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barmann
Jan 9, 2011, 03:54 PM
Just up, Diglloyd's MBA review (http://macperformanceguide.com/) from a pro photographer's perspective.

Sounds like written in a grumpy mood ;) , but still many valid points made and valuable information for people who have to choose between an MBA and MBP .



HLdan
Jan 9, 2011, 04:29 PM
Didn't seem grumpy to me. In fact he was spot on with his opinion of the Macbook Air. It's not meant to be a power machine or to run power applications, it's meant to be thin and light and easy for traveling and for business. A Macbook Pro is meant for the power. Many new MBA owners right on this forum are trying to stretch the Air way past it's limits and it's not meant for much more than basic home and business use.

darrellishere
Jan 9, 2011, 05:04 PM
One thing I've learned its not about the computer or the specs, its about how creative you are with it!

Everyone knows that a core2duo is a capable chip. Especially with apple software!

Aperture doesn't run differently on my mba than it dose on my i7 imac. The only difference is the amount of ram it has access to. Even my with 9 gigs of ram on the i7, it still pages out data to the drive/ssd.

Think back to the recent past, when a 667mhz G4 was for a pro user!! with 2gigs of ram. And we all video edited on those machines!

darrellishere
Jan 9, 2011, 05:24 PM
On further thought, If its your only machine and you are a profesional user relying havliy on the machine and creating and exporting gigs of data every day, then the limitied expandibility, slower chip, smaller screen, lack of firewire 800 might become issues for you as you use it intensivly. But for the semi pro-sumer, its capble.

barmann
Jan 9, 2011, 07:10 PM
But for the semi pro-sumer, its capble.

Ah, the ominous semi prosumer . ;)

tmoerel
Jan 10, 2011, 03:48 AM
Well....the one thing the reviewer is not taking into account is the fact that if you are mobile with photo gear, the photo gear is already quite heavy.
Adding an MBA is a lot easier on the back/shoulders than adding a MBP.

So yes it might be slightly underpowered but in the field it is a lot more portable!

leowyatt
Jan 10, 2011, 04:53 AM
For what it is, a review from a pro photographers perspective I agree the MBA shouldn't be their main machine. However the review is a little biased as he's comparing the air to the i7 MBP. It's like comparing the performance of an A4 1.8 to the A4 3.2 Quattro.

Cerano
Jan 10, 2011, 04:59 AM
his review is all screwed up.

he keeps focusing on what we know not to be MBA strong points.

and he keeps mentioning he has a car to stow all his gear so since he has a nice car of course it would not make a difference whether he has an I7 17" MBP or 13" MBA

GekkePrutser
Jan 10, 2011, 08:13 AM
He's right about the built-in 3G though, that option should have been available. Especially on the 11". It's a surprising omission.

barmann
Jan 10, 2011, 08:13 AM
For what it is, a review from a pro photographers perspective I agree the MBA shouldn't be their main machine. However the review is a little biased as he's comparing the air to the i7 MBP. It's like comparing the performance of an A4 1.8 to the A4 3.2 Quattro.

To stay with the car analogy, I think the MBA would be an Audi A2, compared to the MBP's A4 series.

The review also (briefly) compares the MBA to the MBP 13", re. features and basic specs .

Personally I can see a use for the MBA in pro photography (long time pro myself), as an image viewing and storage unit in the field; you can also tether some pro cameras to it .
It also makes a nice emergency backup for location shooting.

Mainly I bought it for air travel, though, and presentations, when I absolutely want to have a laptop with me, and the MBP 15" is just too much to schlepp around .

For pro photography, you have to keep in mind that usually 20MP raw files are the minimum you are dealing with, and this is where the MBA is clearly out of its depth, even my '08 MBP (with or w/o SSD) is a lot more capable here.
Also, Firewire makes a huge difference for handling image files on a shoot.

powerbook911
Jan 10, 2011, 09:35 AM
For what it is, a review from a pro photographers perspective I agree the MBA shouldn't be their main machine. However the review is a little biased as he's comparing the air to the i7 MBP. It's like comparing the performance of an A4 1.8 to the A4 3.2 Quattro.

I think both machines are above A4 level, which is an entry level luxury vehicle.

Air & Pro are no entry level machines.

Xil3
Jan 10, 2011, 10:06 AM
Didn't seem grumpy to me. In fact he was spot on with his opinion of the Macbook Air. It's not meant to be a power machine or to run power applications, it's meant to be thin and light and easy for traveling and for business. A Macbook Pro is meant for the power. Many new MBA owners right on this forum are trying to stretch the Air way past it's limits and it's not meant for much more than basic home and business use.

You are totally wrong - I use this machine as my primary for all my development work, and it's flawless.

I run both Android and iPhone emulators + 2 different IDEs at once, without a glitch.

Based on what you just said, you're making it sound like it's only good for browsing the net and word processing...

leowyatt
Jan 10, 2011, 10:49 AM
I think both machines are above A4 level, which is an entry level luxury vehicle.

Air & Pro are no entry level machines.

A4/A6/A8 :p I was going for the engine sizes to denote the processor comparison

barmann
Jan 10, 2011, 11:01 AM
Did anyone actually read the entire review ? ;)

bjorngb
Jan 10, 2011, 11:19 AM
I'm looking into buying MBA 13" og BMP 13" for Apperture use. As it would be my first Mac, which would you recommend? Planning to use RAW from 18MP camera

drxcm
Jan 10, 2011, 03:00 PM
He's right about the built-in 3G though, that option should have been available. Especially on the 11". It's a surprising omission.

I honestly do not understand why 3G is so often requested on Macbooks. Most of us with Macbook Air / Pro have an iPhone or similar data capable phone.

I tether over bluetooth to use my iPhone data plan. I do not see the point in having another 3G modem in the laptop itself. There is NEVER a situation when I have my laptop with me by not my phone, and I suspect many others are similar. Not to mention the fact that a 3G modem in the laptop means I need to buy yet another data plan (can you imagine it? Laptop data, Cell data, iPad data, home data - its ridiculous).

Can you tell me why you think it is important to have 3G on board the laptop itself in these times?

Mac Composer
Jan 10, 2011, 04:45 PM
I think his review is spot on. He's reviewing from a pro photographer's standpoint. And from a pro's perspective, it offers less power than a MBP. Don't know why people get so defensive about the obvious. You buy an Air for the portability, you buy a Pro for the extra power.

Every user has their own priorities.

stockscalper
Jan 10, 2011, 06:56 PM
I have no problem doing anything with Photoshop Elements on my MBA. In fact, it runs much faster (no beach balls) versus my 2 GHZ MBP.

keviikev
Jan 10, 2011, 07:40 PM
MBA ultimate works well with LR3, CS5, and Aperture why because I am not professional photographer that needs to process hundreds of images i.e. weddings or events. For large projects that require batch processing it is not practical. For the casual Photographer editing a few images it is fine.

I shoot with Canon 7D which has typically has 20-27mb raw files (triples in PS) and I am happy with performance. I like flexibility of light computer I can travel with and bring anywhere. Try traveling with 17inch MBP and you realize it weighs a ton.

95% of my images are processed in LR 3 which run great with MBA ultimate.

Here are my pics

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4039/4618036259_92ce8f9d80_b.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4148/4961800851_6b912ed319_b.jpg

Mac Composer
Jan 10, 2011, 07:44 PM
Outstanding photos!

bjorngb
Jan 11, 2011, 11:08 AM
I shoot with Canon 7D which has typically has 20-27mb raw files (triples in PS) and I am happy with performance. I like flexibility of light computer I can travel with and bring anywhere.

Thats me :-) Are you using 2 og 4GB ram?

wisty
Jan 11, 2011, 01:26 PM
You are totally wrong - I use this machine as my primary for all my development work, and it's flawless.

I run both Android and iPhone emulators + 2 different IDEs at once, without a glitch.

Based on what you just said, you're making it sound like it's only good for browsing the net and word processing...
Development work just isn't that intensive. Source files can be smaller than an empty Word document.

I'm pretty sure you're running an iPhone simulator, not an emulator. I don't think you emulate the processor, so there's not real overhead, and any C2D is way more powerful than an iPhone. I'm not sure about Android, but I'd expect it's the same deal - simulation, not true emulation. True emulation would be way too slow, even on a brand new i7 CPU.

Some IDEs are hungry, but no more than Firefox. Now that's a resource hog.

Compiling is slow, but compiling is often single-threaded. I think a slow C2D is about 1/3 as fast as a fast Mac Pro for some things.

Compare that with what professional photographers have to deal with - hundreds (or thousands) of huge files, multi-threaded and GPGPU processing, and a serious need for big screens.

OK, development is serious work. But so is drafting contracts, and balancing spreadsheets. It doesn't all require a fast CPU.

One thing developers really need is a responsive machine. You need to search fast, and open lots of files and programs in a hurry. The SSD is great for this. In this respect, a MBA is a lot faster than just about anything else.