Hardware query (MBA 11 / Nikon D7000)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jimbo100, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. jimbo100 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2015
    #1
    Hi - forum newbie here with a hardware query.

    I currently have a Nikon D40 and process raw (.NEF) files on my MBA 11 (mid-2012, i5, 8GB RAM) using Rawtherapee and an external screen. I get the results I want, even if it sometimes takes a little tweaking to get exposure and colours the way I want. I suspect that Lightroom would be a better experience, but I've never been convinced that it's worth £100 a year.

    For a couple of reasons, I'm thinking of buying a D7000 or D7100. Before I splash the cash, I'd be interested to hear of others' views on:
    1) Will the MBA be good enough to handle the bigger files? I'm guessing yes, based on playing around with the samples from dpreview.
    2) Is Rawtherapee going to be good enough? If I have to move to lightroom then that's fine, but it may influence my decision to buy the cheaper of the 2 cameras. There may be other workflow options I'm overlooking, of course.

    Any comments from those who've made similar decisions would be much appreciated. Cheers.
     
  2. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #2
    I use lightroom with my rmbp 2.4/8/256 and mac mini 2.5/4/500 for files from my d610, which should be about the same size as the d7100.

    From my personal usage experience the editing in Lightroom is perfectly fluid.
    Importing speed depends on where the raw file is stored; external hdd-> very, vey slow; internal ssd very fast. Exporting speed depends on the cpu and takes a few seconds per photo with the i5 dualcores in the machines i am using. RAM has no influence on Lightroom performance at all from my experience.

    Bottom line is that unless you are exporting huge batches of photos, your mba should work just fine, as it always has for you.
     
  3. cupcakes2000 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #3
    Of course the amount of ram you have makes a difference in
    Lightroom.

    https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/kb/optimize-performance-lightroom.html
     
  4. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #4
    From your link:
    According to adobe it supposedly can. I am using Lr 5 on a mini with 4 and a rmbp with 8 and I have never noticed any difference. I also monitor the activity monitor during use and the graph is green and low on both machines
    Could you explain to me what specific performance difference you experience with more memory?

    Adobe also mentions the processor in particular, because the cpu determines the import/export time, which can play an important role when working with large amounts of files.

    During the photo editing itself I have personally never seen any difference between machines with different specs. You slide a slider and the effect takes place immediately. What effect would higher specs have?


    What I think Adobe means is that more ram will increase performance when running Lightroom simultaneously with other apps:
    https://helpx.adobe.com/lightroom/kb/performance-hints.html
     
  5. Miltz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    Location:
    New York
    #5
    I processed my raw images from a Canon 6D on a Stock Macbook Air from 2013 with zero issues. Actually it felt a lot like my i2700K desktop with 16GB of RAM. I know... I was surprised too. I don't think you'll have any problems especially since my stock macbook air had 4GB of ram.
     
  6. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68020

    Ulenspiegel

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2014
    Location:
    Land of Flanders and Elsewhere
    #6
    (RAM) Meister has a point.
    More RAM usually increases performance when the user multitasks.
     
  7. cupcakes2000 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2010
    #7
    I upgraded from 8 to 24gb. I noticed a massive difference in the case of being in develop mode and quickly flicking between images and applying basic changes. The difference was in the speed with which the new image appeared on the screen. No 'loading' as was previous. Just instant with whatever adjustments, including noise reduction and sharpening. Previously there was a small but annoying lag. My work flow speed has really increased with basic sorting of images and basic adjustments. I have a top spec retina iMac, so it's powerful for sure but the only change to my system was ram. So therefore more ram must help.
     
  8. The Bad Guy macrumors 6502a

    The Bad Guy

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #8
    RAM. Adobe software can't get enough of it (no joke).
     
  9. tgara macrumors 6502a

    tgara

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    Somewhere in the Delta Quadrant
    #9
    As others have said, hardware-wise, you shouldn't have too much trouble with your current machine. I shoot Canon and I can process25-30 MB RAW files from my 5D3 with very little lag (using Canon's DPP software).

    One issue I have with my 11-inch MBA (late 2011 model) is that the screen isn't good enough (for me at least) to really evaluate the photo files for sharpness. The screen on my MBA is visibly pixelated and has less visible resolution than my 2010 iMac. It's fine for text, but when culling through photo files, it's often difficult for me to determine if the shots are sharp.


    Do you have similar issues with your MBA?
     
  10. Miltz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    Location:
    New York
    #10
    The screen on the MBA sucks when it comes to color accuracy and editing photos on it. I always attached my MBA to a external monitor for anything serious so I actually know what I'm looking at.
     
  11. tgara macrumors 6502a

    tgara

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    Somewhere in the Delta Quadrant
    #11
    Absolutely, and you are quite right about external monitors. In fact, I do all my post processing on my 2010 27-inch iMac with color calibrated monitor.

    That said, I should have been more clear that my 11-inch MBA is used as a travel computer, and any photo processing I do on it are strictly for quick posts to Photostream, Flickr, etc. I like to share family shots ASAP, and at Christmas last year, I could not tell if my shots were sharp when looking at my MBA screen. :(
     
  12. Miltz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2013
    Location:
    New York
    #12
    hmmm the sharpness I don't really understand since the PPI of your MBA is higher than your 2010 imac which would make the screen sharper.
     
  13. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
    #13
    Thank you for sharing that experience. I do always have a short loading sign when changing between images. It makes no difference to me personally, but it is interesting to know that more ram makes that go away.
     
  14. Nickwell24 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    #14
    Lightroom doesn't cost $100 per year. You can still buy Lightroom 5 from Amazon for $140 without a subscription service, normally you can find a Nikon Lens + Lightroom 5 deal for the same price. If you happen to be a student it's only about $80.

    in my opinion, YES YES YES get Lightroom. I've used the following: Aperture, Picasa, iPhoto, and Rawtherapee (just last week) and I prefer Lightrom over all of those.

    Lightroom is just simple. It gives you a lot of powerful tools at your fingertips and lets you do most of your edits with a few simple sliders. I use Lightroom in conjunction with Photoshop CS6, but I'd venture to guess 95% or more of my edits are done in Lightroom. The only thing I do in CS6 is skin retouching, which can be done in lightroom, but I prefer using layer masks for skin.
     

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