As you can most likely infer from the title of this post, I will be discussing my experiences of changing operating systems from Mac OS X to Windows 8.1 (soon to be Windows 10), and my primary RAW editing and asset management software from Aperture 3 to Capture One Pro 8. Fully realising how contentious these topics often are online, I decided that it would be best if I approached this post from the perspective of my thought process (what led me to make these decisions), and ensured that it was as factually accurate as possible, with conclusions (where applicable) drawn as diplomatically as possible. As such, I started writing the post a month ago, and my friend and I have reviewed the draft for factual errors and lucidity. It was mutually agreed that, at 16 pages long in its edited form, the piece of writing was too long to use as a blog post. To negotiate the issue of excessive length, I have decided to write as succinct an abstract as possible on this page, with a link through to a PDF of the full length document for those who are interested.
Before the abstract, I would like to express my gratitude to my friend for helping with the editing process and acting as a sounding board when deciding how to write this post.
Eighteen months ago, I found that my computer equipment was no longer meeting my requirements. This resulted in a year long process of determining what to replace, and how to replace it. Ultimately, I wound up replacing my six year old iMac with a custom built gaming desktop running Windows, and my eight year old MacBook with a gaming laptop running Windows. I selected these replacement computers because they appeared to offer the best performance, reliability and upgradeability within my budget and were cheaper than the equivalently specified Apple computers, although it did necessitate a change of operating system. So far, I have had no major issues, and have been very satisfied with the change.
I also had an iPad, although I found myself using it very little over the past year, so elected not to replace it. However, I have the option of acquiring an iPad replacement in the future should I find myself needing it.
Late last year, Apple announced that they were discontinuing support for Aperture 3, the RAW photo editing and asset management software which I had been using. Skeptical about its replacement application, Photos, and open to changing computer platforms, I found myself choosing between Adobe Lightroom 5 and Phase One’s Capture One Pro 7. I favoured the application from Phase One over the Adobe application, because Phase One are a camera manufacturer, and I felt that they would have a better understanding of the process from image capture through to editing and asset management. Before I made my purchase, they announced Capture One Pro 8, so I waited until Capture One Pro 8 was on the market and purchased it. To date, I have had very few issues with the application, and have been very satisfied with its RAW editing and asset management capabilities.
I found that switching to a Windows-based desktop and laptop, with Capture One Pro 8 for my photographic needs, was the best solution for me. Depending on your budget, computing requirements, and software preferences, your needs may best be met by a completely different combination of hardware and software.
I have made no mention of Adobe Lightroom 6 in the abstract or the full PDF, because it was not available at the time I made my purchases. Due to my satisfaction with Capture One Pro 8, I am unlikely to further my knowledge of Lightroom 6 in the near future. However, if you are looking for a RAW editor and asset manager, I encourage you to investigate it, and as many other software packages as practical, so that you can make the most informed and appropriate decision for your needs.