• Welcome to the Lightroom Queen Forums! We're a friendly bunch, so please feel free to register and join in the conversation. If you're not familiar with forums, you'll find step by step instructions on how to post your first thread under Help at the bottom of the page. You're also welcome to download our free Lightroom Quick Start eBooks and explore our other FAQ resources.
  • The December 2019 Lightroom updates are now available. Lightroom Classic is just bug fixes and new cameras in this release, but it fixes a whole load of macOS Catalina issues.
    Lightroom (cloud-based service) has export options and direct import on iOS and the ability to contribute photos to someone else's account from the desktop/mobile apps.
    The Missing FAQ and Edit Like a Pro eBooks are already updated for the changes.
  • Stop struggling with Lightroom! There's no need to spend hours hunting for the answers to your Lightroom Classic questions. All the information you need is in Adobe Lightroom Classic - The Missing FAQ!

    To help you get started, there's a series of easy tutorials to guide you through a simple workflow. As you grow in confidence, the book switches to a conversational FAQ format, so you can quickly find answers to advanced questions. And better still, the eBooks are updated for every release, so it's always up to date.

Hardware and software

So in relation to my situation above... 13" or 15" MBP


  • Total voters
    3
  • Poll closed .

\Tom

New Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
4
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Operating System: Mac Os Sierra
Exact Lightroom Version (Help menu > System Info): Lightroom classic

Hello there : )

So my situation is this. I’m a professional graphic designer of 12 years but over the past 5 years or so have been doing more and more photography, to the point that I now do professional shoots 20% of the time. These vary from local area walk around shoots, to studio shoots with models and lighting etc. I also have a couple of interior shoots coming up and I’d like to consider tethered shooting.

My workflow in Lightroom is based around a single catalog where Lightroom imports raws automatically into folders by their capture date upon import. From there I create a collection set for that particular shoot and then inside will have a big collection with the originals (0 stars), a smaller collection of virtual copies for selects (1 stars), and a smaller still collection of virtual copies for finals (2 stars). Another collection of those virtual copies with my presets applied (3 stars), and generally I’ll then just have a handful of images from that shoot that have local adjustments and further processing (4 stars). On occasion I might then have a single image (but more often than not I don’t) which has been given the coveted 5 star.

So my setup which has worked for me the past 4 years thereabouts has been the original retina 27” 5k imac. Once this ran out of space I invested in a 20TB thunderbolt raid and store everything on there. I then added an iPad pro 12.9” to the mix when it first came out, and I do the majority of my rating on there via synced collections on lightroom mobile.

The hardware question

So now I’m considering giving my Mum the iPad pro and replacing it with a fully specced MacBook pro 13” (minus the crazy 1TB SSD… 512GB will suffice). I’m really torn between the 13” and 15” but as I’m looking to replace the iPad pro, use something portable for tethered capture, backup of SD cards when on location, design layouts on the go and retouching via photoshop. I think it will be a better choice as I still intend on using the 27” iMac for work when I’m at home… and in that scenario the 13” becomes more handy about the flat as a more portable consumption device for internet/netflix etc.

The thing thats holding me back is the idea of the integrated graphics on the 13” as opposed to a discreet chip set on the 15”, do you think this will be an issue for my needs? Would I be better off selling the iMac and getting a top spec 15” and separate monitor and keeping the ipad? Hmm decisions decisions. I guess looking to the future I’d rather be in a situation a few years from now where I would be upgrading the iMac to an iMac pro.

The software question

Despite reading multiple threads across the internet I’m still a little lost as to how to go about working on lightroom via two computers. Everywhere seems to point to the same preferred solution of having the catalog on a fast external drive and just switching it between machines. However my catalog is on a beasty mirrored raid array which works great for me at home, but I don’t intend on ever taking this beast on location or out and about. Further more I don’t intend to ever want to access my entire catalog away from home.

As mentioned before I tend to keep projects in their own collection set with a series of starred collection folders therein. What I’d like to be able to do is just move the occassional collection set from the main machine to the portable, do a little rating /creation of more collections within that collection set, maybe some developing, and then move it back to the main raid array for further work on the 27” machine.

I’d also like to go out onto future shoots, shoot tethered directly into a collection within a collection set on the portable machine, maybe do a little rating/processing on site with clients… then when back home copy across to the raid array and continue work on the 27” machine.

To keep things simple I’d delete the folders and thus collection sets from lightroom on the portable after each session.

Is the above all possible in a relatively straightforward way?

Thanks ever so much for your help in advance,

Tom.
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
14,978
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Classic
Welcome to the forum. I find the 13" MBP to be sufficient for travel and initial image work leaving the heavy lifting for the 27" iMac. With the introduction of LRCC for Computers, a new different workflow presents itself.

My previous workflow consisted of a travel catalog on the MBP that got imported (as a Catalog) to my master catalog on the iMac when I returned home. All the work done in the travel catalog got transferred to the master catalog.

Now with Lightroom CC available on the MBP, I can use that in conjunction with my Master Lightroom Classic Catalog on the iMac. When I have a decent internet connection, LightroomCC will sync any images and work done on the MBP with my master catalog
 
Joined
Mar 12, 2017
Messages
133
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
My 2¢ from recently shopping for a new Lightroom Mac after my 4-year-old 15" MBP stopped working reliably. Not necessarily in order:
. The iMac Pro is overkill for Lightroom. It is designed (and spec'd) for video, VR, and 3D work. I found nothing that indicated any of the expense of the iMac Pro would improve Lightroom's performance. Once the machine comes out (tomorrow) we should know more.
. A core problem with ALL MBP's right now is that (due to Intel not delivering new chips in time) they cannot address more than 16 GB RAM. This is sufficient for Lightroom, but is a minimum for a computer for general use + Lightroom, and is, imho, reason enough to NOT purchase any MBP for Lightroom today. Since you can't expand the memory past 16 GB, you are almost guaranteed to need to replace the machine significantly earlier than a machine that does allow more than 16 GB RAM.
. Before I ruled out the MBP's for my own use, I had decided the 13" MPB was under-speced for Lightroom _for me_. I don't remember exactly why, but I think it had to do with driving external monitors. (Note that the new iMacs with High Sierra allow _external_ GPU's {9to5Mac}. This may become important to you.)
. My "early-'13" MBP ran Lightroom well with Catalogs up to somewhere below the 100,000 image range. Above that scrolling the entire Catalog (and other whole-Catalog processes) got slow. Any of the machines you are considering should run Lightroom Classic CC well.
. I would get the 1 TB SSD if you are going to store your main Catalog on it unless the price really is too too high (= more than the cost of an external SSD).
. I would use external SSD's for any regularly used large Catalogs.
. My mobile workflow used what I called a Satellite Catalog. I created these with a single image that had all my keywords applied, used them "on the road", and then merged them into a parent Catalog. I named each one "SatCat yyyy.mm.dd SessionName".
. Since you have an existing RAID, SatCat's might be a good solution. IME, Lightroom does a good job of merging Catalogs exported the way I did. I created a workflow that insured I never made any changes to the parent-Catalog Photos that I had copied out to a SatCat.
. NB: I have never used Lightroom CC (I mean to indicate the mobile version) and have no idea how it might be used in a workflow and thus influence your decisions.
. Tethered recording has lots of advantages — the biggest of which, for me, is being able to see the photo on a large monitor. (I have not done it with Lightroom. I continue to use Aperture for this). If I were recording tethered out of the studio and having a client review the photos on a laptop, I would get the 15" screen over the 13" screen.
 

\Tom

New Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
4
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
Welcome to the forum. I find the 13" MBP to be sufficient for travel and initial image work leaving the heavy lifting for the 27" iMac. With the introduction of LRCC for Computers, a new different workflow presents itself.

My previous workflow consisted of a travel catalog on the MBP that got imported (as a Catalog) to my master catalog on the iMac when I returned home. All the work done in the travel catalog got transferred to the master catalog.

Now with Lightroom CC available on the MBP, I can use that in conjunction with my Master Lightroom Classic Catalog on the iMac. When I have a decent internet connection, LightroomCC will sync any images and work done on the MBP with my master catalog
Thanks ever so much for the reply... a few people have mentioned working with a combination of Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC to get around the Desktop / Laptop scenario. I'm going to look into this further I think. I'll probably opt for the 13" as I'll still use the 27" as my main computer.
 

\Tom

New Member
Joined
Dec 13, 2017
Messages
4
Lightroom Experience
Intermediate
Lightroom Version
My 2¢ from recently shopping for a new Lightroom Mac after my 4-year-old 15" MBP stopped working reliably. Not necessarily in order:
. The iMac Pro is overkill for Lightroom. It is designed (and spec'd) for video, VR, and 3D work. I found nothing that indicated any of the expense of the iMac Pro would improve Lightroom's performance. Once the machine comes out (tomorrow) we should know more.
. A core problem with ALL MBP's right now is that (due to Intel not delivering new chips in time) they cannot address more than 16 GB RAM. This is sufficient for Lightroom, but is a minimum for a computer for general use + Lightroom, and is, imho, reason enough to NOT purchase any MBP for Lightroom today. Since you can't expand the memory past 16 GB, you are almost guaranteed to need to replace the machine significantly earlier than a machine that does allow more than 16 GB RAM.
. Before I ruled out the MBP's for my own use, I had decided the 13" MPB was under-speced for Lightroom _for me_. I don't remember exactly why, but I think it had to do with driving external monitors. (Note that the new iMacs with High Sierra allow _external_ GPU's {9to5Mac}. This may become important to you.)
. My "early-'13" MBP ran Lightroom well with Catalogs up to somewhere below the 100,000 image range. Above that scrolling the entire Catalog (and other whole-Catalog processes) got slow. Any of the machines you are considering should run Lightroom Classic CC well.
. I would get the 1 TB SSD if you are going to store your main Catalog on it unless the price really is too too high (= more than the cost of an external SSD).
. I would use external SSD's for any regularly used large Catalogs.
. My mobile workflow used what I called a Satellite Catalog. I created these with a single image that had all my keywords applied, used them "on the road", and then merged them into a parent Catalog. I named each one "SatCat yyyy.mm.dd SessionName".
. Since you have an existing RAID, SatCat's might be a good solution. IME, Lightroom does a good job of merging Catalogs exported the way I did. I created a workflow that insured I never made any changes to the parent-Catalog Photos that I had copied out to a SatCat.
. NB: I have never used Lightroom CC (I mean to indicate the mobile version) and have no idea how it might be used in a workflow and thus influence your decisions.
. Tethered recording has lots of advantages — the biggest of which, for me, is being able to see the photo on a large monitor. (I have not done it with Lightroom. I continue to use Aperture for this). If I were recording tethered out of the studio and having a client review the photos on a laptop, I would get the 15" screen over the 13" screen.
Thanks ever so much for the reply... agree that the iMac pro is definitely overkill, I was thinking more for a few years down the line.
I think I'll opt for the 13" over the 15" as the 27" will still be my main machine where I'll do the majority of my work.
 
Top