Photographer needs advice

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Akoiso, Feb 4, 2011.

  1. Akoiso macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2011
    Hello all here is my current dilema,
    I've been trolling this site on a daily basis awaiting rumors and news of the up coming MBP. I currently own an 27" iMac thats a couple of years old, still good and able to do the job I need it to running Lightroom, Photoshop..etc

    This year I'll be doing some travelling and looking for something more portable thus the need to look into a MBP. I'm looking specifically for a 15" (13" would be too small and the 17" would be too big).

    My need for a MBP wouldn't be until mid March but definitely by the beginning of April.

    1. Would you recommend a refurbished unit? Something like this particular one

    2. Especially with a refurbished unit, would you recommend spending the extra money on apple care?

    3. I can live without a MBP until April, would you recommend waiting for the new MBP? Will the difference in performance BE that much greater compared to the current or refurbished models?

    I still plan on keeping my iMac and using it as the main computer but wilt travels and on location shooting the MBP is something that is becoming a necessity.

    I'd like to have something that wont break the bank, but also something that will not be obsolete.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    I'm a full time photog using a lowly macbook w/lightroom and photoshop. No issues. I will be upgrading to a MBP13" this spring.

    Most definitely get the Apple Care. You don't have to buy it right away and can wait up to 1 full year after you buy your mac. (Pull the trigger on something like day 340 or something).

    Yes, I'd wait. You can't go wrong with a refurb unit from Apple but the longer you hold out the better resale value you'll have.

    This is why I don't understand the necessity for a 15" MBP. If you're going to travel then the 13" is not only fine - I'd think it would be preferrable. Plus, should that iMac of yours ever die just get an external monitor for all your photo editing at your desk. That's what I do. You need a decent calibrated monitor for color correction anyway.

    Sometimes when I shoot a wedding I'll start dumping photos right into my 13" MB during dinner.

    Current Macbooks don't become "obsolete" just because a newer model comes out. (i.e., your software doesn't mysteriously stop working the day a new one appears. And amazingly enough, your old macboook works just like it did the day before :))

    Get what you need at the time you need it. Never look back.
  3. acedickson macrumors 6502a


    Dec 6, 2004
    Since you don't need one until April wait. Personally, I wouldn't like to spend $1700+ on a new laptop and have the next gen come out a month or two later if I didn't absolutely need a machine.

    I think Applecare is a good investment but you can wait, as stated, and check all your options before buying. Amazon has Applecare cheaper than what Apple itself sells it for.
  4. tcphoto macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2005
    Madison, GA
    I am also a photographer and I can highly recommend the MBP for shooting tethered on location. The refurbished computers are a great value and you cannot go wrong with one. Apple Care can be purchased within the first year and I'd definitely buy it just before the one year warranty expires, especially if you travel with it. I'd wait as long as possible since the rumors are that an update is approaching. Besides, the current versions will drop in price when listed on the refurbished page.
  5. Akoiso thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2011
    When I said obsolete I didn't mean whatever computer I bought would stop working just because a new model came out. C'mon now.
    I just don't want to buy something now and april a new model. Spending $1700 is a good chunk of change and as much as possible I'd like to have the newest model.

    Ya, shooting tethered is one of the biggest reasons why I'm really looking at a MBP. There's a huge advantage of seeing what you shot asap besides the view from the 3inch screen on my camera.

    With a refurbished unit, how reliable are these units?
    Also, I was recently looking at Macmall's open box units. Would any of you's recommend this route ?
  6. Vantage Point macrumors 65816

    Mar 1, 2010
    New Jersey
    I'm a photographer and can highly recommend the 15" MBP. Especially the newer models with the i5 or i7 chip. I have the i5 2.4 and it is faster than a 3.06 C2D CPU in geek tests. The i5 2.53 is only 5% faster and I believe that extra cost is better spent on 8gb of RAM for CS5 and/or Aperture/LR. Also, that price difference is enough to replace the stock drive with a bigger and faster one like a Hitachi Travelstar 500 Gb 7200 RPM (I am personally waiting for Hitachi to start shipping their new 750Gb 7200RPM drive but I have no complaints with the stock drive now.

    A refurb should be very reliable and includes a 'same as new warranty', I bought a 27" iMac refurb and it looked and performed brand new but I sold it for what I have now. I would go refurb over open box, especially if it was opened and used as a demo since the warranty period might have started already.

    If you do go refurb and even if you don't, I strongly recommend that if you decide to buy Apple Care that you Do NOT get it from Apple. Instead get it for about $100 less at B&H Photo - if you are a photographer in the US then you know this store or at least should. Also, B&H has some of the best prices on MBP and no tax if live outside the US. They even carry BTO models.

    I find that a 15" MBP w/8gb ram (install this yourself to save money) and quality monitor - I use a NEC monitor, gives everything I need and want :D
  7. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Jul 22, 2010
    Double dittos on being a semi-pro photographer here. I switched to a MBP in April 2010 from Windoze when Photoshop CS5 came out.

    Personal opinion, I'd opt for a new MBP over refurbished. The main reason - you don't know how the other person treated their computer.

    As to Apple Care, I didn't purchase it when I originally bought it, but will before April comes.

    As to waiting until April, that's a toss up. Considering that the Sandy Bridge chipsets have been pulled because of issues, the best estimates are that it'll be at least a month (i.e. beginning of March) before Intel unscrews their screw-up. I'd guesstimate that it'll be at least until the end of March, or well into April before Apple's updated MBP's are ready.
  8. fblack macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2006
    1. A refurbished unit is fine. Apple not only has good design but quality of materials is pretty good. It saves money too.

    2. Always get some kind of extended warranty with laptops. Everything fails sooner or later. The last that I recall Apple had a malfunction rate after 2 years of about 10% (which isn't bad IMO) at 3 years it goes to about 17%. In comparison HP at 3 years has a malfunction rate close to 26%. Consumer Reports, Square Trade and others have these statistics, you can find some of these online.

    3. Wait if you can for the new refresh. The Sandy Bridge architecture is supposed to give a significant boost over last years models. However, with the delay of chips we might not see that refresh from anywhere from late March to early May according to some estimates.
  9. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    I know you didn't mean that. It's just that you folks that are so worried about next year's new-fangled model crack me up. You act like the world is going to end if you miss out. :D
  10. Akoiso thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2011
    OK, so with the updated rumors about a new MBP to come out early march, I'll be heading towards that path.

    Now the new question is about size.
    My main reason for getting a MBP is
    1. portability- obviously can't do that with the iMac
    2. the ability to tether while on location doing a photoshoot.

    I was recently at an apple store and played around with the MBP's, and I find that the 15" is a bit big, seems like the 13" is a good size.

    Which size would you guys recommend?
  11. nateo200 macrumors 68030


    Feb 4, 2009
    Northern District NY
    Not a photographer here but I'd say I'm a moderate to heavy power user at times and the 13" is perfect. I'm a high schooler and I asked for 13inch specifically because I felt the 15inch was too big, my parents even offered to trade my 13inch in for a 15 inch i7 but that felt to big. My 13inch MBP fits in my backpack like a charm and honestly Ive said this in like 99 other threads I can run CS5, hand break (video encoding program), bit torrent, Firefox with 10 tabs open, and watch House via VLC on an external display at the same time and I seriously have not noticed a slow down. That's with 4GB's of RAM...obviously if your a pro photographer 8GB of RAM is probably nicer, especially if you get moderately intensive in CS5. Good luck with your decision, either computer you pick I'm sure it will live up to your needs.
  12. Richard1028, Feb 17, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011

    Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    Yes, 15" is too big. 13" is just fine for me in the field... that's what it's designed for - getting it from point A to B without hassle.

    And why do you need to tether your mac to the DSLR? As a photographer you should be looking at the histogram for proper exposure and the on-camera LCD is plenty big to analyze sharpness.

    There's no way I'd tether a $1500 machine to my 5D's just to enlarge a photo. I use a cheap $99 portable DVD player for this and only to show clients immediate results. They don't need to walk to where a laptop is tethered - I bring the photo to them.

    Edit: 4GB RAM is plenty. 8GB doesn't do LightRoom any good. It relies on raw CPU power to extract the embedded Jpeg image from the RAW file and process it for display so get the fastest processor available in the upcoming MBP13. (Whatever options may be offered for the i3 of course).
  13. BJB Productions macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Nov 10, 2008
    I'm going to chime in here really quick. I've noticed some false information here...everyone has said wait to get Apple care. Buying it the day after you buy or waiting 340 days after you buy your machine does not extend your warranty at all. In fact, if you buy it any time after 90 days of purchasing your MBP, you won't get free phone support. So get it within 90 days of getting your MBP.

    As for size- I'm also a semi-professinal photographer mainly specializing in senior photography (indoor and outdoor) I'll just say no matter what size you get, the MBP is a great machine for photography. The screen is amazing. I personally don't have it out on the field with me when I'm shooting. If my clients want to see a photo, I just show them it on the camera LCD.

    I have the 15" and find it quite a good size. While the 13" is definitely the most portable, I don't find the 15" too big.

    I will agree with everyone else though- since you can afford to wait, definitely wait. They may make the 13" even more powerful...who knows. Time will tell.
  14. aevelasquez macrumors regular

    Feb 15, 2011
    Miami, FL
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8C148 Safari/6533.18.5)

    Wait for the new one. It'll be worth it. These new ones are supposed to be slimmer, lighter, and have longer battery life, making them altogether more travel-friendly. Just wait it out man.
  15. legreve macrumors regular


    Nov 22, 2010
    1. Like previously stated, I really dislike used/refurbished items. You never know for sure, that there's not some minor glitch or fault in the machine. The potential risk of spending money on repairs or replacements outweigh the cheaper price.

    2. Erroneous due to no. 1 :)

    3. I would definately get the new model. Sandy Bridge alone will make you machine run more smoothly all together. Just do the same thing as you would with the current model, ie. buy the base model and stuff it with ram and an anti-glare screen.

    Also keep in mind, you'll have a harder time selling a refurbished model once you want to upgrade next time, unlike the new version will prolly be easy to hand off for a fair price :)

    Good luck...
  16. whitedragon101 macrumors 65816

    Sep 11, 2008

    The new models should be out fingers crossed in March. Its all rumours but there are rumblings that it may use liquid metal (which makes it 20% lighter) and have +20% better battery life.

    Specific rumours aside, whatever the improvements it will be a significant step up over the current models.

    There is also talk of "aggressive pricing" which may make it better AND cheaper :)
  17. greytmom macrumors 68040


    Jun 23, 2010

    There's your answer.
  18. Akoiso thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2011
    Sometimes for me the 3inch screen isn't good enough, I've had too many instances where it look good on the screen but as soon as I got home and looked at it on my iMac it was a fail. I'm not very good at PS so I try my best to get things right in camera, and for me being able to look at a 13 or 15" screen is definitely going to be a lot better than what my camera has.

    Ya, im definitely waiting, especially with the consistent rumors flying in everyday. And I'm definitely taking your advice about getting apple care with in 90 days.

    Though I do have a question about apple care.

    So I'll be traveling out of the country in April, and I'm definitely getting apple care before I leave. Now lets say something happens while I'm out of the US. Will any apple store be able to help me with any problems that I may have? Or does apple care or warranties only apply to the country in which you purchased your product from?
  19. BJB Productions macrumors 65816

    BJB Productions

    Nov 10, 2008
    Apple Care is a world-wide warranty; it doesn't matter where you buy it or where you get work done under a warranty claim. It's all seamless/transparent. :)
  20. AlvinNguyen macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2010
    I posted this on another thread but you might find it useful. I would also go with the new MBP 17" i7 fully loaded. I'm a fashion and celebrity photographer so I have a good idea of what you need to work city to city.

    Previously I used an iMac, MBP 13.3" and iPad for portfolio and mobile solution. After traveling so much I realized I no longer have quick access to my iMac (london 2 weeks ago, LA before that, and now I'm in LA again while my brand new 27" iMac was at home collecting dust). I needed a mobile powerhouse to be with me and just leave it at the place I'm staying at - regardless of the city.

    I also need a smaller machine to take on-location when I shoot (fashion photographer) to transfer files, review images, and work on mass amounts of emails. The MBA Ultimate is the perfect machine for that. It's powerful and capable of those tasks, quick and easy to turn on, and with a great screen size and full keyboard and OSX - it's exactly what my wishful thinking was hoping to iPad would be.

    So last week I sold my Core i3 iMac 27" for $1500, 13.3" MBP for $960 (before new one comes out and drive down prices - I only lost $140 after using it for 1 year) and iPad 16Gb unlimited 3G for $850 (somone really wanted the unlimited plan. I picked up an Air Ultimate for $1100 and haven't put it down since. It was more than capable (though a bit slow) for editing 35mb RAW images for now until the new 17" MBP is released!
  21. jlc1978 macrumors 68020


    Aug 14, 2009
    I disagree with you - a properly refurbished unit is as good, if not better, than a new unit. Apple tests the units, repairs any cosmetic defects (on iPods they replace the case automatically, for example). Having a unit tested before shipping should catch any issues - and Apple knows why they are returned (didn't want? Problem?) so they can gauge what needs to be done to fix the unit, if anything.

    Sure, they may be an issue - but even new units fail at times. I'd bet there is no sadistically significant variation in refurb / new failure rates.

    It comes down to price/value - refurbs are a good buy given the lack of significant discounts on Macs. If you don't like them, that's fine - it's your money and your choice.

    As for resale, since the only difference is the box unless you sell to a real fanboy you probably won't see any price advantage. After all, when you sell it's a used machine to the buyer.
  22. Akoiso thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 27, 2011
    Thanks. Thats great to know.

    First of all, your photographs are amazing. Definitely adding you page to my book marks for inspiration.
    If you ever need an assistant let me know :D

    I dont know about the 17" MBP, its way too big for me. Though I'm thinking about getting the 15" with all the bells and whistles and then selling my iMac, but not sure yet.

    All I know is I can't wait to get my hands on a MBP, whatever spec it may be. ;)

    I agree, 90% of buyers out there wouldnt know the difference between a refurb or non-refurb MBP. Used is used.
    But with all these rumors of a new MBP coming out, I'm definitely going to hold of for a few for days.
  23. Peter-Gee macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2010
    Are you going to get a MBP Ultimate? LOL

    Good to find you here too, pal :D

Share This Page