Macbook Air for Photo Editing?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by dnoph, Jul 30, 2016.

  1. dnoph macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2015
    #1
    I was thinking of getting a maxed out Macbook Air for travel. I typically bring around my 15" Macbook Pro, but it does get tiring to lug around. I wanted something lighter and smaller to bring around to make packing easier.

    Does anybody use their Macbook Air with Photoshop or Lightroom? Does it have enough power to run these processor intensive programs smoothly?
     
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #2
    They are very powerful little computers, don't be deceived by the size. I have an 11" 2013 i7/8gb/512gb MBA. I run Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, Logic Pro, Vectorworks, Filemaker Pro and other powerful software. Of course it isn't the fastest computer that Apple makes, but it handles all of these just fine. And the size plus battery life are terrific for travel.

    You could check out the GeekBench benchmarks if you want to compare specific models. I previously used a 15" 2008 MBP, and the MBA just runs circles around that machine.
     
  3. cincygolfgrrl macrumors 6502

    cincygolfgrrl

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    Somewhere In Time
    #3
    I'll second Boyd01, and go one better. I have an 11" 2011 i5/4gb/128gb MBA. I process RAW images in Lightroom whenever I'm doing photography out of town. It's not as fast as my iMac; I didn't expect it to be.

    My point is, you don't need "maxed out" to get good performance from a MacBook Air, but if it's in your budget, do what makes you happy. I don't think you'll regret the purchase whichever way you go.
     
  4. Shirasaki macrumors 604

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #4
    Portability is where MacBook Air superior even comparing with MacBook retina. You will be really happy to purchase a MacBook Air. Plus it has standard ports. Oh, and MagSafe connector for recharging.
    I almost solely use photoshop on my MacBook Air 11" despite the fact I have another PC with 1080P touch screen display. It's just so convenient.
    Keyboard. Way better than that crappy butterfly keyboard.
     
  5. dnoph thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 1, 2015
    #5
    Thanks for all your comments.

    Looks like I'll be saving up to get it soon!
     
  6. ItHurtsWhenIP macrumors 6502

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    Aug 20, 2013
    Location:
    'Merica!
    #6
    I've used my i7/8GB 2013 Air with Lightroom quite a few times and although I only do minor editing due to lack of skill/knowledge of what LR is capable of, it's never hiccuped once. I haven't been able to make this thing "lag" or stutter or bog down yet in the 3 years I've had it.
     
  7. anotherscotsman macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2014
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    13" i7/8GB 2013 air - I use it for a number of things including Capture One with some pretty large RAW files. No problem with speed or responsiveness. Ditto for simultaneous running of Windows under VirtualBox.

    Although I like the screen for general work (size and resolution), to be critical, the limited colour palette sometimes results in a posterised appearance in some photos. Not a deal breaker. Great travel laptop.
     
  8. dnoph thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2015
    #8
    It seems like for my purposes as a quick and easy travel laptop, it would be perfect. It wouldn't be my main editing computer so it looks like a good stand in option for when I'm traveling.

    By the way, is the maximum RAM that it can take 8GB?
     
  9. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #9
    Yes the max RAM is 8gb and max SSD is 512gb. RAM cannot be upgraded after purchase. SSD can, but it is expensive.
     
  10. merkinmuffley macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    #10
    I've used one in the field to review photos. It will work, the downside is the screen resolution is not that good, but for culling photos and making minor edits quickly it will work. These days, I'd look at benchmarks between the Air and the new retina macbook, the screen on it is very nice and the bonus is it's very easy to carry.
     
  11. ignatius345 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2015
    #11
    As someone who bought and returned the MacBook Retina, I agree 1000% with all above. The keyboard is awful to use, the port situation is very limiting and the battery life is mediocre. You won't realize how great MagSafe is until you go back to clumsily using two hands to plug in your machine every single time and lose that great little built-in LED charging/charged indicator. As gorgeous as the screen is, I found it a pretty disappointing package all-in-all.
     
  12. Maccotto macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2012
    #12
    I have a stupid question: how you work with MbA display not retina?
    I ask this because i saw air in my shop and it had bad display quality than the mbr display.
     
  13. Boyd01 macrumors 68040

    Boyd01

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    #13
    If you need a better display, you can plug in an external monitor. On the road, the size, weight and battery life of the 11" MBA outweigh the screen issues. At least they do for me. The retina air did not exist in 2013 when I got my MBA, but I don't think it would suit me anyway. My 11" MBA is my primary computer, most of the time it's plugged into a big screen, keyboard and mouse at home anyway. ;)
     
  14. Pugly macrumors regular

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    Jun 7, 2016
    #14
    I'm really happy with the performance of my i7 MBA. Nothing on it feels slow. The only gains I would get from running a faster system would be the time it takes to bounce tracks in Logic. But everything else about editing is great. It loads files extremely quickly, and never hangs or slows down for me.

    There are plenty of things that could be better on the MBA, but for the essential things you need a computer to do it has it all.

    I don't do anything graphics related, so the colors on the screen don't matter. It looks good watching youtube videos. If you sit next to someone using a Retina MacBook, you'll notice your lame screen. But it's not horrendous.

    The resolution has some benefits though. Since it doesn't do any scaling, it has more resources to do its computing tasks. A lot of windows laptops seem better with a 1080 screen, but I find 1080 resolution screens an odd compromise on laptops... it's an inbetweener resolution. And unless you want really small icons you need to scale it up. But since it's not an exact multiple scale it looks a bit fuzzy sometimes. That would bug me.
     
  15. RuNerOk, May 19, 2018
    Last edited: May 22, 2018

    RuNerOk macrumors newbie

    RuNerOk

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    Jul 27, 2017
    #15

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