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Need_Advice

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 9, 2020
23
10
I‘m looking for a device that I can use to edit my raw photos from a camera during my photo trips. My options would be either the new iPad Mini, iPad Pro or MBA M1. As they‘re all in the same price range (except the Mini, but 200€ difference wouldn‘t hurt) it‘s quite a hard decision.

My main requirement for the device is photo (LR) and video (Luma Fusion / FCPX) editing as well as some social media browsing. I really like the form factor of the Mini but at the same time I‘d love to be able to make a backup of my pics on an external drive, which seems only be possible on a MB. Sure, it‘d work with an iPad too but as you can‘t connect two external storage devices at the same time it‘s quite inconvenient. Especially when backing up a full 128 GB SD card.

I‘d love to hear your opinion / experience about this use case of one of these devices.
 

jz0309

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Sep 25, 2018
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That's the purpose of my M1 MBA, LR and light PS editing when not at home ... of course my config is way more pricey what you are looking for, see my sig ...
 
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Need_Advice

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 9, 2020
23
10
That's the purpose of my M1 MBA, LR and light PS editing when not at home ... of course my config is way more pricey what you are looking for, see my sig ...
Thanks for the reply. What made you decide for a laptop instead of a tablet? I think even the base model of the MBA M1 should handle Lr + Ps with ease.
 

jz0309

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Sep 25, 2018
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Thanks for the reply. What made you decide for a laptop instead of a tablet? I think even the base model of the MBA M1 should handle Lr + Ps with ease.
ever owned an iPad, my wife does and it is great as a consumption device, not so much a “creation” device imho. And/or im an old school kinda guy and prefer laptops, but also, Photo organization is clunky at best on an iPad, again imho.
I went for 16GB mainly because PS is a RAM hog and LR is a CPU hog which is why opted for the 8 core GPU (even though that comes with the 16GB anyway if I recall). I had a 2019 16 MBP before and the MBA did as good and maybe slightly better with my LR/PS testing. I posted my initial impressions in the Digital Photography sub forum…
 

Slartibart

macrumors 68030
Aug 19, 2020
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Sure, it‘d work with an iPad too but as you can‘t connect two external storage devices at the same time it‘s quite inconvenient. Especially when backing up a full 128 GB SD card.
Well carrying a hub you can easily connect and copy between to external devices directly when you use FileBrowser Go/Pro on the iPad.
I‘d love to hear your opinion / experience about this use case of one of these devices.
last year I made a similar decision (so I don’t do video, only RAWs): iPad Pro or Macbook - at the end I chose the iPP. The screen is much better. Otherwise you have to get used to a different work flow - RAWPower, Pixelmator Photo, Affinity Photo, SnapSeed, FileBrowser Professional and a Uni USB-C hub, a Samsung T5 or T7 as backup medium, that should cover you on the iPP. (plus some small apps… just for convenience ?)
 
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ApfelKuchen

macrumors 601
Aug 28, 2012
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If you're on the go, portability/weight may be a consideration. Back when I first adopted iPad (that was the first generation iPad, btw) and abandoned carrying a laptop, it was something like a 3 lb. difference in my day pack between a G4 Powerbook and iPad. That added up to about two additional lenses or a tripod. That weight gap has narrowed, but iPad Pro (even with a Magic Keyboard) is still about 1 lb. lighter than a MBA.

For serious photo editing I'd go with iPad Pro over mini for the display size and the USB-C connection (which will allow you to work with an external HD), despite the higher weight.

In the end, though, your most important tool for photo editing is the editing software. If you're a total whiz with a desktop editing app you have to ask yourself whether you want to adapt to a different user interface and capabilities.

I also prefer iPad to a laptop when showing off images to others - it's easier to pass around.
 

Need_Advice

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 9, 2020
23
10
Well carrying a hub you can easily connect and copy between to external devices directly when you use FileBrowser Go/Pro on the iPad.
[...]
Thanks for the suggestion! Do you mean a USB-C hub that splits into multiple USB-C's / other connectors? Is Apple Files not capable of showing multiple connected drives and you have to use 3rd party apps for this? ?
If you're on the go, portability/weight may be a consideration. Back when I first adopted iPad (that was the first generation iPad, btw) and abandoned carrying a laptop, it was something like a 3 lb. difference in my day pack between a G4 Powerbook and iPad. That added up to about two additional lenses or a tripod. That weight gap has narrowed, but iPad Pro (even with a Magic Keyboard) is still about 1 lb. lighter than a MBA.
That's definitely something to consider. I usually leave the device in the car and when I get back from hiking I like to view the photos, sort them and do some basic editing in LR. But sure, you won't feel a lof of difference in weight when carrying an iPad mini compared to a MBA.
For serious photo editing I'd go with iPad Pro over mini for the display size and the USB-C connection (which will allow you to work with an external HD), despite the higher weight.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the new Mini has USB-C, too. Regarding the display - do you mean 60 Hz vs 120 Hz? Or are there any differences in terms of colors?
In the end, though, your most important tool for photo editing is the editing software. If you're a total whiz with a desktop editing app you have to ask yourself whether you want to adapt to a different user interface and capabilities.
I start editing my photos in LR and then export them to PS. My intention was to do the LR part on-the-go and the serious stuff at home.


Well, I think I need to go for both an iPad and MBA ? The only point that speaks for a MBA would be easier file handling, as @jz0309 mentioned in #4. Does anybody have some experience how a MBA base model performs in LR / PS? I feel like the 8GB RAM might be an issue.

Btw, awesome forum. Thanks everybody for your input.
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
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I start editing my photos in LR and then export them to PS. My intention was to do the LR part on-the-go and the serious stuff at home.

Well, I think I need to go for both an iPad and MBA ? The only point that speaks for a MBA would be easier file handling, as @jz0309 mentioned in #4. Does anybody have some experience how a MBA base model performs in LR / PS? I feel like the 8GB RAM might be an issue.

Btw, awesome forum. Thanks everybody for your input.
Take a look at the thread I posted above, there are some comments from folks running 8GB RAM M1s, plus there have been multiple threads on that topic unfortunately in multiple subforms so they're hard to find.

Do you use LR Classic? I do, and my photo library is ~75k and growing, so I want tp use the same tool on the go as for home, so for me an iPad would be out of the question. I might take 500 or even more photos on a day, and using LR to skull and get a quick look is easy enough to do, for me that is.
My editing is probably 90%+ in LR, just when you do want to do some serious editing in PS, I'm just not convinced that 8GB will be enough, will it work, yes, will it swap? yes. But maybe you will be ok with that performance, I just don't want to limit myself "artificially" and spend more money upfront.
 

dk001

macrumors demi-god
Oct 3, 2014
10,715
15,051
Sage, Lightning, and Mountains
Thanks for the suggestion! Do you mean a USB-C hub that splits into multiple USB-C's / other connectors? Is Apple Files not capable of showing multiple connected drives and you have to use 3rd party apps for this? ?

That's definitely something to consider. I usually leave the device in the car and when I get back from hiking I like to view the photos, sort them and do some basic editing in LR. But sure, you won't feel a lof of difference in weight when carrying an iPad mini compared to a MBA.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the new Mini has USB-C, too. Regarding the display - do you mean 60 Hz vs 120 Hz? Or are there any differences in terms of colors?

I start editing my photos in LR and then export them to PS. My intention was to do the LR part on-the-go and the serious stuff at home.


Well, I think I need to go for both an iPad and MBA ? The only point that speaks for a MBA would be easier file handling, as @jz0309 mentioned in #4. Does anybody have some experience how a MBA base model performs in LR / PS? I feel like the 8GB RAM might be an issue.

Btw, awesome forum. Thanks everybody for your input.

Sort of the same setup - LR on iPad Pro 11 and the PS on MB and Thinkpad.
For RAM, more is always better! My MB and X280 each have 16.
 

Slartibart

macrumors 68030
Aug 19, 2020
2,912
2,627
Thanks for the suggestion! Do you mean a USB-C hub that splits into multiple USB-C's / other connectors? Is Apple Files not capable of showing multiple connected drives and you have to use 3rd party apps for this? ?
Apple’s Files will show all connected drives. And as of iPadOS 15 the UI has improved when e.g. copying files. IMHO Filebrowser is still far ahead with e.g. its tab-view, multiple files renaming, reliability, &&&.

One general comment: wether in LR, RAWPower or any of the other programs mentioned: it’s a joy to work on photos with a pencil on an iPad.
 

Need_Advice

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 9, 2020
23
10
Apple’s Files will show all connected drives. And as of iPadOS 15 the UI has improved when e.g. copying files. IMHO Filebrowser is still far ahead with e.g. its tab-view, multiple files renaming, reliability, &&&.

One general comment: wether in LR, RAWPower or any of the other programs mentioned: it’s a joy to work on photos with a pencil on an iPad.
Thanks for that! I just ordered the iPad Pro 11“. I have an Apple USB-C Multi AV to USB-C and USB-A (and HDMI). That should work for connecting my USB-C to SD adapter and a USB-A external drive at the same time. But I probably go for a USB-C Hub as you mentioned above as most of the new external SSDs are USB-C only.

The fact that data backup is indeed possible with an iPad made me decide over an MBA. So thanks again for that.

Some other reasons, for those who are facing the same decision, were:
-faster transferring rates than the Mini due to Thunderbolt
-Jelly Scrolling would already kill the experience for me
-Mini is too expensive for what you get
-can use the iPad also at home for couch stuff
-download Netflix series offline (not sure if this is possible on the M1 MBA. Is it?)
-120 Hz
-MBA would not add a lot of value as I already own a MBP16 which I don‘t use for on-the-go purposes due to short battery life and long charging time

Thanks everybody for your answers.
 
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jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
10,226
26,765
SoCal
Thanks for that! I just ordered the iPad Pro 11“. I have an Apple USB-C Multi AV to USB-C and USB-A (and HDMI). That should work for connecting my USB-C to SD adapter and a USB-A external drive at the same time. But I probably go for a USB-C Hub as you mentioned above as most of the new external SSDs are USB-C only.

The fact that data backup is indeed possible with an iPad made me decide over an MBA. So thanks again for that.

Some other reasons, for those who are facing the same decision, were:
-faster transferring rates than the Mini due to Thunderbolt
-Jelly Scrolling would already kill the experience for me
-Mini is too expensive for what you get
-can use the iPad also at home for couch stuff
-download Netflix series offline (not sure if this is possible on the M1 MBA. Is it?)
-120 Hz
-MBA would not add a lot of value as I already own a MBP16 which I don‘t use for on-the-go purposes due to short battery life and long charging time

Thanks everybody for your answers.
Good luck and pls report back with your experience
 
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