MacBook air or pro for photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by John hayman, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. John hayman macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2011
    Hello photography forum,
    I am due a mac update in the pressing weeks and I can't decide between the 13" air 1.7 ghz or the pro 13" 2.3 ghz. I use photoshop a lot, most intensive thing is usually HDR or batch merging star trails, the air is a lovely machine, the SSD makes in incredible zippy at regular work, and I'll need something portable for sixth form and uni, pro will definitely not lack in power and upgradability but is a bit of a lump compared to the air.

    So, Air or Pro?
  2. Badrottie Suspended


    May 8, 2011
    Los Angeles
    MBP for heavy photographer no question asked!
  3. unclet macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2011
    Bloomington, IN
    I own a 2010 13" Macbook Air and use it to process 20+ MB RAW files in Aperture with Nik plugins all the time. It handles things really well and processing time is much quicker than I would have thought. I switched to the MBA from a 2009 MBP, and found the Air to be slightly quicker for what I do. Now granted, the newest MBPs are incredibly powerful machines, but the new MBAs are supposed to be twice as fast as the one that I'm using right now, and I'm very pleased with the performance I'm getting out of it. I'm not a professional, and I don't do any heavy duty stuff in Photoshop, but I do some HDR processing with HDR Efex Pro, and even that works quite well on the 2010 MBA, although it does lag slightly. All of the other Nik plugins work very well on my machine, with no lag. So, if portability is one of your main concerns, I'd say that you should be able to do just about anything you'd need to on one of the newest MBAs.
  4. John hayman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2011
    Thanks for the replies,

    As long as either machine is quicker than my 2008 iMac that has been ruined by lion I would be happy.
  5. The Mad Kiwi macrumors 6502

    Mar 15, 2006
    In Hell
    I use a 13" Air and it's a great little machine, super portable and runs Aperture and photoshop like a dream. It's almost as fast as my 27" i7 iMac.
  6. fitshaced macrumors 68000


    Jul 2, 2011
    2011 MBA all day long. Its far more portable and can handle aperture without issue. If you can one for gaming or video editing, get the pro.
  7. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    I like having the Cd drive to back up my photos on disc or to give a client photos on disc. Yeah I also back up to a drive. Two if you are shooting videos, you would need more ports.

    I guess you need to look at your setup. What exactly do you want to plug in. HD space how much do you need. I'm moving up to the D7000 soon. I know with shooting video and stills with a D90, RAW images take up a lot of space.
  8. John hayman thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 16, 2011
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    I'll be plugging in a external HDD and a graphics tablet, I also have a USB card reader but both the 13"air and pro have ad cards built in, I use RAW format but might switch to JPEG as lion doesn't really like RAW.
  9. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    The Air will be significantly faster than your iMac.

    To give you an idea: in CPU-intensive benchmarks, its about as fast as the top-of-the-line 2010 MacBook Pro. The SSD will run circles around your hard drive and Photoshop doesn't benefit from you having a faster GPU.
  10. Tiggs macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2011
    I vote for the new 13" Air as now you can get it with the i5 chip so you don't take a performance hit. Love mine and the portability difference has made me stop using my MBP.

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