I'm a serious amateur photographer, and am considering purchasing a new
Macintosh computer for use in filmscanning and image processing, among
other things. I'm currently considering two machines, a Macintosh G3
powerbook (400Mhz, 10Gb), which is currently on sale for $1,800 (a good
price for a Mac laptop), or a G4 PowerPC (desktop) (466Mhz, 30Gb), for
$1,529. What I was wondering was whether there are any significant
differences in the suitability of these two machines for use in
filmscanning and image processing that I should know about. I'm already
aware, from previous discussions on this list and elsewhere, that a CRT
screen is better for image editing than an LCD screen, so I will plan to
use an external monitor to do this if I get the G3 powerbook. Is the
G3 objectionably slow, by comparison with the G4, for doing image
processing with programs like adobe photoshop, or when working with a
scanner? Is the difference between the two processors very noticable for
I would also like to know more about filmscanners. Of the ones I've
considered, the new Nikon Coolscan IV ED USB filmscanner is my favorite.
However, at $895.00, the price is a bit high for a photo hobbyist. Are
there any other Macintosh compatible film scanners of similar quality
worth considering, that might have a bit lower price? The digital ICE
feature on the Nikon scanner especially appeals to me. I've had some of
my slides scanned previously, and have always noticed that bits of dust
and dirt on the slides show up on the scans. How good is digital ICE at
preventing this? Is it worth paying extra for?
I've also been thinking about Kodak Photo CDs as an alternate to buying my
own scanner. There are two kinds, a consumer grade and professional grade
photo CD, with the professional grade including a higher resolution scan.
Since the professional grade photo CD is considerably more expensive, I
was wondering just how noticable the difference in quality would be for my
intended uses. Suppose I wanted to print an image from a photo CD with a
wide format photo quality printer like the Epson 1270. Would the
highest resolution scan on the consumer grade photo CD be good enough to
produce a high quality print as large as 11x13", or would I need
a professional photo CD for this? How would the quality of Kodak's scans
compare with those I could do myself if I bought the Nikon Coolscan IV ED?
Comments on all these issues would be greatly appreciated. I would
appreciate some quick comments on the G3 vs. G4, because I expect the
remaining G3 powerbooks to sell out fast.
Dr. Paul Patton
Beckman Institute Rm 3027 405 N. Mathews St.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Urbana, Illinois 61801
work phone: (217)-265-0795 fax: (217)-244-5180
home phone: (217)-344-7863
"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the
source of all true art and science."