Do Professional Photographers Need a Mac Pro? No… Not Really

YouTuber Tyler Stalman recently got his hands on a review unit of both the Mac Pro and the Pro Display XDR, and while many tech YouTubers have reviewed these extreme (and extremely expensive) Apple products, he’s the first we’ve seen who’s evaluated them from the perspective of a professional photographer.

The full video speaks to all “professional creatives,” including video shooters, so it’s all there if you want. But Stalman starts off right away by reviewing the Mac Pro (with a nod to the Pro Display XDR) for studio photography.

Stalman explains that the review unit he has is “overspecced” for photography—with its 16-core 3.2GHz Intel Xeon processor, 192GB of RAM, Afterburner Card, and not one but two Radeon Pro Vega II graphics cards with 32 total gigabytes of VRAM—but he still enjoyed the ridiculous headroom this offered.

Despite processing 16-bit TIFFs in CaptureOne and Lightroom on one screen, messing with a 100MP photo in Photoshop on another, rendering a video out in Resolve, and playing back footage in Final Cut all at the same time, the computer never had to use more than 70GB of its RAM. Even when all of the CPU cores were at full load.

Lightroom Classic (surprise, surprise) did start getting a little jittery at one point, but that’s because it’s simply not well optimized. The computer’s hardware simply wasn’t ever fully taxed by the kind of work a professional photographer—almost any professional photographer—would do.

For photographers, the conclusion is pretty clear:

“There are very few photographers out there who can really tap into the potential of what this can do maxed out. The ultimate power in here is really for 3D or Video,” explains Stalman. “Even if you’re shooting on a Hasselblad or a PhaseOne and you’ve got 100MP+, it seems to handle it perfectly.”

Check out the video up top to see all of these tests in action and watch Stalman build his “ideal” Mac Pro for a budget conscious professional photographer. Of course, “budget conscious” is a relative term here (calm down PC enthusiasts), but it’s clear you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) get anywhere near the max price of $52,000 if you want a Mac Pro for studio work and photo editing.

(via ISO 1200)

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