Photographers, talk to me about your air and workflow

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by h00ligan, Oct 30, 2010.

  1. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #1
    I bought then instantly sold a base 11", it wasn't fast enough, the screen was too small, etc. I had tried to kid myself and say I'd do all my work on the desktop..wont.

    I'm currently using a 2.4/4/256 pre unibody mbp. It works fine for photography work, not too slow, but it's big. Obviously running filters can occasionally slow things down. I cAn't think the 13/4/256 would be any worse speed wise.

    The idea was to replace my iPad and MacBook pro, but I'm not sure that will go.

    On the flip side, keep the iPad, get a 15 with higher res or a 17"...

    Here's my issue. I manage with lightroom (let's not have an aperture debate ;) ) and there's really no effective way I ccan see to share the libraries. I could point multiple machines to image stores on my nas and try to find some solution for catalog sync only, but from what I've read that's hit or miss.

    Since I know there are other photographers on the board here, I thought I'd ask how you integrated the air, what you do for space, generally see if perhaps you have found a workflow I've missed. Obviously I could just go camera raw, store on the nas, but I genuinely enjoy using lightroom.
     
  2. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #2
    Do you really plan to use an MBA for full time edits? I'll tell you that on my old 2006 MBP, Aperture really slowed with use, though partially from the HDD over an SDD in the new MBAs.

    My plan is to use the MBA for on site focus / detail checks, but use my desktop (iMac i7) for all the heavy lifting - it's really just not that doable on a machine of this caliber IMO, but at the minimum pulling images for a quick 100% review should be fine.
     
  3. ccolaco macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    #3
    First of all, I would not buy a MBA as my primary photography work machine. I have a 27" iMac/11.6 MBA set up at the moment. Take my MBA with me while on shoots, upload pics from my DSLR. Maybe do some light touch up. Then import them all onto my iMac at home and start my full edits. From experience, Aperture (my batch editing program of choice) can get extermely slow on any portable lower than the 15" Unibody. Photoshop filters can be slow as well. I had a 2.4 13" MBP and Aperture was workable but not very efficient. The whole reason I bought my MBA was because of the iMac I have at home.
     
  4. vraxtus macrumors 65816

    vraxtus

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #4
    Seconded! And even on my i7 iMac, Aperture slows at times. You may be a little hard pressed to find LR users here I'm going to assume :)
     
  5. h00ligan thread starter macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #5
    Yah, I'm not trying to use it as the only, but speed wise it should be similar to my 15" pre unibody 2.4.

    The main issue I have right now is sharing the damn lightroom catalogs. Maybe I should just consolidate everything into a 17", keep the iPad, callit a day.

    Fwiw aperture always seemed slower to me and I'll go on record saying camera raw yields better results :D let me don that flame suit know :)

    Thanks for the replies.
     
  6. teski macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #6
    Hey h00ligan

    I know you from dpreview, and I'm sure you'll recognize my alias as well. :) I bought a maxed out 13" MBA, and CS5 is flying on it! It's boots super quickly and I didn't see any slowness in my normal edits. I'm sure it will get taxed from time to time, but I'm really pleased.

    Unfortunately, my unit had an issue with the display so Apple is replacing it with a new one next week.

    Still though, I'm really looking forward to using this as my main laptop.
     
  7. h00ligan thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Apr 10, 2003
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    A hot desert
    #7
    Hey teski, nice to see you here :)

    Thanks for your feedback...since getting the iPad vie been looking for a more robust solution that is portable.

    Are you also in the aperture camp? I guess I have to start splitting lightroom libraries more often...
     
  8. JCT macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2004
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    #8
    LR3 user here -- I gave up sharing catalogs over the network awhile ago, just way too much hassle and slowdowns made me crazy. My catalogs are all on my main machine and backed up x 2 (one off-site).

    I still have a Rev A MBA (installed a 64GB Runcore to maintain my sanity). To be perfectly honest, I was never comfortable using the MBA to do anything serious to my pics in the field for 2 reasons. 1) I found the 13.3" screen a bit confining and 2) the screen quality just wasn't as good as my SR 15" MBP (the last matte screen model). Bottom line is when I took my serious gear out on a shooting trip, the 15" MBP came along.

    My main computer at home is a MacPro and the entire system is color calibrated, so I'm kind of careful about field edits.

    I also take non photo-centric trips but always have a camera with me. I've discovered that uploading my pics to my iPad (and keeping the CF/SD cards as backup) works great for culling and quick edits on the jpg (I shoot RAW + jpg) for posting from the field or emailing. When I get home I import the culled shots directly into LR. It works *great*.

    I have an 11.6" ultimate on order and while I will likely stick with my iPad approach, I could easily imagine using the new MBA in a similar manner.

    My $0.02
     
  9. Regaj macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2006
    Location:
    Virginia
    #9
    Although I have LR3 and CS5 loaded on my MBA's (11"/1.6/4/128 picked up today; and a mid-2009 13"/2.13/2/128 SSD), that's only to have access to them for incidental or very limited use. As you note, the problem of keeping catalogs sync'd is a big reason to avoid editing on two machines.

    My primary photography editing takes place on my 15" 2.53 MBP.

    My Air's have been and will remain traveling machines when significant photography editing is not anticipated.
     
  10. vow macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2010
    #10
    I shot the entire day today (~850 pictures) and just had my first brief run with LR3 on the 13" MBA. I haven't gone through everything yet but I can say that it works as smooth, if not better, than using LR3 on my mid-2009 15" MBP with a 2.66GHz CPU and 6GB of RAM. The only performance hit I've seen so far is with exporting pictures.

    The Air replaced my MBP so all I really did to "integrate" it was to move my photos to an external hd and then move the catalog over. For space, I plan on using an external hd since 128GB won't cut it. After importing the photos from today, I am down to 10GB of free space on my MBA :p
     
  11. h00ligan thread starter macrumors 68030

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    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    A hot desert
    #11
    Thanks for the info...sorry for the delayed response.
     
  12. magbarn macrumors 68000

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #12
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    My 13 MBA ultimate is "ok" for uploading and editing my 12MP D700 files. Lightroom loads super fast, loads pics fast too, but the moment you start doing batch processing the machine slows down compared to my i7-950 hackintosh. Another beef is the lack of a high speed port to offload my files. On my MBP I had a gigE and FW800 ports to upload and download pics. Now I don't and usb2.0 is dog slow. Also my sandisk USB cf reader is much slower than the FW800 reader. Of course all these complaints would be worse editing 5dmkii files. Good travel machine but not a good main portable photo editor at all. I'll be keeping my 2010 mbp i7 15 with sandforce SSD for that purpose.
     
  13. billy baxton macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2010
    #13
    forget about using a MBA for any major retouching. I'm a fashion photographer. its silly to use this thing for any serious retouching. well, my statement applies to my 11 inch max. I'm sure the 13 inch is only slightly better. if you have a MBP why would you use your mba for retouching.
     
  14. rnb2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Location:
    West Haven, CT, USA
    #14
    I have a 2009 i7 iMac to do heavy editing, so I'm going to pick up an 11.6/4/64 MBA for travel. While I will load PS CS5/LR3/Aperture 3.1 on it to have them available, I expect that Photo Mechanic will be my primary tool while on the road.

    It doesn't create a catalog of any sort, so I don't have to worry about merging when I get home (though Aperture handles this much more elegantly than LR). I use Photo Mechanic to download from my CF cards (5D2 and 7D) - it handles automatic renaming of files on import and automatic creation of folders. After import, I use it to apply hierarchical keywords, apply geotags, and some image labeling for later processing. I plan to use Photo Mechanic in exactly the same way on the MBA, and just copy the photos to my iMac when I get home and then import into LR3 and Aperture.

    If you are using LR3 as your primary workflow tool, Photo Mechanic will coexist with it very well - all keywords, labels, ratings, etc are completely compatible with Adobe's standards, so everything imports into LR very cleanly.

    I plan to carry two external drives for storing images - a 128GB Patriot SSD and a 160GB spinning hard drive for backup. The MBA will be replacing an aluminum unibody MacBook, so the lack of FireWire won't be an actual loss. I'll be able to carry the MBA and an iPad for less weight than the MacBook.
     
  15. teski macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #15
    Because I don't want to travel with my MBPro. That's why I bought the air! :) I've used my maxed out 13 a few times on the road with CS5 and have had no issues. I don't do batch processing all that often though. I hit each image separately most of the time.
     
  16. Appleind macrumors regular

    Appleind

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    #16
    I would use MBP anyday for photo edits. I havent really tried on MBA. May be i will and post a response
     
  17. koobcamuk macrumors 68040

    koobcamuk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #17
    I am only an amateur photographer, and do relatively little in terms of editing, but really fancy a MBA 11" for portability and being able to write my blog/compute from many places.

    I have an iPad at the moment, which I envisage it replacing.... but I just don't know :confused:
     
  18. Appleind macrumors regular

    Appleind

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2010
    #18
    Are you planning to run Aperture or just happy with iPhoto
     
  19. koobcamuk macrumors 68040

    koobcamuk

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    #19
    I suppose I would run Aperture. I shoot RAW and don't know my way around iPhoto at all, except that I know it duplicates photos when making edits, which means the tiny MBA drive would get filled in a heartbeat.

    All I would do is a crop, watermark, upload and blog...
     

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