Macbook pro for photography?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Eeden, Oct 13, 2008.

  1. Eeden macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2008
    When the new Macbooks are released I will buy my first Mac:D
    Now the question is: macbook or macbook pro?

    I will use the Mac for office applications (word, excel)
    Parallels to run the windows excel version
    Photoshop Lightroom 2
    Photoshop Elements 2

    I'm on a budget but I need a good machine to run these applications smoothly:)

    Please some advice
  2. squeeks macrumors 68040


    Jun 19, 2007
  3. andrewdale macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2008
    Memphis, TN
    Yup. Just wait and see. The MacBook might better suit your needs if you don't plan on doing SUPER intensive editing.
  4. NStocks macrumors 65816

    Apr 3, 2008
    I am in a similar situation as you are, only I'm deciding between the MBP and 24" iMac.

    I've never owned a Mac but here goes, you may want to get the MBP because the screen wil be bigger unless the MB have 15" screens. Because the MBP is 'Pro' product you will be getting better graphics cards etc, but this will not be true until tomorrow.

    Hopefully more people who are Photography enthusiasts will have a better input which is better MacBook Macbook Pro or iMac.

    ... you have come to the right place for help though, people on her arevery useful... especially to us Mac first timers :p

  5. andrewdale macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2008
    Memphis, TN
    Ok, for your situation, there's really only one answer. Get the iMac. It's what we use in my wife's photography business and it is GREAT! Unless you NEED the mobility (just buy more memory cards, though!), the 24" iMac could not be better. The screen is great, but even with it, you'll find you want more space soon!
  6. sfwalter macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    I use a Macbook Pro for my Photography hobby. I use Apple's Aperture program to manage my photographs which can be taxing on the cpu and graphics card.

    Althought Aperture supports the Macbook I think you will have better performance and sucess with the Macbook Pro. If your not using Aperture then you can probably get away with a a Macbook. IMHO it comes down the applications you will use for your Photography need. I use Photoshop and Aperture and I am very pleased with the performance of the Macbook Pro.

    Another thing to consider is the display size. a 24" screen is much better for looking at photographs especially when zooming than a 13" or even a 15" screen. I actually use a 20" Apple Cinema display with my Macbook Pro.

    So I think you need to base your decision on performance and screen size.

  7. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    An excellent post.

    I will say that the smaller screen on the MacBook becomes very tiresome to edit photos on. The current ones also will bog down with Photoshop, Lightroom and a couple of other apps open.

    If you'll be doing a lot of photo work, the MacBook Pro is likely a better choice, but wait and see what tomorrow brings.
  8. NStocks macrumors 65816

    Apr 3, 2008
    I don't NEED the portability as of yet. I'm almost 18, and I will be going to University to study Architecture in 1 years time, I am unsure weather or not I will need a Laptop, therefore thought I would put £1,000 into something that I can use anywhere. BUT, I may not need a Laptop at all, therefore wished i got the iMac... could I just hook up a external monitor to the MBP. Still it would be nice to sit infront of the t.v instead of stuck in my room all the time, not to mention using it anywhere else, holida, garden etc.

    ... Like most threads this one all depends on tomorrow, and the main thing I will be concerned about is the Price, if there is no price drops, I 90% probablly won't be getting a Laptop, assuming the spec's are'nt that ground braking.

    I should also add that I don't make any money from Photogrphy it's just a hobby, and I don't plan to until I have a career ( 8 years away )

  9. wgilles macrumors 6502


    Feb 21, 2008
    My 2 cents. I use my MBP, see my sig for specs, and I use LR2, CS3, and VMWare Fusion, so I use most of the stuff you will want to use. I do heavy photography work on my MBP and everything runs like butter. I would image the new ones will be more powerful, even the regular MBs so I think you will be okay with a higher end MB or the base MBP.
  10. BigD58 macrumors regular

    Mar 31, 2008
    North Carolina
    Well I am currently using a first gen Macbook for my photography. I use mostly aperture and photoshop cs3. Although i can get my work done it can sometimes be a choppy process. IMHO I would go with the MBP, thats what I am doing come tomarrow! But again the next MB will defiantly be better than my first gen....:rolleyes:
  11. tcphoto macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2005
    Madison, GA
    I have had no problems running my photo business using Apple Powerbooks and then MBP. Granted, it's not a maxed out MP with 30" Cinema Display but I always install maximum memory. I shoot tethered in the studio and on location with no issues.
  12. Eeden thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 7, 2008
    I have an 22 inch Samsung monitor so that won't be a problem. I travel alot and that is why I need a notebook.

    I hope a macbook will be sufficient. It's a 800 dollar difference... (can buy a great lense for that price...:D)
  13. nope7308 macrumors 65816


    Oct 6, 2008
    Ontario, Canada
    I'm in roughly the same boat, so here are my thoughts. After doing some research, I came to the same conclusion as most - MBP.

    The MB can get the basics done, but it will be less efficient and more troublesome. Colour correction on a glossy 13" monitor will be a pain, and running more than one app will be very choppy. Depending on how serious you are about photography, I would avoid the iMac as well. Although I love the computer, the glossy screen is not conducive to photographic work because colour saturation is a major issue. Also, you should think of the MBP as an investment - it will hold up much longer than a MB as new (photography) apps are released.

    A good friend of mine studied at a top-notch art school for advertising and graphic design... the MBP is still the mandatory notebook.
  14. azharc macrumors member

    Aug 2, 2008
    Photo major here, so maybe I can help you out.

    As many said, it depends on the specs of the new MB/P. You want a good deal of power for Lightroom, if you're like me and have huge RAWs all over the place Lightroom is nice when it has a lot to work with - it's gotta render a lot of previews from a lot of large files.

    If you don't have 1000s of images in TIFFs or RAWs you shouldn't have that bad a time with a MB.

    PM me if you need to know anything specific.
  15. andrewdale macrumors 6502a

    Jan 28, 2008
    Memphis, TN
    Well, if you already have a monitor, then I'd say go ahead and get a MB or MBP (whichever you can afford -- if you can afford the high-end MB OR the low-end MBP, I'd save a bit and get the high-end MB) and then save up for an iMac later.

    RIGHT on the money with that line. Doing 2500 RAW images per wedding, we need that nice iMac to keep up with everything. But for a general hobby -- no need ... yet. Keep in mind, it can be addictive!
  16. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    + Photoshop CS4 will support GPU accellerated functions.
  17. JoshBoy macrumors 6502


    Oct 12, 2008
    Sydney, Australia
    To mac or not to mac

    I study photography. I use an iMac 24" :apple: , a macbook :apple: (intel core 1.8) I will be upgrading to a :apple: pro when they come out as my :apple: MacBook is starting to get old. If you do not need to be mobile I would go the 24" iMac :apple: , it is great when working with photo's. I would also scrap the idea of running windows on there because excel is better to use under office 2008 plus if you really have to save money and use the free boot camp to run windows on the machine (comes free on OSX) I have two PC's at home, one running Vista Ultimate and the other with XP and don't touch them at all anymore. I would also save using bootcamp and go for photoshop CS3 or CS4 rather than photoshop Elements. Lightroom is great on the mac:apple:.
    Good luck with your decision :)
  18. bektravels macrumors regular

    Sep 14, 2007
    Believe it or not I run Lightroom 2 & Photoshop CS2 on a G4 PB!!!!

    It actually works slightly better than you might imagine with jpg's but raw totally kills it.

    Fortunately I also have an imac, otherwise I wouldn't have much hair left ;)

    Really looking forward to new MBP's tomorrow :D
  19. soLoredd macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2007
    I use my MB for Aperture and RAW processing and while it does what it needs to do, it definitely challenges the system. Especially going to full screen editing, the system will slow down occasionally when doing various edits.

    If you can afford it, I would go with the MBP and just get a nice external monitor in lieu of an iMac. Of course, your needs may vary but I like the portability option and when I am at home I just use my big 24" monitor and all is well.
  20. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    If you plan to get CS4 in the future, you may want to consider getting a MacBook Pro oppose to a MacBook like people have suggested. Even if the MacBook has a dedicated GPU:
    1) It won't be as powerful as the MBP's.
    2) The screen is a tad small.
  21. Karpfish macrumors 6502a


    Sep 24, 2006
    I used to have a MB alongside a MP before selling both and going with just a MBP. I can tell you first hand that the MB is painful for serious photo work. The first thing is that the screen is too small, and IMO glossy screen is a major pain as well. I gave up trying to use my blackbook(2.0 CD with 2GB RAM) for photo work because it was too slow. Maybe that is because my work was mostly done on a MP with 6GB RAM, I don't know for sure. My MBP is very good for photo work though, I would certainly go with that.
  22. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I don't know much about Lightroom or Elements, but I know Photoshop CS3 got a slightly higher benchmark on a MacBook than MacBook Pro in some tests that someone like Macworld ran a few months ago. They were really almost the same, but you're talking about a few hundred dollars cheaper. If Elements and Lightroom are scaled-down Photoshop portions, then you're probably better off with a MacBook.

    Pay attention to the port offerings on the new notebooks. I doubt you would ever need a firewire port, but if you do, there are numerous rumors of the lower-end MacBooks not having them. With HDD camcorders taking over, the need for firewire is really diminishing.
  23. grahamnp macrumors 6502a

    Jun 4, 2008
    Photoshop CS4 will be graphics accelerated and the next generation of applications from Adobe are likely to be as well so the Macbook Pro may be the more future proof machine.

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