Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions
The intended use will be for use when traveling as a means to download images, analyze them, and copy them to an external drive. Other uses will be the usual: internet, email and write an letter.
I plan use Lightroom 3 and understand that I will need to buy LR3 because I use Windows 7 for my main computer. However, after seeing that the MacBook Pro comes with iPhoto, I wonder if I will need LR3 for the Mac since I plan to import the files from the MAC to my Windows computer. Any issues with this? An NEF file is an NEF file, is that right? Or once it's viewed in iPhoto does it change?
The 15 inch screen seems fine; is there any reason to go to 17 inch?
Will the MacBook Pro come with email capability and something like MS Word or will I need to buy MS Office for MAC?
If I create an MS Office document on the MacBook Pro, will my Windows computer be able to read it?
If the MAC comes with its own Office-type of software is it specific to Mac's or will my Windows computer read it? (Seems unlikely)
Will there be any problems with my Windows machine using the image files that were first imported to LR2 on the MAC?
#1. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 0
Wed 22-Feb-12 03:16 AM | edited Wed 22-Feb-12 03:25 AM by jacsr
>I plan use Lightroom 3 and understand that I will need to buy
>LR3 because I use Windows 7 for my main computer. However,
>after seeing that the MacBook Pro comes with iPhoto, I wonder
>if I will need LR3 for the Mac since I plan to import the
>files from the MAC to my Windows computer. Any issues with
Yes you might have issues. iPhoto imports your photos to its own database and that file is not searchable in Finder (at least not easily). It is likely you could export but it may not be as easy as saving to a folder like in Windows.
>The 15 inch screen seems fine; is there any reason to go to 17
I would say no, you may even want to consider the 13, it is lighter and easier to travel with.
>Will the MacBook Pro come with email capability and something
>like MS Word or will I need to buy MS Office for MAC?
Yes it comes with an Email Application; you set it up much like you would on an iPhone or iPad. MAC OS X Lion contains a simple text editor, you can buy the MAC version of the Office Suite it is called iWorks and can be purchased through the MAC App Store. You can also purchase Office for MAC.
>If I create an MS Office document on the MacBook Pro, will my
>Windows computer be able to read it?
Yes, it saves in the same format as Office for Windows.
I use a combination of iMAC (Aperture) and Windows (CaptureNX2 and Photoshop) for post processing. I use a MacBook Pro 13 for exactly the same use you described. I purchased Photo Mechanic for the MacBook Pro and use it to cull photos, rename and save to an external drive. It is a excellent, fast and powerful application. When I get home I connect the external drive to either the iMAC or W7 machine depending on which application I intend to use. I do not see a need to import into an application like iPhoto or even Aperture, which I use. I also use Office for MAC and have not had any issues moving documents between the two operating systems.
Hope this helps,
#2. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 1
Wed 22-Feb-12 03:53 AM
Thank you Joe,
If I use LR3 on the MacBook will this alleviate the issue with downloading to the MacBook and later to my windows computer? This would work better for me, since I am used to LR and it will rename the photos. Will the MacBook keep them in a version that will enable a download?
I will delay putting Office on the Mac until, and if, I need it. For now, I just want something to download and store image and evaluate them.
I'm impressed that you use both a Mac and Windows for post processing.
So, it seems I am on the right track, and just get LR3 for now. Do you agree?
750GB Hard drive or the 500?
The 2.2Ghz is fine, right?
Probably go with the 8Gb memory.
#3. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 2
Wed 22-Feb-12 12:36 PM
I am not familiar with LR3 so I cannot comment about how easy it might be to export to a second computer. You may want to check the section that covers using LR3 on multiple computers in your documentation. I am sure there is a way to do as you describe. The reason I like Photo Mechanic is that it is more like a supped up ViewNX. I never post process when I am traveling, I view, cull and rename and then I save to the internal and external drive for redundancy. Using Aperture for this would add additional steps that for me are not needed. I would assume LR would function much in the same manner. If you are intending on PP while traveling then I can understand using LR. You may want to download ViewNX and try it if you have not already, you may find that it works fine for what you want to do and it is free. I think you will find it will be much easier to do what you describe unless of course you want to PP.
The MAC OS will not convert your file format, so a NEF is a NEF unless you convert it.
You can never go wrong with more HD space; you just need to decide what function the machine is going to serve. I have the 13 with the base i5 processor, 4Gb ram and 320GB HD. I use it strictly for travel and I do not PP so the base configuration is more than enough for what I do. The iMac on the other hand is loaded out with max ram and a quad core i7 processor since it is doing the heavy lifting.
You should be aware it does take a little getting used to the MAC OS, things are referred to in different ways and some of the simple things you do on Windows is done somewhat differently on a MAC. However, after a month or so you should be fine. I am still learning new things and I have been using it for a year.
A FYI, Apple will be releasing Mountain Lion some time this summer, just so you can take that into consideration. Upgrading is relatively inexpensive through the MAC APP Store.
#4. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 3
Wed 22-Feb-12 01:06 PM | edited Wed 22-Feb-12 01:31 PM by bobpilot
LR3 has many wonderful features, including a re-name function on import. I have a naming profile that I have used for years and by using LR my images would be be assigned a name. LR is all I use for post processing, along with some NIK; I rarely use PhotoShop.
However, your point is well made. I will not need a tool for post processing when I travel. Also, file naming during travel is not important because I will import into Lightroom when I return home and will rename at that time. Thus, ViewNX is all I need.
Indeed ViewNX has some advantages because I can see where the focus point was when the images was captured. I looked at it last night, and again in more detail after reading your comment.
ViewNX has a resize feature, so I will be able to send images to Nikonians for critique, it shows every camera setting, I can email from ViewNX. This is all I need. Thank you for this suggestion. I will not get LR3 for the MacBook.
How will I import from the MacBook Pro to my main computer? Will I connect them with a cable?
I looked at the antiglare screen at the store, and then looked at the regular display; amazing difference. I went to the Apple online store and built the MacBook Pro with 2.2Ghz and compared it to starting with a 2.4Ghz. It came out that if I start with the 2.4 it is an additional 100$ since it comes with the 750 Gb hard drive. Yes, this is faster than I need and with more hard drive space, but more is not bad.
I will ponder this for a another week and then place the order. I want to delay because I have a lot of projects going right now and don't want the additional distraction of a new computer.
Your insight is very much appreciated; and you saved me some money; I won't need LR.
#5. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 4
Wed 22-Feb-12 02:16 PM
>How will I import from the MacBook Pro to my main computer?
>Will I connect them with a cable?
I am a big fan of redundancy, so I always carry a 2.5" external drive when I travel. I save my images to the internal HD and to the external. You never know what might happen and I sure would hate to lose a week or more worth of photos. It would be a rare case when both HD would have issues, better safe than sorry. My external drive is 320GB which I find more than adequate. If you use this method all you would do is connect the external drive to your W7 computer and then use LR to import as normal.
Another option would be to setup a shared folder on your W7 machine and connect to it from the MAC and copy the files over.
#6. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 5
Wed 22-Feb-12 03:06 PM
Redundancy? Ah yes, let me tell a story:
My W7 Cmp was having some issues, and I decided to re-install the OS. The company who built my cmp (a one man company, Cerise Computers), gave me discs for this purpose and specific for my cmp.
My comp was set up with a solid state hard drive for the OS, a drive for my files, another internal for images yet another drive for image backup. I thought I was fine. I also had some external drives for backup, but those were almost full and not up to date. (A case for two more external drives were on the way and arrived a few days after this event.)
I followed his instructions and even asked him if there was anything else I needed to do. The re-install went well, the re-installed OS was faster and worked better.
The only problem is that now all the internal drives were black, erased, gone, blank. Six years of photos, travel to several countries, and a summer of Civil War photos shot in 2011.
When I contacted Cerise, he told me I should have disconnected the other Hard drives. I told him that he did not tell me this in the instructions or in the reply to my email. He said, "Do I have to tell you how to breathe also?" Guess who will never get any more of my business?
Many of the images were on the externals, some were retrieved from the hard drives, but not all. I lost all of the TIFF files that were on the internal drives (the images that were edited and not on the externals.
So, yeah, redundancy is good.
I have so far spend many boring hours getting the images back into Lightroom and have many more to go. At least when I am done, I will have an efficient back up system.
Thank you for the suggestions on the MacBook.
Will the MacBook OS slow down over time as the W7 does?
Will I need antivirus?
#7. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 6
Wed 22-Feb-12 03:29 PM
The MAC OS is not as cumbersome as Windows and thus runs more cleanly over time. The OS does perform some maintenance at night so leave the machine on every now and then. In the year I have had the MacBook Pro I have not noticed any degradation in performance. The most I do is a Permission check and fix. I have not installed an antivirus application and most of the long time MAC users I know have never used one. My only suggestion is to do what you feel comfortable with.
Have fun with your new MAC, you will enjoy it.
#9. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 0
I bought a 15" MacBook Pro with the anti-glare higher-resolution 1680x1050 screen a year ago and I just love it. I do all my Photoshop and Nikon ViewNX2 processing on the laptop and I keep about a year's worth of NEF's on the internal 500GB disk. (and the new i7 processor that you would get is significantly faster than mine)
At home we have a mixed Mac & PC wireless network with shared storage and printing. My Mac automatically backs-up all new files to a Time Capsule, and I sometimes plug into a larger monitor ("borrowed" from the PC). The i7 processor with 4G RAM runs Photoshop CS5 just fine - while travelling as well as back home at my desk, or on the deck, or in my Lazy Boy! I generally don't even fire-up my PC anymore (except at work).
You were unsure on a choice of Office Suite. I use the free and very professional OpenOffice which supports all the Microsoft Office file formats. I run the Mac version on my Mac and the Windows version on my PC at work. Visit www.openoffice.org for information. It was put together by Oracle. (or the Mac office-type SW does support Windows file formats or, as has been said, you can get the actual Microsoft Office SW for MacOS)
I would steer clear of iPhoto if you are using LR - give Adobe sales a call and ask about sharing the LR database between PC and Mac hosts on a shared network.
If you really, really won't be doing any processing on the MacBook then the 15" is bigger and heavier than you need to travel with - but the 1680x1050 is a very sharp screen. At 125 pixels-per-inch it looks good and you can fit a lot.
#10. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 9
Thu 23-Feb-12 10:42 AM
Good news; This might cost me more than just the MacBook Pro; I will like Mac so much that I will buy a Mac for my main comp.
I bought a Mac a few years ago and I didn't work; it would not start.
One thing I don't like about Mac is the lack of USB ports. But that is a whole other topic.
Does anyone notice any difference between the 2.2Ghz and 2.4Ghz?
#11. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 10
Thu 23-Feb-12 09:24 PM
If they are both dual core i5 processors you will not see any difference. If the number of cores (and threads per core) are different you will see a difference when under heavy processor load.
#12. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 0
I wouldn't hesitate to the get MacBook Pro. The 15" is a great compromise between the portability of the 13" and the display size of the 17". I've had one for three years and I think it's great.
Get lots of memory as photo processing software really likes it. I got the base (4GB) in my laptop and eventually upgraded it with RAM I bought from Crucial.com.
Files you make in Microsoft Office on the Mac will work in Office on Windows. In fact a lot of files work fine between both platforms. I only do image processing on the Mac, so I can't say how that works.
The Mac doesn't come with an Office Suite, but the iWork applications are reasonably priced and can read and safe most MS Office files.
Learning a little bit more, every day...
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#13. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 0
I have a 17" Mac Book Pro.
It really is a portable desktop computer -- somewhat cumbersome for traveling. You'd want it if you traveled a lot and needed the screen real estate for editing.
My iPad does most of my knock about work, even lets me edit photos, although transfer is not very easy.
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#14. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 13
Sun 29-Apr-12 12:09 PM | edited Sun 29-Apr-12 02:10 PM by bobpilot
My idea is to travel for about 15 months. Along the way I will use Lightroom to sort and edit photos, transfer photo files to externals, write a journal and publish the journal to my web page.
I think the 15" might be too small, I am not sure, of course, but I am used a big screen.
My camera and scuba gear will be shipped ahead and be at the hotels before me so I all am carrying for flights are a roller bag as a carry-on and the MAC which will go into a backpack.
I don't know who designs their colors, but I wish it came in a dark case. Oh well.
For those interested, my Itinerary is shown on this web page:
When ready the journal will also be accessed from this page.
A school teacher friend of mine will follow my trek along with her class and have other classes follow along as well.
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#15. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 14
luckyphoto Nikonian since 27th Dec 2010Sun 29-Apr-12 01:30 PM
Two things I would suggest -
If you haven't already done so, consider ordering the MacBook Pro with 8GB of memory. You'll be happy you did.
The standard 4GB will work, but under heavy editing load will slow down. The additional 4GBs comes in very handy on the i5 or i7 since the memory is divided between the threads. I've got 2 MacBook Pros and an iMac. All are running with at least 8GB.
The other thing to consider is to turn down the brightness. The Apple screens are too bright at the default value when shipped. Once you have your laptop, select an image and get it printed from a reasonable source such as MPIX or Ritz. Select "Do not color correct". Then compare your print to the screen and adjust the brightness so that the screen brightness approximates the print brightness. That will at least get you in the ballpark and prevent disappointment that your prints are too dark. It will also save a lot of time going back to adjust other photos.
Good luck on your trip.
"Red is gray and yellow white, but we decide which is right
....and which is an illusion"
Moody Blues - Nights in White Satin
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#16. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 14
Valentino Registered since 04th Dec 2004Wed 02-May-12 01:25 AM | edited Wed 02-May-12 01:26 AM by Valentino
I suggest you do what something like I did. Get a base model 15" MBP. Then, upgrade the ram yourself - this is significantly cheaper than buying ram from apple (perhaps about $50 for 8GB or about $200 for 16gb of ram. Then, upgrade the hard drive yourself to something like a WD Scorpio Black 750gb, 7200rpm drive with a 5 year warranty. Mine cost me $109 a year ago. You can keep the old drive as a backup or sell it on ebay. Both of these upgrades to not violate the warranty and they are both very easy to do - there are plenty of videos... Don't worry about spending 20% more for a higher end CPU - the difference is minimal and better spent upgrading to the above, and/or upgrading the entire machine sooner - say 2-3 years instead of 3-4 years.
As for screen size, you need the 15" to handle the inface of editing software, else a 13" is better for travel. When I do my serious editing I simply hook my MBP up to my 26" NEC monitor which is wonderful, 12-bits, wide gamut.... No need for a separate desktop when you use an external monitor.
For backups do two things, one use apples Time Machine, and second, use something like Carbon Copy Cloner, or Super Duper, which costs about $20 to make bootable clones. If you drive fails, just clone a new one and you're back in business.
I made the move two years ago and never looked back. I use the iWorks Suite from apple, especially Pages, which is the counterpart to MS Word. It lets me save documents in MS word format and opens all Word documents. I haven't needed MS Office in two years.
Lastly, I would wait until around June since the new models with the Ivy Bridge CPU's will be out around then - less power consumption and possibly 20% faster chips.
Albert J Valentino
Nikonian Moderator Emeritus
Vantage Point Images
Mastery of Composition is the Key to Great Photography
#17. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 16
Wed 02-May-12 01:35 AM
This is terrific advice, thank you. So, you do not suggest the 17" monitor? I will be traveling for about a year and doing editing along the way; although I don't edit much. If I have to use PS I'll save the image for when I return.
I know nothing about Time Machine for Cloner so I will investigate those.
My trip begins in August so June will be a good time to buy.
Thank you very much.
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#18. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 17
Valentino Registered since 04th Dec 2004Wed 02-May-12 11:52 AM | edited Wed 02-May-12 12:35 PM by Valentino
The 17" is nice but very big to lug around. 15" is the sweet spot but it is all personal preference. If you travel to a location and stay there and work then a 17" might be a better choice but if you travel a lot then a smaller 15" is easier to lug around. If you are at a McDonalds a 13 or 15" fits on the table while eating your breakfast.
Time Machine is apple software that is included. CCC is very different and clones and is only for Mac. Both methods are valid and both have their uses and both can be used on the same external drive if you partition the disk - I keep two clones and two TM copies.
The thing about Apple is that there is plenty of information out there on dedicated forums - sort of like Nikonian is for Nikon except far more people and also a much younger demographic - geeks.
Some of the best places to buy Macs are B&H Photo (no tax outside of NY) and Amazon. Mine is from Amazon. If you want Apple Care, which extends warranty and phone service for 3 years, you do not have to decide until your computer is one year old, also B&H has by far the best price for Apple care.
Albert J Valentino
Nikonian Moderator Emeritus
Vantage Point Images
Mastery of Composition is the Key to Great Photography
#19. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 17
Thu 03-May-12 05:08 PM
A few more thoughts on the 17".
Make sure your backpack has a padded space for your computer and it is sized for the 17" configuration. Not all carrying cases will accommodate 17". I have an Urban Disguise camera bag that is designed to accept the 17" size. So check that out.
Why I like the 17": In the hotel room. I have the space and it's more like using a real computer.
Where it is not as good: Laptop in bed; the screen is so heavy it falls down onto the key board. In cafe's with small tables. Or public places where everyone can see that 17" screen. The thing is clunky. I will caveat this with a note that all of my video editing friends would not have anything but the 17" when the travel -- they need the screen space.
15" and 17" have an extra graphics processor and you'll need that. Don't consider the 13" which does not have the extra graphics card.
How about an SSD drive? Solid state is much faster than traditional drives and may tolerate a little bit of banging around better. The bigger ones are not cheap, but neither is your trip.
Backup Drives and Apple Care Protection.
Get the 17", plus an iPad3 plus Photogene. Photogene is a remarkably powerful photo editing App with a way-better-than-expected set of editing tools. Perfect for most editing and photo export on the fly or in the cafes with small tables. One feature I really like is the Curves adjustment tool that overlays the photo. Clone, Dodge, Burn, Adjust Highlights, Adjust Black Point in Histogram, Crop, Resize Pixel Count, Color Balance, Presets, Filters and lots more. Check it out. With iPad portability and Photogene power, I've extended the life of my 17" laptop
Laptops are a computer you'll keep for a long time because portability trumps power when you are on the road a lot so don't scrimp.
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#20. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 19
Thu 03-May-12 05:16 PM
>A few more thoughts on the 17".
>Make sure your backpack has a padded space for your computer
>and it is sized for the 17" configuration. Not all
>carrying cases will accommodate 17". I have an Urban
>Disguise camera bag that is designed to accept the 17"
>size. So check that out.
I have traveled with backpacks and might this time as well. Although I am also looking at a roller bag as a carry-on. I am a retired airline pilot and have a very sturdy carry-on; however, it is too heavy so I am looking at a lighter one. Side-note: the roller bag was invented by a pilot.
>Why I like the 17": In the hotel room. I have the space
>and it's more like using a real computer.
My thoughts too. I will publish a journal while on the trip, make pdf files for download, sort and edit images.
>Where it is not as good: Laptop in bed; the screen is so heavy
>it falls down onto the key board. In cafe's with small tables.
>Or public places where everyone can see that 17" screen.
>The thing is clunky. I will caveat this with a note that all
>of my video editing friends would not have anything but the
>17" when the travel -- they need the screen space.
Always a compromise somewhere.
>15" and 17" have an extra graphics processor and
>you'll need that. Don't consider the 13" which does not
>have the extra graphics card.
bigger and faster; is there any other way?
>How about an SSD drive? Solid state is much faster than
>traditional drives and may tolerate a little bit of banging
>around better. The bigger ones are not cheap, but neither is
I asked about the SSD; too small. If the SSD would be in addition to the other storage HD, I'd get it.
>Backup Drives and Apple Care Protection.
>Get the 17", plus an iPad3 plus Photogene. Photogene is a
>remarkably powerful photo editing App with a
>way-better-than-expected set of editing tools.
What about using Lightroom?
>Laptops are a computer you'll keep for a long time because
>portability trumps power when you are on the road a lot so
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#21. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 20
Fri 04-May-12 12:27 AM
>I asked about the SSD; too small. If the SSD would be in
>addition to the other storage HD, I'd get it.
I'd be concerned about durability. I'm tough on hard drives, particularly the larger ones. You'll be packing backup drives anyway, what's one more dedicated to photo storage?
>>Photogene is a remarkably powerful photo editing App with a way-better-than-expected set of editing tools.
>What about using Lightroom?
Lightroom is great. So is Aperture. But Photogene is an App for the iPad. It's good enough that you can take your iPad on your flights and send your MacBook Pro ahead with the camera.
Here's a link to the developer's site. I'm working in version 3.4 now and it really is unbelievably powerful:
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#22. "RE: Considering a MacBook Pro, a few questions" | In response to Reply # 21
Wed 12-Sep-12 09:57 AM
I ended up buying a 17 inch MacBook Pro in July of this year. Started my trip in Austria, then to Germany then to Prague. While working on images in LR, the screen went blank. It started, but the display did not show anything.
So, I took the tram to the Apple store, which is not really an Apple store; they sell only MAC, but do not have a service center. I was told to take it to a Service Center and that it would take 30 days; a phone call got them to offer five days.
I decided to buy a new computer and so purchased a 13 inch because I needed a computer until I return and can have the 17 inch fixed. After the purchase and before opening the box, I questioned my decision and looked at the 15 inch; it was, of course, more money and although I thought it might be better, I stayed with the 13 inch.
The drawback is that it has a Czech keyboard which is set to English. So, some of the keys are different. I can get this changed when I return.
After using the 13 inch with Lightroom, I find that it is all right. Once I get the keyboard changed, this will be sold. Or maybe it will become my travel computer.