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Feedback from Macbook Pro users?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by aidanw, Feb 16, 2016.

  1. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    I'm running a Windows 10 laptop set up at the moment, but the processor is made for long battery life rather than grunt, and I'm looking at secondhand i7 Macbook Pro Retina 15's in the price range I can afford. (I've considered other models such as the higher end Lenovos, Dells, but the MBPr seems to tick all the options for grunt and portability with a nice screen, for the same budget).

    Would like to hear feedback from other MBP/MBPr users.
    Did you switch from Windows, and how was that? Did you find you needed to get Parallels or is Bootcamp okay?
    I'm looking at a MBPr 15 with the i7 3720QM, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD. Any feedback on this as to your experience with it?
    I've noticed some MBPr's have scratches on the screen from dust/dirt which causes white spots. Is this annoying and best to avoid buying one with that problem?
    For those who switched from Windows, any regrets?

    I have a mix of m43 and FF systems and process raw photos in LR CC. The 24mp FF files are largest but I shoot with it much less. It's all hobby kind of work, I've stopped doing paid photography several years ago. I've a small child and limited ish budget.

    Current set up is: Lenovo X1 Carbon laptop, 14" 1600x900 (75% of sRGB), 256GB SSD which is where the catalog and previews are.
    I have this hooked up to a Dell 27" wide gamut monitor and kind of docked using USB3. It works well and the laptop is amazing, there's little I'd change about it for portability/non photo work, but the processor is an i5 3427U and that's just not cutting the mustard when it comes to Lightroom.
    All my photos are on a NAS connected over wired gigabit. I thought about upgrading this, as I know there are newer and faster options, but when I checked how long LR actually spends reading/writing to the NAS it was minimal. The time spent with all CPU cores at 100% as far more significant.

    To confirm I need a faster processor I copied my LR catalog onto a work Windows laptop with an i7-4800MQ, connected it to the NAS where my photos were, and did some side by side speed tests at the same screen resolution. The i7 laptop, despite not having SSD, flew through photos and made LR feel super snappy.

    Thanks for any advice/experiences shared!
     
  2. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    I have a 2013 13" rMBP with 8GB RAM and a 256GB SSD. For editing files in LR, it's perfectly fine. It's fine for editing 1080p video as well. 4K from my GH4 makes it bog down a little, but even then it's still fine.

    a 15" rMBP will be fine for editing pictures on.

    As for the Windows to OSX transition, it certainly took some getting used to, and there are still some things I don't care for, but it's really not that bad. I'd say the hardware more than makes up for the learning curve, and once you're up to speed I'm sure you'll love it.
     
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  3. Runefh

    Runefh Mu-43 Rookie

    21
    Jul 26, 2015
    Denmark
    I'm on a 13" i5 MBP (2015), 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. It's not super fast when doing a series on 100+ images in Aperture. Don't know if it is Aperture or the MBP but you should definitely opt for i7 and more 16GB RAM, if you can.
    But choosing OS X over Windows for this specific purpose, with no prior experience with OS X. I think you have to have other arguments too, there will be a learning curve, though it is just an operating system not quantum mechanics. But you should be prepared for and willing to take that challenge also. Plus will your current editing program work on OS X?

    Think about it and if you wish to switch, go for it. But don'r rush in, just because the grass seems greener when viewed from a distance.
     
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  4. Speedliner

    Speedliner Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 2, 2015
    Southern NJ, USA
    Rob
    We're an all iOS household so we thought a migration to OSX was logical we tried OS X with a couple of next upgrades. My PC will always be Windows for compatibility purposes, but for the wife and kids, we thought we'd give it a try.

    Mission a failure. Twice. We, (surprisingly even the kids) never warmed up to OS X. It was NOT trouble free in comparison to Windows in our opinion. It still had quirks and problems. Some of it was familiarity of course, but in the end we found no benefit in performance, reliability of the h/w or s/w, or usability overall. So we went back. In fact I couldn't get the 21.5 iMac out of here fast enough. :)

    I think its just what you know vs what you don't unless there is a specific app or two that you need that is exclusive to one platform or the other.

    My wife currently uses a HP Spectre 360 laptop that she thinks is just as attractive as a MacBook pro and has been a stellar performer for her. We have all upgraded to Windows 10 and are very happy with it.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2016
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  5. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    I've got a late 2013 rMBP 15 with the QuadCore i7, 16GB of Ram and a terabyte SSD. It is very fast and has been working well. I certainly don't wait for it.

    The only advantage a newer MBP 15 will give you over an old one is a better dedicated GPU (r370m AMD) and a slightly faster SSD. The main architecture has remained unchanged (since late 2013 is has been Haswell). Well and the force touch trackpad ;-).
     
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  6. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    The only real reason I want OSX over windows is the UNIX core. At least you can find out what happened if you know what you are looking for. Windows is very opaque in this regard.
     
  7. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    683
    Sep 20, 2014
    York, UK
    Here's what I use on a daily basis:

    Windows 7
    Windows 10
    Ubuntu Linux 14.04
    Mac OSX 10.10.5 (Yosemite)

    I choose to run PS & LR on my iMac 27" and my MacBookPro 17" 2.5Ghz i7 (last of the 17" models) instead of Windows.

    Why? Honestly, personal preference. It's really nothing more than that. As far as Lightroom and Photoshop are concerned they are the same on both platforms, as are MS Word, MS Excel too. There are small variations in MS Outlook (some better, some worse from one to the other). Chrome & Firefox are pretty much the same too, though on the Mac I tend to use Safari and on Windows I tend to use Edge more than either Chrome or Firefox.

    The things I like about OSX that keeps me here as a base system are TimeMachine (I've had reason to call on it several times) and the fact that I can run VMWare Fusion (I prefer it to Parallels) to run all three OS's (OSX, Windows, Linux) on the same machine, whereas neither Windows or Linux will let me do that. As I'm sat here I have OSX, Windows 10 (virtual machine) and Linux (virtual machine) running on the same machine.

    Seriously, it's all personal preference. There is no 'killer' OS.

    OTOH, I'm eyeing up the Surface Pro 4 as a small carry around tablet + keyboard. Just wish it could run OSX ;) If only Apple would make something like this too instead of a crippled iPadPro with iOS :(
     
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  8. ashburtononline

    ashburtononline Mu-43 Veteran

    390
    Jan 21, 2015
    New Zealand
    Bought a HP top line laptop 5 years ago for $2K and sold it three years later for $100 .... it was dog slow at the end. Bought a MBP i7 two years ago (refurb) for $1500 and its still worth $1K I'd guess. Switched my computers from PC to Mac 4/5 years ago .... 2x Mac Pros and an i5 iMac and I'd never go back. I run Windows via Parallels and it works perfectly but I just find OSX much more user friendly. For me, Lightroom CC works just as well under OSX as Windows.
     
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  9. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    I can't imagine that I would be happy with a 15" screen for photo work. 24" is barely adequate. If I had the pesos I'd double up or add a 27-30.
     
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  10. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    Larry
    By far the best Windows experience is Windows in a VM IMO. The separation of the hardware from the OS really helps.
     
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  11. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    thanks for the feedback, yep I've identified the i7 quad-core as CPU of choice. I'm not convinced about 16GB RAM but appreciate your feedback.

    I've used Mac OSX regularly over the years and although there are some things I dislike about it and the hardware (I'll shed a tear at losing my dedicated PgUp/PgDn/Home/End keys), I'm good with switching to it. The software I use (MS Office, LR, Photoshop, Premiere Elements) is dual license so will work and I've got a spare Win 8.1 license unused that I'll put on it in one form or another.

    True, as the quote goes the grass might just greener because it's fertilised with bulls...
     
  12. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    Yikes, that sounds costly! But thanks for that feedback. It's good to hear a balance of views on this
     
  13. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    I had read briefly on Parallels vs Fusion. If you don't mind explaining, why did you pick Fusion? Most reports I read were in favour of Parallels for the speed and integration so I'm interested why Fusion was better for you?

    We have Surface Pro's at work and the SP4 is quite a nice device! Lovely size and portability. The screen is beautiful and the 4 fixes a lot of complaints of the 3. I'm not a huge fan of the kick stand at the back vs. a normal laptop but most people seem to still use it on their laps okay. Had no hardware issues with them yet, just a couple of minor compatibility things such as not all MiniDP to HDMI adapters working.
     
  14. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    Thanks! Do you wish you got the Retina MBP or is it just fine without Retina if you're using an external screen anyway?
     
  15. aidanw

    aidanw Mu-43 Regular

    116
    Nov 19, 2012
    Wellington, NZ
    I'm using a 14" ultrabook at the moment and love the portability. It means I can take the laptop anywhere easily, so going to a 15" I'm already thinking oooh that's a bit bigger! :)
    90% of my photo editing is sitting down at the desk plugged into a 27", it's that I'd like to still retain the flexibility of moving the laptop around or throwing it in a cycle pannier to take somewhere.

    I also find that photo work covers a broad brush: importing (low res is fine), flagging/culling (high res large screen optimal to find blurries etc), editing (high res again), tagging (low res is okay, keyboard more important), managing photos (speed of connection to NAS most important). Out of those most do need a big screen but not all tasks.

    My flatmate has the MBP 17" and that's a big beasty! Bought by mistake after their 15 was stolen and thought they had the biggest MBP made, so got the 17 secondhand as a replacement. They do love it though.
     
  16. slmoore

    slmoore Mu-43 Regular

    43
    Feb 15, 2014
    Oklahoma
    I switched from Windows to Mac about 3 years ago. It started at a new job at work, and within about 6 months we made the switch at home too. I love the Mac hardware. OS X is OK. Probably the main thing that bothered me was the menu bar being at the top of the screen instead of attached to the window I was working on (not so much a problem on a smaller screen but on a big screen that can be a long ways away). There are a few other quirks regarding positioning windows that third party apps have helped.

    At work I run Windows 7 in a Parallels VM. VMWare Fusion would likely be fine too - although I heard VMWare recently laid off that entire department so its future may not be as solid. There are only a few things I need to do there. Latest versions for Office for Mac are good, if it is something that you still use.

    I have not made the jump to Lightroom yet, and am just using OS X Photos app. I like the iCloud Photo Library sharing to get to photos no matter what device I am on. (Fortunately my photos are well below the 1TB iCloud storage limit, and I expect the limit to increase as my storage needs do.) I need to find something better for post processing, but I like iCloud Photo Library well enough that whatever I do will likely just be an intermediate step prior to moving the photos to Photos as its final resting place.
     
  17. ashburtononline

    ashburtononline Mu-43 Veteran

    390
    Jan 21, 2015
    New Zealand
    To be honest I do my editing on my Mac Pro and only use the MBP when traveling or out on site. For my use, the non retina screen is fine but of course a Retina would be ideal. That said, my eyes are not as good as they used to be so I'm probably not the right person to ask :) The biggest advantage to me on Mac vs Windows is resale .... I have a PC sitting on my left and A Mac Pro on my right. The PC is 5 years old, the Mac is 3. The PC is worth 2% of what I paid for it, the Mac is worth 60%.

    One other advantage is you can put Windows on a Mac but not OSX on Windows!
     
  18. stratokaster

    stratokaster Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 4, 2011
    Kyiv, Ukraine
    Pavel
    I was an Apple user since early 2000s. In 2004 switched back to Windows because Apple's laptop CPUs were really anaemic at the time. Windows laptops equipped with Pentium M literally ran circles around PowerBook G4.

    I switched back to Apple in 2008, right after they announced the first generation of unibody MacBook Pros. It is easily the best decision of my life. OS X really requires much less maintenance than Windows. I'm also a developer of sorts and for me OS X is the only way to run a full-blown Unix with MS Office and Adobe CS.

    Mac seem to be expensive, but in reality total cost of ownership is lower than that of comparable Windows laptops. My previous Mac laptop was 5 years old when I sold it and still I got $600 for it (the purchase price was about $1400). Windows laptops, even expensive, don't retain their value as well as Macs.
     
  19. DaveEP

    DaveEP Mu-43 Top Veteran

    683
    Sep 20, 2014
    York, UK
    I hadn't heard this, so had to go Google it. That's sad.

    I chose VMWare Fusion over Parallels afters some serious testing of multiple OS versions early on and found it to be massively more stable (it never crashed whereas Parallels did many times). I understand Parallels got all that sorted out and is now a reasonable product, so maybe that's the way to go for new users. Who knows where Fusion will end up. So sad since it's a very stable product.
     
  20. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    OK so here is another take on all this

    I am a mac guy... 32 years a mac guy... even 10 years, 2000-10 working for Apple showing off the best that mac could deliver kinda guy. I have fought and avoided the speed wars.

    Heres the odd thing... its 2016 and I use 3 Macs... one is a 2007 MacPro... its just a iTunes server/backup.

    The other 2 are

    1) a late 2012 27" iMac apparently running an i7 at 3.4 GHz and with 8 cores, 24 G of memory and a 2G GTX680MX video card... basically the best iMac you could buy at the time... say 3 years ago

    2) a mid 2013 Macbook Air 11 inch... i7 at 1.7Ghz and 4 cores and Intel graphics HD5000

    I edit in Aperture.. though that will have to change at some point... but truth be told I see no practical difference in terms of performance in my photo editing or even my video editing between the macbook are and the iMac

    Yes the iMac crushes the Air if I want to render something... or.... basically just that

    on day to day stuff...meh... yeah i did update my original Air when i was dealing with 24 MP files... that was a line I had crossed

    Not going to get into the whole windows/mac war... made that decision a long time ago.. and so far it worked out well for me

    I used to be the its not about the camera guy...now I am going for its not about the computer guy :)


    K
     
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