A few years ago, the Mac was considered a clear sign that there was a creative mind behind it. In the meantime, Macs are also widespread among the general public and are considered reliable laptops or designer pieces for daily computer work. But photographers, filmmakers and co. still often rely on the Mac. Is the move really worth it for you, or are Macs just overpriced PCs? Which is the right computer for photographers?

Hardware – These are the main differences in technology

If you’re thinking about switching to a Mac, you’ve probably already dealt with the biggest drawback – price. Macs in any version are more expensive, significantly more expensive than PCs. But if you want to make a PC out of the same components as the comparable Mac, the price difference keeps melting away. Especially with products like the iMac, which also has a high-end display. Of course, you always pay for the design with Apple.

But that can be very relevant for customer contact. After all, it makes a difference whether you pull a new MacBook out of your bag or a rickety laptop made of hard plastic. All the hardware you interact with on Macs is top-notch: smooth keyboards, large trackpads, comfortable screens, and mice with touch surfaces. If you work on the computer for a long time, this work always remains pleasant on the Mac and the corresponding hardware.

When new Macs come out, they often offer new comfort features (like the newly introduced TouchBar) that you won’t find on PCs. Of course, you can work without all of these things, but Apple always makes things a little more convenient. Once you get used to it, it’s hard to go back.

Mac or PC? The right computer for photographers

Unfortunately, Apple has become a bit sloppy in recent years when it comes to the frequency of new generations. Apple often misses updates for years, and the devices in the store become technically obsolete over the years. This is highly annoying, but not really relevant for photo editing. Even a weaker Mac can still manage Photoshop and Lightroom without the hardware cooling becoming audible.

As far as compatibility is concerned, Apple is often criticized because the company dashes ahead with seven-league boots. Right now, new Macs are working with USB-C ports, which are expected to replace all other ports sooner or later. USB-C can make hard drives, peripherals, screens and charging cables equally usable. And is extremely fast on the side. Of course, it’s never nice to buy adapters and new accessories, but Apple was rarely completely wrong in these cases. Or do you still see many laptops with optical drives today?

Can a Mac be retrofitted?

A tangible disadvantage for many is the lack of upgradeability of Macs. There is nothing to sugarcoat here. Especially very new Macs are a nightmare, the RAM is soldered to the logic board and all parts are well hidden. That’s the price of the ultra-flat design. Here you have to fall back on external hard drives and co. if necessary. An Apple Care Protection Plan, which covers the repair of the hardware in case of doubt, is also worth considering. Older Apple models don’t have this problem as much and you can upgrade many components within minutes and very comfortably.

What you should definitely look for when buying a Mac for photo editing is a powerful GPU and a lot of RAM. Photoshop and co. use the GPU for hardware acceleration, so the cost of a powerful AMD chip is more worthwhile than a four-core processor, which will hardly reach its limit anyway. More RAM allows you to work smoothly with many programs, especially when you jump back and forth between windows.

Unlike the PC, Apple also pays attention to really suitable components. You don’t have to put the fastest individual components under one hood, a functioning system architecture manages that as well. Mac OS is also much more efficient, which brings us to the next and probably most important point: the operating system.

Mac OS X vs. Windows – More than just a visual difference

Windows has caught up visually in the last few years, no longer looks so staid and also offers a lot of comfort. However, Microsoft’s operating system is still far away from the seamlessness of a Mac OS. Mac OS offers many options to switch back and forth between programs, search for desired content, work with metadata, and due to the protection against malware and malicious programs, Mac OS is also very reliable.

Even if an app crashes once, it doesn’t tear the whole system down. Unwanted error messages are the absolute exception on the Mac. You can just work and your Mac will do the work for you in the background. Even with lots of applications installed and uninstalled, a Mac doesn’t slow down. You need less technical know-how and don’t have to invest time in getting your operating system to work.

Mac or PC? The right computer for photographers

Mac OS does its job subtly in the background, you only get hints on request and you can configure pretty much everything in the system settings. Mac OS is especially efficient for programs like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom, because the graphics interface Metal brings more power than a comparable Windows PC. This means you have the processing power exactly where you need it.

Once you get used to working on a Mac and set up Spaces (virtual desktops) and navigate back and forth effortlessly in Mission Control, you’ll notice how much time you can save.

Mac OS is simply more fun than Windows, and you’re much less likely to be distracted from your work.

By the way, the right backup strategy is crucial on both platforms. There are numerous options here.

Expensive hardware, cheap software

In addition to programs like Lightroom and Photoshop, the Mac App Store also offers many Mac-exclusive alternatives. These include apps like Pixelmator and Affinity Photo. Especially if you’re just starting out in professional photo editing, you’ll find these apps to be affordable alternatives to Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription model. This means that the Mac will pay for itself after just a few months if you don’t necessarily have to rely on the programs from the Adobe Cloud. The same applies to Apple’s editing program Final Cut Pro X or Apple’s office suite iWorks. You can save a lot of money here compared to the programs for Windows.

Mac or PC? The right computer for photographers

More comfort, with a thick price tag

Working on the Mac is comfortable and intuitive. You will notice this when you no longer have to press the CTRL key on the outside of the keyboard for key combinations, but instead use the CMD key on the inside. This is only a small difference, but you use such combinations all the time. And that perhaps illustrates the biggest difference between Mac and PC: The Mac is a well thought-out system. All the gears mesh together.

And that’s why photographers and creatives love the Mac so much. It lets you work on high-quality hardware without having to be your own system administrator. Of course, this focus on working more efficiently without fear of crashing comes at a price. But for creatives in particular, the premium is well worth it, as the Mac can play to its strengths when it comes to photo editing software.

The online store for photographers runs on any system

Regardless of whether you are a photographer using Mac OS or Windows, our online store for photographers offers numerous opportunities to sell more photos. You work exclusively in the browser, upload the client images and your clients order in your personal online store. Optimal for weddings, events and classic portrait photography. Just try it out without obligation.

Mac or PC? The right computer for photographers
Start your success story

We’ll set up your photographer shop in just a few minutes. You can then test the shop extensively for 30 days. The test expires automatically – no cancellation is necessary.

Mac or PC? The right computer for photographers
Start your success story

We’ll set up your photographer shop in just a few minutes. You can then test the shop extensively for 30 days. The test expires automatically – no cancellation is necessary.