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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Macbook - MacBook and Photography


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Billbeme

 
Member Since: May 31, 2007
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Dear Users,
I am currently typing on a MacBook Intel with 1GB RAM and an 80GB hard drive. When I purchased the notebook I was of limited means, and although I wanted the Pro, I could only really afford the MacBook. I pushed off the Pro reassuring myself that I wouldn't need the independent graphics card which seems to be the major distinction between the two (true/false?) I am still not getting into film making, but instead photography. I was wondering if shooting very large raw images, if the independent graphics card is necessary, or if my moddes little "Mackie" with 1GB of RAM and incorporated graphics card will cut it?
The catch? I am still on limited means so I was going to purchase a refurbished MacBook Pro after hearing that Apple has great, and trustworth refurbs (true/false?). I was going to go from my 2GHz 1GB MacBook to the Refurb Pro with 512MB RAM and a 1.83 GHz Intel Dual Core Processor. It was a downgrade for the sake of the g-card. I haven't made the move, becuase I don't know what is needed. My MacBook has been all I have ever needed and I hope it will continue to be even as I begin photography, unless I have reason to think otherwise? Thanks for the help gang!
-Billbeme
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D3v1L80Y

 
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Photos are only 2D. An non-integrated graphics card will make absolutely no difference to a 2D item.
The MacBook will be fine for photography work.

You will benefit from more system RAM, but the video card will not matter.

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Billbeme

 
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Wow! That's FANTASTIC!! Thanks for saving me A LOT of trouble, and aggravation. I move around so much in technology that I loose lot-o-money, and wanted to stay put for a while. If the card isn't an issue, what is the big difference between the MB and the MBP? I had a hard time finding them at the store, which was why I was able to walk away with the MB and not the MBP. It seems as though Apple has made a really great comp in the MacBook and I am wondering what the MBP has to offer by comparrison.

Also, is there a necessary amount of RAM I should have for the MacBook to do photography? And would it be possible to explain the theory behind your answer so I can better increase my knowledge of Macs and computers in general? Thanks!

-Billbeme
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D3v1L80Y

 
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Quote:
what is the big difference between the MB and the MBP?
The MBP has:

+larger HD capabilities
+more RAM capacity
+Faster HD options
+Higher resolutions for LCD
+Larger LCD
+backlit keyboard
+Better graphics for 3D rendering
+slightly better audio
+more ports
+etc.

In short, as the name implies, the MBP is a computer designed for professional use. It is an extremely powerful notebook, made to handle multiple high-end, professional applications.

The MacBook is an "every man's" computer. It is no slouch, but it isn't intended for daily, high-end professional use. It isn't designed for running those same pro apps simultaneously like the MBP is.

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Billbeme

 
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The MacBook can run the pro apps, just not simultaneously correct? One could run say...photoshop with a raw 10MB image on a MB without issues? Its when you start to do 3D image rendering with other applications running that things get hairy though? I could do professional level photography on the MB? Sorry for the unnecessary reitaration.

Also, to combat the MB can: Use an external HD when it is limited internally, utilize up to 2GB ram, have a hard drive run at 2GHz correct? Those are some ways to combat the not having a MBP when it comes to use? I'll just have to do without the backlit keyboard, and large LCD. Just trying to reassure myself here. Thanks for the extra answers and feedback.

-Billbeme
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TenderSurrender

 
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I can say from personal experience that your macbook should be FINE when using photoshop as long as you max out the ram (2GB) when you can.

Unless you are currently using the brand new photoshop, you may notice the program being a little slugish although it will still opperate fine. This is NORMAL and is just because of adobe have only released a native version for the intel laptops.

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OSURico112

 
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I have a 2ghz Macbook with 2gb of ram and use it extensively with photoshop and lightroom to convert raw files and edit photos and it works perfectly. No lag and Raw Conversion is super fast, so no worries there on what you're looking to do. It's a great portable machine for photography.

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I might have to disagree. I had a 2Ghz Macbook core duo (1GB RAM) and it slowed down some when I was working on JPEG's and Nikon RAW files in the 150MB range. The 13.3" screen doesn't do any wonders either. (I also hated the integrated graphics card.) I sold the machine 3 months after I bought it because it didn't work for my needs.
Get the Macbook Pro.
As for refurbished, I recommend them. The Macbook and the iMac I have currently were both purchased refurbed from the Apple site. I bought an iPod mini a few years ago and still have no trouble with it. Only suckers pay full price. Joking aside, it's a great way to go!
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dash8brj

 
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Ok heres an easy to understand example of what your macbook is capable of. Yes it will handle the photography side of things fine. My mates blackbook flies through iphoto and photoshop like there is no tomorrow.

Example:
The autopilot on the plane has failed and no one is around to fly. You have a macbook and hook it up to the planes systems. Running your custom program it keeps the plane on course and on the glidepath. Now you fire up itunes to entertain the passengers during the hairy ordeal. No worries. The macbook handles it fine. However, the autopilot software is a demanding task. Do not even think of launching photoshop while its flying the plane. That's the task of the pro - super effecient multitasking.

On another note, stick 2 gigs of ram into the MB, and it will almost keep up with a 1Gb MBP - its only drawback is the MBP has an ATI X1600, where the MB only has the GMA950 - no you won't be able to fire up flight sim on a MB and play it properly, but it'll handle day to day tasks quite fine.

(Do not attempt to use a consumer computer as a replacement for an autopilot, this was simply an explanation of the systems capacity).
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AnatomyOfARyan

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dash8brj View Post
(Do not attempt to use a consumer computer as a replacement for an autopilot, this was simply an explanation of the systems capacity).
haha, i love the "fine print discloser" here.

i use my macbook (1.83 CD w/ 1.5 gigs of RAM) and it works great for editing digital photography. for what a MBP costs, you can sup up your macbook and buy a nice digital camera and/or some lenses. unless you need the extra juice for some serious pro apps, i would stick with your MB and throw some more ram in it.



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Aptmunich

 
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Some observations:

Quote:
Originally Posted by dash8brj
The macbook handles it fine. However, the autopilot software is a demanding task. Do not even think of launching photoshop while its flying the plane. That's the task of the pro - super effecient multitasking.
The Pro is not really more efficient at all. Technology-wise the 2 are identical, except that the Pro has a minor edge in the RAM department (80MB more, as its graphics card doesn't siphon any off).

Quote:
Originally Posted by D3v1L80Y
Photos are only 2D. An non-integrated graphics card will make absolutely no difference to a 2D item.
The MacBook will be fine for photography work.
Actually the question isn't really whether an item is 2D or not, it's more about whether the application display the items can utilize the graphics card's cpu. Whilst traditionally the GPU has mainly be utilized by 3D applications, a few apps are now cropping up that make use of the card for 2D image manipulation as well.

No better example than Aperture, which can offload some of the work to the GPU. OS X's Core Image feature makes it easy for programs to send certain types of image work off to the graphics card to be crunched.

But Photoshop still only uses the main CPU, so there will be zero difference there between the Macbook and Macbook Pro.
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Billbeme

 
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So to understand the major differences: The MB is a very capable machine that ranks not-so-far below the MBP. The MBP and the MB can both handle the same programs and applications equally but it is utilizing multiple applications that the MBP shines? ("That's the task of the pro - super effecient multitasking") So, if I can handle utilizing a program by itself (say, Apature or Photoshop) without importing a CD, or IMing, or Safari/Mozilla I will be fine. It is the users who have multiple "pig" apps open at the same time that requires the processor distribution of the MBP?

Secondly, what does the following make reference to: "MBP has an ATI X1600, where the MB only has the GMA950" ?

Thirdly, Dash8brj that was a fantastic example, and the fineprint was very amusing! Thanks!

Overall poll? The MBP is not needed in my situation and the MB will serve me for all my photograpy/daily needs? (I use internet, iTunes, iPhoto, etc. No movie making or Garage Band) I just want to confirm with some experts before my MB depreciates anymore and I can't afford to move to the MPB. Thanks guys!
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cazabam

 
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I think there is some confusion over just how the MB and MBP handle multiple processes. The simple fact is that they handle them exactly the same. They run the same OS on the same CPU core (core2duo in the latest).

The primary difference when using something like Photoshop is screen real estate (the 17" or 15" vs 13.3" does make a difference) and available RAM. If you get a 2.1GHz MacBook with 2GB or RAM, and a 2.1GHz MacBook Pro with 2GB of RAM, the only speed difference will be in high end graphics performance. They'll handle photoshop pretty much the same, albeit at much higher resolution on the MBP.
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Okay:

Macbook & Macbook Pro:

-Both great at multitasking.
-Both equally good at anything that only uses the main processor and memory.

Macbook:
-Smaller screen size & resolution
-Limited graphics card
-Won't be as fast running apps that utilize the graphics card (Aperture, Final Cut Pro, games)

Macbook Pro
-Bigger screen, higher resolution, non-glossy model availalbe
-Dedicated graphics card with lots of dedicated RAM
-Will run all apps well

I hope that clears things up a bit, but remember whatever you decide: Wait until after WWDC to buy! (In case new MBP's are released - starts next week)
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