Rant: MacBookPro == iBook?


The new Intel-powered Apple MacBookPros seem very tempting on the surface for photographers and videographers. They have brighter screens and are rated for 2-3x the speed of the Motorola-powered PowerBook G4s. Intel versions of FinalCutPro are due in March.

However, from my own personal perspective, the new MacBookPros are more akin to iBooks than to PowerBooks. In particular, they are missing certain essential professional features:

  • Two FireWire ports/channels. The new units only have one FireWire 400 port. They need at least two ports so that you can connect an external FireWire drive on one channel and a DV/HDV camera on the other in order to capture video. With only one channel, that means the external drive has to be USB2.0 which is not as suitable for video work. Theoretically you could use the ExpressCard/34 to add another FireWire port, but these are supposed to be professional machines, right?
  • 1080i/p incompatibility. Apple should have increased the pixel density so that the new (brighter) screens were 1080 pixels in height, rather than reducing them to 900 pixels which will mean that 1080i/1080p playback is squished and not pixel accurate (which makes gauging critical focus difficult).
  • ExpressCard/34 which is only 34mm in width. I don't mind the switch from PCMCIA but they needed to use the wider ExpressCard/54 standard so that you can have a CompactFlash adapter that fits into the internals of the computer. With the smaller /34 standard, you have to have an easily lost external dongle for CompactFlash. This is a major bummer for professional photographers.
  • The name stinks.

I'll wait until the next iteration to upgrade from my current 15" PowerBook G4.

Monthly Archives

Sponsored Links

Powered by Movable Type 5.11

Sponsored by



Sponsored Links

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Karen Nakamura published on January 17, 2006 8:50 AM.

Info: Fuji announces a film-only competition while Kodak... was the previous entry in this blog.

Link: Canon EOS 30D is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

August 2014

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30