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Author Topic: Macbook Air or Macbook Pro? Any Experience?  (Read 1608 times)
pflower
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« on: June 14, 2013, 02:56:38 PM »
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At present I am very happy with my iMac 27" computers for my photographic work.  However for various reasons (relating to space) I am going to have to abandon one of them and spend some time with a laptop and jump between the laptop and the iMac.

The new Macbook Air seems attractive - size and weight. According to Apple it can be upgraded to a 1.7GHz dual core intel core i7 plus something called a Turbo boost to 3.3GHz (although what on earth the turbo boost is a mystery to me).

The top line Macbook Pro can be upgraded to a 2.8 Quad core Intel Core i7 with the mysterious turbo boost to 3.8GHZ.

OK the Air is 13 inch and the Macbook Pro is 15 inch.  If necessary I might buy a slightly larger external screen.  But what I would like some input on is the processing power.

What I do:

Quite heavy Lightroom useage - processing 200mb tiffs scanned from negatives, processing Hasselblad H3D-39 Raw files and sometimes Tiffs from Phocus as well as files from slightly smaller digital cameras (current love affair is with the Sigma DpxM cameras and SPP).

Very little Photoshop useage - but when I do use it, it is for layering the 200mb tiffs into huge documents for printing.

Adobe Premiere Pro = for files from my Panasonic GH2.  I may have a look at Final Cut Pro X one day soon.  I am not making professional, theatrical release films but strive to, say 20-30 minute projects with minimal effects but many edits.

Adobe Indesign - largely to assemble the tiffs exported from Lightroom into book projects for Blurb and pdfs for consideration.

Anyone have any ideas if the Macbook Air could handle that comfortably or whether I should disregard that and go with the Macbook Pro.  My personal preferance would be to go with the Macbook Air since I can see it being very useful in other areas (notes, carrying around etc.)

Thanks

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KirbyKrieger
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« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2013, 03:13:58 PM »
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With 200 MB image files you are going to use all the processing you have.  I'd go with the MBP with 1GB of GDDR5 memory.

Moreover, I'd go with the MBP for the Retina display in any case, but you don't mention that as influencing your decision.  (Afaict, the Air does not come with a Retina display.)
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k bennett
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2013, 07:58:31 AM »
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Are you keeping one of the desktop computers for the heavy lifting?

I traded my 17 inch top of the line Macbook Pro last summer for an 11 inch Macbook Air, as soon as the new Air was able to have 8GB of RAM. I got the 2.0gHz i7 processor upgrade an a 256GB SSD. It's plenty fast enough for me, for all those tasks -- processing raw files, stitching large multi-row panos, opening and editing very large layered tiffs in Photoshop. It's my only computer at work. Sure, it's not as fast as a totally tricked out iMac or Macbook Pro, especially with the 8GB of RAM limitation, but the key is that it fits in my little camera bag. I would not trade back.

I don't know that it will be fast enough for you, of course. But I think the key thing to consider is how important the size and weight will be.
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Equipment: a camera and some lenses.
BJL
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2013, 09:36:24 AM »
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Just a note on turbo boost. That is a feature of recent Intel processors, which does this: when only one processor core of a dual core processor is in use (because some tasks cannot be shared between cores), it runs that one core faster while shutting down the other. This works because a major speed limit is dissipating the total heat output of all cores, and with one core not producing heat, the other can be run faster and hotter.
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terence_patrick
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2013, 04:43:48 PM »
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Forget about the Macbook Air and definitely go with the Macbook Pro if you plan on doing photo work from a laptop. It's not that you can't do it with the Air, it's that the Pro does it so much better. If there's a compelling reason why you need the smaller screen and can't carry an extra few pounds, go with the Macbook Pro and make sure it's the Retina display with the biggest SSD you can afford.
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2013, 07:57:04 PM »
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I would think that the main issue with the Air is going to be 8GB ram vs 16 on the pro.

Now, I would most definitely wait for the new Pro generation to show up. Just like the new Air it will have much longer battery life and a faster SSD.

Cheers,
Bernard
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A few images online here!
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