There is always the “gotta have the fastest syndrome”, and I am often asked what kind of latpop or desktop to get for photographers. So here’s some perspective on real-world considerations that can save you a lot of money.
B&H Photo has $500 off on the Apple 15.4" MacBook Pro Retina 16GB / 512GB (Mid 2014) 21% / $500 off. Or, view all Apple computer and iPad deals.
This is a very nice laptop suitable even for high-end use. Its flash drive is not as fast as the latest 2015 model, but it’s faster than the 2013 model I use myself for my professional photography. And it’s $500 less costly than the equivalent 2015 model. If money is not an issue, by all means go with the 16GB / 1TB / 2.8 GHz 2015 model.
But to make the point: I’m finding my older and slower late 2013 MacBook Pro Retina 16GB / 512GB ample on a speed basis. My only serious incentive to upgrade is running short on internal drive capacity, as I occassionally need slightly more than 512GB for my photo trips (once home, the drive is offloaded to main storage, and that space becomes free again).
See also most popular products bought as gifts at various price levels. The $1000+ category and $500 - $1000 category are interesting, being dominated by Apple and Sony.
Lloyd’s recommendations for add-ons, proven over long-term use:
- OWC Envoy Pro EX as a backup drive for field use, either 480GB or 1TB (1TB strongly recommended as a better long-term investment due to its higher capacity).
- OWC Thunderbolt 2 Dock for when used at home/office.
- Storage and backup via the OWC Thunderbay 4 (20TB or 24TB recommended). Backup drives as OWC Mercury Elite Pro (the 6TB model recommended for long-term).
- Fast card reader if using CompactFlash camera cards and/or multiple simultaneous downloads, and Lexar 2000X SDXC card for digital cameras.
- Wide gamut display for home/office use when not in the field. Top pick: NEC PA302W.