How my 11" MBA 2012 amazed me

yoak

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Oct 4, 2004
1,486
44
Oslo, Norway
I thought to share my latest experience with my MBA.
I bought it primarly as a small laptop to bring to location to do backups of my RED EPIC camera.
I easily produce between 250-500GB a day when shooting 5K or 4K. The 11" air is very easy to bring a long.
Recently I was asked to shoot and edit a 5 min corporate film. The film was intended for web use, so I decide to shoot it with my Sony FS7 camera in 1080P, XAVC-I codec. (I shot in LOG mode so I have to add LUTs on every shot in FCX)
It ended up as just under 100GB footage that I had on an USB3 External drive.
To not having to go to the basement while logging the footage I used FCX on my MBA to look through and sort the shots.
Then with out really noticing I started editing a quick rough cut. The MBA worked without a hickup.
After doing that, and to my surprise never had a dropped frame, I thought I would do the whole film on my MBA.
So I editedm had probably 10 different projects running, made titles, AND color graded every single shot, layed down the voice over. Exported probably 30 different versions to Vimeo in full HD.
It worked flawlessly, I never thought it would be possible. I was amazed.
The little screen did get annoying at times, I had to check the graded exports on my TV from Vimeo to check if they looked ok, as I didn´t have an external monitor.
It´s the mid 2012, 1.7Ghz i5, 4GB of RAM.

It speaks volumes about the latest version of FCX as well, what an amazing piece of software it has turned into

PS It would of course probably have been a total different story if I had shot in 4K
 

Boyd01

Moderator
Staff member
Feb 21, 2012
4,431
1,992
New Jersey Pine Barrens
Very cool. I don't shoot as much video as I used to, but have been very impressed with both my 2011 and 2013 MBA and my old version of FCP. In 2013 I shot a bunch of 1080p with my XDCAM-EX in HQ mode and edited it on my 2013 11" MBA while staying with a friend in NYC. Also did a still theatrical photo shoot with my Nikon and edited several hundred pictures on the 11" MBA while sitting around a bar with friends there. When you're already lugging around a pro video camera, mattebox, tripod and other gear, the 11" MBA is great.

I went from a 2008 15" MBP to the 2011 MBA, and was just amazed at how much faster the MBA was for video editing. I don't think most people give the MBA enough credit, there's a really powerful little computer in that small package! :)
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,428
150
...
I went from a 2008 15" MBP to the 2011 MBA, and was just amazed at how much faster the MBA was for video editing. I don't think most people give the MBA enough credit, there's a really powerful little computer in that small package! :)
Yes, people look at the size and price and see that it's the cheapest, smallest model laptop that Apple sells and then assume that it can't be very capable. For no other reason than that. When in fact it's the same ballpark capabilities/performance as any other sub-15" Apple laptop.
 
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cerberusss

macrumors 6502a
Aug 25, 2013
915
355
The Netherlands
Amazing little machines. I got a 13" MBA from 2013. I develop pretty big apps on it, in Xcode. Other developers laugh and ask how I can get any work done. But it's simply fast enough :)

Programming in Swift is another matter, though. But that's a problem on any machine :-(
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,428
150
Amazing little machines. I got a 13" MBA from 2013. I develop pretty big apps on it, in Xcode. Other developers laugh and ask how I can get any work done. But it's simply fast enough :)

Programming in Swift is another matter, though. But that's a problem on any machine :-(
Your 2013 MBA would run circles around any computer from 10 years ago, and people still managed to develop software back then. :) Maybe ask your developer friends why they need such high-spec computers? :)
 

poematik13

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2014
764
357
the 2.2 i7, 8GB ram and intel 6000 graphics in the new models is certainly up to the task for lightweight editing
 

jbsiii

macrumors newbie
Nov 22, 2014
20
24
La Jolla, CA
My wife and I both use 2011 MBA 11" units and likely will upgrade once USB-C adapters become more plentiful -- principally a solution for the Cinema Display. We are amazed by the capability of the 11" form factor -- it's simply an exceptional design!
 

RUGGLES99

macrumors 6502
Feb 9, 2015
409
99
I recently bought a base 2014 11" MBA (brand new $720 BB), and my wife got the 13" version. She's now sorry she didn't go with the 11" for its more portability factor. The 11 is a great little computer as an adjunct to what I have -- 2010 mbp 15" and 2015 mac mini desktop set up. But I actually could do everything I do (professionally) just using the 11. Down the road, when the price drops (substantially) and it has more power and at least another port, I'll probably spring for the rmb 12". Hopefully, the change will be in the second iteration late this year or early next year.
 

cerberusss

macrumors 6502a
Aug 25, 2013
915
355
The Netherlands
Your 2013 MBA would run circles around any computer from 10 years ago, and people still managed to develop software back then. :) Maybe ask your developer friends why they need such high-spec computers? :)
I have the feeling there's a "truck-factor" here. This one looks really nice:


But this one probably does the job a lot better:


Now when you need hardware to get around an unfinished Swift compiler, sure get the best hardware. But sometimes, it was the truck factor that made people decide they want the 15".

Pics from here
 
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SSD-GUY

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2012
1,053
1,821
Interstellar
Your 2013 MBA would run circles around any computer from 10 years ago, and people still managed to develop software back then. :) Maybe ask your developer friends why they need such high-spec computers? :)
If we always follow that rhetoric then what is the need to innovate?
 

motrek

macrumors 68020
Sep 14, 2012
2,428
150
If we always follow that rhetoric then what is the need to innovate?
Software development (other than in Swift, apparently) is largely the same activity as it was 10 years ago.

Saying that you need top-of-the-line hardware to do development is sort of like saying you need top-of-the-line hardware to edit text documents or browse CraigsList. It's not true and there's no reason why it would or should be true.

Although that being said, unfortunately compilers (and the iOS simulator) have gotten bloated and slow, so having top-of-the-line hardware does make development somewhat more comfortable, but it is absolutely not necessary at all.
 
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