Mac Dominates in the Photography Ring

This past week we ran a poll asking our readers what operating system they mainly use. Here are the results:

[poll id=”37″]

481 votes were for a Windows OS compared to 606 for a Mac OS. This means roughly 49% of our readers who decided to vote use Macs, while 39% use some form of Windows.

Assuming that most people who took the time to vote in our poll are fairly serious about photography (we’re a photography blog, after all), we can say this poll is a glimpse at operating system choices among photographers.

Now lets take a look at what Google Analytics tell us about the OS breakdown of our visitors:

This takes into account all of our visitors, regardless of whether or not they vote. Since this includes loyal readers as well as people who simply pass by, the average interest in photography is probably much less than those who chose to vote. Windows leads 66% to Mac’s 29%.

However, this still shows that our readers are, on average, quite different from the general population. Here’s the breakdown of OS use among the general Internet population:

Thus, Mac jumps from having a 5.9% market share in the general population to 49% among photographers. If we were a blog read only by professional photographers, I’d expect the percentage to be even higher.

Any thoughts on these statistics?

Image credit: Kick Boxing… by claudiogennari

  • Name

    My home computer is a mac, in fact we have several since the wife is a graphic designer. That is what we both use for photo processing. At work, I check out the site from my PC. that could explain the difference in survey results.

  • Dave K

    You can't have OS X as one option then break Windows into three, that's bias. Windows should have had 481 votes, and probably have the don't knows added to it.

    Regardless, in the analytics what's important to take away is that 65.55% is over twice as large as 28.68%

  • Michael Zhang

    In my comments below the poll I stated that Windows received 481 votes =)

  • QuBe

    I didn't even know there was a poll.
    I would have voted XP….but frankly, who gives a toss about such data except fanbois or possibly Apple marketing.
    Brand loyalty or zealotry is not viable as a pro…assuming you want to stay in business, whatever is best and gets the job done right, is the gear that's in the studio or bag.

  • QuimaxW

    I would agree with QuBe that “Brand loyaly or zealotry is not viable as a pro”. This applies to my computer technician profession as well as photography.

    Being a Linux and Windows user myself, the higher than average Mac users here doesn't surprise me. Apple systems come *by default* with higher quality, more color accurate, and “better” screens. For a photographer shopping in [name a big box computer store] the Apple system is going to be more appealing side-by-side with the PCs.

    With some good research, shopping around and extra cash, nice, color-calibratable monitors are easily found for PCs, but the extra cost for the monitors will often bring the system cost up on par with comparable Apple system.

    …and that's why I'm not shocked by the results of the poll.

  • dee

    Mac has a rep for being the OS for “creatives” so people who are drawn to creative industries such as design and photography tend to be Mac users. However, as a user of both and someone who does design and photography, I don't have a preference and think both Mac and Windows are absolutely fine for creative work. My day job is as a web specialist for a network of well-known global entertainment cable channels and all of our internal and design work is done with Windows, which surprises people.

  • Raymond Parker

    I switched to Macs 2 years ago and am still wondering why it took me so long.

  • 24gotham

    I have to go along with the Mac at home and PC at work. It is not likely to change anytime soon.

  • Cory

    Wow, really? Playing fast and loose with statistics is fun!

  • Transpod

    Those stats don't surprise me one bit. As was noted in an above post the MAC has been known as the system for creative types. However, the key word there is has. There was a time when the windows system did not handle the creative applications very well but that has changed. By and large I believe that you are dealing in sixes here. I was on an expedition shoot a couple of years ago that was sponsored by NAPP and my bus seat partner was one of the Photoshop guys (I will keep exactly who private). According to him it doesn't whether you choose windows or Mac, it is how you use the application. In his opinion, which I value quite high, one system is now as good as the other. He has as many system crashes on his MAC as he used to have on his Windows system.

    It is really a non issue, imo. I know that the MAC community has a wholier than thou attitude but the bottom line is if your choice works for you then you have made the right choice. Some of the debates that you see online over which one is better is almost comical at times.

    I am a working full time photographer and use the windows system with little problems. I have to use this as I do some consulting work for an industry that I worked in once and it has to have windows to run their software. If I was starting fresh, I am not sure which one I would choose but if photography was my only gig, it would probably have been the MAC. As I said earlier, this is a non issue and only the hard core users in each camp like to make it a debate. If you chose another industry and did the same survey you would find that Windows could come out leading by a strong margin.

  • bloodycape

    Another vote for 'Read PP at work and use a mac at home'.

  • Ferncot

    To my mind the real choice isn’t so much between between Microsoft and  Macintosh as one of which photo programs are best.

    My answer to that is that the best and most essential photo program is any of the versions of Photoshop – my own choice is Photoshop Elements version 2.  In my opinion, later and  supposedly more powerful version offer little  more than extra, unnecessary bells and whistles.

    After saying that, I ask what is the most useful program to run along with Photoshop.      My answer to that is – Faststone Image Viewer – with various versions of ACDSee and Irfanview being not bad, but distinctly less useful than Faststone.

    After these conclusions – THEN I ask whether I prefer Microsoft or Mac – and to my mind Mac loses – first because versions later than Tiger won’t run PS Elements 2;  and secondly because I don’t think Macs will run any  Faststone, ACDSee or Irfanview version.       Unless perhaps Intel-based Macs now will?