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Thread: MBP lack of SD card slot... is it really a big deal to pro photographers?

  1. #1

    MBP lack of SD card slot... is it really a big deal to pro photographers?

    SD cards are more common and more practical for amateur to pro level. CF is mostly for higher end applications. Even 4K does not need the speed of CF. Sub $2000 camera systems don’t often use CF.
    I am no pro photographer of any kind, but I have a multi card adapter for my desktop. It is USB 3.0. I would need an cable adapter just to use it or buy a hub. USB-C to USB-A is not part of the USB-C specification which is where a lot of the problems lie if it isn’t tested properly.
    Also, having it built in makes it easier to plug and play instead of fishing for a dongle and adapter for the same functionality. SD is an industry standard. People who want as few extra cables as possible will prefer it and for a portable system, that usually is a benefit.

  2. #2
    I can not speak as a pro photographer but as an architect there is no hardware and no software that will perfectly meet my needs. But having to buy a few new cables or a few dongles is small change in the greater scheme of things. It’s certainly not going to stop me from getting the machine that works best for all my other needs. And I certainly wouldn’t throw a fit and switch platforms out of spite (the cost of professional software being not insignificant)
    I suspect there is a serious lack of perspective at play here and I’d like to hear more from people who actually make a full time living with photography. The few professionals I’ve seen post on this subject seem to be pretty sanguine about the matter. The people who are getting so upset about Apples "Pro" machines not actually being "pro" are not actually professionals themselves.

  3. #3
    On the subject of pro users, I suspect business will pay for itself. If it is needed to forward the needs of the business then it will be paid for if the price is right.
    The advantages of TB3 ports all over the computer has a lot of benefits for very heavy users. The question is if that compromise is worth it. The Macbook Pro is a powerful computer given its size, but it is still heavily limited compared to a work station laptop or a desktop. So the benefits of all TB3 means little if you don’t end up using it performance wise. It is an awkward situation to put the Macbook in. The I/O is fast, but the 13 inch’s processor not so much.
    That said, this is still a thin laptop. For portability sake, dongles are not convenient on the go. It is fine in a stationary position for longer periods of time, but for mobile users I imagine dongles are a hassle.
    The plus and minuses depend on utility, more so than simply professional status or not. What will the person be doing with the computer? Is it a desktop like machine or a mobile station?

  4. #4
    Well, as far as software costs, most photography professionals will be paying $10/month for a Lightroom / Photoshop subscription. That subscription is OS agnostic, you can use it on either machine and Adobe doesn’t care, they’ve got your money.
    if you don’t play the subscription game, a standalone license of Lightroom 6 or DxO Optics is in the $100-150 range, and even the mack-daddy of expensive photo software, Capture One, is $280.
    Those prices end up looking kind of like peanuts compared to the Apple price hikes. That’s about what a comprehensive set of dongles set you back before Apple slashed the prices (in response to the uproar).
    And for video folks, if you didn’t like the way that Final Cut Pro X has evolved, it might be tempting to jump over to Adobe Premiere, in which case you’ve got the same OS agnostic subscription situation.
    Basically, it’s never been cheaper to switch software ecosystems if you aren’t happy with the way things are going. There are certainly people that are hardcore into the Mac OS ecosystem, but for a lot of people who are just going to use the exact same software on either machine, it’s about the hardware that works for them.
    I can see a real temptation for someone to get a top-of-the-line 4K XPS 15 with an i7, 1 TB SSD, and 32GB of RAM for $1500 less than a comparably equipped MBP with a lower resolution screen and less RAM. That more than pays for your switching costs, and then some.

  5. #5
    I think CF is kind of a dodo format. It’s fine and dandy, but is mainly used by older pro gear, like the 5D II and 1DX or Nikon D3 / D4, that are obviously still getting plenty of use, but are no longer state of the art. Newer ultra-high end cameras are more fragmented, with CF, CFast, and XQD, and SD.
    I would suggest that the vast majority of pros still shoot SD. Every camera under ~$6000 made in the last 4-5 years is compatible with SD, and that covers the broad majority of professionals who will be shooting 5D IIIs, 7D IIs, 6Ds, D610s, D750s, D800s, D810s, D500s. And many of those who are using older cameras may still be using SD cards in CF adapters for convenience and compatibility. Not to mention Sony A7s, Fuji X-Ts, Olympus E-M1s, and Panasonic GHs, all of which are pro cameras that use SD.
    I think it was a huge mistake for Apple to remove the SD slot, especially since in past MBPs they had prioritized high bus speeds for their SD slots.
    But I think it’s also become abundantly clear over the last few years that Apple doesn’t really care that much about supporting creative professionals because they’re such a small market in overall terms. Losing the business of photographers and videographers is a small price to pay for a tiny increase in total margins on units that are overwhelmingly sold to a more general, less demanding market.

  6. #6
    Exactly. There is already a fragmentation of card types (and ways to get thatinfo to a computer… card readers, cables from cameras to computers, wireless, etc). And there are workflow differences too.
    That’s certainly the narrative many tech pundits are pushing. Of course these are the same talking heads who lose their shit every time Apple removes something else they assume is essential… until it revels itself to not really be that essential at all. So I will take their predictions of the sky falling with the usual grain of salt..
    Because a thousand dollar laptop is considered an expensive laptop for most everyday people these days. How many casual users are there who will spend 2000 plus dollars on a machine they don’t really need? Are there really more of them than real, professional users? I have a really hard time believing that.

  7. #7
    Exactly. There is already a fragmentation of card types (and ways to get thatinfo to a computer… card readers, cables from cameras to computers, wireless, etc). And there are workflow differences too.
    That’s certainly the narrative many tech pundits are pushing. Of course these are the same talking heads who lose their shit every time Apple removes something else they assume is essential… until it revels itself to not really be that essential at all. So I will take their predictions of the sky falling with the usual grain of salt..
    Because a thousand dollar laptop is considered an expensive laptop for most everyday people these days. How many casual users are there who will spend 2000 plus dollars on a machine they don’t really need? Are there really more of them than real, professional users? I have a really hard time believing that.

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