Is the rMBP worth it?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by hulfordp, Sep 15, 2012.

  1. hulfordp macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2010
    I currently use a 2010 13 inch MacBook pro with 2.4 Core2Duo 4 gigs of Ram and 256gig HD. Looking at either a max out MacBook Air or a base rMBP. What are people opinions? I only edit tops 15 weddings, plus some seniors, families and church events. Is the display alone on the rMBP worth it? I have heard that some photos look really blurry on the rMBP, is this due to scaling issues? The software I use is Aperture 3 (hopefully 4 soon) and PS CS6.
    Thanks for your input.
  2. cheesygrin macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2008
    In the interests of full disclosure, I can't say I've actually used a rMBP yet, however, from what I've heard, I can't say I am fully convinced it's worth it - yet.

    For me, the MBA is so beautifully designed, lightweight and portable, it feels like the perfect travelling notebook. Although the 13" screen is a little limiting for editing perhaps.

    Since you currently use a 13" MBP, I think you need to ask yourself: Going by what I use my laptop for the most currently, do I need a larger, higher resolution screen, or would I benefit more from much improved portability?

    If the machine is your only workstation, then perhaps the larger screen would win out. However, if you have a desktop computer as well, then, personally, I'd probably go for the Air.
  3. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I don't own it either, but my photographer friend does, and while he loves the screen itself, he said he doesn't really enjoy it as much as he thinks. Firstly, he can barely notice the quality difference between the rMBP and the "old" high-res 15" screen (the 1680x1050 res version), and even if he can, most of today's world looks like crap because most things on the internet aren't so high-res. There are flaws everywhere, whereas his old laptop didn't exhibit any issues.

    The other thing is that his laptop suffers from some lag.

    I don't know much about Mac laptops anymore (because I don't care. They're all very good nowadays....), so I don't know what others in the forums are saying about it, but this is what my friend has told me.

    And btw, I have a MacBook Air, and I love it. :)
  4. bill-p macrumors 68000

    Jul 23, 2011
    If you are looking to replace your main work machine, then I'd say... go for it.

    I have a 13" 2010 MBP and a rMBP in front of me right now... and here are some things to consider:

    1) Being that the rMBP has a bigger screen, you have more screen real estate, and generally a bigger canvas to work with.

    2) Sharpness on rMBP is to die for. You don't have to zoom in to see most details. Out of focus shots look very obvious just from Preview.

    3) rMBP has a much faster processor. Everything flies and zips by.

    4) rMBP absolutely requires an external storage solution. 256GB is not enough. Luckily, it has USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt. USB 3.0 makes the external drive feels like an internal one. I have 500GB in the 13" MBP right now, and I still find myself plugging an external drive into it.

    5) rMBP is lighter than MBP 13". Specifications say the difference is small, but I think it's noticeable because rMBP has a much bigger surface area thus less pressure at any given point.

    6) rMBP feels like half the thickness of MBP 13". In fact, since my sister has a 11" MBA, I did a comparison, and rMBP is actually as thin as MBA... just not tapered down toward the front, and more uniform.

    7) rMBP has an HDMI port so I can plug it directly into my client's TV set and let them preview shots.

    And here are a few things specific to rMBP:

    1) The interface does lag as mentioned. I'm on Mountain Lion 10.8.1, and Apple hasn't fixed that yet. Now, granted... it actually doesn't lag in Windows via Bootcamp, so I think it's a simple software fix for Apple.

    2) Photoshop CS6 does not support Retina display yet, so anything you see on it will be blurry. Luckily, since the rMBP supports an "effective 1920 x 1200 resolution" (it's actually 3840 x 2400 downscaled to 2880 x 1800), Photoshop CS6 doesn't look that bad at all at that resolution. But Retina support is still better. Aperture has it, and the difference in sharpness (of the image) in CS6 vs Aperture is very noticeable. In general, I think the main benefit would be with the rMBP's faster quad-core processor and more RAM (8GB standard) rather than with its display... at least until Adobe decides to update Photoshop. I say that because I don't use Aperture often. I use Lightroom more.

    Now, photography is not my main job. I do it more as a hobby, but... from my limited exposure with photo editing on the rMBP, I think it's a worthy upgrade to the 13" MBP. If you can afford it, I'd say... go for it. IMO, it's the best laptop money can buy right now.

    Edit: oh, and regarding the "blurry picture" part, you'll see that either on websites or in apps that have yet to be updated for Retina. But like I said, if you set your resolution to "effective 1920 x 1200", then you won't be able to notice the blurriness at all.
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    They are to the wife and I. We get the horsepower to run our apps (LR and plugins), great screen for use in the field, good connectivity with Thunderbolt and USB 3 (thank goodness no FW), enough SSD space for photo capture on multiple week trips, and no moving parts. Works for us.

    Each potential owner has to decide for themselves if one of the several different rMBP configurations is a good value for them. Just there is no vehicle that works for every driver, there no laptop that fulfills each laptop owners requirements perfectly.

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