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Tuesday, 20 April 2021


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I was happy to read your update‘MacBook pro with 32” and adequate ports...’. Then I stopped. What? 32” MacBook? Then I looked again. No, not MacBook with adequate number of ports that it so sorely misses. Maybe next time. I thought the desktop Mac’s still have ports. Even the mini. At least some.

I missed that rumour, where did you hear it?

Just what I wanted....a pink iMac without a SD card slot........

I'm dependent on Parallels running Windows 10 for Nikon Scan and Quicken. (Quicken for Mac remains a joke.) So I may well upgrade my iMac to the last Intel one. But I may eventually need a "real" machine to run those programs.

Nothing against the M1 machines, I'm typing this on a M1 MacBook Air, which is a fabulous machine.

I'll be leasing Photoshop from Adobe by next year, because TurboTax 2021 will require a MacOS version that can't run Photoshop CS6.

The iPad Pro was the star of the show, IMO. I don’t really need one, and I’m content with my 27” iMac 5K. I will, however, be ordering the new Apple TV 4K since my Gen3 is losing support and is getting flakey.

These machines aren't targeted towards to niche users, they're general purpose, mass market critters. Canon AE1's or Rebels to the F1's or EOS 1D's we're dreaming of. There's still a lot of applications that need to be native on Apple Silicon before a high end iMac or MacBook shows up - and the colors are fun! I miss fun Apple. I would love an SD card on a laptop, but on the desktop, that'll keep for a longer time - in just the last 3 months I switched card readers 3 times, now supporting CF Express, so less concerned with anything other than ports.

The iPad Pro was the item of interest to photographers liking for a tablet workflow, it's a beast. Our machines are coming, just not yet.

"The colors simply radiate unseriousness. Surely Apple means to telegraph that this is not the computer for power users."

This reminds me of the gamer reaction to the "Diablo 3" video game which was an update to a long loved dungeon crawler from the 90s. The core of the complaints were that the art direction in the new release emphasized "overly bright colors" that indicated that the game was not the expected gritty and dark experience for *serious* gamers, only casual posers.

There is certainly a discussion to be had over the particular engineering tradeoffs made in this model if iMac and whether it suits the uses any given user has in mind ... but complaining about the colors and what they allegedly imply is not, it seems to me, a thing that is up to the normal standards of discourse on this web site.

Anyway, as you say these machines are almost surely the new "bottom" of the iMac line, just like the 13" M1 laptops in the last show were the bottom of the laptop line. Surely the next iMac and Macbook Pro will be ... bigger. But even if they also come in purple I can assure you they won't be any less "serious" than the current hardware. All indications are that the M1 stuff is very much more serious.

And, honestly I would not mind a new purple laptop. I think it would be fun.

The current CEO of Apple has regularly gone for eye-catching candy appeal, and subscriptions, over substance. Nothing really new here, just a new chip to make your computer work more efficiently with your cell phone. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

I'm always up for a caramel-covered apple...
wait, they want me to buy a caramel-colored Apple?
No thanks.

I have hooked up a 32" TV as a monitor and am addicted. Probably not the best color management,but great for things like that Bingham-Ding game.

I am sure these machines would be fine for most people's needs (even photographers, though obviously not aimed at that very small slice of the pie). I have an M1 MacBook with 16gb of ram and it is really, really fast with Photoshop and Lightroom. I am also not sure about the complaint about the SD card slot. I would love one on my MacBook, but for the mini and iMac it doesn't make sense anyway. Who wants to reach around to the back and blindly fumble with a card slot? I haven't used the built in slot on my iMac since I got a proper card reader anyway. The internal storage limit is a bit irksome; Apple could give people more options but for me I prefer external anyway. As for the colors, good for Apple for making things a little more interesting. There is a silver version for people who would find it difficult to take themselves seriously on a purple computer. And you are right Mike that a more buttoned-up version is most certainly is in the works, R&D no doubt paid for by sales of mass appeal devices like these.

Gotta chuckle when I read all the drama and disbelief over "no SD card slot." My iMac Pro has an SD card slot but for the life of me I've yet to figure out how to insert XQD and CF Express cards into it.

But I do have a small card reader on my desk that will accommodate both.

And, miraculously, my cameras can all connect with my computer via USB C cables to also download images. Yes, a miracle.

Finally, and I think it's cogent, Apple isn't just updating OS each year (and many smaller updates in between) just to anger us; they seem to also be making security updates that are a good thing for computer users who want to keep their data safe. Or at least a lot safer than on Windoze machines.

Finally, there are still a few people left in the world who value good design as much as they value performance. Just sayin.

Well, Mike, are you holding out for the M6 version?

We live in a rapidly changing world. What was cool yesterday is passé today.

iMacs are a changing product. Now-a-days good mostly for e-mail and watching Netflix. If you live in a glass house (mainframe reference), the Mac Pro and Pro Display XDR may be just what you need.

The iPad Pro does everything most creatives need. Check-out some of the low cost apps available. The cloud does storage inexpensively.

Being a digital nomad requires nothing more than a messenger bag for gear, a small duffel bag for clothing and plastic to pay for travel and lodging.

Less is the new more. It's called progress.

[If there's anything that's "less" about today's commercial culture, I'm certainly not seeing it. --Mike]

It mystifies me that Apple insists on sleek, uncluttered design ... I hope my new computer will have ... a ... hard drive ... DVD drive.
Don't forget floppy drives! But c'mon, this is Apple we're talking about: They know that you need to be dragged away from your comfortable past a couple of years before you're willing to admit it. I got a USB optical drive around here somewhere: It handles BluRay and 4K UHD disks in addition to DVD. But mostly it just collects dust.

So many people (in all sorts of places) are being so critical of these consumer-based computers.... As you say, these iMacs are replacements for the 21” models. (One of which I do in fact have - I find a 27” monitor too much. 24” is the sweet spot for me, and in fact I have a Dell 4K 24” monitor alongside the iMac.) Apple Silicon replacements for other Apple desktop computers are on their way.

My understanding is that the lack of ports is, in part, due to hardware limitations of the M1 chip. But that’s OK - we should remember that the M1 processor is the worst computer CPU that Apple will ever make. Roll on the M1X, or whatever it will be called. And wait until Apple produces a processor based on ARM’s just-announced new architecture, ARM V9.

But then, I value practicality over style.

I do, too. That's why the Macs from the past few years have not resonated with me. Instead, I'm using a tricked-out MacPro (2010 model). It has 4x2TB internal drives, 2x2TB PCI drives, 48 GB RAM, upgraded GPU and CPU. Amazingly quiet, too!

I'm beginning to think that my next upgrade might be to Linux on Intel -- if I can find satisfactory replacements for my photo apps.

iPad Pro looks nice, whenever my old-ish Air 2 gives up. IF it gives up, because it won't, now that I've decided that I like the new Pro.

Not wanting to sound harsh but I suspect the comments berating the new iMac mostly come from people with no actual experience of an M1-based Mac.

I have an M1 Mini and it silently made irrelevant my Ryzen-based Windows beast that costed 2000€ 2 years ago. There is nothing lacking to an M1 to do any photography-related job.

Regarding the colours, no-one is mandated to choose a colour. It is available in silver. So, what's the problem?

A $40 USB-C hub solves all the connectivity issues, really. I use my Mini with 2 scanners, an external hard drive, 2 printers, a graphic tablet, keyboard, trackpad, external speakers (maybe much less needed on an iMac) and the reality is that most of the peripherals are now wireless. My USB connexions are taken by the scanners and the external hard drive. A $40 hub solves the SD-card slot. They indeed should have put one on the side of the iMac, though.

16GB memory work better than the 32GB I had on the PC for the simple reason it never actually used it. The new memory architecture of the M1 means there is no picture you cannot edit with 16GB of RAM. While having all your other apps open too.

The supposedly unserious M1 iMac is actually more powerful than any Intel iMac, the so-called "downgrade".

The iMacs are essentially high-end tablets in a desktop box, limited by integrated RAM and GPUs. None the less, performance seems pretty good. https://petapixel.com/2020/12/08/benchmarking-performance-lightroom-on-m1-vs-rosetta-2-vs-intel/ Don't know why the GPU scores are so low for PS, supposedly they are pretty good. https://www.anandtech.com/show/16252/mac-mini-apple-m1-tested/3 Maybe it's a PS thing. Next generation of Apple silicon should fix these limits for true desktop performance. As mentioned by Mr. Dunbar, the iPads Pro are the most interesting for photo/video use in the field. Particularly what people will think of the 12.9" display.

Re: the new 24-inch M1 iMacs: Somebody tell Apple that Jony Ive doesn't work there anymore. His designs were generally poor because they emphasized style over function. That is the difference between truly good design and something that merely looks cool.

No worries - my 2019 27-inch iMac will hold up just fine until the M2 machines with more RAM come out. Because I couldn't afford an i9 chip in my current iMac (even though that chip was throttled for heat-management reasons), I fortified it with 64gb of RAM. I'd settle for 32gb in an M2 iMac but nothing less than that.

I'm strongly tempted to buy the new iMac this month. The M1 processor is clearly way beyond what any of us simple still photographers require to run LightRoom and PhotoShop (based on my experience of running these apps on my current equipment and what I see of benchmark tests).

I will certainly order the M1 iPad Pro 12.9 at the end of the month, and the only reason I can think of not to order the iMac at the same time is bragging rights – not the best of reasons! But we will see. I can always hang on for a few months more to see what I might be missing. Like you, I don't want something physically bigger than the 24" iMac as I already will have my NEC PA272 alongside, so if I have to get a larger physical computer simply in order to get more I/O or performance, then I won't want it.

Given the current silicon shortage and high demand for electronics, I think it will be a while before M-series computers more powerful than the M1 will be available for purchase. That said, I don't think the new iMac is a bad machine at all, just that for me the $200 more expensive version seems like a no brainer for its better features and I generally dislike computers that don't have replaceable parts.

Incidentally, I noticed that the new Mac Mini is now available with a 10 Gb ethernet, which makes it much more interesting for setups where the storage is a NAS. The new Mini is still looking pretty competent to me, the biggest drawback being again the lack of upgrades.

As for SD slot, I doubt it. Photographers yearn for that, but the slot in my 2014 MBP developed a problem almost immediately and according to the net, it's a common problem, so it wasn't all roses back then. Furthermore, there are a number of new card types available now and what should be supported isn't clear. And Apple is a company that doesn't give us USB-A slots on computers or USB-C on phones, despite the obvious usefulness.

Any decent computer will handle photos, so yes, these low-end, port-limited, non-expandable, dongle-bound, non-user-serviceable, proprietary devices will suit such needs. But so will a ten year-old Windows box for a fraction of the price... and without all those limitations. Plus you get to save hardware from a landfill.

Apple still promotes 8 GB combined RAM when my old machine has 20 GB, less than which I wouldn't contemplate. Yes, the M1 is super-efficient. But nothing makes up for a lack of space. My computer will soon have 72 GB RAM and about 22 TB of storage. It has approximately 18 ports without resorting to dongles. And I can easily attach three monitors, whereas the Macs permit only one (Mac Mini M1 allows 2).

But yes, pretty colours.

All the animus toward Apple (from Apple users!) just seems like real life Grumpier Old Men to me. It sounds like nitpicking from people who just want it their way or they will kick their feet and turn blue in the face.

Style over function? I’ve been using a 27” iMac 5K for several years now. I suppose I’m not a “power user” (I do some photo editing but not a lot) but I upgraded it to 40GB RAM and have an external raid enclosure for both data storage and backup. (Yes, I know about the backup - don’t @ me - my most important stuff is stored in the cloud too.) As others have mentioned, hubs and external card readers (not to mention wireless connections between cameras and computers/devices) are far more practical than a slot dedicated to only one storage format.

For mobile devices I have an iPhone XS and an IPad Pro 10.7”. The real advantage is seemlessness. Apple has worked hard on the OS front to make everything easily work together. And the initiatives on privacy and security are very commendable.

With the new iPad Pro I could probably pare down to one device except for cellular/mobile phone capability. Even there VoIP and cellular & WiFi cover a lot of needs.

I was a very dedicated Windows user for many years and used to pooh-pooh Apple users. Then I got really, really REALLY tired of al the Windows issues, lack of security and general messiness of the application cacophony. Things are calmer now.

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