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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

MacBook Pro 13" or 15"
Ian L. Sitren, Photographer
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 12:51 PM on 02.17.13
->> So I really have to buy a new MacBook Pro. I will be on a shoot traveling international and will want to do some PhotoShop editing.

So I am pretty sure I will go with the Retina display but wondering if any of you are using a 13" inch screen and happy with it. If not I will go with the 15".

I am going to go to an Apple store and check them out but looking for your practical experience.

Thanks in advance for your help.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Lance King, Photographer, Photo Editor
Raleigh | NC | USA | Posted: 1:10 PM on 02.17.13
->> Ian, I have the 13" and really like it. I fly quite a bit and it fits nicely in my gear bag. Previously, I had a 17" PC laptop and quickly got used to the smaller screen.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Bob Stanton, Photographer
Palo Alto | CA | USA | Posted: 1:31 PM on 02.17.13
->> I have both retina models. I travel internationally and the 13" just travels easier: easy to fit on an airplane table; fits in carry on easily; great to carry around all day on site. The 15" IS faster with the quad processor-quite a bit. If you need power, the 15" is the way to go. However, the 13" gets the job done and travels much better. Consider max'ing the memory to compensate for the slower dual-core. The latest version of photoshop works really great on both retina models.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Robert Caplin, Photographer
New York/Barcelona | Worldwide | | Posted: 1:35 PM on 02.17.13
->> Hey Ian,

I use a 13" MacbookAir (
http://amzn.to/Yqy6KZ) for all my on location and travel work and am very happy with it. I decided not to go with the 13" Retina because I do most of my work off a MacPro Tower with large screens in my home office. So if I didn't have the desktop I probably would have opted for a Retina for that extra resolution.

Before the 13" I'd used various 15" laptops for nearly 10 years, so I understand the apprehension to move downward in screen size...but I've found I much prefer a smaller screen, especially because it makes the laptop so much smaller and lighter, which is convenient in every way.

My recommendation is go with the 13" Retina if you do NOT have another desktop...or go with the 13" Air if you do.

I also have an 11" Air (passed down to my wife), which I used for a year and loved. I can't get over how small and light it is. The resolution isn't the best, so viewing and editing vertical photos is more difficult, but I still love it. Additionally with both the 11" and 13" Airs you can use a 27" thunderbolt display (
http://amzn.to/11OR9EW) with it when you're home, which is a nice combo for about the same price as a MacbookPro. Food for thought...

Robert
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Sam Morris, Photographer
Henderson (Las Vegas) | NV | USA | Posted: 1:58 PM on 02.17.13
->> I'm with Robert.

I went from a 15" MBP to a 13" Air and my one apprehension was giving up screen size. I have to say I have not missed it. We have Cinema Displays for use at the office, but 80% of the time I am working with just the Air. One thing I didn't care that much about, or didn't think I cared about, was the size and weight savings. I really like the small size now.

As far as processing power, the only thing I notice when I open 30 photos in PS is a prompt asking me if I am sure. I have played around with video a little and it has had no problem.

Throw in the SSD and the fact that it won't melt your legs if you are actually using it on your lap and I couldn't be happier.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Ian L. Sitren, Photographer
Palm Springs | CA | USA | Posted: 3:45 PM on 02.17.13
->> You guys have been great! Guess I will go with the 13".

Just to clarify, I will only be using this for some edits to use and view on the road. All of final edits will be done on my return on my Mac Pro and Eizo monitor.

Another primary purpose of the MacBook will be too store the photos for safety on it's drive and one or two portable external drives. I am thinking I will get those from MacGurus.

So now it is deciding on SSD size. I am still inclined to go with the Retina Display. And the idea of going with an Air is a possible.
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Josh Merwin, Photographer
New York | NY | | Posted: 4:13 PM on 02.17.13
->> In that case, I would highly recommend the macbook AIR 13". I have the 13" AIR for travel and a mac pro with Eizo at home. I believe all the internal specs are almost the same between the 13" AIR and 13" MBP. The Air is so light and small. Really the perfect travel computer. I also have a 500GB external ssd USB3 drive for backup and it's so quick to copy the files back and forth.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Victor Biro, Photographer
Toronto | ON | Canada | Posted: 5:51 PM on 02.17.13
->> I am engaged in the same process, trying to choose the 13" or 15", and noticed that the pricing for the 15" Retna converged with the 13" as you started to load up the 13".

I like the portability of the 13", but I am going to be doing more video in the future, and for this reason I started to wonder if the 15" might not be a better choice because of the quad core CPU.

Has anyone used the 13" for video editing? Is it a practical tool for time-sensitive news editing, or should I look at the 15" for the quad core?
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Jason Joseph, Photographer
Dublin | OH | USA | Posted: 8:59 PM on 02.17.13
->> +1 for the 13" screen. I came from a 17" MBP and the reduction in size and weight have been a very welcomed change. And since I sent a few years without upgrading, the jump to a SSD and 8GB of RAM were also a HUGE improvement!

This message sent from a 13" Macbook Pro.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Adam Brimer, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 9:06 PM on 02.17.13
->> Ditto on the 13" Air. the SSD is small, but externals are cheap and fast.
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Rod Mar, Photographer
Seattle | WA | USA | Posted: 11:59 PM on 02.17.13
->> Anyone processing a lot of raw files on the Air? Wondering how the processing compares to the MBP. I know the specs, but wondering about real-life experiences.

Thanks
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Jason Joseph, Photographer
Dublin | OH | USA | Posted: 9:05 AM on 02.18.13
->> One thing that I will add, in terms of the limiting space of SSD's as OS drives in either a MBP or Air, is that the LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt SSD has become my best friend. I beat the snot out of it and it doesn't miss a beat.
http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?id=10599
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Adam Brimer, Photographer, Assistant
Knoxville | TN | USA | Posted: 9:14 AM on 02.18.13
->> Rod, it has performed well for me.
 This post is:  Informative (0) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Ralph Mawyer, Photographer
San Antonio | TX | United States | Posted: 9:37 AM on 02.18.13
->> When ready to buy, definitely go to Appleinsider.com and follow their link to Macmall or B&H if you want AppleCare. Recent price drops and processor bumps are significant.

FWIW, I'm loving my 11" MacAir for traveling. 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD seems to work great.
 This post is:  Informative (1) | Funny (0) | Huh? (0) | Off Topic (0) | Inappropriate (0) |   Definitions

Josh Merwin, Photographer
New York | NY | | Posted: 12:25 PM on 02.18.13
->> Rob,
I have not personally tested this comparison. But from my experience with my 13" Air, Mac Pro and talking to people with MBP 15" quad. You shouldn't see a big difference between the any of the Air's and 13" MBP's. The 15" high end quad core Retinas can be significantly faster than the 13" MBP & Air's. With the Quad even being comparable to the current 6-core Mac Pro, with less upgrade options of course. I would not have gotten the Air if I didn't have a mac pro at home. I use the Air for shooting tethered when out of the studio, processing selects on the road and other normal work functions. I have edited video with it and it's fine for that. But rendering out (exporting) can take a while. I have edited video on the plane and the copied the whole Final Cut folder over to my Mac Pro and exported from that when I got home. Another option may be to get an Air plus a fully spec'd mac mini, if you don't have a more powerful machine at home. Right now I think it would be hard to have the Air as your only machine. But I do anticipate the next AIR update to have a quad core processor. Which would make that a possibility.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a Mac Mini Pro in the near future, instead of a fully updated mac pro. As ssd prices come down, that would be an ideal machine.

I would also love to see an Ipad Pro at some point, running OSX or a modified version of it. Hopefully the windows surface pro will force their hand to do this.
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Robert Caplin, Photographer
New York/Barcelona | Worldwide | | Posted: 6:30 PM on 02.18.13
->> Rod,

I've opened over 100 Canon RAW files at once on my Air and plowed through them cropping and applying actions. I've done this on both the 11" and 13" Airs. That being said, I've never owned the new Retina Macbook Pro with all the beefed up processers, so I can't tell you the difference in speed. My opinion is that it worked fast enough for me...and I certainly wouldn't sacrifice the portability for a faster processer. To me the only real question is in the screen resolution, and I got along just fine without a Retina display.

If the Macbook Airs ever get upgraded with a Retina display I'd upgrade for sure...but I think any photographer would be perfectly content with the MacbookAir for processing photos in bulk. I'm sure the MacbookPro would plow through video and graphic rendering quicker if that's what you use.

Plus, with the thunderbolt interface, you can use ultra fast portable hard drives if you need extra space at basically the same speed as your internal.
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Rod Mar, Photographer
Seattle | WA | USA | Posted: 12:41 AM on 02.19.13
->> Thanks, everyone. Great feedback.
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Thread Title: MacBook Pro 13" or 15"
Thread Started By: Ian L. Sitren
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