MBA 13 (ultimate) for photographers?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Madvillain, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. Madvillain Guest

    Jan 15, 2008
    Does anybody have experience with Lightroom 4 and CS5 or CS6 with the new top BTO 13-inch air? If so, how is it?

    I'm thinking of getting the 2.0/8/512 and canceling my rMBP order.

    I am currently using a 15-inch late 2011 MBP. I haven't been happy with it because it's slow when I do any photo editing. I believe this to be because of the 7200 rpm HDD. (I believe) I can't swap it out for a solid state without voiding the warranty, which would be nice to keep for sales purposes.

    Thanks for any help/opinions.
  2. JasonR macrumors 6502a


    Nov 11, 2008
    Shouldn't be an issue. The display will be the biggest issue as it's not a "Pro" display. However, I think it will do just fine.

    I'm currently using a 2.93 Ghz Core 2 Duo PC with 4 GB of Ram, regulard HDD and was running Photoshop and Lightroom simultaneously. It slowed down a little bit, but I could still work on it.

    The "Ultimate" Macbook Air should be quite a bit faster than my work PC...
  3. Sebct macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2010
    London, UK.

    I currently use my 2011 MBA (1.7GHz 4GB 256SSD) for pretty much all my photo editing when on the road and it really is a pleasure to use.

    I use Photoshop CS5.5 and Lightroom 3 and can be doing stuff in both with pretty much no slowdown.

    My only problem is the screen-size as i'm used to the old 30" ACD's!!

    You definitely won't be disappointed.
  4. Aniseedvan macrumors 65816

    May 14, 2012
    I do my editing on a laptop with a 5400rpm hard drive and it's fine (i7 sandy bridge and 8gb RAM)

    I have tried to set it up to increase the cache sizes, separate location off the boot partition etc as you will find on the Internet. Running say render 1:1 previews over a pile of imports in Lightroom is so much quicker that the dinosaur I had before it, which I attribute more to the increased/improved ram and processor.

    There's also a few articles saying that running Lightroom off an SSD doesn't make that much difference but I think it was written before these faster ones came out.

    I would expect the MBA to be fine and a great portable editing package.
  5. Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    Mine is fine with LR3 and CS5. LR prefers having 4GB of memory to play in and since the integrated GPU reserves 512k of system memory for itself you would likely be wise to opt for 8GB of RAM.

    The only hiccup I have experienced is my older X-Rite i1 Display 2 colorimeter can not be found by the Lion-specific software provided by X-Rite. It worked fine on my USB 2.0 MBP running Lion, and still works fine on my USB 2.0 MP running Lion, but not so fine on this USB 3.0 MBA. X-Rite has not responded to a support request I sent in a week ago.
  6. BeeJee macrumors 6502

    Nov 27, 2011
    Long Island/North Jersey
    Apple doesn't void the warranty if you swap in a SSD for your HDD. I have a SSD in mine and they haven't thought twice about doing any repairs. Its meant to be user upgradeable.
  7. Madvillain thread starter Guest

    Jan 15, 2008

    This is good to know. Maybe I should just upgrade my HDD...
  8. Ngineer macrumors newbie

    Jun 22, 2012
    I had the same problem with a 13" 2012 MBA and the i1 Display 2 with the lion software. Turns out the fix was to plug the colorimeter into a powered USB Hub, then it was detected fine by the software. I guess the new MBA Ports don't put out as much power as the ones on the MBP or iMac.
  9. Cliff3, Jun 29, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2012

    Cliff3 macrumors 68000


    Nov 2, 2007
    SF Bay Area
    Thanks! I think I have a powered hub someplace - time to rummage through my junk box.

    edit: no joy in the junk box, so I hopped over to Best Buy to pick up a $10 powered USB hub. Worked like a charm.
  10. goinskiing macrumors 6502a


    Jun 25, 2008
    Meridian, ID
    I have the 2012 11" Ultimate and use CS4 and Aperture for editing on the road and then transfer to my 27" iMac. However, I have found the air a joy to edit on. I shoot in RAW only with my Canon 5D MkII and the air handles them very well.

Share This Page