Which MacBook Pro for Photographer 13 inch or 15 inch? 2.4 or 2.66? Totally confused.


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 6, 2010
I have been planning to buy a Mac specifically for editing photo and videos and would like your opinion.

Since I am planning to buy a Mac only for editing photos and videos,
What screen size would you suggest? 13 inch or 15 inch? And is it worth buying a MacBook Pro 13 inch 2.4 (@ $1100) versus 15inch core 5i (@ $1700)
How much would 2.4 and 2.66 differ in computing power?

I almost think that 13 inch and 15 inch won't make much difference but 15 inch 5i also comes with extra graphic card, so I am confused?:confused:

Right now I use a camera that has RAW images at 5MB or so. In future I plan to upgrade to a full frame DSLR 22 MP or so. That would mean bigger file sizes.

What would you do? Photo peeps with Mac advise.

Yeah guys, I did read all the other MacBook Pro thread, but none mention what they are planning to use it for.

Update 1 (*Edited: 8/8 8:55pm)
Another option that I am thinking about is upgrading 13 inch RAM later to 8GB or so. Would that be comparable to 15inch 5i?

Please advise.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2010
IMO, go with the 15"

The difference between the two computers is the Intel processor. The 13" uses a Core 2 Duo, while the 15" uses the newer Core i5. The differences in speed would vary a little bit between the two machines, but not by great leaps and bounds.

And about the graphics, the Core i processors have a graphics switching feature that you can read more about here: http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/performance.html

Hope that helps a bit.


macrumors regular
Apr 3, 2010
IMO, go with the 15"
+1 the 15" i5 will be way faster than either o the c2d 13" machines and that extra procsessing power is needed alot for rendering the raw files in aperture and is always useful to have in Photoshop for heavy transforms filters ECt the outher great thing about the 15" is the bigger screen it is great to have that extra real estate (screen space/pixels) when in apature reviewin or processing your files and good for Photoshop to. It is also good beaucase you can leve your laptop on a table with a selection of the days best photos on a slide show with a black cloth over the keyboard and then business cards scattered onto of the cloth this let's people (client /s wedding guests) look and coo and be imprest by what they think to be a random sample of you stunning work and will help get sales from guests pickin up a business card and booking you for their weeding think of it as an investment it will last you longer than the outhee Mbp

FYI the graphics card in the 15" is a million times better and that's useful because aperture uses both the powerful CPU and powerful graph card to render the raw files and the previews wich will become especially important as you upgrAde cams

Just out of interest what camera body do you use ATM that only produces 5mb raws even my beginners 400d has bigger raws than that I assume you shoot canon as nikon dosent do a 21 mp camera that you wanted to upgrade to


macrumors 6502
Oct 12, 2008
Sydney, Australia
from one

Been a photographer myself I would advise the 15" I own one however mine is the 2.53Ghz before the i5 or i7 became available.

You will not regret going 15 over 13


macrumors member
Dec 2, 2008
Palo Alto, CA
For photo and video, the 15" screen makes a world of difference over the 13". I might have said go with 13" plus a big external display, but since you're shooting RAW, you''ll appreciate the increased power. Still -- you should consider an external monitor now or down the road.

Just to check -- have you considered whether an iMac might also fit your needs? Do you need the portability? Just cause there's more bang and screen size for your buck with that option.


macrumors regular
Feb 15, 2010
I would go for the largest screen size possible for photography. If cash is tight and you don't need portability go for an imac 27" . If you have cash to burn or need portability go for 15" mbp and buy a 27" cinema display. The processing power on all new macs is more than good enough for photography... the screen is what really matters for your use. 13" are pretty much useless for photos. Even the 15" and 17" are too small really.


macrumors 68000
Sep 30, 2007
NSW, Australia.
I have a 13" MBP, by itself it's definitely not ideal for the photography work you describe. It's fine for a quick edits on the move.

I suggest get as big as you can, ideally a 17" if you work on location a lot.
If your less mobile, I'll recommend what others have mentioned - a good quality external display.

If you do go the 15", I highly recommend you upgrade the screen to the 1680 x 1050 option for more working space.


macrumors 68000
Mar 12, 2007
Manchester, UK
Screen size is all, so I'd go for 15".

But I would have thought you'd require something better than a laptop for photography. An iMac or a Mac Mini with a 24" screen would be better than crouching over a laptop.
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