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  1. #1

    Member Since
    May 21, 2013
    MacBook Pro Retina 13 for photography

    My current laptop (windows) has been driving me quietly mad for a while. The screen has a distinct blue cast which is virtually impossible to eliminate and negates its use for photos. All I do is upload the photos as I cannot afford to do any editing on that screen. I now find I am in a position to replace the laptop and am trying to decide what is best for the job.

    I am not as yet a Mac owner but am seriously considering buying the MacBook Pro 13 with retina to use for photo processing while on the road. My wife has an iPad with retina and the screen just blows me away. It is just great for photos.

    I do have some experience with Mac as my son owns a MacBook Pro 13" non retina and I have used it while visiting him in New Zealand. On a casual basis I have been OK with it but as soon as I start doing file uploading the problems start - until I borrow a mouse. I seem to be somewhat hamfisted and find the trackpad a complete pain because I end up doing things that I don't intend. In general I am much happier (and lots safer!) with a mouse.

    I say this because, based on my experience with my sons Macbook, I would not consider buying the "basic " MacBook Pro 13 - the screen resolution is just not sufficient for me. The retina screen makes all the difference. I will still retain my PC at home as I cannot afford to change all of my software.

    So, I have some reservations about this potential purchase because I have never previously managed to "get on" with macs. I also have difficulties with my wifes iPad for the same reasons. However given the screen which is better than anything else available (except larger retinas!) it may be worth doing.

    My requirements - readily portable; sufficient processing power for photo editing; a screen with sufficient resolution for high res photos and good quality colour representation (the ability to calibrate it would be very useful as well); compatibility with Adobe Lightroom (which I use on my PC); able to interchange files with a PC; compatible WP and spreadsheets with MS Office (I don't want to afford MS Office for Mac!). I understand that AV software is arguably unnecessary.

    Given the need to correctly specify at purchase I would be grateful for any views/advice on what is best for my requirements ie SSD size (256 is the basic as I see it), greater SSD vs external drive, use of Pages/Numbers with MS Office documents, is the processor upgrade worthwhile?


  2. #2

    RavingMac's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 07, 2008
    In Denial
    4GB Mac Mini 2012, 13" MBA, 15" MacBook Pro OSX 10.7, 32 GB iPhone 3GS, iPad2 64gb 3G
    If you only plan to do light editing then any current Mac should be more than enough power. My wife's 2 year old MacBook Air handles Aperture and Lightroom easily. And the same thing applies to the SSD. We have a 256GB in the MBA and it suffices. A portable external HD takes care of additional storage.
    Actually, with Lightroom 5 Beta (if you haven't tried it yet) we now gain the ability to do remote editing, using Smart Previews, rather than the original file (which could be at home).

    Can't comment on calibrating the Retina Screen, as I don't have one.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  3. #3

    Member Since
    May 20, 2013
    Yokohama-Shi, Japan.
    13" MBP (Mid 2012) Processor 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 - Memory 4GB 1600 MHz DDR3 - Upgrading to 16GB.
    I had a NEC windows and that was a pain to edit photographs, I now have a new MacBook Pro 13inch Mid 2012 non Retina and doing a bit of editing on that now, but 4GB RAM is not good, if you are going to get a MacBook make sure 8GB RAM.

    Yesterday only had iMovie open and the MacBook was running only about 400MB RAM, I have Memory Scope running in the background telling me how much RAM is Free, and when using Photo or Movie editing programs the RAM on a 4GB Mac drops really low.

    Aperture by Apple is good and non destructive unlike Photoshop, and Aperture does not dump so much on the HDD so I have been reading. A lot of people do 90% of there editing in Aperture and then final touch up in Photoshop. I am thinking of taking the same path.

  4. #4

    Dysfunction's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2008
    Tucson, AZ
    Way... way too many specs to list.
    Aperture is more like Lightroom than Photoshop. Both are non-destructive. Oh and Lr runs on a Mac just fine, although I'm not sure about retina support as I haven't felt the need to get a retina machine
    This machine kills fascists
    Got # ? phear the command line!

  5. #5

    Member Since
    May 21, 2013
    Just to wind this up!

    I did buy a MacBook Pro 13 with retina. I had been thinking of waiting for the rumoured upgrade but in fact bought a refurbished one 3.0 Ghz with 512Gb SSD. Very happy with it.

    I have calibrated it with Spyder4Pro. A bit fiddly as you have to tell it that it is a standard gamut LED back lit as it predates the retina screen. The result gives a good match with the Eizo S2433W. Obviously not as good but the colours are close enough. I have just finished a test edit with LR4 and the results don't need to be changed on the PC. It copes with LR4 perfectly OK and actually exported about 10Gb of photos to a new folder in about 1 min 23 sec which is entirely satisfactory. I still won't use it for the main editing but it is good to know that I can get the photo to a reasonable state without needing to undo the work. Predictably, the only place it falls down is because of the small screen - you just can't see the picture as clearly especially to judge sharpness.

    Would definitely recommend it for the job!

  6. #6

    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 07, 2008
    Winchester, VA
    2011 MBP, 2008 iMac, iPhone 6, iPad mini, 13" MBP, AppleTV and MacMini
    Thanks for reporting back on your decision. Enjoy your new machine!

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