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Cosy moment with the Apple MacBook Pro 15" Retina, LaCie 4TB hard drive and the Leiac M-D 262 digital rangefinder. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

   
 
   

The Story Behind That Picture: "Advice for Photographers:
Which computer do I need for photography?"

By: Thorsten Overgaard. July 28, 2016. Updated August 13, 2018.

 

Add to Flipboard Magazine.

 

Having the right computer for digital photography is one way to lessen the time you spend by the computer. There are a few things to know that will make you work 4X faster for $100 extra and more.

 

 
 

 

 

 

     
 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which computer do I need for photography?

Here are recommendations for your next computer, before or after a Thorsten Overgaard Workshop: Apple computers has traditionally been the ibest for photography workflow. I used to say that, even if you work with a PC for work, consider an Apple for your photography. But well, things are changing. Apple seem to have a hard time to keep up, and meanwhile for example the Microsoft Surface computer prove to be an excellent platform for photo editing. So, if you heard me say "get a Mac" in the past, let me modify it to, "Consider a Mac, but if you're willing to work with the PC interface, consider a Microsoft Surface computer".

 

The Microsoft Surface computer where you can take off the keyboard and use the screen with a pencil, or a wheel you attach (magnetically) to the screen. They come as 15" with 1TB and i7 Quad-core processors. See MacRumors review of MacBook Pro vs Microsoft Surface.
The Microsoft Surface Pro computer where you can take off the keyboard and use the screen with a pencil, or a wheel you attach (magnetically) to the screen. They come as 15" with 1TB and i7 Quad-core processors. See MacRumors review of MacBook Pro vs Microsoft Surface.

 

Generally, I recommend getting the fastest MacBook Pro available, if you want to be mobile, with the 15" Retina screen, or a 13" with external Eizo or other large screen if you want to be mobile, but perform most final editing work at home. Change computer every 18-36 months to stay in the loop with the fastest technology (things change so fast that a 3 year old computer tends to be really slow).

 

MacBook Pro 15". As of 2018, the Mid 2015 model is still the fastest for photo editing.
MacBook Pro 15". As of 2018, the Mid 2015 model is still the fastest for photo editing.

  

Much less computer power needed if you use Capture One, than if you use Adobe Lightroom CC

Adobe Lightroom CC Classic tend to bog down the computer when it (imports and) build previews, and (since Lightroom CC Classic 2018, also) when it exports JPG's. Traditionally, the processor power of the computer is used to build previews and calculate resized exports in JPG or TIFF. That's when the computer sounds like a hairdryer.

Capture One doesn't bog down the computer (at all) when it exports), and the building of previews upon import is very fast and slick. This of course implies that something is not completely right in the way Lightroom works, and whatever that is, the conclusion is that Capture One works faster. Much faster.

With the new MacBook Pro (2018) reaching beyond $8,000 for the absolute power and largest 4TB hard drive, the option to use a 2015 model, or a smaller model of any of them, is relevant.

 

Speed comparison Lightroom vs. Capture One:

This is how big a difference there is working with Lightroom 7 and Capture One 11. This test was performed with 346 DNG files from 24MP camera (= size 20-30 MB each) using a Mac Book Pro 15" (Late 2016) with 2TB hard drive, 16GB ram:

   

LIGHTROOM
CC Classic 7

 

Capture One Pro
11

Import of 346 DNG files from SD-card
  2:11 min
  2:09 min
Making 1:1 previews
of 346 DNG files
  13:40 min   3:55 min
Export of files **
(346 web-sized JPG's)
  3:45 min   3:20 min
Total waiting time
for import, preview and export of 346 pictures
  19:36 min   9:24 Min
Delay in showing a full-size preview
  1.2 Sec   0.1 Sec

 

 

Speed comparison of MacBook Pro using Lightroom:

If you use Lightroom, which many Leica users still does because it traditionally comes with the Leica camera, you should be aware which Mac computer works the fastest. This is how big a difference there is working with Lightroom 6.x. This test was performed with 346 DNG files from 24MP camera (= size 20-30 MB each). The 2017 model is not in this comparison but was tested to be generally 7% faster than the 2016 model (no reason to upgrade from the 2016 to the 2017 model). I will be testing the 2018 model at a later point and expect it to be on level, or better than, the 2015 model.

    MacBook Air 11
(Mid 2013)

1.7 Ghz i7
processor
512 GB
hard drive
Intel 1.5 GB
1 Thunderbolt
2 USB
$1,700 in 2013

  MacBook Pro 15"
(Late 2013)

2.6 Ghz i7
Quad processor
1 TB
hard drive
NVIDIA
750M 2 GB
2 Thunderbolt
2 USB 3
SD-card reader
$3,300 in 2013
 

MacBook Pro 15"
(Mid 2015)

2.8 Ghz i7
Quad processor
1 TB
hard drive
AMD 2GB
2 Thunderbolt
2 USB 3
SD-card reader
$3,100 in 2016
B&H Photo / Amazon

  MacBook Pro 13"
(Late 2016)

2.9 Ghz i5
Duo processor
512GB
hard drive
8GB RAM
Iris Graphics 550
4 x USB-C/
Tunderbolt 3
$1,899 in 2017
B&H Photo
  MacBook Pro 13"
(Late 2016)

3.3 Ghz i7
Duo processor
1 TB
hard drive
16GB RAM
Iris Graphics 550 2GB
4 x USB-C/
Tunderbolt 3
$2,899 in 2017
B&H Photo
  MacBook Pro 15"
(Late 2016)

2.9 Ghz i7
Quad processor
2 TB
hard drive
16GB RAM
AMD Radeon Pro 460 GPU 4GB
4 x USB-C/
Tunderbolt 3
$4,299 in 2017
B&H Photo
Import into Lightroom 6
of 346 DNG files from SD-card
  11:31 min
(External
USB reader)
  2:14 min
(built-in SD reader)
  1:54 min
(built-in SD reader)
  9:54 min
(USB to USB-C dongle)
  7:53 min
(USB to USB-C dongle)
  2:11 min
(External
USB-C reader)
Making 1:1 previews
of 346 DNG files
  26:34 min   21:32 min   11:48 min   17:43 min   17:08 min   13:40 min
Export of files **
(346 web-sized JPG's)
  24:16 Min   4:44 Min   3:12 Min   7:33 Min   7:30 min   3:45 min
Total waiting time
for import, preview and export of 346 pictures **
  62:21 Min   28:30 Min   16:54 Min   35:10 Min   32:31 Min   19:36 Min
SSD hard drive/Flash Memory
read/write/copy speed *
  200MB/sec   800MB/sec   2000MB/sec   1900MB/sec   1950MB/sec   1950MB/sec
Delay in showing a full-size preview in Develop Mode *
  3-5 Sec   0.3 Sec   0.1 Sec   2.0 Sec   2.0 Sec   1,2 Sec
* = When you edit in Lightroom on a computer, the computer depend on the hard drive and not the processor/RAM to show previews immediately.
** = Export of files in other sizes than original uses the processor to resize the files.

 

Big screen

If you want to work on a large screen at home, I recommend getting one or two external screens that connects to your portable, rather than having a "large computer" at home and a "small computer" for travel. It's much easier to have just one computer and not having to sync two computers; and you can invest the money in one really fast computer.

Workspace with two 30" Apple Cinema screens run by a MacBook Pro. © 2014-2016 Thorsten Overgaard.
I used to have a workspace with two 30" Apple Cinema screens run by a MacBook Pro. © 2014-2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

Thorsten von Overgaard editing on Eizo
I like Eizo ColorEdge screens for the image quality and 98% of Adobe RGB color space shown, as well as the mechanical quality. They connect to the MacBook Pro via a USB Type-C -> DisplayPort cable, and to Microsoft Surface Pro via an PM200 cable (Mini DisplayPort -> DisplayPort).

 

Always buy the fastest model available

No matter which MacBook model you buy, upgrade the processor to the fastest possible model, and consider to upgrade the hard drive to the largest available.

In the MacBook Air series, they usually come with an i5 processor, but upgrading to the i7 will increase the speed for photography workflow 4X and only cost $150.

The MacBook 12" is cute, has a great screen, but is also the slowest model for photography workflow. My mother has one and loves it, but she's 70 years old and only uses it for e-mail and online banking.

If you visit an Apple store and compare the 13" MacBook Air with the 15" MacBook Pro, you will realize that there's not much difference in size. So, why not get the computer with the largest screen and most speed?

Even I travel 49 of the years 52 weeks, I've choosen the MacBook Pro 15" every time, and I've picked the fastest model available every time. I travel with my computer, but I never really carry it around. I park it in a hotel or apartment, and when I travel to the next place I put it in my bag until I arrive in the next place. Only if you always (or often) carry your computer around town with you does it makes sense to get a smaller model.

Currently, the MacBook Pro 15" (Late 2016) with 2.9 Ghz and 2TB hard drive may be the choice for slick design, better screen and the 2TB hard drive. But in terms of speed, the previous 2015 model is actually 14% faster for Lightroom.

Currently, the new MacBook Pro 15" (Mid 2018) with 2.9 Ghz i9 processor (when you add $300 for upgrade from 2.6 Ghz i7 processor) and 2TB hard drive ($4,699 at BH Photo) is likely to the first of the new MacBook Pro's that is actaully faster than the previous silver 2015 model.

Maybe in an attempt to sell cloud storage, the SSD disk space has become extremely expensive. The 4TH model is + $2,000 for the extra two TB. If you downgrade from 2TB to 1TB, the price of the computer is 'only' $3,899 at BH Photo.

With it the new MacBook Pro's (Late 2016, Mid 2017 and Mid 2018 models) comes the pain of new Thunderbolt 3/USB-C connections and no SD-card reader built-in.

 

LaCie 5TB harddrive USB-C   LaCie 4Tb harddrive USB3 with USB-C dongle
LaCie 5TB harddrive USB-C   LaCie 4TB harddrive USB3 with USB-C dongle

 

Design

The MacBook Pro does have a slick design. After having looked at Joy using a less-than-impressive in terms of speed 13"' for some weeks, I started looking at my 2015 macbook as a clunky device. The fingerprint opening of the new MacBook is a nice feature together with other things that makes the Late 2016, Mid 2017 and Mid 2018 model a pleasure to use.

The four similar connections is a freedom, once you get harddrives, SD-card readers and all that connects to the Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports. And unlike the iPhone, it still has a mini jack for headphones!

 

No more SD-card reader in the Late 2016, Mid 2017 and Mid 2018 MacBook Pro computers

  StarTech USB-C cardreader for SD-cards
  StarTech SD-card reader is $30 at BH PHoto
   

Apple doesn't even make or sell (in the Apple Store) a SD card reader, so you have to visit BH Photo, Amazon or eBay to find a third party SD card reader that goes into the USB-C plug, or a traditional SD card reader with USB and use a USB-C to USB3 dongle.

Using a USB 3 card reader via a dongle is extremely slow. There are more and more USB-C readers available. The one I got is the StarTech ($30).

Then a few weeks later, I got the SanDisk USB-C reader, and that one is better:

 

The SanDisk Extreme Pro SD UHS-II Card USB-C readers does the job.
The SanDisk Extreme Pro SD UHS-II Card USB-C reader does the job. © 2017 Thorsten Overgaard.

 

Work simply on a laptop when on the road, and offload to external drives when back home. Here's my hotel room in Jakarta. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux. © 2013-2018 Thorsten Overgaard
Work simply on a laptop when on the road, and offload to external drives when back home. Here's my hotel room in Jakarta. Leica M 240 with Leica 50mm Noctilux. © 2013-2018 Thorsten Overgaard

 

USB-C is not the same as Thunderbolt 3

The plug for USB-C is the same as for Thunderbolt 3. The confusion on this is so great that the staff in the Apple Store doesn't always know. They will claim it is the same speed. It's not. Thunderbolt 3 is four times faster than USB-C, and that is important when buying a new hard drive: LaCie makes hard drives with USB-C (USB 3.1) connections and Thunderbolt 3 connections for this reason, but many portable drives have just USB-C connection. USB-C speed is rated as 10GB/sec and Thunderbolt 3 is rated as 40GB/sec. This is so little known, most will claim USB-C and Thunderbolt 3 is the same connection and speed (though it was specified in the 40 page document following the release of the MacBook Late 2016).

Thunderbolt 3 hard drives
Hard drives with USB-C are not the same as Thunderbolt 3. The LaCie 6TB, 8TB and 10TB d2 drives are the first ones with real Thunderbolt 3 cables and speeds.


My LaCie 10TB drives with one USB-C connection (top) and two Thunderbolt 3 connections. It's $500 for this model at BH Photo. The cables for USB-C (has a USB-symbol) and Thunderbolt 3 (has a thunder synbol and 3) are different.
My LaCie 10TB drives with one USB-C connection (top) and two Thunderbolt 3 connections. It's $500 for this model at BH Photo. The cables for USB-C (has a USB-symbol) and Thunderbolt 3 (has a thunder synbol and 3) are different.

 

Look at performance, don't listen to the hype

When the new MacBook Pro was announced, it was announced as "Metal on all four sides" and "17% thinner than the previous model" and so on. That's how they sold us Thunderbolt some years ago and that's how the MacBook 12" may sound great (even it is the worst for picture editing).

It's difficult to not get enthusiastic about the new, but make speed comparisons before you go get it all.

Read the numbers carefully below, not the names of the connections!

 

Which external hard drives do I need for photography?

You need external hard drives for storage, and you usually need two so that one is your storage, the other is your backup. In other words, you always buy two, four, six or eight hard drives at a time.

Portable hard drives have a live span of 12-18 months before you want to replace them with a bigger one. You think they will last forever, but your need for storage grows faster than you think. The good news is that price of hard drive space drops with the same speed as your need more space.

 

Speed test of Thunderbolt, USB-C, SSD and more

MacBook Pro SSD internal read/write speed   2400 MB/sec
Thunderbolt 3 to external SSD
   
USB-C to external SSD RAID

   
USB-C to external SSD

  450 MB/sec
Thunderbolt 3 to external RAID

  400 MB/sec
Thunderbolt 2 to external RAID   137 MB/sec
Thunderbolt 3 to external hard drive   117 MB/sec
USB-C to external hard drive   103 MB/sec
Thunderbolt 2 to external hard drive   80 MB/sec
USB-3 to external hard drive   75 MB/sec
USB-2 to external hard drive   40 MB/sec

As you can see, the hard drive determines the speed more than the connection.

With new MacBook Pro 15" (Late 2016, Mid 2017 and Mid 2018) that has four Thunderbolt 3 conncetions (which looks the same as USB-C), you don't really have a choice. You can use dongles/converters for a while, but all future things you buy should be directed towards USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 (when Thunderbolt came out, you could get FireWire to Thunderbolt converters, and they work; but you want clean cables without having to use dongles/converters).

 

My portable hard drives are currently 4TB LaCie Rugged (USB3) and 2TB Western Digital (USB3).
My portable hard drives are currently 4TB LaCie Rugged (USB3) and 2TB Western Digital (USB3) and 2TB USB-C LaCie Porsche.

 

Remember, you will buy a new one anyways in 12-18 months. Go with USB 3if you can, and don't spend much time reconsidering this decision until portable SSD hard drives come down into a reasonable price range. (There will be coming a new type of SSD hard drives that you can expand unlimited - e-mail me for more info on this so you get a notice when they are available). 

Make sure to avoid portable hard drives that require external power supply! Not much compactness in having a small drive that needs a power supply. A portable hard drive should be powered by the USB or Thunderbolt cable. 

 

Desktop hard drives are a little different in that they last for 3-5 years. Then you want to upgrade them to larger ones because you need more space and the connections becomes obsolete. FireWire 400 (invented 1995) and FireWire 800 (introduced 2009) have died out. Again, time works for you, the price of a top-of-the-line 120 GB hard drive in 2000 was $400 back then, and a 6,000 GB hard drive today costs $400 as well. 

 

This is how big (or small) a difference there is between FireWire 800, USB3, Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3:



 

FireWire 800
hard drive

  USB 3
hard drive
  Thunderbolt
2
desktop
hard drive
LaCie 6TB
 

Thunderbolt 3
desktop
hard drive
LaCie 10TB

BH Photo

Read/write/copy speed
  71 MB/sec
  75 MB/sec   137MB/sec   117MB/sec
 

 

The lesson on FireWire, USB, Thunderbolt and the new Apple USB-C Port is that it's the size of the connections that change dramatically, not so much the speed. But the hype with each new type makes you buy new equipment, and that's the main feature.

The USB-C is genius in that it is one connections for power, drives, screens and all. But don't believe for a second it's faster.

 

Some of my external hard drives. FireWire/Thunderbolt in the background, USB backup drives on the front, and USB3 portable hard drives for travel.
Some of my external hard drives. FireWire/Thunderbolt in the background, USB backup drives on the front, and USB3 portable hard drives for travel.

 

USB desktop hard drives vs
Thunderbolt desktop hard drives

You can set up several USB 3 external hard drives via an $18 USB 3.1 Hub so they are all connected at the same time. As the Hub provides power as well, you can actually go with portable drives instead of the Desktop hard drives (that all requires a separate power supply). If you don't depend on speed but use the connected hard drives for archiving (and photo editing, video editing, etc. on the much faster internal SSD/Flash Memory), this is actually worth considering. The USB hub also can charge iPhones and stuff.  

Thunderbolt 2 and Thunderbolt 3 hard drives can be connected in "daiseychain" which means you have one cable going out of the Mac to the first hard drive, then a Thunderbolt from that to the next and from that to the next. They are all connected this way, although it requires that the desktop hard drive needs two Thunderbolt connections (one in and one out).  

One of the problems with Thunderbolt 2 is that the cables go black for no reason. They simply stop working. Some times, after some weeks of rest they may work normally again. If you have a rather complicated setup of drives it's annoying to locate the faulty cable and replace it. Others have reported that Thunderbolt cables caused errors that wiped their hard drives. All in all, it's an easy technology but not a very stable one. We all got into it because "Thunderbolt" sounds so cool, and it's the future (and who doesn't want to be in that?). 

  Sanho 5-in-1 hub for MacBook USB-C is necessary in order to plug in more than one thing. It's a mess..!
  Sanho 5-in-1 hub for MacBook USB-C is necessary in order to plug in more than one thing. It's a mess..!
   

Next thing will be USB-C which was introduced on the MacBook 12" in 2015 and that's also what is on the new redesigned MacBook Pro (Late 2016), wich they call Thunderbolt 3 on that one. (It has 4 Thunderbolt 3 connections and nothing else).

Thunderbolt 3 read/write supposedly up to 4X faster than USB-C even they plugs look the same. If you connect a USB hard drive via the USB>USB-C dongle, the speed will obviously be that of the slowest cable.

In the MacBook 12" it's very unpractical as it is the one and only connection for power, hard drives, scanners, phones and all. "Be careful what you wish for", as the Apple CEO said about that feature.

Do what seems most practical. As long as you have backup of your hard drives, the problems will never be bigger than what you can overcome. I very much buy hard drives the same way I buy Xerox paper:  the price per pack for 500 sheets of Xerox paper, and the price for a 1TB hard drive. I simply make a piece of paper where I list and compare the current models: Speed, Connections, price per TB). If I had smaller storage needs, I would use portable hard drives only. Nice, easy and compact. 

As I don't expect any of my desktop hard drives to be with me for more than 3-5 years, I don't invest in one large system or one large 30TB hard drive. I buy a hard drive that will keep me going for a while; and in 6-9 months when I need more space, I compare and get the next one.

Price comparison of hard drives (August 2018)

    USB 3

  Thunder
bolt 2
  USB-C   Thunder
bolt 3
LaCie 5TB Rugged
portable HD
      $50 per 1 TB
BH Photo
       
WD 2TB portable HD
  $32 per 1 TB
BH Photo / Amazon
           
LaCie 4 TB Rugged
portable HD
  $35 per 1 TB
BH Photo / Amazon
  $85 per 1 TB
BH Photo / Amazon
  $40 per 1 TB
BH Photo
   
Glyph Technologies 
RAID 4TB SSD
Portable drive

          $400 per 1 TB
BH Photo
   
G-Technology 2TB G-Drive
Portable SSD

          $325 per 1 TB
BH Photo
   
SanDisk 960GB
Portable SSD

  $499 per 1 TB
BH Photo / Amazon
           
LaCie Porsche 2TB
LaCie Porsche 5TB

          $46 per 1 TB
$32 per 1 TB
BH Photo
   
LaCie 10 TB Desktop HD
              $50 per 1 TB
BH Photo
LaCie 20 TB Dock RAID w/
SD card reader and more
              $54 per 1 TB
BH Photo

Best buy in hard drives:


As of August 2018, the 20TB LaCie Thunderbolt 3 DOCK with raid and several connections, including for screen, as well as memory card reader, is a really good price per TB. It has a transfer speed of 400MB/sec when connected with the Thunderbolt 3 drive. Only two things against it is that it has a ventilator (20 db noise) and it takes some time to wake up. See review here. Price $ 1,095 at BH Photo. Mine is in a small closet so I don't hear it, and I simply connect my laptop next to it over in the closet and go back to my desk and work on the screen that is connected to the LaCie.

 

In portable hard drives, my favorite is the 2TB LaCie Porsche because it's so slim ($46 per 1 TB). The bulkier 5TB is only $32 per 1TB which is the best price across the lines of portable USB-C drives, but a chunk of metal. It's okay if you have a pocket or place for it in the bag.
In portable hard drives, my favorite is the 2TB LaCie Porsche because it's so slim ($46 per 1 TB). The bulkier 5TB is only $32 per 1TB which is the best price across the lines of portable USB-C drives, but a chunk of metal. It's okay if you have a pocket or place for it in the bag.

 

 
     

 

 
 

 

 

         
 
"Capture One Pro Survival Kit"
By Thorsten von Overgaard
 
         
  Capture One Pro Survival Kit by Thorsten von Overgaard
400+ pages easy-to-understand workflow logics, as well as tutorial of Photoshop and Digital Asset Management Software.
Packed with help and tools for all questions on digital photography workflow.
 

The complete workflow of Thorsten Overgaard,
made easy with pre-flight checklists and step-by-step introductions on how to set up and use Capture One Pro.

The Capture One Surival Kit also includes simple and to-the-point tools on how to use Meda Pro for Digital Asset Management catalogs, Photoshop for better clarity, how to do backup and how to organize pictures archives and bakup.

Also: Specialized first-help chapters on how to
escape Apple Photos, how to empty photos out of an iPhone, how to get out of Lightroom CC ... and more.

For computer, iPad, smartphone and Kindle.

Thorsten Overgaard
Capture One Survival Kit 11

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You can download a number of film styles, matte styles, black and white styles and more to use in capture One. Write in "Enter Promotional Code": AMBOVERGAARD for 10% discount on the Capture One Styles download page.

 

Capture One with discount

You need the desktop software application "Capture One Pro" to utilize my Capture One Pro Surivival Kit and to edit pictures in Capture One. You can download both Capture One Pro software and software updates:
Write in "Enter Promotional Code": AMBOVERGAARD for 10% discount in checkout on the
Capture One download page.

 
         
         

 

 

Also read

Also read my article, "Advice for Photographers: How to calibrate your computer screen"

 

Your computer is not an archive

One of the things I teach in my workshops and in my Lightroom Survival Kit (which is a guide on how to set up an overall workflow for photography), is that your photographs and raw files are not to reside on the computer.

Your computer is a tool to import, edit and finalize photographs. After you are finished with them, they have to go onto an external archive and your computer should be empty.

You cannot work on a comptuer that is cluttered with files. Your comptuer is not an archive, it's a tool.

 

Your computer is a tool and a resource

Your computer should be set up to work for you. The faster it is, the simpler it works, and the more you can have it do for you, the better.

The amount of automated processes a computer can do for you that it would take you days to do is amazing.

But on the other hand, the amount of time you can waste on getting a computer to work is just as amazing.

So keep your eyes on how to get the computer to do work for you. It's a tool.

 

 
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Thorsten von Overgaard editing on Eizo
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Finally, the ideal computer

Once in a while, you plan to buy the ideal computer and all. It's a great idea, and with it you often have the feeling that now you are on top of it all. It's perfect. But what you have to think into the plan is that your ideal computer will need updating and replacement very soon to stay the ideal setup.

So rather than investing in the perfect everything right now, think in a workable workflow that will continue to be ideal with the updates, replacements and all.

The question is not, "How much will I have to invest in the ideal computer setup?" but rather, "How much will it cost me a year to maintain this perfect setup?"

Because that's what you do when you plan a computer and a workflow. You plan a continious workflow that require that you update most of the elements every one or two years to stay on top of the game. For me it's MacBook Pro and it cost me about $1,000 a year to buy a new one every 12-18 months and sell the old one. If I added a Mac Pro for "home use", I would have to look at the writeoff a year to maintain that power. I can't just buy one and expect it to keep me working super-fast forever.

 

A good computer

My take on computers is very easy to remember: Get the most effective one and keep replacing it with the new model whenever the new model is a considerable jump up in speed. But don't buy the marketing hype, look at actual speed performance.

When Apple moved onto the unibody MacBook Pro, there was a period of two years where the previous model (with silver keyboard) was in fact faster for video and stills editing.

They usually gets bigger and faster for each release, but some times the improvement is very small and not worth the trouble of replacement. Apple for example released a 15" MacBook Pro in 2014 that didn't improve the speed or harddrive space. Their 2013 model improved compared to the previous model: The internal speed from 400 MB/sec to 800 MB/sec and the harddrive went from 512 GB to 1TB. Their 2015 model improved the internal speed greatly from 800 MB/sec to 2000 MB/sec.

I figure it cost me about $500 - $1,000 a year in write-off replacing my previous MacBook Pro with the new one. So even the machine is usually around $3,300, that is not what it costs me every 12-18 months to keep the fastest one.

Apple iMac comes with a nice big screen, but stacking it with SSD hard drives is more expensive than stacking a MacBook Pro with similar space. I recommend getting a MacBook Pro and eventual one or two external screens.

The 12" MacBook in gold is slick and looks good but is the slowest MacBook available. It's basically an iPad with keyboard.

The Mac Pro was designed to be a powerhouse but the release was so delayed that time caught up with it. It can be useful for scientific work and other work where you demand a lot of power. But the new iMac is in fact faster than the Mac Pro, unless you trick the Mac Pro out with all the power you can get. It's not really a computer for home use.

I stumbled into a Mac Pro that was optimized dramatically:

 

Now, this is a workflow computer! I stumbled over this made-to-travel Mac Pro computer integrated into a flight box with eight 1TB SSD-drives and import slots for camera memory cards in the top). It serves as import, storage, distribution, printing as well as server for five on-the-road editing workstations with each one 27" screen. It's meant as one computer that serves five traveling photographers at one time. The MacPro itself has 1TB SSD built-in and lots of RAM, as well as an external back-up drive attached (the usb-cable going out of the unit).
Now, this is a workflow computer! I stumbled over this made-to-travel Mac Pro computer integrated into a flight box with eight 1TB SSD-drives and import slots for camera memory cards in the top). It serves as import, storage, distribution, printing as well as server for five on-the-road editing workstations with each one 27" screen. It's meant as one computer that serves five traveling photographers at one time. The MacPro itself has 1TB SSD built-in and lots of RAM, as well as an external back-up drive attached (the usb-cable going out of the unit).

 

Photography team on the road: The five workstations run by one portable Mac Pro that is special built and tricked out with all sorts of extra power.
Photography team on the road: The five workstations run by one portable Mac Pro that is special built and tricked out with all sorts of extra power.

 

I hope you enjoyed today's article. As always, feel free to mail me at thorsten@overgaard.dk for suggestions, ideas and corrections.

 

 

 


Thorsten Overgaard

   
   

 

leica.overgaard.dk
Thorsten Overgaard's Leica Article Index
Leica M cameras:   Leica S:
Leica M10   Leica S1 digital scan camera
Leica M Type 240 and M-P Typ240   Leica S2 digital medium format
Leica M-D Typ 262 and Leica M60   Leica S digital medium format
Leica M Monochrom Typ246 digital rangefinder    
Leica M Monochrom MM digital rangefinder   Leica Cine Lenses:
Leica M9 and Leica M-E digital rangefinder   Leica Cine lenses from CW Sonderoptic
Leica M9-Professional digital rangefinder    
Leica M4 35mm film rangefinder    
Leica M lenses:   Leica SLR cameras:
Leica 21mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica SL 2015 Type 601 mirrorless fullframe
Leica 21mm Leica Super-Elmar-M ASPH f/3.4   Leica R8/R9/DMR film & digital 35mm dSLR cameras
Leica 21mm Super-Angulon-M f/3.4   Leica R10 [cancelled]
Leica 28mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4   Leica R4 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summilux-M ASPH FLE f/1.4 and f/1.4 AA   Leica R3 electronic 35mm film SLR
Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leicaflex SL/SL mot 35mm film SLR
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95    
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M f/1.0 and f/1.2   Leica R lenses:
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f//1.4   Leica 19mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 35mm Elmarit-R f/2.8
Leitz 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0 "rigid" Series II   Leica 50mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4   Leica 60mm Macro-Elmarit f/2.8
Leica 75mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 80mm Summilux-F f/1.4
Leica 90mm APO-Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0   Leica 90mm Summicron-R f/2.0
Leica 90mm Summarit-M f/2.5   Leica 180mm R lenses
Leica 90mm Elmarit f/2.8   Leica 400mm Telyt-R f/6.8
Leitz 90mm Thambar f/2.2   Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/2.8
    Leica 35-70mm Vario-Elmarit-R f/4.0
     
History and overview:   Small Leica cameras:
Leica History   Leica Q full-frame mirrorless
Leica Definitions   Leica Digilux 2 vintage digital rangefinder
Leica Lens Compendium   Leica Digilux 1
Leica Camera Compendium   Leica X
The Solms factory and Leica Wetzlar Campus   Leica Sofort instant camera
    Leica Minilux 35mm film camera
    Leica CM 35mm film camera
     
Photography Knowledge   Thorsten Overgaard books and education:
Calibrating computer screen for photographers   Thorsten Overgaard Masterclasses & Workshops
Quality of Light   Overgaard Lightroom Survival Kit for Lightroom CC/6
Lightmeters   "Finding the Magic of Light" eBook (English)
Color meters for accurate colors (White Balance)   "Die Magie des Lichts Finden" eBook (German)
White Balance & WhiBal   "Composition in Photography" eBook
Film in Digital Age   "The Moment of Impact in Photography" eBook
Dodge and Burn   "Freedom of Photographic Expression" eBook
All You Need is Love    
How to shoot Rock'n'Roll   "After the Tsunami" Free eBook
X-Rite   The Overgaard New Inspiration Extension Course I
The Origin of Photography   The Overgaard Photography Extension Course
Case in Point    
The Good Stuff  
Hasselblad/Imacon Flextight 35mm and 6x6 scanner   "Magic of Light" Television Channel
Leica OSX folder icons   Thorsten von Overgaard YouTube Channel
   
Leica Photographers:  
Jan Grarup   Riccis Valladares
Henri Cartier-Bresson   Christopher Tribble
Birgit Krippner   Martin Munkácsi
John Botte   Jose Galhoz
 
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Byron Prukston    
     
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Leica Forums and Blogs:    
Leica M10 / M240 / M246 User Forum on Facebook   Heinz Richter's Leica Barnack Berek Blog
The Leica User Forum   Leica Camera AG
Steve Huff Photos (reviews)   Leica Fotopark
Erwin Puts (reviews)   The Leica Pool on Flickr
LeicaRumors.com (blog)   Eric Kim (blog)
Luminous Landscape (reviews)   Adam Marelli (blog)
Sean Reid Review (reviews)   Jono Slack
Ken Rockwell (reviews)   Shoot Tokyo (blog)
John Thawley (blog)   Ming Thein (blog)
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Software for Photography   Ventilated Shade for Current 35mm Summilux FLE
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Photography Books by Thorsten Overgaard   Ventilated Shade for older 28mm Elmarti-M
Home School Photography Extension Courses   Ventilated Shade for 75mm Summicron (coming)
Overgaard Workshops & Masterclasses   ventilated Shade E55 for 90mm Summicron
Artists Nights   Ventilated Shade for 28mm Summaron
    Ventilated Shade for 24mm Elmarit
Gallery Store Specials   Ventilated ShadeE60 for 50mm Noctilux and 75/1.4
 

 

   
   
   

Above: Cosy moment with the Apple MacBook Pro 15" Retina, LaCie 4TB hard drive and the Leica M-D 262 digital rangefinder. © 2016 Thorsten Overgaard.

 





 


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Leica Definitions
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Leica 35mm Summicron-M ASPH f/2.0
Leica 50mm Noctilux-M ASPH f/0.95
Leica 50mm APO-Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summicron-M f/2.0
Leica 50mm Summilux-M ASPH f/1.4
Leica 75mm Summilux-M f/1.4
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Thorsten Overgaard
Thorsten von Overgaard is a Danish writer and photographer, specializing in portrait photography and documentary photography, known for writings about photography and as an educator. Some photos are available as signed editions via galleries or online. For specific photography needs, contact Thorsten Overgaard via e-mail.

Feel free to e-mail to thorsten@overgaard.dk for
advice, ideas or improvements.

 

 
           
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