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  1. #1

    Default Aperture or Lightroom on 2011 MacBook Air 11"

    I plan to get a new Mac soon and really want to get the recently updated MacBook Air 11" with the i7 processor and 4GB Ram and 128GB SSD. The main reason I want this is the size, which is why I never take my '07 2.0 C2D MacBook anywhere anymore. I know this Air will be a lot faster than my current machine. And I also have it plugged into a 23"HD Dell monitor that I can use with the Air as well. I also wanted to get a 21.5 refurb iMac, but will have to wait till early next year to get it. So this MBAir won't be my only photo processing computer, just for the next few months or so.

    The SSD space isn't a concern for me since I recently moved all of my media to a 1TB portable HDD.

    Does anyone have the new Airs and run any photo software on them?
    If so, how does it run?
    Olympus E-PL2 Black, 14mm/2.5, 14-42mm MKII, 40-150mm
    Adapted: Canon FD 50mm/1.8, JCPenney 28mm/2.8 FD-mount

  2. The following member thanks Jordan for this post:

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Sonoran Desert, Arizona
    Real Name


    Here's a great forum that will have lots of answers to your question:

    Mac Rumors: Apple Mac iOS Rumors and News You Care About

  4. The following member thanks DHart for this post:

  5. #3


    I have the 11.6" MBA 2011 edition as well.
    Even though I have the base core i5 model (2GB ram, 64GB SSD, Intel HD video) I find it runs either program just fine.
    My personal preference of late has been more toward LightRoom than Aperture.
    LightRoom honestly runs better on this MBA than my core i7 based Sony F series with 8GB ram, 256GB SSD and nVidia GPU.
    So far anything I have thrown at it (LightRoom, PhotoShop CS5) all work well, so I would think the model you are looking at would be even better.

  6. The following 2 members thank robertmwilliams for this post:

  7. #4


    Thanks for that Robert. From what I've read on other sites is that it will be fine. And a lot of people using Airs as their main computer. Their biggest complaint is the screen size for photo editing, but that doesn't bother me since I have the Dell 23" external to plug it into. I mainly want the 11" for the portability, and occasional photo editing on the road won't be bad.

    Now to make the decision between Lightroom and Aperture. Off to do some more reading for that.
    Olympus E-PL2 Black, 14mm/2.5, 14-42mm MKII, 40-150mm
    Adapted: Canon FD 50mm/1.8, JCPenney 28mm/2.8 FD-mount

  8. #5


    Thanks DHart, I've started to browse around over there too. But also thought I would see what some other Mu-43 members are using.
    Olympus E-PL2 Black, 14mm/2.5, 14-42mm MKII, 40-150mm
    Adapted: Canon FD 50mm/1.8, JCPenney 28mm/2.8 FD-mount

  9. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Real Name


    I'm interested on this thread too! Just bought a 2011 MBA 11". I run LR3.5 on my PC, but plan to make a total switch to Mac. So will likely port over to the Mac version of LR.
    OMD EM5, EM1
    12/2 14/2.5 20/1.7 25/1.4 75/1.8 14-150 45-150
    My FlickR!

  10. #7


    Will that cost you to do that - porting over from one system to the other?


  11. Default

    Get this: I have the older Air; I guess you could call it the second generation model. 2.16GHz, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD. My main machine is a 2006 Mac Pro, which is a four core 2.6GHz Xeon with 7GB RAM and a few 2TB drives. An older system, but it still has twice the CPU power of the Air. I'm running Lightroom. The Mac Pro renders previews faster, but the Air is just as fast in operation.

    The computer geek community has written off this older Air as having a worthless processor, but with the SSD it is easily fast enough to process a daily take on location. And with its low power consumption and light weight it's the perfect laptop to bring in an already overloaded camera bag.

    So, if my slow old Air is fast enough, imagine what the new Air can do with roughly 2x the CPU power. If I could get a new Air with 6TB storage and two 30" monitors hanging off it, I'd throw my Mac Pro out the window in favor of the new Air.

    As for LR vs Aperture, I'd go with LR. I like the interface better (a highly personal choice), Adobe has been consistently faster than Apple at supporting new camera models, and I feel Adobe is more likely to support LR in the long term than Apple is. Apple has a habit of making grand changes in their products that create migration pains.

  12. The following 2 members thank ckrueger for this post:

  13. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    SW Texas Hill Country

    Default Good Thread

    Jeemanee! A lot of folks are getting the new MB Air. They sure are sweet little machines.
    EP-3, EM-5, 12/50, 12mm, 17mm, 14/42mm, 40/150, 75/300, Nikon 400mm f/3.5 AIS IF ED, HLD6, FL 600R

  14. #10


    I hate to be the needle in this haystack ... but (the big but) ... I almost purchased an Air but ended up with a Pro cuz the screen resolution of the Air was only slightly better than an iPad.

    I process most of my stuff on an iMac (more real estate) but the laptop is very handy.

    I strongly recommend that you review screen rez before you purchase ... for some people it will make a difference.


    PS- I run both Aperture and Lightroom, both are excellant, both are pretty equal ... so it's like six of one or a half dozen of another ... either one will do the job and neither one has any particular deficiency. Aperture is definitely less expensive for the equal program. So flip a coin, either program will serve you well and deliver pretty much the same results in the same amount of time. I find Aperture tool usage more to my liking than LR ... your mileage may differ.
    Last edited by GaryAyala; September 1st, 2011 at 09:50 AM.
    "Everywhere you look there are photographs, it is the call of photographers to see and capture them."- Gary Ayala
    My Snaps are Here: Unsharp At Any Speed
    Critiquing my images is welcomed and greatly appreciated.

  15. The following member thanks GaryAyala for this post:

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