Best Used MacBook for Photography

peppermelly

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Howdy. I am not one who needs, or wants the latest and best. Not excited about the new retina screens. And seeing what look like good deals on used MacBooks.

Would appreciate advice on which older models of MacBook are best for photog work. I just purchased a Nikon D800, which creates good sized files.
 

hfg

macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
3,576
281
Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
I would probably look for a recent MBPro with the high-resolution matt display option for better color rendition and lack of reflections from the glass.

If you are using an external display you already like, then the built in display may not be as important to you.
 
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Cameraman12

macrumors member
Mar 14, 2009
37
3
Cali
If you are processing D800 files then there is only one choice for a macbook pro... the retina. Its the only macbook display that accurately reproduces 100% of the srgb color space and does almost 80% of the Adobe RGB color space. Its also fast enough to process the large files of the D800. Having used a pre-retina macbook pro for the past few years with D3s files I can tell you the difference is night and day in terms of accurate color. My suggestion would be to wait for the retina refurbs to come out if you want to save a bit.
 
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petereoin

macrumors member
Jul 26, 2012
30
2
If you are processing D800 files then there is only one choice for a macbook pro... the retina. Its the only macbook display that accurately reproduces 100% of the srgb color space and does almost 80% of the Adobe RGB color space. Its also fast enough to process the large files of the D800. Having used a pre-retina macbook pro for the past few years with D3s files I can tell you the difference is night and day in terms of accurate color. My suggestion would be to wait for the retina refurbs to come out if you want to save a bit.

+ 1

I shoot sports photography with a Canon 1DX and 1DMK IV and the retina is the best laptop I have seen to date in displaying acurate colour rendering. I have the base model with 16gb of ram and PS CS6, LR4 and PM5 all startup in seconds along with the speed of ingesting my photos, viewing and editing.
 
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peppermelly

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Best Used MacBook for D800

I understand the advantages, in purchasing one of the new retina display macbook pros, with the faster processors and more RAM. However, if I'm basically looking for a macbook to download cards to an external drive for storage. With the idea of doing serious processing at home on my 27" iMac. What would be sufficient?

I'm seeing good deals on older macbooks with 2.2, 2.4, and 2.6gb processors.
Also, any thoughts regarding batteries: I tend to prefer removable batteries. But I really haven't been a laptop guy. Perhaps the soldered in, hard to remove batts are alright.

Thanks to everyone who has offered advice.
 
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Krazy Bill

macrumors 68030
Dec 21, 2011
2,985
3
However, if I'm basically looking for a macbook to download cards to an external drive for storage. With the idea of doing serious processing at home on my 27" iMac.
That's an expensive "off loading" solution, isn't it?

Why not just invest in larger capacity SD/CF cards?
 
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Cameraman12

macrumors member
Mar 14, 2009
37
3
Cali
That's an expensive "off loading" solution, isn't it?

Why not just invest in larger capacity SD/CF cards?
I agree.

Or if you are set on getting macbook pro and using it only as a storage device, I would suggest finding an older one like a 2006 or 2007 and buying a new battery for it from OWC. You can probably get the whole thing for under $400. I still have my original 2006 macbook pro and it I find its perfectly usable for something like that. The only downside is it doesn't process photos very well since it can only use 3 gigs of ram. You can probably get a cheap ssd if you want to make it a bit faster though.
 
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peppermelly

macrumors newbie
Original poster
MacBook as Photo Storage Facilitator

Thanks, everyone for your suggestions. Regarding Krazy Bills suggestion that I just purchase more CF cards:

Some of my photo projects involve traveling in places with very limited amenities for a week, up to a month. The activities I photograph on these trips, Cedar Canoe Journeys, can use up two or more 16BG cards each day. Multiply that times seven, or thirty for a trip coming up in a couple of years, and that's a lot of CF cards. I'm thinking a MacBook with two or more portable 2TB drives to down load the cards on to. Would also be nice to look at photos during the trip. Shoot Raw NEF and jpegs. View the jpegs on the MacBook, as they will be smaller files.

What I'm not sure of is how much RAM I need for this. Probably looking at 2.2-2.6GB processor. Another consideration is the battery. Somebody mentioned removable batteries. Would allow me to have two or more batteries. I've never used portable drives but assuming they power off of the computer they are connected to.
 
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Gav2k

macrumors G3
Jul 24, 2009
9,217
1,606
Thanks, everyone for your suggestions. Regarding Krazy Bills suggestion that I just purchase more CF cards:

Some of my photo projects involve traveling in places with very limited amenities for a week, up to a month. The activities I photograph on these trips, Cedar Canoe Journeys, can use up two or more 16BG cards each day. Multiply that times seven, or thirty for a trip coming up in a couple of years, and that's a lot of CF cards. I'm thinking a MacBook with two or more portable 2TB drives to down load the cards on to. Would also be nice to look at photos during the trip. Shoot Raw NEF and jpegs. View the jpegs on the MacBook, as they will be smaller files.

What I'm not sure of is how much RAM I need for this. Probably looking at 2.2-2.6GB processor. Another consideration is the battery. Somebody mentioned removable batteries. Would allow me to have two or more batteries. I've never used portable drives but assuming they power off of the computer they are connected to.
2008/2009 Ali MacBook will do what your after from a basic machine. 2.4ghz c2d with 8gb of ram. Slap an ssd in it and you can have multiple batteries for longer trips
 
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tiwizard

macrumors regular
Jul 12, 2010
233
0
You could always use something like a HyperJuice if you are concerned about running out of power and if you want to use a newer Macbook without a removable battery.
 
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gngan

macrumors 68000
Jan 1, 2009
1,828
72
MacWorld
Thanks, everyone for your suggestions. Regarding Krazy Bills suggestion that I just purchase more CF cards:

Some of my photo projects involve traveling in places with very limited amenities for a week, up to a month. The activities I photograph on these trips, Cedar Canoe Journeys, can use up two or more 16BG cards each day. Multiply that times seven, or thirty for a trip coming up in a couple of years, and that's a lot of CF cards. I'm thinking a MacBook with two or more portable 2TB drives to down load the cards on to. Would also be nice to look at photos during the trip. Shoot Raw NEF and jpegs. View the jpegs on the MacBook, as they will be smaller files.

What I'm not sure of is how much RAM I need for this. Probably looking at 2.2-2.6GB processor. Another consideration is the battery. Somebody mentioned removable batteries. Would allow me to have two or more batteries. I've never used portable drives but assuming they power off of the computer they are connected to.
If all you want is to transfer files to a HDD then i would look into USB OTG technology. I use my iPad to view the photos after a day of shooting but D800's files are way too big. If you are going to do some editing during the trip then 2011 MBP (13'' or 15'') should be enough and get yourself some 2.5'' HDD. Or you choose a 2012 MBA cause it has USB 3 so you can transfer the files quicker.
 
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peppermelly

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Thanks for the Help

Thanks to all of you for for taking the time to offer thoughtful, and helpful, suggestions. I have a much better idea of the options, and advantages to different approaches to the problem of storing images during trips.
 
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mofunk

macrumors 68020
Aug 26, 2009
2,415
159
Americas
Just use a lot of memory cards. That's what I do when I go on trips. To lighten my load and not take along my MBP... I use a lot of memory cards. I have about 5 SD cards for my Nikon D90. The most that I've filled up is about 3. Keep them inside a nice camera case so that they don't get damaged during the flight.

I think Adorama has Memory cards on sale this month.
 
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