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My Experience With Apple as a Photographer and Creative Pro: In Short, Not Good

My name is Pye Jirsa, and I’m a wedding photographer and the co-founder of SLR Lounge. Before I get started, let me say that I feel like the most unlucky person when it comes to electronics and major purchases. But, even with my bad luck, perhaps you will find this experience odd and worth sharing.

What you are about to read is not doctored or manipulated to get more views — it’s simply my experience this past year with Apple products.

In the past, I respected and held Apple in high regard. However, I am by no means a “fanboy” of anything. I will use whatever it takes to get the job done, and I will tell you the pros and the cons of the tools I use. This is not a sponsored article, nor would Apple pay me to write this. They’d probably pay me not to. But that’s exactly why I feel it is important to share my experience using the new iMac Pro, MacBook Pro, and iPhone X.

Born Of PC

I was always a fan of Apple’s iPhone and iPad, but up until a year ago, I was by and large a PC user. Almost my entire world belonged in PC. It’s what I’d known since my teenage years, dividing my time between building my own computers, programming, and working at CompUSA (I really loved that job).

I really loved PCs for all the typical reasons. They are generally cheaper with plenty of DIY options for upgrades and more. Outside of that reason, I wasn’t particularly married to either side of the PC vs. Apple fence.

Over the years, I found myself having less and less time to build, modify and troubleshoot my own rigs. On top of that, Apple was consistently providing more reasons that made it possible to justify switching ecosystems. I loved their software to hardware integrations and the performance of Apple operating systems. A seamless experience between mobile and desktop seemed wonderful.

On top of that, there was the App Store. However, what I appreciated most was the fact that their hardware/software systems were of the utmost quality and extremely reliable. At least, that was my perception.

Either way, less than a year ago (late 2017), I had enough motivation and justification to completely make the switch.

Swallowing The Bitter Cost Pill

When jumping into the Apple universe of products, we each have to accept the fact that we’re going to spend significantly more money than we would on other devices. For comparable performance results between a PC and an Apple, expect to pay 25-50% more on the Apple side of the spectrum. It’s no doubt a significant difference in price.

However, we can accept this price difference more easily when we consider Apple’s sleek design, solid build quality, reliability, display quality, OS ecosystem, and more. That is until we can no longer expect those things from Apple. That’s where I stand today.

Let’s jump into the story.

Cupertino, We Have A Problem

iPhone X

My business partner convinced me to jump into the new iPhone X upon release. Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t twist my arm. I’m always game for an upgrade. But, immediately upon receiving the new phone, I was frustrated by the fact that it felt as though Apple took a step backward in usability.

The lack of a home button, the swiping left and right and from corners, all felt more difficult. Even getting the phone to flip on and recognize my face seemed more cumbersome than the simple home button design. Not to mention the new button layout leading to all sorts of wonderful screenshot mistakes. Still, I was game for learning the new design. However, even today, almost a year later, I still find the iPhone 7/8 to offer a better user experience.

Regardless, that was a small issue. Let’s get to the bigger one. Within roughly two weeks of using my new iPhone X, the smartphone started having issues. It would often freeze and crash. Very soon after, it completely died. I took it in for service and they said that it had a logic board failure. Then, they replaced the iPhone X without hassle. The Apple store is wonderful in that department.

I also appreciated being able to take the phone into a store rather than having to mail it in for service. I made an appointment at the Genius Bar and they took care of it. Not a big deal.

Unfortunately, the issues haven’t stopped. The phone still crashes quite often. The OS is buggy, sometimes turning on and freezing for minutes. Now, with only a few months of use, my vibrate on/off toggle is also stuck.

Oh, by the way, my phone also fails to connect to the Internet quite often. Despite having a full LTE signal (as you can see above), I can make calls, but I can’t send/receive data.

T-Mobile and Apple do this amazing thing where they blame each other for the errors. T-Mobile says it’s the phone, Apple says it’s T-Mobile’s service. Odd, considering we have five iPhone Xs on the T-Mobile plan, and mine seems to be the only one having data issues. I’m siding with T-Mobile on this one.

No biggie, though; it’s just a phone, and AppleCare will take care of this latest issue. I just have to make the time to go get my third iPhone X back to the store. Something I’ve yet to do. Let’s move on.

MacBook Pro

In late 2017, I purchased a new MacBook Pro, which represents my first major step into the Apple ecosystem. This was the 2017 MacBook Pro and I purchased it nearly fully upgraded. It came equipped with a two-terabyte hard drive, as well as the fastest processor available at the time, 16 gigs of RAM, etc. I think the only additional option was a four-terabyte SSD. This required an amount of money that I wasn’t willing to pay.

Needless to say, this was an expensive piece of hardware. With Apple Care, I was looking to pay around $5,000 for this laptop, compared to $3,000-$4,000 for a comparable high-end PC. But, the price didn’t matter. I knew I was getting a reliable machine that I could use for live broadcasts, content creation, and presentations with both CreativeLive and SLR Lounge. I expected a machine that could keep up with my need to edit images/video as I was preparing over 3,000 keynote slides over the next several months.

Unfortunately, a reliable machine is not what I received. Within a week of using the computer, I started noticing strange issues. For example, the mouse would regularly stutter; as I would move the trackpad, my mouse and keyboard would freeze temporarily as you can see in this video.



July 2020
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