Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

Started Mar 5, 2014 | Discussions
turnstyle
turnstyle Senior Member • Posts: 1,973
Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

Hi all,

(I'm going to cross-post this to the "Mac Talk" forum, because it's really about both Mac and PC.)

I used Macs back in the early/mid '90s, then switched to Windows because it (at the time) had better database-driven Web servers. I only mention this to say that I'm neither a Mac nor PC flag-waver.

My current laptop, a Thinkpad, is having some hardware problems, and I'm thinking about switching to a retina MacBook Pro. I'd say that 95% of my time is spent in Lightroom or the web browser (I'm not a gamer).

I was first looking at Windows 8.1 ultrabooks with hi-dpi displays -- but it seems like hi-dpi is still kind of hit-or-miss in Windows.

So then I started considering switching back to Mac.

Just wondering if anybody has any opinions on retina MacBook vs. 8.1 hi-dpi touchscreen Windows 8.1, specifically regarding usability of Lightroom.

Thanks kindly -- and I don't mean to start some Windows vs. Mac flamewar -- just curious about the practical real-world difference of running Lightroom on either platform.

Thanks!  -Scott

Abrak Veteran Member • Posts: 3,865
Re: Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

I am not a Mac user but if you are looking for a high end laptop, with high dpi and can afford it, then the Macbook Pro retina 15" is a pretty good bet (the 13" is somewhat underpowered).

Personally I wouldnt use a 15" laptop screen to edit photos and prefer to run 1 (or even better 2) 24+ inch monitors from my laptop (dual screen mode works a treat with Lightroom). You could easily do that for the same price as a Macbook retina.

turnstyle
OP turnstyle Senior Member • Posts: 1,973
Re: Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

Abrak wrote:

I am not a Mac user but if you are looking for a high end laptop, with high dpi and can afford it, then the Macbook Pro retina 15" is a pretty good bet (the 13" is somewhat underpowered).

Personally I wouldnt use a 15" laptop screen to edit photos and prefer to run 1 (or even better 2) 24+ inch monitors from my laptop (dual screen mode works a treat with Lightroom). You could easily do that for the same price as a Macbook retina.

Thanks, so for example my question would then be: how does Lightroom usability compare between Mac and PC systems -- assuming (say) retina Macbook Pro vs. hi-dpi Dell XPS (and, given your comment, let's say each of them is running one external desktop).

It is somehow nicer to run Lightroom on one or the other of those systems? Same? Does the touchscreen on the Dell make brushing or other features better?

tarzan1234 Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

turnstyle wrote:

Thanks, so for example my question would then be: how does Lightroom usability compare between Mac and PC systems -- assuming (say) retina Macbook Pro vs. hi-dpi Dell XPS (and, given your comment, let's say each of them is running one external desktop).

It is somehow nicer to run Lightroom on one or the other of those systems? Same? Does the touchscreen on the Dell make brushing or other features better?

As a long time Windows user (exclusively) I made the switch from Windows to Mac for personal use a few weeks ago (I still use Windows Machines at work). The transition has been smooth and I'm very happy with the decision. Here's some of my observations during my research to make the purchase:

- I didn't like Windows 8 and touch screen (personal opinion) and most of the Windows computers I liked only had Windows 8.

- Windows machines that are comparable to Macs (similar built quality, similar specs, similar screen quality, similar battery life) are NOT cheaper. Direct comparisons show that they are often priced in the same range, and sometimes even more expensive.

- Lightroom runs equally well on Mac and Windows. The image library is fully compatible. I just copied my Lightroom library from my old windows computer to my new Mac and it was up and running. Everything was there. You still have to manually find the "missing folder" though, because Windows and Mac manage hard drives differently.

Can't comment on the difference between Macbook Pro retina screen vs. Other higher res. windows machines in terms of Lightroom use. Didn't have a chance to try them but both system look nice for everything else.

 tarzan1234's gear list:tarzan1234's gear list
Canon EOS 6D Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM +5 more
turnstyle
OP turnstyle Senior Member • Posts: 1,973
Re: Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

tarzan1234 wrote:

- Lightroom runs equally well on Mac and Windows. The image library is fully compatible. I just copied my Lightroom library from my old windows computer to my new Mac and it was up and running. Everything was there. You still have to manually find the "missing folder" though, because Windows and Mac manage hard drives differently.

Thanks, very helpful info, and just to clarify -- apart from having to fix the missing folder, the overall everyday Lightroom user experience (changing exposure, brushes, dragging sliders, etc.) is the same on both systems? Thanks again,  -Scott

malch Forum Pro • Posts: 14,065
Re: Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

turnstyle wrote:

Just wondering if anybody has any opinions on retina MacBook vs. 8.1 hi-dpi touchscreen Windows 8.1, specifically regarding usability of Lightroom.

If you buy a MacBook, you get a good screen.

If you buy a Windows laptop, you'll have to shop carefully to find one with a good quality screen. And it won't be the cheapest -- probably in the same ballpark as the MacBook.

As far as everything else is concerned, the two systems will be very, very similar. Obviously, there are differences at the detailed level. But it's just small details and they pretty much boil down to personal preferences.

Six of one and half a dozen of the other.

tarzan1234 Regular Member • Posts: 168
Re: Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

tarzan1234 wrote:

- Lightroom runs equally well on Mac and Windows. The image library is fully compatible. I just copied my Lightroom library from my old windows computer to my new Mac and it was up and running. Everything was there. You still have to manually find the "missing folder" though, because Windows and Mac manage hard drives differently.

Thanks, very helpful info, and just to clarify -- apart from having to fix the missing folder, the overall everyday Lightroom user experience (changing exposure, brushes, dragging sliders, etc.) is the same on both systems? Thanks again,  -Scott

The Lightroom user interface is almost identical in Mac and Windows (the shortcut keys are a little different, Mac uses Command key instead of Control key) so you shouldn't feel much different at all. Performance wise, I can't say because my new Mac is an over all faster machine than my old windows laptop. One thing I noticed was my Wacom tablet works much better with my new Mac. I downloaded latest drivers for both but I don't know why it works better on my Mac.
One more thing, the mac's trackpad is the best I've used on any machine, period. I've had windows laptops with usable multitouch touchpad before but the one on my new Mac is the best. I even prefer it to my mouse for normal use (I use my Wacom for photo editing), and the fact that I have a very good gaming mouse tells you something.

 tarzan1234's gear list:tarzan1234's gear list
Canon EOS 6D Canon EF 70-200mm f/4.0L USM Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM +5 more
lemon_juice Contributing Member • Posts: 772
Re: Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

According to this forum thread Photoshop still doesn't scale up its interface for high resolution screens on Windows so the tools and menus will be very tiny and difficult to use. Adobe says it's Microsoft's fault, however I don't fully buy it - I understand Windows might not have such good system support for high dpi scaling but on the other hand scaling UI elements has been possible since at least Windows 95 as long as the application was designed to do that.

However, reading between the lines there people say that Lightroom works well on high dpi screens so you might have more luck with that but somebody else would have to confirm it.

Generally, it looks like OS X and its applications work better on retina displays.

-- hide signature --

Michal.

Ron AKA Veteran Member • Posts: 4,875
Re: Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

I couldn't even imagine using a laptop or worse still a touchscreen to do image editing. If you are serious about image editing get a real desktop with some processor power, SSD, and lots of fast disk space. And most important of all get a 100% sRGB IPS monitor of a decent size.

 Ron AKA's gear list:Ron AKA's gear list
Sony RX100 Epson Stylus Photo R3000 +1 more
lemon_juice Contributing Member • Posts: 772
Re: Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

I've found something intersting: a hack to make photoshop behave well on high dpi screens .

-- hide signature --

Michal.

meklem New Member • Posts: 2
Re: Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

I use Lightroom 5 on both a Mac and a PC. I see no difference using it on either platform. I do not use a laptop for processing , although I have a Lenovo 15' laptop. In my case, I've find it easier to take a picture/ video , then view using my Retina iPad  and when I get home I process using my 2 desktops. I never actually transfer any pictures to the iPad. I use my Airstash to look at the pictures using its built in wi-fi network.

Why PC and Mac desktops ?............simply because each platform has certain software that I like to use.

I'm a subscriber to the Adobe CC annual subscription program. I also use Dxo Optics Pro. I seldom use Lightroom anymore because , after lots of personal trial and error, I found the database program system just unnecessary and with the idea of having to save multiple copies of the catalogs to prevent possible catalog corruption just not a good plan. I have about 95 gigs of stuff and I have no problems finding or sorting stuff using the basic non-database software. I guess it goes back to how well you personally organize stuff. The software that comes with today's cameras is pretty good for basic sorting and loading.

The previous author's comments about using a Mac or PC laptop and a second 24 inch monitor seems like a good idea. I use a 27 and 22" monitor.

I hope this helped some.

fuego6
fuego6 Senior Member • Posts: 2,228
Re: Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

I actually build a new machine and have a dual boot MAC/PC setup now.  To be honest, I setup the machine as a PC first/MAC second machine... but recently have been using the MAC first and PC second.

I find the MAC a pretty decent system and am surprised at how well it runs.  Given its integration with all other things iOS, if you are invested into the iphone/ipad as well - it is a great combo.

Either way - you'll be happy with a new system... LR runs great on both my machines and really the use of an SSD for the catalog/software makes an enormous difference.

Good luck!

Russell Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 12,423
Re: Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

turnstyle wrote:

I was first looking at Windows 8.1 ultrabooks with hi-dpi displays -- but it seems like hi-dpi is still kind of hit-or-miss in Windows.

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/21/running-the-retina-macbook-pro-at-full-2880x1800-resolution/

"While Apple's new Retina MacBook Pro includes a display measuring 2880x1800 pixels, the default display options do not allow users to run their systems at that raw resolution. Instead, the extra pixels are used to display a higher level of detail on a canvas representing the previous 1440x900 resolution. As a result, windows and user interface elements appear to be the same relative size as on a 1440x900 15" display, but with four times the detail. Users who wish to use a desktop with apparent resolution higher than 1440x900 can still do so, as System Preferences offers several different options ranging up to 1920x1200.

Those users who want even more screen real estate by tapping into the full 2880x1800 resolution mode of the display can also do so, but the option involves a workaround that is not authorized by Apple."

SAMSUNG ATIV Book 9 Plus NP940X3G-K04US

  • ntel Core i7 4500U (1.80GHz)
  • 8GB Memory 256GB SSD
  • Intel HD Graphics 4400
  • 13.3" LED QHD+, 3200 x 1800, 16:9
  • 2x USB 3.0
  • 3.06lbs
  • 802.11a/b/g/n Wireless LAN
  • 10/100/1000
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Windows 8.1

Thank you
Russell

Tom_N Forum Pro • Posts: 12,816
Re: Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

Russell Evans wrote:

turnstyle wrote:

I was first looking at Windows 8.1 ultrabooks with hi-dpi displays -- but it seems like hi-dpi is still kind of hit-or-miss in Windows.

http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/21/running-the-retina-macbook-pro-at-full-2880x1800-resolution/

"While Apple's new Retina MacBook Pro includes a display measuring 2880x1800 pixels, the default display options do not allow users to run their systems at that raw resolution.

That is not an accurate statement. The LCD panel, and the output of the graphics chipset, run at native resolution (2880x1800 pixels on a 15" rMBP).

The system decouples the workspace size from the LCD resolution so that you can see the stuff on the screen without squinting or using a magnifying glass:

Instead, the extra pixels are used to display a higher level of detail on a canvas representing the previous 1440x900 resolution. As a result, windows and user interface elements appear to be the same relative size as on a 1440x900 15" display, but with four times the detail.

If you continue to measure sizes of things in pixel units without any adjustments, then on a hi-DPI screen, everything gets tiny.  Are you implying that

SAMSUNG ATIV Book 9 Plus NP940X3G-K04US

  • 13.3" LED QHD+, 3200 x 1800, 16:9

would display the equivalent of four 1600x900 pixel screens on one 13.3" screen and that using all of the pixels for more desktop space (with all text, content, and UI elements displaying at 1/4 size), and none for more detail, would be an advantage?

turnstyle
OP turnstyle Senior Member • Posts: 1,973
Re: Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

The SAMSUNG ATIV Book 9 is actually what started me on the path that (surprisingly to me) wound up leading me to a retina MacBook.

Basically, hi-dpi just doesn't seem consistently ready on Win 8.1 -- some things work, some things don't -- and I just didn't feel like dealing with it.

Russell Evans Forum Pro • Posts: 12,423
Re: Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

turnstyle wrote:

The SAMSUNG ATIV Book 9 is actually what started me on the path that (surprisingly to me) wound up leading me to a retina MacBook.

Basically, hi-dpi just doesn't seem consistently ready on Win 8.1 -- some things work, some things don't -- and I just didn't feel like dealing with it.

OK, makes sense. My issue is that since you are seeing your files though a manipulation of pixels, this makes me a little uneasy about the reality of what I'm seeing. I understand the relationship of one to one when viewing at 100% on a normal monitor, but I don't understand the relationship when viewing 100% on a Retina display.

Thank you
Russell

turnstyle
OP turnstyle Senior Member • Posts: 1,973
Re: Switch from Windows to OSX? (mostly for Lightroom)

Russell Evans wrote:

turnstyle wrote:

The SAMSUNG ATIV Book 9 is actually what started me on the path that (surprisingly to me) wound up leading me to a retina MacBook.

Basically, hi-dpi just doesn't seem consistently ready on Win 8.1 -- some things work, some things don't -- and I just didn't feel like dealing with it.

OK, makes sense. My issue is that since you are seeing your files though a manipulation of pixels, this makes me a little uneasy about the reality of what I'm seeing. I understand the relationship of one to one when viewing at 100% on a normal monitor, but I don't understand the relationship when viewing 100% on a Retina display.

Here's what I gather...

The retina display has 2880x1800 pixels, and its recommended display size is an effective 1440x900 (though you can run it at other sizes with some caveats). So, in some ways, it's like it combines 4 pixels to make 1. This is most useful for applications that have not updated interface elements (as they can simply be doubled).

When you're viewing an image at 1:1, I think you'll just see a smaller image as compared to what you would see on a lower res display. But you can certainly still zoom further in to see the pixels as squares in the image if you want to.

If I got something wrong, I'm happy to be corrected!

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads