Advice needed which laptop? *photography*

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by my2geldings, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. my2geldings macrumors member

    May 31, 2010
    This is a topic that has probably been beat up dozens of times.

    I am an avid photographer(though I dont know much), and have discovered that I need to replace my laptop(gah! and it was only a year old!).

    I have only owned Macbooks until now. The main purpose of the laptop will be for the loading of my photography(about 2,000-3,000 photos/week), and some video files(very few), and of course some gaming. The photography I have recently started has become a new business(which is a why a macbook did fine until now), therefor I have just started to load up a lot more photos than normal.

    Now bear with me because I really don't know enough to make an intelligent and informed decision on this. I have never really had any issues with my macbooks but because I am just started to load more and more photos daily, should I look into making the jump of getting a slightly bigger machine? what should I look to help me make my decision?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    How much RAM do you have in your MacBook? Photo editing isn't very CPU intensive nor GPU so simply by adding some more RAM, your current MacBook could be just fine.

    I would look at iMac as you already have a laptop unless you REALLY need a more powerful laptop. Anyway, if you need laptop, go for the 2.4GHz 15" with hi res screen and upgrade the RAM to 8GB aftermarket
  3. my2geldings thread starter macrumors member

    May 31, 2010
    Ok, thank you so much for the advice. I'll have to go take a look what it is I currently have.
  4. Mirabella macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2010
    Even with mentioning that you want it for a photography business, a lot depends upon the particulars of your photography business. Some types of photography businesses are much higher volume than others; some are much more post-processing intensive than others; etc.

    I would suggest that the screen size and density of the 17" is worthwhile, or, at least, the 15" with the hi-res screen. The anti-glare display is preferable, since it doesn't block up the shadow details with overly high contrast. The more RAM, the better.

    For me (yes, I have this laptop for my photography business), it's worth getting the 7,200 RPM drive and the faster processor, too. Some will say that the speed differences of a few percent, here and there, are not worth it. In my experience, those few percent shave enough time to add up, and more than pay for itself, when time = money.
  5. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    I'm a pro in this area. I will not address power or performance and will simply cut to the chase and say that the most important thing is the monitor. Higher resolution does not get you anything except smaller websized images to work with on your display. It is really about calibrating your monitor for brightness, contrast and color accuracy. This is the only way to standardized so others see what you are seeing and that prints match. If your monitor is set too bright then prints will be too dark. I keep both my computers set to 110 cd/m2 for brightness which is easy on the eyes and about right for matching prints. Actually, many pros use 80-100 but you most often hear 120 as the 'correct brightness'.

    A laptop is fine but is best when connected to a quality external monitor for serious work as that will have a better color gamut. I use Eye-One Display 2 which costs about $200 and others use Spyder 3 as a calibration tool. Both my iMac and MB are calibrated with this. Assuming I am correct in that the color gamut of the MB is the same as the MBP, then I can say, based on my own measurements, that the MBP is a bit deficient in color gamut. My iMac has a wider gamut particularly in green. This is not something that can be judged by eye and needs to be done with a color sensor and software which will display known colors and measure the screen output of that color and create a calibration curve to compensate.
  6. my2geldings thread starter macrumors member

    May 31, 2010
    Ah perfect! thank you for taking the time to post this!
  7. HBOC macrumors 68020

    Oct 14, 2008
    As someone has stated, a monitor (IPS panel) is essential. I personally would get an iMac + external (and calibrator, etc) than get an MBP. I shoot quite a bit (no 2000 a week), and am finding as my A3 library grows, my machine is slowing down a bit. I am maxed out at 4GB RAM.. only thing i wish it had was more RAM..
  8. nwcs macrumors 68000


    Sep 21, 2009
    I'd recommend a MacBook Pro. Editing pictures professionally is processor intensive, especially if you're doing more sophisticated workflows. I use the new MBP i7 17" but I previously used a Santa Rosa MBP 17" which also worked quite well.

    The person who mentioned proper monitor calibration is absolutely correct, too. It's essential. And even though a laptop monitor isn't as good as a dedicated high end monitor designed for images it's still quite good and many pros use it.

    The extra memory (I have 8GB) is nice, especially with the latest Photoshop but if you're a Nikon guy using Capture NX you won't notice any difference. I went from the 5200 to the 7200 rpm drives -- not much noticeable difference.

    I try to keep my computers for 3 years so I get the best and then wait until something compelling comes along to get me to upgrade.

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