About Thomas Fitzgerald

Thomas is a professional fine art photographer and writer specialising in photography related instructional books as well as travel writing and street photography. 

First Impressions of the Retina MacBook Pro from a Photographer's Point of View

I've been meaning to add retina support to my website for some time now, and having recently acquired a shiny new retina MacBook pro, I finally pulled the trigger on the project. Setting it up turned out to be easy enough. I used a wordpress plug in called wp-retina 2X. This handles most of the grunt work. The hard part was re-uploading retina ready versions of older artwork. Obviously, going back and re-doing everything is a bit ambitious, so I've just converted the last few posts, but everything else going forward should be retina ready.

Unfortunately, I've encountered a few problems. First of all, the iPad 3 seems to struggle with some of the images and I'm not sure why. It could be a memory issue. Secondly, the screen logo flashes over from the non retina version to the retina version .I'm not sure why, but I'm guessing tis a size issue. I'll continue tweaking until I get it right, so please bear with me while I work out a few kinks. The other issue, which is only a minor one, is that I have to upload images through wordpress (I normally blog using mars edit) for it to work properly. A minor issue, but anyway.

It makes a huge difference though. I'll have a review of the MacBook Pro from a photographers point of view soon, but for now, just know this. The screen on this thing looks absolutely amazing. It's much better than the iPad, and the iPad is great. Well, mine isn't but that's another long story. For photography, it really is great, but I hope software developers don't take too long upgrading thins. Aperture is great. Lightroom actually isn't bad. Because much of the interface is text, you don't notice it that much, and the image itself just looks a little soft, but then again, in my opinion, Lightroom's rendering has always been soft.

Photoshop looks a bit rough in the default resolution, but crank it up using one of the scaled modes and it looks fine. In fact running in one of the scaled modes works remarkably well. The screen goes slightly soft, but no softer than a traditional laptop screen. It's just so damn sharp in retina mode that anything else stands out. Unfortunately there's no real way to convey the quality if you're not on a retina screen. While it's cutting edge now, hopefully it won't be long before the technology filters down to the rest of the line. It really is the future though, so that's why I wanted to be ahead of the game in getting my site ready for it. It might be a little crude at the moment, but I'll keep working on it (between work!) and hopefully before long it will be up to scratch.

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