13 inch rMBP for a photographer

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by sportsfreak, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. sportsfreak macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    #1
    Hey all,

    I've been reading various threads trying to look for an answer but I haven't been able to pin one down.

    I am looking to upgrade my 2009 13 inch Macbook pro. I am a hobbiest photographer and use the adobe creative suite a great deal (photoshop/lightroom) to edit my 36mp raw images. I am also a university student so portability is key for me as i have to take my laptop to class every day. I have an external 25 inch monitor that I hook up my laptop to, when I get home to do work. This computer will be my primary device.

    In terms of the quad and dual core. For my uses, which are quite graphic heavy, would i be at a disadvantage with a 13 inch dual core? Would it be beneficial to upgrade from the i5 to the i7 processor in the 13 inch even though it's still a dual core and not quad?

    I really find the 15 inch too big for class and thus inconvenient. So I really want to make sure the 13 inch will work for my needs over the next 4 years.

    I am thinking of getting the 13 inch with:
    16 gb ram
    1tb hd
    and maybe the i7 or the i5.

    Thanks!
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    I found for my needs the 13" laptop to be too confining. Photoshop, Lightroom and Aperture were a bit too much for a small display imo.

    As for performance, I found my 2010 13" MBP to be somewhat adequate so I assume the current dual core version to be better. Performance wise the apps really work well on my 2012 15" rMBP which is a quad core, so I think while it will be ok in a dual core system, it works even better in a quad core.
     
  3. rayyu882 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2010
    #3
    I think if you are only doing photos, the 13" Retina will work just fine, that's what I was going to go originally until I realize I will be doing some heavy 1080p video editing. I believe the rules of that is if HD video editing is on your regular to do list, then 15" would be the best option, else, 13" should do.
     
  4. Tibits macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    #4
    Go with the 15", both in terms of processing power and screen real estate.
     
  5. cxc273 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    #5
    I carried around a late-2012 MacBook Pro and one of the original unibody MacBook Pro's to and from campus for work, so I certainly feel your pain in the literal sense.

    The absolute best machine would be the 15" rMBP, but in order to move to a quad-core processor, you'll add one pound of weight to your bag (3.46 lbs. for the 13" rMBP versus 4.46 lbs. for the 15" version).

    Although I do a lot of photo editing, I don't really shoot RAW all that often. I do believe that going to an SSD from your 2009 machine will give you very good performance.

    I still use my 2012 MBP for video and photo editing, but have switched to a mid-2013 MacBook Air for my personal machine. I have to say that I haven't noticed any issues using Creative Suite 6 on the Air while I edit sports photos I shoot on my Nikon D600. If my Air's any indication, a more muscular 13" rMBP should do you fine.
     
  6. Tibits macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    #6
    If you are shooting JPEGS on Fine, your files are about 1/3 the size of the OP's, and therefore much faster to process. If doing a sizable batch of images, this really adds up.
     
  7. Macshroomer, Oct 25, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2013

    Macshroomer macrumors 65816

    Macshroomer

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    #7
    It's hard to say since you are an amateur camera owner. If you were a photographer, IE one who makes a full time living off of using cameras, I would say lay out the capitol, take the tax deduction and get to work.

    If I did not have the built MacPro I have in my home office ( listed below ), I would get the 15" completely maxed out. But for a roadie, the 13" I have on order is going to perfect and SSD's make an enormous difference as my current 2009 13" has two of them, the bottle neck being bus speed, GPU and CPU speeds, hence the ordering of the new one.

    I did build the MacPro up for video production, but I don't do the post or even shoot it for the most part, just direct and outsource the work.

    But it is up to you since you are an amateur camera owner spend on your camera hobby as you wish.
     
  8. illian macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Location:
    Porsche-City, Germany
    #8
    Some people need to relax :)

    I'm using Photoshop for my ~30mb raw files on my early 2013 MacBook air.
    Works just fine for me. The new haswell 13 pro with a faster CPU/GPU and ssd,
    should have no problems. Spending more money to save some seconds a day...for a hobby?

    Up to you. I would go with the 13 ;)
     
  9. Fultonpics macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    #9
    if you keep your computer mostly at a desk, the 15 obviously will be faster and offers a larger screen to edit on. if you travel and have to process and send photos from remote locations a 13" air or rmbp are fine. remember all of them can be plugged into a large monitor for fine editing. however, when traveling a pound here or there tends to add up, so airs and 13" are nice. plus they are easy to use in coach class seats.

    as a reference: i work in press rooms and venues and the top photo pros use 11" airs, 13" airs, 13" rmb pros and 15". more are going to airs due to weight. their workflow is: download, select (via photomechanical), caption,some final edit via photoshop, then send. they can do 50-150 print ready images easily in a very short time. which computer they use doesn't correlate with who leaves first to go home--it is whoever is a quicker editor. in other words, the slight performance benefit or increased screen size of one model to another isn't really a determining factor in overall work speed.
     
  10. Tibits macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    #10
    A lot of those pros under the circumstances you describe are working with JPEGs (instead) of RAW files for various reasons. Most pros working on an Air remotely likely have a Mac Pro (or similar) desktop setup back at the office or home.
     
  11. Jeanloup macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    #11
    I would get the 15" as 13" rmbp are still suffering from image rétention which is pretty annoying if you are doing photography.
     
  12. sportsfreak thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2008
    #12
    I appreciate all the feedback! Yea I understand what you are all saying in terms of workflow. Stitching together a panoramic with raw hd images literally makes my computer want to explode currently so I am looking for a machine that can do more. The only thing steering me clear of the 15 inch is the size. I have the 13 inch and I know that I do not want to go bigger. Especially since I am on the go a great deal.

    The screen real estate doesn't affect me since I plug into an external hd monitor at home. It's more or less the processor capability I am worried about.

    I considered getting a second system but that would be a hassle in terms of workflow and moving my notes back and forth.
     
  13. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #13
    I don't make a full-time living off photography, but I have paid for a few of my gear with it.

    If you can earn back what you paid for the MBP within a year or so, I'd say it's worth it. Having better tools will also give you the freedom to grow.
     
  14. duc996bp macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2013
    #14
    If my priamary use is Photoshop editing large raw files and using an external 24" monitor, which is the best video card? Iris Pro or 750M ?
     
  15. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

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    Canada GTA
  16. drxcm macrumors regular

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    Nov 2, 2010
    #16
    Source?
     
  17. Thalin macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    #17

    As someone who worked with a 17" MBP in photography and video for three years, I have recently had to go down to a 15" as the laptop was replaced, and I definately would not go any smaller. The 15" is just right I feel, especially after upping the resolution to make it 'feel' more like the 17" again, if that makes sense.
     
  18. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

    Macshroomer

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    Dec 6, 2009
    #18
    I have shot ad campaigns and editorial assignments in the U.S. and tropics for years and have done really well with a 2009 13" souped up with two SSD's. There is no way I would go bigger, it just does not work for my lifestyle / workflow and yes, I often shoot raw.

    Lots of opinions here that is for sure..
     
  19. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #19
    Shooting raw isn't the issue. I handle 12mp raw images reasonably well on a 2007 MBP.

    The problem is how much LR/PS edit are you going to do on those raws?
     
  20. magbarn macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2008
    #20
    I'm assuming you're shooting with a D800? For my setup, my rMBP 15 quad core is much much faster than my wife's rMBP 13 and my MBA 11. Main reason is the quad vs. dual. Since Haswell isn't that much faster than Ivy Bridge, I'd go for the 15.
     
  21. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

    Macshroomer

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    #21
    I edit D800 files in Photo Mechanic, process them in LR/CS6, but I really don't do much other than export, don't really need to as it is pretty much taken care of in camera.

    Again, the 13" I have used for over 4 years has been great, on a big export I just do other tasks like story board shoots with art directors, etc. Living in a ski resort I know a fair amount of pros besides my self, nearly all use a 13" as a roadie / location rig.
     
  22. Ryan1524 macrumors 65816

    Ryan1524

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2003
    Location:
    Canada GTA
    #22
    Why does it matter what they use?

    Does the added size/weight bother you, personally?


    I would gladly hump an extra pound to and from class for the extra power and screen space. And I did when I used a 15 instead of a 12 during school. Almost everybody in class were getting those silly 9-13" netbooks.
     
  23. Macshroomer macrumors 65816

    Macshroomer

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    #23
    If you are replying to me, it does not bother me one bit what people use. As a pro who has been shooting for over 24 years, I am just giving my opinion based on what I see in real world circumstances.
     
  24. jbg232 macrumors 65816

    jbg232

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #24
    I work with large 35MB RAW images from a 5D Mark III in my regular workflow. One of the big things that photographers need is SSD throughput. As you know if you have a large library, you have to store it externally. If you store it on a standard non-raid non-sad array that will be a HUGE bottleneck when viewing images in LR/Aperture. So just know what your needs are because they are different for different parts of the workflow and you should budget accordingly.

    Viewing and minor editing without lag in LR/Aperture: Need external raid array or large amount of ssds

    Editing in photoshop: Above + high amount of memory (16gb minimum) + processor speed (Aperture requires decent GPU)
     
  25. Tibits macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    #25
    When editing a large batch of images, it adds up. Particularly for those of us who have limited time (and patience).
     

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