Lion unusable for photography

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Lion (10.7)' started by pgiguere1, Nov 30, 2011.

  1. macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    I recently got a new MBA which came preinstalled with Lion. There are several problems I noticed.

    1) The Canon EOS Utility won't launch in Lion. I used this to shoot while tethered to my Mac. I don't want to pay for another software.

    2) Photoshop CS5 doesn't work properly either. It freezes for about 10 seconds every time I click and hold a tool button. The cursor is sometimes invisible. Sometimes the change I did with a tool won't display until I move the window or do another action. Sometimes where a brush will paint will be misaligned with my cursor by like 1-2 inch. Sometimes some buttons will become unresponsive, etc.

    3) I tried using Parallels Desktop to run those two softwares in Windows XP. Every time I open and close Parallels, Mac OS will start re-indexing Spotlight and my Mac will have a huge CPU load for like 15 minutes and go up to 80-90°C, making it hot, loud and slow.

    I waited for months without finding any solution, hoping automatic updates and patches would fix this. It's been over three months since all new Macs come pre-installed with Lion, and Macs are usually the choice of a lot of artists, including photographers. I find it really weird that nothing can be done about this. Photographers need to update their computers at some point too.

    Does anybody know a solution to any of those problems?

    Besides waiting, it looks like my only solution if I don't find fixes would be to either use Boot Camp or to buy a used Mac with Snow Leopard. This is pretty ridiculous when you think that Apple are (or maybe used to be) the choice of the professional art industry.
  2. macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    You can probably download patch updates to improve compatibility with Lion for #1 and #2.
  3. macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2011
    I'm sorry but the MBA is not the kind of Mac you want to use for photography work. I didn't have any problems with CS5 on my Mac Mini. You could try to use Pixelmator, it's a lot less bloated and might work better on your MBA.
  4. macrumors 6502

    Sep 5, 2010
    Chicago IL
    I use both those applications on my MBP with Lion and they work flawlessly. I don't think there is a problem with the applications.
  5. Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I think something is up with your computer, or you don't have sufficient ram.

    For my MacBook Pro
    I use the canon utilities without a problem, Fusion works seamlessly and problem free. PS CS5 runs buttery smooth as does Aperture and Lightroom.

    I'm not sure what the issue could be, but first start checking on how much resources you have, i.e., running low on ram and are dealing with significant swap outs.
  6. macrumors 6502


    Nov 6, 2011
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    I have never used the Canon Tools, but have never had any issues with CS5 itself under Lion. I had a couple of individual filters that would cause CS5 to crash, prior to them being updated, but I haven't had any issues with CS5 itself.
  7. macrumors 68030


    Jun 24, 2010
    Never have problem with CS5 on pre-installed Lion on my new MBA.
  8. macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
    New York suburb
    Something strange is happening on your system. CS5 runs fine on a MBA with 4g of memory. This is true of both 2010 and 2011 versions of MBA. I have run CS5 and it runs fine, even with several plug -ins. I don't know about Canon tools, as I don't run them but see if they are powerpc. If so, you will need a later version or you won't be able to run under Lion. As for running CS5 under Windows/Parallels/VMware, you are likely to run into memory problems as you cannot get the full 4g for Windows under Parallels or VMware. As for Spotlight, I think you can control what it indexes under System Preferences, sonturn off indexing the virtual machine. By the way, do the same for Time Machine (i think there is a way to do this in Parallels.

    I disagree that you can't run CS5 on a MBA, though because of memory limitations, it is not ideal. The other side is the ssd helps performance. I had an older iMac with 4g of memory and its performance with CS4 was not dramatically different. The big issue for me for photography is not system performance but screen size and my MBA is strictly for travel and for initial processing (and saving a day's shots temporarily) and serious work is done on a iMac or MacPro.
  9. macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    Without knowing what his work involves, there's no way you can justify that claim. Would you have said a 2007 MBP isn't sutable for photoshop? Because the MBA is faster than the MBP from 2007... and image files haven't changed all that much in the past 4 years.
  10. r0k
    macrumors 68040


    Mar 3, 2008
    First of all, are you on the latest version of Lion? There were some glitches with 10.7 and with 10.7.1 that specifically dealt with cursor issues. I know because under 10.7 and 10.7.1 all my VNC software the cursor was off by an inch or two from where it was being shown on the device I was attempting to use to remote control my Mac (usually my iPad).

    I never use the Canon utilities I got with my DSLR. I don't think the software is especially well written and after I grew tired of Canon's lame popups every time I put in an SD card, I finally disabled their utilities. I also told iPhoto to go away and leave me alone and I manage all my photos in Finder. I import them to iPhoto but I never allow it to copy files to iPhoto Library. I have a 5 GB iPhoto Library that manages and contains faces/places/etc metadata for over 200 GB of photos. I never shot tethered so I wouldn't know how to get around that problem.

    I wouldn't resort to boot camp to solve a software issue. If given a choice, I would rather figure out the issues with the OS X version of a vendor's software than deal with their windows software.

    And yes, the current generation MBA is just fine for photography despite eager Apple Geniuses and forum posters that would rather see you lugging around a 17 inch Macbook Pro. If you're using photoshop, do you have the latest version? If you aren't using PS dependent plugins, have you considered GIMP?
  11. macrumors 603


    Oct 31, 2010
    Hamilton, Ontario

    im sure software is made based on the hardware available at the time its made, so photoshop in 2007 was designed to work on the hardware.
  12. thread starter macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Thanks for the replies.

    My Lion version is 1.7.2.
    My Photoshop version is 12.1.
    My Canon EOS utility version is 2.10.1.

    AFAIK those are the most up-to-date versions of each.

    My MBA is the the 11" i7 with 4GB RAM. It's good enough for Photoshop, don't be fooled by its name. It's been 8 years since I use Photoshop, I used to run it with 512MB RAM. Like someone pointed it out, my new Air is faster in every aspect than C2D MBPs, which I used to own and ran Photoshop just fine.

    The problems happen every time, regardless of the file size / resolution and my RAM usage.

    Thank you weinschela for the tip about not indexing my Parallels, this should help me until I find a permanent solution. It's true that my RAM gets splitted in half by using it so I'll still try to find a real solution.

    I don't want to have to learn a new software because of this bug. I have a lot of experience in Photoshop and none with the others. So much productivity would be lost if I switch. I'd rather change my computer than change software.

    What would you suggest? Re-install Photoshop? Re-install Lion? I don't know what to do but it doesn't look good. It should have "just worked".

    As for the EOS Utility, I read it's known that the latest version doesn't work with Lion, but older versions do. The thing is, I lost my original Canon CD and Canon doesn't let you download the whole EOS Utility online, only updates which won't help me downgrade to older versions that work.
  13. macrumors 6502a

    Jun 2, 2008
    I have an older MBA with 2GB of RAM, and I don't see the problems you're seeing with Photoshop. Is this a fresh install, or do you have any additional plugins installed? Maybe one of the plugins is conflicting with Lion?

    It might be worth resetting photoshop's preferences.

    If those don't help, try contacting Adobe support. Photoshop should work on Lion without a problem.
  14. weinschela, Dec 1, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2011

    macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
    New York suburb
    There is no harm in reinstalling Photoshop. You might want to uninstall first. Use the Adobe uninstall app, which is probably in the Library somewhere (i will look on my machine later). You can download the latest version from Adobe and as long as you put in your license number, it will install. Can't help on the Canon software, but I have not used it for years, preferring the Adobe raw converter and Bridge.

    If reinstalling CS5 doesn't work, you might to have someone at the genius bar have a look as there may be something awry in your machine. You can also try running some hardware diagnostics to see if memory and ssd are working properly. The MBA should run CS5. I hope you have an external monitor because doing serious editing on an 11 inch screen is not easy.
  15. thread starter macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    Yes, it was a fresh install from an download without any plugin. I just tried deleting the settings file but it didn't help. Thanks anyway. I will try re-installing Photoshop and will contact Adobe if it doesn't help.

    Also, just wondering why I'm getting downvoted? I do my best to make a well-written and detailed post about my problems, and it's like people don't believe me just because they don't have the same problems. Not all computers with PS and Lion are the same. Our computers are different in terms of hardware and installed software.
  16. Mal
    macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Unfortunately, you're probably getting downvoted by those who think that MBA's shouldn't be professional machines. It's ridiculous, but that's likely the source. Probably easiest to just learn to ignore the votes (easier said than done, I know).

  17. macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
    New York suburb
    There is no reason to "downvote" the OP. CS5 should run on his MBA. It may not be the ideal macine for photo work, but that is not the question he raised, and if he chooses to run CS5 on his machine, he ought to be able to do it.
  18. thread starter macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    BTW, I use an 24" external display with 1920x1200 resolution while photoshopping. The problems also happen while I'm only on my MBA display though.

    So I finally uninstalled Photoshop with the uninstaller and re-installed it again from Adobe's website. It didn't work. I didn't even activate it this time. Even in trial mode it's buggy.

    The good news is that I finally found a thread with people experiencing a lot of the problems I have:

    It seems to be affecting only people with Lion and Intel HD 3000 graphics. They think the graphics drivers are to blame, and that Apple should be releasing updated drivers in the future.

    I still think it's unacceptably slow to not even have Apple acknowledge the issue three months later, let alone fix it, when Photoshop and Mac OS X are both industry standards in graphics design.

    EDIT: Apparently some guy on the Apple forums installed Lion 10.7.3 Beta and it fixed the problems, so there is hope!
  19. macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2007
    Ah, another Lion bug related to graphics drivers...why am I not surprised? :rolleyes: What a mess. Try tweaking some of the settings in Photoshop related to graphics acceleration and the interface. It may help.

    The Lion 10.7.3 update seems to have some bug fixes coming on this area, hopefully it fixes the dreaded BSOD bug which the "update" released by Apple for the mid-2010 MBP didn't fix.
  20. macrumors 68000

    Aug 25, 2010
    Sorry but CS5 on a basic MBA is not going to be "the choice of the professional art industry" under any but the most basic uses. It runs OK for "normal tasks" on my C2D 2.6 mini with 4GB RAM and not too bad at all on my MBP 2.4 with 8GB RAM. If the OP only has 2GB RAM I wouldn't expect much in the way of performance.
  21. macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2011
    I am a professional photographer and photography teacher. I had a 13" 2011 MBA and it ran just fine for photoshop editing and lightroom (actually both at the same time). I was editing 5dmkii raw files. Would it work for heavy compositing, maybe not as well, but for basic editing its fine and anyone who says otherwise may not have actually run photoshop on a new air. The brush issue is a known problem and supposedly is a problem on the intel side. It occurs mainly when you resize a brush with the keyboard shortcuts in photoshop, not sure what triggers it in lightroom. Check the apple support forums, lots of info there.

    The brush bug is one reason I returned the Air and got a 15" pro. The other main reason was the quality of the screen and size of the screen as I opted for the upgraded matte screen for the 15".

    IMO however, assuming the brush bug gets fixed soon, the Air had enough juice to handle professional photo work as long as you're not using massive, multi-layered images. Is my 15" pro better for editing...definitely. But man I sure miss that light weight and portability.
  22. thread starter macrumors 68020


    May 28, 2009
    Montreal, Canada
    As I said in previous posts, I have the ultimate 2011 MBA. i7 processor, 4GB RAM.

    Of course the graphics art industry doesn't usually use MBAs, but they don't change their computers every year either.

    People seem to give too much importance to names. This thing is more powerful in every aspect than all the Macs I've owned in my life (which all ran Photoshop without those problems), including my mid-2009 15" MBP. I bet nobody would have commented on my hardware it that was what I was still using.
  23. macrumors 6502a

    Jul 5, 2011
    I swear, the Canon utilities are written by an old IBM Mainframe coder from the sixties. The stuff is so out of touch with modern GUI conventions.

    Adobe's crap is getting to be the same way. (With the exception of LightRoom which I'm convinced Adobe has nothing to do with because it's really that good).
  24. macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
    Hopefully updated drivers is the answer.

    I guess it also goes back to the whole nVidia vs Intel graphics debate... :eek:

  25. macrumors 68040


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    This…and I think you might need to update or patch for your canon software. My Canon softwares are up to date last far no issues.

Share This Page