Migrating my current PC setup to a Macbook Air M1

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
Greybeard2017
Greybeard2017 Senior Member • Posts: 1,806
Re: Migrating my current PC setup to a Macbook Air M1

PrinzMegaherz wrote:

Hello all,

I am a hobby photographer and would like to buy one of the new M1 Macs. I still have some questions here and would be happy if you could help me.

Currently I'm still using Windows 10 with Lightroom and Luminar AI as plugin. My photos (almost 560 GB by now) are on an internal hard drive, which are mirrored via Cloudsync to my Synology NAS and from there again backed up to an external hard drive.

Why I want to switch to Apple:
a) My computer is getting on in years. It's still good enough for gaming (graphics card is still halfway up to date), but for everything else an upgrade would be due soon.
b) I used to have a Macbook back in Aperture days and switched to the PC when Aperture was cancelled.
c) I use both my Nikon and my Iphone to take photos. I transfer the photos from the camera, but for the photos from the phone I currently lack a convenient option under Windows (without an extra cloud subscription) to integrate the photos into my Lightroom library.
d) I would like to edit photos on the go, so I would prefer a notebook solution for that reason as well).
e) I also have an appleTV and would like to see my favorite shots there.

For the above reasons, I would like to dive back into the Mac world.

My question now would be:
- Lightroom Classic vs Apple Photos: I currently only use Lightroom as a DAM and not for image editing (I use Luminar for that). I would only use Apple Photos for now after the switch.
Questions: Is there any way I can elegantly import my Lightroom library into Photos? What happens if my library is larger than my ICloud storage?

- How can I replicate the current Photos data storage (internal hard drive mirrored to NAS) with a small notebook hard drive? I could plug in an external hard drive at my desk, for example, and mirror it to Synology via Cloudsync. But what do I do when I'm on the road and don't have the hard drive with me? Can I then still load photos in, which are then moved to the main library when I return?

- RAM and harddrive:
As far as I've read now from various Youtube reviews, the 8GB Macbooks are quite sufficient for my application purposes (don't currently do any video editing). Would you agree with that? And rather 512 GB hard drive, or is the smaller variant enough?

I would be glad I you could offer me some helpfull advice!

I started on a similar path by getting a Mac Mini M1 16gb Memory/512 GB storage. So this is a static setup rather than mobile.

512GB will be plenty as I don't intend to use it for my photo and movie storage but I wouldn't want to be restricted to just 256GB.

It was worth getting the 16GB memory to me as I don't intend to upgrade this set up for a number of years.

It's not clear what you plan to do with your 560GB of photos - you would obviously need a much bigger (and much more expensive) drive on the Mac if you are planning on storing them internally. Perhaps you could just take a subset of the image files when you travel?

Apple Photos didn't seem like much of a solution to me so I've migrated my Lightroom setup to the mac. I have my raw files on an external drive and copy them as needed over to the Synology NAS for security.

Backups have been easy and convenient (for everything except the external photos drive) - I bought a cheap 5TB external disk to use for Time Machine which is easy to setup and just works.

You have to be a bit careful about which Windows programs you migrate - I managed to crash the Mac Mini a few times before I figured that out - not something that has happened to me on Windows since the 1990s.

Performance on the Mac has been an incremental improvement over my ageing Lenovo All-in-one with 8GB of memory - but not to the dramatic extent of migrating the Lenovo from spinning disk to SSD.

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