Rob Pegoraro compares Mac OS X and Windows XP as tools to help consumers use digital cameras in a new shootout posted to his Washington Post Fast Forward column entitled Mac OS X vs. Windows XP: It’s no photo finish.
Pegoraro noted that Apple and Microsoft both include the tools necessary to transfer and manipulate digital camera images in their new operating systems. Windows Image Acquisition is the counterpart to Apple’s iPhoto software. Apple listed 84 camera models as supported by iPhoto, and Pegoraro had trouble figuring out just how many digital cameras are supported by XP — though 97 seems to be as good a guess as any.
He said that image transfer is fast on both systems, though XP allows you to pick and choose your photos from the camera before download. Despite image naming features, Pegoraro calls XP’s photo organizing skills “simple but limited,” noting that iPhoto enables users to much more effectively organize and view images imported from their cameras.
Editing tools in iPhoto enable users to change images to black and white, crop, and remove red eye, but Pegoraro said that the program’s capabilities “feel a little sluggish” even on the G4 iMac. He also dinged iPhoto for forcing users to use Apple’s own Mail software to e-mail images, without the intervention of third-party software (XP lets you pick your own e-mail client).
iPhoto is “cleaner and quicker to use” when your goal is to print out photos, according to Pegoraro, and “takes the decisive lead” when it comes to printing your photos out on Web pages, thanks to the software’s integration with Apple’s iTools services. XP is “lame in comparison.”
XP and OS X are both equally convenient when it comes to online photo printing, he said, though Apple gets a nod for its ability to print out linen-bound photo books. Pegoraro wondered why the books can’t be ordered with prints on both sides of a page, however.
Apple’s the “easy choice” for neophytes who are just getting started with digital photography, said Pegoraro. “… if you’re shopping for a new machine, you’ll probably be much happier with iPhoto — as long as you’re willing to do things the Apple way,” he concluded.