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Author Topic: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?  (Read 12517 times)

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2012, 11:50:44 PM »
I'd look at the display screen specs.  Shiny screens are not my favorite, you can see everything around you reflected in the screen unless you turn out the lights.  I'd also check brightness, some screens are too bright and can't be turned down enough to calibrate them. 

IMHO, the screen is much more important than processing power, as long as you have a decent i7 processor, it will do the job.  If a SSD is not standard, you can put in a SSD yourself and get the best, like Samsung or Intel, and for less money.

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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2012, 11:50:44 PM »

melbournite

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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #16 on: January 24, 2012, 11:59:09 PM »
My suggestion is that it doesn't matter much whether it's Mac or Windows, as Caps suggested, the most important factor is SSD.  It makes a remarkable difference to speed, reading and writing, especially when using the apps you mentioned.  If money is an issue, get yourself a second hand year or two old laptop (Mac or Windows) and put SSD into it - it will make it faster than the latest 'off-the-shelf' MBP.

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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2012, 05:10:29 AM »
What do you want?

The MBP is pretty much unrivaled in quality and screen quality, but often the price is an issue.
For the same price you could get a 27" iMac...

Is this gonna be your only computer? Do you need to the portability? Is photo editing all it's gonna do?



If you aren't needing it to be portable, the 27 inch iMac for about the same price as the MBP would be a much better deal I think. Lots more power from the iMac and editing on the big screen is a joy. When I go from mine to my little 13 inch MacBook screen I'm not a happy chappy.


neuroanatomist

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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2012, 07:22:10 AM »
I have been doing grat with my MacBook Pro 2010.  If I were to buy another one today with $1500 it would be the MacBook Air 13".  The SSD makes more of a difference than the CPU probably when compared to the MacBook Pro with the 5400 rpm drive.

Agreed.  I have a 17" MBPro (2.53 GHz Core i5, 8 GB RAM) and a 13" MBAir (1.8 GHz Core i7, 4 GB RAM), and the Air is very fast thanks to the 256 GB SSD instead of an HDD. 

I can edit images on the 17" MBP, but the 13" display is too small, needs to be connected to my 24" display.
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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2012, 05:49:39 AM »
if you go for a mac you will never go back to microsoft..
but the big issue is that mac is really expensive.. depends on a lot of other questions as well.. what else will you use it for? if you like games?

my 2009 macbook 13" handles well raw files and PS cs5.

erakepio

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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2012, 09:50:44 AM »
The Mac is expensive.  If you can justify the costs that's the option I would go for.

I use a 13" Macbook Pro solely for photo editing and it works a treat.  120GB solid state, photoshop CS5, lightroom and photomatix... I need nothing else.  It literally just works, no fuss, no problems.

All my photos are stored off on NAS boxes (i've got a 4TB setup at home) so i don't need to worry about the small disk space.  It gives me the freedom to be poortable and powerful enough to edit/post process my images on the move and not be too cumbersome.

As a backup I've got my PC which has a copy of GIMP on there or my work laptop which has CS4, but it's underpowered!

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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2012, 11:31:40 AM »
If I had to get a new laptop anytime soon I'd go again for a Lenovo Thinkpad. Not only because I like the layout and the keyboards best (especially for non-photo applications if you do a lot of writing) but because I always liked the high resolution screens available. Not sure if the latest models live up to that but worth checking. I haven't really found anything else that works for me that way since (on a laptop) I prefer smaller screens with high resolution (and I'm glad that mine is still in the 4:3 format but that's a thing of the past). Macs don't really offer that last time I checked. I f things were more compatible and if CS5 worked across platforms I might consider an Apple desktop but the Macbook pros I find just too big and don't like the screens.
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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2012, 11:31:40 AM »

kennykodak

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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2012, 12:19:21 PM »
i carry a Macbook Pro 15" with the non glare screen on commercial shoots.  it rocks.

ctmike

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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2012, 01:19:19 PM »
Would the OP consider a refurb MBP? Apple's warranty on refurbs is still quite nice.

kubelik

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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #24 on: February 01, 2012, 01:26:21 PM »
I'm a Lenovo/homebuilt PC user and here is a case where even I advocate the MacBook.

the simple reason is the screen.  the SSD's, RAM, processors, pretty much everything is identical within a given price bracket for laptops these days, so those aren't the issue.  I've used several Lenovos, a Sony, and a Toshiba to do my portable processing and have found that their screens all lacked the precise color adjustability to do accurate photo editing.  When I loaded the PP'd images I'd finished onto another computer, I was always disappointed in the color balance.  I now have to use my Lenovo hooked up to a secondary monitor to ensure accuracy, which defeats the whole purpose of it being a laptop.

While I'm happy with the IBM/Windows laptops for everything else, I've had disappointing results with their screens, while everyone I know with a Mac is very comfortable doing photo editing work on its screen.  go with the Mac.

Dianoda

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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #25 on: February 01, 2012, 01:38:35 PM »
Hey guys, what laptop would you buy for photo editing? Thx for the help :)

Mac Book Pro 15"
Asus N55SF 15"
or something else?

I'm not sure which laptop is the best choice between those two (I have no familiarity with the ASUS at all), but after skimming through the discussion here, I'm surprised there isn't more talk related to display quality.

At minimum, for photo editing I'd want a display with the following features: decent contrast ratio (I'd shoot for 500:1 at a brightness of 120cd/m2), capable of saturating the sRGB colorspace, minimal vertical and horizontal colorshift.  Resolution is another consideration, I'd recommend aiming for a display with a resolution of 1920x1080 or 1600x900, as more work space is always nice (assuming your vision is good enough to deal with the dense pixel pitch of a high resolution display).  I also recommend steering clear of displays with the ultra-typical resolution of 1366x768, if for no other reason than this resolution is often associated with inferior laptop displays.  Regardless of what you end up with, do yourself a favor and calibrate the display, it will make a huge difference in color accuracy.

There are several LCD display technologies found in laptops, each with its own strengths and weaknesses - namely TN and IPS panels.

IPS panels represent the ultimate in display quality and are the best for critical work.  The downsides are that they are quite rare in laptops, and when they are available they cost a pretty penny - it could be as much as a $400+ add-on to the base cost of the laptop.  IPS panels have good to great color depth (capable of reproducing anywhere from 70-100% of the adobeRGB colorspace), contrast ratios (700:1 or better), and superior viewing angles with minimal colorshifting, and sometimes come factory calibrated (a few laptop models even have built-in calibration).

TN panels, on the other hand, are available in varying levels of quality. Color depth is all over the place, poor displays might be limited to reproducing just 40% of the adobeRGB colorspace, decent displays are good for about 70% (and can saturate the sRGB colorspace), and there are a small number of high gamut displays good for 95-110% of the adobeRBG colorspace.  TN panels are also prone to vertical and to a lesser extent horizontal color shifting depending on viewing angle - again, the extent of color shift varies by display quality (some are actually quite good indeed with respect to minimizing colorshift).  Contrast ratios vary from 230:1 at the low end to 1000:1 at the high end.

Macbook Pros are generally well regarded for overall display quality, so that option is probably a pretty safe bet, but I'd recommend finding a review for the specific model you are planning to buy to confirm (check anandtech.com, they do a pretty good job with laptop and display reviews, another good resource for general LCD display information is tftcentral.co.uk).

I'm currently using a Dell U2711 (a high gamut IPS panel) for my desktop photo editing and a Dell Precision 4600 workstation laptop for on the road.  The laptop has a 1920x1080 TN panel display (an IPS panel is available, but would have cost another $400), before I had it in hand I was a bit worried the display wouldn't be up to spec, but after calibrating with a Spyder3Pro it's really quite pleasant to work with.  It's also a matte display, which is great for minimizing glare in bright environments.

Oh, one last note before I disappear into the ether: all the talk about SSDs is true, they make a huge difference in loading times for programs and files, everything is much more responsive.  With SSD, the boot time of my laptop is crazy fast - under 10 seconds.  The only problem is cost (very high cost per GB), and SSD quality is about as fickle as display quality - there are good SSDs and bad SSDs.  Samsung 830 series, Crucial M4, and Intel 320 series SSDs are probably you best bet for reliability, and the samsung 830 and curcial M4 will be faster provided you laptop supports the SATA 3.0 spec.  Sorry for the huge wall of text and good luck!
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Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #26 on: February 01, 2012, 01:45:21 PM »
If I had to get a new laptop anytime soon I'd go again for a Lenovo Thinkpad. Not only because I like the layout and the keyboards best (especially for non-photo applications if you do a lot of writing) but because I always liked the high resolution screens available. Not sure if the latest models live up to that but worth checking. I haven't really found anything else that works for me that way since (on a laptop) I prefer smaller screens with high resolution (and I'm glad that mine is still in the 4:3 format but that's a thing of the past). Macs don't really offer that last time I checked. I f things were more compatible and if CS5 worked across platforms I might consider an Apple desktop but the Macbook pros I find just too big and don't like the screens.

I bought a Lenovo X200S 4GB Win 7 64 bit with extra high resolution screen about two years ago.  Then, I added a SSD, so it runs photoshop, lightroom, etc quite handily.  The optional larger battery also lasts at least 7 hours while working, so that part is great.

BUT --- The 12 inch high resolution screen is horrible, colors are washed out, move even a couple of inches off center, and it fades, I have calibrated it over and over, and that helps, but I could never recommend that screen for image editing.

I noted that they have changed it on the newer models, but the only way to try one in my location is to buy and then return if its not right.

kubelik

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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2012, 02:02:38 PM »
If I had to get a new laptop anytime soon I'd go again for a Lenovo Thinkpad. Not only because I like the layout and the keyboards best (especially for non-photo applications if you do a lot of writing) but because I always liked the high resolution screens available. Not sure if the latest models live up to that but worth checking. I haven't really found anything else that works for me that way since (on a laptop) I prefer smaller screens with high resolution (and I'm glad that mine is still in the 4:3 format but that's a thing of the past). Macs don't really offer that last time I checked. I f things were more compatible and if CS5 worked across platforms I might consider an Apple desktop but the Macbook pros I find just too big and don't like the screens.

I bought a Lenovo X200S 4GB Win 7 64 bit with extra high resolution screen about two years ago.  Then, I added a SSD, so it runs photoshop, lightroom, etc quite handily.  The optional larger battery also lasts at least 7 hours while working, so that part is great.

BUT --- The 12 inch high resolution screen is horrible, colors are washed out, move even a couple of inches off center, and it fades, I have calibrated it over and over, and that helps, but I could never recommend that screen for image editing.

I noted that they have changed it on the newer models, but the only way to try one in my location is to buy and then return if its not right.

without fail, all the lenovos I have purchased for my company have monitors that run very blue.  it's almost impossible to correct for with in-computer settings, and thus while I love Lenovos for their productivity uses and their rock-solid builds (obviously, the corporate customer service as well), I really don't recommend them for graphics use.

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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #27 on: February 01, 2012, 02:02:38 PM »

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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #28 on: February 01, 2012, 02:37:54 PM »
I use Asus laptops and have been for quite some time. MBPs are good but I have to use mine for my day job too. most modern laptops ship with glossy screens and just whatever graphics solution is cheapest at the time and this is a big thing to anyone concerned with graphics quality. look for something with a non-glossy (non-glare) screen, the recent market push to these is because they make colors look more vivid and have darker blacks, but they are pretty bad for accurate reproduction. they are also more susceptible to color variance based on viewing angle and any dirt on the screen shows up very easily. the graphics chip on the laptop is also pretty important because it will dictate what controls you have to easily adjust the color reproduction. if you have the time and money to do proper monitor calibration with ISS profiles it's much less important. I have found that ATI/AMD graphics chips are the easiest to adjust for better reproduction than other brands, but it will only be as good as the display itself.

Commonly I will do quick editing on the laptop and if I'm going to really concern myself with printing I'l use an external, calibrated IPS display to get accurate color.

As far as Asus laptops go, they're pretty good, but like all brands you have to watch which models are good and which aren't. I find that they tend to ship with moderate quality power supplies that last a couple of years and then you either repair or replace it ($54 to replace the one for my G73, so not very expensive), and the batteries are not the highest quality (never allow them to fully drain, and replacements can be expensive), but at least you can swap those yourself whereas with the MBP you can't even have a spare with you as it is internal.

if I had no investment in PC software, more spare money and didn't need a PC for my day job, I'd gladly consider the MBP, but I'd probably get a decent PC and spend the rest on the camera gear. there is no real advantage for either platform as a whole. it all boils down to existing investment and preference.
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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2012, 03:02:32 PM »
It should be noted that the MBP pro line is slated for a major redesign very soon. It's been pegged as Q2 2012, which could be as soon as two months. These will have the new line of Ivy Bridge processors. These are also strongly rumored to take their cues from the MBA in that they will switch to SSDs and a much thinner profile. Might be worth the wait.

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Re: Mac Book Pro or Asus N55SF or something else for photo editing?
« Reply #29 on: February 01, 2012, 03:02:32 PM »