Sorry Apple, I’m On the Hunt For a New Mistress

Sorry Apple, I’m On the Hunt For a New Mistress

Our love story began, like many, amidst the tumultuous, coming-of-age years of high school. Me, a wide eyed, optimistic 16 year old kid with a lanky, awkward build. I stayed out of trouble… choosing books over beers, and enjoying the simplicity of a life-before-adulthood. She was different. The new girl on the scene. A wide-bottomed goddess, pear-shaped to perfection, milky-white and miraculous. The talk of the town, if there ever was one. Her name? iMac G4.

There started my relationship with Apple products. Back then the majority of my time was spent listening to illegally downloaded MP3s, and making websites that showcased my angsty, school-aged poetry. However, like a lot of people I would imagine, I was hooked on Apple products. The beautiful and inspired designs surpassed only by the effortless functionality. Installing a new printer? That’s a simple as plugging it in. There was no messing around with drivers…. Things just worked. 

iMac G4

It’s that functionality that brought Apple with me through the next decade as I carved out my niche as a photographer, eventually leaving my corporate life to go full time in this business.

Apple products aren’t just an integral part of my workflow, they are weaved directly into the life of my family and my friends. My wife and I currently own three iPads, two iPhones, two 2015 Mac Book Pro laptops, and a 2013 iMac that serves as a psuedo-backup server in our basement. I’ve documented thousands of photos (and hundreds of hours of video) of my family and personal life using the ever-more-functional camera on my iPhones through the years. My iPhoto serves as an album from the entirety of the second half of my life. I’ve documented every moment from hanging out with my friends in college, to holding my son in the hospital just moments after he was born. Which is why it pains me to admit - my eyes have started to wander. For the first time in over a decade, I am on the hunt for something better.

Beating a Dead Horse

PC versus Mac. It’s been done, many times. I don’t want to rehash that, but I think it’s important to talk about it. I realized that I hadn’t evaluated the PC market in over 10 years. The last time I had a Windows-based machine I was still using a CRT monitor to edit my 640x480 digital photos in Adobe Photoshop 7.1 Academic (that I downloaded from a friend of mine). It’s not really fair of me to base my opinion on non-Apple products off of when I last used them. Sure, in my cubicle life I had a Dell machine at my desk, but with XP installed as the OS and most of my work done in Outlook and Excel, it wasn’t really fair to pull from that experience either.

This is Not a Review

The thing about this article, is that I’m not actually reviewing anything. If you want to look over the technical specs of different computers, laptops, and tablets you can do so very easily online. There are a lot of people out there who are much more qualified to be reviewing electronics than I am (many of them write for Fstoppers). I’m coming at this from a slightly different perspective. I’m trying to hash out why myself, and so many others, are so brand-loyal to a company like Apple. 

Like I wrote above, I think most people came on board years ago. Back then, Apple products were the gold standard. It’s what all the biggest filmmakers, photographers, and graphic designers were using. Having an Apple computer on your desk meant that you were operating at the highest level. You were one of the big boys, and you weren’t messing around. Apple knew this, too. They released product-after-product, and update-after-update that spoke directly to the professionals using their products. 

This was pre-iPhone. Before the time when the battle for dominance in the mobile world had even started. The idea of a "smartphone" was a Blackberry that could get sports scores and email updates using data that was paid for by the minute. Apple, like many tech companies, was still in the business of making computers. Yes, they sold iPods, but they were still accessories to their core line of computers. Often times, they were bundled in with iMacs as an enticer to leave your PC and move to Apple. Things were just… different.


So, What Happened?

Well, a lot of things happened. On February 25, 2007 Apple released its first-ever commercial for this thing called the “iPhone.” The new smartphone hit the shelves a few months later. That was in 2007. The statistics on smartphone usage are widely available, and absolutely astonishing. 

In 2010 about 62 million people in the United States had a smartphone. That number is estimated to hit about 223 million by the end of this year.  This is why companies like Apple are innovating more in the mobile market than ever before.

It’s Not You, It’s Me

Even with all of that said, I realized something. It’s not Apple that’s the problem. Apple has been serving me well for years. I built my business with them. I make my living using their products. I’m typing this on an Apple product right now! See?

The problem is me. I have expectations of Apple that are based on a world that hasn’t existed in 10 years. Why should Apple care as much about the professionals using their products as they used to? Yes, we were there early, but the world is different now. There aren’t 263 million professional photographers buying a new computer every 18 months. 

We live in a mobile-driven world. Just look at the usage stats from my website:

Almost 60% of the people who viewed my website last week did so on their phone. Be honest, when was the last time you even left your house (on purpose) without your phone? It’s more likely that I would forget to wear clothes, before I forgot my phone. It’s a physical part of me now (That’s kind of sad).

This Is Still Not a Review

I started this article by jokingly saying I was looking for a mistress. Maybe instead of blaming Apple for its lack of products that I desire, or it’s lack of functionality that comes with eliminating every usable port on their laptops, I need to look at myself. I’ve been loyal to Apple for a long time… probably too long. 

I think it’s time I give a real look at Apple’s competitors. Is there a company or product out there I don't know about? If you're not editing on an Apple, what are you using? It’s been 15 years of fun with this polished aluminum line of products, but it’s time to move on. I love you Apple, but it’s clear we’ve grown apart. Let’s stay friends? We need to, for the kids.

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83 Comments

David Tothill's picture

I enjoyed this article, can't quite believe people are still banging on about the loss of ports etc; Move on! Anyway, you'll be back with your tail between yours legs ... And we won't snigger (much)

Markus G's picture

To be fair I haven't even left yet - and I don't know exactly if/when I will. But that day is on the horizon and 5 years ago the idea of switching away from Apple would have seemed laughable. Thanks for the read!

monty pinkerman's picture

I'm in exactly the same boat.
Its become to hard to be a dedicated Mac user, no update in 3+ years for the Mac Pro trash can gives us a clue they have lost interest in the OS heavy user.

Roger Morris's picture

Use whatever works for you, don't bother telling us about it, and then get out there and take pictures.

LA M's picture

Oh boy...another "why I'm leaving Apple" story...FS really needs to start doing better agin. You just had one juuuuuust a few days ago.

You went to lengths pointing out that the world is becoming mobile device driven. No shock there...but what are you leaving Apple's "professional devices" for...a PC?

What are you moving on to exactly and hw will it improve your photography or video work?

Markus G's picture

I'm actually asking that exact question in my article... what exactly am I leaving for? The answer is "I don't know."

What I was trying to say above, albeit with a but of tongue-in-cheek humor, is that my desire for a competitor isn't really there (yet). Or maybe there is a competitor but I've spent so long as an Apple fanboy that I forgot to look.

Where I go from here ultimately doesn't matter to my clients, but it could very much matter in regards to my workflow and my wallet. Cheers.

LA M's picture

No no no....your article headline was about looking for a new mistress. If your doing so purely out of boredom that's one thing. Try that one on your wife/partner.

Your writing an article here, shouldn't you have some clue as to "where" your going?

Simon Patterson's picture

Q. "Your writing an article here, shouldn't you have some clue as to "where" your going?"

A. No.

Steve Pope's picture

Leigh, rather than bemoaning as to FStoppers running another leaving Apple story, perhaps you should look at it as the death of another coal mine canary. I'm in that boat too and I've been with Apple since 1985. The core (pun intended) problem is that the ethos of "it just works" doesn't apply any longer. I fully understand Apple going for the money markets of iPhones, et. al., but with all their immense wealth you might think they would do right by those of us dinosaurs who remember a time before iPhones (BiP).

LA M's picture

Ahhh and there it is....the sense of entitlement that seems to be growing in our society "with all their money".

First, that money belongs to shareholders like myself and Apple's job is to maximize my investment as best they can. If that means focusing on different products and services then I'm all for it. They aren't pushing underpowered desktops and spending so much time on super phones, laptops and tablets for nothing. It's what the end users want. Why would anyone buy a desktop when the newer MBP's handle 4K video like champs?

I have a MP Late 2013 which I'll ride into the ground and on the day it stops working I'll start editing and working solely on a MBP. I for one couldn't care less if Apple ever makes another MP trashcan or whatever.

Look at the big picture...we don't need coal, not when there are cleaner sources of energy/fuel. Should we choke out the planet so that a handful of miners (relatively) should keep their jobs generation after generation?

Also...Steve, I don't bemoan anything. This is a conversation right?

I pointed out that FS seems to be spending a lot of time on Casey Neistat...Apple etc. Change the tune.

David Vaughn's picture

"Why would anyone buy a desktop when the newer MBP's handle 4K video like champs?"

I hate editing anything on a laptop. I just end up plugging it into a monitor anyways.

LA M's picture

ummm...that's their master plan...mobile but drives a 4K monitor when you want to be stationary. Have you seen their new 4K monitor offering?

I bought the Sharp PN K321 when it came out...the only laptop that can drive it is the new MBP..until now.

David Vaughn's picture

"the only laptop that can drive it is the new MBP"

This is objectively false. Any laptop with a good processor and GPU will be able to power a 4K monitor.

Why do you believe this?

There are laptops with better hardware that are used for 4K applications.

LA M's picture

@60Hz?

David Vaughn's picture

I'm confused about what you mean.

All modern screens run at a native 60Hz (at least).

There are Windows laptops that have 4k screens built-in for the purpose of media production and gaming.

Peter Brody's picture

@Leigh Miller

"First, that money belongs to shareholders like myself and Apple's job is to maximize my investment as best they can."

Apple **customers** also want to maximize their investment. As a shareholder that should be important to you. They are no longer able to do that as well as they used to, if at all. That is why more and more Apple customers are considering purchasing the products of other companies.

LA M's picture

I'm having no problem at all maximizing my MAC PRO investment. It works exactly as advertised and I can expand my system whenever I like through Thunderbolt/USB ports.

As someone else mentioned, if the GPU becomes a sticking point I can always add an external unit.

Peter Brody's picture

@Leigh Miller

That's **you.** Other professionals clearly expect more from Apple when it comes to the Mac Pro, and while I have generally defended the general design of the 2013 Mac Pro, I can not defend Apple going on four years of no update to that model. Nobody can. That's no incentive for new customers to Apple to buy one.

I have also given numerous other examples of how Apple's customers are getting less return on their investment with today's Apple. I can give many more examples.

David B's picture

I agree completely! The trashcan mac is certainly an early adopters dream, but I can't wait to see a more affordable update.

I Imagine having a Plus model similar to the iPhone! Standard cpu for standard size, and a Xeon cpu with any form of upgradable graphics for a larger model

MSI vortex anyone?

Simon Patterson's picture

Ah the irony of someone bemoaning others' "sense of entitlement", at the same time as he complains about the existence of a free article he'd rather not see on a free website.

Eric Draht's picture

I kinda take these articles with a grain of salt. I've seen about four articles last year, "Why I've switched to the Sony A7." "Why I'm ditching Nikon". Inevitably, they switch to a different system or go back to their old system.

Tell us about it six months from the switch. You know all the pro's of the new system, and all the con's of the old system. It's not a fair fight.

Markus G's picture

Fair point. If I move from Apple I will absolutely follow up with an article. I made the mirrorless switch 18 months ago for my wedding work, and I'm planning out a pretty detailed "Where do I Stand?" type article in a few weeks. Thanks for the read!

David B's picture

I look forward to that mirrorless update!

I switched to PC for its price, $500 for a desktop that's faster than any touchbar mac! Of course I can't edit on the road, but a $400 Chromebook gets me 13 hours of web on a VERY good keyboard.

I'd like to know what you think of my solution

Daris Fox's picture

You've obviously missed all the warning signals Apple has been giving out since the Final Cut rehash disaster. From that point professionals have been given the cold shoulder to the point the hardware is barely refreshed with meaningful updates that can compete with what the PC manufacturers have been producing.

The PC's have experienced a renaissance that was championed by a unlikely company. Microsoft. Microsoft threw down the gauntlet to OEMs 5 years ago with the Surface Pro. Microsoft got fed up with the OEMs bringing out me to, lackluster and frankly awful hardware. MS produced the Surface line to showcase what Windows can do and how to make hardware be usable and somewhat desirable. Since then Dell, HP and Lenovo have all produced hardware that not only competes with MS but also Apple and some cases that hardware is better.

Nothing underlines this as starkly as the press and industries reaction to MS's Surface Studio announcement to Apple's MacBook within days of each other. Here's the thing, whilst mobile is king at this point in time, the market is already shifting from mobile devices of which the sales have plateaued to mobile productivity devices such as 2-in-1s like the Surface Pro and phones that are becoming PCs (such as existing Continuum from MS and Samsung's upcoming competitor on Android). Combine this with that MS have gotten Photoshop CC (yes the full fat experience) running on a mobile Qualcomm processor found in your phone. Where's Apple in all of this? Sure the iPhone is a great phone but it lacks a lot of the nice conveniences you find on other phones, such as agnostic tap to pay, wireless charging, NFC, Miracast, OTG USB support and so on. Do you need these? No but realistically you're getting these for half the price of an Apple phone. The story is the same on the mobile and desktop markets where touch and pen input is becoming more common to the point it's almost a standard on higher end devices.

The industry is about to experience a seismic shift over the coming years especially with mixed reality already in developers hands. Play with a Hololens and then imagine how to produce content both as a videographer and a photographer for that device. The next generation of creatives are being brought up with touch enabled devices and expect to be able to interact with the screens via touch this will only accelerate once VR and AR devices become more common.

For reference I use a custom built x99 workstation with dual Dreamcolor displays, but a AMD Ryzen workstation would be both cheaper and faster for less cash these days. I also use a Surface Pro for tethering, editing in the field and also as a portfolio device. It also controls my Elinchrom lights in the studio when shooting tethered.

Markus G's picture

If I'm being 100% honest, the only real experience I have with video are 15 second clips on my iPhone. I've heard other filmmakers at different weddings complain about the various software issues they have with Apple products before. It also seems like one could build a really powerful rig, something capable of handling large amounts of 4k video, for much cheaper in the PC world.

So I can't speak much to the video side of things. I also only shoot weddings, and 99.9% of my editing workflow happens in Photo Mechanic and Lightroom. I don't even fire up PS anymore for touchups. Lightroom is notoriously slow on any platform, or in any machine, so I'm judging Apple almost from the standpoint of an average consumer, rather than a pro.

Edit: Thanks for the read and the comment!

Daris Fox's picture

I actually don't do much video, the rig was built to handle medium format RAW images to create panorama images. One such image was built off 10 x XF 100MP RAW images and ended up using nearly 58Gb (!) of RAM to process and edit.

Lightroom is a dog, and it's also why I don't use it. I just use CaptureOne these days. Bit of a pain to use until you get used to it.

Peter Brody's picture

Except when Apple and Tim Cook say they are serious about the pros and serious amateurs and their actions obviously do not support what they are saying, then Apple is most definitely the problem.

Apple's Problems:

* Bug ridden software (iOS, Mac and for the Apple TV ) even after numerous updates. External optical drives not being recognized/losing recognition and preventing my Mac from starting/restarting is one such bug still not fixed in macOS Sierra.
* Software features that are broken that are never fixed or improved, even years later. Select/Cut/Copy/Paste in Safari on the iPad and the dictionary/autocorrect functions in Safari on the Mac, for examples. The very high level of compression used on the iPhone 7's excellent camera photos compared to Google's far superior lower level in their new Pixel phone. The difference in JPG detail is stark. No native RAW support.
* Poorly designed and inconsistent (example, Apple TV's new TV app and the TV app on iOS) user interfaces, such as poor utilization of screen space (the iPad), blinding white backgrounds, hidden options and multiple steps needed to do simple things.
* Software updates that very noticeably slows down hardware, even after just one year of introduction of new hardware.
* Years without updates to hardware. The Mac Pro and Mac mini being the obvious examples. Also, the MacBook Air with laughable displays.
* Extreme hardware choices that alienate and frustrate users, such as one port on the new MacBook. The new MacBook Pros with just USB-C. No more headphone jack. Twice as expensive Mac keyboard and trackpad that will need to be trashed and replaced once their new internal batteries are worn.
* The elimination of Pro apps, such as Aperture.
* The lack of a reasonable level of communication with the professionals in the creative industries.
* Nothing significantly innovative since Steve Jobs passed away.

How can it not be Apple's fault?? The deficiencies are obvious. What is mind blowing is how a company with so many resources and so much money refuses to address these deficiencies. They are now operating like a company that is only concerned with the short term quick sale, like a cheap hustler on a street corner. Absolutely mind boggling!

Markus G's picture

Thanks for the response, Peter. Besides writing for Fstoppers, I have also been a reader for many years. When I read that article about Tim Cook and what he said about the professional market, I decided to chime in with my own article today.

I agree 100% about the lack of innovation. I remember when the iPad was introduced, and audibly laughing. iPad? Sounded like a women's product, not something I would eventually have owned 5 variations of. Jobs was a visionary. He was a lot like Elon Musk - unrelenting devotion to the vision regardless of cost, hype, press, or popularity. Apple misses that a lot.

Thanks for the detailed response! Cheers.

Steve Pope's picture

Excellent summation!

monty pinkerman's picture

+1 Peter

Kyle Medina's picture

So what exactly are you looking for? Anyway if you're (anyone) mad that apple went to USB-C. Sorry, technology is changing and fast. Every product has switch to USB-C. Even the new Nintendo Switch uses it. If you can't utilize the port don't buy the product or simply by a new cable.

Peter Brody's picture

"Every product has switch to USB-C."

That is simply not true. Not even close. Most current external hard drives, for example, are not USB-C. The vast majority of products are not yet using USB-C.

It's not about being against USB-C adoption; it is about eliminating all other ports that are currently still widely used at the same time USB-C is introduced on products.

kris risner's picture

I have the 2016 MBP... USB-c is a god send honestly. I currently have 4 external drives and I just bought a new cable for each of them and everything works fine. If I did really want to keep using USB-A then I also bought an adapter that has never been used but I can plug all four of my drives in using the one USB-c port. I never could have done that with the old MBP because they didn't have enough ports. If I used an adapter for that then the drives would slow down a ton. Companies have switched very quickly and there're tons of cables available for every type of item you could imagine using USB-c. The only thing I ever had an issue with was my Wacom tablet because I always used it wireless. But the new Wacoms go through bluetooth which makes more sense anyway.

Peter Brody's picture

The 2015 MacBook Pro had five different ports (2 USB A, SD card, 2 Thunderbolt, HDMI and MagSafe) if you include the much loved MagSafe charging port. While you have use for having four external drives plugged in to your new MacBook Pro, there simply is no comparison as to which MacBook is the more versatile. Besides, the Thunderbolt ports can obviously be used for external drives too.

Companies have not switched quickly, which is why you needed to buy USB-C cables for each of your external drives.

kris risner's picture

Just like any other product it isn't for everybody. Luckily you can currently buy the 2015 macbook, or you can go ahead and switch to windows. Thats why there are options. I'm just saying that USB-c isn't this evil thing that everybody makes it out to be and it is being adopted pretty quickly. Will you have to spend some money to switch cables? Yeah, but if you are spending $1,000 to $3,000 then $30 for cables shouldn't matter.

Peter Brody's picture

The 2015 MacBook Pro was obviously a much more versatile computer. That is what was being addressed. That some people may find use with the current MacBook Pro is an obvious given. That is not a good business strategy, nor the point,

No one said or suggested that USB-C is evil.

Once again, USB-C is not being adopted quickly. External hard drives still use previous versions of USB cables.

Kyle Medina's picture

Go buy a new cable, problem solved and yes all new products are adopting USB-C. Look at all the new cell phones and devices. GoPro, LG, Google, Nintendo, more will start adopting. Or further more don't buy a product you can't use.

Peter Brody's picture

The adoption rate is slow. Most computing products are not yet USB-C.

So buy new cables p, and adapters and dongles? You don't see why people would take issue with that when previously you needed no new cables/adapters/dongles?

Kyle Medina's picture

If you can afford the laptop. You can afford to buy 3/4 new cables or like I said before. Don't buy a computer you can't use or not ready for but than continue to complain its not compatible with your workflow. Straight delusional talk and its hysterical.

Peter Brody's picture

LOL. Looking at those pictures clearly shows that the cost of cables, adapters and dongles is the least of concerns. And those were quickly selected tame photos. I've seen far worse examples.

I haven't bought said computers nor am I encouraging anyone to do so. Please read more carefully.

Kyle Medina's picture

Then leave. The issues is easily fixable but you're ignoring it.

Peter Brody's picture

No, the photos I posted obviously show the problem is not "easily fixable."

Leave? Guess what, many long time Apple customers are doing just that. Then leave is not the attitude Apple should be having.

Kyle Medina's picture

"No, the photos I posted obviously show the problem is not "easily fixable."" The consumer obviously didn't want to buy new cables. So thats on them and not Apple. Apple doesn't care about who's leaving. They are making the switch first and give the next few years everyone will be USB-C even PC computers/laptops. Its not an Apple problem its the consumer buying it. I don't know how many times I have to say this. If you can't use and/or don't want to update your workflow. Than don't buy the computer, its pretty simple. I don't know what answer you're looking for.

Peter Brody's picture

Of course it's on Apple to provide what the customers want. They should care about who is leaving. Customers that are leaving are the ones that were instrumental in Apple's success! They were the evangelists!

And when Apple think they know better what the customer wants they better be damn sure about that. Steve Jobs was good with that. No one today in upper management at Apple is.

The next few years for USB-C to become widepsread? Meanwhile a person will pay thousands for a new MacBook Pro and will have to carry adapters and dongles. Lovely.

What you don't seem to understand is that the previous MacBooks were far more versatile. Just because you are OK with it doesn't mean everyone else is or should be. Most of the people you see complaining about Apple's direction under Tim Cook are complaining because they truly care about the company and what it stood for. It's that care and respect for Apple that made it the success it became. Tim Cook is throwing much of that away. Meanwhile he is mostly riding on the success of Steve Jobs. That obviously can't last forever. Apple is getting close to doing irreparable harm to its brand if it keeps going in the direction that it is going in.

Kyle Medina's picture

"Meanwhile a person will pay thousands for a new MacBook Pro and will have to carry adapters and dongles." Still ignoring the obvious solution, smh.

Peter Brody's picture

Still ignoring the point of my posts.

Michael Neebul's picture

As a creative professional I haven't been excited about anything Apple has released in the last five years. The last two products that I was extremely excited to purchase were my 6-core, 3.33 GHz Mac Pro tower (2010 model) with a 30" Cinema Display and my late 2011 17" MacBook Pro. I loved those two workstations, they ran Photoshop and Aperture so well. The performance was unbelievable and the industrial designs were so cool!

Apple is no longer making computers that excite and inspire me.

Lafayette Britto's picture

Funny this article went up today, I have been hearing the rumors of a new iMac/ mac pro coming up soon. I sold my 2011 iMac (yesterday) in hopes that the day comes sooner than later, however I am kind of on the same boat. As much as I am an apple fanboy (as i type this from my mbp and my iPhone is right next to it) , they haven't really done anything that gets me excited to wait for something new. Microsoft surface studio looks awesome (even thought the pricing hurts to look at)... but only time will tell. Let us know what you end up with.

Luke Adams's picture

This article reeks to me of someone being bored and just wanting a change for the sake of change itself (so maybe the mistress analogy is a good one). So, what exactly is wrong with your Mac? (Other than that it isn't considered as cool or trendy as it once was). On one hand, people are saying they aren't as innovative as they used to be. On the other hand, they introduce a pretty cool (in theory) touch strip, and people moan about it and wonder why it needed to change in the first place. And to that point, I actually agree. The Mac is a great machine and continues to be one as is. Why would you switch just because you dont feel the warm fuzzies for Apple that you used to?

I am late to the Apple game, and ended up going from the Windows Surface Pro 3 to the MBP due to my school requirement. It's more the sum of little things than one big thing, but I am loving the cohesive product that is the Mac.

Right now, MS is winning the bells and whistles game, but maybe Apple wins the next round. Who knows? But I'm definitely not going to go through the trouble of a switch just because of some kind of of nonndescript emotions about the current culture of Apple. My MBP is still working great for me!

*oh, and FCPX is actually pretty fantastic too once you wrap your head around the workflow.

Peter Brody's picture

"nonndescript emotions about the current culture of Apple"

I described what's wrong with Apple today in a previous post, and that was my short list. Since you are a new to Apple, I can assure Apple was much better when Steve Jobs was still around leading the company.

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