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Field testing the MacBook Air for photographers

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 06:31 AM

Post your comments for Field testing the MacBook Air for photographers here
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#2 User is offline   venividivici 

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  Posted 22 February 2011 - 07:37 AM

Really?

You get more for your money if you go with a 13in. MacBook Pro or the 13in. MacBook.

Comparing the iPad to a MacBook Air is not really comparing Apples to Apples. Not pun intended.

When you're talking about up to 256GB you're also talking about significant price increase.

You mention the video editing using iMovie. Well, I can do Video editing with an iPhone. If you compare the MacBook Air to the iPad, Why not go the other direction and include a comparison with the iPhone as well?

Photographers that would benefit from a significant professional editing software as well as from other tools will opt to buy a MacBook Pro rather than the MacBook Air.

MacBook Air is a toy, a nice toy, but Apple really is loosing with this product when he offered the iPad or the MacBook and MacBook Pro's.
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#3 User is offline   DerrickStory 

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  Posted 22 February 2011 - 07:48 AM

The computer you use is as personal as your camera, lenses, etc. I totally get that. But I'm not alone among serious photographers who like the Air. It is definitely not a toy.

I'll also stand by the discussion comparing the Air to the iPad. Prior to the Air's launch, many shooters were trying to make the iPad work as their "on the go" machine. I still carry the iPad when I have room because of its 3G connectivity. In fact, it saved me yesterday when the Internet went down in my Vegas room and I needed to post some shots as part of an assignment.

In all honesty, I'd be hesitant to give up either machine when working on the road.
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#4 User is offline   SamGumgee 

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  Posted 22 February 2011 - 07:54 AM

I waiting long & hard coming from the PwrBk G4 12" right till the 11.6" Air arrive. I ended up with the 13.3" Air above sacrificing space for a bigger HD.

My PwrBk G4 12" was upgraded to a 320GB HD and has accumulated raw images through my travels amounting to almost 2/3 of that capacity.

As such, I no longer have the luxury of just keeping my raw files in the new laptop but have to make a conscious effort to offload my raw files and re-import them as jpegs which is more effort then I like.

The quick start-up/shut-down makes me temporarily forget that travail. Waiting for the day to come when the 11.6" Air spots a 1TB SSD.... but I'm liking the SD slot a lot;)

Could you kindly clarify if the SD Slot support SDXC & up to what capacity & speed?
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#5 User is offline   Hobeaux 

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  Posted 22 February 2011 - 07:56 AM

A friend of mine recently left for Thailand and purchased the 11-inch MacBook Air for his journey. It offered great portability (being so light) and and enough oomph to run Aperture 3 that it was a no brainer. I asked him about the larger Air and he waived his hand dismissively—too heavy.

He won't be back from his trip for another week or so and I'm looking forward to a full report to see how it went.
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#6 User is offline   WF90069 

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  Posted 22 February 2011 - 08:18 AM

As a professional photographer as well, I would love to consider the Mac Air for work in the field. Unfortunately, however, this device DOES NOT INCLUDE A BACKLIT KEYBOARD which is a deal-breaker for me. Terrible for seeing the keys in low light situations.
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#7 User is offline   Inkling 

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  Posted 22 February 2011 - 08:57 AM

Let's hope the next generation MBA has a better balance of size, features and price. In comparison to the 13" model, the 11" MBA is overpriced, particularly when users must upgrade it to be comparable with the 13". The low-end 11" model needs to be cheaper. It seems obvious that the current price was raised to hit the $995 price point. There should also be a high-end model matching 13" features without the hefty upgrade surcharge. Give photographers a stock 11" model that's faster and has more storage.

Apple also needs to learn some manners and quit trying to be the nastiest bully in the Silicon Valley. They should stop hassling companies such as PhotoFast who want to sell faster, larger aftermarket SSDs. That and the poor price/features set of the 11" is why I took a pass on a MBA as a replacement for my MacBook. In the end, shaving a few pounds off a pack that already weighs 25+ pounds didn't seem worth $1000+.

Even more important, after the PhotoFast affair, I felt like I'd be aiding and abetting a bully if I bought one. As a kid, I was never a pal to bullies. I don't plan to start now.
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#8 User is offline   catstudioth 

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  Posted 22 February 2011 - 09:01 AM

I have a question. I think both iPad and MacBook Air have glossy screen with no optional antiglare screen to choose from. I guess you also work outdoor when shooting.

Do you have problem seeing things on the screen when working outdoor ?
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#9 User is offline   DerrickStory 

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  Posted 22 February 2011 - 09:24 AM

The glossy screen is not my favorite. When I work with the Air outside, I do try to find shade to reduce glare. But I never image edit in bad lighting if I can help it.
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#10 User is offline   Nyhthawk 

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  Posted 22 February 2011 - 09:26 AM

Derrick,

Another BIG advantage of using the Air over an iPad is automation. If you're a fan of creating and using automated workflows (and what photographer isn't?), then using the automation technologies built into Mac OS X on the Macbook Air is the way to go. iOS doesn't have user-automation tools like Automator or AppleScript.

Simon DeGense
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#11 User is offline   Nyhthawk 

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  Posted 22 February 2011 - 09:31 AM

Derrick,

A BIG advantage of using the Air over the iPad is automation. If you're a fan of automated workflows (and what photographer isn't?), then using the automation technologies built into Mac OS X are the way to go. iOS does not offer user-automation tools like Automator or AppleScript.

Simon DeGense
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#12 User is offline   6555 

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  Posted 22 February 2011 - 09:37 AM

I agree that MBA is overpriced, but the form factor and portability of the Air make for the best laptop I’ve ever owned. I would not like to edit an entire wedding photography shoot with my 11” Air, but I have used it for editing when traveling. However, I do agree with Derrick, if you’re going to be using the Air a lot for photo and video work, max it out for ultimate speed. (you just know Apple will be adding speed boosts to these models so they can sell more of them over the next several years.) Btw, I chose the 11” because it feels more like a netbook than a clunky laptop. I can just throw it in my computer bag and I’m good to go. It’s so easy to travel and use it on the plane.
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#13 User is offline   6555 

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Posted 22 February 2011 - 09:38 AM

View PostNyhthawk, on 22 February 2011 - 09:31 AM, said:

Derrick,

A BIG advantage of using the Air over the iPad is automation. If you're a fan of automated workflows (and what photographer isn't?), then using the automation technologies built into Mac OS X are the way to go. iOS does not offer user-automation tools like Automator or AppleScript.

Simon DeGense


Totally agree. I never use my iPad for editing. Only for displaying photos.
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#14 User is offline   NathanHadden 

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  Posted 22 February 2011 - 09:48 AM

I love my macbook air. IT's the 13" maxed our version. I use it for everything. I would have liked it a little better if the HD was bigger but it does the job. I work as a smartboard tech for the local school system and it works out great. Easy to take with me to take around to the schools. It is a little different not having built in ethernet but I manage using the USB ethernet adaptor sense not all the schools are wireless.

Feel free to send me messages if you have any questions on how the MBA runs and so on.
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