13'' good enough for photo editing?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Ethnarg, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. Ethnarg macrumors newbie

    May 26, 2010
    Im debating over whether or not I wanna buy a 13'' or a save for another 2 months or so and get a 15'' MBP. The main thing im worried about is that photo editing/graphics art will be harder to do on a 13''. Now I am not doing anything professional here, but photography and graphics art are hobbies of mine that I very much enjoy doing. Other uses for the laptop will be web browsing, writing papers/taking notes for school, maybe the occasional game(nothing demanding of the notebook).

    So would the 13'' be good enough for photo editing/graphics art? Also, if screen size becomes a problem, I could always just buy a nice sized screen, right?

    And also, are there any downsides to buying from Macconnection? Cause id love to get one with no tax :D

    All help is appreciated!
  2. BrianKonarsMac macrumors 65816

    Apr 28, 2004
    i used a 12" in art school for the portability, and connected to an external monitor for any serious work. The external monitor was a necessity though - I couldn't handle doing any serious photo editing on a 12" screen, and I like to think I'm pretty patient.
  3. alust2013 macrumors 601


    Feb 6, 2010
    On the fence
    The 13" is definitely enough for photo editing, but an external monitor would be a good idea for that. The only thing that the graphics chip would really have to work for is games, as static images don't take much power to do. Memory is the main issue there, and 4GB is plenty for image editing.
  4. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    The 13" MBP (heck, even the 13" MB) is more than powerful enough for photo editing. The biggest issue that you'll face is the screen real-estate. If you're trying to do color correction and the like, than the 13" screen should be OK. If you're trying to edit photos at the pixel level, you might benefit from more screen real-estate.

    Remember, you can always get an external monitor for the 13" MBP if you find it's too small.
  5. JackHobbs macrumors regular


    Nov 1, 2009
    I have got the 13" MBP 2.53 Ghz model from December 09. I run CS4 on it and I am pretty happy. It is pretty quick to load and does not lag when I am editing. I generally retouch photos using levels, cloning etc. I am not a heavy duty user so don't need a dedicated monitor. All in all I'm a happy Mac convert.:)
  6. Nate Hoffman macrumors newbie

    Jan 20, 2006
    I recently bought the 13" and I have to warn you, the screen is fairly crappy. The viewing angle is bad and I often see what looks like dithering when I move my eyes across the screen. I've heard people praise the quality of their 13" screen, so maybe I just got unlucky in the panel department. I certainly wouldn't trust mine for serious color correction though.
  7. Puqq macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2009
    I use MBP 13 for photo editing on amateur level. Sadly, it is a bit too small.

    I don't think, that additional 2" would make a huge difference. You should get MBP 13" and a 3rd party 22-24" LCD (Dell, Nec and etc). The total price will be less than MBP 15", but you will have both portability and a HUGE display
  8. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I've got a 13" Al Macbook I use on the road for photos. I can do processing on it (the monitor is calibrated), but there really isn't enough pixels on the screen and the TN displays used in all Apple notebooks aren't really good for serious work since the color and contrast shifts quickly with viewing angle. So going with a 15" with the high res option isn't a complete solution.

    I'd suggest either the 13" plus an external IPS monitor to use at home for editing, or if you don't need the portability a desktop (Mac mini plus IPS monitor or an iMac).
  9. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    the 13" by itself is definitely not a good tool for image editing. I am a Photographer and Photoshop is my thing. There is enough power to do the trick with 4Gb ram but the monitor is lacking, not only in real estate but also in color gamut and viewing angle.

    I have a 13 MB and 27" Imac which are both calibrated with a color sensor and the gamut plot of the MB, which is the same as the MBP's is much more limited. Also, even if it is calibrated for brightness, contrast and color to get the most out of it the problem of viewing angle gets in the way. If you slightly change the angle of the lid or yourself then the resulting image will appear darker or lighter making proper work too tricky.

    The solution is to invest in a good S-PVA or IPS monitor to attach to your laptop - 13, 15 or 17" to do proper work. I just ran a Landscape Photography workshop and I take my 13" MB on the road with me but also take a 21" monitor to edit. When the workshop was finished I camped out for a few days and only used my MB for downloading and cataloging and left the serious editing work for when I got home to use a better monitor, in this case my iMac but in any case, for serious work it should not be the laptop monitor.

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