How Good is the M1 iMac for Photographers?

Toward the end of 2020, Apple announced a new processing chip, the M1, would replace the Intel processors that they’d been using for so long. The M1 chip is designed by Apple in-house, so it integrates with MacBooks, iPads and iMacs to deliver top-class performance. Come 2021, and Apple announced their latest iMac lineup, which uses this new M1 chip. Many artists, including photographers and filmmakers, are already excited about it as the performance bump will surely make their lives easier. Photographer and cinematographer Tyler Stalman takes a closer look at the machine and shares his thoughts:

The first thing you might notice about the new iMac is the color scheme. While previous generations offered limited palettes, Apple now gives customers a wide array of vibrant colors to choose from.

From a creator’s perspective, as Stalman demonstrates in the video, the device can now easily handle two streams of 4K videos without breaking a sweat. Even working with a stream of 8K video is possible now. You may not realize it, but this is a big deal.

Jumping over to photo editing, the performance is equally impressive. Working with applications like Lightroom, Photoshop and Capture One seem to be a breeze as well.

For the time being, the major concern is the availability of native apps. Because the M1 chip is based on a different architecture, no existing applications are optimized for it. Old apps will still run, but their performance won’t be as strong. Once the transition is complete, you can expect the apps to perform better.

In conclusion, the performance of the new iMac is at its peak for photographers. This means that even if beginners get the base model, they can throw anything they want to the machine and it will handle them with ease. Gone are the days you feel penalized for buying the cheapest Apple machines.

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One response to “How Good is the M1 iMac for Photographers?”

  1. JCM says:

    The Adobe photo apps ARE now native to the Apple M1, and they scream!

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