Photographer on a macbook?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by animenick65, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. animenick65 macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2006
    Hey All

    I've been poking around these forums for some time now. Reading posts and learning as much as I can about apples lineup. I'm a photographer on a budget looking to purchase a laptop for personal entertainment and client meetings. I also may be doing some light image editing on it as it will probably blow my desktop amd 3200+ machine out in the water in terms of performance. I had a few questions and am open to people opinion on if a refurbished macbook would be a good option for me.

    I have done my research. I would like a refurb mbp but it is $400 more. The extra screen space and dedicated graphics card would be nice but I hear stories of grainy screens and such. My only worry with the macbook is the glossy screen and graphics performance. Im wondering if the glossy screen will really affect my ability to work on pictures accuratley. But then again I don't think I will be working on pictures with the macbook as much as I think I will.

    Are there any issues I should know about that would affect me in terms of the application I intend to use the macbook for? Any opinions are welcome.
  2. nospleen macrumors 68020


    Dec 8, 2002
    I have ran Aperture on mine and it works very well. If you are not doing all of your editing on it, I would highly recommend it.
  3. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005

    The macbook is fine with photoshop and other photo apps that do not require a separate graphics card. Aperture is actually pretty good too, despite the graphics card. For photo editing, the display is simply too small to work on, but connecting it to a much larger display is seamless and fast so that does not matter. So it does depend on what software you'll run and whether you plan to work a lot on the go. I think they're excellent portables with enough power for almost any user, except gamers. The display is excellent too but, as I mentioned, a little too small for working on photographs on a daily basis. I think the perfect combination is either a macbook or macbook pro together with a large external display. I recommend checking out the MBP display before your buy if you can.
  4. KipCoon macrumors regular


    Aug 23, 2000
    Doesn't the glossy screen force the darker colors to be, well.. darker? I know the contrast is higher on it, so wouldn't it throw off that aspect?

    But in the end, pending how much you want to spend, you can always have it color adjusted using that color reader you stick to the screen :)

    Good luck on whatever you choose, the laptops are slick!
  5. animenick65 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2006
    Thats my worry nospleen. Im worried things will look more saturated and have more contrast then they really have. But i don't think I will be using it that much for editing. It will be nice for client meetings though, showing slideshows with saturated and contrasty pictures. Is contrasty a word? Are the refurb CD machines a good buy? Should I just spring the extra dough for the MBP?
  6. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005
    I'm not sure if you'll be happier with the macbook pro. I guess for clients it's nicer than the smaller macbook, but besides the graphics card, they're very similar in terms of power. the MBP has little things that are nice (backlit keyboard for example), express card, metal enclosure (don't really know if that's an advantage though) etc. But the macbook has what I think is a revolution in closing/lock mechanisms: a magnetic latchless design. Wonderful compared to the tiny little button of the MBP. Also, the 'grain' in the MBP display is very pronounced IMO, while the macbook and 17" MBP have silky smooth solids. If I needed a machine purely for showing clients images, I'd go for the macbook or the 15" glossy macbook pro which has slightly less grain. Again, if you can, check them out in a store - the matte screen needs to be seen in order to determine if you'll be bothered by it.
  7. pedro nicoli macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2006
    i'm a photographer too, and i'm 100% decided on the macbook.

    the glossy screen can be an issue, but all u have to do is make a few print tests , and find out how on screen imagem will look on paper.

    in my case, i'll use it on a crt monitor at home, so i dont have this problem while editing photos.
    when showing photos to clients, the glossy screen will make my pic look better..hehe, so no problems there

    about the graphic card, PS dont need it so much, so this won't matter.
  8. animenick65 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2006
    Yea im excited about the glossy screen for client presentations. Should make my pics look better :cool:. Im pretty sure Im going with a macbook. Anyone ever have any problems with refurbs? Any reason to buy a C2D instead? I really havn't read anything bad in these forums about refurbs. If I can save myself a few hundred bucks by buying a refurb blackbook then I dont see why not. I dont need the speed boost or draft-N stuff.
  9. wildmac macrumors 65816

    Jun 13, 2003
    If you are only using it as a slideshow, then the refurb should be fine. But, if you are doing some editing on it, then the C2D might be worth it. Either way max out the ram.

    Think about speed gain (your TIME!) versus the cost savings.

    I just bought the new C2D for presentations and light editing. I wanted to get the best current machine, so it would last the longest.

    Remeber, it's a write-off as well.. :D
  10. failsafe1 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2003
    As a working photographer I would not like to be locked into the Macbook as my only choice. I use Aperture on the 2.16 Intel Macbook Pro machine with a gig of ram at work along with a G5. The Intel machine seems faster than the G5 (older 1.6) by quite a bit. So the. I wonder what Photoshop will be like when it is a UB next year. Right now that seems fine but sluggish at times. That may be perception not reality. I would if at all costs go for the bigger 15 inch machine. Even a refurbed 2.16 if you can't swing the newer Macbook Pros. The larger screen on the 15 and faster processor give you longer life of the machine in theory. That said if you can only go with the Macbook than that is a great machine. I think Aperture benefits from the better video card but photoshop does not? I know Aperture slows down some on the Macbook Pro I use. So beef up your ram either way you go. Ram can be the same on the older MBP vs. MB at 2 gig so you don't benefit there one way or another. Between the two refurbs the hard drive, screen size and processor speed are the differences but worth $400 if you have it. You may be able to wait for newer machines to hit the refurb stage and benefit even more.
  11. animenick65 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2006
    I dont like the fact that people are having grainy screen issues on their mbp. I use nikon and my images have enough noise to begin with. I dont need the perception of more. I have another machine for processing images so Im not TOO worried about how the macbook handles all that.
  12. wildmac macrumors 65816

    Jun 13, 2003
    If the MBP will be used for serious editing, then I'd agree with this, but if the issue is mainly for presentations, and saving some $$$ is an issue, then the MB is the better choice.
  13. vashim66 macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2003
    Quick question to confirm what was mentioned above. The regular Macbook with 2GB of ram will run Aperture just fine? I'm not a professional photographer, but I do use my camera quite a bit and would love to use this program for RAW files. I don't want to drop $2500 on a laptop if I don't have to. I also have an external 20" widescreen display for editing if necessary.
  14. PDE macrumors 68020

    Nov 16, 2005

    Yes, aperture is fine on a macbook and certainly much much better than on the previous last generation of powerbook g4s (1.67ghz). The main problem is that aperture needs a lot screen real estate and so the smallish display of the macbook doesn't do it justice. With an external monitor it's perfect though. I think you'll be fine with it. The only other thing I can suggest is to buy from a company with a good return policy, like amazon, and if it doesn't work for you return it. Even if you pay a restocking fee, it might still be worth to first try the cheaper macbook. If you decide to buy a macbook pro, then amazon has great deals with $150 off, no tax and free shipping - in other words, the most you'll lose is the restocking fee, but then you'll make that back with the online rebates if you decide you need the MBP>
  15. Lenti macrumors newbie

    Nov 28, 2006
    Beijing, 1/2 travel to other places
    I do use my mbp do a lot of photo editing, Maily on photoshop, and adobe bridge, iview mediapro, mac is very efficient. I don't think the screen will affect your work. For raw file, it's work well as well.

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