The New MacBook Pro, a Photographer’s Perspective
Blair Bunting is a good friend of mine, and by far one of the best commercial portrait photographers out there today. He just published a blog post regarding the highly lauded (while simultaneously seriously attacked) new MacBook pro with retina display. While the display is absolutely breathtaking, it has a serious disadvantage. Is the display too good?
“What makes photography easier? The question itself can’t be answered in any one way because it is distal in nature, the proximal being, “who is the photographer?”
For simplicity let’s assume that I am the photographer in this case (saves me from others telling me I’m wrong).
Back to the matter at hand, will the MacBook Pro Retina make photography easier? The answer is simple, it is the most fortunate pain in the ass to hit the photography world in some time.
The excuse of not having the resolution to edit on the fly is gone, replaced by an absolutely beautiful screen that carries more pixels than the 30″ cinema displays on my desktop. The color, latitude, viewing angle and distortion are strong enough that I am comfortable adjusting and proofing from the comfort of the 1′ by 1′ box known as an airplane seat. The speed is there for any file to be manipulated, and since I don’t do much compositing, the depth of the RAM is easily enough. Perhaps it’s enough for video editing, but I don’t do video, so that isn’t a concern for me. Portability is good and weight is more than I expected, but not terrible. Also, the SD slot on the side will make life easier for those shooting the D800, as it make one less peripheral to carry to location. As a tech geek, I also marvel at the design and innovation in the system, truly art in engineering.
So with all this you are thinking, “Hmm, a perfect laptop?” No.
This laptop ushers in a new era that is going to be painful before it gets better. You see, the resolution is a double edge sword in that it looks beautiful to see images on it, but since most of our websites are at 72dpi, they look absolutely terrible. Yes, you can always display them smaller, but the draw of full screen is taken away. Yes, you could always upload all the image at 220dpi, but your site will take roughly 14 years to load (that’s an approximation).
So where do we find ourselves? The laptop is great… for the person that uses it on set, but horrible for the person who’s clients shop photos on it.”
Widely recognized for his vibrant and unique imagery and lighting, Blair Bunting’s advertising clientele includes Pepsi, General Motors, Addias, Discovery Networks, British Petroleum, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship series. Blair has worked with numerous movie and television personalities, professional athletes, and high profile politicians. His editorial and portraiture work has appeared in countless national and international newspapers and magazines such as the New York Times, Business Week, Cosmopolitan, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN Magazine.
Republished with permission.