Photographers: Any using 3.3Ghz, 13" tb, with Lightroom?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Richard Peters, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. Richard Peters macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2010
    Location:
    Surrey, UK
    #1
    As title really. Are any photographers using the new tb 13", 3.3Ghz with 16gb RAM, specifically with Lightroom?

    I need to reluctantly upgrade my much loved late 2012 11" Air. Whilst it does everything I need perfectly well when I'm photographing on the road, with light edits and for backups to external drives, I want to start running Lightroom workshops. The Air is simply not powerful enough for heavy editing sessions. Making adjustments on the sliders in Develop module is fine but once you start doing localised adjustments with lots of brush strokes or try to stitch panorama's with multiple 36mp RAW's, it all goes downhill.

    I know a lot of complaints are that the 2016 machines aren't hugely quicker than the 2015 but coming from a 2012 Air with 2ghz i7 and 8gb RAM, I'm expecting the jump should be quite noticeable and hopefully able to handle Lightroom sufficiently. I'll also be running the machine connected to a 50" screen for workshops, as a secondary display ideally rather than in clamshell mode. I'd consider last years model but I can get an EPP discount and as this will be used a lot with travel, keeping as close as possible to the size and weight of the 11" Air is important. I'd wait for the next revision but given that's likely to be at least 6-8 months away, that's quite a lot of potentially missed income whilst I do.

    So, do we have any photographers here with experience of heavy editing sessions in Lightroom on a maxed out 13" touch bar - and even more specifically if possible, with 36mp RAW files.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. CaptRB macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

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    LA, California
    #2
    I'm a professional shooter using Nikon D810, D500 and so on. I also do PP on larger files from medium format.

    I'm using the 13" touchbar with 8 GB. The 16 GB is not required AT ALL.

    I can open multiple raw files in Lightroom and Photoshop without issue. I often use the Dell 27" 4K@60.

    I sold my quad core i7 desktop and this is what I'm doing billable work on. I will buy another desktop when they're released in a few months, but I have no workflow issues with the 13". I do mainly jewelry line-sheet work, but also handle portrait and so on.

    HEDD68.jpg

    This is a great little machine and perfect for this sort of work on the go.



    R.
     
  3. Richard Peters thread starter macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

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    #3
    Thanks for the feedback CaptRB, that's good to know. Is your machine using the 3.3 i7? I can handle a small amount of slow down with really heavy edits with many localised brush strokes as even my maxed out mid 2012 iMac suffers if it's really pushed, although I know a lot of that is down to Lightroom not being efficient enough as Photoshop never slows down, no matter what I throw at it.

    Do you use the Dell as a second monitor or with the MBP in clamshell?

    Good to hear some positive feedback though that's more tailored towards my own usage requirements!
     
  4. CaptRB macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

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    #4
    2.9 hz with i5

    I tend to not use clamshell much. I like using both screens. I have a second Dell 4K monitor, but it's still in the box.


    R
     
  5. Gaprofitt Suspended

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2009
    #5
    I can't imagine using Lightroom on an 11 inch screen, I'd go for the 15 inch model at a minimum..
     
  6. CaptRB macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

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    #6
    13" or 15" are pretty much useless for pro work, unless you're forced. At least with my work that's the case. I'm sure plenty of folks get by with using a 13 or 15" screen all the time. I really need a big screen for my work, so buying the 15" wasn't going to add much.

    That said, I absolutely will buy the 15" on the next cycle because I like the 13" so much. It's a tremendous tool for photography. I highly recommend a 4K or 5K screen. I have the Dell 27" 4K. The new LG is a fat joke at the price. There will be much nicer 5K screens around for less money very soon, so wait. For about 450 bucks, the 27" Dell 4K is pretty stunning for PP work.


    R.
     
  7. fs454 macrumors 65816

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    Los Angeles / Boston
    #7

    Stop shaming 16GB like it's some absurd choice. Just because your commute to work right now is round trip 30 miles, would you buy a car with a non-upgradeable gas tank that can only get you ~50 miles, when an upgrade that costs 10% more will last you 200 miles? Of course not, because when you sell it or something changes a year later, you're going to seriously regret not just getting it in the first place.
     
  8. CaptRB, Dec 29, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016

    CaptRB macrumors 6502a

    CaptRB

    Joined:
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    #8


    Rather than carry on, please explain how 16 GB will suddenly be needed two years from now or even four for photography.

    The latest Canon sensor is 50 MP and Nikon's D810 replacement will likely be less. Most top level field photography is using 16-25 MP.

    With 8 GB I can process medium format files using the latest versions of LR and PS.

    Please give us a heads-up as to which pro DSLR will exceed the limits of an 8GB machine and you'll have a case. Latest version of LR runs fine on a 2011 i7 MacBook Pro with a SLOW mechanical drive, but you think a new SSD 8 GB machine will have a problem?

    This is what I do for a living.

    Bring us up to speed.



    R.
     
  9. Richard Peters thread starter macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

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    #9
    It's not very good but it doesn't need to be. I only use it for very quick edits and to delete the images I don't want to backup. I then use it as a bridge to send those backups to two external SSD's. For that it's absolutely perfect, which is why I've never needed or wanted to upgrade.

    Once I'm back in the UK I transfer everything to my main Lightroom library on my iMac for the main edits.

    With RAM, my iMac has 32gb but with Lightroom open during a big edit, then occasionally sending images over to Photoshop (fairly rare) and with having multiple Safari tabs open and iTunes, I quite frequently see most of the RAM get used up. Although, as I said before I think a large part of that is down to Lightroom itself not being efficient enough.
     
  10. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

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    #10
    You'll frequently see "all the ram used up" on macOS, no matter how much you have as it makes full use of available memory for caching, etc: the only thing that really matters is the memory pressure graph: if that's in the green, you don't have an issue with memory :)
     
  11. Richard Peters thread starter macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

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    #11
    Learn something new everyday! Thanks Phil!
     
  12. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #12
    I'm not a professional, but rather a hobbyist. Right now I use a SurfaceBook with 8GB of ram, and a 13" display. Wile not a MBP, I can say Lr works fine. Its not my main machine but I find LR to have good performance. The one thing I do miss is the screen real estate. I do think the 15" model has the edge on using LR or PS because of the increased screen real estate. The increased ram, quad core processor and superior GPU doesn't hurt either ;)

    Yup, free ram is wasted ram in OS X.
     
  13. Richard Peters thread starter macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

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    #13
    For sure, if it was my only machine I'd get a 15".
     
  14. pshifrin macrumors 6502

    pshifrin

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    #14
    I have a stock 13 3.3/16/512. It's my primary computer for IT work for a medium sized business. I have to do "everything" including managing systems and cloud services, remote access and user support, light web Dev, photoshop, premiere, after affects. Please note these are small quick 1080p projects a few mins in length.

    At the office it's docked to a Dell screen and soon to be replaced by a 5k ultra fine. It comes home with me every night and I travel for work to remote sites weekly / daily (depending on time of year).

    For a 13 inch "ultrabook" I find the performance outstanding. On synthetic tests like Geekbench 4 I get single core scores ~4200-4300, which is equal to 15 inch models from 2015-2016 and multi core scores of ~8500 which is faster than any other 13 inch laptop out there and equal to my home 2011 iMac i5 quad core. Real world it handles anything I need it to do very well. I've had it since launch day and it has no keyboard issues or graphical defects. (Can't say the same for the 3 15 inch versions tested and returned within 24 hours each time)
     
  15. Richard Peters thread starter macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

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    #15
    I can't really relate to your usage case to how it would work for my scenario, but thank you for your input pshifrin. Nice to hear more positive feedback!
     
  16. pshifrin macrumors 6502

    pshifrin

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    #16
    I forgot to mention that I have a 70gb Aperture library that I use for personal & work and performance is excellent there too. I just can't give up Aperture! I use better touch tool to create touchbar functions for Aperture although a photo scrubbing bar like photos have will not be possible.
     
  17. ihatetoregister macrumors 6502

    ihatetoregister

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    #17
    Frankly if you were coming from the 2013 mbp iteration I'd say be careful but in your case, you will have a consequent jump in performances. Go for it.

    you can look at geekbench for actual bench difference between your model and this one.
    Keep in mind Lightroo (if I remember correctly) only partially use the multicore, so single core perf are more important.
     
  18. Richard Peters thread starter macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

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    #18
    Thanks, looking at the single core numbers:

    4007 for the 3.3Ghz 13"
    3027 for my old 11" Air
    Interestingly, my late 2012 3.4Ghz iMac scores 3844

    What I understand of Lightroom is as you mention, it isn't very efficient with multiple cores so there is actually a very real possibility the new 13" could feel a little more snappy than my iMac in some instances, which would be perfect!
     
  19. ihatetoregister macrumors 6502

    ihatetoregister

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    #19
    Yeah iMac have much better perf, there's not constrained by battery concerns and less constrained space / colling-wise.
    ut yeah your 2011 Air is 75% as fast as the maxed out 13", so it will be a consequent jump.
    Also I'm pretty sure in practice you'll feel even more gains.
     
  20. Richard Peters thread starter macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

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    #20
    Yes I'm hoping real world performance will be quite noticeable!
     
  21. Hybrid087, Dec 30, 2016
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016

    Hybrid087 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    #21
    Pro photographer here as well with a few data points that might help.

    I run a studio at an advertising agency where my workhorse machine has been a maxed out 2013 15" MPB.

    I shoot Canon and Phase One and I spend about 95 percent of my time in LR, PS, and Capture One.

    Picked up a MacBook Air (2014) base model (4GB, 128 SSD) for travel and personal shooting duty and found it to be a pretty competent machine even with files from the 5DSR and Phase One (50mp and 80mp).

    With how optimized the hardware and software is I think a 13" MBP TB could handle a large chunk of what you're looking to accomplish with headroom to spare.

    For what it's worth, in my use case, I discovered that the dual core machine really started to run out of steam in large PS files with lots of stacked layers and filters (50-80MP Composites). It was also painfully slow when batch exporting a large number of images from LR or Capture One.

    It all worked just like the beefier quad-core machine, it just took twice as as long.

    Ultimately, it became a challenge of my patience to get through an edit because the machine needed more time to complete tasks. A pretty silly thing to complain about but I don't like working longer than I have to if I can help it.

    All said, I just picked up a 2016 15" TB to replace the Air. Was initially thinking the 13" TB for portability sake but ended up wanting the extra grunt under the hood to save my sanity.

    TLDR: I make a living on a 15" MPB, tried to use 13" MBA and found it was fine but when the time came to upgrade went for the 2016 15" MPB.
     
  22. Richard Peters thread starter macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

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    #22
    That was really useful, thank you! With this not being my primary machine all indications seem to point towards the upgraded 13" suiting perfectly, as a balance between acceptable power and portability.
     
  23. Hybrid087 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2005
    #23
    Glad it was helpful!

    Agreed on your point. If you have a dedicated studio/office machine for the times when you need to do some heavy pixel pushing, the 13 would be an absolutely perfect travel companion.

    Side note: checked out your work, absolutely stunning images!
     
  24. Richard Peters thread starter macrumors regular

    Richard Peters

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    #24
    Appreciated, thanks buddy!
     
  25. Trequartista macrumors newbie

    Trequartista

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    Dec 31, 2016
    #25
    I am a professional photographer.
    I used the Macbook 12 m3 for quite some time with Lightroom. Now I got the max out 15 inch.

    To be honest, I don't feel a perfomance boost as expected. It's a bit faster exporting images, but the diffence would never be worth so much more money.
     

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