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Apple Unveils New Pro Products 590

porcupine8 writes "As many had speculated, today Apple unveiled upgrades to their PowerBook and Power Mac lines (although no PowerBook G5). They also introduced a new professional photography application known as Aperture, rounding out their software lineup for creative professionals. Can't wait to find out what they announce next week!"
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Apple Unveils New Pro Products

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  • by Tumbleweed ( 3706 ) * on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:23PM (#13829433)
    So the dual-core G5 finally arrived (with the top end machine having 2 of them), plus PCIe and 533MHz DDR2. I expected PCIe, but didn't expect DDR2. This is a very nice transition machine to wait for the Intel Macs.

    Things to note:

    All nVidia videocards, now -- one of which is a Quadro FX 4500 for $1650. Nice knowin' ya, ATI, don't let the door hit you in the rear on the way out.

    "In addition to the 16-lane graphics slot, the Power Mac G5 features three PCI Express expansion slots: two four-lane slots and one eight-lane slot. Each slot uses a standard connector that can accommodate a card of any size."

    This mobo has better PCIe support than any other mobo I've heard about, by _far_. Crazy. 2 x4 slots and an x8? The new Fibre Channel Card seems to be an x4 PCIe, which is the first x4 card I've heard of. There are hardly any x1 cards, yet, either, and PCIe has been out quite a while.

    Dual gigabit ethernet now, too, instead of just single. (they were just single before, right?)

    The optional modem is now an external USB dongle style model, instead of an internal card. The end of an era. Good riddance.

    I guess Apple finally stepped into the 'future.' :)

    The bad:

    Only SATA '1', no 'SATA2' (no such thing, really, but...).

    Still only 2 internal HDs? C'mon - these are supposed to be workstations, Apple. Get with it.
    I wants my internal RAID 10!

    I'm definitely waiting for the Intel Macs, but for those who are opposed to the idea of an Intel Mac, these machines are about as sweet as one could ask for. The low-end PowerMac is now a 2gHz dual-core G5, which is pretty nice (and meets the recommended specs for their new application, Aperture, as long as you upgrade the hell out of the RAM).
    • by Pfhor ( 40220 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:35PM (#13829570) Homepage
      My one take away issue is the fact that a lot of audio card makers are having trouble getting high quality audio out of their PCIe cards. as mentioned here [guru3d.com]. Everybody else will start cranking out the 8 port SATA 2 cards soon (I don't think they have settled on that standard yet, have they?), looking around i've seen x1 firewire cards, but x4 multiport fw800s cards are sure to be in the works also.
      • Most high quality audio cards are extrenal, and use FW400 or FW800. The Digi002 is a great example of this--the 001 used a PCI card, but the 002 is Firewire.

        Firewire carries all the bandwidth you need, and lets you put your audio interface in a rack or console where it belongs.
        • Firewire is fine for bandwidth, but PCI and presumably PCIe beat it somewhat for latency.

          There's a lot of PCI cards still in use for pro-audio work -- all the "big" Pro Tools systems run off PCI, for a start -- not to mention accelerators like UAD-1, Powercore etc.. if Magma (or somebody) don't come out with a PCIe-to-PCI bridge and external enclosure, these things won't fly for pro audio.
    • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:41PM (#13829660)
      All nVidia videocards, now -- one of which is a Quadro FX 4500 for $1650. Nice knowin' ya, ATI, don't let the door hit you in the rear on the way out.

      ...except that the new iMac, introduced just a week ago, uses ATI Radeon X600 and X600 XT PCI Express graphics.

      They're not all the way out of the door yet. ;-)

    • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:49PM (#13829749) Homepage Journal
      Also now avalable: ECC memory.

      No self-respecting workstation went without it (same with the graphics cards), and finally, Apple has true workstations available, not just high end desktops priced like workstations.
    • by Drakino ( 10965 ) <d_slashdotNO@SPAMminiinfo.net> on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @04:06PM (#13829927) Journal
      All nVidia videocards, now -- one of which is a Quadro FX 4500 for $1650. Nice knowin' ya, ATI, don't let the door hit you in the rear on the way out.

      Woo. NVidia is making all the cards in the PowerMacs. ATI is still making the graphics chip in the iMacs, the Mac Mini, and all the laptops except the 12 inch Powerbook.

      Apple has used products from both sides and continues to do so. Nothing changed here. NVidia lost the iMac, and ATI lost the PowerMac.
    • This mobo has better PCIe support than any other mobo I've heard about, by _far_.

      I think Apple can do better by creating a space for the graphics card's fan. I still don't understand why mobo manufacturers continue to include a slot where in most cases people have video card fans that render that slot useless.

  • Details (Score:5, Informative)

    by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:24PM (#13829443)
    As usual, the submission leaves out critical details.

    The new Power Mac G5 [apple.com] highlights include dual core G5 processors [apple.com] (IBM PowerPC 970MP [com.com]), PCI Express [apple.com], DDR2 RAM, and dual gigabit ethernet on all models:

    Single 2.0, single 2.3, or dual 2.5 GHz dual-core IBM PowerPC 970MP (G5) processor
    1.0, 1.15, or 1.25 GHz frontside bus per processor
    512MB PC2-4200 DDR2 RAM, expandable to 16GB
    160GB or 250GB Serial ATA drive
    16x dual layer CD-RW/DVD+/-RW SuperDrive
    Three open PCI Express expansion slots: two four-lane slots and one eight-lane slot
    NVIDIA GeForce 6600, 6600 LE, 7800 GT, or Quadro FX 4500 video
    Dual gigabit ethernet
    USB 2.0, FireWire 400 (IEEE-1394), FireWire 800 (IEEE-1394b)
    AirPort Extreme (802.11g), Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
    Analog and optical digital audio in and out
    Mighty Mouse (Two button scroll mouse)

    The new PowerBook [apple.com] highlights include higher resolution screens, longer battery life, and standard SuperDrives:

    1.67 GHz Freescale PowerPC 7458[1] (G4) processor, 512MB PC2700 DDR RAM, expandable to 2GB, 80GB or 120GB Ultra ATA/100 drive
    8x dual layer CD-RW/DVD+/-RW SuperDrive
    1440x960 (15") or 1680x1050 (17") resolution screen
    ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 with 128MB DDR SDRAM and dual-link DVI (supports 30" display)
    Gigabit ethernet, 56K V.92 modem, PC Card slot
    USB 2.0, FireWire 400 (IEEE-1394), FireWire 800 (IEEE-1394b)
    AirPort Extreme (802.11g), Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
    Illuminated keyboard
    Analog and optical digital audio in and out
    DVI/VGA/composite/S-Video out

    Also new is the amazing pro photography software Aperture [apple.com], as well as new lower pricing on Apple Displays [apple.com].

    I might as well send my writeup on last week's announcements as well, since the submission (and discussion) there were really light on info too...


    iMac G5 [apple.com]

    A new, even thinner, iMac G5 with an integrated 640x480 iSight camera and integrated media center software called Front Row.

    1.9 or 2.1 GHz IBM PowerPC 970fx (G5) processor
    512MB PC2-4200 RAM, expandable to 2.5GB
    160GB or 250GB Serial ATA drive
    8x dual layer CD-RW/DVD+/-RW SuperDrive
    ATI Radeon X600 Pro or XT PCI-Express video
    Gigabit ethernet, USB 2.0, FireWire 400 (IEEE-1394)
    AirPort Extreme (802.11g), Bluetooth 2.0+EDR
    1/8" stereo audio or optical out, 1/8" line in
    VGA/composite/S-Video out
    Mighty Mouse (Two button scroll mouse)

    The inclusion of PCI-Express and PC2-4200 RAM in the new iMac bodes well for the upcoming updates to the Power Macs and PowerBooks.


    Front Row [apple.com]

    Media center software currently only included with the iMac G5. Allows for seamless interface with music, movies, movie trailers, pictures, TV shows, and so on via either the iMac's screen or an external screen such as a projector or TV. Includes an infrared remote control. A demonstration of Front Row is available here [apple.com].

    It is likely that Front Row will make its way to other products in the near future, such as the Mac mini. It is only available for the iMac G5 "at this time", according to Apple.

    The one feature of typical media centers that Front Row does not support is TV recording. But Apple seems to have a different idea for TV shows, as will be seen below. (However, TV recording can be accomplished with a wide variety of third party tuners.)


    iPod (iPod video) [apple.com]

    Apple introduced two new iPods to completely replace the existing "larger" iPods. The same height and width as the older i
    • Also new is the amazing pro photography software Aperture, as well as new lower pricing on Apple Displays.

      I am completely ignorant when it comes to the this, and no place in town sells Macs retail. What is the connector on the back of the Apple monitors? I am interested in a nice display for my computer, but cannot go Mac for compatibility reasons (hardware). Can I hook up my Intel workstation to one of those sweet monitors, or is there another display I should be looking into?
      • Re:Apple displays (Score:4, Informative)

        by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <wesley@felter.org> on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:36PM (#13829585) Homepage
        Apple monitors use DVI. But be careful; the 30" is only compatible with a handful of video cards.
      • DVI. Just make sure that your video card can handle the resolution needed.
      • As far as I can tell, the adaptor on the Apple Cinema displays is a standard-issue DVI connector. However, the two larger models require you drive that connection with an nVidia GeForce 6800 or better adaptor. I tried it with my 5950 FX Ultra, and the display quality was... decent, but not as good as I'd expect from a DVI adaptor. And yes, you can plug the Apple Cinema display into a Linux/Windows/Intel/IBM-Compatible PC.
      • Look at the Dells. Dell sells widescreen LCDs also, using the same Samsung panels as some of the Apples, and if you search for the deals you can get them for close to half the price of Apple. Plus they got a wide array of connectors on the back. I have a Dell 2005FPW and it's beautiful, it's a 20" 16x9 monitor with resolution of 1680x1050. Early ones supposedly had a backlight problem, but the one I bought a few months back is wonderful. And I got it for a bit over $400 delivered.
      • Re:Apple displays (Score:5, Informative)

        by Fareq ( 688769 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @05:59PM (#13830924)
        As others have said, that is a DVI connector.

        You ought to be able to get a PC videocard with a DVI connector without too much difficulty.

        If you go the 30" route, you'll need a special videocard... specifically one with "Dual-Link DVI" which basically means a newish nVidia Quadro, any ATi X1x00 series, or any newish FireGL. Check the specific model to be sure. This limitation applies to any monitor that gets above about 2048x1536 (I think that's the number)... it's a bandwidth issue.

        If you're going 20" or 23" might I recommend at least considering the Dell 2005FPW (20") and 2405FPW (24").

        As best I can tell, the panels are equivalent. They both have the same resolutions 20" = 1680x1050, 23 or 24" = 1920x1200. I can't tell if one has a better image than the other -- they look the same to me. Others will surely disagree.

        But the Dells are cheaper. They start at $699 and $1199 instead of $799 and $1299. But, you can usually (such as right now) get nice discounts on the Dell...

        DealMeIn.net has the 20" at $394 after a bunch of coupons right now. Until yesterday they had coupons to make the 24" $774, but that seems to have expired... it'll be back at some point.

        Of course, Apple's pretty silver frame and stand is cooler than Dell's black one. But then, the power button on the Dell monitor turns off the monitor, whereas the power button on the Apple monitor confusingly turns off the computer it's connected to without turning off the monitor. (That may or may not happen on a PC... but it sure does on our powermac!)

        Up to you, but these days I think the Dell is just as good for much less... anyway, hope I was helpful.
    • The new PowerBook highlights include higher resolution screens, longer battery life, and standard SuperDrives
      I can't help but notice the omission of "faster processor" there, is there really no boost in speed? Yikes!
      • Re:Details (Score:5, Funny)

        by ek_adam ( 442283 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:59PM (#13829851) Homepage
        I can't help but notice the omission of "faster processor" there, is there really no boost in speed? Yikes!

        No, the Yikes PowerMac [macobserver.com] was the original 400MHz G4 Powermac revealed in August 1999.


      • Re:Details (Score:3, Insightful)

        by daviddennis ( 10926 )
        You are, in fact, correct. There is no boost in speed. 1.67ghz yesterday, 1.67ghz today.

        As someone who's quite likely to buy the 17" model, I can say that the increase in resolution was more important to me than the 0.2ghz increase in speed some people had anticipated. And the price decrease was certainly welcome.

        Aperture [apple.com] looks fantastic, but I think they'd sell a lot more copies at $299 than $499. Ouch! I think it's comparable in complexity and sophistication to Motion, which also sells for $299, so I
        • Re:Details (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Bake ( 2609 )
          Right, .... sort of.

          As of yesterday, Apple offered two versions of the PowerBook series (at least the 15" and 12" or 17" too IIRC). The cheaper versions were at 1.5Ghz while the more expensive version was at 1.67Ghz.

          In other words, they simply dropped the cheaper, only-barely slower versions.
  • Aperture info (Score:5, Informative)

    by dogmatixpsych ( 786818 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:24PM (#13829446) Journal
    Aperture is geared toward professional photographers. It allows you to work directly with RAW files (as well as many other file types). It is similar to Googles Picassa but on steroids. It doesnt look like it will compete with Photoshop though at this stage. It is more of a basic organization and editing program. It looks pretty slick but has some fairly hefty system requirements.
    • Re:Aperture info (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Mikey-San ( 582838 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:28PM (#13829498) Homepage Journal
      It is similar to Googles Picassa but on steroids.

      More accurately:

      Aperture : Google's Picasa :: Final Cut Pro : iMovie
    • Re:Aperture info (Score:4, Insightful)

      by archdetector ( 876357 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:45PM (#13829702)
      Aperture's feature set is different from Photoshop's, yes, but where they overlap is significant from a photographer's point of view. I'd say that 95% of what I do to photos is now covered by Aperture. I'll still need PS, but as of today it's been relegated to secondary importance, and will be much more easily replaced if something simpler/cheaper/better comes along. For people like graphic designers and digital artists, Aperture may only be a nice accompaniment to PS, but for photographers, this is huge. It's actually quite perfect.
    • Re:Aperture info (Score:5, Interesting)

      by mozumder ( 178398 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:46PM (#13829716)
      It looks to use CoreImage for it's image processing, which would be cool, as that would mean it uses the GPU for image processing. The demo shows some very responsive image processing. My goddammed photoshop CS1 RAW import may take a day just to generate thumbnails from RAW files. I am so upgrading.
    • Re:Aperture info (Score:5, Insightful)

      by shotfeel ( 235240 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:57PM (#13829832)
      Looks to me like Apple showing what can be done with Core Image [apple.com].
    • Re:Aperture info (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dr.badass ( 25287 )
      is similar to Googles Picassa but on steroids.

      I think maybe Apple's own iPhoto [apple.com] might be a better comparison. It blows both right out of the water, though.

      It doesnt look like it will compete with Photoshop though at this stage. It is more of a basic organization and editing program.

      I am not a professional photographer, but I think it's more than competitive with Photoshop for that market already. Dispite the name, Photoshop isn't especially tailored for photographer's workflows. Aperture is, and I can def
  • No PowerBook G5 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Mikey-San ( 582838 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:25PM (#13829453) Homepage Journal
    "Although, no PowerBook G5."

    Were you asleep during the Intel announcement?

    Everyone who actually thinks there will be G5 PowerBooks at this point, please stand up.

  • by rjstanford ( 69735 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:26PM (#13829472) Homepage Journal
    Finally Apple has upped the resolution on their powerbooks to something more reasonable (at least, reasonable to me - other people have different requirements). Whoops, no, I tell a lie, its only on their 15" and 17" models. The 12" i^HpowerBook is still at 1024x768. If this had been equally increased, I'd be very happy. As it is, the form factor is perfect but the resolution just too limiting for it to be my standard road machine.
    • The 12" i^HpowerBook is still at 1024x768

      And it's hard enough to read at that resolution. Trust me, I have one, and I use an external monitor to take some of the burden of of my eyes. Remember, a Mac has traditionally rendered 1point=1pixel.
      • by Drakino ( 10965 ) <d_slashdotNO@SPAMminiinfo.net> on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @04:02PM (#13829875) Journal
        Mac monitors haven't been 1 printed point = 1 display pixel for a long time. It was a big deal back when the first Mac came out with a 72 dpi screen that you could hold a ruler up to and have it match documents. However, things have greatly changed past 1984,

        Recently, most Apple screens hovered around 100 dpi except for the 14 inch iBook. dpi on monitors continues to increase, and operating systems are having a hard time keeping up. Windows XP and OS X Tiger don't scale overly well currently. Both have the underpinnings to do it, and show signs that Vista/Leopard will do a much better job.

        Printers are also widly varried, though a direct dpi compairson can't be made since a computer monitor can display many colors with one pixel, where as a printer is limited to usually 4 or so colors per pixel. More info at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dpi [wikipedia.org]
        • by Thu25245 ( 801369 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @04:30PM (#13830138)
          Mac monitors have always rendered one point = one pixel. Always. To this day, in Tiger, 1px=1pt.

          Let's get some terminology straight beforehand
          pixel = smallest uniquely controllable element on a screen
          point = unit for font measurement
          dot = smallest uniquely controllable visual element of anything (printer, screen, etc.)
          inch = unit for linear measurement; equal to 2.54cm

          The original Mac was designed so that 1pixel=1dot=1point=1/72 of an inch. Software, displays, and printers all agreed to this. Worked well in '84.

          Today, on, say, a 12" PowerBook, 1pixel=1point=1/106 of an inch on the screen.
            But in the software, 1pixel=1point=1/72". Still. To this day.

          The difference between 1/106 and 1/72 is exactly the problem that the resolution-independent UIs in Leopard/Vista are attempting to solve.
  • by Lord Satri ( 609291 ) <alexandreleroux@ ... l.com minus poet> on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:27PM (#13829476) Homepage Journal
    An interesting surprise is the prerequisites. Based on http://www.apple.com/aperture/specs.html [apple.com] , Aperture requires a state-of-the-art mac:

    Recommended System
            * Dual 2GHz Power Mac G5 or faster
            * 2GB of RAM
            * One of the following graphics cards:
                        o ATI Radeon X800 XT Mac Edition
                        o ATI Radeon 9800 XT or 9800 Pro
                        o NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL or 6800 GT DDL
                        o NVIDIA GeForce 7800 GT
                        o NVIDIA Quadro FX 4500
            * 5GB of disk space for application, templates, and tutorial
            * DVD drive for installation

    Probably they'll eventually offer a "light" version of Aperture, like they did with Final Cut and Logic Audio, other "Pro" software.

    • Probably they'll eventually offer a "light" version of Aperture

      Isn't that iPhoto? Is there really room for a third product in between iPhoto and Aperture?
    • There's a big difference between 'recommended' and 'required,' which you didn't catch. Check again - the required is only a single 1.8gHz system with (only) 1GB of RAM, a far cry from the recommended setup.
  • Hmmm, (Score:3, Interesting)

    by temojen ( 678985 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:27PM (#13829477) Journal
    A product in the same price-class as Photoshop CS, but not the same feature-class... I wonder how that'll fair in the market...
    • Re:Hmmm, (Score:2, Insightful)

      by idobi ( 820896 )
      It's a totally different product. Photoshop doesn't have anywhere near the workflow that Aperature provides. Non destructive RAW processing, applying exposure processing to multiple files, and desktop organization is a godsend for professional photographers.
    • Re:Hmmm, (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Mikey-San ( 582838 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:35PM (#13829579) Homepage Journal
      Aperture isn't competing with Photoshop, it's competing with things like this:

      PhaseOne's Capture One [phaseone.com]
    • Re:Hmmm, (Score:3, Informative)

      by jedrek ( 79264 )
      It's a different piece of software. The most similar thing I can find is Capture One [phaseone.com] which is in exactly the same price category with a much shorter feature list. This is pro software for photo professionals. If its organizational tools (and that really is a possibility) save a pro 5 hours (at $100/h) of work or a single reshoot, it'll be worth it.
  • by rizzo320 ( 911761 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:27PM (#13829478)
    These are some of the most expandible workstations Apple has ever released. 16GB of RAM and a TB of storage makes a killer multimedia editing workstation all around. If you are weary of the Intel switchover, the time to buy is now. The workstations should hold you over well into the second and third revisions of Apple Intel hardware at least.
  • by 8127972 ( 73495 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:28PM (#13829495)
    .... With all of these updates, the 12" PowerBook Specs are exactly the same as before this announcement (that is it uses DDR333 RAM, has NVIDIA Go5200 64MB video, etc.) with the exception of the DVD-RW drive being standard.
  • The powerbook screen upgrade is a really nice thing. It was one thing that always made me not feel so good about the apple laptops. But now they've got great screens. If only they had a touchpad equivalent of the mighty mouse...
  • Next Week (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jessebs ( 777428 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:29PM (#13829506) Homepage
    I hope next week they finally add something to itunes to monitor changes to a directory. thats all I really need at this point
    • Like, to see when you've added a music file to the directory, then it automatically get's added to iTunes? Write a Folder Action Applescript, or use the Automator. Not that I know how to do either of these, but it can be done. Or check out Doug's Applescripts, one might already exist.
  • Apple must really be loving the hype over dual core cpus - looks like they're getting away with "upgrading" the two lower dual cpu Powermacs to a single dual core cpu. Isn't that going to be, uh, slower?

    Only the 2 x dual core top of the line model is an improvement over the mac it's replacing, the dual 2.7GHz.

    • by Jeff DeMaagd ( 2015 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @04:01PM (#13829864) Homepage Journal
      isn't that going to be, uh, slower?

      Depends, and less likely than you think. A lot more Mac software seems to be multi processor aware than Windows software. H.264 is dog-slow to encode but the Apple H.264 encoder used by the Quicktime encoder is MP-aware, with this, the speed will nearly double.
      • by Paradox ( 13555 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @05:57PM (#13830907) Homepage Journal
        A lot more Mac software seems to be multi processor aware than Windows software. H.264 is dog-slow to encode but the Apple H.264 encoder used by the Quicktime encoder is MP-aware, with this, the speed will nearly double.
        Just a developer's aside to your comment. This kind of performance is typically very hard to get. Apple actually makes it surprisingly easy to tap into this kind of performance.

        It's not particularly hard as an Apple developer to take advantage of highly optimized and MP-aware code. Apple provides a very cool framework on every mac called "Accelerate.framework" (you can find it in /System/Library/Frameworks). This framework is very easy to use (from a C standpoint) compared to competitors and offers MP-aware, Altivec-Aware code. What's even wilder is that on the intel macs, apple can bind Accelerate.framework in the same way. Using this framework, you can make fast code and reduce migration woes.

        Far from being a weird apple invention, Apple basically optimized BLAS and LINPACK very tightly to the Mac OS X platform and then exposed via C-apis. They also built some higher level manipulations (as well as part of CoreImage and CoreAudio, from my understanding) on top of these basis, along with other heavily-optimized-and-profiled utilities.

    • by NatasRevol ( 731260 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @04:30PM (#13830142) Journal
      In a word, no.

      http://media.99mac.se/g5_dualcore/ [99mac.se]
  • old darkroom paradigm? I loved working in darkrooms and there were things that one could do with an enlarger for effects - lightening/darkening some areas of a photo, increasing contrast, masks & filters, tectures, etc... use your imagination.

    Or are they using their own terms for prcedures and effects? I ask this because I used to work in darkrooms with film and I'm wondering how would I transition to digital.

    On another note, I really miss using the chemicals, film, and paper. Digital still hasn't ach

  • by dave1212 ( 652688 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:33PM (#13829551) Homepage
    New Power Macs can take up to 16 GB DDR2 RAM, have PCI Express, and can power up to four 30" displays or eight 23" or 20" ones.

    The thing that caught my eye was the addition of a second gigabit ethernet port. Dual gigabit ethernet ports means instant network rendering for Logic Node, XGrid, or any app that supports it. No expensive (given, these Macs are costly enough as is) gigabit router needed.

    Aperture looks interesting, although it requires a more powerful machine than mine, just like Motion. Working with RAW data from start to finish sounds wicked. Not sure about US$499 wicked, but cool nonetheless.

    For some reason, Apple offers an upgrade price on the product page, that links to the Motion 2 upgrade. Not really sure what's going on with that.
  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:35PM (#13829569)
    > no PowerBook G5). They also introduced a new professional photography application known as Aperture, rounding out their software lineup for creative professionals.

    ...but when they do, they'll guarantee that the living hell is confused out of of camera buffs, Macheads, Photoshop users, and, well, just about every search engine on the planet.

    "Your problem is that you didn't correctly set the aperture on your G5 [dpreview.com], which accounts for the bad results in Aperture [apple.com] on your G5 [apple.com]. That's because aperture data isn't recorded in the Aperture suite, so creative professionals should use Creative Suite [adobe.com], and don't even think of swapping your iPod Photo for a G5 and the Zen player made by these guys [creative.com], and be thankful that Creative doesn't make a sound card for the G5 either.

    Who the hell hired Bjarne Stroustroup as a product marketing specialist, and why, dear, God, why, did he accept? :)

  • by radicalskeptic ( 644346 ) <tritone@gmaiREDHATl.com minus distro> on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:42PM (#13829673)
    In the past couple years, Apple has been releasing really great pro-level apps for music, video, and now photography. This is good, but what *I* really want is a competitor for MakeMusic's Finale [finalemusic.com], which is a professional-grade program for music notation (like Microsoft Word, but for musical scores).

    Finale is actually really powerful (and expensive). It can do pretty much anything most people need for their notation. Unfortunately, it is the worst UI trainwreck I have ever encountered. It is lacking in a clear, simple, unified interface or an intuitive organization. Seemingly simple and basic options are buried deep in the mess. And the help files are almost worthless.

    For example, instead of clicking notes in, you can use your keyboard to enter notes.

    But I don't know what key does what.
    So I go into the key map options, but I still can't find the default key map. It just allows me to create a custom key map.
    I'm like 'okay the help files will learn me where the default or current key map is--or maybe even tell me WHAT it is!'
    Nope. No search results for "key map" in the really outdated help software that comes with it (it looks like it is a port from OS 9).

    This kind of stuff happens to me all the time. Apple, please release "Notes" or something! You could make a killing!
    • by lxt ( 724570 )
      Finale does have a competitor. It's called Sibelius. It's the standard in Europe - it's designed by *musicians*, not software engineers, and the UI is a godsend compared to Finale. Having just moved to states and been forced to use Finale, I have one piece of advice - get Sibelius. The simple reason Apple won't release a Finale competitor is that Sibelius always does a pretty good job.
  • by happyemoticon ( 543015 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @03:45PM (#13829705) Homepage

    This is the first I heard of it, but when I was going to play around with the new pricing options, I noticed that the 30" display was $2499 instead of 3 grand. I'm pretty sure it was 3 grand a week ago.

  • by gsfprez ( 27403 ) * on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @04:03PM (#13829896)
    Aperture is NOT a photoshop killer - if anything, its going to make Photoshop get back to what its good at - editing photos - and let it NOT be a photo organizer.

    Aperture is built for the prosumer to professional photographer that laughs at 25,000 photos. I can easily shoot 3000 (and want to keep 500) in a single week at work, but there has never been a good way to DO that.

    Aperture helps guys like me because when i shoot, say, 20 shots of a single moment at an event (a la, a football tackle, a guy hoisting a flag, etc) i really don't NEED 20 shots - i just want to get as many as possible so i can look thru the 20, find the best, and then (for some unknown reason) never want to delete the 19 others. iPhoto is a joke for this, of course, because i often could have row after row of pictures that were all pretty identical. I was about to go layout some cache on something to replace my iPhotoBuddy multi-library self organization setup i'm using now.

    Instead of manually organizing thousands of photos in dozens of groups, Aperture does it all for me. It also helps out with batch processing that iPhoto+Photoshop couldn't do (because iPhoto does all its organizing in a bunch of weird subfolders) without making mass exports, then deleting the non-edited photos, etc.

    Photoshop is still The premiere photo editing tool, but for making my livelihood livable and organized, to be able to grade, select, and throw out pictures (without deleting), to help make simple and fast output for customers to view online or to build USEFUL contact sheets, Aperture will save me untold hours of my life. Photoshop has has some sad organization tools - and the built in browser is just this side of Finder or XP's thumbnail view...

    there's no multi-image review with simultaneous panning, no UI benefits from dual screens, no loop zooms on both open images and previews... none of that.

    this is serious software - this is probably even a larger, more important jump from iPhoto than Final Cut is from iMovie...
    • Aperture is NOT a photoshop killer

      While it may not replace Photoshop in terms of some specific features and purpose, the very things you've listed in your excellent analysis are the things that will make this a Photoshop "injurer". Right now, PS serves two crowds: digital artists and digital photographers. Adobe is going to find themselves losing market share if they don't pick up the pace on PS real quick, thanks to Aperture. Since Canon released Digital Photo Pro, I've been using PS less and less, thoug

    • This is the PJ industry standard right now for organizing and culling high-volume takes.

      http://www.camerabits.com/pages/PM4.html [camerabits.com]

      And it's a lot less expensive than Aperture, especially if you take the ridiculous system requirements for Aperture into account.

      iPhoto is terrible for this sort of work compared to software like Photo Mechanic, Extensis Portfolio, iView Media Pro, etc.
  • by Tibor the Hun ( 143056 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @04:07PM (#13829937)
    Well, this explains how they manage to compress a full episode of Lost overnight to H.264.

  • by BobWeiner ( 83404 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @04:10PM (#13829957) Homepage Journal
    The new Powerbooks offer no real advantage to their predecessors, besides a wider screen. I suspect many people will hold off their purchases on these laptops until Powerbooks ship with Intel processors (and a faster system bus). The PowerMac G5 dual core model has some great potential though. I'd get one if I could afford it. I also think Aperture has the makings of a solid pro app.

  • Aperture... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jpellino ( 202698 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @04:12PM (#13829981)
    ...Looks great - the tour is stunning, and the metaphor is a breath of fresh air. A loupe - a light table - the ability to see thumbnails and versions on the table while you work. Heads up displays that give you back your window. They've obviously talked to a lot pf photographers, many of whom are likely sick of the tunnel vision interface of just about every app, PS included - that makes them stop acting like a photographer. I'm in the same boat. I've recently gone back to my professional 35mm SLR outfit that cost me a whopping $600 back in the day, and does what I want, and can make archival 11x14 prints that blow you away.

    Most affordable digital cameras a great for taking a picture of something that is rock solid and in no danger of moving and is under optimal lighting conditions. After two weddings as a guest just trying to shoot candids, I realize that there's very little art in using a current digital camera, that it mostly involves holding this small brick between you and something and trusting it to make a series of decisions you might not agree with all while making sure you just heard the right beep, saw the right LED and heard the right little ticky thingy. And I'm a geek.

    I've decided to retire my series of cameras (3, 4, 5 MP - they were all supposed to be so much better than the last one...) or donate them or something, and hunker down until something on the order of the EOS and this level of image handling gets reasonable. By hunker down I mean shoot with real film and a flash that goes more than 10 feet and something like decent response time. All of which I have in a 20 year old Pentax outfit. yes, I know it's ten times the volume and weight when outfitted with a TTL flash and zoom and winder. Yes, I know that if I pay thru the nose now for the EOS and a G5 and Aperture I'll save all that money on film - but film is a dribbling expense. And yes I know the COLA on a $600 camera from the 1980s is probably on the order of an EOS today, but I can still get a comparable new 35mm setup for the same $600 today.

    And honest to god - as with cell phones - it's not like I was wasting away and spent every hour before digital cameras wanting to take a picture and every five minutes wishing I could be making a phone call back in the era "BC" (before cellphones). (Ooooh! Then there's taking pictures with my phone! Or should I be calling people on my camera?! Wait, wait - if I could only email from my toaster...!)

    For many instances, digital cameras are quick, cheap, and OK. Honestly, 99% of them should be compared to compact point and click cameras for actual performance - but the hype of their early days has failed to solidify
    • I agree. Nothing like a good rig from the '80s or '90s using film. I'm just glad now that I stuck with 35mm instead of moving up to medium format. I am not a professional, so I don't have to deal with sending pictures across the globe instantly like a photojournalist. The closest digital camera that would allow me to take full advantage of my 15mm superwide is the Canon with the full frame sensor (due to "lens factor"). It costs more than my lens. And it is a different lens mount. Most digital camera
  • Optical audio out! (Score:4, Informative)

    by tempfile ( 528337 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @04:28PM (#13830122)
    One thing that is easily overlooked is the addition of an digital audio out jack on the 15" powerbook. With the 17" being just too big, this makes the Powerbook much more attractive as a desktop replacement if great audio quality is important to you.
  • by dduck ( 10970 ) on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @04:31PM (#13830150) Homepage
    The Quadro Pounder!!!! [netscrap.com]
  • by Karl Cocknozzle ( 514413 ) <kcocknozzle AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 19, 2005 @04:31PM (#13830151) Homepage
    How long until the 4-way mobos get shrunk down to fit an XServe? Would it have to expand to a 2U server to accomodate 4 procs, or would it be do-able in the current 1U form-factor?

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger