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Friday
Apr292011

Wishlist: A Nice Little Macbook Or Macbook Pro...

(If you can't see the video, please click here.)

OK, OK, don't click away quite yet! I know that it really doesn't matter what type of computer we use to store, sort and edit our photographs - but I had a go with one of the new Macbook Pro's last week and I was mightily impressed.

It was just a quick demo, but a couple of points really jumped out at me. Everything was incredibly smooth, from the launching of the computer itself, the starting of programs and the editing of photographs. Even more than that though was the sheer quality of the screen on the Macbook Pro I was using. My photographs looked really, really beautiful. The blacks were pitch black and the colours realistic and vibrant. It took my breath away.

Now I know you can buy great monitors for your desktop PC, but this was a laptop, and I think it may have swayed me towards not writing the Macbook off as just expensive PC's, but as treating them as a higher end tool for the serious photographer.

If you're new to the idea of Macs vs PC's, they're two competing computer systems with their own strengths and weaknesses. PC's run Microsoft Windows and are made by dozens of different manufacturers. PC's are available at all price points, and are by far the most popular form of PC at the moment.

Macs are made exclusively by Apple, and run their own Operating System, OS X. Build quality is excellent and a lot of effort is placed into creating a smooth and consistent user experience. Mac enthusiasts can be almost religious about their love of the products, and are more than willing to pay the price premium for an Apple Macbook over the more common Windows based PC's.

A lot of photo professionals use Macbooks - OSX can run Adobe's Photoshop and Lightroom just as well as a Windows machine, plus you've also got the option of Aperture, an exclusive Apple piece of software. Based around the Unix Operating System, Macs are famed for their stability. This isn't to say that they don't crash, but it's less often and Macs are also less prone to Viruses as they don't seem to be targeted by hackers as often as Windows Computers.

Let's take a look at what's available in the Apple Shop at the moment, and dream about what sort of laptop we could be editing our photo's on...

Macbook. The entry level Apple laptop. Starting with a Polycarbonate Unibody, 2.4ghz Intel Core Duo processor, 13.3" screen, up to 4gb of memory and 7 hours of battery life, the Macbook offers a great specification with prices starting from £867.

Macbook Air, 11" and 13". It may be expensive, but you've got to hold a Macbook Air to understand and apreciate it. This thing weighs nothing and is a beautiful object. The aluminium body feels great under your finger-tips and could be the perfect laptop. It might not be the best for photographers though - the lack of optical drive means this is more of a second machine than a primary work-station.

Macbook Pro, 13", 15" and 17". The daddy's of the Apple laptop range, the Pro's offer the power of a desktop PC, beautiful screens, and could be the laptop of my dreams. Up to 2.3 ghz Quad core processors, up to 8gb of RAM, seven hours of battery life and all the connectivity you could want. Oh yes!

So there we go - the Apple Macbook line-up is truly impressive. The quality is second to none, the specifications up there with the best, and those screens have to be seen to be believed. Now I've just got to sell the car to afford one....

Cheers, Rob.

What Do You Think?

Windows or Mac, what's the best for photographers? Is the Apple price premium worth paying, or is it all hype? Please put your comments below!

Reader Comments (1)

Dear Rob,

How much are you going to potentially work on your photos in the field and how much when set up at home with larger screen etc. may be available.

You might want to consider what the use is for - it it's only for travelling and quick work a MacBookAir 13" would suffice - listen to The Digital Story podcast for a review of this laptop for this, but only in conjuction with a more permanent PC if you are going to be doing editing etc.

Otherwise you wil need a MacBook Pro - and for me the size of the screen would depend on how often I am going to carry it around, and how, and in what. If I was flying a lot then the 17" would be too big I would think. Are you going to use an additional screen at home or not as well will define what screen size to aim for.

I'd rather spend the money on a good processor and enough RAM now to carry out the editing, and later bump up the monitor size externally, than invest in a 17" would be my approach.

Cheers
Chris
Vienna, Austria

May 2, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChris Leach

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