Migrating my current PC setup to a Macbook Air M1

Started 4 months ago | Discussions thread
robgendreau Veteran Member • Posts: 8,205
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?

No. You'd manually import them, hopefully after writing all your Lr metadata to the files.

And I'd wait on that decision. Apple Photos has far far far fewer features than Lr Classic or even non-Classic. And even though you'd only use Photos and Luminar for processing, you may still miss many organizational features. Start with a few. And add Raw Power for photo adjusting if you do raw. And note that if you have a newer camera it might not be supported by macOS yet; check.

And if your library is more than the cloud storage you can buy start culling. You can't mix and match synched vs non synched images like with Classic. You can, however, have totally separate Photos libraries, one managed and synched, one offline and managed or referenced.

YMMV, but don't dive in without doing a LOT of experimentation first. It's very difficult to go back from online 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?

Well, if you use Photos app you'll need one copy of the Truth in the cloud, and then Apple automagically manages local storage to a large degree, with the user having only limited control over that. The point, as with non-Classic, is cloud storage.

Classic would still work essentially the same however.

And for travel, many of us just use Classic to sync smart previews and then work on non-Classic on the laptop. It syncs back automatically to Classic. Or export a subcatalog with images for use on the laptop, then re-import it.

And images taken on your iPhone by Lr auto-sync back to Classic, as do any imported from the camera roll. I assume you're doing that already. I don't know if you're using the Windows application for iCloud photos already on your Windows machine.

And BTW the smart previews sync to Adobe's Lr app on Apple TV, so you don't need photos to show them there. Assuming you have collections or something in Lr presently for such viewing you might wanna keep Lr Classic just to use those on Apple TV rather than recreating them in Photos.

- 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'd err on the side of more, but that's me. Note that there are some really small, quite fast, SSD drives with USB-C connectors for fast storage on the go. It's annoying to have a dongle hanging off the machine, but it's quite fast with some of these drives to swap files around. I often do it while charging since I'm wired then anyway.

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