Photographers Using MacAir, Enlighten Me

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by temptedbuyer, Oct 7, 2014.

  1. temptedbuyer macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2014
    Hi everyone,

    I'm a hobbyist event photographer. Currently I'm getting professional projects so I'm planning to replace my 2-yr old notebook for a speedier photoshop and lightroom workflow. Currently the specs I'm working with is 1.4 Ghz AMD-E1 32 bit. I don't have problems with Jpeg files. I edit 10-15 images on lightroom (then exporting files to photoshop, if needed) in one sitting and my unit does the job in 30 minutes, although it's really slow. But lately, since I've been getting more and more pro projects, I will have to work on raw files and I want to speed up my post-processing time.

    I wonder if MacAir 13" 4 gb will suffice. Below will comprise my workflow.

    1. import more or less 50 raw files (32mb each) into Lightroom, use global adjustments to each file (or VSCO preset) and, if needed, edit some files in photoshop as an external editor. In photoshop, I use maximum 10 layers (Viveza 2, Topaz Detail 3, Exposure 6 Blur tool, etc..).... and then save it as Tiff for future adjustments. (I have an allowance of 10 hours to finish all of them)

    2. I want to learn video editing... I look forward to working on 3-6 minute video 1080p files. I don't want to incorporate intense filters. I may be using basic transitions, add some music, and texts. I prefer a minimalist approach.

    3. (This is also important) I work part time for an advertising company, and I use Google services (adwords, drive, docs, calendar, analytics). I usually open 2 browsers with 7 tabs each at the same time.

    Do you think the Air can handle all these 3 requirements I have with only 4gb ram? I live in the Philippines, so buying a BTO 8gb unit takes a month or two (I called the power mac center here) before I can get it. I cannot wait due to some project deadlines. I'm planning to get one next week if any answer will solve my problem.


    I really want to own an Air for travel and longevity concern. I see myself doing humanitarian work in the next three years, so weight is also a major factor.

    I have been using windows laptops for 6 years now and I replace my unit every two years. So changing brands may be cost effective in the run up. If the 4 gb ram can't handle the requirements, I will consider buying another windows'

    So, your help will really help me.
  2. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    As soon as you enter the realm of video editing, you're going to want a better GPU and CPU for 1080p editing. Even the base MacBook Pro 13" with the Intel Iris is much better than the HD 5000. If you don't plan on doing video editing often, you might be okay... I would go into a store (if you can) and try editing some files on the floor model to see how it responds.
  3. motrek macrumors 68020

    Sep 14, 2012
    Any current MacBook with an i5 processor will be SO much faster than your AMD-E1 that you will be startled by the difference.

    The video editing that you're describing will require minimal processing. A base model MBA will be fine for that. It really doesn't take any processing power to add music and text and whatnot to video. Heavy processing comes in if you're adding a lot of complicated effects/filters.
  4. MacModMachine macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2009

    i am completely a hobbyist photographer, i shoot withthe nex5t and do some small video stuff.

    i have the air 4g/1.3/128g , so far i have never had an issue with it not performing.

    i do alot of googleapps and office 365 management along with some web development and server management and can have 10 windows open easily. This has never been a problem as far as speed , right nowi have numbers , pages . itunes , devonthink , chorme with 11 tabs open and my memory is sitting at 52% (using yosemite).

    if you are worried about ram , get the 8gb for the little it costs.

    I ended getting this air for 200$ because it was waterdamaged and i fixed it myself , otherwise i would have gotten the 8g.

    check out the STM trust bag , its fantastic for carrying around alot of stuff including camera and laptop and its tiny. Compliments the air 13" nicely!

    good luck
  5. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I used to do a lot of video work but not so much anymore. At that time I was using a 2008 15" MBP. I still do a few projects, and my 2013 11" i7/8gb/512gb MBA literally runs circles around that old machine. I shoot 1080p Sony XDCAM EX and the MBA has no problem handling that with my old version of Final Cut Pro.

    For the video projects you describe, I'm sure the MBA will be more than adequate. My 2011 i5 MBA also was fine for this, the main difference with the new machine is faster rendering.

    As for the photoshop stuff, my usage is much less intense so I can't really comment. But the MBA is actually a very powerful little computer. I have used one as a primary machine for three and a half years and am really happy. The larger SSDs (256 and 512) are incredibly fast (over 700 MB/s), so get the largest you can afford and things will really fly. :)
  6. temptedbuyer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 7, 2014
    Thanks a lot, guys. That was fast. Now I'm going to the mac center to get one.

Share This Page