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MacBook Pro Retina vs iMac

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Superstriker#8, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Jun 24, 2013
    Which is better for editing: MacBook Pro Retina 13", or iMac 21.5"?


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  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    21" IMac - not even close. 27" iMac even better. But the 15" Retina display isn't bad if the laptop just makes more sense to you overall. The 13 felt way too cramped to me. The 15" I can get used to on the road but then when I get back home and get back to the 27" on my desk, I really feel like I can breathe again! If I was choosing one primarily for home use and travel wasn't a big part of the equation, I'd go iMac all the way...

    -Ray
     
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  3. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Jun 24, 2013
    The 27" would be nice, but would cut too far into further photography purchases :big grin:


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  4. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    715
    Jul 23, 2010
    Seconded and if you have the space add a second screen its superb for lightroom having thumbnails on one screen and the preview on the other. Look for a refurb you may be able to swing a 27" for a reasonable price.
     
  5. deang001

    deang001 Mu-43 Veteran

    230
    Sep 16, 2013
    Hong Kong
    Dean
    I'm going to play the devil's advocate !!

    I'd go for the 13" MBP Retina ... but only if you can get an external monitor as well.

    If you can't get an external display as well as the 13" MBP (Dell make some reasonably priced OK 24" monitors), just get the 21.5" iMac for sure.

    The fact that you are even contemplating a 13" MBPr Vs a 21" iMac makes me think portability may be something you would value as well. Having that little powerhouse with you wherever you go is a real bonus. Not ideal editing full time on a 13" MBP, but while out and about or on vacation its fine.
     
  6. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Jun 24, 2013
    I was looking at external monitors, but the specs don't look as good as just getting the iMac.


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  7. Superstriker#8

    Superstriker#8 Mu-43 Regular

    194
    Jun 24, 2013
    What about editing wouldn't be ideal on the 13" retina?


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  8. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    715
    Jul 23, 2010
    The small screen size makes it harder, but you could always add a decent screen further down the line, it can be done though I used one for a while when I did not have the space for a desk. If I required a machine for travel I would get a 13" and a good monitor; 24"+ IPs screen and live with it.
     
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    It's just a lot easier editing and seeing the details of an image and moving around between full view and zoomed view on a larger monitor. You can have all of your controls easily at hand and still have a large image to work on. With the small screen you pretty much have to kill all of your control panels to have any kind of view at all and enable them as you need to use them. Just much more hassle and less viewable all around. Can't explain it any better than that. It's not that you can't do it on a small screen, but once you've used both, I don't think you'd have any question about which is more enjoyable to use...

    -Ray
     
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  10. deang001

    deang001 Mu-43 Veteran

    230
    Sep 16, 2013
    Hong Kong
    Dean
    Just as Alex & Ray said ... a 13" screen won't give you enough real estate to work comfortably.

    You can scale the 13" screen to 1680 x 1050, but then everything gets pretty small ... still OK though but not ideal. I often use my 15" MBPr in scaled mode at 1920 x 1200 when it's not attached to my TB display and it's fine for editing but not in the same universe as when attached to a big display. The 15" in this regard would be a lot better than the 13" version.

    The 13" & external monitor is a great solution, especially if you get a decent monitor like the TB display or the Dell U2413. Gives you some nice portability & freedom. The Apple TB display willpower your MBPr when attached so no messy cables. Only USB2 ports though but a nice screen.

    The iMac will have better specs too. I'm pretty sure all the 13" MBP's are dual core where as the iMac's can be had as quad core. If you're going to keep it for a few years you want the fastest processor, most amount of RAM and the biggest SSD you can afford at the time.

    A 13" MBPr (i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD) + an Apple TB display will be about the same price as a 21.5" iMac (i7 Quad, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD).
     
  11. khollister

    khollister Mu-43 Veteran

    259
    Sep 16, 2010
    Orlando, FL
    Keith
    I have recently switched from a 6 core 2010 MacPro and 27" ACD as my primary editing workstation to a new 15" retina MBP (2.3 i7, 16GB, 512GB SSD). I have a Belkin TB dock and use the 27" ACD as the primary display when docked at my desk. I also have a LaCie 6TB 2Big TB configured as a 3 TB mirrored pair. I keep current year images and LR previews/cache on the SSD and previous years images on the 2Big.

    While the 27" is greatly preferable as far as screen real estate/desktop size, the 15" retina display is actually a higher quality display IMHO. I was stunned that after I calibrated it with my i1Display and ColorEyes Display Pro software, the apparent color difference was very, very small. The gamma was different, mostly because I use an L* gamma curve in the CEDP SW.

    I got really tired of keeping my old MBP and MP synchronized, and it is quite liberating to be able to work on images with no performance penalty sitting in my easy chair or sofa instead of at the desk. I'm considering the Wacom bluetooth tablet.

    The trick on the laptop is hide some of the LR panels that are not always used to free up more screen space for the image. I also run my rMBP at 1680x1050 scaled resolution sometimes when using LR to get more space for palettes.

    Now if some reasonable 4k/retina 27-30" displays would become available:smile: