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MrLee

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 18, 2005
27
5
Ideally I'd get the 16GB M1 Air for peace of mind, but I have points at a store which would more or less cover the cost of the base 8GB Air. Also they only sell base models, so no chance of putting money to and getting the 16GB.

I've seen numerous videos showing Lightroom working ok, but no proper feedback as to how the performance is in the real world. Basically I'll be editing lots of RAW photos, although only 24 MP files.

Other than that it'll just be the usual browsing, email, music, Pages etc. Nothing too taxing running in combination with Lightroom.

Any real world experience would be much appreciated. Thanks!
 

bb_mac

macrumors member
Jul 22, 2005
52
26
It may be worth waiting to see what the lie of the land is in 2021.

I don't use Lightroom and have moved from Adobe to Affinity, but my wife is in a similar boat to you, as she uses Lightroom extensively. I've suggested she waits - plus she wants a new iMac and it could be some months before that happens.

Adobe is touted to have all the major creative cloud apps on Apple silicon in early 2021.
For now, they will use Rosetta2 emulation - so you are not going to get native speed, obviously.

I think you need to evaluate what apps you really need on a day to day basis before taking the plunge and whether you are:

a. Willing to put up with Rosetta2 emulation for another few months if you get an Apple silicon mac
b. happy with the base model offerings
c. Want to make the plunge now and resell in 12 months - a lot of people have opted for that route, given Macs generally have good resale value.

I had a specific budget and specific needs - all the apps I use for creative content are on Apple Silicon - so I was never going to go beyond the Mac mini base model - I've gone from a Mac Pro 5.1 2010 cheese grating beast that consumes a TON of power, to this tiny little box that wipes the floor with it, so for me, it was a no-brainer.
(Plus I've got my work issued 2018 high spec MacBook Pro for my development needs).
 

MrLee

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 18, 2005
27
5
It may be worth waiting to see what the lie of the land is in 2021.

I don't use Lightroom and have moved from Adobe to Affinity, but my wife is in a similar boat to you, as she uses Lightroom extensively. I've suggested she waits - plus she wants a new iMac and it could be some months before that happens.

Adobe is touted to have all the major creative cloud apps on Apple silicon in early 2021.
For now, they will use Rosetta2 emulation - so you are not going to get native speed, obviously.

I think you need to evaluate what apps you really need on a day to day basis before taking the plunge and whether you are:

a. Willing to put up with Rosetta2 emulation for another few months if you get an Apple silicon mac
b. happy with the base model offerings
c. Want to make the plunge now and resell in 12 months - a lot of people have opted for that route, given Macs generally have good resale value.

I had a specific budget and specific needs - all the apps I use for creative content are on Apple Silicon - so I was never going to go beyond the Mac mini base model - I've gone from a Mac Pro 5.1 2010 cheese grating beast that consumes a TON of power, to this tiny little box that wipes the floor with it, so for me, it was a no-brainer.
(Plus I've got my work issued 2018 high spec MacBook Pro for my development needs).
Thanks a lot. Very good points and more for me to think about and consider.

I have a plenty powerful enough iMac that's got a few good years left in it, so the Air would be just an extra. But still, I want it to be an extra I'm completely happy with.
 

Mistercharlie

macrumors regular
Nov 27, 2020
125
49
Lightroom Classic runs fine, but it spikes the CPU whenever you switch between photos. Also, even with small raw files, when you zoom in and pan around the image, the image freezes every time you move it.

“Normal” Lightroom (non-classic) runs a lot smoother. As does iPad Lightroom, if you install it with the ipa file.
 

ArPe

macrumors 65816
May 31, 2020
1,283
3,306
For batch processing many many images after making selects and applying looks it makes sense to talk about the power of machines.

For editing performance one image at a time any modern computer can handle Lightroom or Capture One. It’s not hard work and those kind of image processing apps often use a low res file to interact with and then apply your settings to the exported high res images.
 

Mistercharlie

macrumors regular
Nov 27, 2020
125
49
For batch processing many many images after making selects and applying looks it makes sense to talk about the power of machines.

For editing performance one image at a time any modern computer can handle Lightroom or Capture One. It’s not hard work and those kind of image processing apps often use a low res file to interact with and then apply your settings to the exported high res images.
I am surprised how much memory it grabs immediately though. I use Lightroom quite a bit (not professionally), and I’m thinking of switching my 8GB M1 mini for a 16.
 

seadragon

Contributor
Mar 10, 2009
1,771
2,895
Ideally I'd get the 16GB M1 Air for peace of mind, but I have points at a store which would more or less cover the cost of the base 8GB Air. Also they only sell base models, so no chance of putting money to and getting the 16GB.

I've seen numerous videos showing Lightroom working ok, but no proper feedback as to how the performance is in the real world. Basically I'll be editing lots of RAW photos, although only 24 MP files.

Other than that it'll just be the usual browsing, email, music, Pages etc. Nothing too taxing running in combination with Lightroom.

Any real world experience would be much appreciated. Thanks!
Have you considered an iPad Pro? Processing photos in Lightroom using an iPad and Pencil is an amazing experience. I much prefer it to a computer. It also does all of the other things you listed quite well.
 

hugodrax

macrumors 65816
Jul 15, 2007
1,082
405
I have a library of over 120K RAW 50 or 20megapixel images from eos1 or 5dsr and it runs great even though its emulated.
 

MrLee

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 18, 2005
27
5
Have you considered an iPad Pro? Processing photos in Lightroom using an iPad and Pencil is an amazing experience. I much prefer it to a computer. It also does all of the other things you listed quite well.
To be honest, no, I haven't. Not even used an Apple Pencil, so will have to give it a try.
 

pugxiwawa

macrumors regular
Nov 10, 2009
238
420
Lightroom Classic is a memory hog. It runs fine though on 8GB/MBA, but is definitely one of those apps that would greatly benefit from having 16GB. If this is not going to be your main machine I think 8GB should work fine.
 

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MrLee

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Sep 18, 2005
27
5
It’s hard to tell, because the app (LR Classic) is very sluggish in general. I hope a native update will fix that.
Yeah, that's a good call. It's not exactly like lightning on my iMac. Never has been. But yeah, a native update could really make a difference, but whether Adobe will manage that remains to be seen...
 

ssmed

macrumors 6502a
Sep 28, 2009
717
307
UK
Yeah, that's a good call. It's not exactly like lightning on my iMac. Never has been. But yeah, a native update could really make a difference, but whether Adobe will manage that remains to be seen...
The reference video I posted above shows it is faster on a MacBook Pro under Rosetta 2 than a 2020 iMac for exporting photos, but RAM hog it definitely was.
 

scalpel_shredr

macrumors newbie
Jun 26, 2019
11
2
Yeah, that's a good call. It's not exactly like lightning on my iMac. Never has been. But yeah, a native update could really make a difference, but whether Adobe will manage that remains to be seen...
I have been playing around with my 8gb/512 MacBook Pro M1.....Lightroom classic is fine as is Photoshop. I don't do heavy work so I thought the 8gb would be fine. Coincidentally, I am having issues with Safari overdoing the memory and refreshing pages when watching web videos
 
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