translating this ideology online, FarmVille does not require you to hang around once you have sown your seeds. You can come back at a time when your crop is ready, harvest it, plow the land, sow a new crop and be on your way. Came back at a later time, when you know your crop is ready. There is nothing you can do to accelerate the growth of your crop; you have to be patient and reap it when its ready.
2. It teaches you Planning
You will need to plan your crops depending on when, next, you are going to be online. In the real world, rotation crops are planned based on the weather patterns. In FarmVille, you can sow seeds and let them grow while you are offline. But knowing when you are next going to be online will help you chose which crop to sow so that they grow maximum in the hours you were offline. When you reap this crop, again calculate when next you will be online and sow a crop that best fits that time frame. To best utilize the time, with minimum wastage, you need to plan the rotation of your corps to suit your internet usage.
3. It teaches you Money Management
Like all farmers in the real world, in FarmVille too, you will be starting small, with little money and little land. As you earn more money (and experience), you can plow a larger area. and you sow a larger quantity (and variety) of seeds. But you have to be practical and not spend uselessly on unnecessary or uneconomical stuff. For example, buying an animal in the initial levels of the game is useless – they are very expensive and give too few coins per day. Your money is better invested in plowing the land and choosing crops that give a high yield. Decorations like hay stacks and fences are useless and do not buy them unless you have more money than required to plow and sow, any crop you wish, at least twice.
4. It teaches you Goal Achieving
Farmers have to be ambitious, they must want to try out new stuff and experiment with various crops. But after a certain level Farmville might get a bit aimless. That is when Ribbons come in. Ribbons are what you get for achieving preset targets and tasks. These tasks might make you do stuff that you would, otherwise, not have tried. Like, planting/harvesting all the crops at least once, making neighbours, harvesting x number of trees etc. By the time you have won a majority of the ribbons you get into a habit of setting your own goals and working towards them.
5. It teaches you Responsibility and Goodness
You are responsible for your farm and its crop. If you fail to attend to it, it will wither and die, resulting in loss of money and hard work. If you know you are going to be away for a few day it is better not to sow a new crop before you leave. Keep a plowed field so that you can plant when you return. Farming is not a solo activity, therefore its always good to interact with fellow farmers. Keeping up this tradition is FarmVilles gift section which allows you to give free gifts to your friends. You can also help your friends on their farm. This keeps the goodness of farming alive and having the helping nature also gets you rewards in ways of coins and experiences. Not to mention the free gifts you receive from friends which reduces your burden of buying stuff from the market.
What is it with photographers and a Mac?! Every time a photographer sees a Mac he wants to buy it. Does no other thought come to mind? Is a Mac so irresistible? Or does he think his photography will improve if he uses a Mac? It is getting so irritating, i cannot explain in words!
Just last this week i came across three incidents of iLust1. An acquaintance shifted to a Mac; two weeks ago we discussed how useless the shift was, yet he could not resist it. A good friend almost bought a Mac, he barely wiped the drool off his mouth as he left the store. And, lastly, some one on a photography forum is selling his three month old Dell XPS because he now wants to buy a Mac.
I have been through this phase too, but i shopped around for a concrete reason for shifting and found none. Here is what I found, or rather, did not find:
September 2007: Adobe Support Forums
Before that: Authorised Apple reseller in Bandra, Mumbai
Before that: Tech guy at an advertising agency in Mumbai
Before that: Owner of a prepress outfit in Mumbai
Q1/Q2 of 2009: Apple corner in Croma, Bandra, Mumbai
I was poking my nose in the Apple section of Croma in Bandra when this sales girl decided to lock horns with me. I was criticizing the glossy screen for its reflectivity when she cut me short saying “it is also available in matt.” Then she asked me what i did and i came around to my colour correction and image processing questions. As expected she couldn’t answer my queries but fiery that she was, she said if i gave her my email address she’d ask her superiors and get back to me. I’m still waiting for her email. I’m sure she has found the answer to my query but her Mac hung while mailing me!
April 2008: Mac for Business Seminar in Mumbai
I met Justin ( Mac sales guy for Southeast Asia, based in Singapore) in 2008 when he had come to Mumbai for some Apple promotional seminars. Mr. Apple wanted to push his Macs in the business arena so there was a seminar titled Mac for Business. I attended the talk and heard everything — how easy the OS was and how nice it looked and how little the learning curve is and how well it performed and didn’t ask you silly questions and finally how you could use Microsoft Office applications too. Great! I love it. But i don’t care about the OS. So at the end of the talk i walk up to Justin and his assistant, pull them to a corner and explain my needs.
I say, “I am a professional photographer, have over 1 TB2 of images, generally need to process 16bit TIFF files of 300MB each, sometimes need to make TIFFs of 1GB in size. How will a Mac help me?”
He starts rattling, “The OS is very stable, it wont hang, its slick to use.…”
I cut in, “When i am working in Adobe Photoshop how will a Mac be better?”
They look at each other, “Ahh…Ahhh.…But it has Time Machine, that will help with back up!”
Both appear very happy and feel they have scored an ace.
I make a face and rephrase my question, “Can you pinpoint any hardware superiority that makes a Mac better for image processing? ”
I don’t get an answer. Just some this and that. They do some sales talk and say I should go in for a Mac Pro.
At this point i gave up on the Mac.
September 2007: Adobe Support Forums
Before that: Authorised Apple reseller in Bandra, Mumbai
Before that: Tech guy at an advertising agency in Mumbai
Before that: Owner of a prepress outfit in Mumbai
September 2007: Adobe Support Forums.
Not knowing whom to ask I ended up asking fellow Photoshop users on the Adobe Forums.
They said if the tech specs are same the software will function optimally on both platforms.
After that the discussion spiraled down to typical Mac vs PC bashings.
If you want to read all the responses to my forum post you can download the 25 page PDF.
Download PDF (300kb)
Before that: Authorised Apple reseller in Bandra, Mumbai.
The owner of a book shop that i frequent had leased a shop to this Apple Reseller. So when i go buy books he takes me across the street to the Apple Reseller. I spend some time browsing and awing at everything on the shelves. Then i meet the store owner and get chatting with him. He tries to sell me endless things and shows me how i will never trip on the charging cord because of its magnetic connection, how a remote is standard accessory with the laptops…etc…etc. All very impressive. Then i ask him the million dollar question, “How is a Mac better than a PC? Tell me specs, tell me hardware.” He says, “Frankly, the line between them is thinning…”. I smile. Nothing.
Before that: Tech guy at an advertising agency in Mumbai.
A friend of mine worked for an advertising agency. She told me they were upgrading all their machines to Macs.
I asked, “Why?”
She said, “I don’t know. Our tech head says they are better.”
I ask if i can speak to him and get an answer, she promises to get him over the phone. So i talk to his cool dude. He obviously is a huge Apple fan (so am I) He goes all over the world with me, tells me all that i already know and then some more.
He concludes, “They make the hardware and they make the OS, they know best how to integrate the two and therefore it works well.”
Bingo. I ask, “Will it be of any special advantage when processing images or large files?”
He says, “Its the overall user experience that makes a Mac desirable, i will see if there is any answer to your specific query.”
I say, “Thank you”.
Later my friend tells me, when a new client visits their office, they show him their Mac. The client is impressed with the elegant looks and they get the job. So Jobs, what do you have to say?
Before that: Owner of a prepress outfit in Mumbai
Once i had the opportunity to help out an NGO with their magazine. I went to the printer for colour correction of the images. He was doing some other work on a PC, he finishes that and sits in front of the adjoining Mac, the only one in the room an old G4. I take the chair beside him. After finishing the third image i saw no difference in the workflow or the end result.
Very softly i asked in Hindi, “Why are you doing it on this machine and not that one?”
He turns to face me and say, “This is a Mac, that’s why.”
I probe further, “What’s the difference?”
Without taking his eyes off the screen he says, “The colours are better.”
I ask casually, “Why?”
He repeats, “This is a Mac that’s why.”
I was enlightened.
He was not.
A Mac is a very good choice if you want one computer that does everything. Its excellent when it comes to a feature set and ease of doing everyday tasks (I guess). But there is no reason to believe it’s a workhorse that will work better than a branded PC having the same tech specs.
Read this page on apple.com and note that it never says anything about better colour management or better image processing.
If you want to use software made by Apple, like Aperture or Final Cut Pro, then you have no choice but to use a Mac. But if you are buying a Mac just so that Photoshop and Lightroom perform better then that does not make any sense to me. Photoshop and Lightroom will work equally well on a similarly configured Dell.
As a professional photographer, I use a Dell Quad Core desktop to process my images, a Dell XPS in the field and an assembled PC for surfing the Internet and other applications.
When it comes to finding names for versions of OS X, Mr. Apple is really raising the bar. If i were Mr. Apple i would think twice before calling my OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard. Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia ) is a top cat. The ultimate in the Felidae family 1. Does Apple imply that his OSX v10.6 is the best ever. Of course, being software, it cannot be the best ever, it will evolve into a better v10.7. But what will that be called? I don’t know of any cat better than the Snow Leopard? Does Apple? Along with tech are we also hiding a new species under our sleeve?
Apple should have reserved the Snow Leopard for a v10.9. He could have filled the intermediate versions with names like Clouded Leopard, Siberian Tiger, etc or other smaller cats like the Linx or Fishing Cat.
Also, the fact that Mr. Apple completely avoided the Lions really upsets me. You cannot possibly convince me that he will be naming the v10.9 Lion. No one would think of naming a new product version Lion when it’s previous version is called Snow Leopard.
It is very interesting to see how Mr. Apple has, up to now, successfully named all versions of OS X after a particular specie of the cat family. But i am going bonkers thinking which family of the animal kingdom will he choose next to name versions his OS 11 (or OS XI). I recommend choosing one of the monkey families.
Whichever family he ends up choosing, it will have at least 10 distinct species. One each for versions .1 to .9. With OS X v10.6 just coming out of its cave Mr Apple has ample of time to find his new family.
Updated on AUGUST 31, 2009.
Mac users would like to read this page on ZDNET before upgrading to Snow Leopard.
ZDNET also says “People eager to get a copy of the latest version of the Mac operating system, Snow Leopard, should be wary of sites offering free copies because they are likely to get some nasty malware instead, according to antivirus company Trend Micro.”
Which animal family should OS 11 (or OS XI) be dedicated to?
Use the comments section below to tell us what you think.
- In my opinion ↩