Photographer considering SP3 - 30 year Mac guy

Discussion in 'Microsoft Surface Pro 3' started by Dan Wells, Aug 22, 2014.

  1. Dan Wells

    Dan Wells New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I've been using Macs since 1984 (!) and have always hated Windows, but I don't see Apple going in the direction I want, while Microsoft, much as I hate to say it, is... Apple has not released any touchscreen device running OS X, and doesn't seem about to, either. They are concentrating heavily on iOS, and almost all of their photography-related innovation is focused on people who take pictures with their phone (other than as a "convenience scanner" for receipts and such, I'd no sooner take a picture with my iPhone than make a phone call with my camera)! As I look at the last several years of Apple's direction as a company, they seem to be focusing almost exclusively on fashion-conscious consumers instead of creative professionals (I have to admit that I am disgusted with their purchase of Beats by Dr.Dre and their most recent several executive hires being from the fashion industry). There is no serious raw file editing on iOS, and the ARM processors are too slow, anyway. Other than the "trashcan" Mac Pro (which was a step back in many ways), there has been no innovation in Macs for professional use in several years.

    I'm interested in an SP3 for several reasons - probably the most important is to try photo (and to a lesser extent video) editing on a touchscreen with a pen - it seems a great way to work.

    Secondly, it seems like a great really lightweight machine for travel - it's a LOT more computer than an iPad, yet a lot smaller and lighter than a MacBook Pro. I don't like the Airs because of low-res screens and limited storage - 1 TB of OneDrive (I'd get it through Office 365 University where I teach) goes a LONG way toward alleviating that concern on the SP3.

    Third, I really don't use much that is Mac-specific any more (I am no longer using Aperture or Final Cut, having replaced them with Lightroom and Premiere, in addition to Photoshop, which has never had a viable competitor). I use Mail and Safari daily, but am not a "power user" of either one. I don't love Word, but I use it because everybody does - nothing but Word really reads Word docs well! Apart from Mail and Safari, my major applications are either Adobe or Microsoft. Keynote is a slightly worrying exception - does PowerPoint finally have a true dissolve?

    I'm thinking of buying an i5 SP3, not selling either my MacBook Pro or my desktop Hackintosh for now, and seeing how I like the Surface and modern Windows (who knows where it'll go from here). Any pitfalls I should be aware of? How big a deal is malware these days? Will Defender take care of it if I don't do anything really stupid? I've heard that recent Windows is much less vulnerable than XP?

    I really can't stand online advertising (flashy ads literally make me sick), so I run AdBlock, SafariCookies and DoNotTrackMe. Are there close equivalents for Windows browsers? I am pretty sure DoNotTrackMe is cross-platform, and I believe there are effective ad-killers for various Windows browsers (including IE Metro)? Is there a good cookie-fixer out there for Windows 8.1?
     
  2. ctitanic

    ctitanic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    577
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Hollywood, FL
    My Device:
    SPro3
    Windows 8.1 is not more vulnerable than XP
    There are few free antivirus that are better than defender
    You can activate track protection in IE and that will take care of Ads
     
  3. benjitek

    benjitek Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    622
    Likes Received:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    28
    My Device:
    SPro2
    Hopefully you can buy from a physical or online Microsoft Store and take advantage of the 30 return policy -- that way you could try it out first and see if it meets your needs.

    If you stick with Chrome as your browser, you're well covered for the plugins you use, IE is much more limited -- what they have can be browsed here: Internet Explorer Add-Ons

    I don't like Word much myself, but I am a huge fan of MS Publisher -- which isn't available for the Mac but is part of the Windows Office 365 subscription -- I'd think it's storyboard approach to document creation, as well as it's ability to create standardized print-shop output would lend itself well to your work. A major limitation though is there isn't a mobile version of Publisher for any platform, nor is there a web-based version.

    You might also research some professional photography forums and see what others in your profession have to say.
     
  4. malberttoo

    malberttoo Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2013
    Messages:
    2,255
    Likes Received:
    428
    Trophy Points:
    83
    Location:
    Alaska
    My Device:
    SPro3
    Welcome to the forum Dan.

    Before I got my SP3 I was a sold-out Chrome user and rarely used IE, but Chrome was not a good experience for me on the SP3, because it doesn't yet support high dpi screens. IE on the other hand, especially Metro IE, was made for the SP3, it is the best experience IMHO for use on a touch device.

    You sound technically savvy, determined, and open-minded, but I agree with @benjitek, buy one and try it out for a bit. Spend some time on the forums and you will get a feel for the device.

    I am really looking forward to your impressions of it!
     
  5. Moonsurface

    Moonsurface Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    830
    Likes Received:
    200
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    UK
    My Device:
    SPro3
    There are a few photographers here, check out Len's recent post about his short term experience with SP3 (sorry hard to link as on my phone) I am also one from the Uk with SP3 on pre-order though I have never been a Mac user.

    I have had a win 7 home build PC for the last two years, only had MS security essentials installed and never had any issues with malware, I did recently install malwarebytes and scan my system just to check but it came up with nothing but I am pretty savvy with what links I click and what I download. I have also had no crashes with required a system restart at all, just the odd non-responsive Program so I've been extremely happy with my desktop experience. I run creative cloud PS and lightroom and intend to run both on my SP3 when I get it.

    I am a heavy chrome user as I love it's syncing and plugins so it's a shame it doesn't work well on the SP3.. Incidentally it actually crashes the OS on my husband's macbook pro.!! So in that respect my win desktop had been more stable than his Mac. Something's not right with Chrome.
     
  6. ctitanic

    ctitanic Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Messages:
    2,194
    Likes Received:
    577
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Hollywood, FL
    My Device:
    SPro3
    Well, I would try to avoid Chrome. Unless you want to live with poor battery life and performance. Specially if you buy the 4Gb of RAM.
     
  7. Moonsurface

    Moonsurface Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    830
    Likes Received:
    200
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    UK
    My Device:
    SPro3
    Does anyone use Firefox? I used to use it a few years ago until it got too bloated and I then switched to Chrome. Firefox allows lots of extensions that IE may not allow. Anyone tried it on the Surface?
     
  8. Dan Wells

    Dan Wells New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    3
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I'm assuming that 8 GB is going to be essential for my use? Specifically, there's a nice 8/256/i5 Open Box at my local Best Buy that I have my eye on (it sits forlornly in a display case that nobody notices, and its price keeps going down - I hope it goes down low enough to be worth buying as an experiment before someone else notices it). Browser-wise, I'm thinking either IE (if I can find good enough ad blockers), because of the OS integration, or Firefox (which has the best ad blocking). I will avoid Chrome, both because of the known performance issues, and because I distrust Google (they are one of the worst of the data brokers).
     
  9. Moonsurface

    Moonsurface Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Messages:
    830
    Likes Received:
    200
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    UK
    My Device:
    SPro3
    THe i5 256 is the version that most say is the sweetspot.. I went for the i7 version.
     
  10. benjitek

    benjitek Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2014
    Messages:
    622
    Likes Received:
    70
    Trophy Points:
    28
    My Device:
    SPro2
    The next release of Chrome will have 64 and 32 bit versions as well as higher DPI capabilities. It's already in the beta, which I've been using without issue for a few versions now. Touch scrolling and pinch-to-zoom both work quite well in the beta.

    The battery life issue is a real one which is for now resolved by closing the browser when not in use. The issue occurs because Chrome doesn't return the system's processor to an idle state when it's not doing anything, something the programmers did to make it seem faster:
    Choice is great, something one user might avoid is another's preference. It's a simple matter of installing browsers you'd like to consider and choosing the one that works best for your needs...
     
  11. gdir

    gdir Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2014
    Messages:
    75
    Likes Received:
    15
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Germany
    My Device:
    SPro3
    High DPI support was finished with Chrome 37 which is currently in the beta channel. It should be available in the stable version soon. I'm cuurently using Chrome 38 on the 3200x1800 pixel 15" screen of my Dell XPS 15. That should work on the SP3, too.

    As far as I see, the clock tick issue that's causing most of the battery drain, is not yet fixed. The bug has been raised to prio 1, but isn't marked as resolved or closed yet (Issue 153193 on Chrome Issues). So even in Chrome 38 from the dev channel there will be some extra battery drain.

    Nevertheless, I will probably run Chrome in my soon to arrive SP3 :)
     
  12. Len J

    Len J Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    31
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Re the 8gb issue, id ask how much complicated layer work do you do in PS? I personally do the largest % of my work in Lightfoot with only specialty stuff in PS, so the 8 gb is fine for me.

    The 30 day trial is the only way to know what will work for you.

    Len
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

photographer surface pro 3