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Tuesday, 04 April 2017


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Note that none of the interviews with Apple staff mention photography. I guess, even when processing 50-Meg images (or larger), with all the baggage of PhotoShop layers, etc., doesn't quality some photographers as high-end "pro" users?

This seems like a case of Apple being too "cool" for their own good. "Cool" packaging that didn't cool led to under powered and under cooled GPU and no industry standard options. Then it was too expensive in money and design resources to custom design upgrades leading to no timely updates.

Don't get me wrong, Microsoft is it's own evil empire. However the ecosystem does listen to customers and keeps moving forward.

I wonder if this means they are going to go back to making monitors?

I think it's Great, but late. More than we have gotten from Apple.....perhaps ever....
A modular machine with upgradeability well into the future and a proper display to go with it.
It's also interesting to notice who wasn't in the room, namely Mr.Ive, who had so much to say at the current MacPro's launch.
I tip my hat to them for admitting how far off the mark the MacPro was, and hope they really get it right this time.
However we also know that they have known it for a long time, and new machines should have been ready by now.
I can't help but think that this new openness was prompted less by the stated reasons and more by the fact that current windows 10 machines are very capable of running Pro Apps and can easily be configured to have none of the thermal issues and lack of upgradeability that plagues the current Mac Pro.
I'm a Mac Guy thru and through, but only because they have always been easy to use. I'm still nursing along a last generation Mac Pro with SSD's & GPU's, which is a testament to what makes a real Pro Machine

It is also interesting and a little sad to note, that in Phil Shiller's description of Pro Users. Photographers never enter his mind.

“There’s music creators, there’s video editors, there’s graphic designers — a really great segment with the Mac. There’s scientists, engineers, architects, software programmers — increasingly growing, particularly our App development in the app store. So there are many many things and people called pros, Pro workflows, so we should be careful not to over simplify and say ‘Pros want this’ or ‘don’t want that’ — it’s much more complex than that.“

So they will do something sometime unless they change their mind.

In my view, no excuse for ignoring such an important element of their customer base for so long. I might have been tempted to consider an Apple Workstation a few years ago, but was turned off by the architecture of their top end product. Further developments, such as making sure that Mac Mini's could not be upgraded were further nails in the coffin. It will be interesting to see where this leads, but I know myself what I will be doing when I need to upgrade or replace my own workstation. I will not be looking to Apple for inspiration.

Every day I read article after after article about how Apple has lost touch with it's customers. As a long-time customer of Apple, I feel exactly the same way. If Apple had been doing proper "Voice of the Customer" (VOC) and *actually* listening to customer needs instead of having their heads firmly up their *ss when it came to designing the 2014 Mac Pro, iPhone 7 and new MacBooks (notice I did not use the Pro label), all of this would have been completely avoidable. And, they could have saved tens, if not hundreds, of million dollars developing products that meet customer needs the first time. In this respect, they would have done well to talk to Fujifilm. And here's the kicker: there was absolutely no reason they could not have done this. VOC is literally cookie-cutter in it's methodology: "Do this at this point in time, do that in that point in time." It's not rocket science, it's straightforward and practical. When I teach VOC to my fellow co-workers, I will now be using Apple as an example of what NOT to do; when corporate arrogance takes precedence over listening to the customer's voice for creating products that provide compelling value propositions. To quote Petapixel's, Mike "Sharkey" James: "NEXT..."

Many Pro users have turned to the iMac, which makes sense because the Mac Pro is a workstation and only real power users need workstation performance. The iMac is due for a refresh in the fall they announced but from what I read seems unlikely to have a better upgrade path in that it is an All-In-One with limited space.

I think with all the resources Apple has they did blow it in keeping the desktops refreshed at least yearly. They can easily be number one in nearly product line if they wish. But it's good to have some confirmation that they're still in the game.

As for me, I've switched to a Dell PC desktop, fast and plenty of room to expand. So far the experience has been fine with Windows 10, which I had been dreading. No need to worry, Windows 10 works well and photo editing is a breeze with Photoshop on a PC.

This is reassuring-though the time table is not much to my liking. Still I'll limp by until the new stuff shows up-though I might have to go ahead and buy a new monitor to connect to my 2013 Laptop till then. What I'd really like is an updated Mac Pro Tower/G5. Had both and they were great. If you are going to reinvent it though, put the connectors right on the front so I don't have to do gymnastics to plug things in and out as I do frequently. All in all this is a much appreciated conversation from Apple and much appreciated. I do trust them to follow through. Guess that means this year's budget can now be adjusted toward photo gear.

Let's hope Nikon is paying attention!

This is heartening and I fervently hope is true. I got rid of my 2008 Mac Pro tower and got the new "trashcan" 2013 Mac Pro and over time have been somewhat disappointed. While it's speedy and cute, I've had to invest additional sums in things like a dock and a box to hold my backup drives.
I really think form should follow function and that most people don't really care that much what the box on the desk looks like, just that it does its job.
This situation is similar to cameras in that there are three things that matter, image quality, image quality, and image quality, the rest is commentary. Of course it is a problem if the camera is hard to use; but I spent years with a view camera, not exactly the most intuitive of devices. I enjoyed using it; I made good photographs with it; I am happier with my digital camera, but the image quality is really close to the 4x5, and the print is what goes on the wall, not the camera.
Time will tell if Mr Schiller is really on target but maybe this time Apple will actually listen to users instead of focusing on the purity of the design at the cost of function. The ability to admit, learn from, and remedy one's mistakes is a skill not all of us have.

Amazing and intriguing Mike! Hard to believe the apologies and promises of transparency -- although they didn't show even a preliminary sketch of a new Pro, did they?

If they are saying "next year at the earliest" and had nothing to show now, it sure looks as though they haven't actually got a project on the go, or at best, it is a gleam in someone's eye and maybe just a few lines on the blotter (okay, on the whiteboard then -- I'm a bit old fashioned).

Given the bizarre disaster they are offering as Pro now, a 20% rise in those sales is pretty odd!

I wonder whether they will backtrack on laptops and give us a few more ports in the MBPs so we don't have to carry around a bagful of adapters (having said which, I must say I am now carrying a little card reader since the SD reader of my mid-2010 MBP gave up the ghost -- known weakness; it cost about $2.50, has four slots in it, and can accommodate eight types of cards. Stunning).

And what will they do with the Mac mini? Lots of people are weeping and wailing over that too.

Personally, I have just updated from the mid-2010 15" MBP with hi-rez screen to the early-2011 15" MBP with hi-rez screen courtesy of eBay. I have two of them. Should keep me going on OS X.6.8 for the nonce. :)

Cheers, Geoff

That should have read "Hard to believe…" :)

Oh yes it is! Er, well my iMac is. Well and truly cooked!


C. Little & Friends started the Apple panic when Final Cut Pro X was released.

The latest panic was caused by the touch-bar Mac Books Pros. Apple moving to Thunderbolt/USB-C, the latest/fastest/best connector available was seen as a sign that Apple was abandoning the pro market.

Are Retina displays and moving to the DCI-P3 Color Space, also signs of Apple leaving the pro market?

Final Cut Pro X is alive and well. And is upgraded regularly https://www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/

But C. Little & Friends will forever be in panic mode. To quote Clark Gable: "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a ..."

I'm not sure I can wait another year or so for Apple my current iMac is wheezing under the strain of a large Lightroom catalogue and 4K video. It is nice that they've woken up to the fact they've been ignoring customers like me but their corporate arrogance of forcing change on us means that it is very likely that they will not make anything that I want.

For starters, they should put the SD card slot back.

Just got the Mac Pro 2010 and found that this is really a computer many of us would like to have. Except a) no current GPU computing (Nvidia only last generation) and need web driver (b) really the latest CPU upgrade etc. are not there. It is workable but not nice.

Spend $4000+ is not an issue for this kind of computer (My "new" 2010 I have spent $3000+ on it already, mainly for hooking hard drive onto it; the system itself is not the major costs). As one forum guy said, life is too short to wait for the rainbow. Luckily I am only on photo and hence the old one is still fine.

But really today if I am doing video, why not get a HP Z workstation instead of trying to get a 2nd hand Mac Pro to get the expendability and all these troubles. Not sure about the Mac Pro intermediate will fit the bill but no expendability ... still no go.

Well, it is sort of good news as I did expect it to die though. Even not dead yet, I am not sure given their close mindness and Apple need to own it all (mobile GPU just get in-house 1-2 days ago), would we have another space-can or something next year or the year after(!).

Luckily it is a hobby I can wait. The old 2nd hand Mac Pro 2010 work fine for sorting out even thousands Nikon 810 class photos.

Sigh, to be honest I am giving up and that purchase supposedly is my last Mac. Move onto HP Z workstation in summer once this settle down as old archive. Video and GPU (neutral network) would be on HP. Even get a Synology as the bridge to prepare for the scenario.

Apple ... sigh.

I went hackintosh 2 years ago. So cheap and so powerful if you can just put up with all the little quirks (and have about 4 days read forums all day to teach yourself how.)

An interesting insight from Anandtech (as often!), via the cited articles : Apple seems to acknowledge that they painted themselves in a bit of a corner with the very compact 'trash can' form factor, hindering their ability to upgrade the GPUs due to heating concerns.

An ironic quote in the BuzzFeed piece from Craig Federighi, not sure if intentional: “We designed ourselves into a bit of a corner” - because of a housing with no corners!

My objection to the headline was not strong enough to make a big deal about it. I just wanted to point out that last I checked Apple is still selling a lot of Mac-oriented non-iOS devices. Therefore I stand by my statement that the Mac is far from dead.

The technical press, and in particular the Apple-specific nerd press is very attached to this narrative that at some point in the near future the Macs will be killed and replaced by ... something running iOS. I don't really see this happening because many of the main use cases for the two platforms do not overlap by that much in my mind. But I probably don't know any more than most people about this. I am just skeptical and conservative about technology.

I think best explanation for the Mac Pro debacle was one of the comments (from Rick Baumhauer) on your previous page about this: it's a combination of some design bets that went bad along with unforeseen bubbles in the dependent hardware platform (i.e. Intel CPUs).

So your headline is OK. I just don't think the platform was ever close to being dead. As I said.

Just as opinion. Clearly other people feel differently.

All the comments above are well founded and the reasons for them are evident to every "pro user".

But not to Apple, as current product availability shows.

Perhaps others have a vastly greater need for vastly greater performance, but I think the point where I would buy a new computer of any kind because my current one is "too slow" has long past. There are other reasons to upgrade, of course, but raw performance isn't one of them for me anymore.

I have a MacPro 2013 which serves me very well, but I am not truly a high power user. I chose it to replace a MacPro c.2008, because I needed connectivity to multiple external RAIDs. But I have been following this story with great interest, wondering and worrying that Apple was abandoning its professional users, something that I would consider a grievous error. So this latest news is encouraging in that it indicates that Apple understands that they are in danger of losing their reputation as the Mercedes of computers, and, in fact, have already lost it amongst a significant portion of high end users. Can they regain their mojo? I'm betting that they can, but in the meantime, there will be significant losses.

I had been hoping they might bring back " Aperture". I am still running Yosemite here because I don't want to lose Aperture. So I won't be buying a new Mac Pro I am afraid.

Still have two G5's... Love em'.
Not buying anything new that I cant fiddle with or get parts for.
Probably getting a Ryzen7-1700 ITX next as I need as much computing power as I can get for the least amount of cash.

re Speed's comment:


They didn't mention photographers as "Apple pro users" because photographers in general no longer use Aperture, an Apple pro app no longer supported by Apple. People have moved on to Lightroom, C1, etc. (so I assume not sending usage data to Apple) and different hardware (where you can upgrade as you need as technology gets more complex or megapixelly, instead of up front).

Me notwithstanding, because I appreciate the UI and non-modality of Aperture, but apparently its software architecture wasn't "modern" enough to take advantage of the hardware of even the new Mac Pro. This is especially frustrating since they took the time and effort to redo Final Cut Pro. My current photo needs aren't too taxing so I keep plugging away, but I know I will need to eventually.

(I'm still waiting for Photos to restore Aperture DAM functionality... there's tons of cool tech baked in but it's not there yet. It's like what they did with the iOS-ification of iWork, and they're slowly bringing features back. So maybe there is hope despite its lack of apparent urgency and initial enthusiasm for the Photos platform.)

I have an early 2008 Mac Pro, dual quad core Xeon. I have used it almost every day (except during vacations) for almost 9 years. Never had a single failure, still working flawlessly. Now I use it mainly for my photography, but during the first 6 years I used it heavily for electromagnetic and microchip simulation. Some runs took up to 3 days running continuously with the fans almost at full.
I hope they will come with an equivalent overdone reliable machine, but with today's chip power. ARE YOU HEARING CUPERTINO?

I own a Windows 10 machine a freind of mine a Mac at 4 times the price. Cool dude, I know, since my machine is not a budget machine. I use 3D software a lot.....and I mean a lot and more and more of that software (for instance Agisoft Photoscan) uses the GPU as sort of uber co-processor (remember those). Now my boutique build PC has 4 slots for graphic cards and can sport 4 high end NVidia of AMD (in my case the former) pieces of hardware coupled to an 8 core processor. Now my PC beats the crap out of the Mac. Now don't get me wrong I am a firm believer in the "Whatever floats your boat" school of life. But Apple come one start using youre brilliant minds and open up your game for those who want or better need it. Fast gaming cards are great for all sort off computation intensive work (rendering movies, renderings 3D and calculating 3D or calculating gigapixel pano's for instance). We the users do these things these days, really we do. And some of us (not me, I'm a swarn in die hard apostle of the Redmond way of life) would like to use an Apple wich in itself is a great machine (but not for me) to do that, but they can't and that's called a missed oppertunity and this time it's lost to stuborness and stuborness in itself isn't that bad (see Leica) but hey even Leica's can record movies these days...oh horror, and for those that detest that buy a 262 (by the way a cool swedish car as well). Why doesn't Apple take that route an make an open architecture line, it isn't that hard, with a few tricks you can make an Apple run Windows and vice versa anyway (though the latter is less official).

Greets, Ed.

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