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I own a late 2014 macbook with 8gb RAM I am happy with so far as long I don't upgrade my Nikon D810. Considering future top class Nikon cameras will be 40mb+ (like the D850) and the outrageous prices of the latest Apple macbooks, I think I don't have other choice if not go back to PC and Windows. Something I don't like at all but... Now, I'm not updated at all about best portable pcs for professional photographers. Basically, I would like something similar to my current macbook which means a 13", with retina display or PC equivalent, SSD disk and 1 TB disk. My macbook still have a SD card slot which helps me to increase the disk storage with a helpful 200 GB micro sd. Apple removed SD card slot from its macbooks 2 years ago. I wonder if PCs went all to the same direction or not. Anyway, which notebook are you using for editing/retouch when you are travelling and which one you can recommend if I decide soon to go back to PC?

 

Stefano

Travel photographer

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I'm using a MacBook Pro from Late 2012. The great thing about this model is that it can be upgraded easily. Mine now has 16GB RAM* and a 750GB fusion drive.

*Note: Although the original Apple specification quoted 8GB max, it's now widely recognised that a number of models can be upgraded to 16GB.

 

Do you **really** want to go back to MS Windows??

 

Mark

 

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If it's a MB Pro like this, it's not that hard to upgrade the SSD.

Your RAM is most probably soldered to the main board. So you're out of luck there.

Apple is not the only one nowadays to solder and glue stuff together. Although competitors mainly do that in phones and tablets.

 

wim

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5 hours ago, stipe said:

I own a late 2014 macbook with 8gb RAM I am happy with so far as long I don't upgrade my Nikon D810. Considering future top class Nikon cameras will be 40mb+ (like the D850) and the outrageous prices of the latest Apple macbooks, I think I don't have other choice if not go back to PC and Windows. Something I don't like at all but... Now, I'm not updated at all about best portable pcs for professional photographers. Basically, I would like something similar to my current macbook which means a 13", with retina display or PC equivalent, SSD disk and 1 TB disk. My macbook still have a SD card slot which helps me to increase the disk storage with a helpful 200 GB micro sd. Apple removed SD card slot from its macbooks 2 years ago. I wonder if PCs went all to the same direction or not. Anyway, which notebook are you using for editing/retouch when you are travelling and which one you can recommend if I decide soon to go back to PC?

 

Stefano

Travel photographer

 

Sounds drastic. Just upgrade the RAM to 16GB. I have a late 2014 13" MacBookPro with 16GB, 1TB SSD, and it is fine with D850 and D810 files for raw conversions and normal editing in Lightroom and Photoshop. The only time it slows down is if I do panoramas which eat up the available RAM and it starts using the drive for virtual memory. I always max out the RAM when I buy a laptop as it can be expensive to replace but in your case it will be a lot cheaper on the body and soul than going back to Windows.

 

Actually I just read Wim's post and checked for RAM upgrades for 2014 MacBookPros and it looks like it may not be upgradeable. 

Edited by MDM
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4 minutes ago, MDM said:

 

Sounds drastic. Just upgrade the RAM to 16GB. I have a late 2014 13" MacBookPro with 16GB, 1TB SSD, and it is fine with D850 and D810 files for raw conversions and normal editing in Lightroom and Photoshop. The only time it slows down is if I do panoramas which eat up the available RAM and it starts using the drive for virtual memory. I always max out the RAM when I buy a laptop as it can be expensive to replace but in your case it will be a lot cheaper on the body and soul than going back to Windows.

 

Afaik memory upgrade is only possible on pre-retina Macbooks.

And I think Stipe told us he has a retina screen in his MB.

 

wim

 

edit: btw is there much difference between the performance using the swap disk on the SSD and the regular RAM?

Edited by wiskerke
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1 minute ago, wiskerke said:

 

Afaik memory upgrade is only possible on pre-retina Macbooks.

And I think Stipe told us he has a retina screen in his MB.

 

wim

 

You are correct. I just checked. Bummer for him. 

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1 minute ago, MDM said:

 

You are correct. I just checked. Bummer for him. 

 

He could buy a secondhand pre-retina model for about £450 and fit extra RAM and disk, then sell his current model.

I agree the prices of the latest MacBook Pros are pretty crazy.

 

Mark

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I don't like using notebooks for editing, but I often do attach a decent monitor to my laptop to use.

 

For most of my processing I use my Lenovo Desktop.  16GB of RAM that can be upgraded to 32GB. Don't have an SSD in it, but you can always add one. 2TB hard drive. 3.5 GHZ AMD Athlon.  Right now I have Photoshop, Illustrator, Inkspace and my embroidery software running and no glitches at all.  Cost me $600Cdn new 2 years ago. 

 

I'm sure there are comparable laptops.

 

Jill

 

 

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2 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

He could buy a secondhand pre-retina model for about £450 and fit extra RAM and disk, then sell his current model.

I agree the prices of the latest MacBook Pros are pretty crazy.

 

Mark

 

If the reason for the upgrade is to work on high MP images, then buying older kit is not really advisable as these large files need serious processing power. Looking at the prices of the new ones, they are not massively more expensive than when I bought mine (about 20-25% for the exact same specs which Apple added to most of their computers after the fall in the £ after the Brexit referendum. If I was buying now I would go again for the 13" with 16GB of RAM, 500GB SSD instead of the 1TB and the fastest processor. Thunderbolt external drives are incredibly fast so could be used at home to make up for the loss of internal drive space if necessary. My desktop only has 500GB SSD - all my working files are on Thunderbolt drives and there is no loss of speed in terms of image work. The rate determining step is the raw conversion which takes the same time from the internal SSD as an external Thunderbolt. And these are first generation Thunderbolts.

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I can change the SSD but not upgrade the RAM in my dated 2014 Macbook. I heard the new ones are even worse as you can not change anything once you have purchased it. Just shameful considering all the money you spend to get a Macbook. At the moment, my 8 RAM macbook still does a good job in managing the RAW files of my 36mp Nikon D810 camera but the day I will upgrade my camera with a D850 or similar ones then I will have to say goodbye to my 8 RAM Macbook.  I don't want to move to Windows honestly but if I opt to remain at Apple and looking for a 16 RAM Macbook with at least 512 Gb disk and a good Intel processor, then I will have to spend well over 2,000 euros. The competitive Microsoft Surface which has an equivalent Retina display and similar Macbook's features costs 30% less, at least.

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1 hour ago, stipe said:

I can change the SSD but not upgrade the RAM in my dated 2014 Macbook. I heard the new ones are even worse as you can not change anything once you have purchased it. Just shameful considering all the money you spend to get a Macbook. At the moment, my 8 RAM macbook still does a good job in managing the RAW files of my 36mp Nikon D810 camera but the day I will upgrade my camera with a D850 or similar ones then I will have to say goodbye to my 8 RAM Macbook.  I don't want to move to Windows honestly but if I opt to remain at Apple and looking for a 16 RAM Macbook with at least 512 Gb disk and a good Intel processor, then I will have to spend well over 2,000 euros. The competitive Microsoft Surface which has an equivalent Retina display and similar Macbook's features costs 30% less, at least.

 

Being on a tight budget, I've always used PC's mainly because they are far cheaper than Mac's and less proprietary --  you can upgrade RAM, etc. easily and keep them functional. PC's are not as cool or elegant as Macs, of course, but they do the job well despite all the annoying Windows shenanigans that we've had to endure over the years.

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Have a look at the Dell XPS.

However that one also has the RAM soldered to the main board.

It's becoming common on thinner and lighter machines.

You have not specified your main requirements.

Must it be light and small?

Bigger and heavier is cheaper.

 

@MDM:  is there much difference between the performance using the swap disk on the SSD and the regular RAM?

 

wim

(currently up to my armpits in a new desktop with 32Gb RAM; 1Tb SSD and a couple of HDDs)

 

 

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4 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Being on a tight budget, I've always used PC's mainly because they are far cheaper than Mac's and less proprietary --  you can upgrade RAM, etc. easily and keep them functional. PC's are not as cool or elegant as Macs, of course, but they do the job well despite all the annoying Windows shenanigans that we've had to endure over the years.

same here...my first computer ever was a Mac, but since then it's been all PCs for that reason.

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11 minutes ago, John Mitchell said:

 

Being on a tight budget, I've always used PC's mainly because they are far cheaper than Mac's and less proprietary --  you can upgrade RAM, etc. easily and keep them functional. PC's are not as cool or elegant as Macs, of course, but they do the job well despite all the annoying Windows shenanigans that we've had to endure over the years.

 

I agree John.  I can't see where Apple performance any longer out performs Windows. My laptop is a bottom of the line Acer and still chugs away with 8GB of RAM running Photoshop and much else. Paid $350 for it 6 years ago. Came with 4GB, added another 4 when I upgraded it to Windows 10.

 

My desktop has about 10 peripherals attached to it (3 printers, an embroidery machine, a couple of hard drives as well as 2 monitors and a pen for my Huoin Tablet.  All run great.  I just can't see the justification in the expense of a MAC where you can't even add RAM.

 

Jill

Edited by Jill Morgan
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1 hour ago, Jill Morgan said:

 

I agree John.  I can't see where Apple performance any longer out performs Windows. My laptop is a bottom of the line Acer and still chugs away with 8GB of RAM running Photoshop and much else. Paid $350 for it 6 years ago. Came with 4GB, added another 4 when I upgraded it to Windows 10.

 

My desktop has about 10 peripherals attached to it (3 printers, an embroidery machine, a couple of hard drives as well as 2 monitors and a pen for my Huoin Tablet.  All run great.  I just can't see the justification in the expense of a MAC where you can't even add RAM.

 

Jill

 

It must be a cult thing. B)

 

Just kidding, I'm sure that MAC's are every bit as wonderful as they are purported to be.

 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, wiskerke said:

 

@MDM:  is there much difference between the performance using the swap disk on the SSD and the regular RAM?

 

 

The performance hit is massive when it happens but I've only noticed it using Lightroom for pano merges on 36MP raw images from the D810 as I have 16Gb in the MacBookPro so it is generally fine. To be honest I don't tend to do a lot of serious editing on the go as I like to use my 27 inch calibrated monitor with my desktop machine with 32GB RAM rather than a 13 inch retina screen which causes bad eyestrain. On the go I use the laptop for backing up and having a look at what I'm getting, maybe a bit of culling etc, but I leave the heavy duty stuff until I get home usually. 

 

Comparing the performance of the desktop with the MacBookPro (similar age) they are pretty similar until the laptop starts using virtual memory. It reminds me of the time before 64 bit PSCS5  when there was a massive performance boost for large files compared to PSCS4 which could only use 2GB of RAM max (Lightroom didn't do panos at the time)

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3 hours ago, stipe said:

I can change the SSD but not upgrade the RAM in my dated 2014 Macbook. I heard the new ones are even worse as you can not change anything once you have purchased it. Just shameful considering all the money you spend to get a Macbook. At the moment, my 8 RAM macbook still does a good job in managing the RAW files of my 36mp Nikon D810 camera but the day I will upgrade my camera with a D850 or similar ones then I will have to say goodbye to my 8 RAM Macbook.  I don't want to move to Windows honestly but if I opt to remain at Apple and looking for a 16 RAM Macbook with at least 512 Gb disk and a good Intel processor, then I will have to spend well over 2,000 euros. The competitive Microsoft Surface which has an equivalent Retina display and similar Macbook's features costs 30% less, at least.

 

Looking at the stuff you do and if that is representative of all your photography, then I think you probably don't really need a D850. I do a lot of different photography, most of which does not appear on Alamy, and I went for the D850 mainly for the stuff that my D810/D800E could not do - amazing autofocus (similar to the D5/D500), high frame rate, large buffer and so on. Basically it has some of the best bits of the D5 coupled with everything that the D810 has and a bit more. It has truly astounding action capability considering the file sizes involved. 

 

The extra 10MP or so could be considered advantageous or not really - the main thing being the ability to even more serious cropping. If you don't need a camera that has incredible fast action capabilities then you probably don't need to upgrade from a D810.

 

When you do eventually decide to get a new computer, it will be bite the bullet time. The key thing if buying a laptop is to max out the RAM anyway  buying. I have to say I am a little surprised that you only got 8GB of RAM in the first place, especially considering you are using a 36MP camera and using the computer primarily for image processing. My general philosophy based on past experience is to  always get at least twice as much RAM as I think I will need as operating systems and apps get more RAM-hungry at the time. It is a bit surprising in fact that the current crop of 13 inch MacBookPros still max out at 16GB.

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2 hours ago, Jill Morgan said:

 

I agree John.  I can't see where Apple performance any longer out performs Windows. My laptop is a bottom of the line Acer and still chugs away with 8GB of RAM running Photoshop and much else. Paid $350 for it 6 years ago. Came with 4GB, added another 4 when I upgraded it to Windows 10.

 

My desktop has about 10 peripherals attached to it (3 printers, an embroidery machine, a couple of hard drives as well as 2 monitors and a pen for my Huoin Tablet.  All run great.  I just can't see the justification in the expense of a MAC where you can't even add RAM.

 

Jill

 

Not going to get too much into Mac v Win but it is not a performance thing - it is all about ease of use. Everything works on a Mac, no messing about with drivers etc. The OS and hardware are made by one company. In contrast, Win can be a tower of babel. Also there is no worrying about viruses. Depending on how one values one's time, one might save a lot of time having a machine that never throws up any problems.

 

Many Mac users come from a time when Macs were superior to WIndows for graphics. That is no longer the case but when you have invested in apps and hardware for Mac, then changing could be financially painful. I would hate to go back to WIndows myself having used both. 

Edited by MDM
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I have an iPhone and an ipad but when it comes to working on photos on a desktop, I have a very powerful PC that my son's friend built, last year, for me for under $1000.  It handles full resolution files from my D850 with ease and speed.  To get a Mac with similar power would have been way out of my budget.

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9 hours ago, MDM said:

 

Looking at the stuff you do and if that is representative of all your photography, then I think you probably don't really need a D850. I do a lot of different photography, most of which does not appear on Alamy, and I went for the D850 mainly for the stuff that my D810/D800E could not do - amazing autofocus (similar to the D5/D500), high frame rate, large buffer and so on. Basically it has some of the best bits of the D5 coupled with everything that the D810 has and a bit more. It has truly astounding action capability considering the file sizes involved. 

 

The extra 10MP or so could be considered advantageous or not really - the main thing being the ability to even more serious cropping. If you don't need a camera that has incredible fast action capabilities then you probably don't need to upgrade from a D810.

 

When you do eventually decide to get a new computer, it will be bite the bullet time. The key thing if buying a laptop is to max out the RAM anyway  buying. I have to say I am a little surprised that you only got 8GB of RAM in the first place, especially considering you are using a 36MP camera and using the computer primarily for image processing. My general philosophy based on past experience is to  always get at least twice as much RAM as I think I will need as operating systems and apps get more RAM-hungry at the time. It is a bit surprising in fact that the current crop of 13 inch MacBookPros still max out at 16GB.

 

When I purchased the (new) macbook on Amazon about 4 years ago it was absolutely a real bargain as it was 30% off the regular price. I didn't think twice at that time. Honestly, I never had problems working with 8GB RAM. I forgot to say I use the Macbook for editing when I'm travelling, which means most of the time actually. At home I have a 27" iMac to complete my editing once I come back from my travels or when I work at home for different kind of photography. I agree with you about the D810. It's a great camera and I am not in desperate need for a D850. In the future, maybe I would love to have something much lighter than a 810/850 or similar cameras and it's this the reason I am starting to get excited about the upcoming new Nikon mirrorless. One thing is for sure, by the way, as said earlier. Next cameras will be all over 40 mp and this means I have to change my Macbook.

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